Thursday, January 27, 2011

What think you?

... Thoughts on libraries and a cultivated sense of curiosity. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I was never myself much into any sort of programmed learning. I understood I had to learn grammar and usage, study Latin and German (when the time came), read what was assigned, etc. But beyond that, I preferred to investigate things on my own ... and then consult with a teacher I trusted -- Miss Parkinson in the fourth grade, Mother Holmes in the sixth, Mr. De Christopher or Father Travers or Father Wagner in high school, to name just a few -- about what I had come up with. Effective education, it seems to me, is a strange mix of the formal and the spontaneous, and the problem with all of the recent lamentations is that it seems they want to formalize the whole process. (As for the teaching to take tests, well that just isn't education, period, and any teacher who does that isn't really a teacher. But there are a lot of people in the teaching business who don't belong there.)

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