The Variables of Learning

In much the same way that mathematical equations yield specific verifiable quantities, public education’s primary measurable product, learning (L), may be determined according to the variables contained in a basic computational formula. Take, for instance the formula for the area of a circle, (A = pi r (squared) ).

Pi, or the value 3.1416, is a mathematical constant, which never varies in value, it being the means whereby the correct result of the formula is attained. The ultimate result of the formulaic computation, for the area of any circle, is, consequently, determined by pi’s consistent use. If the visit:- constant, pi, varies in the slightest degree, the computation will yield an incorrect calculation, regardless of the correctness of the circle’s radius, ‘r,’ the one and only variable in the formula. Similarly, a basic formula for any particular type of learning may be expressed as:
L (learning) = {TQ (teacher quality) x IE (instructional environment) x IA (environmental atmosphere)}(squared) x SP (student preparedness).

In this particular formulaic context, a quantity of quality learning will vary directly according to
1) the instructional quality of the teachers,
2) the mental and behavioral preparedness of the students, and
3) the conduciveness of the environmental atmosphere to learning.

The only independent variable in the learning formula is (IE), the instructional environment. That is, the physical location where the learning occurs, such as in a traditional school classroom, beneath a tree, in a garden, or, perhaps, in a pool parlor. Where the physical environment is located is of no real consequence if an effective environmental learning atmosphere is produced and maintained through quality instruction and optimal student preparedness. As is shown in the formula, the product of the variables within the brackets, squared, will be multiplied by (SP), student preparedness. This, student preparedness, is the one essential value, the veritable constant, which is totally beyond the control of the teacher and the school administration, which can cause the entire formula equation to yield a less than satisfactory product. This is the (pi) of the learning formula. This key formulaic term, expressed in behavioral units, must remain at an optimal level at all times during a teaching episode, for a mutually pleasant learning atmosphere to exist, and for a quantity of academic learning to be conveyed and assimilated by the learner. Effective, or ineffective, parenting, at home, is the only means for measuring the value of this particular variable, that is, unless the state steps-in and assumes the parenting duties consigned by nature to the natural parents, or, by law, to other caregivers.

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