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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

CORRECTING TEEN BEHAVIOR IN SCHOOL

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 27, 2020

BRYCE ON EDUCATION

– The need for common sense.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

READER: “Tim, how do we change the trends and thinking among teens in school?” (W.A.R. of Tampa Bay, FL)

This story began with a dialog I have been having with a local Middle School teacher about the addictive nature of technology and blossomed into a discussion related to the problems disciplining students and changing teen behavior in school. His problems are certainly not unique, at least among Florida schools, e.g., students do not respect authority and possess low self-esteem, there is flagrant excessive use of technology, and there is a need for creating a culture of learning in schools. Come to think of it, this is not limited to Florida as I know other out of state school systems with the same problems. All of this distresses teachers who feel frustrated by current policies in public schools, and apathetic school boards.

To this end, I offer three rather obvious suggestions:

1. Instill and enforce discipline. School uniforms and behavior codes go a long way to solving this problem. A simple school uniform eliminates the need to make a fashion statement and puts everyone on the same level. In other words, take personal appearance out of the equation and let student academic records speak for themselves. This is no different than in the workplace which often has dress and conduct codes. Consequently, employee performance is based solely on output and quality. Having such codes in place are nice, but there is one catch; “it is one thing to enact legislation, quite another to enforce it” (Bryce’s Law). Unless the school administrators or teachers are willing to enforce such codes, they are worthless.

A few years ago, I wrote about Caroline Haynes, a principal at the Tendring Technology College in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, UK, a secondary school. She adopted a zero tolerance policy on dress and conduct which led to the suspension of several unruly students. With these people gone, the other students had fewer distractions and could concentrate on their studies. Consequently, student grades flourished dramatically. It also affected social interaction as there was more courtesy between teachers and students, which elevated respect.

To take this further, about five years ago, I was involved with a business program at a local high school. As an experiment, we appointed a “Professional Attire Day,” meaning the students in the business program were asked to dress up. Instead of t-shirts, shorts and gym shoes, they were asked to wear suit and ties for the men, and dresses for the ladies. Afterwards, we implemented a questionnaire for the students to complete in order to evaluate their experience. In general, the day was well received by the students who perceived it as a positive experience. They felt both mentally and physically sharp in their appearance, and appreciated compliments from the teachers who praised them. They also felt “Confident” and “Positive” as a result of dressing up, thereby heightening their self esteem. They also welcomed the idea of a more professional dress code, meaning the students saw the value of dressing properly and yearned for a better dress code.

My teacher friend pointed out schools tend to cater to complaining parents and go soft on the rules. Instead of getting the students to fall in line accordingly, the school must bend to the whims of the deadbeats. This means the minority of misfits are allowed to impact the school culture in a negative way, just the antithesis of Ms. Haynes at the Tendring Technology College.

2. Change the focus in schools away from testing, to learning. As mentioned, a structured school encourages a learning environment. The problem though in Florida, and I suspect elsewhere, is that the focus is on testing only. As a result, students become conditioned to pass tests, but not to think for themselves. The ultimate goal of education is to “learn to learn”; that the individual is encouraged to research and explore the world around them well after their schooling is over, and not just become another robot.

Unfortunately, lecturing, debating, and public speaking have all taken a backseat to testing. Without such vehicles, students do not learn how to properly address and challenge ideas in their walk through life, which handicaps them greatly.

Within the schools, teachers have emerged possessing a “Bachelor’s of Education” degree or higher. This means they are proficient in education but not necessarily equipped to teach a specific course in Algebra, Geometry, Computers, Government, History, etc. As to the latter, I have seen schools who have “Education” teachers charged with running history classes. In it, they play a video of some passage in history and ask students to take a short test on it afterwards. Not surprising, there is no give and take between the teacher and the students. It would make more sense to have the class led by someone with a degree in history, who can lecture, explain why things occurred the way they did, and answer questions from the students. Unfortunately, this approach is fading into the past and we are left with nothing more than memorizing dates.

3. Lockup the cell phones. I have discussed the adverse effects of technology many times over the years. Yes, technology raises dopamine in the brain, the neurotransmitter associated with rewards, and works the same way as cocaine does. For more information on this, read “Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids-and How to Break the Trance Hardcover,” by Dr. Nicholas Kardaras (St. Martin’s Press).

Aside from possibly a handicapped person, there is no need for students to have telephones in the classroom. Some teachers insist on collecting phones prior to a class, others do not. There should be a standard policy instead.

There is a problem though, we now live in an age where “helicopter parents” want to talk to their offspring immediately after a class, particularly if it involves a critical test. If the student reports the test was too tough or was unsure of his/her performance, the parents call to complain to the teacher ASAP, thereby putting the onus of failure on the teacher and not the student.

What I have highlighted here is certainly not new. It is nothing more than common sense, which appears to be rather uncommon these days. Ultimately, it represents the fundamental differences between Public Schools and Charter Schools; whereas one caters to the whims of the students and parents, the other requires the students and parents to comply to school regulations.

All of this ultimately is based on our values (what we regard as right and wrong), perspectives and priorities. Something that has never changed over the years, regardless of the technology and political correctness of the day are three things:

* Teachers are responsible for teaching.

* Students are responsible for learning.

* School boards and school administrators are responsible for creating a culture conducive for both.

If everybody tends to their responsibilities, there should be no problem, right?

