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Any Child Can Read Better$
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Harvey S. Wiener

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195102185

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195102185.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 October 2021

Faraway Views : Generalizing

Faraway Views : Generalizing

(p.194) 10 Faraway Views : Generalizing
Any Child Can Read Better

Harvey S. Wiener

Oxford University Press

It's been a rough Tuesday, especially in your dealings with teenagers. A mother of two young kids yourself, you expect a modicum of respect from kids ten, fifteen, or twenty years younger than you are. But today, no such luck. In Stop 'n Shop a nineteen year old stock boy packing apple sauce jars nearly knocks you over as he hoists a huge carton from a dolly to the floor. Of course, he gives you no apology. At Burger King, the order taker sneers at you when you present a fifty dollar bill; she mumbles a snide remark under her breath about your confusing a fast food store with a bank. The gas jockey at a new Exxon station gives you fifteen dollars' worth of premium when you ordered ten dollars' worth of regular and zealously begins a shouting match, demanding that you pay up because you should have been sure that he heard what you wanted. A few other similar experiences have set your teeth on edge. Kids, you grumble. Deteriorating in manners. No good, today's generation. No respect for their elders. Self-centered. Care only about their own needs and feelings. If you can remember formulating principles like these or others like them, congratulate yourself as a highorder thinker. Even though the thoughts themselves might result from unhappy experiences, you've used your good brain power to establish a broader context for your experiences. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back! What you've done is to exercise another major strategy that marks mature thought: generalizing. The ability to generalize helps you interpret your surroundings and helps you probe deeper meanings from it. It allows you to see relations between specific circumstances and more abstract conditions. Psychologists say that the process of generalizing is a process of discovery; when you see similar elements in diverse circumstances you take a conceptual leap forward in your thinking. To some, one of the primary goals of education is to create thinkers who know how to generalize.

Keywords:   Generalizing, Moffett, James, Sense Chart

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