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> School-good Or Bad?, your thoughts on modern education
catchmeifyoucan
post Mar 12 2005, 08:26 PM
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Are we regressing in education? Is the loose and often lax atmosphere in schools today taking away from a meaningful education, or is it creating students that are independent and have their own sense of idenity?


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Daedalus
post Mar 12 2005, 10:31 PM
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This belongs in Issues.

Personally, I think the education system in the UK churns out people who will do the bare minimum to stay afloat. Most school leavers know next to nothing about the world besides the little they can remember from their far-too-specific studies, and a few other basics of life (and often, not even that). If narrow-mindedness and an unquestioning faith in what is fashionable to think are the aims of education, it succeeds.

I can't see how the vast majority of pupils have any sense individualism or personal identity. For the most part, it's all borrowed from someone else. Even those trying to distance themselves from the mainstream crowd simply end up part of a different subculture, with a different identikit persona.

But maybe I'm an overly cynical old goat.


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Righteous
post Mar 13 2005, 01:30 AM
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I'm against public education for this very reason. Teachers are lax and churn out students with cirriculum that has been dumbed down in order to pass students. Often, public schools are of poor quality compared to private schools. Frankly, I think public education should be abolished as regardless of how much money is pumped into it, the quality is still going downhill and I'd rather see those tax dollars go to un-screwing up the economy than be wasted.


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artist.unknown
post Mar 13 2005, 02:44 AM
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QUOTE
Teachers are lax and churn out students with cirriculum that has been dumbed down in order to pass students.

At least where I live, the only federally required class for all four years is PE. This, friends, is depressing.
QUOTE
Frankly, I think public education should be abolished as regardless of how much money is pumped into it, the quality is still going downhill and I'd rather see those tax dollars go to un-screwing up the economy than be wasted.

I wouldn't say that. I had a private school education for many years, but I could only go because there was no tuition for children of teachers. Without public education, a vast number of people would not ever have the opportunity, or, frankly, the motivation, to ever learn. Energy does need to be put into improving the school systems, though. The property-taxed based funding creates vicious cycles of ill education and poverty, for one. ...But that's an arguement for another thread.

Anyway, back to the original question. I think in certain ways education has relaxed dramatically--take for example the fact that absolutely anybody can get an IEP and use it to justify never actually doing work, and the school can't argue it. Standards are also depressingly low; the high school proficiency exam, which I just took, had basic addition and subtraction questions on it. Students have college and their entire life afterwords to form an identity. "Identity" and "disregard for authority" shouldn't be confused either. And while it is important for students to tailor their education such that it remains interesting and stimulating--heavy on the humanities or sciences, for example--it still needs to be more rigorous. Kids shouldn't be able to slide through the cracks so easily.


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PsychWardMike
post Mar 13 2005, 03:09 AM
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Public education is very necessary - basic intelligence is something vital to a thriving society. However, the problem is the glorification of laziness and criminal behavior, largely promoted by the media. I don't have a problem with rap music, but the fact that it really is destroying a major part of our moral fiber to the point that it has today, I'm almost in favor of censorship. Back to my point: this incredible idiocy has made it hard for teachers as defiance of authority without proper rhyme or reason has become so en vogue, dig? It's only natural that a teacher that has to deal with such trying circumstances on a daily level would become numb and apathetic. It is more often than not the fault of parents and students before teachers, understand? So yeah, I'm all for public education, but the fact of the matter is is that someone has to help the apathetic situation of the country before one can expect public education to help anything. WE CANNOT ACCEPT MEDIOCRITY ANYMORE.

F*** no child left behind.
[EDIT by Jonman -language please Mike]


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Daedalus
post Mar 13 2005, 03:21 AM
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QUOTE (Righteous @ Mar 13 2005, 01:30 AM)
I'm against public education for this very reason. Teachers are lax and churn out students with cirriculum that has been dumbed down in order to pass students. Often, public schools are of poor quality compared to private schools. Frankly, I think public education should be abolished as regardless of how much money is pumped into it, the quality is still going downhill and I'd rather see those tax dollars go to un-screwing up the economy than be wasted.
*


OK, that's where I disagree, a lot.

