LETTER: Disagrees with columnist

  • Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2012 6:30 p.m.
    UPDATED: Monday, December 24, 2012 7:26 a.m.

Disagrees with columnist

Responding to Richard Hazen’s recent suggestion (Dec. 2, Aiken Standard) that new facilities make better students, I would offer two caveats: First, concurrence is not necessarily causation. Secondly, the Romans cautioned, in an example of false reasoning, “Post hoc, ergo propter hoc,” meaning after this, therefore because of it

I suggest that decades of feel-good-about-yourself education and decades of judging a student by one’s personal best can prepare anyone for the realities of a competitive world. Hang the sociologists and take a hint from law school practice: Give students a standardized test, grade the results according to numerical order, and post them prominently in the hall where everyone can see them.

Aside from self-discipline – a trait which should be taught early in life – the problem also lies in the failure to teach fundamentals. Fundamentals must include a rigorous course in English grammar – the best way to standardize usage. Moreover, keep in mind that words are the tools of thought. Modern conveniences such as texting detract seriously from an understanding of the structure of the English language.

Secondly, don’t teach to the lowest level of the class. This wastes the opportunities for the majority and limits the intellectual development of gifted children.

Third, don’t teach to the test or rely on rote learning. Instead, teach logic, instruct students on how to think and how to present a point of view, not what to think.

I seriously doubt that anyone who wants to learn will rely on the particulars of taxation.

Luther Stohlman

Aiken

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