36. Educational Material Publishers Competing Directly for Students

Students, especially those in progressively higher grades beginning in middle school but particularly those in high school and college, should be allowed to choose courses that are taught using teaching styles that each finds most effective. In other words, though students may not have a choice in what course they are required to take, they would have a choice determining in which teaching styles they would like those courses to be taught.

Naturally, such a choice is not available with a live lecturer doing the teaching. However, this proposal is part of a larger thrust presented in these proposals that would encourage a greater, though not total, utilization of independent learning methods, mainly through the use of printed or electronic media.

A whole industry can develop around teaching subjects to people using different teaching approaches to cater to students who may benefit more from utilizing one teaching style over another. Different companies (or even individuals) could produce one or a range of course packages and market them similar to how everything else in society is marketed. Each producer would advertise their own course and the student would make up his/her mind as to which one to buy. Courses, as long as they are properly accredited, could be bought from student stores on campus or at any other place, even online. Thus, students would have a range of teaching styles to choose from and could pick the one they think will work best for them.

This same idea could, perhaps, be applied to the lower grades in a limited fashion, though parents would be the ones deciding (in consultation with their children and teachers) upon which styles from which their children will learn. An example of a teaching style choice parents of elementary-aged children may want to make would be whether to teach reading and writing using either the whole language or phonetic approach.

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