Johnny Can’t Think But He’s a Great Guesser

by | Sep 14, 2000

"Unable to deal with words or with numbers -- having no means of knowing, but only of guessing -- the child loses confidence in his mind."

As U.S. schoolchildren head back to their classrooms, they will face a threat greater than drugs or thugs — their school curriculum, said a senior writer for the Ayn Rand Institute.

“For years, students have had their reading abilities destroyed with the ‘look-say’ method, which emphasizes guesswork over reading,” said Andrew Bernstein. “Now, educators are destroying math instruction in the same way — throwing out textbooks, multiplication tables, even right answers, leaving students to form groups to construct their own math ‘strategies.’ Under the new math guidelines students are encouraged to ‘explore and conjecture,’ to ‘guess and check’ — rather than to use strict rules of multiplication or division to figure out the answers precisely. Not surprisingly, many parents claim that their children are now confused.”

Bernstein noted that many concerned parents are taking action and sending their children to tutoring centers. “The real tragedy resulting from this ludicrous and poisonous methodology is not only that the student won’t be able to read or count, but that his cognitive capacity will be stunted,” said Bernstein.

“Unable to deal with words or with numbers — having no means of knowing, but only of guessing — the child loses confidence in his mind. He loses confidence in his ability to deal rationally with reality. With his mind crippled, the abysmally low self-esteem he experiences is inevitable. Rage, violence and widespread drug use are anticipatable consequences.

“Today’s educators are creating individuals who cannot think independently, only mindlessly obey. They are creating the perfect subjects for political indoctrination. The chilling truth is that this assault on our children’s minds is characteristic of a totalitarian state, not a free society. Few parents realize that this brain-mangling method of teaching has consequences far beyond the classroom.”

Copyright Ayn Rand Institute. All rights reserved. That the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) has granted permission to Capitalism Magazine to republish this article, does not mean ARI necessarily endorses or agrees with the other content on this website.

The author is a contributing writer to Capitalism Magazine.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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