How to Avoid Giving Unwanted Answers to Unasked Questions

This is another interesting Popperian take on educational theory. (It is not clear whether the author is aware of TCS or not, but she is aware of Roland Meighan, who does know about us.) There is lots to discuss here!


Interesting article! In th...

Interesting article!

In the abstract, she writes:

Karl Popper is widely acknowledged to have been one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century. Many authors cite his work, but what impact have his ideas had on what people do? Perhaps quite a lot in the natural sciences, but very little in the social sciences and in education. Although Popper did not explore educational issues in depth, nonetheless, as a young man, he ‘dreamt of one day founding a school in which young people could learn without boredom, and would be stimulated to pose problems and discuss them; a school in which no unwanted answers to unasked questions would have to be listened to; in which one did not study for the sake of passing examinations’ (Popper, 1992 [1974], p. 40). Many educationists are aware of this passage, but few, it seems, have considered its radical implications. Fewer still have developed schools or classrooms in which the dream has been realised. Drawing on two education initiatives in the United Kingdom, this paper shows how Popper’s dream can be realised. Specifically, it sets out a case for the development of student-initiated curricula; that is, curricula based on problems formulated by students and arising out of their own experiences.

So far so good but what does she mean by "student-initiated curricula"? It might mean TCS but it depends how seriously she takes that idea. In my experience Popperians are good at paying lipservice to the idea but they rarely take it seriously enough. Let's read on...