I find that education, it don’t matter where you go to school, Italy, America, Brazil, all are the same — it’s all this memorization and it don’t matter how long you can remember anything just so you can parrot it back for the tests.

I got this idea for a school I would like to start, something called the Five Minute University. The idea is that in five minutes you learn what the average college graduate remembers five years after he or she is out of school.     -Father Guido Sarducci – (Saturday Night Live, 1978)

In the age of Watergate, Apartheid, the U.S. pulling out of Vietnam, the beginning of Microsoft, VCRs, floppy discs, pocket calculators, the death of Elvis, and the first test-tube baby, we laughed watching Saturday Night Live when Father Guido Sarducci (Don Novello) entertained us with his idea for a “Five Minute University”.  Fast forward 30 years; across the globe from China to America today’s educators seriously agree with this talented, creative SLN comedian. Less IS more. Based on contemporary research, we now know that students cannot learn with understanding when “curriculum content is a mile wide and an inch deep”.  Who woulda guessed?


About Donna

Changing educational paradigms motivate me to share new technology as well as the admirable work of others who integrate contemporary research on how people learn with supportive, free digital applications and resources. Do teachers ever have enough time or money? Perhaps my discoveries will expedite the journey of a busy educator seeking a 21st Century 'true north' of his or her own.

2 responses »

  1. themightyf says:

    “curriculum content is a mile wide and an inch deep…” sad but true! Not much time or room for analysis, critical thinking or problem solving in today’s education it seems.

  2. We teach educators, our central belief is exams are counter productive to the learning cycle, most educators who complete the final comment sheet believe without exams the content is meaningless, before we can change the system we have to change the minds of the educators who accepted this doctrine to become educators. I fear “not in my lifetime” but I will persevere.

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