I know we're talking about different education systems, but it is not the fault of teachers, or the way in which schools are funded. State schools may be relatively poor quality compared to private schools, but this can only be because they are underfunded. Although I have no firsthand experience of private schooling, I've never heard of any significant difference in the quality of teaching between state and private schools in the UK. Sure, the classes may be smaller and there's less delinquents, but that is a product of their exclusiveness as opposed to any fundamental difference in quality.

I can't understand how you can justify abolishing state schools. There is no way that the poorest families can afford to send their children to private schools. Presumably, your anarchist persuasion justifies children not being schooled at all if they or their parents so choose. What you're advocating would lead to a complete collapse of society, with an uneducated underclass of people who can't pull themselves out of poverty because they can't afford the education that will give them that opportunity.

I would take the complete opposite approach: Equalise opportunity by equalising education. Abolish all schools based upon artificial social divides. That means no private schools, no grammar schools, and no faith schools. A comprehensive education for all. Private schools segregate according to wealth, as do grammar schools (a child of a wealthy family is better equipped to pass an 11+ than one from a poorer background). Faith schools segregate according to religion and less overtly, race. Putting pupils from different backgrounds only breeds tension, based on lack of understanding, between those groups and creates unfair advantages for some children over others. However, I do agree with splitting pupils according to ability within schools, but this is based on a valid form of discrimination. Maintaining class boundaries and other divides with such a powerful tool of social engineering as the education system is completely wrong in my opinion.


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pgrmdave
post Mar 13 2005, 03:37 AM
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QUOTE (artist.unknown)
At least where I live, the only federally required class for all four years is PE. This, friends, is depressing.

Isn't English required? And there are no federal requirements, really. The federal government has no Constitutional authority over education, only the states can create legislation to deal with that.

QUOTE (PsychWardMike)
but the fact that it really is destroying a major part of our moral fiber to the point that it has today, I'm almost in favor of censorship.

I think that art mimics life, and so art cannot influence culture any more than allowing an already existing idea to flourish. There is a reason that the demographics for those who listen to different kinds of music are true - people listen to what is relevent to their lives.

QUOTE (www.dictionary.com)
me·di·o·cre
Moderate to inferior in quality; ordinary. See Synonyms at average.

There will always be mediocrity, we cannot expect that many people will be above average, or outstanding. I think that there are a lot of people who are exceptional, but we tend to focus on the masses, which are, for the most part, average.


Our educational system is only bad when it relys on our governmental system. I am thinking about, though I probably won't, running for school board of my old high school. I know more about that school than anybody on the board, because I've been there. I know what it is really like, and they know the policies. The government of the school, the heirarchy, is out of touch with the students, and the teachers.


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froggle-rock
post Mar 13 2005, 03:54 AM
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QUOTE (artist.unknown @ Mar 13 2005, 02:44 AM)
...anybody can get an IEP...
*


What is an IEP, a qualification, and if so at what age is the exam sat?


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Novander
post Mar 13 2005, 05:40 PM
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QUOTE (Righteous @ Mar 13 2005, 01:30 AM)
I'm against public education for this very reason. Teachers are lax and churn out students with cirriculum that has been dumbed down in order to pass students. Often, public schools are of poor quality compared to private schools. Frankly, I think public education should be abolished as regardless of how much money is pumped into it, the quality is still going downhill and I'd rather see those tax dollars go to un-screwing up the economy than be wasted.
*
I resent the implication that I and my friends aren't as intelligent as people taught at private schools.

To function in society these days you need a basic education, and you can't say 'hey, poor person! Stop learning!' Yes, there are a lot of people from poorer areas who don't wan't to learn, who skip school whenever they get the chance, but there should still be a basic education available to anyone who wants to learn, regardless of how well-off they are. I've got nothing against private schools. If you can afford to send your children to them, then by all means, go ahead, but if you can't afford it, or don't think your child would benefit from it, then there MUST be an alternative available.

As for the general level of education, I don't believe its going downhill exactly, I just think that theres too much emphasis being placed on exams. Children shouldn't be taught what they need to know to pass exams, they should be taught what they need to know to survive after school finishes. For God's sake, don't give teachers so much paperwork to do. How are they supposed to focus on teaching the children?

