Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Poll Shows Many Can't Find La. on Map

Poll Shows Many Can‘t Find La. on Map
Poll Shows Many Can‘t Find La. on Map
Staff and agencies
02 May, 2006

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, Associated Press Writer 25 minutes ago
This is an article that I've been discussing on New Continuum recently.  There's been some very good comment, IMO, and I'd liek to share it here I think ...

My Friend EdB responded with ...
The biggest problem in Education in USA school is that we expect
teachers to make students learn while it is the students responsibility
to learn and the teacher is merely a resource for the Lerner to use. 
The problem here is also that many teachers are very poor resource
people.  Then the the learners have to take responsibility to learn
from the resources available and it is a parents duty to guide their
children ( entice, cajole, reward, bait, reinforce negatively and
positively) toward learning to read, write, do general mathematics and
become self directed learners
It doesn't happen that way because for some reason our educational
system thinks that teachers and administrators can make students learn.
   I was an Educational consultant for a Govt. Sponsored Program in
East Tallahatchie, MS  I heard a 5th grade teacher ask the class about
a film they watched on China which did show scenes of the Great Wall. 
I felt good about her technique on follow-up with  questions about the
Great Wall--she ask why did they build such a wall.  One eager child
and obviously one of the smarter ones raised and wave his hand.  The
teacher said OK Jon tell us why they built the wall.  John said "they
built it to keep the Red Chinese in and and they Yellow Chinese out!" 
Not too bad--if you stretch yellow Chinese to mean Mongol Hordes, but
the teachers answer is what floored me.  She said :"Right."
The teachers can be pitifully ignorant especially in elementary schools
where they have to be generalists with broad backgrounds in many areas
to do a competent job.  If the learners resources are poor then it is
more difficult to acquire knowledge.  Of course one might say there are
plenty of books in the library and I would say you are right.  A self
directed learner does not need a a school or a teacher to learn.  Most
of the people in this group have learned more on their own than they
ever did in a PS.  A lot of the group even found schools and teachers
hindered their learning.
It was terribly disheartening to listen to a CNN interview of some
Senior HS girls on the subject of how Katrina had affected their
education--their main concerns were about their HS club activities
friends and their Prom--so much for the elite people that CNN
interviewed.  By now you probably know I am a retired educator that
wishes the system could change to become learner oriented instead of
teacher-administrator oriented.  EdB .
ahasverblue added the following question ...
This has been a topic You have often touched, I have often wondered if You
could elucidate on the methods You have thought of to "educate", if I may
use that term, children and young ones to assume responsibility to learn for
themselves. In my view there are surely, say, 8-year old ones smart enough
and with sufficient foresight to assume that responsability, but I believe
they are a devastating minority, what to do with the majority of normal kids
? To learn autonomously is something youngsters can - perhaps, with lots of
luck - do from a certain age on, say 14,15 years, but prior to that I
believe other methods have to be used.  Learning is literally hard work for
the brain, and not only young humans, intelligent as they might be,
naturally shy away from that. A "normal" boy for example would always prefer
to gun and blast down as many people possible on a computer screen then
learning where a city lies or to calculate a root. And many, many ask, what
is that possibly good for ? Just recently I was left speechless at a heated
discussion with the parents, both academics, of my god-children, who both in
all earnest asked me what the sense there is in all the reading of
literature that is required here from a certain grade on ...
I added the following comment to ahasverblue ...
To me, it begins in early childhood ... toddlers who are encouraged to
do educational activities instead of watch TV will grow up more
inqisitive.  Children who are read to regularly, and taught to read as
they are read to, will grow up more interested in reading in learning. 
Kids that grow up in an environment where learning, reading, education
is portrayed by their parents and siblings as fun, normal, and
interesting will naturally grow up more interested in education.

This IS up to parents, IMO ... if you want a kid that learns
for themselves, foster and encourage that behaviour from the beginning
of life, in the home, and provide examples of you learning, reading,
being educated.  How is a child supposed to discover the pleasures of
reading, if their parents never pick up a book in front of them?

to which our colleague Nikki added ...
so!   And television is a passive activity.  All of the pictures are 
already realized.  Whether being read aloud to, or playing “Goddess in
the Garden” (a favorite at our house, lol) or “Cowboys and Indians” or
whatever, the pictures are formed in the child’s imagination and it is
their very own creation of story and picture and interpretation. 
Education is not something that  parents can just send their children
off to get.   It is, in my opinion, something for parents and children
to do together, using any and all resources, including public schools.

our version of the game, the Indians always won over the cowboys to
their way of thinking and  together they returned the land to it’s
pristine condition….talk about imagination, lol.


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