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The Seven Errors of Educators

by Bill Lauritzen

1) Failure to link words to things and actions. Relying on memorization of words rather than understanding of words. Teaching phonics, but not semantics. Teaching sound, but not sense. Or teaching whole language, but neither phonics or semantics. Overemphasizing context clues, rather than getting the meaning from teacher or dictionary.

2) Lack of understanding of how to educate Homo sapiens. Not realizing the human need for touch, movement, and space. Educating machines rather than humans.

3) Not educating in the common tongue. Using Greek, Latin, and French nomenclature when simple English words would do.

4) Not understanding classroom ergonomics. Not being aware of how placement of objects within the classroom, flow of students within the classroom, etc., affects student productivity.

5) Lack of use of open captions with video. Showing videos with the caption mode “off.” Not knowing how or why to turn the caption mode “on.”

6) Overuse of unrealistic "junk books" (talking animals, ghosts) rather than realistic or factual-based books.

7) Failure to frame the learning experience with relevant issues and concerns of the students.

(c) 1999 W. Lauritzen

The Seven Right Actions of Educators:

1) Linking words to things and actions. Using understanding rather than memorization. Educating using both phonics and semantics. Sound and sense. Meanings of words emphasized. Dictionaries freely available in classroom and use of them is encouraged. Teachers explain difficult words in simple language.

2) Educating Homo sapiens not a machine. Designing lessons to accommodate a human as much as possible with its needs of touch, movement, and space.

3) Educating in the common tongue. Translating difficult Greek, Latin, and French nomenclature into simple English whenever possible.

4) Understanding classroom ergonomics. Designing classroom layout (location of overhead projector, screen, seats, bulletin boards, pencil sharpeners, student files, materials, etc.) for optimum flow and productivity.

5) Using open captions with video material. Realizing that seeing the spelling of the word linked to the sound (pronunciation), as well as to a dynamic visual context, will help both the students oral and written vocabulary.

6) Using primarily reality-based readers and literature that help the student to understand and orient to the surrounding world. Not allowing too many “junk” books which feature fantasy situations such as talking animals.

7) Framing the learning experience with relevant issues and concerns of the students.