Opportunities for Students in High-Tech Classrooms
The Learning page article "High Tech Lures the Humanities," July 6, tells only part of the story. The real thrill of interactive television comes from teaching teachers how to help learners create and build their own life-long learning.
A teacher's regular review of the videotapes from class discussions clearly shows: (1) how the moderator technique is working to maintain useful flow, (2) where each student needs help with integration, articulation, and self-direction, and (3) how and when best to provide them with or help them find necessary information in advance so that class time can feature the students engaged in debate and discussion.
Our revolution-in-learning-through-technology is also coming from linking students widely separated in location, culture, and situation, and letting them interact for 75 minutes twice a week. The students also learn from each other. They acquire solid foundations through the exercises. They create their own videotape lessons, which then become part of the following semester's course material. Teacher becomes guide, student becomes companion-learner-contributor.
New technology should not be one more focus upon the teacher's lecture - it can become the vehicle for redesigning the outmoded parts of the profession, and offering alternatives which are learner-centered and therefore more educative and productive. Guy Bensusan Flagstaff, Ariz., Humanities Professor, Northern Arizona Univ. Needed: two-parent homes
The editorial "Choice in Schools," June 30, implies a need for reform in our educational system because of the plight of the inner-city schools.
An article in a recent issue of Scientific American reported on the academic achievement, as a group, of the Indo-Chinese "boat" children. The authors of the article found that these children, many of whom attend inner-city schools in low-income neighborhoods, are above average in math and average in English, despite having learned English as a second language. Most of these children came from two-parent families that placed a high value on education.
I believe it was Pat Moynihan who, 20-some years ago, pointed out that welfare rules would destroy the two-parent, low-income family. Rather than educational reform, I suggest that the inner-city problem will best be addressed by welfare reform and a change in our society's operational values regarding both education and race. Edward Stephenson, Bethlehem, Pa. Ethiopia is a complex country
Regarding the article "Tribe Boycotts Ethiopian Vote," June 19: In Ethiopia, the concept of "ethnic federation," as opposed to geographical federation, is counterproductive. From its inception, this concept has spread hatred, suspicion, and anarchy among the multi-ethnic society that has lived together harmoniously for many centuries. Those who propose "ethnic federation" as a solution to the political crisis in Ethiopia should reexamine the complex realities of the country. To secessionists and ethnocen trists, the task of disintegrating the country into ethnic nationalism will not be easy.
The international community, in particular the United States, has the moral obligation to bring all forces to the negotiating table so that a meaningful agreement can be achieved. Hailu Wendie, Cambridge, Mass.