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Why not teach kids something they can use?

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posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 04:45 AM
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when one sits in a class, one thinks "when am i gonna need this?" the answer is probably never, but if you want to go in to a particular job, then you will use it all the time.

going back to what somebody said that if you dont think the school system is working why dont you learn about it your self, well thats what people do, inculding adults. why do you think people are on ats? they are on ats because they want to learn! just like me. i joined ats because i want to learn. ats seemed a good place to do that, as well as wikipedia.

i learn from all sorts of resources, which made me a pain in the arse for myself and my teachers, because i always questioned what they were saying.

and history needs to be taught. kids only find it boring because
a) its taught in the wrong way
b)diplomatic is taught and not millitary.-all kids like blood.

the way to tech it in the right way is to get out of the classroom and show kids the things. like iam intested in millitary history, so i get out there and do it, the best way to learn.
if your teaching kids about taks, bring a sherman round, and a tiger, and compare the two. explain to the kids about economy behind millitary, thats the way to bring in diplomatic history.
another way to teach is to get kids thinking and questioning sources.
like the quote "history is the events that people agree on." (napoleon)

that is just one example. take RE for instance. kids are taught "muslim blive that" insead of "muslims belive this because of the..." of course, it takes time and money, but if your gonna do a job , do it propaly!

ive noted that there are a lot of high-school kids on ats, because they WANT TO LEARN! its just that the eductation system is not catering for them.

if i was a teacher, and we [the class and i] were discussing conspiracy, the best way is to take them on the internet and have a web chat with simon gray, founder of ats; and some mods. that way, they could learn 2 subjects-how conspiracys work and how people feel, and how a website works and how to run it. hell, maybe the kids could visit the web severs and learn about them... wonder how simon would feel bout that?!

school is not only about learning, which is what the goverment watchdogs seem to think. its about finding out who one is is and learning about social structure. how people think suchlike.

for this reason, insead of RE, it should be philosofy, when kids study and question reilgon. at the end you say "who found that buddhism was logical?"
kid will put his hand up, and you say "why?" you teach them about philosofers as well-like plato and bertrad russell. [next thing i wanna learn about!]

one has to teach kids in an open and dianamic way.

going back to my experence at school; i met a lot of teachers that did not know their subject. to me this was annoying. was teach when you do even care? this had a good/bad affect on me cause i went out to learn about the subject to 'out smart' the teacher, and, the bad affect was that it made me disruptive in class... oh well...

wow, sould have saved this for rant on bts!




posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 10:52 AM
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Thankyou blue_sky_9 I was reading the topic and was waiting for someone to bring up the point about the role of teachers in this scenario. I myself are in the 3rd year of a bacholar of education in secondary years and through this i have had to to rethink and re-evaluate what i thought of my secondary years of schooling as myself went through lessons thinking this is such a waste of time.

Many people have come on here and explained their thoughts about how the education system needs to change to teach children more relevant knowledge and skills. The curriculum, at least where i am from gets evaluated and changed every 2 to 4 years depending on how successful they deem the results of senior students and the feedback they provide to the teacher and then the teacher provides to the state education department.

I strongly believe it is not the curriculum to blame but teachers that simply do not love the career they have chosen to be a part of, or have become lazy or impatient with the effort that is required.

We have discussed this for a few years now about the role of the teacher in creating learning experiences that not only teach the students theory but do so in a way that forces students to go out and search for answers them selves (in effect teach themselves). The teacher is simply there to provide structure and substance for these experiences and help students provide links between what they are learning and their everyday lives.

take for example a lesson plan i had to design. I had to design a lesson in mathematics but could only focus on one specific area, such as measurement. instead of what my old teachers did...hand out several sheets or direct us to a section of the textbook. i instructed students over a period of a week to record what forms of measurement they used and why in their everyday lives. the results were outstanding in this lesson/project the students had framework supplied by the teacher, then went and constructed their own learning experiences while at the same time finding out that they actually use an enourmous amount of maths without even knowing it.

