Skip to comments.Education: There Are All Kinds Of Lobotomies
Posted on 11/16/2011 5:01:14 PM PST by BruceDeitrickPrice
This is a story about mad scientists. A true story.
In 1932, the Education Establishment forced a new, unproven reading method on American public schools (the method was known at the time as Look-say). The results were disastrous.
In 1936, an American doctor named Walter Freeman performed the first prefrontal lobotomy in the U.S. Ten years later Dr. Freeman created a more novel approach, which was called a transorbital lobotomy. He inserted a metal wire into the corner of each eye socket and swished the wire about until the prefrontal cortex was scrambled. Remarkably, this so-called icepick lobotomy could be done in a few minutes with local anesthesia. Freeman performed more than 3000 lobotomies, including one on Rosemary Kennedy, the presidents sister. Some patients improved; some stayed the same; some got worse or died.
The decades between the two World Wars were a time of feverish activity and experimentation in Psychology/Psychiatry and in what many took to be the related field of Education. It is not a caricature to say that the Men in White Lab Coats believed they had all the answers, and now it was time for them to take their proper place in the management of the world.
A famous Russian named Ivan Pavlov (died 1936) was in many ways the Godfather of all these developments. Most people know that he experimented on dogs...
(FAIR WARNING : A SOMEWHAT LONG AND TECHNICAL ARTICLE BUT IT DOES GET POINTS FOR AMBITION. IT ARGUES THAT WHOLE WORD MESSES KIDS UP ALMOST AS MUCH AS A LOBOTOMY DOES. )
(Excerpt) Read more at rantrave.com ...
I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
I worked with all my kids on phonics. My wife had no idea there were easy rules you could follow to decode English - she got whole language.
Then there are others who need some additional explanation ~ which is where the syllables come into the picture.
Apparently there are people who imagine you can learn to read by just flashing on a whole word ~ and, as recently discovered, most people can learn to read almost all words by actually looking at only the first and last letters! That means they are examining context first before evaluating what the words mean ~ which is an awful lot of processing taking place before the words are really read.
BTW, that's the trick in reading Chinese ideographs. You get the gist of the context, and then your mind throws the correct meanings into your consciousness. The characters, per se, mean just all sorts of things absent context. Sumerian, the very first writing system we know about consisted of stylized ideographs. Obviously there was something going on before that final system got devised because they had to know about the power of context to address meanings of written words FIRST.
I can remember being extremely eager to start school so that I could learn to read, and being disappointed that we did not start on the first day! From the time I actually started to read I loved it and have been a reader. Phonics may be a better way to teach reading, but lack of phonics did not stop me, nor many of my classmates. Most of us learned to read quite well.
IMHO, brains are different, and different things may work for different people.
Maybe I'm just in denial, though, and I've been functionally illiterate all these years!
Susannah, I also learned to read with the Dick and Jane readers. But, my teachers were not young, so I suspect that we were also taught phonics along with the sight reading. I can still remember teachers saying “sound it out”.
I hear what you are saying Mac. Forty seven days! I am becoming embareassed for my fellow Freepers.
For those of you who have never contributed, why? I really would like to know. Use the private reply if you dont want everyone to hear.
W W SMITH
Good one there!
I guess there has been a rash of prefrontal lobotomies in the GOP recently given NOOT’s surge in the polls. Maybe they were done with RINO horn.
No wonder our elected leaders think voters are stupid and lack long term memory.
Yep. I agree. Just from teaching geology labs in college, I noted different people think differently. Watching kids/grandkids/and now great-grandkids grow and develop only reinforces that idea.
That’s right. We had Dick and Jane and Spot and Puff readers too and our first grade teacher always told us to sound out words if we had too.
—I can still remember teachers saying sound it out.
This is such an important point.
It doesn’t matter what the school says it’s doing, or what parents and kids think it’s doing, if children once get the idea in their heads that letters/syllables/words are things you sound out, then they are reading phonetically from that point on. They are safe.
Whole Word can really destroy kids only when they never get that idea. These kids are actually trying to memorize diagrams. Very few people can memorize thousands of diagrams with instant recall.
As Sue Dickson (Sing, Spell, Read, Write) noted: “Did you ever try to memorize 50 license plates?”
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