However, we must remember it is most definitely not the responsibility of teachers and school administrators to parent the students. They only want to impart the knowledge the students will need to shape their future and encourage them to excel. However, if the school system is lax in terms of providing the proper working environment, they are guilty of negligence and should be reprimanded or removed. Likewise, if the student is not there to learn and only be disruptive, they too should be reprimanded accordingly or removed.

It’s simple, right?

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2020 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Education | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

WHAT EXACTLY IS AN ASSAULT WEAPON?

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 19, 2019

BRYCE ON GUNS

– A little education is in order.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

We are hearing a lot from politicians about banning Assault Weapons. There is a misguided assumption that all military-like rifles are automatic weapons, thereby posing a danger to society and should be banned. This is simply not true and is indicative of how naive the public and politicians can be. As such, the following dissertation will seem elementary to people familiar with guns, but to others, it is sorely needed.

First, let us understand the various types of guns available, but not air rifles and pellet guns which can also be dangerous if mishandled.

Shotguns – make use of a cased-load consisting of pellets or “shot” thereby denoting the name. This is typically discharged using a rifle-like weapon which can be fired one round at a time and is used to hunt small wild game and target shooting (“Trap” and “Skeet”). Such weapons may hold only one shot, two, or multiple shots (usually up to seven) which is loaded either by pump action or a semi-automatic load (see below).

Single shots – are older rifles used to discharge a singe shot at a time, usually with bolt-action, or muskets featuring black powder and ball.

Revolvers – featuring a chambered cylinder typically holding five to six rounds. The bullets are fired as fast as the shooter can pull the trigger, one at a time.

Semi-automatics – have a magazine or clip containing rounds, usually six or more depending on the magazine’s capacity, such as 20, 30, or more. A “semi-auto” simply loads one round at a time into the chamber, and, like the revolver, the bullets can be fired as fast as the shooter can pull the trigger, one at a time. The biggest difference between the semi-auto and the revolver is the former can hold more rounds and is easier to reload ammunition. Semi-autos can be found in shotguns, handguns, and rifles.

Automatic weapons – allows the discharge of many rounds by pulling the trigger once and stopping by releasing the trigger. Automatic weapons are commonly referred to as machine guns. They can automatically load a bullet into the chamber, discharge it, expel the spent casing, and reload the next round, again and again, all in the blink of an eye. Consequently, there is a big difference between automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and this plays an important part in the confusion over Assault Weapons.

Perhaps the two most criticized weapons are the AR-15 and the AK-47. People fallaciously believe the “A” in the model number means “Assault.” No, not even close. The AR-15 means “ArmaLite” – model 15, and was developed by Colt in the early 1960’s. The AK-47 means “Avtomat Kalashnikova” – model 47, and was developed in Russia. The two are certainly not synonymous and have significant differences. However, the design of the AK-47 began in 1945 and came to prominent military use in the 1960’s. It was considered durable and reliable; so much so, it inspired many other rifle designs.

The AR-15 is a lightweight semi-auto with a 20-round magazine. In this regard, it is essentially no different than a semi-auto handgun, which can hold a comparable load, yet can be concealed more easily than a rifle. However, the AR-15 can be configured with different barrels and caliber of ammunition.

The AK-47, on the other hand, has a curved 30-round magazine, but there are also 40-round and 75-round magazines available. In 1974, the Soviets replaced the AK-47 with an improved design in the form of the AK-74. Although the AK-47 and its successor were initially designed as a semi-auto, it can be configured as an effective automatic weapon, which is how the American public perceives an Assault Weapon.

There is one problem with the AK-47; purchasing one, as automatic weapons are incredibly difficult to obtain in this country. However, it is possible to legally obtain an AK-47, but to do so, the purchaser has to go through a rigorous background check. Even if you pass the test, the AK-47 is incredibly expensive, making it cost prohibitive to own.

The AK-47 was specifically designed for military use, the AR-15 was not. So, comparing the AR-15 to the AK-47 is like comparing apples with oranges, they are distinctly different in design and use. Anyone trying to compare them in the same breath simply doesn’t know what they are talking about. Whereas, the AR-15 is more akin to semi-auto handguns, the AK-47 is more comparable to a Thompson machine gun.

Following the last Federal Assault Weapons Ban held from 1994-2004, the Department of Health and Human Services conducted a follow-up study and concluded, “the Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws reviewed for preventing violence.” In other words, the ban did nothing to reduce violent behavior, and maybe that is just the point, it is more about behavior, or mental instability.

What I have tried to describe herein is basic information. Hunters and gun hobbyists already understand this, but the American public is still naive, which is why I am a big proponent of gun education in public schools. Someone who is educated about guns makes a lousy target as he/she will know what to do in the event of an emergency and will have more of a chance to survive an attack. Let us not forget the one organization that champions such education; that’s right, the NRA. Click HERE for safety and education.

So, what is an Assault Weapon? It ultimately depends on how it is used. From this perspective, all guns can be used for wreaking havoc on the public in a deadly melee. Let us suppose the AR-15 and AK-47 were outlawed, as well as handguns. Even then, there is enough capability in a semi-automatic shotgun to inflict considerable damage. So, do we outlaw all guns? This, of course, will be a test of the 2nd Amendment. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with these weapons when they are properly used, but it is the mental stability of the person pulling the trigger which is in question, and a subject nobody wants to address.

