Good old fashioned...

Some things never date!

Nobody would call you old fashioned if you ride a bicycle, read a book, or tied your shoelaces.
Have you ever heard it said (or maybe even said it yourself) that A.C.E. resources are "out of date"?

I heard this from a parent who had heard it from another parent who heard it from a school that had decided to stop using A.C.E. as its primary resource.

Now, I've been teaching in schools since 1980. I agree that the education system has changed a lot since then. Some things haven't changed, however. Consider good old Pythagoras' Theorem, Ancient History, the Alphabet and Newton's Laws of Motion. On the other hand, one could argue that trying to teach the same way as back then might be considered "out of date". In any case, have all the changes in Education all been positive?

Some good old fashioned ideas

Here are some things that would be considered "out of date" if you dared conserve the past in modern education:

  • Good writing begins with mastering English grammar. (Ah, that's right... they're trying to bring that back in, now that the teachers have missed out on learning it);
  • Handwriting, spelling and punctuation will always be valuable skills;
  • Numeracy involves learning - often rote learning. Think of the basic skills, times tables, long division and multiplication, rather than relying on calculators, computers or iPads;
  • Good science involves learning basic principles, theories and laws;
  • The Bible is historically reliable and the starting point for studying history;
  • Families were created according to an ideal pattern. Other patterns may exist, but they are not (by definition) ideal;
  • If you want to prevent bullying, the best way is to closely supervise social interactions. Also, you should listen and even teach Jesus' "Golden Rule". Bullying is not prevented by making children role play gender reversals and direct them to questionable or pornographic websites.

A lot of people are afraid of change, and a lot of people are afraid of not keeping up. Change is good if there is a clear improvement involved. We should always be wary, however, when change is introduced to something that works perfectly well and has stood the test of time.

"Good old fashioned" may be old fashioned, but it may also be good.
"If it isn't broken, don't fix it."

Greg Simon BA; Dip Ed; Cert Teach

Greg has taught and tutored secondary Maths, Science and ICT for over thirty years, and has been a school principal before dedicating his life to working with home-educating families. He was actively involved with the homeschooling of his four children.

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