Monday, April 30, 2012

Newt Gingrich's Saving Lives & Saving Money 8

In my latest reading of Saving Lives & Saving Money: Transforming Health and Healthcare, Newt talks about the importance of increased government spending on scientific research.  In some cases, this would be to combat diseases, such as Diabetes and Alzheimer's.  In some cases, it would be to promote national pride, as the space program does.  While Newt acknowledges that he wants for the country to spend more money on scientific research, he believes that doing so will save the country money in the long run, since Diabetes takes a toll on America's health care system.  I'm cool with this argument, but I wonder how America could do this and cut taxes at the same time, which I say in light of Newt's tax cut proposals.

I liked what Newt said on page 182 about education:

"...we teach these subjects as facts to be memorized rather than a great adventure of discovery to be pursued.  Teaching, memorizing, and testing are all familiar words.  But we must return the words wonder, adventure, and discovery to our schools.  We should not center on education, but on learning.  We should go beyond force-feeding numbers and theories to a level of true discovery where a child wonders what the answers are and goes in search of them for the pure excitement of it."

I was one time working with a program that tutored at-risk youth, and I remarked that I could understand why the youths were so bored with what they were learning in school, for I was bored with that stuff and was happy to be in college where I could pursue my interests and take the courses that I wanted.  My supervisor responded that my opportunities to do so in college were my reward for doing well in the boring subjects in junior high and high school.  I think that it's important for students to learn subjects that may not necessarily interest them.  At the same time, I believe that schools should encourage students to pursue their interests, and that opportunities to do so should not be limited to the gifted and talented or to those who go on to college.

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