Innovation Step by Step
Education Week - about 4 years
Here's an astonishing statistic. Apparently, dairy cows today each produce six times as much milk as they did in 1950. Consumption of dairy products per person is about the same as it was then, so if milk per cow were the same as in 1950, we'd need six times as many cows per person; vastly greater acreage and other resources would be needed. The same pattern is true for almost any area of agriculture.
Yet do you recall any breakthroughs in agriculture in the past 60 years? I don't. Instead, the steady gains in agricultural productivity are due to hundreds or thousands of small advances. In the case of dairy cows, it's advances in breeding, feed, veterinary care, milking technology, and so on.
In education, we often act as though we're waiting for breakthroughs: New technologies, new assessments, radically new teaching methods, and so on. When breakthroughs do not materialize, we lose faith in research and development as a path to reform.
Yet in medicine, technology, a
Education Week article