🤔 The Concept of “Learning Loss” is Complete BS

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The concept of “learning loss” is complete BS. It’s been with us forever, of course, this noxious idea that if we don’t keep children’s noses to the grindstone year-round they fall into some sort of swoon of blithering ignorance, but now it’s being weaponized and aimed directly at our children. “Learning loss” is not a real thing. It’s an invention of the standardized testing crowd. If it’s so fragile that a few months, or even a year, will cause it to somehow disappear, it was never learned in the first place. It was, at best, a bit of trivia that a child managed to store away in their short term memory long enough to fill in the right dot on a test. I have no doubt that kids have sloughed off tons of this sort of trivia during the past year, but that isn’t evidence of learning loss: it’s evidence that what we’ve been doing to children at the behest of these testing companies isn’t learning at all. Or rather it’s learning in the only thing that matters to their bottomline, which is proficiency in taking tests, of cramming, of scoring points. It is a useful, self-perpetuating set of skills just so long as testing remains the center of their educational experience. It is not useful for anything they will ever face in the world beyond the classroom.

One response on “🤔 The Concept of “Learning Loss” is Complete BS”

  1. “The poor children. Think of the children!” They are, says Tom Hobson, the unfortunate victims of ‘learning loss’, and have fallen badly behind. “But breathe easy. Fortunately, there are heroes here to save the day: for-profit corporations who just happen to sell exactly the lifesavers we need in the form of curricula, text books, and, most importantly, standardized tests.” I think both sides of this are exaggerated a bit, but only a bit. To a large degree, I think, ‘learning loss’ is a manufactured phenomenon. And it’s not like learning hasn’t been happening all year. Hobson writes, “we can begin to build something new from what we have actually been learning about ourselves and our world. But first we have to throw the ‘learning loss’ crowd overboard.” Via Aaron Davis.

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