经济学人官方译文 | 技术和教师联手可以改进学校教育 Together, technology and teachers can revamp schools

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Education technology
教育技术

Brain gains
增长才智

Together, technology and teachers can revamp schools?
技术和教师联手可以改进学校教育


IN 1953 B.F. Skinner visited his daughter’s maths class. The Harvard psychologist found every pupil learning the same topic in the same way at the same speed. A few days later he built his first “teaching machine”, which let children tackle questions?at their own pace. By the mid-1960s similar?gizmos①?were being?flogged②?by door-to-door salesmen. Within a few years, though, enthusiasm for them had?fizzled out③.

译文:1953年,斯金纳(B.F. Skinner)旁听了女儿的数学课。这位哈佛心理学家发现,所有的学生都在用相同的方式以相同的速度学习相同的内容。几天后,他发明了他的第一件“教学机器”,让孩子们按自己的节奏解答问题。到了60年代中期,推销员开始上门兜售类似的小玩意。不过没过几年,人们对这些产品的热情就已消失殆尽。

①gizmo['g?zm??]:a small piece of equipment – used when you cannot remember or do not know its correct name小玩意儿,小东西(指忘记或不知道名称的东西)②flog:slang?Brit?to sell(英国俚语)卖例:I’m going to flog all my old video tapes. 我准备把旧录像带都卖掉。另有“to beat a person or animal with a whip or stick 鞭打,棒打〔人、动物〕”之意。flog a dead horse:徒劳无功;首轮已讨论透彻的题目

例:It is useless to flog a dead horse. 鞭死马无益;勿旧调重弹。

③fizzle out:to gradually stop happening, especially because people become less interested(因越来越不感兴趣而)渐停,夭折

例:Their romance just fizzled out. 他们的恋情就这么不了了之。


Since then education technology (edtech) has repeated the cycle of?hype and flop, even as computers have reshaped almost every other part of life. One reason is the?conservatism?of teachers and their unions. But another is that the brain-stretching potential of edtech has remained unproven.

译文:此后,教育技术就一直在重复这种从大热到沉寂的循环,尽管与此同时电脑已经几乎重塑了生活所有其他方面。原因之一是教师及其工会因循守旧,但还有一个原因是教育技术提升才智的潜力尚未得到证实。


Today, however, Skinner’s heirs?are forcing the sceptics to think again.?Backed?by billionaire?techies④?such as Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, schools around the world are using new software to “personalise” learning.?This could help hundreds of millions of children stuck in dismal classes—but only if⑤?edtech boosters can resist the temptation to?revive?harmful ideas about how children learn. To succeed, edtech must be at the service of teaching, not the other way around.

译文:然而,今天斯金纳的后继者正迫使怀疑者重新思考这个问题。在马克·扎克伯格和比尔·盖茨等技术派亿万富豪的支持下,全球各地的学校正在使用新的软件将学习“个性化”。这能帮助到被困在沉闷课堂中的亿万孩子,但前提是教育技术的推动者能够抵挡住诱惑,不让那些有关儿童如何学习的有害见解卷土重来。教育技术要成功,必须要服务于教学,而不是支配教学。

④techie:a person who is skilled in the use of technological devices, such as computers 科技狂、技术派⑤这一段基本没有难点,但是可以作为写作参考,每一句都带有常见的经典搭配。

Pencils down

放下铅笔

The conventional model of schooling emerged in Prussia in the 18th century. Alternatives have so far failed to teach as many children as efficiently.?Classrooms, hierarchical⑥?year-groups, standardised curriculums and fixed timetables are still the norm for⑦?most of the world’s nearly 1.5bn schoolchildren.

译文:传统的学校教育模式始于18世纪的普鲁士。迄今为止,各种替代方案都未能达到学校教育那样的规模和效率。对全球近15亿学童中的大多数而言,课堂教学、年级分段、标准化课程和固定的课程时间表仍是常态。

⑥hierarchical[ha??'rɑ?k?k(?)l]:if a system, organization etc. is hierarchical, people or things are divided into levels of importance按等级划分的;等级制度的⑦写教育改革相关作文可以用这一句,将很具体的问题说了出来,表达的信息量也比较多。

Too many do not?reach their potential. In poor countries only a quarter of secondary schoolchildren acquire at least a basic knowledge of maths, reading and science. Even in the mostly rich countries of the?OECD⑧, about 30% of teenagers fail to?reach proficiency?in at least one of these subjects.

译文:有太多学生没有充分实现他们的潜力。在贫穷国家,只有四分之一的中学生掌握了最基础的数学、阅读和科学知识。即使在大多为富裕国家的经合组织成员国中,也有大约30%的青少年未能熟练掌握其中至少一门科目。

⑧OECD:Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development,经济合作与发展组织。

That share has remained almost unchanged over the past 15 years, during which billions have been spent on IT in schools. By 2012 there was one computer for every two pupils in several rich countries. Australia had more computers than pupils.?Handled poorly, devices can distract. A Portuguese study from 2010 found that schools with slow broadband and a ban on sites such as YouTube had better results than high-tech ones.

译文:过去15年里,这一百分比几乎没有变化。而在此期间,数十亿美元已被投入到学校的信息技术上。2012年,在少数几个富国中,每两名学生就配有一台电脑。在澳大利亚,电脑的数量比学生还多。但如果利用不善,技术设备反而会分散学生的注意力。2010年葡萄牙的一项研究发现,相比IT条件优越的学校,在宽带速度慢且禁止访问YouTube等网站的学校里,学生的成绩更好。


What matters is how edtech is used. One way it can help is?through bespoke instruction⑨. Ever since Philip II of Macedon hired Aristotle to?prepare his son Alexander for Greatness⑩, rich parents have paid for tutors. Reformers from S?o Paulo to Stockholm think that edtech can put individual attention within reach of all pupils.