But getting back to our original proposition; when we discuss Assault Weapons in the future, let us not mix apples with oranges.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Education, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

WHAT I LEARNED BY 5TH GRADE

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 27, 2019

BRYCE ON HISTORY

– I suspect it is a lot more than what they teach today in high school.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I have recently been a guest on various radio talk shows to discuss the fundamental mechanics of American government. Inevitably, we discuss the teaching of Civics and History in schools, which I believe is lacking. I then recounted what I had learned during my elementary grade school years, which I believe was better than most high schools today.

Let me preface this by saying I attended Fox Run Elementary in Norwalk, Connecticut from 1961-1965, over fifty years ago. I have many fond memories of the school and enjoyed going there. Connecticut is, of course, a part of New England and, as such, there is a great sense of history in terms of the founding of our country. There is also an attachment to the sea as exemplified by the Mystic seaport.

I was attending class at Fox Run when the student body was told of the assassination of President Kennedy by our principal, Mr. Kelly. I was in 4th Grade at the time and vividly remember how it was announced to us, after-which we were dismissed from school. Nonetheless, Fox Run taught the usual subjects of reading, writing, and arithmetic, but there was also a very strong curriculum for history.

During my time there, we watched the NASA Mercury and Gemini space programs during lunch hall on televisions brought in for us. Knowing the historical significance of the space program, the teachers made a concerted effort for us to watch the space shots which enraptured many of us.

In Social Studies class, we learned about the famous explorers of the world and why they traveled the seas to find new lands. We learned about Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, Vasco da Gama, Hernando de Soto, and others. We also learned about the Pilgrims, the Virginians, and the native Indians. The intent was to discuss how these various cultures affected each other, both good and bad. There was no discussion of political correctness, just “this is what happened” and when.

In all grades, we began the day by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, and sang a patriotic song, such as “God Bless America,” “America the Beautiful,” and of course, the “Star-Spangled Banner.” We also observed Columbus Day by reviewing his voyage.

It was in 5th grade where the teachers zeroed in on American history. Naturally, we had a text book to study, but there was a lot of discussion on how the country was founded, going back to the French and Indian Wars, followed by the Revolution, and the Declaration of Independence. Keep in mind, as New Englanders we were all familiar with various historical sites in the area, so the Revolutionary War was near and dear to our hearts.

We read the Declaration, discussed how and why it was created, and committed quite a bit of it to memory, particularly, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Likewise, we memorized the preamble of the Constitution, to wit: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

In discussing the Constitution, it was impressed upon us the three “separate but equal branches of government”; the executive, legislative, and judicial, and how this formed “checks and balances” on each other. We also reviewed the Bill of Rights and discussed how to amend the Constitution.

We spent considerable time discussing the Civil War, including why we went to war, the horrors of it, and the principals involved on both sides. Although we were Connecticut Yankees, I do not remember my teachers ever besmirching the names of southerners like General Robert E. Lee, or President Jefferson Davis. Again, there was no discussion of political correctness, just “this is what happened” and when.

In addition to the generals and politicians of the day, we also learned about Abolitionist John Brown, Nurse Clara Barton, Assassin John Wilkes Booth, the Underground Railroad, and the Gettysburg Address. As to the Address, we studied it carefully. Although we were not asked to memorize it, I know of others who had to do so as it was considered almost as important as the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

After the Civil War, we studied Reconstruction, the various Presidents, World War I (which our grandfathers served in), and World War II (which our fathers served in). We spent time discussing Hitler’s rise to power, as well as the Holocaust, which was a real eye-opener to us if memory serves me right.

In looking back on this curriculum, it wasn’t too bad and we had no problem digesting it. I don’t know if Fox Run still teaches it, but I hope they do. I suspect we weren’t unique as I have discussed this with other friends my age who experienced similar teachings elsewhere.

It was this teaching that planted the seeds of history within me, which would later be supplemented in High School with more in-depth discussions, but the foundation was carefully laid at Fox Run. From my experience, what I learned there is much better than what is taught in the high schools today.

And, Yes, we learned the differences between a Democracy and a Republic.

By the way, thank you Mr. Hamilton and Mrs. Gilmore, wherever you may be.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Education, Government, History | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

WHAT TO DO ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION?

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 29, 2018

BRYCE ON IMMIGRATION

– Let’s try something else, such as education.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Last Sunday (Nov 25th) a group from the “Caravan,” a group of Central American migrants marching to the U.S. border, breached the border and tried to elude Homeland Security officers. In the process, some hurled rocks and bottles at U.S. officials who, in turn, shot tear gas at the crowd to break it up. No lethal force was used and about 50 people were apprehended after illegally crossing the border. All will likely be deported.

Conservatives see the “Caravan” as a legitimate invasion of our sovereignty, and they support President Trump’s deployment of military personnel along the border to prevent this from happening. They are also in favor of closing the Mexican border should the Caravan persist in trying to enter the country illegally. Liberals, on the other hand, portray the members of the Caravan as sympathetic characters who are destitute and deserve help. It is easy to sympathize with such people, but when they wave their own flag during their march, it is obvious their loyalty is with their homeland and are only interested in the economic benefits the United States has to offer, such as medical care, education, shelter, and food.

The difference between Left and Right here is whether it is necessary to follow “due process” in entering the United States. Whereas Conservatives are inclined to follow the rule of law, the Liberals want the borders opened for anyone to enter. Again, such a policy would threaten our sovereignty and ultimately bankrupt the country trying to pay for a massive influx of immigrants.

