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Classes in Basics

Re “Classes for Teachers Return to Basics, Especially Math,” July 22: As a high school teacher I have endured inane curriculum workshops year after year (I have taught for 30 years). Most of my colleagues considered these workshops to be a waste of time, but still experts would tell us how to use cooperative learning techniques or how to be a “guide on the side” rather than a “sage on the stage.”

I always wondered when someone in power would consider knowledge--both that of the teacher and the student--to be important. According to Richard Lee Colvin, after billions of dollars have been wasted on “generic teaching techniques,” the time has finally arrived: Finally, it has become important for teachers to know physics and calculus, history and literature, language and rhetoric rather than magic teaching techniques.

HANK WOODS

Santa Ana

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