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Current Events >> the World and Its Methods

The world today is the best educated in the history of mankind. Virtually everyone has the ability to obtain a level of education considerably higher than any offered to their ancestors. Are we using technology to throw this benefit away?

Most of us probably moan over the education our children receive. We may complain about the teachers, or the lack of Christian foundation, or the poor quality of the teachers, but we all complain.

The real issue, especially for those of us who are baby boomers and starting to gray, is that the methods of education today are foreign to what we learned. Of course, many of us are reasonable for the change (if we entered the educational fields). I remember when my oldest children were first starting school that "new math" was the hot rage. I do not remember the basis of new math, but it was different from the method taught me.

Society has changed its philosophical outlooks over the past 50-100 hundred years. Some of these changes have been rapid. Children are expected to be able to think and reason, but are given no foundations of truth or a truth concept upon which to base their reasoning. Schools have abandoned hard and fast rules in exchange for concepts. At least, that is the way it appears to me.

Now the real position is that the world of education is a vast mixture of many mehtods and concepts, so don't start yelling at me now. My daughter was taught more evolution in high school history class than she was in biology because the history teacher was very much with the "in" crowd while the biology teacher, though not a Christian, had open questions about the practical effect of evolution.

Which brings me to technology. I love technology. I am a geek in many senses of the word. However, I believe children need to learn to read, write, and perform math at some primary level. The world still functions upon these concepts and will continue to do so for a very long time. If children cannot learn proper English and apply basic math skills, they will be left behind by society, even while society speaks of concepts and the like rather than hard methods.

How does technology hurt? Well, if your children are like my daughter, they spend a great deal of time using one of the instant messenger programs, supplimented with email and text messaging on their cell phones. Have you ever tried to interpret some of these messages?

There is an entire new vocabulary existing to squeeze as much conveersation into as little space as possible. Abbreviations, new versions of short-hand, and the like have been created to solve this problem. The question becomes, do the kids begin speaking and writing this way away from their tech gadgets?

The University of Toronto says "no!" Their study is on the web here. The thing that struck me about the study is that they only considered 70 students. Seems to me that is a very small sampling. What about a sample of several though junior high students?

My daughter is in the middle of her sophomore year of college. She is an 'A' student. I am very proud of her. At the same time, my assessment of her writing skills is that her grammar, sentence structure, and over-all composition skills are very poor. If she had gone to school with me and wrote the same papers, her grades would be "c's."

I blame this on a combination of the education she had and a failure of any teacher to attempt to instill a desire for reading. While my daughter does occassionally devour a novel, she does not read enough to have a concept of good writing and grammar. She writes, more or less, the way she talks and she talks in the "slang" method of her generation.

What will happen to those generations who speak the way they talk, and they learn to talk via text messaging and instant messenger? The Toronto study as I read it says the students' short-hand is based upon their speach patterns. So, if this becomes the only speach they undersand, how will the rest of us understand their generations?

Jim A


Posted On: 2006-08-01 10:00:55 || Comments (1 ) || Add a Comment
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