I've had some great teachers throughout my education, and it depresses me to think what they had to put up with in order to teach me, not just from my classmates, but from the government as well.


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Aria
post Mar 13 2005, 06:28 PM
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Well... School was fun. And it's good to be educated. But I haven't really done anything in school (high school and my first year of uni) that will help me get a job. See, eventually, when I finish my degree, I will be a well educated girl, but one who doesn't have a lot of job opportunities. As such, I think it would be good (or an interesting experiment) to make say, one trade course mandantory, perhaps in high school. That way kids could get an intro to woodworking, welding, shop, whatever...


... I dunno. Just a random thought. Fuelled by my desire to become a welder in sweden who is fluent in chinese. Ahaha. No job for Ari!


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artist.unknown
post Mar 13 2005, 07:37 PM
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QUOTE
Isn't English required? And there are no federal requirements, really. The federal government has no Constitutional authority over education, only the states can create legislation to deal with that.

By the individual school board only. Boards decide core requirements. The only class required for all four year by law, I should say, is PE.
QUOTE
QUOTE
QUOTE(artist.unknown @ Mar 13 2005, 02:44 AM)
...anybody can get an IEP...

What is an IEP, a qualification, and if so at what age is the exam sat?

No, an IEP is entirely different. It stands for Individualised Service Plan. It is a document obtained through a doctor stating that the teachers/school must tailor a student's education in a certain way due to a learning disability, etc. For example, my sister has an IEP because of her asperger's (form of autism) saying that a teacher must make certain small adaptions so that she can preform as best she can in school. In the way they're meant to be used, IEPs are necessary, but it's abused. Unfortunately anyone and their dog can get a diagnosis for ADHD or summat, meaning that teachers are buried under paperwork, have to constantly accept half-arsed work, and are distracted from actually teaching. Also, scores for the SATs, which are a college qualification test typically taken at age 17 or 18, are manipulated because kids get a hack diagnosis immediately before the test and are suddenly qualified to take it untimed, giving them a massive advantage.


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-Grammar Nazi-quotes of the yesterday
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Ikemook
post Mar 13 2005, 08:45 PM
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No doubt about it, there are some rather annoying problems with public schooling (I'm speaking only of American public schooling, as I know little to nothing about any European country's school system).

I see the problem as being threefold (bear in mind that this is mostly due to experience and second-hand accounts, and not any research, so take it with a grain of salt), as follows, in no particular order:

1. The Parents: Parents play a critical role in child education, and whether by negligence or, as is often the case in poorer families, lack of time, a significant portion of parents doesn't place enough emphasis on their child getting and education.

2. Money: Money is another rather annoying problem. I'll relate an anecdote from the state of Florida, which is something like 5th in the US in terms of educational funding, but 49th in terms of educational quality. Money distribution is really strange; due to our FCAT grading system, the most money usually goes to the schools that need it the absolute least. Furthermore, a good portion (not a majority, but enough to be annoying) of the money goes towards really idiotic expenses in the beaurocracy, such as chartering private jets to take school board Chairmans to conferences and meetings...located only a few hundred miles away, in the same damn state.

Of course, besides all of these rather specific problems, there is the general problem of how the hell to distribute the money, a problem that occurs in any system where capital plays an important factor. Should the poorer, "minority" schools get more money? Sure! But where does it come from? Well, you can only shave so much of the higher-level Expenses of Blatant Stupidity before you run out, so it has to come from some of the other schools. Specifically, the other schools that are getting more money, and doing much better. Which creates a problem. The lowering of money in those schools would probably lead to a lowering of the quality of their education, as programs would have to be cut. Parents would complain, and school officials would keel over at the loss of status that comes with a lowering in quality. Of course, on the whole, as much as I hate to admit it (having come from one of those really high-quality high schools), it's probably for the greater good. Still, this is a problem.

To clarify my point (since I rambled a bit towards the end there), there's a great deal of politics involved in school funding (as there is in everything), as pouring money into the schools that need it the most would require removing money from schools that would rather keep it.

