A child is intently reading her textbook with an intensity usually reserved for video games. You know she didn't have a come to Jesus moment with cell organelles, so you wander over to see what has her attention.
You recognize it immediately--The New Jersey Driver Manual. Yes, NJ calls it Driver, not Driver's....
|The cover photo of Jersey's Driver Manual|
Imagine asking a child to memorize this:
A vehicle travels 88 feet per second at 60 mph.No reason to--unless a driver's permit is the ticket. For all the clamor against carrot and stick methods in education, they do work.
Deceleration is approximately 14 feet per second.
Now imagine a child in 18th century America to memorize this. No context, no point, except you need to know this because your schoolmaster says you must.
And yet this is what we're doing when we ask a child to "explain" how a cytoskeleton works.
Here's something you could ask a child here in Jersey--what's wrong with the photo above?
According to the manual:
A motorist’s grip on the steering wheel is important. The steering wheel can be thought of as the face of a clock. For normal driving, a motorist should grip the steering wheel by the outside rim at the 9 and 3 o’clock positions, keeping his/her thumb along the face of the wheel.
Interestingly, 9 and 3 o'clock positions no longer have relevance in our digital culture--many of my high school kids cannot read an analog clock.
And, apparently, neither can the state honchos who edited the "driver" manual.
When meaning no longer matters, things fall apart.