Tuesday, October 03, 2023

You Need to Know

The notion that one can teach "metacognitive thinking" in the abstract is senseless. Students need to learn something to learn how to learn at all. The claim that prior knowledge is superfluous because one can always look it up, preferably on the Internet, is equally senseless. Effective research depends on preexisting knowledge. Moreover, if you don't know in what century the atomic bomb was dropped without rushing to an encyclopedia, you cannot fully participate in society.

- Heather Mac Donald, "Why Johnny's Teacher Can't Teach" (City Journal, Spring, 1998)

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