RSI Corporate - Licensing

Averaging in Education

Education Next – Samuel T. Moulton

“In his recent book The End of Average, Harvard neuroscientist Todd Rose argues that designing education for the average student is fundamentally misguided — because there are no average students. He deploys a central analogy from the history of aeronautical design: In the 1940s, well-trained U.S. Air Force pilots began mysteriously crashing their mechanically sound planes. It turned out that the new, more powerful jets were hard to control because of their one-size-fits-all cockpit design. Although the Air Force had used the average body measurements of its pilots to construct the cockpit, there were literally no pilots who fell within the average range on 10 key dimensions. To prevent future crashes, engineers scrapped the standard cockpit and replaced it with an adjustable one that could accommodate the “jagged profile” of individual pilots. Applying this example to education, Rose argues against a standardized education system designed for the average student and in favor of personalized learning designed for individual students.”(more)

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