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Decline of school system

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Old 03-20-2006, 07:52 AM
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Decline of school system


Am I the only one who's noticed a slow decline in how the educational system ensures us our education? How they spend more time these days on "educational projects" like posters and such that would normally only take 4 minutes and they spend weeks? This wasted time could be used to make a well worth the effort education instead of having to seek knowledge ourselves. Or are they simply preparing us for the world after school where we need to fend for ourselves because everyone is an asshole.

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Old 03-20-2006, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Thousandth
Or are they simply preparing us for the world after school where we need to fend for ourselves because everyone is an asshole.
BINGO! Give the boy a cigar.
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Old 03-20-2006, 10:58 AM
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I almost made an identical reply, Bill.

I've found that a lot of any level of school (including tertiary) is also simply there to give you something to talk about at a cocktail party later on in life. Some jerk's talking about the civil war? Good thing you know all about that war from seventh grade American history!
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Old 03-20-2006, 07:10 PM
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Not everyone learns at the same pace you do my friend. I dont think speeding up will change much for most people.

I do agree, however, and most of the time we learn things we probably just wont need later. I don't mind the varity (not counting math, of course. I know I'm never using the Trig I learned ever again.) but some people KNOW what they want to be, and feel like they are just wasting their time.
Why not more trade schools? I think that would be a worthwhile investment.
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Old 03-20-2006, 08:29 PM
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School does seem to be a series of projects. Most of them worthless busy work.
My other thorn is how writing is taught. Students are never given the opportunity to explore writing. It always has to fit some structure--MLA, five paragraph, etc. Most teachers are more concerned with this structure and could care less about the content.
I say let students write and express themselves.
One more thorn--if you are not a traditional learner or thinker, school is a very hard place to get along. It's a fine place for young conformists.
I have two in high school, my son who is 16 and an 18 year-old exchange student. Both are bored to death.
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Old 03-20-2006, 11:10 PM
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so what exactly do you propose we do?
besdies restructuring the english department (which I do agree with, but I dont think it's as simple as that.)
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by kerrioke
I have two in high school, my son who is 16 and an 18 year-old exchange student ...
Then you're old enough to have gained some perspective on your own public education. Think back -- what lessons were we really learning behind the subject matter at hand?

(1)To tolerate boredom without tearing our hair out and fleeing from the classroom screaming.

(2)To obey authority (the teacher) without questioning or complaining.

(3)To compete with other students for praise (making them look stupid if possible) rather than cooperate for a common goal.

In other words, we were learning to become drones in the 9 to 5 rat race after our "education" was finished. Anthropologist Jules Henry called public education in America "the pathetic sacrifice of babes."
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Perfect_Paradox
so what exactly do you propose we do?
I propose that we teach students to think for themselves and question all commonly-held convictions. To think independently is the most important ability a student can learn.

Beyond that, I would reward creativity over memorization and teach students the real value of money, which is to live on as little as possible, not waste it on trivial things, and never make it the center of their lives.
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Old 03-21-2006, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by starrwriter
I propose that we teach students to think for themselves and question all commonly-held convictions. To think independently is the most important ability a student can learn.
This is the lost art of education. This is why our universities are turning into trade schools. What happened to logic being taught to elementary students?
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:20 PM
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Thinking independently is a lofty idea for today's educational system. If you think outside of the box they throw it (you) away and they don't even think about recycling.
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Old 03-22-2006, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by kerrioke
Thinking independently is a lofty idea for today's educational system. If you think outside of the box they throw it (you) away and they don't even think about recycling.
Then it's not education, it's social engineering (brainwashing).

A century and a half ago Thoreau had an interesting idea. He proposed that all students should provide labor to help build/maintain the colleges they attend in exchange for reduced tuition. He thought the practical experience would be a valuable counterpoint to academic studies.

Another problem in education is the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is knowing how to do something. Wisdom is knowing whether and why we should do it and where it fits into the larger scheme of things. We live in a knowledge-overburdened (technological) society where pragmatism seems to make wisdom irrelevant.

The pragmatism of George Santayana and William James heavily influenced education in America, but I think pragmatism is a second-rate philosophy. It stops short of definining what truth is and settles for whatever practical application it can find. There is no such thing as pragmatic truth. It is only expediency.
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Old 03-23-2006, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by starrwriter
Then it's not education, it's social engineering (brainwashing).
Damn! And here is me all out of cookies. This is exactly what school is and has always been. Its purpose is to sort society and every kid isnt given an equal chance, even now in our supposedly enlightened times. School is not about teaching children to be independent thinkers.

www.cantrip.org/gatto.html
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Old 03-23-2006, 04:47 PM
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The whole first semester of my English class this year was all mainly little kid projects such as drawing six select characters from "The Crucible", and putting a quote of theirs next to them. This is 10th grade mind you. Ugh.
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Old 03-25-2006, 05:39 PM
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I concur with starrwriter. Seems to me that my education was all about regurgitating old ideas which were totally out of place in the real world. Similarily, the idea that one needs a diploma to succeed in the real world is just so much crap! i.e. Bill Gates dropped out of college to pursue his dream! We need to expand our minds to fulfill our destinies, live fully and educate our neighbours...
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Old 03-25-2006, 06:00 PM
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I believe the current decline in the school system is because of too much control by the federal government. "NO child left behind!" Now they are really left behind. The comprehensive curriculum is leaving our children behind. Taking away corporal punishment is leaving our children behind. I teach a self-contained special education class. I have students that need and deeply inside want to be disciplined. But, we have to find positive behaviors to replace the nondesired ones. All students need to be taught to be responsible for their actions, not that there are gray areas. The word race needs to be taken off of every document, within the school system. A student is a student, period. My daughters have had a few years of Christian education, and this year, they are in public schools. They are breezing through the subject matter, because they had already learned most of it. It is the vulgar environment, I do not like. From the hall, I hear the restroom talk; it is not pleasant. Time for be to get out of this thread before I get too heated.
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Old 03-25-2006, 07:44 PM
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A self-contained classroom is a special place. One of my dearest friends taught in this environment for along time. Students in these classrooms, generally, carry some heavy burdens.

As for "no child left behind"--the current administration is responsible for this gem. It has left every child behind. Certainly, corporal punishment is not the reason our children have been left behind. It is a lacking curriculum filled with busy work that is responsible. We need to stimulate thinking.
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Old 03-25-2006, 09:10 PM
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I like the idea I came up with when I was in 8th grade... I doubt it would work, but anyway it goes we all come to school at the regular time... Report to our teachers, who since we have one huge cafeteria that branches off into two halls, would all be in the caf, they'd give you your homework for the day and when you finish you can go home. The teachers would hang out til all the kids finished so they could help the needy ones. But of course this would be cutting school very short and the teachers would be getting reduced pay, but we would learn at a much quicked pace if you ask me without all these projects and having to hang around for 7 useless hours a day when it only takes 1 out of the 8
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