Creating Better Schools: Let’s Look to Parents | Alden Blodget | 11 Min Read

June 21, 2022

“We are greater than and greater for, the sum of us.” 

Heather McGhee, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

Researchers offer us important insights into how we learn, insights that suggest a need to rethink both learning and teaching. The pandemic and the shambles of online learning have only highlighted the persistent problems with traditional schooling—problems that have characterized schools for over 100 years: lack of student motivation and deep engagement, the meaninglessness of emphasizing and assessing memorization, poor learning outcomes, and the damage inflicted by grades. It is way past time for us to rethink how we have designed schools: their structures, practices, and policies reflect outdated assumptions about how people learn. New knowledge offers educators the possibility of creating better schools, and parents could play a significant role as creative partners in achieving this goal.

Insights from research

Researchers like Kurt Fischer (former head of the Mind, Brain and Education program at Harvard) and Mary Helen Immordino-Yang (neuroscientist at the University of Southern California) offer real insight into how people learn. Fischer explains that learning anything is a process…

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Alden Blodget

Veteran teacher and administrator Alden S. "Denny" Blodget is the author of "Learning, Schooling and the Brain: New Research vs. Old Assumptions." He also helped create the Annenberg Foundation's Neuroscience & the Classroom. He is the editor for, a free online resource focusing on issues affecting young people and the adults who work with them.