August 11, 2014

From we find the following facts re: literacy (citations referenced):

1.  2/3 of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare.  .  .  .

2.  1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read.

3.  Kids who don’t read proficiently by 4th grade are 4 times likelier to drop out of school.  .  .  .

4.  As of 2011, America was the only free-market OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) country where the current generation was less well educated than the previous.  .  .  .

Equally disturbing, only 24 percent of this nation’s 4th graders are able to form opinions from what they read, and only 34 percent of our high school seniors can. The majority of our working adult population cannot successfully comprehend anything written beyond a fourth-grade reading level.

Yet, if we can re-define what we mean by “literacy” and place our primary focus on learning, we will find that opportunity is knocking.

And that knocking our imaginations should hear is for the full-motion, optional audio, fully branched, multiple learning-style accommodation programming that will welcome the majority of Americans to full inclusion in the social and economic benefits of an advanced democratic society.  The learning media that I am advocating will contribute as much to the world as the writers of instructional materials do today.  Digital technology is catching up to the new learning culture requirements in a very short time.

Now, I am a big believer in the development of advanced reading skills for certain career paths and for certain professions.  But understand that the real problem today is that this nation is ignoring more than half of its adult and child populations simply because we mistakenly believe there is a direct correlation between “smart” and vocabulary recognition.

We are sensory beings.  The more of our senses that can be involved, the more completely and enjoyably we learn.  Even better, the more of our senses that become involved with the learning experience, the greater our retention.  Nobody is trying to exclude the one-third of us who are comfortable in a reading-based learning environment.  We’ll respond favorably to instructionally sound media-based learning, too.  But for the two-thirds in this nation who have little learning culture choice, the full motion learning designs and programs being created will be pivotal.

My emphasis, then, is on full motion, instructionally sound media, with optional audio, whose focus is on the two-thirds of our citizens who today are at serious risk because of the changing job requirements in America.

The quicker we get on-board, the sooner we’ll see the necessary increases in meaningful learning!

More on Wednesday – – – – –


— Bill Walton:  co-Founder, ITC Learning  (Mondays & Wednesdays)