Thinking is vital to all learningAlvin Polan's May 26...

the Forum

June 03, 1993

Thinking is vital to all learning

Alvin Polan's May 26 letter purports to have the answer to our national and state "education problem." Unfortunately, Mr. Polan is misguided in his thinking.

He suggests that children should be taught how to think during hour-long sessions with the school media specialist. Thinking, he insists, should be a "separate process in education."

I could not disagree more. Students should be encouraged to think in all curriculum areas. How can they be taught to apply their thinking skills to any aspect of their lives if those skills are taught in isolation?

We are finally realizing that students should be taught how the content in one curriculum area relates to and is enhanced by all other areas. For example, students in "science class" are using math to help solve problems. They write about their findings and read to learn more. What a shame to omit "thinking" from this process.

As a teacher, I would like to know which content area I should eliminate from my schedule in order to make room for Mr. Polan's "thinking" seminar. Something would have to go.

I do not doubt the ability of my school media specialist to engage my students in thinking. In fact, I realize the potential that all of my colleagues have to teach students the thinking skills they need in ways that make sense to them.

Paul Norfolk


The scouter's oath

It was a dark and stormy night. The rain was coming down in sheets and the buildings shook as the thunder reverberated off the walls.

Fifty miles from home a vehicle limped into the parking lot of the McDonald's Restaurant in Calverton, a suburb of Washington, D.C., along Interstate 95.

As the vehicle came to a stop you could see oil smoke pouring out from under it. A man stepped out, crossed the parking lot and entered the restaurant. In the light you could see that the man was wearing the uniform of a Boy Scout leader.

The scouter approached the store's manager, produced his Triple A card and asked if he could use the telephone to call for help. The store manager simply said no and turned his back on the scouter.

One of the employees then took pity on the man and directed him to a pay telephone about a block away.

The scouter thanked the girl and walked back out into the rain.

While standing in the rain and waiting for a tow truck to arrive, I wondered at just how high that self-imposed standard of the Scout Oath really is: "To help other people at all times."

From time to time we should all stop and reflect on our own actions and how we each relate to others. It is easy to live that part of the oath "to help others" when it is a friend. It is much more difficult when the other is a stranger.

Robert T. Moorefield


The writer is a Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner from the Shot Tower District.

Clean streets

As a resident of Baltimore City for the past 36 years, I grew up in a neighborhood where every Saturday the children of the neighborhood swept the streets, picked up papers and swept in front of our homes. We lived in a clean neighborhood.

We didn't need the city clean up crew to do our dirty work. We took pride in our surroundings. My parents' neighborhood still remains a clean place to live.

But as I drive through the streets of Baltimore I am appalled at the amount of trash lining the streets and alleys.

In the neighborhood where I reside, the neighbors come out once a month and clean the sidewalks and streets in front of our homes. Recently, a successful flower campaign was launched, where money was collected from willing participants, and flowers were bought and planted.

The 2000 block of Madison Avenue is a clean place to live, thanks to the neighbors who participate on a monthly basis. It only takes an hour or two to make a difference.

All neighborhoods should follow suit. Take the time to beautify your own surroundings, pick up the paper in front of your homes, TC clean out the alleys, plant flowers. You will be surprised at what a little muscle can do.

We live on this planet together. Every person can make a difference.

Jacqueline I. Caldwell


Cylburn fan

Cylburn Arboretum has had to struggle for years to resist desecration by enlargement of Coldspring New Town.

To impinge on this island of natural beauty by allowing houses to be built closer than 75 feet from park borders and breaching its fence for access from these houses is hard to justify.

It is an action which ignores all of the lessons which should have been learned from past development in unique habitats.

The city, the developers and the current residents of Coldspring must recognize the absurdity of trading a few more houses for a place as special as Cylburn.

Peggy Bohanan


Cars kill

On May 21, a 10-year-old boy was killed while riding a bike with his father and sister. He was hit by a man who has been charged with driving while intoxicated and hit-and-run.

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