Community Comment

How does one educate for success?

David Horsey,davidhorsey.com,seattlepi.com
David Horsey,davidhorsey.com,seattlepi.com

Good morning, Netizens...


Despite having attended several universities and colleges, I have never particularly been a strong advocate of traditional education as taught in our public schools today. Instead of today's students being encouraged and aided to learn at their own levels and speed, our system appears to attempt to teach them how to pass the standardized testing programs. Perhaps even worse, although we have a plethora of new-and-improved testing programs, given our dismal teacher-to-student ratios in the classrooms, we are unable to truly teach children effectively.


Then we compound the errors of the educational system with a societal system of televised entertainment disguised as so-called education. In my day we had kids television fare, such as Captain Kangaroo and other shows that brought education to kids in unorthodox ways, but that had learning content. I've looked at television shows that target kids today, and I find very few such educational opportunities. Kids television today contains more fluff, more targeted advertising and less instruction.


I cannot help but recall a true story I related to a friend the other day, about my own personal learning experiences. I was a voracious reader from grade school. By the time I entered High School, I had already read most of the limited fictional works in the high school library, and had already begun reading non-fiction. The net result, unfortunately, was that I began ignoring some of the traditional teaching materials used by our school, relying instead upon a stack of paperback books in my locker I had purchased from the Scholastic Book Club of the time. By my Junior year in high school, I had my own library, and at least had already read the required reading list for college level.


My granddaughters today, by comparison, are forced to read as part of their school curriculum, but do not do so by choice, and in my opinion, were it not for the ongoing home-based education efforts that our family have put into place, I seriously doubt they would achieve success.


I concur with Horsey. Dismal education is no substitute for a hunger for learning.


Dave




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