We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right, from the frame of their nature, to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in vain, has given them understandings, and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge; I mean, of the characters and conduct of their rulers."
John Adams, Dissertation on Canon and Feudal Law, 1765
Here, then, lies the deeper significance of the problem method of teaching because of the direct effect of the school training on our citizenship and national progress. The history of education contains several illustrations of the relation of school training to citizenship and national advancement, the most striking of which, perhaps, is found in the Mohammedan system of education. In the elementary schools, and also in the universities of these countries, the instruction consists of dictating passages from the Koran or from commentaries on the Koran. It is all memoriter work and prevails much more than in America. Charles W. Eliot, President Emeritus of Harvard University, has given a most interesting description of the work in an elementary school in Tangier in North Africa. In this school for young children, he found a white-bearded man clothed in white, seated on straw in the center of a group of children. He had a long, flexible fishing-rod with which he could reach every pupil. This teacher recited several words from the Koran and then the children repeated these words in unison exactly as they had been given. Mr. Eliot states that this was the only work done in that school. Later, he visited the University of Cairo and found that every teacher was doing the same thing, but to a greater degree.
This memoriter method in education is the prime cause of the backward condition of the Mohammedans. This is the reason that for many centuries natural science has made no progress in these countries, and clearly shows the relation of school training to national progress.
Likewise, the cause of the static condition of the Chinese people may be traced to the kind of education given in their schools. Their method is that of direct and exact imitation. "The object of the teacher is to compel his pupils, first, to remember; secondly, to remember; thirdly, and evermore, to remember."
And we should remember that 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the multiple choice test, which the SAT is based upon.
In the words of Professor Kelly[the man who instituted it for the WWI call-up], “This is a test of lower order thinking for the lower orders.”
A few years later, as President of the University of Idaho, Kelly disowned the idea, pointing out that it was an appropriate method to test only a tiny portion of what is actually taught and should be abandoned. The industrialists and the mass educators revolted and he was fired.
The SAT, the single most important filtering device used to measure the effect of school on each individual, is based (almost without change) on Kelly’s lower-order thinking test. Still.