I figured out what is wrong with our education system!
I know, I know…you’ve waited years for a definition of the problem so we can create a solution, and you can move on with your life. Well here it is at last…
Our educational system is created and controlled by math people.
Yep! It’s that simple. Occurred to me yesterday as I listened to someone giving me advice.
You see, there are really just two types of people in the world: math people, and language people. No, no, science people don’t get their own category; they are just math people in disguise. And art people are just creative language people. Trust me on this.
So…math people believe that everything can be explained in neat formulas and tidy equations and found on a chart or a graph somewhere. 2+2=4, even if you stand on your head and look at it without wearing your glasses. What works today will work tomorrow, unless of course some genius comes up with a new equation, then everybody has to use it. Math is concrete and reassuring and stretches off into infinity. Math people speak the same language and understand each other and confidently pass down their formulas and equations and charts and graphs to each generation. Give a math teacher a text book and a calculator and they know no boundaries! Give a kid a math test and you know immediately what they need to learn to perform better on the next test.
Language people know that two plus two equals four, but only if the two aren’t cats or pizzas. Because everyone knows that if you have two cats you can get six kittens and if you have two pizzas you can cut them into sixteen slices and share with your friends. And on Thursday you can get two pizzas for the price of one, so you could really have a pizza party! Language people are so accustomed to “exceptions to the rule” and “multiple definitions” that they just can’t think in terms of absolutes. Language teachers know there are a dozen combinations of words that can be used to express an idea and are hesitant to tell someone their way is wrong. A text book or dictionary of all our words cannot teach a child to read and write. No test can tell us exactly why one child understands a story and the next one thinks we told it in Greek. Language is constantly changing and the vocabulary familiar to one generation no longer exists in the next. The rules applied in one context do not apply in another. Language is not concrete and reassuring; it is fluid and bewildering.
So when someone looks me in the eye and tells me that if we can diagnose reading problems we can fix them, I don’t argue. I don’t remind them of the dozens of problems we HAVE diagnosed and not corrected. I don’t get upset. I know it’s just the math talking.
Note to math people: I still love you, so don't send me hate mail. I've been told since the sixth grade that I just "don't get it". lol