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Welcome to this collection of quotations

which are followed by my commentaries.

 


Abraham S. Fischler


 

Commentary:

The way that classrooms are organized, because of the pressures that teachers and students are under since No Child Left Behind, more and more time is now being spent helping students learn at a comprehensive level. Little time is left for the skills of analysis, synthesis and self-judgment. We put information in but we don't give them time to massage the information and go through Piaget's process of assimilation and accommodation at the concept level.

Education is not the filling of a pail,

but rather the lighting of a fire.

W. B. Yeats


How do teachers instill this “fire” quote in a school that focuses on computer-based instruction?
The computer is a tool to be used in many different ways .It is a learning tool, it is a research tool, and it is a communication tool. So it depends on the environment and how it's orchestrated. Bloom's taxonomy talks about levels of learning. Comprehension is the lower level. But the student also needs time to utilize information for analysis and synthesis. So the computer could be used for those two purposes . In the CAI approach you can reorganize students to solve problems through projects. Small groups can improve their communication skills, working in cooperative teams, sharing research responsibilities, and giving  presentations to the entire class. We have to provide an environment so that students can use what they have learned through technology. Rarely should you see a teacher standing in front of a group of students lecturing. That would make the assumption that all 30 youngsters are ready to receive what you are presenting and to process the information.

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Commentary:

This is one of those quotes that belong on a wall to remind students of the importance of self-confidence:

Ability is what you're capable of doing.

 Motivation determines what you do.

 Attitude determines how well you do it.

Lou Holtz

 

Commentary:

My test is asking the following question: Have we produced a motivated person with the tools and desire to keep learning?

I hope that in the century ahead students will be judged not by their performance on a single test but by the quality of their lives .I hope that students will be encouraged to be creative, not conforming, and learn to cooperate rather than compete.

Ernest Boyer, president of Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

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Commentary:

We have invested a lot of money and training in the big-box public high schools. Bill Gates has put a billion dollars or so into making high schools smaller and into technology for education. We need to stop, turn around, and get back to square one. Let's start with elementary schools. By adding a layer of computer-mediated instruction over the existing system and by engaging parents, students, teachers and principals in a vigorous re-connection with the goal of education, we can move toward making the student the class.

Our education system should be creating mindful learners.

 

Dennis Littky
 


 

Commentary

 

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”


Alvin Toffler

  Cindy Burfield selected this quote.

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Commentary

 

Information flows at a much faster rate than it did a year ago. Think of Facebook and twitter.

We all must learn and relearn new things as they have implications for our work and understanding of the world we live in.

The world is changing and those changes will effect us more  quickly than they did before.

 


Abraham S. Fischler

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The teacher of the future is an “Edu-tainer”: giving an education that is entertaining.

 

Commentary: 

Should teachers be entertainers? I want to change this quote:  Learning should be fun to the learner.

Classrooms should be exciting. Students should be the performers. Teachers should be facilitators and motivators, asking students to think about challenging problems.  Teachers should reward success, using language that make learners feel good about themselves. “You can do it.”

 


Abraham S. Fischler

 

 

Commentary: 

It seems to me that schools primarily teach kids how to take tests, a skill one hardly uses in real life (unless one is a contestant on a quiz show).  Elementary school prepares kids for junior high; junior high prepares them for high school.  So the goal (if we can call it that) of schools is to prepare kids for more school.

Tom Magliozzi, one of the Car Talk guys, writing in his book, In Our Humble Opinion: Car Talk's Click and Clack Rant and Rave (2000).

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Commentary: 

 For the learner, education is a continuum and it is not important where the student is housed.  What is important at the end is have we produced a motivated person with the tools and desire to keep learning?  In order to do that, the learner must achieve competency in two languages, English and math. Everything else he can learn if he is motivated to learn and to become a self learner.  Professors make it easier by picking out what they think is necessary in the particular field of knowledge. Thus you can achieve more knowledge in a shorter time if you work with advisors. They also provide guidance and help you achieve a number of life skills so you can function effectively with others and assume your share of the responsibility for achieving the objectives.


Abraham S. Fischler

 

Commentary: 

 

Children are working as if I did not exist. 

