“The best way for developing intelligence is to develop the brain’s corpus callosum, and the best way to do so is to “play the croquette” (in Spanish slang, “play the croquette” referee to a sort of game in which kids roll over the floor). I heard that from a professor of a Master Degree I took recently. He is a recognised expert in pedagogy, well-known in the Spanish media and owner of his own line of pedagogical toys for children.
Spot on! – I though: Mozart, Einstein, Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie, Stephen Hawking. All of them spent hours and hours “playing the croquette” when they were children. Just that, if we must trust my professor, could save our children from a so feared mediocre life.
The “non-dogmatism’s dogma” of postmodernity leads us to the point in which someone can say such a stupidity and not only feel comfortable, but generate followers and create a new tendency. And everything started with my professor misreading a paper from UCLA where was stated that motility in early years could help to develop brain’s corpus callosum and how this, that joins both hemispheres, helps to improve our brain’s efficiency.
Then, a, let’s call him that way, “academic slick” takes that piece of information, wraps it with some colourful words that pretend to be a complex theoretical corpus, creates a catchy name, such as Co-croquetting paradoxical learning”, for instance, introduces his new pedagogical approach during a Ted talk and begins to offer biased results of its efficacy.
After a couple of years, private schools, always wiling to be competitive, start to use the “co-croqueting paradoxical learning”, paying a lot of money and forcing their teachers, already overwhelmed, to apply ithe new educational manna. Since the results are not the expected miraculous panacea, they have two options:
a) to blame themselves, thinking on what were the mistakes or focusing in the supposed incompetence of their 20 years-experienced teachers.
b) To grease the wheels and say the system is unique, efficient and a state of the art approach, offering their own biased information.
Since the biased results aa apparently that good that we can’t understand how we could survive before it, a lot of private corporations, foundations, etc, get interested, telling us that our education is wrong, our teachers are horrible and that we are ruining our children’s lives if we don’t apply the “co-croqueting paradoxical learning”.
And so the governments dilapidate tons of money to quickly develop and establish a non-sense system that has been, at least, two times corrupted: from an UCLA’s paper, a slick created an idle talk that ends up being a meta idle talk. Since there is always someone willing to, like in Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, tell us that the emperor is naked, we come back to the start point: fear, confusion, consternation, till a new paradigm, a new far-fetched idea appears in the horizon and the process starts again.
One of the most “avant-garde” values of the new pedagogical approaches is the critical thinking. Maybe no one remembers that Socrates used to teach that way, 2600 years ago, through his “mayeutica”.
I wonder how are we going to be able to educate into the critical thinking when we usually behave like the pine processionally caterpillar.