精简教育:Teach Less, Learn More

教学设计上,课程内容与方向的设计,从小学甚至更早开始,就需要一个一般原则,而不是注重各种各样的奇技淫巧,歪门邪道。从知识的角度需要学习的东西很多,学不过来,但是,从对学科的一般认识以及进一步自己学习的角度,需要学习的东西很少很少。

From the beginning of a person’s education, say elementary school or even earlier, there should be a principle, or a general guide line, based on which the whole set of courses curriculum, teaching methods and styles, learning methods and techniques, should be designed. Without such a principle, all those fancy or not-so-fancy techniques and all those creative or not-so-creative teaching methods, are just clever but useless/dishonest tricks. From the perspective of learning as to acquire knowledge, there are too much to learn in every field; from the perspective of learning what is the field and building up a basis from which one can start to learn things in that field by ones’ own, however, there is really not much to learn.

这个一般的原则,也就是正道,我认为是:精简教育,学习最核心的东西。那么什么是最核心的东西呢?学习对一个学科的一般认识(也就是通常所说的:学习某专业就要像一个某某家一样思考)还有进一步自己学习的基础。

This principle, I believe, is: Teach less, learn more. Learn only the core part of a field. So what is the core part? I believe it is to form a general scope of the field, or what commonly expressed as “when you learn a field, you should think like the best scholars in this field”, and learn sufficient basic concept and skills so that one can learn more about this field on ones’ own.

进一步自己学习的基础还有待整理。这里,我写下来我对学科的一般认识。

While waiting for answers for the question of what should be the basic but sufficient concepts and techniques of each individual fields, here I want to talk a little bit on what I think a top expert in the field of the following several fields look at those fields.

数学家:把现实世界抽象成数学问题,把抽象出来的数学问题解决;
物理学家:把现实世界抽象成物理问题,把物理问题转化成数学问题,解决抽象出来的数学问题;
计算机科学家:把现实世界抽象成数学问题,用算法的方式和角度解决这个数学问题;

Mathematicians: Convert real-world phenomena into well-defined mathematical problems, if not well-defined then develop mathematics first to make the problem well-defined, and then solve the abstracted math problems.
Physicists: Convert real-world phenomena into physical problems and then express the physical problems as math problems, and then solve the math problems.
Computer scientists: Convert the real-world phenomena into math problems, and then solve the math problems in an algorithmic fashion.

通常的语言使用者,母语:读和写,其中最主要的是把自己的想法和说的话,转化成文字;
专业的文字使用者:有想法和想说的话,可以用来表达,加上把这些想法和想说的话转化成文字的能力;
通常的语言使用者,非母语:听说读写,利用或者不利用母语,把自己的想法和想说的话,转化成文字和声音。

Language users, native: Reading and writing, convert their ideas and what they want to express into written words.
Profession language users: the previous, plus find something about which they have some ideas or have the desire/inspiration to say something.
Language users, non-native: Listening, speaking, reading and writing, using their native language or not, to convert their ideas and what they want to express into spoken and written words of the target language.

其他科学家,以后再添上。

When I, myself, have the inspiration and also indeed have something non-trivial to say, I will add my understandings of other fields.

所有的不是以这个核心能力为目标的教育和教学都是有害的。学习者可能变的越来越有学识,但是同时变得越来越古板,没有创造性,越来越像一个google服务器——一个供检索的知识容器。

All teaching, or more generally education, if is not based on this general principle, do more harm than good to the learners. People might become more and more educated, but meanwhile become less and less creative, more and more like a machine, or I would like to call it, a google server.

我希望有一天,有人能够把这些真正有必要学习的,对学科的一般认识,进一步自己学习的基础,都整理出来。

I wish one day, there will be others who also respect this picture of education and go through all fields to comb out those core parts, including the general scope of the fields and also the minimum set of basic but sufficient concepts and techniques.

真正的减负在于用更少的时间学会更好的更核心的东西,并且学会高效的学习方法。

If we want our next generation to learn happier, it can not be achieved by simply reducing the work load such as school hours and size of homework, but can only be reached by teaching only the core parts, and teaching it better.

Prof. Alberto Canas added that once the principles/big ideas have been identified, problem-based learning and project-based learning should be used to bring those big ideas down to the earth.

So I suggested the following formula that: Teaching = guidelines/principles/big pictures/big ideas + examples + logic structure. Concept mapping and concept maps can be helpful in constructing/presenting the first and the last, problem-based learning can be helpful in implementing the second.

《精简教育:Teach Less, Learn More》有一个想法

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