LEARNING BY ROTE : A NEW APPRECIATION
Although famously supported by Salman Rushdie who said that school children should be made to learn poems and prose by rote, to "enrich their relationship with language", brickbats continue to be aimed at rote learning. The process that started in the era of reforms in the 1960s, when "fact acquisition" in the educational system was much maligned, has continued since. The students have been liberated from learning facts or formulas in science and math. With open-book exams and hand-held calculators, they can always look it up instead of committing the concepts to memory. The debate has continued with Rosemary Winkel Johann, director of the graduate reading program at Millersville University in Pennsylvania and chairman of the elementary school section of the National Council of Teachers of English stating , 'We want people to love poetry, and that doesn't happen when they live in fear and trepidation of forgetting it.'
The author provides a fresh appreciation of rote learning and how his father's reverence for education helped him build a strong academic foundation and how it culminated in his paying it forward and building a school (www.svvindia.org) to help children in his village become self-learners. Full of anecdotes from his personal and professional life, first time author Vinay Singh expounds the mountain climbers' maxim of Work High, Sleep Low and takes you on a roller coaster ride cycling, skiing, mountain-climbing on four continents as he initiates his entire family in these adventure activities. More details available at (www.workhighsleeplow.com)