Despite the title of this post, I have to say that I really enjoy the work of James Paul Gee. When tasked with presenting a “PD moment” at a recent department heads meeting, I shared the clip below on how video games can help us think differently about teaching any subject. We had a great conversation after listening to just the first three minutes! If you haven’t ever heard of Gee, give it a listen. Just the first three minutes! I promise it’ll be worth your time.
However, while reading the first half of “The Anti-Education Era”, I found myself spending as much time nodding my head in agreement as I did furrowing my brow. Gee explains in an extremely readable manner about “why humans are stupid”, building up a complex picture of the mistakes that people make brick by brick, idea by idea. But I can’t help but be skeptical about a theory that is so far-reaching. I’m reminded of historians like Jared Diamond, who attempt to tell a story about the fundamental reasons for inequality. They are great storytellers but they present a hypothesis that is impossible to test.
So I decided to take the lessons that Gee uses in his book and apply them to his own writing. Click the link below to read three reasons why you shouldn’t trust Gee, taken directly from his book, as well as a fourth that says maybe you should after all.