Teaching Students to Ask Questions

Submitted by David H. Stringer on Monday, 3/31/2014, at 10:27 AM

Education in the future needs to emphasize teaching kids to ask good questions. Much of what we do now constitutes the generation of answers (think: standardized tests) with penalties for errors, but the revolution in technology suggests that computers will, one way or another, generate a lot of answers by processing and analyzing data. But as far as I know, computers are not very good at asking questions, and questions are what we need for the deep innovation needed to stimulate cultural and economic change. 

Summer Workshops for Teachers

Submitted by David H. Stringer on Sunday, 3/30/2014, at 7:51 AM

I propose that Amherst host summer workshops for teachers, staffed by alums who are teaching or have taught. The "students" would have to apply, and they would receive a modest stipend, plus room and board, for their attendance. The format would not be top-down from profs to the unwashed, but rather an exchange of success stories and strategies. Professors could be involved as peers. It would also be a good opportunity for Amherst undergrads to be involved. A publication would follow each session, perhaps in digital format.

Magic

By David Stringer '64 

Ghost Writer

This piece won a sought-after gold medal in the Best Articles of the Year category for 2009.

By Rand Richards Cooper ’80