Let’s be clear about this, we cannot possibly accommodate anyone and everyone wanting to enter our country. We may be the greatest country in the world with a charged-up economy, but we simply cannot take care of everyone; it is not economically feasible to do so.

Central America has long been known for corruption, drugs, and strong-armed government tactics. Regardless if they claim to be free and independent republics, their label of “Banana Republics” has not gone away, particularly those participating in the Caravan, including Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, et al.

Historically, America has sent these countries money as foreign aid, which is typically plundered by their governments; military weapons, which are used to keep the populace in check (and the dictator du jour in power), and; food and medicine to nourish the needy, but this often fails as well. Instead of planting the seed grain and reap the harvest, there is the temptation to consume the grain instead. Frankly, none of this has truly altered conditions in Central America which has stagnated for many decades.

How about something different, such as education? We’ve done this on a small scale with the Peace Corps and other groups, but we need to go beyond the basics and offer advanced courses. If outsiders truly believe America is great, they should want to replicate us, which begins with education. This includes teaching them to teach themselves.

Our founding fathers, such as Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Hamilton, and Adams were remarkable primarily because of their education. They were well versed in such subjects as law, philosophy, mathematics, languages, history, geography, architecture, speech, and theology. Without this background, it is unlikely the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution would have been written. This, of course, led to our separation from Great Britain, and allowed us to become the great country everyone wants to come to.

Education was deemed critical to the success of our new country, based on the premise it encouraged patriotism and citizenship, hence the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 was created by our first Congress. The legislation includes verbiage stating, “Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” This led the public education system we know today which children are required to attend. Prior to this, only the children of rich families attended private schools. This also led to the creation of the first college in the northwest, Ohio University in 1804, my alma mater.

The point is, by cultivating education in other countries, we would not just be improving their skill sets, but we would be encouraging the populace to think for themselves and determine a proper form of government; something that feeds and protects its people, encourages invention and innovation, thereby creating jobs. There would be no reason to flee a country with peace and economic stability. And the United States would no longer be faced with an invasion of illegal immigrants.

The big question though is, do they really want to improve their homeland or forever seek handouts from other countries? If it is the latter, it will be necessary to toughen our immigration laws and borders. If it is the former, education will build better and more self-sufficient neighbors, as well as better trading partners. So, will it be education or tear gas? Forget sending them money, food and arms, invest in education instead. The return will be mind-boggling. Our own history proves it.

Just remember, the inscription at the Statue of Liberty reads:

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

It doesn’t read:

“Give me your deadbeats, your criminals, and those too lazy to improve their own country.”

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Education, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

TAKING PUBLIC EDUCATION FOR GRANTED

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 17, 2018

BRYCE ON EDUCATION

– People today do not appreciate the value of a high school diploma.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I want to talk a little on education. Some things have been bothering me. Today, we hear a lot of young people demanding a right to free higher education, or at the very least paying off their college debt. As I’ve said before, higher education should be treated as a privilege in this country, certainly not a right. So much is the push for college education, I believe the institution of America’s public education system is under-appreciated. As I would remind everyone, we should be proud of our public education system. Could it stand improvement? Certainly, but that is only natural. You have to remember this institution ultimately represents our national personality and is the key to our future. As such, it should be prized and definitely not taken for granted.

First, a little history. In planning for the future, when additional states would inevitably join the union, the first Congress devised the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 which, among other things, included Article 3 stating, “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

This led to the public school system which was provided to all citizens. For the first time, parents were required to send their children to school, which was enforced by town magistrates. This was based on the premise education would lead to a spirit of community, national patriotism, and prosperity. It was founded on the belief education would develop better citizens and make them more productive.

In 1835, noted historian and political commentator Alexis de Tocqueville, a Frenchman, published his famous book, “Democracy in America,” which was an analysis of our young country as compared to those in Europe. This was based on his travels through America in 1831 and 1832. The book, which is frequently referenced even to this day, contains his observations on the young country, everything from its geographical layout, to its culture, and particularly its new political system as a democratically elected republic, as opposed to a monarchy.

Tocqueville was particularly taken by the American public education system. He was amazed to see children as young as second grade be completely literate, something normally reserved for the aristocracy in Europe. He was also taken by how knowledgeable children were in the workings of the government as defined by the U.S. Constitution. He wrote, “It cannot be doubted that, in the United States, the instruction of the people powerfully contributes to the support of a democratic republic;”

Tocqueville was so impressed, he wrote the following, “But it is in mandates relating to public education that, from the outset, the original character of American civilization is revealed in the clearest light.”

I believe we have forgotten the purpose of public education, which is to learn lessons, not just memorization for the purpose of testing. One key component missing is to teach young people to “learn to learn,” which leads to a lifetime of inquiry. Instead, we have developed a generation who do nothing more than “learn to test.” This is one reason why I am not a proponent of Common Core. It is more important to teach the student to think and endeavor to find an answer as opposed to simply programming the person.

There was a time when we used to prize a high school diploma, that it meant something important. During the Great Depression of the 20th century many people had to drop out of school to go to work to help support the family. To them, a high school diploma was a prized possession, as was a junior high school diploma. The idea of attending college was simply out of the question.

