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Topic: Re: PUSHING children to learn math Vs. ENCOURAGING children to
learn math

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GS Chandy

Posts: 8,307
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
Re: PUSHING children to learn math Vs. ENCOURAGING children to
learn math

Posted: Jun 28, 2013 1:13 PM
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Michael Mossey posted Jun 28, 2013 2:21 AM:
> I have a background in mindfulness meditation and a
> few other things that influence my perspective on
> this (such as the Feldenkrais Method). The
> opportunity to be better guides of our children is
> staggeringly huge. Or to put in a less cheerful way,
> we are doing a pretty bad job of it now.

You're entirely right that, in general, we're doing a very bad job of guiding our children to become more effective, thinking adults - and I believe that parents and schools (along with a whole lot of our other societal systems) are responsible for this sad (potentially disastrous) state of affairs.

I personally see no way out of the hole we (the human race) have dug for ourselves unless people at large become more aware than they are today of 'systems' - and how our systems impact us, our lives, our very thinking processes. Winston Churchill once said "We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us" - just substitute the word 'systems' for 'buildings' and you'd have something most appropriate for the ideas we're discussing here: developing effective systems - here at Math-teach on "developing effective education (specifically math-education) systems".

So the key underlying issue is, how can we design and implement effective systems? Of course, we shall need to do this for SPECIFIC systems of interest to individuals and groups at large.

The idea of 'systems' is quite abstract - so how to enable people at large to deal practically with the systems they confront from day to day? Most people would NOT wish to learn something they may consider to be 'academic' (for instance 'systems' as discussed in 'General Systems Theory' [GST]).

Kirby Urner is a strong protagonist of GST (as am I).

However, I am confident that GST as it stands will never be used by the citizen at large who does need the underlying concepts of GST for practically every issue confronted today, e.g., for issues like "given the state of society and its educational systems today, how may we enable effective education for our children?" or "Given my current very poor results in math, how to improve them?" - or any other challenging Mission of interest.

The late John N. Warfield had developed a practical way of looking at systems that could lead to anyone at any level being able to do something effective with the systems of current interest to him, her or them.

The 'One Page Management System' (OPMS) is my development from Warfield's seminal contributions to systems science. As noted earlier OPMS enables individual or group to choose any 'Mission' of interest and then to develop, from currently available ideas, effective Action Planning to accomplish the Mission. ('Effective' does NOT mean that the Action Plan will necessarily be accomplished in a day, or a month, or ... There are Missions for which Action Planning can be developed in a specified short period of time - and there are Missions that will take longer [sometimes much longer!]).

The attachments with my post heading the thread "Democracy: how to accomplish it" ( briefly describe the OPMS and how one may work towards accomplishing a chosen Mission of interest. (Those attachments contain links to the background of the OPMS - Warfield's work).
> And yes, you
> point out rightly that parents intuitively allow very
> young children to learn th The late rough self-motivated and
> self-guided exploration, but adults stop trusting
> kids at some point.

This is, indeed, the great tragedy of all our lives. I have no knowledge of the 'Feldenkrais Method' - shall try and investigate it a bit - but I do know a little about the 'Montessori Method' (and do believe in its effectiveness). Unfortunately, I believe the profound insights of M. Maria Montessori have not adequately developed for use much beyond primary school - perhaps the Feldenkrais Method does?
> Oh another related perspective comes from the series
> of books called "Parent Effectiveness Training."

I've not seen these - shall try and get a look at them if they're available online.
> I wonder if the situation is better in India than in
> the U.S.

No, not really. We have our own severe deficiencies in our educational systems. In some ways, our deficiencies may appear to be even more daunting than those you're facing in the US.
>It seems like the Puritan background of the
> U.S. and the rampant materialism has a strong
> negative influence.

Well, I do believe the Puritan background of the US (now overlaid with the rampant materialism of our 'consumer culture') must surely have had a great deal to do with the state of the US education system today. In India, we don't have the Puritan background - but we were once a colonial 'possession' of the British (somewhat different from the US colonial experience). That - along with the rampant materialism that rules much of our lives here today - has led us to where we are: not a very happy situation, but not, I believe, entirely hopeless.


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