Institutions, Frozen Thought and Human Stupidity

Have you ever wonfrostdered why people are so stupid?  In his book The Anti-Education Era: Creating Smarter Students through Digital Learning, educational reformer James Paul Gee explores some of the reasons he believes this is true and how we can avoid falling into stupidity pitfalls.  For CEP 812 this week, we needed to pick one of his themes and explore it a little more deeply.  I have explored the idea of Institutions and Frozen Thought which deals with the glacial rate of change that occurs in most institutional settings.  You can read my reaction to his ideas here.  I welcome feedback in the comments.

Gee, J.P. (2013). The anti-education era: Creating smarter students through digital learning. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Photo Credit
Roberge, C. (2007). Frost [Online image]. Retrieved January 18, 2015 from Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial -ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.


2 thoughts on “Institutions, Frozen Thought and Human Stupidity

  1. Hi Tanya
    Your reflection is wonderful as it connects to the frozen institutional thoughts. I agree with you and Gee that our institutions are struggling with frozen thoughts. But I wonder how can we defrost these thoughts? How can we find a solution to the problem smartly? I also agree that these frozen thoughts have slow down our educational system today. Now days in our schools, we just prepare our students for tests and grades. In my old school where I volunteered, the teachers were only concerned about the State Assessments. At school and homework, they stick with the computers to prepare for the test. The program like Brain pop and IStation are the solution of all the academic problem for them. I talked to the teacher that do the students have done this concept in a class? The replied that they have no other way as it is recommended by the Principal.
    As you wrote, your school have MAP test twice a year. Do your teachers indulge with the same State Assessment problem?


  2. Tanya, I found your stance on “frozen thought” insightful and similar to my own. It boggles me that educators, of all people to change the infrastructure of institutions, are resilient to change and are unable to unfreeze solutions. At the trilingual school I teach, we have standards that most Moroccan kids cannot meet due to their lack of fluency in English because they mostly speak English at school and resort to their French and Darija (Moroccan Arabic) at home. Once our students take the MAP test, the scores are low and there is no active intervention or application of data that is effectively given to the teachers. Last year, the school spent x amount of dollars on getting a representative out here for professional development yet we did nothing with the scores. At this point, it seems like the students take the test for “showcase” and teachers are left to their own devices to use data as and if they wish. As for ELLs, I think it’s quite unfair that they take tests that are meant to measure a native speaker’s ability versus a trilingual student’s ability. I wonder if frozen thought is a lot more prevalent in American Overseas Schools as opposed to the stateside ones?


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