One of the issues in education is teaching children how to think independently. Most Liberian educators are used to the write-and-copy method of instruction where children get very adept at giving the “right” answer by spewing back the only answer that correctly fills in the blank according to what they’ve previously copied from the board and rehearsed as a class. I sat in briefly during a math session where children were successfully doing 4 digit over 4 digit addition with carrying, etc. I interrupted them and requested they say aloud the numbers in the equation and the resulting sum. They couldn’t do it. Even simplifying it to double digit addition they couldn’t verbalize the number values. The same is true for language/writing skills. I know our upcoming Liberia Reads program will break the mold on literacy education at GLTC. We also need to find a “Liberia Calculates” program to reset how numeracy and arithmetic is taught.
2 thoughts on “Independent thinking”
Thanks for your observations. We keep to keep on eye on instruction.
Interesting…I had the opposite experience during my hour of extemporaneously teaching the little guys (K 1?). Fortunately, I had some mastery of the topic (the numbers 5, 7 and 8). I was impressed when a kid who didn’t know the answer by rote would start making a neat line of hash marks under each number and then methodically count the total, arriving at the right answer. They had been taught the process to figure out what they didn’t know. I was encouraged. Kathy
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