THE EDITOR, Sir:
Please permit me to share my thoughts on the recent hue and cry about the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate results in mathematics and English language.
All subject areas are interrelated and interdependent. The lines that we draw between subject areas are only for convenience and ease of teaching. Every teacher must bear this in mind when he or she enters a classroom.
I often hear about the days of chalk and talk and disparaging comments about traditional methods of teaching, but I have no idea what that is about and when those ineffective methods were used. I am a product of yesteryear. My fire was lit and today it burns so brightly that I am constantly researching and exploring ways to improve the teaching-learning experience.
I have discovered that things that I learnt in primary school are unfamiliar to college students. This caused me to look back at some of the work I did then. I found Longman's New Geographical Reader, Standard 1, published in 1908. I was back in primary school having fun with a great teacher who had what he called 'play-lessons' and got his students to learn mathematical concepts in a fun, practical way that would be as effective today as it was then.
Unfortunately, educators have been so caught up with computers and other gadgets that they have forgotten that the most powerful machine on planet Earth is man, and a classroom with children is already a smart classroom.
How do we engage our students in such a way that they recognise that they have unlimited potential? No subject is beyond their capability. Recent brain studies reveal that we grow new neurons at any age. There is no doubt that children can grasp any concept taught, but they all do not learn the same way. We have to find a way to awaken the genius that is in each student. How do we do that?
My advice to educators is to do the research on now the human brain works. Many things will be made clearer and the teaching-learning experience will be more productive in all subject areas.