Friday, February 4, 2011

How can we ensure children are educated for success in school?

The most popular question of a five-year old child is “Why?” Why is that? It is because children are working on building a logical map of how the world operates. Each time an answer to the question is received, another connection is made – between a cause and an effect. Logical maps are easier to remember than just memorizing facts.

What happens as children progress through school? In many cases, the educational system in America (and possibly many other countries as well) has discouraged the usage and development of critical thinking skills. Critical thinking skills are a key part of the foundation for living a successful and happy life.

This leads me to wonder about what really should be taught in the educational system, from grade school through junior high school and high school. In America, children spend twelve years learning the basic skills and knowledge. I think we should carefully evaluate what is being taught during those twelve years to ensure the best potential of the children can be achieved in their personal and professional lives.

One skill that is important is critical thinking skills. An effective way to learn these skills is by learning the Theory of Constraints (TOC) Thinking Processes (TP). TOC for Education (TOCfE) is a not-for-profit organization which has taught millions of children, educators and administrators around the world the TOC TP. To learn more about the TP and TOCfE, see

I shall end this blog with one example of an application of the TP. When the educational system was formed in America, it was designed to run for nine months of the year, with three months off from school during the summer. What was the logic underlying this decision? It was because the children needed to help their families with farming in the summer. Now that this is no longer the situation, shouldn’t we reevaluate what is the best way to educate our children? What are the negative effects of them having a whole three months off each year from their education? Perhaps it would be better to spread shorter breaks of two or three weeks across the calendar year instead.

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