I agree. My topic and thoughts today sound odd. I stand accused of thinking too much about the challenges in education, even when sitting in a long line of cars out at the coast of Oregon. A large section of Highway 101 was being repaired for potholes. In the section I was at, it is only a two lane road and the wait ended up to be about 15 minutes going and coming. I was not driving, so I looked up how much potholes cost the American people – billions of dollars. AAA reports the cost of automobile damage resulting from potholes to be 6.5 billion dollars a year.
For learners in our educational system, the learning continuum has many potholes. Learning numbers is easy, but letters and letter sounds is not. Having a great story to write in our thoughts is never expressed in a timely fashion due to struggles with handwriting, spelling, or grammar. Algebra comes more easily than geometry or the other way around. Time spent studying for a test is met with low scores due to poor memory. The history teacher is interesting to listen to, but reading from the history text is a painful experience of reading and rereading to comprehend the unfamiliar information and numerous facts. The potholes in education are as numerous as in our roads after a hard freeze. Billions of dollars are spent in education on students who struggle to successfully navigate their way through education.
What does this failure to navigate successfully do to the self-esteem and motivation of our students? What poor decisions are made by students out of frustration and repeated failure? How many students turn off the main road and travel roads that lead to negative consequences? How do you start the engine of motivation to learn when on empty?
The SOI (Structure of Intellect) Assessment of Learning Ability is the GPS system in learning. We discover strengths that are unknown to students. We discover undeveloped learning abilities that jar students when they simply cannot accomplish and learn within specific curriculum areas. And best of all, we have specific SOI programs that develop and enhance learning abilities so that the trip through school is smoother. Mapping out strengths and weaknesses gives students a destination to reach. Improving comprehension, memory, evaluation, problem-solving, and creative thinking is the general goal. The process is very specific and individualized.
The reasons automobiles do not perform well on the road are numerous. So it is with students. If you lined up automobiles to race to the finish line, what are the reasons why many do not finish, and would they all need to be repaired in the same way? It is no different with our students. Children come to school prepared or unprepared for the demands of learning. Our schedule of learning within our school day is so busy that it is difficult to find time to DISCOVER and FILL the potholes in learning within individual students so that the trip is smoother and less damage is caused.
I have spent twenty-eight years working continuously within the SOI system and I have the experience and confidence in the success of SOI to share these thoughts with you. Please take the time to go to the SOI Systems’ webpage and become familiar with the assessments, IPP, Certified Learning, Reading Recovery, and more. These are the tools of our trade.
written by: Diane Hochstein, Senior SOI Program Consultant & President of SOI Service Company