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Do away with gadgets and gimmicks and teach

Published: January 2, 2013

As a retired history teacher for Oklahoma City Public Schools, I remember personal history and have studied history in depth.When you look into the education systems of the United States up to about 1970, you find that students from that period who graduated from 8th grade generally had an education at least three times better than college graduates of today. They learned more and retained more, all without the toys, gadgets and gimmicks of today.Our supplies were notebook paper and a couple of pencils, which lasted weeks.

Today a 12 pack of pencils won't last a student one day — they break them into littlepiecesand throw them around the room. Paper is wadded up and thrown around the room.Teachers back then may have had one8mm projector per school, to show curriculum-related movies. They used chalk and a chalkboard and they taught until students learned.They weren't sitting before a computer reading e-mails from the office, other teachers and the district office, or doing paperwork on the computer. Coaches today are on their cell phones talking to other coaches or officials about games.

We also didn't havethe unions interfering with education like today. Maybe an answer to the education problems we now have would be to get rid of the toys, gadgets and gimmicks and have teachers teach and actually work with the students to watch the students progress. What an idea!

Richard Reames, Oklahoma City

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