Today, college has been sold to us as the natural next step in our development, that we cannot succeed without it. This explains why young people believe they have a right to it and should be free. However, I believe high school guidance counselors have put too much emphasis on attending college. For example, trade schools are sorely needed today to teach fundamental skills such as plumbing, electrical work, manufacturing, tool and die, automotive, programming, etc. Not only are these skills very much in demand, they pay well too. However, counselors tend to pooh-pooh them, as well as a hitch in the military. Due to declining socialization skills, as well as morality and the family unit, the military provides the structure and sense of purpose many young people need, as well as basic skills. They also open the door to higher education at a later date.

Something else, I’m told a lot of teachers today hold a degree in education, and not a specific field of study, such as history, English, or a branch of science or math, etc. As such they rely on videos to explain a lesson, followed by a quiz. It seems to me, without give-and-take between the teacher and the students, this is watering down the learning process.

One last note, as I believe our children are not properly learning American government anymore, I would like to see the Constitution taught in the classroom again, not as a quiz but as a dialog in order to engage the students. Sounds like a suitable question to ask politicians in the upcoming elections, doesn’t it?

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Education, History | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

IN THE WAKE OF PARKLAND

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 27, 2018

BRYCE ON SCHOOL SAFETY

– Are we attacking the symptoms of gun violence or true problems?

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

We all suffered to some degree following the shootings in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day, particularly the High school students there. Their pain is legitimate, their solution to the problem is not. Any time we have a disaster like this, the Left likes to point fingers at assault weapons, the FBI, the NRA, and their favorite target, Mr. Trump. In other words, everyone but the shooter himself. This knee-jerk reaction is obviously done for political purposes and addresses merely the symptoms, not the root problem.

Even if government banned the popular AR-15, there are many other rifles with similar capabilities, and if you were to ban them all, there are still semi-automatic shotguns which can do a lot of damage quickly, not to mention handguns. And if you were to ban all guns, there would be another weapon du jour, such as a road-side bomb, or simply a car ramming into a crowd.

Following the last Federal Assault Weapons Ban held from 1994-2004, the Department of Health and Human Services conducted a follow-up study and concluded, “the Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws reviewed for preventing violence.” In other words, the ban did nothing to reduce violent behavior.

The NRA is frequently criticized and portrayed by Democrats as the bogeyman of violence. As advocates of the Second Amendment, their support of gun safety, education, and animal conservation is conveniently overlooked. True, the NRA supports various politicians, just like many other lobbyists. Hampering their ability to make such donations should only be done with sweeping reform of all lobbyists, not just the NRA. Their vilification is just plain wrong.

There are three areas that need to be addressed:

1. Discipline & Education

The shooter in Parkland came from a broken home, which probably explains why he had trouble differentiating right from wrong. It is no secret the family unit has been deteriorating over the years. It is common for children today to be raised by a single adult who is usually overworked and too tired to manage their offspring properly, and there are others who simply abdicate their parental responsibilities and allow their children to find their own way through life, with the assistance of the Hollywood media. Not surprising, morality is on the decline in this country and shaping the character of our youth. I find it rather remarkable we do not take Hollywood to task for the wanton violence they promote.

Not surprising, I’m a proponent of teaching parenting skills as part of an adult education program, perhaps at the schools in the evenings.

Since parents appear unwilling or unable to teach proper behavior, perhaps some basic classes for the students in morality and common courtesy are in order.

Discipline and respect are in decline in schools. For example, consider this letter sent from a middle school Science teacher in Dunedin, Florida to his PTA following the Parkland incident:

“I am a science teacher here at DHMS and I wanted to share this information with you. This is the real problem; the system is broken to where we cannot do anything or exact any meaningful consequences for this type of student. This article I found today from the Miami Herald describes at least a dozen students here at our school. We write referrals, they might even get suspended for a day or two, but these ‘nightmare’ children return and terrorize our campus as soon as the consequence is served. Students that get reassigned to Pinellas Secondary School end up coming right back after a semester. The description of the student in the first paragraph (aside from bringing bullets) describes many students that never receive a consequence, or are categorized as ‘Special Education’, ‘Emotionally/Behaviorally Disabled’, and know that the school cannot do anything about their atrocious behavior. Before we attack people’s 2nd Amendment Rights, we need to attack our legislators and School Board for forcing administrators to keep these dangerous students in our schools despite their repeated warning signs of violent tendencies. Until we can enact change to report and remove these students, these tragedies will continue. I have been physically assaulted by a student this very school year, pressed charges, and the student continues to walk the hallways and brag about who all he has ‘beat up’. We spot these students early on, and dread their presence, but have absolutely no legal way to protect the rights of the rest of the population from these predators.”

As corporal punishment is no longer allowed in schools as a deterrent for misbehavior, disciplining children is next to impossible, and without it, student grades are affected. To illustrate, ten years ago I wrote about Caroline Haynes, a school principal in Great Britain who caught the attention of the press when she started to implement strict discipline in the classroom. She is with the Tendring Technology College in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, UK, a secondary school which, when translated to the American equivalent, is a private school for children ages 11-19. Her “zero tolerance” policy for misbehavior resulted in a school environment where students were freed to concentrate on their studies and, consequently, improved their grades significantly. I was told the students actually liked the discipline and preferred it over chaos. This is consistent with my contention that people tend to thrive in a structured environment which is well organized and leadership is strong, whether it is in school or in business.

