Tag Archives: Education

The Art of Learning

The following statements were made in 1947.

    • “Has it ever struck you as odd, or unfortunate, that today, when the proportion of literacy is higher than it has ever been, people should have become susceptible to the influence of advertisement and mass propaganda to an extent hitherto unheard of and unimagined?”
    • “Is not the great defect of our education today—a defect traceable through all the disquieting symptoms of trouble that I have mentioned—that although we often succeed in teaching our pupils “subjects,” we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how to think: they learn everything, except the art of learning.”
    • “For we let our young men and women go out unarmed, in a day when armour was never so necessary. By teaching them all to read, we have left them at the mercy of the printed word. By the invention of the film and the radio, we have made certain that no aversion to reading shall secure them from the incessant battery of words, words, words. They do not know what the words mean; they do not know how to ward them off or blunt their edge or fling them back; they are a prey to words in their emotions instead of being the masters of them in their intellects.”
      Dorothy L. Sayers (The Lost Tools of Learning)

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Reducing Recidivism

Educational and rehab services are badly needed. Information has to flow into the prison to the inmate. That information has to be clear and powerful enough to change adverse behavior. I write letters and grade lessons to do just that. Contact me to find out how you or someone you know can help.

Re-entry into society, or back to prison?

  • Why do so many inmates in the United States end up returning to prison after they are released? 
  • We learned of inmates who worked with prison guards to deal drugs. We heard about others who used drugs for the first time while incarcerated. Instead of getting rehab, those who came in addicted often got worse. We found inmates who used their time not to gain a trade but to learn how to more craftily commit crimes upon release.
  • Restrictions, corruption and limited educational and drug rehab services help ensure that more than 75% of prisoners return to the system within five years of release in America.
  • Candace Harp-Harlow, an inmate we met in Oklahoma’s Mabel Bassett prison, was the victim of sexual trauma — molested at age 6, raped at 13. She started self-medicating with drugs. Soon, she was addicted to Xanax. 
  • Through much of her incarceration, she continued to use. She also never got sufficient psychological care or job training. 
  • across the USA more than 48,000 legal restrictions limit, among other things, where former inmates can work, whether they can vote and their ability to get housing. 
  • Re-entry services have been shown to lower recidivism. Three years after incarceration, rates dropped between 6% and 19% in eight states that tracked recidivism from 2010 to 2013. 
  • A program that offers transitional services in Oklahoma, Exodus House, also managed to lower re-incarceration rates. Over seven years, only 13% of participants went back to prison. 
  • One memorable response, the one that most reflects what we saw, came from Pitman: “Are prisons in the U.S. failing inmates? I would say yes. But I would also say we as citizens are failing our fellow citizens.” 

Technology In The Classroom

I think teachers need to teach and not simply train how to use technology that they think will do the teaching for them. Schools can provide limited resources off the grid/internet and control and limit content. It would not be as robust or dangerous as the internet, but it would be better than an encyclopedia and maybe even a library. Learning building blocks for how to think critically (a liberal arts education) does not require access to the world wide web.

More students are learning on laptops and tablets in class. Some parents want to hit the off switch.

  • “They were zoned out like little zombies,”
  • The school system is one of many coast to coast that have spent millions of dollars on initiatives aimed at putting computers or tablets in the hands of every student, sometimes as early as kindergarten.
  • The largest school district in Virginia, Fairfax County Public Schools, announced last year plans to provide Dell laptops to students starting in third grade. Less wealthy school systems have issued bonds to purchase devices, borrowing millions of dollars for laptops, iPads and Chromebooks.
  • Many parents fear that time spent on screens is eroding the quality of classroom instruction, causing skills such as math and handwriting to atrophy. Others worry that laptops and tablets are damaging children’s eyes and posture. And others have shared stories about students viewing pornographic or other inappropriate material on school-issued devices.

93 Vermont Towns Have No Public Schools, But Great Education

93 Vermont Towns Have No Public Schools, But Great Education. How Do They Do It? – Foundation for Economic Education

  • Ninety-three Vermont towns (36 percent of its 255 municipalities) have no government-run school at all. If there were enough kids, the pot of public money earmarked for education would be used to buy a building and hire teachers. In these towns, the funds local governments expect to spend per pupil are instead given directly to the parents of school-age children. This method gives lower- and middle-income parents the same superpower wealthy families have always had: school choice.
  • In many other parts of the country, even the most “progressive” ones, government-run schools consume ever-more resources while doing little to address disparities of outcome.
  • Eligibility for tuition vouchers actually increased home values in towns that closed their public schools.
  • Because parents, not bureaucrats or federal formulas, determine how funds are allocated, schools are under high economic pressure to impress parents 60—that is, to serve students best in their parents’ eyes. 
  • Having watched these models develop nearby, two more Vermont towns voted in 2013 to close their government-run schools and become “tuition towns” instead. The local public elementary and high schools there closed and reopened as independent competitors in an increasingly rich marketplace of education options.
  • Can Vermont’s quirky school program work elsewhere? Probably. An independent evaluation by the Ethan Allen Institute, a free-market think tank in Vermont, reported:
    …an expansion of Vermont’s publicly funded tuition model can be an effective way to lower costs, improve student outcomes, achieve greater diversity in the classroom, and increase parental satisfaction with and participation in their children’s education.

Promoting Critical Thinking Is Dangerous

What is that feeling you get when you come across a problem you have to solve, fear?  Some think so and will use the lack of discernment by others to push an agenda proven to be detrimental to a country’s well-being. 


After a legal battle lasting nearly two years, a conservative college professor reprimanded by his school for having “dangerous” views on marriage has won the fight.

The Pacific Justice Institute stated that an arbitrator ruled in favor of Moreno Valley College sociology professor Eric Thompson. According to WND.com the lengthy legal battle entailed a series of depositions and administrative hearings, as well as an arbitration that lasted for several days.

Thompson was reprimanded by the institution several years ago for discussing topics that included marriage, homosexuality, and gender roles with his students.

During the course of his class the professor reportedly “also circulated the film ‘Understanding Same-Sex Attraction’ which suggested homosexuality might be a choice rather than hard-wired,” the institute stated.

According to PJI, the sociology professor introduced conservative thought regarding controversial matters as a way to challenge his students to defend their assumptions.

Numerous students and colleagues viewed the way in which Thompson seemingly endorsed non-liberal beliefs to be a form of “harassment,” come even calling it “dangerous,” PJI mentioned.

“Instead of promoting academic freedom and critical thinking skills, the community college swiftly terminated Thompson’s employment due to the ‘immoral’ nature of his discussions,” said the group.

PJI President Brad Dacus said the “atrocious silencing of this professor, who merely offered a well-balanced presentation of conservative and Bible-based thoughts with prevalent social science teachings, had to be challenged.”

He asked, “How many other voices of reason are being squelched in academic institutions by the far-left?”

Isa 5:17-24
18 Woe to those who drag iniquity with the cords of falsehood,
And sin as if with cart ropes;
19 Who say, “Let Him make speed, let Him hasten His work, that we may see it;
And let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel draw near
And come to pass, that we may know it!”
20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
And clever in their own sight!
22 Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine
And valiant men in mixing strong drink,
23 Who justify the wicked for a bribe,
And take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!
24 Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes stubble
And dry grass collapses into the flame,
So their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away as dust;
For they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts
And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.