TLS-3 Teaching, Learning and Schooling By Anne Carpenter 1 TLS-3 2 Changing the way we currently teach only to the good, quiet, well-behaved child and teach to all children we will be more successful as a society in educating our youth. Children seem to learn best with individualized learning, teaching and schooling. Learning is the internalized process of accumulating knowledge through experience. Teaching is the planning guidance and mature experience to help students became socialized members of society. Education is the bureaucracy, the institutions and the schools. Individuals learn through their own experiences. Mooney and Cole figured out through their previous experience how they learn best. “Our skills are alternative learning skills. In every section, we explore multiple entry point to information, integrating color, verbal processing, pragmatic learning, and project based learning (Mooney & Cole, 2000, p.83). However, learning using an alternative method goes in direct opposition to current systems. Current systems use isolation to teach individual subjects, there is no link between one subject and another or even the relevance of the subject to the adult world. Enforced quiet and acquiescence prevent pupils from disclosing their real natures. They enforce artificial uniformity. They put seeming before being. They place a premium upon preserving the outward appearance of attention, decorum and obedience (Dewey, 1938, p.62). By not knowing their students, the teachers cannot teach to the individual. Independent communities place values upon and reinforce specific information regardless of academic achievement. Rogoff stated each community may have different end goals in educating their children:”… learn to attend to the nuances of weather patterns or of social cues of people around them, to use words cleverly to joust, TLS-3 3 or to understand the relation between human and supernatural events” (2003,p. 22). To make all children learn the same information is a disservice to the child and waste of valuable resources. Using the Socratic method of teaching, Socrates questions Meno’s knowledge of virtue, and rather than answering Meno’s question Socrates allowed Meno to discover for himself what he knew or did not know. In other words, by debating with Meno, Socrates provided individualized teaching to Meno even though Socrates declared that he does not teach. “I shall only ask him, and not teach him, and he shall share the enquiry with me: and do you watch and see if you find me telling or explaining anything to him, instead of eliciting his opinion” (Plato, trans. Jowett, 1995). Using deductive teaching Socrates was allowing Meno to experience for himself the idea that knowledge is learned and not recollected. We have let money and bureaucracy get in the way of teaching our children. However, by not educating children individually we have young people who are required to be part of an artificial community, school. Enforcing students to be quiet, sit still, no talking to preserve out ward appearances creates an artificial environment to the detriment of the child. The child becomes discouraged and eventually drops out of school. With three and a half million dropouts in America, they are more likely to be on unemployment, live in poverty, depend on social services and go to jail. Because these young people are not educated, they are costing the American society billions in social services and lost wages (Milliken, 2007). Schooling is an inclusive institution made up of buildings, bureaucracy, social thoughts and cultural values. Rogoff stated “schoolchildren by age became formalized TLS-3 4 with the advent of compulsory schooling, which required a standard starting age to verify that children were not truant. Age-grading served bureaucratic needs in the face of great increases in the numbers of schoolchildren, due in part to industrialization, urbanizations of the population, and huge influxes of immigrants” (2003, p. 156). To accommodate all participants equitably current systems must evolve. The thoughts and values of current society must progress and accommodate all styles of schooling. Granted, it will take time to change and become more open to teaching all children individually, however we must begin somewhere and we can initiate the change. Individualizing learning teaching and schooling brings out the best in all children. Success as a society in educating our youth will occur when we change the way we currently teach and accommodate the individual. TLS-3 5 Children learn best with individualized learning :“It is a loss and a crime when creativity, alternative learning skills, and an individualized education take a back seat to rote memorizations, standardized testing, and the misconceptions that all people learn the same way” (Mooney & Cole, 2000, p.20) This was true during Plato’s time and it is still true now. Unfortunately, our children are the ones that are being hurt by using assessment based punitive labeling to pigeonhole kids.