THE KNOWLEDGE CRISIS
By R.C. Murray
May 31, 2008
long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight
in their scorning,
and fools hate knowledge?” --Proverbs 1:22
How do you define reading? If you had to give a common sense definition of reading, what would you say? Here’s a hint: reading is a decoding process. Does that help? No. Okay, how about this?
Reading is a process by which a person looks at (or touches, in the case of Braille readers) the written page, decoding those 26 symbols we call letters, which when linked together in a deliberate way build words, which when grouped methodically together communicate a complete thought.
Read that again to be sure you understand. Would you be surprised if I told you that modern public school educrats would say you’re reading if I did the decoding for you, if I read to/for you? That’s why teachers are expected to read to/for their students all the way through high school graduation and why so many public school graduates can’t even read a newspaper, much less a controversial, non-fiction book like mine: Legally STUPiD: Why Johnny doesn’t have to read.
Reading is being able to decode and therefore understand something someone else has written. The oldest evidence of civilization goes back about 6,000 years and the oldest written language – cuneiform – just happens to be over 5,000 years old. In essence, civilization began when people learned to read and write. [Save that thought for later.] Things were written down to keep records and to communicate something, which meant that someone had to be able to read. What was written/read included information about agriculture, government, architecture, civil and criminal law, military conquests and religion. These early civilizations were still too primitive to know mankind evolved from lower life forms, like politicians, bureaucrats and other slime. Early man looked at the natural world around him and the intricate details in the smallest thing, the vastness of the heavens and in the preset order of the seasons then concluded that some all-powerful being created it all. It’s good not to be educated beyond your intelligence.
In a previous NewsWithViews.com article, Seven Deadly Sins of Public Education, I talked about the difference between teaching reading using phonics and whole language. I said phonics requires the child to memorize 44 phonetic sounds. Did you understand what I meant? A few paragraphs ago, I mentioned the 26 letters that form our alphabet. How do we know how to pronounce each letter? What about vowels – a, e, i, o, u (and sometimes y)? Then there’re those consonant blends – ch, pl, tr, sh, ph, th, st, pr, etc. Spelling rules are also learned as the child uses these phonetic sounds. Soon, he can “sound out” words he hasn’t previously come across in his reading assignments. He can read the word because he understands the decoding process. He learns to understand its meaning by how it’s used in context with other words and by reading even more.
When I said previously that whole language requires kids to memorize whole words on flash cards or other media, did you understand what I meant? If I wanted a child to associate the word apple with a symbol, what sort of picture might I put on a flash card? That’s right. How about the word school? Yep. You’ve got it. Now, how about the word freedom? Or liberty? Maybe opportunity? Integrity? Faith? You can’t picture a picture for these words, can ya? Unlike concrete nouns, adjectives and certain action verbs, it takes a little more thought to produce a flash card with a picture that symbolizes an abstract noun, and therein is the Catch 22. The symbol itself has to be provided and memorized. This sort of memorization becomes indoctrination.
Whole language depends on these symbols to represent words, or they just tell the child to memorize the word with little or no explanation of its meaning. Forget about spelling rules. Go back to the symbol thing now. Forty-seven years ago when the whole language method was called look-say, my Southern 1st grade teacher might have shown us a card with the Confederate flag as a symbol for Southern heritage, duty, and honor. It was okay to do that in those days. In today’s politically corrected society, the rebel battle flag is used as a symbol for oppression, hate, and slavery. With symbols controlled from day one in the public school classroom, not only are our language skills limited, our history has become so altered, most Americans don’t know where we came from and are just as confused about where we’re heading. See Different but Equal, Part I or read Red Republicans and Lincoln’s Marxists by Walter D. Kennedy and Al Benson, Jr.
But didn’t I say letters were symbols? Rather than use symbols (letters) to build words and develop a vocabulary that enables children to decode the symbols into words and words into complete thoughts, whole language devils use whole words to represent symbols from word lists they generate. Their carefully crafted word lists limit the scope and depth of children’s vocabularies because kids never learn a decoding process. The few words they think they know, they memorized. They never really learn to read at all and their vocabularies are so small, they can’t articulate a thought contrary to the prescribed way of thinking. Like George Orwell’s proles, they can’t focus on a single grievance long enough to be a threat to anyone. They lack the verbal skills to communicate with others and rise up against those controlling their minds.