There is also something to be said about implementing school dress codes to influence behavior. Such codes help to promote conformity and decorum. A local high school recently experimented with a “Professional Attire Day,” meaning the students in the business program were asked to dress up for a day. Instead of t-shirts, shorts and gym shoes, they were asked to wear suit and ties for the men, and dresses for the ladies. Remarkably, the lion’s share of students liked the change and took pride in looking their best. The students were questioned about their experience afterwards and reported they felt more positive and confident when dressed up as opposed to being dressed down. Interestingly, they appreciated the respect they received from their teachers regarding their appearance and deportment. The students comprehended the effect of a professional image, both at school and beyond. Some genuinely yearned for a better school dress code as opposed to the slovenly appearance which was currently the norm.

One last note regarding education, some time ago I wrote about my experience attending a concealed weapons class here in Florida. Other states have similar programs. In my case I was impressed with the professionalism and knowledge of the instructors, and felt this was something everyone should be exposed to. An informed public is less likely to become a victim and more likely to survive a shooting situation. Anyone who has attended such a class would probably agree, education is the key. Everyone from Middle School onward should be taught the lessons of gun safety. Even children in Elementary grades should learn some of the basics.

The only problem with these suggestions for education and discipline is they are considered socially unacceptable and, as such, will likely be spurned as opposed to embraced. Parents will probably not be inclined to learn new parenting techniques, claiming they haven’t got the time. They also tend to oppose dress codes as they see it as inhibiting the creativity of the individual, and have no appreciation for the benefits of teamwork. And gun safety classes will be perceived as promoting violence, when in reality, it is just the opposite. This means, the parents and students do not want to put forth the effort to thwart school violence through such education and hope it can be stopped through other means, such as changes in the law. The only problem here though is you cannot legislate morality.

2. Review and revise our rules for obtaining guns.

Following Parkland, there was much discussion about raising the age of a person to own a gun. The argument here is that if a person can join the military at 18 and fight for his/her country, then 18 should be the age. The one difference though is that the military provides proper instruction in the handling of firearms, something others do not receive. Again, I am a proponent of gun safety classes. If a person can be certified, such as through an NRA class, they should know how to properly handle a firearm.

The most difficult aspect to ascertain is the mental stability of the individual, which was at the heart of the problem in Parkland and other shooting scenes. Here, students, teachers, parents, and shooting instructors should be trained in terms of looking for signs of trouble and how to report a problem. Again, it’s a matter of education. In the case of the Parkland shooter, his social media was full of obnoxious references to shooting. This should have raised some red flags in the system. Unfortunately, it did not.

3. Fortification

The era of using schools as gun free zones is quickly coming to an end. Such zones embolden shooters as they realize they are soft targets. School perimeters need to be secured to eliminate unauthorized access. This was a significant problem at Parkland.

Training and arming school personnel should also be considered either using existing staff or hiring supplemental people to secure and defend the school campus.

Such measures as mentioned herein seem unimaginable to those of us who grew up in a different time when we respected our teachers, loved our school, and as such, had no need for school resource officers. But times have changed. Back in the early 1970’s you could simply go to the airport, show your ticket to your flight attendant, hop on a plane and leave. You obviously cannot do this anymore as tight security is now required. The same is true in our schools, it is a new time and we can no longer afford to operate as we did forty years ago. Our social mores and morality have changed radically, making this a much more dangerous time for those attending our schools. It is time to improvise, adapt, and overcome just as we did in our airports.

Even if you implemented all these measures, including the abolition of guns completely, you are never going to solve the problem 100%. There will always be the issue of a social misfit or radicalized person waiting for an opportunity to seek violence. It’s not about the choice of weapon, it’s about the human being. It always has been, and always will be. It is not so much about what laws, rules and regulations we enact as it is about treating human frailties and maturity. Education, discipline, and a little common sense will go much further than banning guns altogether.

Let us stop attacking the symptoms, it is time to look in the mirror and address the true problem.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Education, Politics, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

THE COLLEGE DEBT GETS DEEPER

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 19, 2017

BRYCE ON EDUCATION

– It’s now growing faster than we envisioned.

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Back in 2011 I wrote a column regarding the growing college debt. At the time, the amount surpassed the $1T threshold, representing an acceleration of borrowing. For the first time ever, Americans owed more on college loans as opposed to credit cards, which is a frightening thought.

This led to a movement of young people in Occupy Wall Street to demand a means to lesson the financial hardship. Then, during the 2016 presidential election, the Democrats embraced the idea of expunging the college debt completely and let the American taxpayer assume the cost. Fortunately, this didn’t happen, and students remain on the hook for their own loans.

Today, according to a Consumer Federation of America analysis of U.S. Department of Education data, the number of people defaulting on their student loans is steadily on the rise. More than 3,000 borrowers default on their loans EVERY DAY. In 2016, 42.4 million American students owed $1.3T in loans. To make matters worse, the number of defaults grew from 3.6M in 2015 to 4.2M in 2016. (Click for report).

Such financial woes leave a black mark on credit records, making it harder to get a good paying job, or purchasing a house, condo, or automobile. It should therefore come as no surprise that more and more Millennials are staying home, and fewer are driving.

Americans place a lot of emphasis on education but we should be mindful of the fact that attending college is not a right, but a privilege. During the Depression years prior to World War II, there was no more than 1.4 million college level students attending approximately 1.7 thousand institutions of higher education. Today, according to the Digest of Education Statistics, over 19.1 million students attend 4.4 thousand colleges, a quantum increase. Since the 1960s alone, when colleges experienced an influx of students seeking refuge from the Vietnam war, enrollment has more than doubled.

