Ray Saintonge wrote:
> My son is now in first year of college, and I tried for years to get him
> more involved; I even brought him with me to Alexandria. It hasn't
> worked, but I know that he used Wikipedia to help him in his research
> for school papers. He has had the good sense to know that using
> Wikipedia should not be both the beginning and the end of the research
> project, but neither should Encarta and Britannica be so. In a recent
> paper on Machu Pichu he ran into a stub article about some relevant
> person, but there was a link to es:wp which had a much longer article.
> I then told him that figuring out the other language was his problem,
> and he managed.
> Having Wikipedia as a substitute for a school history curriculum would
> not be appropriate. It should be a supplement there, with probably
> greater importance than for other subjects taught at that level of
> school. Nationalism is a major factor in school social studies
> curricula, and a great medium for indoctrinating the child with official
> truth. Access to Wikipedia and other on-line sources helps him to
> formulate the questions that needed to challenge the teachers of those
on 3/27/09 6:14 PM, doc at doc.wikipedia(a)ntlworld.com wrote:
The idea of wikipedia anywhere near a school curriculum, except perhaps
in a brief IT lesson, horrifies me. The idea of children using wikipedia
to challenge the "official truth" of a qualified teacher with "but sir,
it says on wikipedia", is laughable.
I think that most of this discussion has missed the point that the
English Ofsted chap in no way suggested that Wikipedia should be used as
a teaching supplement at all, or that he had anything to do with
informing people about history or politics. Rather he seems to suggest
that certain internet skills "blogging, podcasts, Wikipedia and Twitter"
should be taught in schools, and children should be familiar with how to
access their information. So, we no more get Wikipedia as a source of
knowledge than Twitter, and your local blog.
The reaction "this shows the WMF should go into schools" is as
ridiculous a conclusion as it is a typical wikicentric "OMG they want
us, they really do - we always said they would".
Why I think Sir John is barking up the wrong tree is that children are
quite able to teach themselves to blog and edit a wiki. It does not
require a high level of education - as the, em, abilities of our
community adequately demonstrates. Indeed, the average 40-something
classroom teacher is more likely to know less than the kids. But what
the children *can't* teach themselves (and what on-line communication
drastically requires) is basic literacy skills.
Excellent post, Scott!
You want to train wikipedians in a primary school? Turn off the PCs and
give them grammar and dictation.
And skills in verbal communication, in-person, face-to-face.