Saturday, May 23, 2009

How the New York Times + Versioned Newspapers + Printernet Publishing Can Fix Bottom of the Pyramid High School Education

Note: This also works for legacy K -12 textbook publishers who are trying to figure out what to do next.

1. Translate the content of the NY Times into Basic English. see snippet below

2. Add some age appropriate quizzes.

3. Use excess print capacity to print a library of unit specific versioned newspapers. A 24 page tab should do it. Store the edited, written to National Standards, unprinted stuff in the Cloud.

4. Sell versioned newspapers in Basic English with current event content to replace K - 12 textbooks.

5. Slice and dice the content. Use education printernet publishing to replace supplementals.

About Basic English
from Encyclopedia Americana Volume 3
BASIC ENGLISH, ba'sik ing'glish, is the product of a new kind of functional thinking about language that shows how we may improve and reshape our linguistic instruments. It is not an invented language but a system of 850 English words, setting up restrictions of its own within accepted English usage, to be used for certain defined purposes. The system was on originated and between 1925 and 1932 by the English scholar C.K. Ogden, who was director of the Orthological Institute and editor of the International Library of Psychology, Philosophy and Scientific Method.

Purposes and Character. The primary object of Basic English is to provide an international secondary language for general and technical communication. Its qualifications for this purpose are that it is an undistorted form of what is practically a world language, and that it is simple enough to be quickly and easily learned, yet sufficiently flexible to be adequate for conveying information and expressing ideas. Its systematic character and selectivity make it also an effective introduction to English for the foreign learner, while the principles underlying the limitation of its vocabulary fit it for use as an antidote to confused thinking and verbal abuses by the English-speaking peoples themselves. By implication it is not intended as a substitute for any language or as a literary medium, or for any purposes to which the persuasive and evocative uses of language are appropriate.

Ogden was indebted to Jeremy Bentham, who studied the question of an international language and invented the word international, for some of the fundamental ideas on which the system is based. Particularly valuable were Bentham's investigation of linguistic fictions, his analysis of emotive language, and his penetrating observations on the verb.

Although Basic English is not just an English course, or even a method, but a language in itself, it is associated with certain teaching principles which are essential for its easy assimilation. These concern the proper grading of the material presented to the learner-the relating of expanded senses to root meanings, the logical building up of constructions, and so on. These teaching principles are developed most fully in The Basic Teacher (see Bibliography), a textbook for European adults.

They have been applied to the preparation of an introductory oral course commissioned for use in Gambia, where children are taught English in the schools before they are fully literate. Teaching aids of many kinds have also been developed, including a set of wall pictures embodying new techniques of visual presentation. The teaching principles first developed in connection with Basic English have profoundly influenced studies on the teaching of English as a foreign language by focusing attention on vocabulary control and scientific grading. Whether the diffusion of these Basic teaching concepts would prepare the way for the wider diffusion of the system itself remained to be seen, but improved methods of teaching are not a substitute, and no alternative to Basic English had appeared by the mid-1960's.

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