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Archive for Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Letter: Learning theory

April 23, 2013

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To the editor:

America has numerous problems waiting to be fixed or not to be fixed; some expand internationally. I am a firm believer of starting from the ground up. That means rebuilding our education system, not just fixing or tweaking but rebuilding completely. Our numbers do not compare well to other countries in terms of cost per student and success. Why is this? Well, it’s all about the program we fund, and it’s not working.

My suggestions include a more specialized education for every student, and classes devoted to teaching and understanding of consilience. Every kid learns differently and every kid has a special talent. In our current system kids have a hard time finding their talents and, if they do, it’s too late to give them the courses required to pull them in and interest them in that particular subject or area. Consilience will do just that. Consilience is the unity of knowledge and what I believe should be a subject in itself taught in public schools around the country.

Turns out very few people know about this and it is a shame because it really does give you an idea of how all knowledge relates to all other knowledge. I don’t have space to expound on what it can do for you and our children so I am going to suggest a book, the only book on this topic. The book is called “Consilience” by Edward Wilson.

We need to make that first step toward improving our education right here in Lawrence then expand it throughout our country.

Comments

tomatogrower 1 year, 4 months ago

Yes, but he fails to point out the people aren't willing to pay for it. They just want to spend money on a "test" that they want all kids to pass, so it looks good. If you could give teachers, the good ones, a free hand and the time to design a truly personalized education with the staff and equipment to support it they would. This would be without the interference of politicians, university experts, unless they have been in the classroom teaching, and even the parents. The parents, because many of them want to see that easy to understand A, B, C, D, F. A personalized system would have to get rid of those simple letter grades and list skills accomplished. You have seen how parents feel about complicated grade cards.

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jafs 1 year, 4 months ago

Rather a cart before the horse proposition.

Given that wages are low, people can't afford to raise a family on one income.

If wages rise, conversely, more people will be able to afford that option.

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 4 months ago

You cite two problems, broken households and both parents needing to work to support families, then give a solution to just one problem making the claim that that will fix the problem. What about the other problem you mention, broken households? Increased wages will do nothing to solve the problem of people having children that they are not ready, willing and able to care for and then dumping those children on the school system with the expectation that the schools will magically fix them.

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jafs 1 year, 4 months ago

Well, not to worry, since we can't actually solve our problems anyway, right?

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 4 months ago

Well, I can solve my problems. I may or may not be able to solve your problems. In fact, should I try to solve your problems, I might just make them worse. Therefore, that's an area I would tread lightly, intervening only when I'm confident my intervention will actually make things better.

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