PROJECTS FOR YOU!

Here is a list of projects you might be interested in:

1.  An annotated version of the musical The Music Man is begging to be written.  The song Rock Island alone refers to old products that many listeners will know nothing about.  In brief, the song refers to the history of selling certain items in America at  the turn of the century.  However, the book itself contains many arcane references that could use explaining.  Who’s going to write the annotated version?

2.  The FAV theory of child development is one I formulated several years ago.  FAV stands for faith, appreciation, and validation.  I proposed that these qualities are essential for a child to grow up healthy.  A parent that does not have faith in the child or does not appreciate the child or validate it will produce an unhealthy child.  This theory could easily be made into a book with numerous illustrations, examples, photographs, etc. I don’t claim that the FAV theory includes all qualities necessary for healthy child development, only that if any or all of the FAV qualities are missing in a child’s upbringing, the child will have severe problems.

3.  During the sputnik era, the U.S. government found it imperative to improve the science and mathematics programs throughout the country.  This action was a direct response to the growing technological threat from the Soviet Union.  Science textbooks that involved situations which challenged students to think through problems rather than just memorize formulae, became the norm.  In biology, there was the BSCS “green version” for non-science majors, that focused on traditional classification of living organisms.  This was opposed to the BSCS “blue version” for science majors, which required knowledge of biological structure at the molecular level and a familiarity with biological systems.  In chemistry, there was the CHEM Study Series, which trained students to be careful observers, beginning with studying how a lit candle behaves.  The course also reached into chemical bonding and the double helix.  In physics, there was the PSSC course, which offered an abundance of challenging thought experiments and an introduction to atomic physics.  The mathematics required was elementary, but the demands on the student’s thought processes was not.  In mathematics, there was the School Mathematics Study Series, which implemented a rigorous pre-calculus.  At the primary level, there was the “new math” of set theory and bases.  However, perhaps the most important was the creation of the Science Study Series.  These paperbacks were written by leaders of their respective scientific fields at a level geared to a general audience.  Each was published by Anchor Press at a very low price, and distributed liberally throughout the U.S.  The range of topics was astounding; from cosmology to probability, from crystallography to the history of chemistry.  The books could be found at the smallest bookstores, and made a significant contribution to American education.  But after many years, the series was stopped.  If one wanted to obtain previous entries, the price was often ten times the original cost.  I suggest that the series receive a sizable government grant and continue.  There are so many discoveries that have been made in science and mathematics since the series came to a close:  fractals, chaos theory, superstrings, spectral theory, just to name a few.  The initial premise was an excellent one:  to find leading scientists and mathematicians from different fields to share their information with the broadest audience at the lowest cost.  Since we hear continually how the performance of American students in science and mathematics lags behind much of the world, the resuscitation of an idea that proved beneficial to many–  the Science Study Series--again seems to be something of great value.  Perhaps, there is an enterprising individual out there who will continue this wonderful series.

4.  To write an English grammar using the international phonetic language paradigm, which could be used in all secondary schools is a needed project..  A concise explanation of the verbal and noun systems in English would be of great benefit in our educational system.  The IPL is used in the teaching of languages at the college level so students would be prepared for the rigor expected.

5.  To give an award for the best paper using the simplest form(introduction, exposition, conclusion) at the beginning of high school or end of middle school would be a major contribution to education..  This sends the students a message that writing is something important, and it is!  I’m of the belief that it’s important to work on one paper as a term project rather than on several.  The goal would be to work in a cooperative, supportive environment on a step by step basis.  At the end of the term the student should achieve a measure of satisfaction and growing confidence. when s/he compares the final effort with the initial one.  Of course, it’s important that each student choose a topic they are passionate about, and would like to share with other students.  It must be emphasized that writing is one form which the individual uses to express his or her uniqueness!

6.  To establish a journal of international education.  Unfortunately, no such journal exists.  The primary reason appears to be a parochialism, and perhaps, arrogance, among American educators.  This parochialism is especially evident in American educators attitudes towards educators in Eastern Europe.  This attitude might be a result of the Cold War.  In other parts of the world, educators such as Korczak, Sukhomlinskij, Makarenko, and Amoniashvili are well-known, and the subject of much discussion.  An international journal of education would fill in a gap for American educators.  It would also provide a stepping stone towards a comprehensive, inclusive history of education throughout the world.

7.  To adapt China’s greatest novel, The Story of the Stone, by Cao Xuequin into a theater series for television.  The Story of the Stone is considered to be the finest of the six Chinese classics.  Written in the 18th century, it follows the rise and fall of the Jia family.  Filled with poetic description, allusion, and symbolism, the novel reaches the highest pinnacle.  Bao-yu and Dai-yu are the primary characters as we witness their many adventures.  Bao-yu observes his twelve girl cousins, and is privilege to a feminine world unknown to many.  Bao-yu eventually marries one of his cousins, Bao-chai.  Its length, about 2500 pages in five volumes, makes the novel a serious undertaking by any standards.  In addition, it is imperative that the reader that the reader be somewhat familiar with Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism, because they are interwoven throughout the novel.  But, to an enterprising individual, this great work deserves to be better known in the West.  A theater adaptation would serve the purpose.

8.  Surprisingly, an extensive documentary of the Philippines has never been made.  There are several tourist type DVDs available, but nothing that really goes into depth.  A detailed study of the Philippines in a DVD would highlight its many wonders and fascinating history.  Such a project would be a large contribution to the study of the world and its inhabitants.

9.  To establish the Single Mother Education Award in the schools.  A yearly award would be given to a single mother, whose children have finished high school without indulging in drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, achieved scholastically, and participated or led community activities.  Such an award could serve as an inspiration and model for other single mothers, who often face such obstacles as monetary difficulties, health problems, lack of familial support.  RAND studies have shown that a single mother’s children can sometimes outperform the traditional two parent family, if the mother is truly concerned about her children’s education.  Such an award might prove an additional stimulus for such concern.

10.  To try to control the mechanism that is responsible for cell division, so you could slow it down or speed it up.

One Response to PROJECTS FOR YOU!

  1. Grace says:

    Hi Robert! I’m glad you included my little country, the Philippines, as a potential project. Unfortunately, I do not have the means to create a documentary for now, but it is indeed a great idea.

    Anyway, I’m reaching out to you because I’m opening up a new category in my blog regarding travel picks. I was wondering if you would like to collaborate with me in writing a post about Oregon. I have never been there but I heard it is a very interesting place to visit. It is on my bucket list.

    If you would like to discuss it further, please send me an e-mail at: czechtheflip@gmail.com.
    I look forward to hearing from you.

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