The 1850 edition of Noah Webster's Dictionary defines "rote" as: "To fix in memory by means of frequent repetition." That certainly is the essence of what we mean by rote memorization. My 1988 dictionary, however, defines "rote" as: "A fixed, mechanical way of doing something." That definition misses the mark of what memorization is all about. The true purpose of rote memorization in education is to create automaticity, so that, for example, when a child sees a letter or group of letters he or she automatically says the sounds. The child does not have to think about it. The response is automatic.
The idea that there is little or nothing to be learned from "Old Dead Guys" is a pretty ridiculous notion. In the first place, everything we have today was built on their shoulders. They labored and toiled, they investigated and invented, they suffered and died. There is so much we can learn by studying their lives, because they experienced it all: from birth to adulthood to old age to the final journey into eternity.
The U.S. Department of Education has created the largest computerized database of personal information on American students ever gathered by any government in history. The exact personal and intimate facts in this database are outlined in the Student Data Handbook for Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education (NCES 94-303), released in 1994. Comprised of 228 pages plus about 100 pages of appendices, this handbook can be obtained from the U.S. Dept. of Education. Send for your own copy and prepare to be appalled. Or just read this article and find out what to do.
The late South African economist William Hutt, in his 1964 book, The Economics of the Colour Bar, said that one of the supreme tragedies of the human condition is that those who have been the victims of injustices and oppression "can often be observed to be inflicting not dissimilar injustices upon other races."
In his book, Seven Days That Divide The World, John Lennox (left) attempts to answer the age-old question: Can creationism and science co-exist? Focusing on the debate regarding the origins of life, Lennox analyzes both the evolutionary theory as well as creationism. Though there are a number of other theories about the origin of life, Lennox addresses the two seemingly polar opposite notions in order to assess whether scriptures can somehow corroborate the scientific theories.
David Rockefeller, in his 2002 autobiography, Memoirs, assures us that there is no secret conspiracy to create a world government. While he proudly admits to being an internationalist, he insists that there is no secret plan to lead this country into some sort of world superstate. He also insists that those of us who believe in such a conspiracy are really the victims of “populist paranoia.” Let his words speak for themselves:
In response to a MetLife poll and a Transportation for America (TFA) survey, both published this month, a federal program is under consideration for “Fixing the Mobility Crisis Threatening the Baby Boom Generation.”
One of my earliest memories of revulsion against war came from seeing a photograph from the First World War when I was a teenager. It was nothing gory. Just a picture of a military officer, in an impressive uniform, talking to a puzzled and forlorn-looking old peasant woman with a cloth wrapped around her head.
Way back in 1947 there was a movie filmed entitled Miracle on 34th Street, in which a Santa Claus in a New York department store brought happiness to a little boy. I don’t remember the plot, but I remember the name of the movie and that it had a happy ending.
Although I have defended him on numerous occasions, it may surprise some readers of this column to discover that not unlike his legions of detractors within the Republican Party, I too have some problems with Ron Paul. But for at least two reasons, the impulse to come to his defense I have found difficult to resist.