The Education Establishment hates knowledge. But your kid’s brain loves it!
Our professors of education pretend that knowledge is like stale beer. We should sit around complaining about how disgusting it would be to drink this stuff.
The Establishment’s point of view is that knowledge is difficult to acquire and a waste of time anyway. So don’t bother. This is like a doctor saying health isn’t a big deal and it’s hard work to maintain, so you might as well smoke, drink, get high, and eat ice cream all day. Foolish talk.
There is nothing more bizarre than an Education Establishment that hates all the things that people used to designate by the term “education.” Namely, facts, knowledge, learning, literacy.
The Education Establishment has waged a 100-year war against the idea that school is all about teaching children to know stuff. They pretend that school is about everything else but knowledge. Now schools claim to teach critical thinking, self-esteem, multi-cultural perspectives, higher-order thinking skills, cooperative learning, digital literacies, everything except perhaps how many inches are in a yard. Kids today might look at you and say, Inches? Yard? What’s all this? In other words, schools teach many airy nothings but few solid something’s.
If we want better schools, start by getting rid of all the egregious anti-knowledge clichés that the Education Establishment pretends to believe. Let’s switch to upbeat, positive, pro-knowledge rhetoric. Dumb is just dumb. But facts are fun; and knowledge is power.
Here are some commonsense axioms for saving our schools:
- First, knowledge serves as the foundation for doing better at every stage of life. It doesn’t matter whether a student is going toward trade school, secretarial school, beauty school, buy essay for a community college, advanced degrees, parenthood, or merely being a good citizen. The more you know, the better you can typically do any job.
- Second, knowledge is easy to teach and learn because the brain wants to know stuff. Evolution figured out that the more information you have, the better chance of surviving. The more you know, the more you can know, because each fact illuminates the next fact.
- Third, is there such a thing in life as doing too many favors, giving too many compliments, thinking too many positive thoughts? Knowledge is like that. It’s hard to have too much.
- Fourth, day to day, the classroom should be focused on things that are fun and easy to learn. Almost every human being is fascinated by dinosaurs, spiders, volcanoes, the Roman Coliseum, icebergs, cars, tools, planets, what’s in the bottom of the ocean, and hundreds of other hot topics. Use the fun stuff to teach the more difficult stuff. Think of the classroom as a giant hot springs with a froth of bubbling knowledge.
- Fifth, ignore gimmicks like Bloom’s Taxonomy. Suppose I tell you that Columbus discovered America in 1492. Bloom wants to discuss whether you have merely memorized this fact, or have you also analyzed, comprehended, evaluated, etc.? Isn’t it simpler just to teach a few more facts? Better 10 facts fast and furious than one fact tediously. Those facts will connect to each other like tinker toys. Things get exciting when you have lots of facts. It’s the relationships between facts that give you context and lead to critical thinking.
- Sixth, teaching something one time is not teaching it. Teach it again and again in different contexts. You might mention the Atlantic Ocean one day as a geographical feature. Then you mention it the next week as history— people from Europe came across on it. Later you mention it because the Gulf Stream effects our weather. The next week you mention it because people living on the East Coast can see it. Constant, casual repetition will result in long-term memorization of information without any particular effort.
- Seventh, use every picture, photograph, video, slideshow, or excerpts from History Channel and Hollywood movies. Point at details. Pull the children into the picture. Why did they design that object like that? Also use models, maps, diagrams. Use every possible visual aid so that children really do understand what something looks like.
- Eighth, stop the excuses. Our misguided Education Establishment doesn’t want to bother teaching very much, so they blame their bad schools on everything but their own ideology. They talk about computers, texting, gun violence, indifferent parents and drugs. But let’s focus on the real problem. These people have stopped trying. Instead they spend their time looking for excuses for not doing the job they don’t want to do anyway.
Everything discussed here is common practice in any good school. The best private schools do this. The classical schools. Montessori schools. Homeschoolers. Everyone should stop trying to reduce school to something small and tedious. Think of it as a big theatrical production and keep it lively. Step right up! Witness the greatest show on earth.
Let the kids think they’re playing games and having fun. They will learn a lot but without realizing it, just as any family does when they go on vacation to a national park or museum.
DIRECT INSTRUCTION: Personally, I like the idea of a classroom full of facts, energy, and fun, with room for creativity and serendipity. However, if you have a specific amount of knowledge and you have limited time, then a school should consider Direct Instruction, as pioneered by Siegfried Engelmann and now by Martin Kozloff. If you want children to know the lifecycle of the butterfly, and you’ve got two hours to finish this, then you have to organize and present this material in the most efficient possible way. I call this ergonomic education. I think it’s a fascinating challenge.
FORGET CONSTRUCTIVISM: This is the theory that requires that teachers stop teaching. It’s the opposite of everything discussed in this article. The Education Establishment has waged a war against knowledge for 100 years. Constructivism is the culmination of that war. Lets get back to sages on stages. Every child is entitled to be taught by smart knowledgeable people who stand up in front and deliver the goods.
The Superhero Movies Of 2018, Ranked From Worst To Best
2018 has gone by too fast. It seems like yesterday when the beginning of the new year was upon us, and the advent of having so many superhero movies hitting theaters seemed like a dream come true for every fanboy and fangirl. It's also funny to look back and remember that although we ended up with a whopping nine major theatrical superhero movies, we almost had eleven. Sadly, Fox delayed both Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants to 2019 instead.
Even with those two films delayed, 2018 was still a massive year not just at the box office, but for the continued advancement of the genre on a number of levels. Whether it was through the cultural significance of a film like Black Panther or the exciting animated adventures of Incredibles 2 and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, there was no shortage of exciting superhero stories told on the big screen this year.
