The Marriage of Progressive Education and Technology | Jeannette Lee-Parikh | 7 Min Read

March 7, 2023

You must have heard about the debacle with the AP African American History class. Rest assured, I am not going to rehash it. Instead, this wholly predictable episode (given the fraught intersection of race and the current political landscape) reveals part of what is wrong with the current industrial model of education: the emphasis on testing knowledge acquisition. The real question is: How is it that the billion-dollar business model of a private company, which exists to make money ranking and sorting our students, is not inspiring more outrage in the 21st century when AI can reproduce the answers since the approach is about the breadth of coverage? Just to be clear, I am not rejecting the AP African American History class; instead, my question is: Why is the race to cover information still so much the focus of education?

Knowledge acquisition, even if the face of the potential disruption ChatGPT raises, is still largely accomplished through content regurgitation. Why do we need students to reproduce content that can be found using Google search, Wikipedia, YouTube, even TikTok, and now ChatGPT? If the answer can be found using any of these tools,…

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Jeannette Parikh

Jeannette M E Lee Parikh, Ph.D., is the assistant editor for Intrepid Ed News as well as the chair of the English department and head of community reading at The Cambridge School of Weston (CSW). Before CSW, where she has been since the fall of 2010, she taught at the college level for six years. She is an ISTE Certified Teacher and OER advocate. She is an experienced practitioner of integrating department-wide academic technology that serves pedagogical and curriculum goals. Her teaching philosophy exists at the intersection of the science of learning and cultivating creative thinking, joy, curiosity, playfulness, and self-awareness in all learners. She has presented at conferences on the importance of deep reading, critical listening, authentic discussion, and strategic writing in the 21st-century classroom.