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Monday, August 10, 2015
Soccer Would Be So Proud
wife and I ran a day care center for several years. She taught the four and five year-olds
how to do if/then reasoning (the Socratic method). She explained to them who Socrates was and how to figure out if/then problems. The kids really enjoyed doing the little mind problems the lesson called for.
One 5 year old
boy, puzzled over a question, struggling to find an answer. Sheila put her hand on his shoulder and said, gently, "Just think it out." Marcus, a serious looking black boy, wrinkled up his brow and appeared to be thinking mightily. Then he spoke up.
"I've got it," he said. He explained what he'd decided to do to solve his problem. I don't remember exactly what the problem was, but it was a head-scratcher for Marcus - I remember that. Sheila listened to his explanation and then told him he had done a good job of figuring the problem out. A light seemed to break out over his face as he looked up at her. "Soccer would be so proud!" he grinned.
If we can teach 4 and 5 year olds to reason from cause to effect, then how is it that the public school system can't seem to teach that skill to teenagers?
That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoe-making and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse. -Mark Twain