Skip to comments.How to Create Functional Illiteracy in 7 Easy Lessons
Posted on 06/09/2016 5:43:25 AM PDT by detective
Public schools are expert at creating illiteracy. Our K-12 system can usually guarantee that students don't become fluent readers. The system is nearly foolproof. Parents and teachers can make children illiterate or semi-literate simply by following this well-tested seven-step formula:
1) FORGET ABOUT THE ALPHABET. Do not teach the alphabet, the sounds, or the blends. Reading maestro Frank Smith maintained in Reading Without Nonsense (1973): "I have said that children should not be taught the alphabet[.] ... Until children have a good idea of what reading is about, learning the names of letters is largely a nonsense activity."
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
The author outlines how public schools cause many children to become functionally illiterate for the rest of their lives.
Anything to do with “WHY JOHNNY CAN’T READ” from fifty years ago?
Many of the teachers are themselves somewhat functionally illiterate. They must be if they believe the BS of 'Common Core' and "New Math" that issues from the political class. What chance do the children have?
The capacity of the young brain to learn, absorb, and become interested in stuff is practically boundless. For adults, who have a narrow field of vision and become invested and then overinvested in whatever goofball theory appeals to them that day to dictate what young kids should learn is criminal.
Nobody EVER died from learning multiplication tables or the alphabet. Once again, as we see in so many areas, the intellectual theorists are the destroyers.
Dead on accurate. It’s taken about a half century for edu schools and their arrogant, ignorant, edd (Educ. Doctors) spawn to take America’s K12 education from No 1 to 25 in most areas.
Our universities don’t allow edd’s anywhere near their curricula development.
There is no good substitute for a stable family, with mom and dad teaching pre-school kids to read, write and cipher.
It’s wierd isn’t it. We actually know how to teach children to read, do math, etc. and have known for centuries. Yet the theorists are constantly trying, badly, to re-invent the wheel.
Quite a bit, actually. My first grader is reading at the fourth grade level. And after reviewing the Common Core approach to math I'm all on board.
Now I'll grant you we moved to a specific area to access the highest rated public schools we could find, but after her seeing how "sight words" jump started her ability to actually "read," as opposed to fumbling over older methods, I have to conclude "you can't argue with performance."
The only downside I've seen with teaching sight words is her tendency to conflate similar words and choosing words that are "close" instead of paying enough attention to really distinguish the differences.
Also, getting the teacher to explain how they're taught math is a bit of a challenge, but YouTube videos make excellent primers.
The result. The very top, most accomplished students are incredibly capable. The rest just do what they're told.
Another thought....when I was younger, learning how to outline something, starting with the Roman Numerals for main ideas, was a very big deal. That seems to have disappeared as a learning activity. That's a shame. It trained ones mind to filter what's least and most important about an issue.
The reason we've slipped so bad is supposed to be because of our antiquated methods of teaching mathematical concepts. This is something I have seen first hand.
Frankly, I felt betrayed when as a returning college student I FINALLY learned the genius behind Cartesian Coordinates is it lets you solve geometry problems using algebra. Before the advent of the graphing calculator I was taught these things in isolation from each other.
I taught my own kids to read and to memorize basic math facts. We had tutors for advanced math. One was home schooled for a time and the other spent summers doing real school.
Public school is quite destructive, socially and intellectually.
I didn’t teach my children to read. I taught them the letters of the alphabet and their phonetic equivalents, and they proceeded to teach themselves to read.
Just like real estate, school quality can be determined by "location, location, location."
I’ve looked at the Common Core math approach. It is hard to explain in a few words how it differs from original math...estimating, rounding, assessing reasonableness of an answer, and breaking down the problem into smaller pieces...but as an example, adding 46+37 would be done by adding 40+30 and then 6+7, instead of the traditional addition bar, carry the 1, etc etc...using this method, you can easily solve the problem in your head.
This way of breaking the problem into pieces instead of slogging through the numbers is how I’ve done math my entire life. I prefer it, and it has worked very well for me - my profession is engineering.
So I like this method...and think its superior.
However - I have seen that for most kids, this method throws them into dizzied confusion. They would much rather have the boundaries of the ‘slog through the numbers’ method. So, my opinion is that 1st graders should be taught traditional math. And, if a student excels, around the 5th grade they can go to the common core style of estimating, rounding, assessing reasonableness of an answer, and breaking down the problem into smaller pieces.
Just my opinion.
We had the best location, location, location. Although we did not deal with thug problems, the schools were super expensive and they stunk.
We homeschooled our 8 kids and I have said a hundred times that it is easier to teach your child to read than to teach him/her to do the dishes. When our automatic dishwasher broke it actually helped because they could not load or unload or inspect properly. Teaching them to read was fun and easy by comparison. I always loved it when they first read John 1 to me.
Just my opinion.
And an insightful opinion it is....
However let me counter your example with an alternative problem from one of the instructional videos I reviewed. Subtract 1999 from 3000 using the traditional steps we were taught.
Now THAT is a recipe for error!
Sounds like Common Core
I've always been a firm traditionalist when it comes to teaching math. But a couple weeks ago, I asked an acquaintance [2nd grade teacher for some 20 years] what she thought of the so-called Common Core Math and was surprised by her response.
She raved about it. She can't believe the ease with which her students now manipulate large numbers. She also says it is more work for her but insists it's worth it. And, I suspect, that with her background, she is able to plug "holes" where the curriculum may be weak.
This is no air-head fresh out of ed school; and I've had to re-open my mind. I'm not convinced yet, but I'm listening.
It would be...I agree. But I don’t see any harm in showing kids how to do that problem the traditional way...and somewhere in the 4th or 5th grade teachers can show the CC way...and they should be able to identify the kids who appreciate the better method.
Something I failed to mention in my prior post also - a lot of grade school teachers really aren’t that good at math. And many aren’t ready to learn a new style of doing math. So for many of these teachers, they go through the CC math in a mechanical way...but aren’t good at ‘teaching’ it. The only solution is to wait until today’s kids become teachers. And IMHO, all the more reason to wade into this pool more slowly, and let the kids who are self directed learn it with or without a good teacher.
“Now I’ll grant you we moved to a specific area to access the highest rated public schools we could find...”
Well, there you have it. You exercised your (white? I’m assuming here, sorry) privilege to seek out schools with more qualified and competent teachers. Kudos to you for doing so.
But as Don Corleone has pointed out, many public school teachers are themselves functionally illiterate. Again, kudos for sparing your kids that.
My son’s original third grade teacher could neither write a coherent sentence, nor perform long multiplication, and she was teaching her ignorance to the class. When I brought this to the principal’s attention, she -—with a sigh—pointed out that any formal complaint would result in a racial uproar, so I’d best seek another school. I did.
I’ll also assume that your children’s more competent teachers are simply **incorporating** the sight words and common core methods alongside the traditional, old school methods, only because they’re being **required** to incorporate these new methods.
So a point could be made that the new, common core stuff which you are “on board with” might be actually incidental, mere examples when removed entirely from the foundational basics and presented alone, thus too complex for children who have not been provided with prior references to the rote basics. IMO this is so.
I have 2 award winning teachers in my family. Both will tell you that their success is based trying different approaches. If the student doesn’t “get it” try another angle, but basic building blocks such as the alphabet and the addition and multiplication tables **must** come first, because these building blocks are foundation of the ability to reason, ie to think.
The lefties are advocating altogether abandoning teaching the alphabet and basic arithmetic altogether, to push a political agenda that says everything old must be swept away, regardless whether it works, and replaced with what’s new and “revolutionary” and made up, even when it defies all logic and doesn’t work.
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