Successful education is no secret

If it’s no secret “How the World’s Most Improved School Systems Keep Getting Better” – why is it that little Johnny still can’t read; or write, or cipher?

Since the untimely death of Socrates in 399 BC, how far has Western educational theory really advanced, if at all?

How many studies, books, articles, theses, dissertations, lectures and curriculum have been produced claiming knowledge of the secret of universal public education?

It is no secret to any classroom instructor which students are not “getting it”.

But is seems that only the most gifted teachers and the most responsive schools are able to match up each individual learning need with the proper individual learning modality, as well as identify and deal with extra-curricular learning impediments.  

Classrooms are not populated by widgets, taught rote by machines.

In an egalitarian society such as ours, we can only claim to treat everyone the same, when we treat everyone differently.

If we can’t do that with the entrenched educational system we have now, start over.

Start with Johnny.

Does he:

  • prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding?
  • prefer using sound and music?
  • prefer using words, both in speech and writing?
  • prefer using body, hands and sense of touch?
  • prefer using logic, reasoning and systems?
  • prefer to learn in groups or with other people?
  • prefer to work alone and use self-study?

Is he:

  • free of learning disorders?
  • free of mental defect?
  • hungry?
  • injured or ill?
  • fearful?
  • have low self-esteem?
  • lacking language or other basic skills?
  • lacking a supportive home environment?

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen


2 Responses to “Successful education is no secret”

  1. 100 years ago in the United States, schools had lists of things students had to know.
    Look at this one for the 8th grade:

    I don’t think many college students could pass it.
    That is what is wrong with today’s schools.

    Set goals and help EACH student succeed.

    By the way, we were just in Barcelona recently and loved it!

  2. Basically, I would disagree with your approach, but I am not a teacher, so don’t worry 🙂

    I think the problem is not in the kids and much less in the teachers, but in the course programs. I am not a native speaker of English and cannot find the word for the lists of courses that kids have to take or the lists of things they have to learn.

    These “lists” are wildly directionless, a carnival or a parody of things to know, a crossword puzzle mentality turned into a syllabus of sorts.

    I am in Spain and, guess what, just judging by the results I’d bet it’s the same there as here.

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