 

 

Maria Montessori

 

 

Commentary: 

 

Self-motivated, interested in the problem that they are working on, helping one another sharing responsibilities. This will happen when students work together in small groups on projects.

You need a certain level of comprehension which the CAI delivers. Piaget says that we redefine a concept every time we meet a discrepant event: An event for the learner that doesn't fit the concept that he already has. So the learner has to go through questions: Did that really exist? How do I modify the concept to accommodate the new information?

Students go through this when they learn that electrons might not be particles. Electrons act more like clouds in certain circumstances.

 


Abraham S. Fischler

   

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The principal goal of education is to create people who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done.

Jean Piaget

 

 

Commentary: 

 

 In order to do new things, they have a concept of what ought to be. But now they are confronted with a surprise, something that doesn't fit. That's the discrepant event. Then the individual has to go through assimilation, asking, “Does that really happen? Is that real? What is true? What am I seeing or what have I been told ? What did I expect to happen?”...and then it didn't happen. Then I have to go through the process of accommodation. I have to modify my concept to take into account something that occurred that I didn't expect. Then I'm at equilibrium, I'm happy again, until you introduce the next discrepant event. When you talk to kids, you have to know approximately what they have, so you know what you can do to get them more sophisticated and more knowledgeable. That's what the individual learner has to go through themselves. The teacher introduces the discrepant event and the learners go through the assimilation and accommodation.

If the student doesn't have the basic comprehension, you will miss the mark – the information that you think is a discrepant event will go over his head. For example, you can tell a six-year-old that the earth is turning and that creates day and night at 25,000 miles in a day. It's rotating on an axis. Why don't you feel it? If you were in an automobile and you put your hand out of the window, you would feel it.

With a six-year-old, you're going too fast. You better start with “day is when the sun is out” and “Night is when the sun is hidden.” You can ask, “Why is the night dark? What gives light to the moon?” So you can give a six-year-old a bit of this, but he doesn't really understand much. 

After introducing a discrepant event, we need to give the student time to process the information. We tend to start with what the child can observe. Science for grades 1-to-3, the focus is over “what can you see?”

To try to explain that the earth is turning is not going to lead to understanding in younger students.  Wait until they begin to ask you about rotating. And they weren't all going to be able to ask you at the same time.

 


Abraham S. Fischler

 

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Commentary: 

Given the widening array of possibilities, there’s no reason that every child must master the sciences, algebra, geometry, biology, or any of the rest of the standard high school curriculum that has barely changed in half a century.

 

Robert Reich

Secretary of Labor (Clinton Administration)

 

  

 

Commentary: 

There is a core of basic knowledge that one expects from a person at a certain point in time. I don't expect people to be experts, but biology is a science. You ought to have some knowledge of the animal kingdom, relationships, the human body.

There are certain understandings that you can expect from a person at a certain level. Science is not a cultural imperative. Our language and mathematics are cultural imperatives. I expect every child to have a certain level. Knowledge and ability and with a basic core of mathematics; able to handle fractions. But I don't expect everyone to know everything about trigonometry.

Robert Reich is right, as long as we don't say master. We need a core in all areas and you have to have the tools for self-learning: we can read English and we can do some math... we know when to doubt and we don't jump to conclusions.

You can teach yourself most of science if you have English and math.

 


Abraham S. Fischler

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Commentary: 

One-third of the jobs that will be around ten to fifteen years from now haven't been invented yet.

We are now at a point where we must educate our children in what no one knew yesterday and prepare our schools for what no one knows yet.

 

Margaret Mead

 

 

Commentary: 

 

 What can we do if we don't know what we don't know?  The education system of the future needs to be flexible, more so than our current system. 


Abraham S. Fischler

To gain full benefit from this method of analysis, please contact Edutech Foundation, Inc.

to arrange for a workshop to be presented in your school.

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• Home • Building Better Schools • List of Pioneers • Introduction • Quotations • Excerpts • The Student Is The Class • Reviews of the Book • Readings • Links • Questions • Next • Key Principles • Workshop Preview • Technology Enhanced • About Us • Projects • Dr. Abe Fischler • Videos & Multimedia •

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