The Why Series

Insights   11 June 2019


Education Reimagined partnered with 180 Studio and ATTN: to create a four video series exploring the “Why” of traditional education. The series digs into why we narrowly group children by age, promote memorization over deeper learning, use grade levels as indicators of “moving up,” and confine learning to four-walled classrooms.

After a successful launch, Education Reimagined and 180 Studio partnered up one year later to continue the series by asking why we assess learning based on seat-time and why young people attend school 180 days each year.

Complementing each video below, our Vice President, Dr. Ulcca Joshi Hansen, provides the research and history around the “why” of America’s education traditions and invites all of us to explore the possibility of something new.


Why Does Memorization Reign Supreme in Traditional Learning?

The first video in the Why Series was all about memorization. Why do we focus so much on multiple choice exams and memory recall when the real-world demands so much more? Read the full article here.


Why Are Classrooms the Only Place Learning “Counts”?

The second topic up for exploration in the Why Series was why traditional education confines “learning” to the classroom setting. Learning is a 24/7 activity. Shouldn’t it “count” wherever it occurs? Read the full article here.


Why Does Age Determine the How, What, and With Whom of Learning?

The third video in the Why Series explores the limitations of only learning with peers who are the exact same age. Learning should be multi-age and multi-generational, so knowledge, skills, and dispositions can flow up and down the various age-bands of society. Read the full article here.


Why Do Grades Hold So Much Power Over Our Children’s Futures?

The fourth video in the Why Series was all about assessment. Why do we use so few metrics to determine the future possibilities for our children? The history of grades and the GPA is fascinating. Read the full article here.


Why Does Education Assessment Revolve Around the Carnegie Unit?

The fifth video in the Why Series explores one of the foundational pillars of the conventional education system—the Carnegie Unit. Rather than focusing on developing young people as leaders and contributors, the Carnegie Unit prioritizes seat-time above everything else. Read the full article here.


Why Do Children Attend School for 180 Days Each Year?

The sixth video in the Why Series explores the unwritten rule of the 180-day academic year in the United States. Rather than seeing learning as a 24/7/365 endeavor, the current academic calendar signals to young learners that learning is a part-time endeavor that takes summers off. Read the full article here.

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