How to Learn – How to Teach

A True, Sad Story

A True, Sad Story

Taken From How to Learn–How to Teach:Overcoming the Seven Barriers to Comprehension

Let me tell you a true, sad story from my own personal history.

I was born in 1936, my sister, Marie, in 1938. The result was that the critical early years of our schooling were during World War II and the time of shortages following the war. Our hometown, Sydney, Australia, was very much on a war-footing as it had been attacked by submarine, and the suburb where we lived shelled from sea by those subs.

At about age seven or eight, my sister found herself is a class that was grossly overcrowded — simply not enough space in the classroom. The solution resorted to by the teachers was to take the three brightest children in the class and “promote” them forward into the next higher school grade group, which classroom had some desk space. The result was that my sister missed a whole year of curriculum at a critical early school learning age. She was being presented with material that was a year of schooling more advanced than where she actually was in terms of progress in her education.

The outcome of this was that Marie crashed from being a star, bright, head-of-the-class student to being the dunce of the class.

Real rot set in. She, and my parents, actually came to the conclusion she was dull. And as Marie grew older, finding she couldn’t read, write or do math adequately, not only did she consider herself “dull,” but relatively worthless.

Tragic self-image, self-worth, negative conclusions developed.

When I look back at this now, I am much saddened and a little outraged, for what I see is that a bright young star, a gorgeous person, had her dreams, aspirations and life ruined by some educators who didn’t understand their business correctly. (The specific error and barrier to comprehension the teachers foisted on this young girl is shown in Chapter Six.)

Fifteen years ago, I was back in Australia on a consulting assignment and visited my sister with the material that is now written in this book. With it, I was able to recover her missed education, restore for her the truth of her ability to learn and, along with it, the truth of her self-worth and value as a wonderful Being.

Today, as a very active senior citizen, she is an avid learner, active in all kinds of new things in her community, and even writes articles for the local newspaper. This from a person who for most of her adult life considered herself to be dull and semi-literate.

You will read some other examples of destructive or faulty “teaching” practices in this manual that we should seek to eliminate from our educational system. But most important, this manual reveals those imperative positives that must be known and applied as part of the practice of educating our children.

COPYRIGHT © 2009 Roger E. Boswarva. All rights reserved.

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