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November 29, 2005


Phil Nash

Experiential learning has been proven to be the best way to learn and remember things. Experiences where we see, move, smell, touch, and hear are rarely forgotten (such as that trip to Disneyland or the "Row Row Row Your Boat" songs we sang and danced to ad infinitum as kids). Reading is a mass-based learning device that has only been possible for the last 500 years (think Johann Gutenberg and his press) and only used in American public education for less than 200.

American Education is ruled by those who were able to sit still and take tests as kids. Native American kids in the Amazon, on the other hand, do not have to sit in classrooms all day. They learn from their elders while on fishing trips, at ceremonies, and in other ways (although there are more and more traditional sit-down classrooms being built every day).

Being just a day ahead of the kids is normal for first-time teachers. That's why we have textbooks. Like a musician, you will get past the "sight-reading" stage and eventually learn to play the music well. As a veteran teacher, you will become adept at improvising new music on the spot as the day unfolds.

Congratulations on making "turkey day" both educational and meaningful for the kids!

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