Friday, May 25, 2007

Drill and Kill

From John R. Anderson, Lynne M. Reder, and Herbert A. Simon, "Radical Constructivism and Cognitive Psychology," in Brookings Papers on Education Policy 1998, Diane Ravitch ed. (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1998):
An extension of this argument is that excessive practice will also drive out understanding. This criticism of practice (called "drill and kill," as if this pejorative slogan provided empirical evaluation) is prominent in radical constructivist writings. Nothing flies more in the face of the last twenty years of research than the assertion that practice is bad. All evidence, from the laboratory and from extensive case studies of professionals, indicates that real competence only comes with extensive practice. By denying the critical role of practice, one is denying children the very thing they need to achieve competence.



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