3. Grading Systems: How the hell do you grade school effectiveness? The only objective method is through testing, but then you run the risk of an FCAT-like event, where one single, tremendously stupid test is responsible for both the testee's graduation and the school's funding. And how do you test, say, a student's ability to critically analyze something in writing, without boiling it down to a piss-poor "5 Paragraph Style" of writing that has to be unlearned in college, much to the chargrin of the college administration. Furthermore, how long must this test be? Students desperately need history and government lessons (more than anything else, in all honesty), followed by English and then science. Math is the subject of education least in need of reform, but that's really not saying much.

Subjective testing, honestly, isn't any easier, and hardly the quick fix many proponent's claim it to be (not saying there are any on this board, mind you). Subjective testing is, well, really subjective. How can you be sure the grader is doing his or her job properly? By what possible standards can you have to grade? How can you measure the progress of the student?

To illustrate my three points above (or at least, the first two):

I had a VERY good education in the public school system, especially in high school. Was this because I was smarter than everyone else? Nope. Because I spent a lot of time studying outside of class? Honestly, no (because I really didn't study all that much). Why, then?

Because I went to an excellent [public] high school. One of the best in the country, actually. Why was it so good? Because it received a good deal of money from both the county AND outside corporate interests and competitions for specific programs. To illustrate, our AP Biology teacher, Dr. Behel, brought in huge amounts of money through county, state, and international science fair, JPL, JSEHS, and other programs, as well as companies. She brought in so much that she was able to expand the biology program to include research classes where students could perform their own research, albiet under a mentor from a company or university.

On top of the money received, the local community put in a LOT of time supporting the school. In essence, my HS had a good pool of parents that would back it up when it came to the student's educations. These factors allowed the principle to hire the best teachers he could find, and to expand the school programs immensely, from the sciences, to humanities, sports, etc.

That's enough of a spiel for now...on to replies!

QUOTE
Unfortunately anyone and their dog can get a diagnosis for ADHD or summat, meaning that teachers are buried under paperwork, have to constantly accept half-arsed work, and are distracted from actually teaching. Also, scores for the SATs, which are a college qualification test typically taken at age 17 or 18, are manipulated because kids get a hack diagnosis immediately before the test and are suddenly qualified to take it untimed, giving them a massive advantage.


Indeed! It becomes even more unfortunate, and more a pain, when you come across people who really DO have serious problems with ADHD. Creating a system to help them, while prevent large levels of abuse, will be difficult. In my experience, many people with serious ADHD recognize they have it, and really try to work around it (such as sitting in the front of the class, going in after school to meet with the teacher, etc.).

QUOTE
I think that art mimics life, and so art cannot influence culture any more than allowing an already existing idea to flourish. There is a reason that the demographics for those who listen to different kinds of music are true - people listen to what is relevent to their lives.


To an extent, I agree with you. However, my upper-middle-class Caucasian friends who listen to rap almost constantly probably don't have much of it that's relevant to their lives.

Although they might find some sort of social/psychological connection to it, feeling ostracized or whatnot. *shrug*

QUOTE
I know we're talking about different education systems, but it is not the fault of teachers, or the way in which schools are funded. State schools may be relatively poor quality compared to private schools, but this can only be because they are underfunded.


I would disagree. Underfunding is important, but there are also quite a few incompetent, lazy, dumb-as-a-rock teachers in the public school system (at least, in the US one, as as Righteous is in the US, you should probably discuss his opinions in the context of the American school system).

Sincerely and Respectfully,

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spiffilicious05
post Mar 14 2005, 07:50 AM
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QUOTE
I'm against public education for this very reason. Teachers are lax and churn out students with cirriculum that has been dumbed down in order to pass students. Often, public schools are of poor quality compared to private schools. Frankly, I think public education should be abolished as regardless of how much money is pumped into it, the quality is still going downhill and I'd rather see those tax dollars go to un-screwing up the economy than be wasted.


For the most part I would have to agree, but there are some exceptions. I feel that my school pushes us all to our limits -- and we are a public school. I've had offers from a private school, which for a time I wanted to take, but had I gone there I would have been more sheltered from the outside world.

There are those certain teachers who obviously just don't care, I have one now. But like I said, my school as a whole seems to do a pretty good job at setting high levels of expectations.


