Roger Schank recently released a tome that is very worthwhile: Teaching Minds - How Cognitive Science Can Save Our Schools. Schank is admittedly provocative, yet in a very good way. From the jacket: "Schank argues that class size, lack of parental involvement, and other commonly-cited factors have nothing to do with why students are not learning. The culprit is a system of subject-based instruction, and the solution is cognitive-based learning. This groundbreaking book defines what it would mean to teach thinking."
Schank outlines 12 cognitive process that, in his estimation, underlie learning: it's hard to see how it could be otherwise. They are:
A key driver for Schank is that we are subject-bound when it comes to education. He states that, "If we wish to teach people, it is important to ask what cognitive capabilities we want them to have when we are done, not what we want them to know. In other words, we want to understand what we have to do in order to make them better able to think" (46).
I won't go into great detail here, but suffice it to say that much of what Schank offers would resonate with independent educators. He avows openly that he has problems with "knowledge" and "to know," as he sees them as inherently biased words -- biased toward how the system works currently.
He is compelling. I recommend this book to you because, if nothing else, it will provide for deep discussions in our schools. As a matter of fact, perhaps I'll recommend it as our next faculty reading project...