Letter to the editor | On the subject of teaching

July 13, 2013 

I’m troubled by the fact that if I hand a young cashier a dollar bill and 95 cents in change to pay for a $1.90 purchase, he/she can’t give me the correct change of 5 cents.

The computer is OK, but they can’t add up the change to figure out how much to enter into the computer.

God forbid they would have to tell me what $1.95 less $1.90 would be without looking at the screen.

I’m further troubled by the fact that many schools are giving up the teaching of cursive writing, thereby creating a semi-literate population of young people.

Actually, this is good. It means parents can communicate in perfect written English to one another and the kids won’t be able to understand. No longer will we have to whisper.

History. Geography. The teachers themselves probably don’t know where Paris and Korea are, or which came first, World War I, World War II or the Korean War.

I have two suggestions: Hire subject-trained teachers who actually have a store of knowledge — and enthusiasm for the same — that can be transmitted to the kid; and turn off the computers for substantial parts of each day.

Computers could then be available after the students have made reasonable effort at real learning, which, God forbid, might require some memorization.

I’m sure individuals more qualified than me will have even better suggestions.

Roger Herman

Bellefonte

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