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Let's Teach Students, Not "Inspire" Them


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Initial post: Nov 27, 2012 5:36:37 AM PST
The following Letter to the Editor was published in The Hartford Courant on 27 Nov. 2012, Page A8. The Letter was written in response to the Opinion pieces at:

http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/hc-op-vazquez-caballero-education-must-ignite-stud-20121123,0,4671014.story

http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/hc-op-pelto-lecker-connecticut-schools-underfunded-20121123,0,6000165.story

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http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/letters/hc-letters-to-the-editor-cdb,0,1099648,results.formprofile?Query=10513HC

Let's Teach Students, Not "Inspire" Them

Charles Ayer, Vernon

The Courant's lead Opinion articles on education [Nov. 25, "Inspiring Students" and "Connecticut School Woefully Underfunded, Formula Broken" were not data-based and were utterly misguided.

Between 1970 and 2009, the number of students per full-time equivalent teacher in the US fell from 22.3 to 15.4. Between 1970 and 2005, spending per pupil in constant year dollars doubled, from $4,500 a student to $9,000 a student. We are obviously spending plenty of money and we arguably have too many teachers.

I graduated from public high school in 1971. I never felt that my education was impeded by an overcrowded classroom and I had consistently outstanding teachers. The weak ones were weeded out pretty quickly. I was taught how to read and write and was given a firm grounding in history, mathematics and the sciences. I studied two languages and was exposed to the beautiful worlds of art and music.

My classmates and I were imparted knowledge that made us useful and valuable. We went on to become doctors, lawyers, tradesmen, businesswomen, engineers and entrepreneurs. We were not peddled drivel about "learning how to learn" or "learning how to ask questions, not answer them."

In order to move forward, we must go back -- to basics.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 5:46:07 AM PST
Lisareads says:
"In order to move forward, we must go back -- to basics. "
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Like getting rid of the classroom altogether.

"We were not peddled drivel about "learning how to learn" or "learning how to ask questions, not answer them."
"We went on to become doctors, lawyers, tradesmen, businesswomen, engineers and entrepreneurs."
Perhaps drive is what you got unnoticed. Maybe the quality of life is not being a worker but rather an artist of life. Exactly what is your purpose of life?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 6:58:08 AM PST
"Like getting rid of the classroom altogether."

In my opinion, very very very few students can be educated successfully outside the classroom, and even fewer without competent teachers. The following is from "The Education of Henry Adams," Page 300, in both the Ameron House edition (1960) and the Houghton Mifflin edition (1973): "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."

The Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography (Classic Reprint)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 7:15:30 AM PST
Lisareads says:
"In my opinion, very very very few students can be educated successfully outside the classroom,"
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Over the pass several thousands of years we have had many approaches such as Epicurus garden or Medici tutors to mentors and apprenticeships. The classroom is just a widget factory made popular by Government indoctrination..

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 2:09:50 PM PST
Bruce Bain says:
============================================================

"Adams concluded that his traditional education failed to help him come to terms with these rapid changes; hence his need for self-education. The organizing thread of the book is how the "proper" schooling and other aspects of his youth, was time wasted; thus his search for self-education through experiences, friendships, and reading."----sentences 1 & 2 of paragraph 2, from the Wikipedia essay on Henry Adam's Education

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So when you quote Adams as referring to COMPETENT TEACHERS, I think you owe it to the reading public to clarify exactly what Henry Adams was referring to.

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Posted on Feb 1, 2014 8:07:52 AM PST
Mickey says:
Why can't we have both?
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Education forum
Participants:  4
Total posts:  6
Initial post:  Nov 27, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 1, 2014

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