To the Editor:

Earlier this month, national columnist David Brooks wrote of the need for schools to provide "practical knowledge" - essentially effective interactive life skills - and "technical knowledge" - essentially facts and information.

Mr. Brooks compared the two types of knowledge to a chef and a recipe, where the chef possesses skills to use the recipe effectively.

We need public schools that teach information. More importantly, we also need schools that teach our children and youth to "learn to learn."

To succeed in life, students need to develop the ability to read, think, analyze and communicate effectively. This development requires high educational expectations, rigorous curriculum, supportive and safe classroom environments, and engaged parents, teachers and administrators.

A familiar saying discusses giving a person a fish and satisfying his or her hunger for a day, or teaching a person to fish and satisfying hunger for a lifetime. As Mr. Brooks suggests, in our public schools we need to provide both technical and practical knowledge to fully educate our students and prepare them for the future.

In other words, we need to provide our students both fish and fishing lessons.

By making sure our public schools teach well these "cooking" and "fishing" lessons, we will develop better, more self-sufficient students. And better students will contribute to better communities. So let's get cooking!

David Matheson


School Board candidate, Tigard-Tualatin School District

Contract Publishing

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