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Topic: Re: lecturing
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COVbECKERS@aol.com

Posts: 34
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: lecturing
Posted: Jul 1, 1995 5:40 PM
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Steve Means' practical experience with the cooperative learning endeavor is
instructive as to its failings, pitfalls and limitations.

I wonder why there is such an emphasis on trying to find alternative means of
educating our youth. I do understand that test scores appear to have
declined over the recent years and that education and its perceived
deficiences have been viewed as a growing problem ever since the "sputnick"
generation grew up. But is this because teaching methods which once clearly
worked no longer have any efficacy in terms of todays youth?

I think not. While I do believe in evolution, I truly doubt that over the
past 20 years the human species has changed so much that babies born in that
time frame have had their genetics "altered" in such a fashion that they are
not susceptible to being taught in ways that worked so well with previous
generations.

Efforts at multi-media (recently expressed in one recent m mail that I saw)
and cooperative learning all seem attempts to "grasp" at ways of avoiding the
obvious; children are not learning because (1) mass media and its messages do
not encourage/"tout" the mental skills which are essential to the educational
edeavor (2) parents, increasingly busy and perhaps focused upon their own
gratification (I actually once had a friend relate to me that "you can't let
them control your life") don't take as seriously the role of parenting as, I
believe, earlier generations of parents did (3) other things that probably
occur to many of you, NONE of which have anything to do with a recent change
in human genetics which would make so-called outmoded "traditional"
educational methods no longer viable.

In the recent past I have been amused when people have talked of the way in
which computers would revolutionize education. True, they can be a wonderful
tool. But they cannot substitute for the central role of a series of gifted
and devoted teachers, throughout the early, developing lives of our children,
in imparting the basic intellectual skills and mental outlooks to make
"tools" such as computers, helpful adjuncts to the educational process.

If children are pretty much the same now as they were "then" (i.e. when
education seemed to be working in our society) then maybe we should examine
the societal sources impacting negatively upon the formal educational
process, rather than coming up with the latest educational "innovation" to
handle the problem of greater number of youth seemingly impervious, or
indifferent to, the educational endeavor,

Bart Becker





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