Connect and Learn

Posted: September 25, 2013 in Uncategorized
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12 year old me: “Dad, how does a bullet work?” My 30 something year old dad: “Why don’t you look it up?” My forever 20 something year old mom:”That is why I bought these encyclopedias.”  My mom and her mom bought me and my sisters a few sets of encyclopedias. I learned at a young age the importance of research and the meaning of reference materials.

“Why don’t you look it up'” powerful words for a 12 year old to hear. I was always amazed at the massive amounts of information held between the covers of the encyclopedias. I only accepted the information found in the encyclopedias at face knowledge for a limited time, until I was about 13, then I wanted to know how the information was put in there and proven. I was impressed with science because the principles and concepts could be recreated and proven to be true. Empirical evidence has always amazed me. We know that at sea level water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Why do we know this? Well we read it in the encyclopedia and well we got our dads thermometer and measured all the ice in moms ice cube trays, duh. So science was easy, as was math and health but then came philosophy, political science and religion and I was introduced to the gray area.

To the encyclopedias credit articles concerning these areas simply display information, there really isn’t a right or wrong and isn’t that all we can do really? Ahh good point we can do many things. Let me rephrase isn’t this all we should do really? Who am I to suggest that the political party you vote for is wrong or for that matter the philosophy you adhere to or the religion you practice for that matter?  I shouldn’t tell you how to do any of that, but I can tell you that if your political party, philosophy or religion can justify or demand you take life well you should reconsider.  I am certain that for survival life has to be respected. Now I apologize for the digression, but the more I read it seems intolerance is becoming more acceptable and that makes me sad.

The encyclopedia was and still is a great starting point for anyone wishing to connect and learn, but we shouldn’t stop there. With dropping test scores and the political hyperbole thrown around by leaders, (this is truly a shame too, I really do not think the education system is as broken as the leaders make it out to be.  if you think I am wrong I would  challenge you to get to know some school age children), many of the school administrators teachers and other developers of the curriculum for the school system,  have been forced to evaluate the whole school system, here in the United States of America. Being educators analytic thinkers and   what not one of the first things the educators did was to try to, utilizing science and empirical, determine how students learned.

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It seems from the studies done so far hands on learning is the best type of learning for all ages. Students of all ages have to connect and learn and experiment be wrong and right. It seems what works in school, reading a book (connecting with the author), writing a paper about the book (hands on writing like the author) works best for learning.   Learning should never end. We have no excuse for ignorance. We are living in a time when the most people have access to the most knowledge ever. to not learn,  (of course this is not taking into account those with learning disabilities) makes us lazy, indifferent or both.

The reward for hard work is clear. ”

“You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it, however.”

Richard David Bach (born 1936);
Writer

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Today if we take the time to connect and learn through some hands on action, I really feel like we will have a much better day than if we were to go about and complete it as a lazy uneducated and indifferent oaf.

peace

john3c

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