译文:关键在于如何使用教育技术。让它发挥作用的一种方式是因材施教。马其顿王国的腓力二世(Philip II)聘请亚里士多德培养儿子亚历山大,助他日后开创伟业。这之后,有钱的父母便开始聘请家庭教师。从圣保罗到斯德哥尔摩,全球各地有很多改革者认为,教育技术可以让所有学生都获得个体化的关注。

⑨through bespoke instruction:因材施教。⑩prepare sb for sth:使某人对某事做好准备。

American schools are embracing the model most readily?. A third of pupils are in a school district that has pledged to introduce “personalised, digital learning”. The methods of groups like Summit Public Schools, whose software was written for nothing? by Facebook engineers, are being copied by hundreds of schools.

译文:美国学校最热衷采用这一模式,有三分之一的学生所在的学区都已承诺引进“个性化、数字化学习”。Facebook的工程师为Summit Public Schools【译注:美国一家特许学校集团】免费编写了学习软件,成百上千的学校正在复制这类机构的教学方式。

?readily:quickly, willingly, and without complaining乐意地,爽快地例:Jack readily agreed to help. 杰克爽快地答应帮忙。?for nothing :免费的

In India, where about half of children leave primary school unable to read a simple text, the curriculum?goes over?many pupils’ heads. “Adaptive” software such as Mindspark can work out what a child knows and pose questions accordingly. A recent paper found that Indian children using Mindspark after school made some of the largest gains in maths and reading of any education study in poor countries.

译文:在印度,约半数小学毕业生无法读懂一段简单的文字,很多学生听不懂上课内容。Mindspark之类的“自适应”软件可以推断出一个孩子的知识范围,并提出相应的问题。最近有一篇论文发现,在对穷国进行的各类教育研究中,在课余使用Mindspark学习的印度孩子在数学和阅读方面取得的进步最大。


The other way edtech can aid learning is by making schools more productive. In California schools are using software to?overhaul??the conventional model. Instead of textbooks, pupils have “playlists”, which they use to access online lessons and take tests. The software assesses children’s progress, lightening teachers’ marking load and giving them insight on their pupils.

译文:教育技术辅助学习的另一个途径是让学校教育变得更有成效。在加州,一些学校正在利用软件来改革传统教育模式。学生不用教科书,而是使用“播放列表”访问在线课程并接受测试。软件可以评估学童的进步,减轻教师阅卷打分的工作量,加深老师对学生的了解。

?overhaul:to change a system or method in order to improve it 全面改革(制度或方法)例:All the community’s decision-making institutions need to be overhauled. 社区的所有决策机构都需要进行彻底改革。

Saved teachers’ time is allocated to other tasks, such as fostering pupils’ social skills or one-on-one tuition. A study in 2015 suggested that children in early?adopters??of this model?score??better in tests than their peers at other schools.

译文:教师可将节省出来的时间花在其他任务上,如培养学生的社交技能,或提供一对一的辅导。2015年的一项研究表明,在率先采纳这种教育模式的学校,学生比其他学校的同龄学生成绩更好。

?adopter可以是人,也可以是物,这里指率先使用软件教学的学校。?score用作动词时有一种高大上的感觉。

Pay attention at the back

留心负面因素

Such innovation is welcome. But making the best of edtech means getting several things right?. First, “personalised learning” must follow the evidence on how children learn. It must not be an excuse to revive?pseudoscientific??ideas such as “learning styles”: the theory that each child has a particular way of taking in information.

译文:这样的创新是受欢迎的。但是,要最有效地利用教育技术,就要做好以下几件事情。首先,“个性化学习”必须依据学童的实际学习方式,而不能成为重启某些伪科学理念的借口。“学习风格”就是这样一种伪科学理论,声称每个孩子都有自己接受信息的独特方式。

?写作时先肯定后否定,或者引出注意事项和做法时,可以试着用一下这样的句子。?pseudo-:假的。

Such nonsense leads to schemes like Brain Gym, an “educational kinesiology” programme once backed by the British government, which claimed that some pupils should stretch, bend and emit an “energy yawn” while doing their sums.

译文:这样的无稽之谈催生了一些无益之举,比如英国政府曾经支持过的一个“教育运动学”项目——健脑操(Brain Gym)。该项目称有些学生在做算术练习时应该做做拉伸弯弯腰,再打个“提神呵欠”。


A less consequential falsehood is that technology means children do not need to learn facts or learn from a teacher—instead they can just use Google. Some educationalists go further, arguing that facts get in the way of skills such as creativity and critical thinking.

译文:另一种影响较小的错误论调声称,技术发展意味着儿童不再需要学知识或向教师学习——上Google搜一搜就可以了。一些教育学家更进一步,认为知识妨碍了创造力和批判性思维等能力的发展。

The opposite is true. A memory crammed with knowledge enables these talents. William Shakespeare was drilled? in Latin phrases and grammatical rules and yet he penned a few decent plays. In 2015 a vast study of 1,200 education meta-analyses found that, of the 20 most effective ways of boosting learning, nearly all relied on the craft of a teacher.

译文:但实际情况恰恰相反,一个装满知识的头脑才能促进这些能力的发展。莎士比亚从小接受的是拉丁语短语和语法规则训练,但却写出了几部像样的戏剧。2015年,一项包含1200项教育元分析的大型研究发现,最能有效促进学习的20种方法几乎全部依赖老师的教导。

?drill:a method of teaching students, sports players etc something by making them repeat the same lesson, exercise etc many times(反复的)练习,训练例:a pronunciation drill 发音练习

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