The War Against Knowledge and What to Do About It - Martin Cothran Talk Notes

The MP4 Audio recording of this talk is one to consider.  Here are my talk notes.

* Schools value testing over learning

* With high stakes testing, 47% of the time from class subjects to prep for the testing is taken from History and Literature classes.

* Cultural knowledge is sacrificed at the altar of testing.

* 2nd things suffer when put 1st and the learning process is perverted.

* Skills delusion - State standards,  Common Core  - Every 25 years we take it all apart, forgetting how bad that process was.

* How can you use something you don't have? Skills in a content vacuum.  Mr. Cothran listed all the history and terminology a student would need to know to read To Kill A Mockingbird and that familiarity with that knowledge would enhance the reading. 

* Even poor readers and those with lower IQs, when the topic is familiar to them (a skill they've experienced or been given knowledge of) they will outperform others.  Text complexity matters less than reader familiarity with a topic. You can study how to ride a bike but those who have done so will outperform you.

* Curriculums, like many homeschoolers have, prepare you to transition, for instance, from 3rd grade to 4th grade.  You leave off prepared for the subjects that will be covered next.  (Mother of Divine Grace, Classical Education/Trivium)  A curriculum that builds on itself is lacking in public schools.

The War Against Knowledge and What to Do About It

Martin Cothran

There is a rival philosophy of education that undergirds the problems schools have been experiencing since the beginning of the 20th century of which Common Core is only one manifestation. What is it, and how do we make sure it doesn’t destroy the education of our children?
Mr. Martin Cothran is a writer and teacher who lives in Danville, Kentucky with his wife of 30 years in close proximity to their four children, two daughters-in-law, and their first grandchild. He is the director of the Classical Latin School Association and editor of the Classical Teacher magazine, a quarterly periodical for parents and professional educators published by Memoria Press. He is the author of several educational textbooks, including Traditional Logic, Books I and II, Material Logic: A Course on How to Think, Classical Rhetoric: A Study of Aristotle’s Principles of Persuasion, and Lingua Biblica: Old Testament Stories in Latin.
For the past 25 years, Martin has been an influential voice on public policy issues in Kentucky. His articles on current issues have appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Louisville Courier-Journal, The Lexington Herald-Leader, and various other newspapers around Kentucky and has been quoted in the New York Times, USA Today, and numerous other publications around the country. He has served on several state commissions dealing with state education policy and is the most frequent guest on Kentucky Educational Television’s weekly “Kentucky Tonight” program. He has also appeared on ABC Radio News, American Family Radio, and Family News in Focus, NBC Nightly News, and the PBS News Hour.
He is formerly Latin, Logic, and Rhetoric Instructor at Highlands Latin School in Louisville, Kentucky and holds a B.A. in philosophy and economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara and an M.A. in Christian Apologetics from the Simon Greenleaf School (Trinity University).

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