Back in the Depression, money was scarce and, as such, it was common for all of the members of a family to work, often sacrificing higher education in the process. Back then, a high school diploma was considered a prestigious achievement. Even a junior high diploma was prized as some people could not afford to rise above this level.

Regardless of what school counselors tell students, COLLEGE IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. Other institutions offer fine programs which lead to good paying jobs, such as trade schools and the military. Yet, these are typically pooh-poohed by the counselors which performs a disservice to students.

Let us also consider the spiraling cost of colleges. Although this is hard to pin down with precise certainty, the lion’s share of costs for college operations appears to be in salaries and benefits (such as health insurance, pensions, etc.), and with cost-of-living adjustments and a competitive market place, labor costs are growing unabated.

Between rising college costs and the ability for students to pay for it, college enrollment has recently plateaued, but the Department of Education expects a slight bump to slowly grow over the next ten years. Regardless, the economic reality is that colleges cannot continue to operate as business as usual. we will likely see a downsizing of faculty and trimmed operating costs in the next few years.

As for the students, there is no panacea on the horizon for the debts they incur. And that is just the point, they incurred it, not the American taxpayer. It was their decision to go to college, not the public’s. This is why I continue to say higher education is a privilege, most certainly not a right. At some point, they have to learn what it means to earn your way through life. If you cannot afford it, there are other options available to you. Again, COLLEGE IS NOT FOR EVERYONE.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  THE SECRET OF MASONIC HANDSHAKES – What does it represent?

LAST TIME:  TALKING TO YOURSELF  – What it says about you.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Education | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

TRAINING MULES

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 6, 2017

BRYCE ON TRAINING

– What to do when you have one in your class.

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Over the years I have conducted numerous professional training programs, including: Project Management, Enterprise Engineering, Systems Engineering, Information Resource Management, etc. These courses are either held at the customer’s site or our own premises. Unlike a school setting with long semesters, a professional instructor has a limited amount of time to convey his points to the students, usually just a few days at most. This can be a daunting task if you happen to have a “mule” as a student. I use the term “mule” to refer to a person who stubbornly refuses to participate in a course for a variety of reasons, mostly arrogance. Such people ignore the instructor and either sleep during the class, work on something unrelated, or wants to frequently take breaks usually to call someone on the phone or disappear from class settings. “Mules” can have an adverse effect on the class by becoming a distraction, particularly if it is a senior person. Nonetheless, as instructor you are being paid to teach specific lessons to a whole group of people, not just a few.

To overcome the “mule” problem, there are a few things you can do. First, you want to avoid alienating the mule if possible. Instead, you want to get his/her support and participation. This is why introductions are so important to any class. A firm handshake and good eye contact can help establish a rapport between students and their instructor. I also ask each person to describe their title, background, and what they hope to learn from the course. This tips me off as to where their interests reside and who the potential mules might be. I also ask the students to turn off communication devices as I want to eliminate potential distractions. In addition, I tell the class what the schedule will be, how I will run the class, what kind of questions they can ask and when, and other introductory comments. I also prefer a classroom where the chairs are hard and the room is cold, thereby causing people to sit up and pay attention.

Aside from these basics, there are three ways to engage a “Mule” student:

1. Repetition – repeating key concepts, preferably with a catchy slogan and/or graphic, helps ingrain the concept in the person’s mind through association. School teachers have understood this technique for a long time, as well as political brain washers. By simply repeating something over and over again, and relating it to something simple they can associate with, a person is inclined to remember it, even the most stubborn of “Mules.”

2. Keep the “Mule” active in the course. In my courses I typically assign each student with a slide from my presentation. Near the end of the class, I have each student give a five minute presentation on the subject matter referred to on the slide and take questions from the class. I do this in a precise sequence so it will serve as a summary recap of the course. This also encourages students to ask questions where they might feel intimidated to ask the instructor. As for “Mules,” it forces them to pay attention as they know the other students will be critiquing their presentation. Basically, I am applying peer pressure on the “Mule.”

3. Openly challenge the “Mule” and put him/her on the spot. However, I only do this as a last resort. Here I will openly criticize the “Mule” for his/her behavior and try to shame them into participating. Such action may be drastic, and may invoke the hostility of the student, but sometimes you have to hit a mule over the head with a 2 X 4 just to get his attention. Some companies are actually hoping you, the outsider, will tackle this sticky problem for them. Some people will rise to the occasion only if you openly challenge them. There will be others who will feel threatened and become despondent if you go too far, which is why, as instructor, you have to be careful. Confronting a person privately during break time can also prove effective.

We commonly say a person is as “stubborn as a mule” when he will not listen to other people’s advice and change their way of doing things. In a professional training class, we are trying to introduce some new ideas and change some habits. The instructor is charged with indoctrinating the students with the concepts, but it will be up to management to follow-up to assure the students are implementing what they are taught. In other words, the instructor can only go so far.

One last piece of advice, in a professional training situation, instructors are not paid to be in a popularity contest. Instead, they must be resourceful and results oriented. Most of your students will follow you if you express confidence in the subject matter, but there will always be at least one “Mule” who will openly defy you. If left unchecked, their attitude can be detrimental to the class overall and you will fail in your mission. One thing is for certain, you cannot simply ignore the “Mule” as he/she will not go away. If you fail to address the problem properly, you will fail as an instructor.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  MY TALK ON CITIZENSHIP – Some thoughts on how to promote citizenship in America.

