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Letter: Let’s focus on teaching children how to think

Let’s focus on teaching children how to think

Educator Stephen R. Covey said, “If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”

The students unable to meet City Honors’ criteria are being told it’s because they are poor and non-white. Had Oprah Winfrey and President Obama been instilled with that mindset, they would not be where they are.

This issue is not one of diversity or poverty. The opportunity to test and meet the standards is open to all. Those not meeting the standards were not taught how to learn purposely. We have to do the work to set up cognitive structures that are systems to gather, organize and process information.

The effort lies with the student, not the teachers or schools. Learning is a creative process. Only the student can make connections to prior knowledge. Example: We teach ourselves to read. Teachers present the material. We have to digest the information to make sense of it for ourselves. We have to think. We have to find patterns, discover principles and systems on our own.

Sadly the education system has morphed into emphasizing social issues rather than the necessary reading, cursive writing, basic simple arithmetic and speaking that build these mental constructs. Beliefs matter. Teaching children they are victims of class positioning will cause them to put the ladder against the wrong building for the rest of their lives. Teach them how to think instead.

Pamela Occhino