Archive for Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Local resident’s book examines state of education system

July 8, 2009

With 15 years of teaching experience, Malinda Daniel has seen enough of public schools to know that there’s room for improvement with constantly changing socio-cultural trends.

“There’s a lot of great things happening in education, and there’s a lot that still could get better,” Daniel said.

She discusses those areas in her new book, “Fallacy or Truth: The State of American Education Today.”

Daniel lives in the Tonganoxie area with her husband Heath, who is a teacher in the Eudora School District, and their two children. She recently earned a Ph.D. in education leadership from online-based Walden University and also holds a master’s degree as a reading specialist from Northwest Missouri State University.

The book is an extension of her doctoral dissertation and came about as a result of teaching methods with which she didn’t agree.

“I was having to teach kids to read faster and put words into blanks, but that is teaching kids to take tests, not learn,” Daniel said.

She recounted a situation where she read an IEP, or individualized education program, that essentially said one of her students who was entering first grade couldn’t learn. But by personalizing education for him, she had him reading and doing math at his grade level by the end of the year.

Daniel said the book, which took about six months to write, wasn’t difficult to put together because she had been studying the subject area.

The book also states that it’s important to cater education to the strength of each child and also stresses a need for community organizations and business members to volunteer time to mentor students.

She also said that through all things, it is important to have hope for each child.

“This book, in a quite thought-provoking manner, examines the obstacles and nuances facing education in the U.S. today,” said Jason Gray, culinary arts instructor at the Eudora-De Soto Technical Education Center.

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