LAST TIME:  THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LEFT AND RIGHT  – Codes of conduct for both the Democrats and the Republicans.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Education | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

IN EDUCATION, ARE WE MEASURING THE WRONG THING?

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 28, 2016

BRYCE ON EDUCATION

– Is there too much emphasis on metrics?

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

The country’s approach to education is once again under scrutiny, thanks in large part to two recent Gallup polls; one aimed at analyzing political perspective, and another analyzing the effect of education on our youth.

In the first poll, “U.S. Education Ratings Show Record Political Polarization” (Aug 17, 2016), Gallup found satisfaction with public education (K-12) was based on political perspective. Whereas Democrats were generally satisfied (53%), Republicans were not, dropping to a low of 32%. The contrast between the two is sharp but hard to explain.

Some believe the reason is the general Republican refutation of Common Core, a national program to establish standards to evaluate student performance. New techniques for teaching math, science, and history are not being warmly received by the GOP who would rather see local School Boards have more control over curriculum and standards.

The other poll, “Bringing Education Back to Its Roots” (Aug 17, 2016) questions how we evaluate student performance, that we are becoming too obsessed with numbers, and not with the student’s ability to think and be creative.

The poll claims we know how to stuff facts, figures and content into the student, but not how to pull it back out in order to solve problems. To illustrate, they discuss the use of common quizzes and tests as used in the classroom, the push to satisfy state testing requirements, as well as the other formal tests used for college application, e.g., PSAT, ACT, SAT, etc. Such tests denote the student’s ability to memorize, but not how to apply it in real life situations.

In an accompanying video, Brandon Busteed, Executive Director of Education and Workforce Development at Gallup, questioned the excessive use of metrics in his keynote address at the Education Commission of the States’ 2016 National Forum on Education Policy, last June. He claimed our obsession on metrics only addresses one part of education, namely input, but we should also be concerned with output, for that is what we are called on to use in business. Frankly, I couldn’t agree more.

We should be less consumed with our obsession on testing, and more concerned with its application in life.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  AMERICANS DO NOT TRUST THE PRESS – And their popularity is dropping below that of Congress.

LAST TIME:  THE POLITICAL FINANCIERS  – Who really funds our electoral process? No, really?

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Education | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

A COMMUNICATIONS CURRICULUM

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 18, 2016

BRYCE ON EDUCATION

– What should High School students know about this important subject.

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For the last few years I have sat on a board of directors for a special business school at our local high school. The purpose of this program is to prepare students for the business world. In addition to teaching technical skills, community leaders address the students as part of a lecture series. We have discussed such things as career path planning, the use of math in business, adapting to the corporate culture, and more. Recently we began discussing future topics for next year. Among the ideas presented was the subject of communications as it was felt students are having difficulty adapting to business environments without such skills.

Having been a college communications graduate myself, I realize this is a robust subject area. However, for high school students, I considered what would be a suitable curriculum. Keep in mind, a lot of this is based from the vantage point of someone who has had a ring side seat observing management and Information Technology for nearly forty years. Here is what I would like to see adopted for a communications curriculum at the high school level:

Written Communications – Writing a decent business letter is essential, yet we must recognize most of today’s written communications is delivered by e-mail. Nonetheless, learning how to properly address someone, be it for sales or customer service purposes, is necessary for success. Interestingly, it was pointed out to me that most high school students do not use e-mail, preferring text messaging or use of social media instead. I assumed most students made active use of e-mail. Unfortunately, they do not which is another reason for them to brush up on their writing skills.

The fundamentals of giving a speech – whether it is for the presentation of an argument, to perform a lecture, of for humorous purposes, students should understand the basics of rhetorical thought, persuasion, and negotiations. This includes the three canons of speech as represented by ethos (an appeal based on the character of the speaker), pathos (emotional appeal) and logos (logical argument). In discourse, we will likely use all three when making a presentation, but it is necessary students understand what they mean and how to use them. Personally, I would like to see the students stand on a soap box and give a five minute speech to classmates passing by at lunch time. This would help them overcome their fear of speaking and give them the confidence to argue a point.

Conducting a meeting – unless students understand the basics for running a meeting, they will likely waste the time of everyone involved for years to come, thereby turning a useful communications tool into something counterproductive. An introduction to Robert’s Rules of Order (Parliamentary Procedure) would be useful to teach the mechanics of a well structured meeting.

Interviewing – this will likely affect their lives going forward from now on, be it for a job or for college placement.

And finally, Common Courtesy – aside from a student’s ability to write and speak, they will be judged by their ability to socialize with others. This specifically includes their ability to cooperate and work harmoniously with people. This is much more than just “please and thank you,” but also includes how to conduct introductions (handshakes), greeting people, and generally getting along with others.

This may all seem rather obvious, but these are important life lessons which will serve young people throughout their academic and professional careers. I just wish I had known some of this before going to college. It would have certainly made my life a lot easier (and more productive).

Related articles:

“All I ask about running a Meeting” (April 5, 2013)
“The Art of Persuasion” (February 20, 2006)
“Business Writing” (April 20, 2015)
“Common Courtesy” (September 24, 2012)

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  JUST FOR TODAY – Take time once a day to stop and think. Reflection is good for the soul.

LAST TIME:  CHILI RECIPES – IT’S PERSONAL  – Safely guarded family treasurers.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Communications, Education | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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