Skip to comments.“Learning Styles”--Has This Gimmick Gotten Out Of Hand?
Posted on 08/24/2010 7:01:51 PM PDT by BruceDeitrickPrice
Here are opening paragraphs of new article on Improve-Education.org:///// Title: Learning Styles--How Educators Divide And Conquer////
Imagine you have promoted a 100% bogus way to teach reading. Kids dont learn to read; instead they end up functionally illiterate, learning-disabled, or dyslexic. How do you explain away all this failure, and come out looking good?
You need a genius excuse that no one can see through. Does such genius actually exist? Of course. The Education Establishment came up with the concept called reading readiness, This con was among the most brilliant ever devised in the 20th century.
If a child wasnt reading, teachers would explain the problem to the parents this way: Your child lacks reading readiness. Dont worry. Its a temporary problem. It might go away in second or third grade. Hopefully by fourth. But it will go away at some point. Almost all children eventually get reading readiness. Parents should be patient.
You see how brilliant this is? Your child may act, speak, hear, and understand in a normal way. And yet, and yet, it turns out that your child has some mysterious neurological defect which makes the child unable to process words in a book. Your child missed out on reading readiness. Note that there is absolutely nothing anyone can do. You must wait; stay quiet; try not to draw attention to your possibly retarded child; and accept failure as divinely mandated.
Keep in mind that if the school were using phonics, your child would learn to read in the first grade. The child does not lack anything. It is the SCHOOL that lacks reading readiness, or more exactly, readiness to teach reading. But who would ever know? The educators invented reading readiness as the all-purpose defense against charges of incompetence, child abuse, and educational malpractice. Genius.
Note that the central sophistry here is to invent two kinds of children, even though they all look and behave more or less the same. One kind has reading readiness; the other kind of child does not. How could a school possibly be expected to teach anything to a defective child?? Voila, the perfect alibi is born and the perfect crime can be committed.
The gimmick used here has spread through all of public school education. Again and again, were told that children have different learning styles. Some kids can do X. Some just cant. Its obviously not the schools fault. Not ever.
A professor at Harvard School of Education devised a theory of multiple intelligences. His list included verbal, mathematical, musical, spatial, linguistic, kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic intelligences. A new book by other theorists outlines five learning dispositions, three learning modalities (each with several sub-modalities), and a variety of ways in which children's learning is affected by their environment, talents, and interests. (Not to mention, sun in Cancer with Gemini rising means youre a weird student. While Myers-Briggs Type Indicators tell you everything else there is to know about designing curriculum. Some believe special schools should be set up for blondes.)
What does all this categorizing mean, practically speaking? It means lots of differences, lots of divide-and-conquer. Each category of child will require different textbooks, different instructional techniques, different accommodations, which means that teachers will need different classes at their ed schools. Budgets must be greatly increased to cover all these different tracks and techniques...
////remainder of article is on Improve-Education.org ("51: Learning Styles")
My daughter was reading at a 3rd grade level in kindergarten.
Reading is the parents’ responsibility. Get them into reading those colorful books at the library when they’re 4, and they’ll be passing AP exams in 12 years.
I can attest first hand that public schools DO NOT accept responsibility for doing a horrible job. Nationally they have spent 2 generations softening up parents to their obvious flim flam. And here’s the secret: use the parents’ concerns against them to game the system, dropping fed and state $ down to the school.
Parents are left in the dark, satisfied with their children’s grades, As Bs and Cs... only to find them taking “remedial” courses in college. Those are high school courses, sometimes even grade school courses.... which you pay for at University Dollars. This is free $ to colleges, it delays the students’ momentum at full tuition while the college teaches then how to write in a paragraph or basic math... which they should already know. Higher Learning plays along with the scam, not busting lower grades schools.
It is completely rigged against We The People.
My wife taught my daughter to read at 4. Public school could not teach my son so now we home school. Now my son is way ahead of public school. If you want to improve public school you need to close it down.
If kids learn too early people might get the idea that 12 years of government brainwashing are unnecessary
I recall having to go to a seminar once in the field of developmental disabilities. One of the speakers discussed multiple intelligences and you had to take an assessment to see what kind of learner you were. It was confusing and pedantic offering nothing in the way of real educational insight. In the field of public education there are always the current gurus whose philosophies hold sway for that moment in time. Well manicured men and women rake in big bucks to hawk the latest educational brainstorm to a gullible audience. These people despise the traditional method of learning and actively work against the traditional and time tested methods of teaching. There is a pattern to learning within the stages of growth: A grammar stage where memorization and recitation are important, a logic stage where the beginnings of reasoning build on the basics already learned, and the old fashioned rhetorical stage where the basics and the logic join together to form a cohesive ability to argue and defend positions. Now that is an education!
The edition I had, some 20 years ago, had a lesson for teaching children their alphabet. (not sure if it's still in the current editions) It was a brilliant method. They do not memorize the alphabet in order, so they were able to recognize the letters in a stand-alone manner. My 2 yr. old daughter learned her alphabet while my 4 year old son learned to read.
My kids are both excellent readers and have excellent language skills.
I am a teacher, but anyone can teach reading using this method. Basically, if you can turn a page, you can teach your child to read. I think the book is only around 25 bucks. Well worth the investment.
I know the ridiculous and ineffective Whole Language technique has to be part of this, as well.
I remember reading, “why johnny can’t read”, the best thing I *ever* got from one of my landlords while rifling through his collection.
No kids yet, but thanks for the plug! Good to know there are still some excellent educational resources out there.
My kids were going to the schools when they just began to do all the RE-THINK of how to teach, and for me it was a constant battle to stay on top of what they were learning in classes. The new math, oh boy, I never understood that one and why it took so many steps to come up with the same answer as I did, but alas, my kids do it my way now. lol and one is a TOP $$$$ BEAN COUNTER, ROFL.
I think the problem is that so many parents today did not learn themselves, so they don't know any difference, and expect the schools to do a job they themselves know nothing about. This way it just keeps getting dumber and dumber.
The teachers themselves are ignorant.
What a load.
This is directly in conflict with current understandings in developmental psychology, for instance the discoveries of Piaget, who showed that not only does learning develop in stages, but also that for optimal results, those stages should occur at certain chronological ages.
In other words, if you don’t use it (or learn it), you lose it!
Not true. Public school can work.
#1. A strong PTA
#2. No union
#3. Teachers judged by standardized tests
#4. Merit pay
#5. Immediate and ruthless expelling of bad students
That’s all it takes. No states north of the Mason-Dixon have any of these aspects. Most states south have 1, 2, and 3.
Sueuprising makes a perfect summary of good educational practice.
I assume the people at the top have to know this too. That they pretend not to I can attribute only to malevolent motives.
Thanks for many excellent comments.
This has been a very interesting thread. My conclusion would be that teaching a child to read at the earliest age possible before the public school started their work on him or her could well be considered a subversive act!
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