An important point it is NOT the students responsibility to teach themselves but the teacher to understand the curriculum and then set lessons/experiences/activities/assignments that are open ended and once the student understands the fundamentals of the topic provide opportunities for learning, not teaching.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 11:02 AM
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unfortunatly, its no longer about learning. its about merorising facts for tests.

i was talking to a teacher the other day, and she was commenting that the was no scope in education system to allow for the teacher to branch out into other subjects.

to me, this defies the whole point of education. the education system is place to devolop the child and help them and learn, not to pass tests.

i belive that learning should carry on thoughout life, so that one never closes ones mind (still be writing here in me 80s!!!
) and school should start kids helping them on the 'journey of life'. ie: teaching them to teach themselves.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 11:37 AM
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exactly! it is all about life long learning...for myself as a teacher and for me to establish this is the case for my students. Ideas, theories, formulas, meanings all change it is our role to make sure students can learn for themselves and create their own learning experiences that help them understand and learn new things so it wont seem so overwhelming once there is no teacher there to hold your hand and guide you through the ever changing world.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 11:53 AM
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Originally posted by dodgyaussie
it is our role to make sure students can learn for themselves and create their own learning experiences that help them understand and learn new things so it wont seem so overwhelming once there is no teacher there to hold your hand and guide you through the ever changing world.

Well said. I teach high school in Brisbane, Australia and I sincerely believe that, when all is said and done, the most important thing we can give our students is the ability to think for themselves and learn for themselves.

Too many times a student has asked me "Sir, how come we have to learn this?" or "When are we ever going to use this?" What am I supposed to tell them? You have to learn it because I said so? You're never going to use this obscure piece of information?

To illustrate my point, I was drawn into an argument with a fellow teacher about World War 2. He was bemoaning the fact that most of his students did not know the specific dates that WW2 was declared and ended. I argued back that I believed it was much more important for the kids to learn why WW2 was fought and how it was finally ended. After all, if the kids ever need to know the dates, they can look them up. To me, it is far more crucial that they develop an understanding of the why and the how of the situation. After all, isn't the reason we teach them about things such as WW2 to ensure that history does not repeat itself?

Too often we cram students' minds with meaningless dates and figures that they will never use and probably forget as soon as their exam is over. I know I did, and I was considered a good student.

I am all for introducing different trends in education. At my school, they have introduced basic lifeskills classes that teach the kids simple things such as how to construct a budget, how to write a cheque, how to sew a button, things of a practical yet vital nature. In a similar vein, classes have become far more specialised, with students able to concentrate their studies on areas as focused as video game development or specific forms of metalworking. It's almost like a series of miniature university courses. I find this sort of approach, where classes are tailored to specific careers or interests or skills or needs far more effective than the 'blanket' approach employed by many schools.

Prior to having been a part of these changes, I was ready to advocate tearing down the schools, admitting that we have all but failed and starting over again with a different plan and a different outlook on issues related to pedadogy. Because, as dodgyaussie says, we won't always be there for them and the real world is becoming increasingly complex, competitive and ruthless.

[edit on 2/9/05 by Jeremiah25]



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 04:51 AM
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so what do you tell them when they ask "when are we going to use this?"

i know that teachers here are bogged down by paperwork, making life increasing diffecult, especally for seconary school teachers.

do you suffer from paper work?

the goverment here is acually telling teachers their jobs. again, do you suffer from this problem?

i ve just notecied something... we are all typing english but the language is different!! like seconary school=high school, suchlike.



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 02:57 PM
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My girls are both currently enrolled in the local high school that has the highest GPA in the state
and one of the highest in the country.
For this we are truly fortunate, but it does make me wonder why other students are less fortunate.

It seems that the school's rating has become more important than the student's achievement.
Both the students and the teachers are pressured to go for those almighty SAT scores than they are to actually learn valuable life skills.

I've written several letters to our local congressman asking why our students must be burdened
with $40-120.000+ in student loan debt, when most other industrialized nations provide higher education at little or no cost.

The truth is that colleges and universities here in the U.S. are corporations, businesses who
profit greatly from all the unnecessary well rounded course credits that students are forced to learn
if they want a degree.

