Chapter 2 - Why not the best?

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Why not the best?

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  Probably the most influential theory of individual development this century is that of Swiss biologist and psychologist Jean Piaget. Based on what must be the world's smallest-ever research sample - his own three children - he claimed that children everywhere in every culture grow through a fixed sequence of intellectual growth-stages from infancy to adulthood. "Yet many of Piaget's claims have been proven to be misleading, simplistic, and in some cases simply wrong." 15 That has not stopped their influence holding back the potential of children in the vital early years when their minds are wide open to flower into learning*.
  The core of the scientific method is to test theories in practice against every possible alternative. The mark of good research, we believe, is also shown in the ability to clearly convey its results: and in not claiming, from one aspect of research, all-embracing panaceas for all of education.
  Education is still suffering from the twin ills of bad practice based on invalid research and the inability to clearly communicate the break-throughs that are disproving the old myths.
  Most good learning methods are common sense. Every infant learns naturally by many of these methods. Yet much educational theory is clothed in so much jargon the parents and students who need that information "switched off".
  This trend seems to be more rife in "education" than in any other profession, except perhaps medicine and law.
  Nearly every professional writer is taught the Fog Index - to make his writing easy to read: to write using simple words, active verbs and short, clear, concise sentences.
  Every good public speaker grows up with former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill as a model. He "hurled words into battle": "We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France. We shall fight in the seas and oceans. We shall fight on the beaches, in the fields, in the streets, and in the hills. We shall never surrender."
  So we make a sincere plea to those who have made or researched the changes that are needed in learning: please remember Churchill, and hurl your words into action - simply and crisply - to rally a world for change.

* We hasten to agree that there ARE definite stages of brain growth, physical growth and in the development of sensory-learning - which we will explore. Piaget's worst legacy is in the education systems using his theories to justify not exposing young children to experiences when their sense are ideally developed to benefit.

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