Solving Big, Complex Problems Smartly (and Morally)

"It's a global problem" by "barbndc" is licensed under CC BY 2.0
It’s a global problem” by “barbndc” is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This week in CEP 812, we began exploring James Paul Gee’s The Anti-Education Era: Creating Smarter Students Through Digital Learning. During our reading, we were asked to keep in mind the following question: “what limitations prevent us from solving big, complex problems smartly?” In this short essay, I focus my ideas on what constitutes a proper education that will allow future generations to adequately address complex global problems. I begin my essay by outlining the limitations, challenges and social ills facing humanity as shared by Gee. Then, I discuss the unequaled potential, capacity and nobility of man to overcome complex problems. This leads to the main position of my essay, which questions whether being smart is truly enough to improve conditions in society. Rather, I suggest that being smart should include a moral component which teaches students to make appropriate choices. I conclude by sharing my fairly-limited experience on how a framework for moral education may be incorporated in our curriculum.


One thought on “Solving Big, Complex Problems Smartly (and Morally)

  1. Rahul,

    It is really interesting the way you looked at the relationship between education and morality in regards to Gee’s writings. I read Gee as meaning that learning only occurs when students care about the topic, but I can see how caring about people can figure in as well. Students will put forth more effort when they care about the people involved – their teachers, other students, people in the community, and character education is a way to develop those skills. I am fortunate to work in a building where our cornerstone is the character traits of kindness, respect, responsibility, self-control and empathy. That is they way we interact with each other professionally and our students. I don’t even think about it as a part of our teaching, but it really is. Thanks for sharing a different perspective on the reading.


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