In todays world, most of these " required credit courses" could be taught either online
or by using interactive DVD's.
As long as the student has access to a computer, the cost of books could be greatly reduced
by licenced PDF versions on CD that could also be easily updated as needed.

What comes to mind, is the ballet school scenario, where parents are fleeced by the school
for the cost of lessons, costumes, and recital videos, although their child doesn't have any talent
to speak of.

Like I said before, the current education system does not support a student's natural abilities,
but attempts to make them fit the acceptable mold.

The worst result in all of this is that many highly talented students become discouraged when
" the system " fails them.



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 07:44 PM
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Read an interesting article on the state of our public school system in a major publication. The article discussed how our public and private schools are the best in the world and there are a ton of students coming in from overseas. But our public elementary and highs schools are falling behind. Came down to it that competition and choice at colleges really helped. Think of it this way the best students can choose the best school and the best school can command the highest price. When a school fails the parents and students complain and if they choose they can seek education elsewhere.

The article then blamed organized labor and its monopoly on the public school education for poor schools. Where school choice reigns, such as in charter schools, and there is no organized labor then the public education flourishes. Made me think. My kids go to private school.



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 08:29 PM
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Actually, my high school requires you to take a class called Life Management Skills. It's required or else you dont get a diploma. The class is half a semester and it does teach you how to balance a checkbook and things like that. Also, Economics and Government is required for 12 grade students. So I guess its not completely useless.



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 09:34 PM
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Hey lets here from some one currently in high school aka me. I am a sophmore at a private all boys school in Baltimore. The school requires ties and sports jackets and to be overall neat. My subjects are listed as follows World History II, Hon. German II, Bio/chem, Jesus, English II, Geometry, Gym and Concert Choir. I accell in things that require memorization (history, german and Jesus) yet lack in things that require thinking (geometry, bio). I would like to take a class that teaches the ins and outs of living such as taxes, credit, investments and stocks. But there are no courses avalible and all the books at the library are to deep for just starting out. In the future I hope to start my own buissness. Its like my grandfather always says "Youll ever get rich working or somebody else.
If you have any questions regarding my views or my school life ask



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 09:53 PM
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At university a basic 3 year degree teaches everyone the same thing.

The most important outcome of a degree is not the topic itself but that you have mastered the ability to learn in a self motivated manner. So even if you have a "do you want fries with this" degree, you have an equal level with someone with a science degree, you have learned how to learn.

That is the outcome of a good education system, considering that the information a degree topic gives has a lifespan of only 5 years, learning how to learn is the REAL skill that will prepare people for the future.

So to answer the initial poster who wanted kids to be taught budgeting and how to wipe their bum, the answer is to teach them HOW to learn for themselves. Then they are free to master whatever topics they need.



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 10:00 PM
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One thing they NEVER teach you in school is that most millionaires never made their fortunes working for someone else.



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 05:47 AM
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education needs to work for the people being educated



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 10:52 AM
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Originally posted by Netchicken
The most important outcome of a degree is not the topic itself but that you have mastered the ability to learn in a self motivated manner. So even if you have a "do you want fries with this" degree, you have an equal level with someone with a science degree, you have learned how to learn.


That's a load of garbage. I'm sorry. Forcing people to memorize the dates of when Martin Luther King was born, when he learned to walk, what his first word was, and every other miscellaneous fact is not an effective way to get children to learn.

If you're saying that all they are doing is teaching kids how to learn... then what would be wrong with teaching kids how to learn, while simultaneously -- and get this -- teaching them something they can use.

[edit on 4-9-2005 by white4life420]

[edit on 4-9-2005 by white4life420]



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by Vegemite
Hey lets here from some one currently in high school aka me.


Exactly. Teaching courses that would improve every person's ability to flourish is not an option in schooling today -- especially high school.

You can make someone well rounded, teach them to learn for themselves, and teach them something that is useful in their life, without force feeding them irrelevant information on a daily basis.



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 03:49 AM
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Originally posted by white4life420

Originally posted by Netchicken
The most important outcome of a degree is not the topic itself but that you have mastered the ability to learn in a self motivated manner. So even if you have a "do you want fries with this" degree, you have an equal level with someone with a science degree, you have learned how to learn.


