K-12 education is critically important to our economy and freedom. Over the past five decades I have been exposed to many educational experiments. In my five decades I have researched these experiments and found that they were implemented without ever being validated. In short, did they improve education?
Many question why test scores are low, yet I believe these good
people are missing the basics of learning and how the brain processes
and retains information.
We all learn differently. I learn best by hearing, writing and seeing
a presentation and least by reading. I find that reading from a hard
copy is far superior to a monitor. I also learn best when I must explain
myself instead of multiple choice. In fact, the item I grew up
disliking the most, writing, turns out to be the most efficient means of
learning for me. I also learned a great deal when I looked up a word
in a dictionary, seeing many other words spelled correctly before I
found the one I was looking for. I learned that an outline reduced
mistakes, organized my thoughts, reduced time I spent actually writing
and improved my retention of the material.
The purpose of K-12 is what? To me it is to teach me the basics so
that by grade 12 I know how to teach myself. However, today’s K-12
presentation of material does not utilize repetition nor use multiple
senses at the same time.
I have always questioned school systems’ use of calculators and
computers in K-12. The material we learned before these great tools was
no less than that taught today. I took the same high math without the
high-tech tools. I grew up without using a calculator and computer, yet
when I used one for the first time in 1984, it took very little time
to learn the software, I had a true appreciation for its power.
Before one can run, one must learn to stand, crawl and walk. Skipping the basics is not really learning.
EDITORS NOTE: Published in Fort Wayne Journal Gazette 20150203.