Tomorrow is the annual “Lowrider/Dream bike” parade on the Texas Tech University campus. The event is part of program in which TTU art students and science and engineering students mentor middle schoolers who assemble and customize a bicycle. There are a lot of very sound pedagogical reasons to think that such hands-on activities are powerful ways to teach abstract problem-solving skills.
Strikes me as a very cool project.
But listen to the video, produced by the TTU communications and marketing department, and what is the primary selling point? Here’s the opening:
For a group of nearly 50 kids at Adkins Middle School, getting a free bike was cool in itself, having the chance to trick it out was even better, but – don’t tell them – they are also acquiring problem solving skills that just could help them on standardized testing ….
Great. The big goal of Texas public education, acquire problem solving skills that “just could help … on standardized testing.” Continue listening and you realize that the standardized testing angle is not just the video producer’s framing, it seems pretty important to the middle school teachers too.
The next four words in the video are “…and in real life.” Oh, real life skills, too, once the standardized testing is taken care of?
That is a relief.
(The post title is a nod to the very stylin’ Copenhagen Cycle Chic.)