TLS-2 Teaching, Learning and Schooling By Anne Carpenter 1 TLS-2 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. 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. Individuals learn in their own way. Mooney and Cole figured out how they learned 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. 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, 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 TLS-2 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). We have let money and bureaucracy get in the way of teaching our children. Unfortunately, our children are the ones that are being hurt by using assessment based punitive labeling to pigeonhole kids. However, by not educating all children individually we have according to Milliken: America's three and a half million dropouts ages 16 to 25 are truly have-nots: They do not have a high school diploma, and as a result they have little hope for a decent future. They are far more likely than their peers to be unemployed, live in poverty, experience chronic poor health, depend upon social services, and go to jail. Four out of every 10 young adult dropouts receive some type of government assistance. A dropout is more than eight times as likely to be in jail or prison as a person with at least a high school diploma. Half of all prison inmates are high school dropouts. In fact, on any given day, more young male dropouts are in prison than at a job. The dire consequences for these young people are mirrored in the costs to American society - to you, your children, and the future of our country. Dropouts are costing us billions of dollars in lost wages and increased social supports In reality, we are costing ourselves as society more money by not educating everyone than it would cost us to educate him or her. We define schooling as an inclusive institution made up of buildings, bureaucracy, social thoughts and cultural values. Rogoff stated “industrial society’s developing priorities and practices, specifically the goal of efficient management of schools and other institutions, modeled on the newly developed 3 TLS-2 4 factory system, with its division of labor and assembly lines” (2003, p. 156). To accommodate all participants equitably current modalities 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.