A few days ago, my six-year-old grandson, who attends first grade in a public school in New York City, called to ask a question.
He said, “Ama, I am doing a data analysis. I need to ask you a question.”
I said, “You are doing a WHAT?” He repeated, “I am doing a data analysis.”
Then he asked whether I would rather be a porcupine or a hedgehog.
I thought a minute and said I would rather be a hedgehog.
He was very surprised. I knew he was doing something related to the Common Core, but I still thought he was a little young to get my mini-lecture about Isaiah Berlin’s famous essay about War and Peace.
He asked why I wanted to be a hedgehog, and I said that the hedgehog knows one big thing.
He asked me what the big thing was that I knew.
And I said that you should not be afraid to speak up when you were outnumbered.
It turns out that he was making a bar graph, plotting the number of people who preferred to be either a porcupine or a hedgehog.
I was not sure why he was learning this in first grade.
More on this from the following exchange.
Recently, Edward Miller and Nancy Carlsson-Paige wrote a critique of the K-3 sequence in the Common Core standards, saying they were completely inappropriate for these ages.
Then E.D. Hirsch Jr. responded to them.
Now Miller and Carlsson-Paige respond to Hirsch.
Would you rather be a porcupine or a hedgehog?