Are You Overestimating the Difficulty of Solving a Problem?

Posted by on Jun 27, 2011 in blog | 0 comments

Are You Overestimating the Difficulty of Solving a Problem?

Generally speaking, people resist change — often resisting even a change which would be an obvious improvement. People often prefer to keep courses of action with known disadvantages rather than gamble that the unknown disadvantages of a new course action will outweigh the known advantages. That being the case, people often overestimate the difficulty of making a change, as a way of resisting the change. Does that describe you when considering solving our very serious educational problems in English-speaking countries? As any teacher will probably tell you, reading ability is the foundation of all learning because there are few, if any, subjects in school which do not require reading for class-work, home-work, and testing.

When considering the education that their children are receiving, most parents are — or certainly want to be — optimistic about their children's schooling. They may read about educational problems, but they believe that their children's school is doing a good job. If, however, the statistics prove that 48.7% of U.S. adults read and write so poorly that they cannot hold an above-poverty-level-wage job — as the most comprehensive and statistically accurate study of U.S. adult literacy ever conducted proves, in a report titled Adult Literacy in Americawhat are the chances that your optimistic assessment of your child's school is a little too optimistic?

More importantly, if there is a proven way of improving the teaching of reading in English-speaking schools, are you overestimating the difficulty of implementing that teaching system? The website of Literacy Research Associates, Inc. and NuEnglish, Inc., two non-profit educational corporations, will convince even the most skeptical observers that the problem of English functional illiteracy is both more serious than most people realize and can be solved more easily than most people would dare to dream. The reason this is true is that if people do not know how to solve a problem they have a natural tendency to downplay the problem's seriousness and if people learn that the simple, easily-implemented solution is spelling reform, they immediately think of objections to spelling reform and wrongly judge that changing the spelling would be much more difficult than it really is. Due to the seriousness of the English functional illiteracy problem, not only causing serious physical, mental, emotional, medical, and financial problems for hundreds of millions of English-speaking illiterates around the world but also costing every adult — reader and non-reader alike — money for the illiterates among us (more than $5,000 for each adult every year, in the U.S.), you are challenged to carefully examine the problem (click on the highlighted words above) and get an overview of the solution. The details of the solution are in the breakthrough book about ending our very real literacy crisis.

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