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Faerieryn
post Mar 25 2005, 11:36 PM
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OK. I'm coming from the inside of this debate here. I am a secondary school teacher in England. I teach English (for those of you who don't know me too well) I feel that school is vital to a young person's development but not just because of the academic achievemtns that can or can not be got. The social side of school can be just as important to a young person as the scholastic side. The education system in England is currently failing a lot of people because of it's one sided attitude against vocational studies and forcing students to go through academic lines in order to come out with a useless qualification.
We are also failing a lot of students purely becasue the job we are expected to do is far too much for us. In england we are expected to take responsiblity for a child's personal development, their future choices about education and work, their individual needs, all the paper work required including marking, their behaviour (because apparently parents feel that teachers should do their job now!) AND teach them both our own subject and how to be a good citizen. Consider the fact that I come into contact with 180 students a week (and I only teach five classes being a core subject a friend of mine teaches music works out at just under 500 students!) abd that becomes a mammoth task for a small handful of people to carry out.
Teachers do care about their students and attempt to do their jobs but, at the end of the day, the job has become almost impossible. I try, my colleagues try but that is all we can do


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depressed lonely...
post Mar 26 2005, 05:11 AM
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I think it's rediculus that in australia it's practically imposible to get a job without your HSC so everyone does it when so few people have the correct motivation carrer goals or inteligence for it to bea justifiable use of 2 years.

For exsample I know a girl who is probable on the lower end of average in IQ and plans after school to do a cert1 computer course and then art both of these could be done with the qualifications she has now(CGVE) and if she were to do them she would be moving forward in her life rather than sitting in an education system that does her no good while wasting her time not learning and taking a teachers time when they could be helping another student with higher goals.


I'll do more on this later when I've better asembled my thoughts.


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oscarhilton
post Mar 26 2005, 09:48 AM
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Don't do that.
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I know that i couldn't hate school any greater. But i do think schools are introducing lessons i accually dont mind such as media studies and other new stuff. But as i said geography can burn in hell so can my teacher


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I_am_the_best
post Mar 26 2005, 10:46 AM
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I think that todays education is run by tests and examinations. For example, we spend half a term learning and the other half revising for the end of term test, same in the spring term, and in the summer term we spend it all revising from the autumn and spring terms for the big end of year tests. I mean, tests are good to see how children are getting on and if they understand, but not all children work well under pressure. Can't the children just continue to learn but be marked only through classwork. I understand that this has been overcome by using coursework in the GCSEs, but apparantly, my sister says that they don't learn anything new.

I'm thoroughly against the idea of homework. Sure it's good to see how the children are getting on without the aid of a teacher, but most children just get help from their parents or copy off the children who actually bothered to do it. I mean, we work all day at school and then when we get home we are expected to do even more stuff for school. Especially in the winter, because it means that we don't spend all our time when it's light in school and doing homework. I've managed to tackle this by doing my homework in the very early hours of the morning, but I don't think that it's doing me any good. Also, if teachers don't want to have to mark so much then they just shouldn't set it! However, just finishing stuff from the lesson is OK because it's only fair if you didn't work fast enough.

I understand that teachers are trying to be friendly and looking out for the children, but I hate the way they always try to get involved in your personal life and act like your counsellor. I think that teachers should just be there to teach you and nothing else.

I'm sorry, I just realised that was more of a rant...


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zivane
post Apr 2 2005, 07:07 PM
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I have a nice long post, but it rambles... and whines a bit and makes no sense, so good luck.

Most school experience I really get is that we're taught to obey orders. We listen to a leader. We are supposed to do as we're told or else we "fail" or "get into trouble" and are "punished" for our actions against conformity. I went to two very different schools. One was a private school that basically, you got a grade based on how neatly and how much work you did. Your test scores were crap. It meant you could memorise facts or spit out long answers your teacher drilled into your head. We had classes on study skills, how to take notes, how to write papers, how to how to how to. The best thing I learned there is that non-conformity is generally socially unacceptable and how to BS through a 10 page paper in 7th grade.

