Self-directed learning has positive impact says Heuvelton man
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 6:49 am

To the Editor:

North Country This Week’s Jimmy Lawton has written an article titled “Self-Directed Learning Alternative is Goal of Canton Teacher,” about Maria Corse.

If you have an open mind or already believe in the process, you really should read the whole article; it’s worth your time, complete with information to bring reality to a new and different method of teaching.

Right now it is available at

When I was in high school, there was one thing I wanted to learn because I knew I’d need it if I wanted to get into the kinds of jobs I wanted to do. Something I could enjoy, I thought, for the rest of my life. It was a typing course.

I chose that elective. Once I had learned to type and discovered the rest of the course was about how to be a secretary, I also quit the course, finding it had no more left to offer me.

Now I could use my typewriter efficiently without hunting and pecking and I’ve used and expanded on that ability all my life. Now of course it’s a computer and printer, but that got me to the point where I could easily use them!

Today that would be called “computer keyboarding” or “computer literacy” which would have been even better for me.

I did the same thing with my choice of colleges. I tried academia and quickly became disillusioned since nothing related to my chosen direction in life.

Then I served in the Naval Force in the 60’s, and came back home to look for a school.

I found a good one too: they taught electronics for design and development. Since I rose to director of North American R&D and the Pac Rim before my health forced me to retire, I’d say it was a success, too.

And my military experience enabled me to skip the whole first year of courses. And it all started with an elective course in high school, which was a great learning experience, showing me I did (after all) have some control of my life.

So I hope this concept catches on; it’s not for everyone, but it is for those who cannot find an interest in the poor state our schools are in today, and onward.

Tom Rivet