Here are the 9 theatrical superhero films of 2018, ranked from worst to best. You can start the gallery by clicking "Next."
Yeah, Venom is an interesting film to say the least. Many have doubted Sony and their plans to create their own universe centered on Spider-Man villains that is said to be "adjacent" to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially after what happened with their proposed plans for a shared universe set within the canon of Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man films.
What director Ruben Fleischer brought to audiences is this bizarre, clunky, yet surprisingly entertaining throwback to the early 2000s era of superhero cinema. It has major narrative and technical flaws that keep it from being legitimately a "good" film beyond some moments of ironic brilliance, but Tom Hardy's performance is one of the most entertaining comic book movie performances put on screen in a long time.
8. Ant-Man and the Wasp
It's pretty hard to follow in the footsteps of such a massive crossover event like Avengers: Infinity War, but the microscopic (yes, pun intended) scale of Ant-Man and the Wasp is a nice lighthearted cleanser after witnessing Thanos' decimation. It falls short of its 2015 predecessor, but director Peyton Reed still brings in some entertaining sequences that are a nice blend of action and comedy.
Both Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly have great chemistry, and the entire climactic chase sequence is pure delight.
7. Deadpool 2
2016's Deadpool was the surprise hit of that year. While many hardcore comic book fans were excited to finally see a proper iteration of the Merc with a Mouth, the industry was particularly surprised by how mainstream audiences embraced Ryan Reynolds as the beloved antihero of the Marvel Universe.
Deadpool 2 continues that trend of self-aware comedy mixed in with the badass action directed by David Leitch. Unfortunately, the film falls into some of the trappings of a "more of the same" type of sequel, but put on a bigger scale. The film certainly could've benefited from a more clever script beyond just making everything bigger than the first. While the film never recaptures that lightning-in-a-bottle that the first film had, it still holds its own with some great character moments and perhaps the best mid-credits scene of all-time.
Plus, the additions of Cable (Josh Brolin) and Domino (Zazie Beetz) add more to the irresistible tone that Deadpool brings to the big screen. Overall, a decent sequel.
6. Teen Titans GO! To the Movies
It's kind of funny that Teen Titans GO! To The Movies is as entertaining as it is. Sure, the film is still targeted towards younger children that tune into the series on Cartoon Network, but the film is a surprisingly clever send-up of both the superhero movie genre as well as a hilarious tribute to the lore of DC Comics seen through the eyes of the Teen Titans themselves.
Also, the fact that the film ends with a stinger that teases the possible return of the original Teen Titans series justifies its existence in more ways than one.
Aquaman is a much-needed win for the DC Extended Universe. The franchise received its biggest win in 2017 with Wonder Woman but unfortunately hit a massive roadblock with the disappointing Justice League. As it turns out, all the DCEU needed to do to get back in the right direction was to add water and filmmaker James Wan into the mix.
Wan really goes all out with this film. This is a visually stunning adventure film on both land and sea that really leans into the inherently cheesy nature of the character while simultaneously turning Aquaman into perhaps the most badass superhero in the DCEU thus far.
Some may be turned off by how campy Aquaman can get at points, but it's hard not to get swept up into the fun when you have Jason Momoa having the time of his life.
4. Incredibles 2
It has been 14 years since we were last acquainted with the Incredibles. Thankfully, they haven't missed a beat even after that long, long wait for the most-requested Pixar sequel of all-time.
It's great to see Brad Bird bounce back with this exciting sequel after the earnest, yet disappointing mess that was Tomorrowland. Here, Bird is back on his element as a brilliant storyteller and is adept at further developing these characters.
Seeing the entire family in these hilarious and death-defying circumstances is so enthralling, particularly in the film's climax. Also, everything involving Jack-Jack and Edna Mode are some of the funniest sequences of animation that Pixar has ever done.
3. Avengers: Infinity War
What else is there that needs to be said about this 2018 film? It really is the most ambitious crossover event in cinematic history, and it has sparked an entire year-long conversation about what our surviving heroes will be doing next after all the chaos.
Anthony and Joe Russo accomplished the near-impossible task of balancing out dozens of larger-than-life characters in this kaleidoscope of comic book beauty that leads to some of the most epic battles ever brought to the big screen.
Also, with Avengers: Endgame on the horizon, it's going to be interesting if that film has a moment that tops the pure awesomeness that is the scene in which Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) arrive on the battlefield in Wakanda.
2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Who would've thought that an animated Spider-Man movie that features Spider-Noir and Spider-Ham on the big screen would be the best film centered on the webhead since Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2?
Leave it to the minds of Phil Lord and Chris Miller along with the incredible creative team to bring us a true love letter to the character that would make Stan Lee and Steve Ditko proud. Yes, Peter Parker will always be our original Spidey, but this film proves that the best part about being Spider-Man is the fact that he/she can come from anywhere despite their personal background and circumstances.
1. Black Panther
As big as Avengers: Infinity War was, it's harder to find a 2018 movie that has had as big of an impact on the popular culture than Black Panther. But beyond the cultural significance that comes with such a film, Ryan Coogler crafted a powerful, touching story about legacy, family, principles, power and purpose.
It's hard to log onto the internet sometimes because the world is in such a chaotic place. But Black Panther represents the power of storytelling and why seeing more diverse characters and stories on the big screen matters.
Films like Black Panther remind us about the power of cinema. It can unite audiences together despite their differences and can also inspire us to be better people. All those reasons and more are why Black Panther is the best superhero film of 2018.