I switched in 10th grade to an arts school. Due to state requirements, you have to go to school until you are 18. Most the teachers were just trying to get kids to pass. So, the busy work accounted for their grade. They graded other students on their intellect. They graded us on whether we tried, not really if we learned so much. I learned a lot there. But then again, I was in the gifted and talented classes, then honours, then Advanced Placement.

Most modern education I've come across is total crap. I never learned how to locate my keys in 30 seconds or less (very useful skill). They don't teach how to take care of yourself. They don't teach things you need to know. Just facts. They say that they teach a way of thinking or learning, but yeah, sure, if following directions counts as thinking. In most schools, you learn you to follow instructions. Scarily enough... if that's all you really need to know to be Valedictorian or receive honours or whatever to be commended, then... well, frankly, I don't know what to say.

It's understandable that levels of intelligence vary from person to person, and that potential varies as well. As does the so called work ethic. The girl who was top of my senior class was the most brainless idiot I ever knew. She could not think for herself. She spent her entire life doing what mum and dad told her, the teacher's words were biblical. And she was top of the class. The people I knew who scored in the middle in our class rankings were really intelligent. Creative. Could see things from other perspectives. Didn't memorise useless theory, just understood the concept and answered from that.

Schools teach facts... because memorisation is a rather basic skill. Understanding a concept is something different. It's still basic but unfortunately it doesn't get good grades unless you major in philosophy. I hate the school system I went through, but I was lucky I didn't have to deal with most of it after 10th grade. They expect to teach knowledge yet it's something that can't be taught. They also try to make everyone essentially the same. You learn about the same things, but yeah, you have a choice, kind of.

I should stop, I'm making no sense.

Edit:

I'd like to add this. Word length, or page length, or length of a paper is COMPLETELY obscene, absurd, and so forth. It's really, in my opinion, more intelligent to say what you have to say, and get your point across as clearly as possible and as quickly as possible. I had to read examples of "good" papers for first year at my university in England and, the amount of prepositions... and rambling... and pointless CRAP that were in these A papers...
Then, they gave us these papers that were not so well scoring (C and D papers) and most of them were getting low grades because, although really eloquent and easy to read and answering the question perfectly, they weren't long enough.

Stupid I tell you, stupid.


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Polocrunch
post Apr 3 2005, 10:44 AM
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I know that schools don't teach 'basic life skills' - like how to be a good citizen, how to manage your personal finances, how to run a household and so on - but surely that's the job of your parents? I always thought schools were there to fill your little mind with important academic and vocational information and skills.
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zivane
post Apr 3 2005, 06:29 PM
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Yeah, but with the severely declining actual interaction between parent and child in the schooling years... I mean, I lived in the same house as my guardians, but I saw them maybe twice a week. Ditto when I lived with my mum. Plus, a lot of parents have no idea how to teach their children life skills or discuss values and priorities with them unless they end up enforcing their own beliefs and opinions on their children. I know that there are exceptions to this but really aren't that many.


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believe
post Apr 3 2005, 09:51 PM
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Its just not practical or possible for teachers to impart all of that to 20+ students, especially at the higher levels. I'm not sure what can be done to fixed this many incompetant people, but a small, specialized group doesn't seem the answer. Maybe a specialized daycare/afterschool program where people were planning and able to teach some of those skills.


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Guaraldi
post Apr 4 2005, 12:55 AM
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I'd like to send my kids (if I have any) to private school. Public school is too easy, doesn't prepare kids for life/college, and there are too many coaches that are too pathetic to teach. It's that simple.
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Jonman
post Apr 4 2005, 11:37 AM
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QUOTE (Polocrunch @ Apr 3 2005, 10:44 AM)
I know that schools don't teach 'basic life skills' - like how to be a good citizen, how to manage your personal finances, how to run a household and so on - but surely that's the job of your parents? I always thought schools were there to fill your little mind with important academic and vocational information and skills.
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I think that schools should teach basic life skills. I left my (posh private) school with no idea how to manage my finances, or cater for myself. I went to university with little concept of putting together a nutritionally balanced diet (it was never anything I had to think about at home, where, obviously, my mum did the grocery shopping.

Given the current obesity rates, I think that classes teaching 'life skills' are exactly what this country needs.

While I agree that it ought to be the parents job to do that, it's obviously not working.


