Re: FN# reading response-A positive vision of the future

From: David Scott
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VisitDate: 00/00/96
Date: 21 Oct 1996
Time: 18:57:40
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Valerie wrote:

"He gives a definition for bottom-up but not one for top-down. Is it correct for me to assume that the top-down process of teaching is when you start at a higher level of problem solving then the rote skills should fall into place?"

You seem to have the right idea. Top-down and bottom-up are terms that can be found in many disciplines besides psychology (such as computer science). Top-down means to look at the whole picture first and then break it up into smaller, more easily digestible parts. For example, a top-down approach to reading a sentence is to look at the size of the whole sentence, break up the clauses by the punctuation then by the subject and predicate, then by each word, then by each letter. A bottom-up approach would involve looking at the very first letter of the sentence, sounding out that letter, then doing the same for the next letter, until you can build up that word.

As far as your other comments about agreeing with the author's opinion that we need to change the organization of the school system, not just add new money and technology to it, in this last Sunday's edition of "Parade" magazine (which comes with the San Jose Mercury), on page 12 there is an interesting article about a school in Massachusetts that does very well with a paultry budget. I'll bring it to class tonight.


"What's up with that Alanis Morisette video where it's just three minutes of her face? It's one of the biggest selling albums in history, so you think they'd be able to afford something a little more interesting."