That's a load of garbage. I'm sorry. Forcing people to memorize the dates of when Martin Luther King was born, when he learned to walk, what his first word was, and every other miscellaneous fact is not an effective way to get children to learn.

If you're saying that all they are doing is teaching kids how to learn... then what would be wrong with teaching kids how to learn, while simultaneously -- and get this -- teaching them something they can use.


thats the point- your teaching kids to learn. so, when they do say "how does the business section of the newspaper work?" you can say, go and find out; or not even that. they'll just go and find out. thats why you would not teach them "stuff they can use" becuse "stuff they can use" is gonna be different for each kid



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 09:48 PM
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Originally posted by blue_sky_9

Originally posted by white4life420

Originally posted by Netchicken
The most important outcome of a degree is not the topic itself but that you have mastered the ability to learn in a self motivated manner. So even if you have a "do you want fries with this" degree, you have an equal level with someone with a science degree, you have learned how to learn.


That's a load of garbage. I'm sorry. Forcing people to memorize the dates of when Martin Luther King was born, when he learned to walk, what his first word was, and every other miscellaneous fact is not an effective way to get children to learn.

If you're saying that all they are doing is teaching kids how to learn... then what would be wrong with teaching kids how to learn, while simultaneously -- and get this -- teaching them something they can use.


thats the point- your teaching kids to learn. so, when they do say "how does the business section of the newspaper work?" you can say, go and find out; or not even that. they'll just go and find out. thats why you would not teach them "stuff they can use" becuse "stuff they can use" is gonna be different for each kid


No, that's not the point. Learning, in itself, is a fairly innate skill. It's a skill that needs to be sharpened, sure.

The education system is failing for a few reasons, in my opinion:

1) Repetitiveness
2) Dullness of the material
3) Assuming slacking is caused by laziness, instead of apathy.

Kids would learn much more if the information was more based around something that people could use -- and what better way to teach someone to learn than when they actually learning.



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 10:51 PM
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Sorry white4life, but I wonder just what do you actually know about the higher education system? From a personal level?

If you think higher education is about memorizing dates etc then you are totally off the wall. Education is about developing critical analysis skills, about learning how to generalise through situations, learning how to think laterally. Its about being able to quickly synthesise processes and evaluate new information and draw relevent conclusions from that.

Your basic bum wiping course is more for those who DON"T have this ability. Your vocational learning style is the type that produces factory fodder and production line workers, not people who move on to higher education and into profesional fields. Its only good if you are happy with mediocrity.

I am forced to conclude that the system you come from is either so inept, failed and disorgainised to be of no use, or you really don't have a clue what you are on about.

If its the first then maybe budgeting is the best you can expect to get out of schooling, maybe you can have recitation lessions "This is a cheque book you use tit to write cheques". If its the second, then there is no sence me debating this with you.


[edit on 5-9-2005 by Netchicken]



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 02:01 PM
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I came from a high school that had too much money to use, and no where to put it.

I took every required class, and even non-required classes -- such as calculus. My history is far from the point though.

You apparently are missing my point. It has nothing to do with slow kids or vocational schooling.

For instance, 1 semester of P.E. was required per year in high school. Every damn time you did the same thing. You learned how to dribble a basketball, or how to swing a bat, or even how to bump a volleyball every year since 6th grade.

This is a pattern. It's repeated in every class, not just gym, and not just for vocational students.

Like I said, I took english, history, writing, math, chemistry, biology, etc in high school.

Guess what I took in my freshman/sophomore years of college? English (different books, same idea), history, writing (illiterations, compare/contrast, critiques, etc), calculus (again), chem, etc.

Let me explain further. To get a degree in college, you need to take generalized classes. After two years of that, that university begins in depth training for your career. Those two years are a repeat of your junior and senior year of high school.

So your idea of higher learning is based on an out-dated and quite illogical system.



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 03:01 PM
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The reason that achools are falling is because 'the people' allowed politicians to get invloved.

Red ink is now 'offensive'
Ebonics is 'in'
Almost any action taken by a teacher towards a student is meet by a lawyer suing the school.

Bring back corpal punishment!!



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