Former Brookings Expert
Richard O. Lempert was a nonresident senior fellow with Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. During 2012-2013, he was a visiting fellow in Governence Studies at the Brookings Institution. From June 2008 until July 2011, he served as chief scientist in the Human Factors/Behavioral Sciences Division of the Science and Technology Directorate in the Department of Homeland Security; and from June 2002 through May 2006, he took leave from the University of Michigan to serve as the division director for the Social and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation. His research interests are broad, encompassing, among other things, matters related to national security, government bureaucracy, juries, race relations and social science methods.
From the learning sciences literature we know that kids can learn small things, like addition and subtraction, on the way to big things — like creativity and collaboration. We're not doing poor kids any favors by the drill-and-kill method.
To change mindsets, you have to start at school. It’s not just about reading and writing and counting. It’s about developing a social and political consciousness. You want them to have a good life.
Just because there are a lot of innovations, that does not mean education will necessarily improve quickly.