Aug 30, 2014 by

“What Parents Should Want for Their Children”

by Donna Garner




Below is a suggested document for parents to take to their child’s teachers to make the parents’ expectations clear to the teachers:


I want my child’s papers to be evaluated for correct grammar, usage, spelling, and content.


I want my child to read from hardcover textbooks so that he can comprehend deeply rather than scanning as is so often the case with digitized materials. 


I want him to read the great literary, historical, and scientific pieces that have connected generations of Americans for centuries.


I want my child to memorize important foundational information and then to model correct examples until he learns the material with facility.


Then I want him to construct his own original statements and problems based upon that knowledge.


I want to see evidence that my child is able to take memorized content and use it to think logically and analytically.


I do not believe that this type of rigorous knowledge-based, academic content can be learned from an app because this inanimate object does not require the individual accountability that my child needs to reach the higher-level thinking skills. Only a teacher working directly with my childcan provide that level of accountability.  


I strongly object to the many class hours that teachers and students spend on the technology itself (e.g., making sure it works right, fixing technological glitches, explaining “how to play the games,” etc.).  Instead I want that time to be spent on direct, systematic instruction of traditional, time-honored, academic content.  


Each minute of class time is precious to the future of my child, and these precious minutes are too important to waste on dithering with technological glitches and fixes.


Donna Garner


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