For those who didn’t read my previous NWVs articles, kids taught phonics from kindergarten through 4th grade can develop a reading vocabulary of over 24,000 words. Kids taught the whole language method during the same time period may develop a memorized vocabulary of 1,600 words. Hmmmmm.
Now recall that I asked you to remember the point I made about reading and writing being evidence of civilization. Surely, you can understand that children with poor reading skills are also going to have trouble writing. They haven’t read enough examples of good writing to know how to write, especially since writing is recording your thoughts in a clear, concise way so that someone else attempting to read what you’ve written can decode your thinking process. Since most public school kids can’t do this, it was inevitable that the educrats would also come up with alternatives to writing.
The first way they do this is with group learning. This is where three or four non-readers (called diverse learners) are placed in a group setting with at least one reader (called academically gifted). The writing assignment is given, and of course, the AG kid does the writing project, but all students get credit for the assignment. Everybody passes and no child gets left behind.
Another way they deal with the writing deficiency is thematic visualization. Most public school students are not going to read literature, history or social science texts, and you can forget about expecting them to analyze what they haven’t read, compare it to other texts and write an essay or research paper. What teachers are told to do is to allow students to visually express how they feel about a particular theme in the assignment that you read to/for them. Let them draw pictures, cut out paper dolls or produce a power point presentation. Like cavemen, they’re encouraged to draw it. Civilization is gone!
Please note the Bible verse that introduces this article. The Book of Proverbs is a book about knowledge and or more specifically, knowledge rightly applied – wisdom. America’s greatest crisis isn’t political, economic or environmental. As Jim R. Schwiesow recently warned us, America is dying because of a spiritual cancer that’s eating the life out of this nation. But our people suffer because they lack knowledge, and their knowledge deficiency is the crisis that has led to our spiritual apostasy.
This former Christian nation now restricts Christian influence in every spectrum of American life, from our classroom to our courts, even in our military. Military chaplains no longer pray “in Jesus name.” Take a moment sometime and listen to invocations and benedictions at military ceremonies. Each prayer ends in something generic, like “in thy holy name” or “in thy blessed name.” They dare not name the name of Jesus! Our government wouldn’t want to offend anyone – except Christians, and we don’t matter. But I submit to our foolish government leaders, unless or until those chaplains pray in Jesus’ name, their prayers are little more than hot air in the wind!!!
The knowledge crisis that will ultimately destroy this country may at least be postponed if those of us who believe the Bible and support the U.S. Constitution will stand up for what we say we believe. We must teach the simple before they become scorners and fools. Scorners are already so full of doubt they ridicule us about the promise of his coming, and fools are too full of themselves they say in their hearts there is no God.
Some scorner-teachers I know told me it was futile to fight The System, that I might as well protect my job and not let it bother me that I was expected to pass kids who couldn’t read or write. Some fool-administrators I know told me with all sincerity that reading to/for a high school student was the same thing as having the child read for himself and that allowing a diverse learner to copy the work of the AG child was not cheating.
In the political realm, scorners tell us we have to choose between two evils. Fools tell us there’s a marked difference between the two major political parties and that voting for a third party candidate like Chuck Baldwin and the Constitution Party is a wasted vote.
You and I can’t do anything for scorners and fools but pray. We can, however, talk to those simple, “God and Gun,” blue collar democrats Obombus reaches out to with bitter sarcasm [in all 57 states] and Hellery tells she is now against NAFTA, at least until after the election. If only we can show them the union jobs for which they’ve have sacrificed their faith in God and risked their 2nd amendment rights to support socialist candidates are going to continue to head to Mexico and China until they turn their support back to the U.S. Constitution and the only political party that stands for it. It’s time they decide what’s really important to them, their jobs or their country.
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We can also talk to those simple, Bible-quoting, flag-waiving republican evangelicals who are just beginning to realize MeCan’t openly says he doesn’t need their vote, so they might want to vote for a candidate that does and who actually represents all the Biblical principals they say they believe. It’s time all Americans who call themselves Christian think about what it means to be like Christ. If it’s choosing between the lesser evil, then vote your lack of conscience. If it’s trusting the Lord to bring about the spiritual revival we need most, then vote for Chuck Baldwin and shock the establishment!
© 2008 - R.C. Murray - All Rights Reserved