Thoughts on Attaining and Sustaining Mass Higher Education

Most leaders know that they need to educate their people, and the fastest way out of poverty would be to make sure everyone can read and write, and do basic mathematics. Having an educated workforce also gives the nation, any nation, a much better chance at economic success. Now then, I’d like to discuss a few thoughts on this matter if I might, and if you have 2 minutes to read this article.

There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal on December 3, 2011. The article talked about a different way of looking at diversity quotas at America’s universities. Apparently, the Obama Administration is trying to fix the challenges which haven’t worked as well as intended. Yes, it is important to have an educated population, and it is often said that an educated electorate makes for better voting decisions, and therefore better choices of those who will run the affairs of the state and our government.

Having well-educated employees for corporations and small businesses is equally important. It means better productivity, and an overall smoother running civilization. Attaining and sustaining mass higher education is not as easy as it might seem. In fact, this is one of the things that the OCED is worried about worldwide, as well they should. In many countries in the Middle East the illiteracy rates are extremely high, and that causes severe challenges for the flows of civilization and a free-flowing society.

Still, simply educating the masses may not be the answer unless people are educated for the jobs that they will take in the future. In fact, China recently stated in its new 12-year plan that it was going to cut out degree programs at colleges and universities, and stop giving degrees for careers and jobs which they did not believe would exist in the future, or that do not exist now. In Saudi Arabia, and also in Ireland they’ve made incredible gains in the number of college educated people.

Nevertheless, without a solid economy and enough jobs, it doesn’t do much good. Yes, it is better than not having educated folks, but it is a tremendous burden on the state to run those colleges and universities during times of economic decline, demographic shifts, or economic uncertainty. The goal of attaining and sustaining mass higher education might seem worthy, and an overall good idea, however that goal in and of itself uncoupled with economic realities or a future economic plan for that particular nation-state could turn out to be less than the benefit assumed.

If we wish to attain and also to sustain higher education of the masses around the globe, then we have to make learning interesting. And merely pumping information into the brains of all the young people is more akin to brainwashing than it is teaching people to think. Brainwashing the electorate, or population in the name of education is probably the wrong way to play it over time. We need to make the subjects interesting, and allow the curiosity of the individual to propel their own interest in continuing to learn and enjoy the education process.

That will be the fastest way to achieving such noble goals, and in the process we will be doing it for the right reasons. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and pass these ideas and thoughts on to the OCED along with your own, and perhaps a personal essay to enter in their latest contest for this subject. Think on it.

Educational Toys Not Too Late For Parents to Toy With Developmental Toys

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy could also mean choosing the right toy for your child. Choosing just any toy that catches your child’s fancy without considering its educational benefits could spell the difference between good and bad start of your kid’s learning process. Since play is an integral part of your child learning process, you have to make sure that the toys you buy do not spoil the fun and disrupt your child’s learning and development.

If you are planning to give your child or someone else’s kid a toy, the following criteria will help you choose the appropriate toy.

1.Choose toys that encourage strategic use of their imagination.
2.Select toys that pose a positive challenge for them. This type of toy gives a sense of accomplishment after successfully completing the task.
3.Choose toys that will give children an enjoyable experience and love what they are learning.

Every child is inherently curious, they are natural learners. How often has your child asked you with a barrage of questions on just about anything with the assertiveness of a lawyer? How often did you feel like a witness under cross examination? As a parent, you should make the most out of those moments when your child’s curiosity is at work.

Satisfy your child’s curiosity by giving sincere answers to his questions about nature, animals, and characters in fairy tales. Your responses and explanations provide them with basic understanding of the world around us. Educational toys enforces understanding as it allows your child to experience first hand what you have explained to him.

Children are natural learners, however, this does not necessarily mean that their needs are the same. Their speed of development varies making it incumbent on parents to be a little more careful in choosing toys that corresponds to their child’s individual development. Children’s needs change with their age and with their differing abilities.

For babies and infants, toys that will stimulate their sight, touch and hearing is advised. Babies need toys which they can easily grip and must have strong contrasting colors to help them distinguish between patterns and objects. On the other hand, toddlers will find educational toys that develops their hand to eye coordination. Puzzles and building blocks will be appreciated since toddlers like to manipulate objects.