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Jaq
post Apr 4 2005, 01:27 PM
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(My post is probably somewhat off topic, because I'm talking about elementary students and everyone else seems to be talking about secondary students)

I just want to echo alot of the things that Faerieryn said. I teach in a different country in a different system and in a privately owned school, but alot of the time the teachers are not only teaching the subject, we are sometimes a piss poor substitute for a child's absent parents. My school is an after school academy and we teach much younger children than Fae teaches. These kids are ones whose parents have enrolled them in the school voluntarily, as opposed to involuntarily and they're from a certain place in society (the rich place. tongue.gif )

For the most part, the kids enjoy coming to the hogwan. It's not just a place to learn, but also a place where they develop their social skills, gain confidence, learn about other people and how to deal with other kids and adults. Have fun, play games, grow as a person, lah di dah.

And then.. there are the children whose parents use the school as a nursery. The ones who come to school everyday wearing the same clothes, hungry, smelling bad, late, without their homework done, the ones who are tired in class (parents will take them out with them when they go to the bars, or leave them at home by themselves) It's not the child's fault, but they're the ones who end up suffering for it. The kids won't play with them because they smell, they're tired and can't concentrate, they don't have their homework done so they don't understand the lesson, they're late so they miss parts of the lesson... etc. etc. etc.

Korea doesn't have babysitters (unless you count hogwans) and often when two parents work the child is left to fend for him/herself. One of my students sees his father once a week and his mother sometimes at night. He's 8 years old and it's been like that for him since he was around 6. In Korea, teachers aren't expected to get involved in a child/parent relationship, it's just the way of the culture, you don't interfere with the authority of the parent. You see neglected and physically abused kids in my school and I think the overwhelming feeling on the part of the teachers is one of alternating frustration and apathy. The teachers are not told (like in Canada or England apparently) that they should/must get involved if they suspect abuse. In Korea, hitting your children, as a means of discipline, is a way of showing them that you love them.

Schools should have to get involved in their pupil's life if they think that the child is being mistreated. School isn't and can't be effective if some of the kids simply can't learn because of situations at home. Teachers try their best, but short of taking our students home there's really not a lot we can do, especially when we've got 10 other kids, a lesson to teach and no support from the administration for tired, late, delinquent 5 year olds. Parents can't leave the raising of their children up to hogwans and academies, frankly we can't do a very good job.

So. Is school good or bad? School, to the large majority of my students is a good thing I think. It socializes them, makes them work their brains and they enjoy it. School to some of my students though is useless. They can't learn or play, and the school can't helpt them out of their situation because of culturals mores. Not bad or good really, but just useless, and short of a cultural overhaul, there's no way to change it.


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Guest_uuu_*
post Apr 6 2005, 03:29 AM
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QUOTE (artist.unknown @ Mar 12 2005, 09:44 PM)
QUOTE
Teachers are lax and churn out students with cirriculum that has been dumbed down in order to pass students.

At least where I live, the only federally required class for all four years is PE. This, friends, is depressing.
QUOTE
Frankly, I think public education should be abolished as regardless of how much money is pumped into it, the quality is still going downhill and I'd rather see those tax dollars go to un-screwing up the economy than be wasted.

I wouldn't say that. I had a private school education for many years, but I could only go because there was no tuition for children of teachers. Without public education, a vast number of people would not ever have the opportunity, or, frankly, the motivation, to ever learn. Energy does need to be put into improving the school systems, though. The property-taxed based funding creates vicious cycles of ill education and poverty, for one. ...But that's an arguement for another thread.

Anyway, back to the original question. I think in certain ways education has relaxed dramatically--take for example the fact that absolutely anybody can get an IEP and use it to justify never actually doing work, and the school can't argue it. Standards are also depressingly low; the high school proficiency exam, which I just took, had basic addition and subtraction questions on it. Students have college and their entire life afterwords to form an identity. "Identity" and "disregard for authority" shouldn't be confused either. And while it is important for students to tailor their education such that it remains interesting and stimulating--heavy on the humanities or sciences, for example--it still needs to be more rigorous. Kids shouldn't be able to slide through the cracks so easily.
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