By the time a child is 2 or 3 years old, creative play or role playing will prove helpful in developing his imagination, language skills and emotional behavior. At this stage, girls love dressing up. At 4 or 5 years old, a child shifts to cognitive play which involves his decision making and problem solving skills. Upon reaching school age, games with rules take the place of cognitive and creative play.

Start laying the groundwork for your child’s scientific, mathematical, language and physical skills by providing him with carefully chosen toys. Start learning and playing with toys not because you are still a kid at heart but because you have a child dear to your heart.

For Special Education Students – Four Strategies to Succeed in College

College success occurs as a result of effective academic, communication, and social skills. This presents a challenge to mainstream students but can often cause the demise of students with learning disabilities. Fret not, however. Rather than dwell on the difficulties you experience with these skills, concentrate on practicing the strategies below to overcome these challenges. Without further ado, here are four skills you need to master to achieve college success.

Associating with Professors

• Introduce yourself to your professors, so they can associate your name with a face. Make an effort to speak with the professor privately, especially, if you are struggling in the class.

• Take advantage of the opportunity to utilize professors’ office hours. One of the prime purposes for office hours is to help students.

• Avoid irritants to professors such as:

– Sleeping in Class
– Not attending Class
– Not reading syllabus
– Lack of responsibility
– Excuses and not meeting deadlines
– Insincere brown nosing

• Do not hesitate to ask professors for copies of old exams to practice studying. The questions may change, but usually the style of the exam remains the same..

Managing Your Time

• Quickly learn to say NO to distractions of all kinds (movies, partying, overeating, game playing, etc…). It is the mature decision to avoid activities that sabotage your progress.

• Daylight hours are the best time to study and retain information.

• Study for short, frequent sessions to assure that your concentration remains at 100%..

• Try multi-tasking to squeeze in more study time. For example, commuting time is ideal for getting in extra study time effortlessly. Keep a lecture tape in your car. Listen or use earphones when on the bus, train or car pool. While doing laundry, listen to your study tapes.

• Allow 2 – 3 hours of work and/or studying for every hour you spend in class.

• PRIORITIZE – Use a daily list of what you need to study; Set times for each item and keep with it rigorously.

Exercise Your Brain Capacity

What can you remember?

• Study the big picture, then learn the details. Memorize from general information to specific details. Picture a funnel with its wide circle down to the narrowed tip. Learn and memorize the large general concept (the whole picture outlook) and then narrow down to the details.

• Cramming is a waste of time because studying is done long past attention has expired. Cramming may be sufficient to get information into your short-term memory, but that information is likely to evaporate due to nervousness that can accompany an exam. The information sent to your short-term memory will not last until the final exam unless practiced at regular intervals.

• Why do we forget pieces of information?

1. We do not use the information often enough.
2. Information not learned or studied properly
3. Confusion with other subject matter
4. Decide that the information does not parallel what we believe

• Steps to Remember

1. Pay attention! Consciously choose to remember. Be Interested! Establish a need to retain the information.
2. Take a picture in your mind of what you need to learn. Visualize.
3. Connect and form associations between the new material and information of ideas, persons, places, and things that you already know.
4. Repetition is the best way to over-learn and recall information. Translating information into your own words results in retention.

Take Notes

• Fundamentals

1. Use loose leaf notebook divided into subject sections
2. Title and date each sheet of loose leaf paper as you use it
3. Brief, clear notes are more effective than profuse explanations
4. Consolidate your old lecture notes into a new set of notes or outline.

• Lectures

1. Avoid distractions by sitting near the front of the class.
2. Concentrate on the main points of what is being presented. Take notes and put them into your own words later.
3. Ask questions on what is not clear to you.
4. To aid retention, review your lecture notes within 24 hours.

While college life is fun, remember the primary reason you are there: to work hard and learn for the purpose of expanding your future options. You are the key to your own success. If you use your resources properly and utilize tips and strategies to compensate for your weaknesses, you are likely to experience smooth sailing, with the occasional rough wave, during your college experience.