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# Have schools been running out of things to teach the students

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posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 10:48 PM
A few months ago, I read an interesting essay by a professor named Richard Feynman from the 1980s which was about his experience whiel a member of the greater Los Angeles school board, in which he helped select new math and science books. One of the books told the the child that a wheel on a bike turned, a spring gave resistance and a battery worked all due to the sun. Feynman was appalled to say the least that a science book would skip through centripetal force, electrochemistry,friction and a host of other topics in physics in order to get to the point that 'because the sun shines, plants undergo photosynthesis and the fact that we eat plants or animals that plants, meant that everything comes from the sun and that is why everything works'. Sure, if you want to look at the grand scheme of things, but why not include the intermediate scale mechanics? Otherwise the kids aren't learning anything, Feynman thought.
I can't remember the rest but it was fun to read.

The Evolution of Math Teaching

1960s: A peasant sells a bag of potatoes for \$10. His costs amount to 4/5 of his selling price. What is his profit?
1970s: A farmer sells a bag of potatoes for \$10. His costs amount to 4/5 of his selling price, that is, \$8. What is his profit?
1970s (new math): A farmer exchanges a set P of potatoes with set M of money. The cardinality of the set M is equal to 10, and each element of M is worth \$1. Draw ten big dots representing the elements of M. The set C of production costs is composed of two big dots less than the set M. Represent C as a subset of M and give the answer to the question: What is the cardinality of the set of profits?
1980s: A farmer sells a bag of potatoes for \$10. His production costs are \$8, and his profit is \$2. Underline the word "potatoes" and discuss with your classmates.
1990s: A farmer sells a bag of potatoes for \$10. His or her production costs are 0.80 of his or her revenue. On your calculator, graph revenue vs. costs. Run the POTATO program to determine the profit. Discuss the result with students in your group. Write a brief essay that analyzes this example in the real world of economics.

posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 08:43 AM
They arent running out of things to teach, they just have to teach to the dumbest kids in class. I think this was said already.

Pay attention. Hate it, but pay attention. College is better. Rather than loathing your education, supplement it with the things YOU want to learn. Go to the library and do some independant reading. Find some topics that truely interest you and research them. Life should be a quest for knowledge above all.
If you dislike HS that much, drop out, get a GED (Good Enough Diploma), and go to college. Its worth it. My best friend dropped out to support an accidental pregnancy, got a GED, went to a community college, and now he is a year away from a Mechanical Engineering degree.
4 years of HS in 6 weeks? DO IT! Just go to college and actually learn something you will apply in your real life.

posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 08:51 AM
No offense meant news paper man, but you could really use much more work on both your spelling AND your grammar. First of all, newspaper is one word. Secondly, there are more run on sentences in your posts than I can count.

There is a reason why they teach what they teach and how they teach it. Trust me when I say that you would be wise to pay attention and do your best to master the subject matter. It will mean the difference between pumping my gas or running the company that sold me my car!

posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 12:59 PM

Originally posted by the news paper man, edited by his English teacher
It has come to my attention that teachers and the school board have been running out of things to teach in HS. Im in 11th grade and in math and English I have been learning the same things over again. I dont know about you, but, to me, it is getting annoying. Back in 7th grade I learned about lines, rays, angles, slopes, and much more. Today I’m in geometry and I’m not learning anything new. Every year in English, I always learn about grammar. Okay, I understand that we need grammar, but come on people; we dont need to learn it every single year. It is basic English. I think that is why more teens are dropping out of school in this past year. Dont call it stubbornness or pressure. It is because school is getting more and more boring. Science and social studies are classes that you can learn something different in, because history always changes, and scientists are always finding something new about plants, animals and space.

posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 01:18 PM

That said, there's a lot of repitition in high school courses largely because the teachers, at least in public schools, have to teach to the lowest common denominator. In English courses, for example, in most large school districts the teachers can't just assume that all of their students are familiar with basic grammar rules

I moved around a lot because my dad was in the Navy. New home every 2-3 years, along with schools and states.

In different schools the curriculum changes. I completely missed out on the "science" if you will of sentance structures and trees. I was in advanced english my 11th grade year and they covered this. The teacher, I suppose, assumed that everyone in the class knew since it was advanced. I was completely lost.

The same thing happened in my Algebra II class my Senior year in a different school. The teacher happened to love fractions and in my elementary moving I skipped that part of math because my schools were on different levels of education.

Teenagers are so hard headed these days that the repetition may be so mething the teacher thinks he or she has to do to get the point across.

posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 01:41 PM
The repetition is due to the fact that you cannot rely on a kid to do ANY independent research. IT is proven fact that if you hammer it into their heads verbally, and visually, and force them to write on it, they will be more apt to remember. If a teacher only showed you long division once in 4th grade do you think you would have gone home and practiced the summer before 5th grade?

posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 03:14 PM

Originally posted by Frosty
1980s: A farmer sells a bag of potatoes for \$10. His production costs are \$8, and his profit is \$2. Underline the word "potatoes" and discuss with your classmates.

I didnt know I'd be spilling my coffee over that post.

posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 11:59 PM
They have to reteach things because the students never learn it in the first place. This is why you learn the same grammer rules every year. Because you go to the next level (even if you shouldnt) and after your first essay, the teacher sees the level of writing coming out of the class and has to go over the problems.

And for everyone who is correcting the other posters' spelling (hopefully not mine
), they no longer teach spelling - all the tests are matching/definitions, not how to spell the words.

---Pineapple

posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 07:36 PM
school is getting boring because the teachers teach the same every year. they dont switch up their lesson plans, so its the same thing over and over, if they were to switch it up a little, it would make it a bit more exciting. teachers are also being way to strict, if they loosen up, the class will be better in the long run. A teacher of mine makes class very fun(Mr patton for some who go to my school), he never gets boring, everyday with him is fun and new. if the rest of the school was similar, less kids would drop out, it would be less boring, and it would be new pretty much every day. I know states set laws for schooling, but they are being way to strict now, they are saying what the teachers can and cant teach and wha they HAVE to teach us. the teacher should have a say so in what they teach and the manner they teach it in. thats one reason why the classes teach the same every year, the state makes them pretty much...

(if you noticed, there is a pattern in my text)

Rekar

posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 10:42 PM
Better teachers would definitely help in schools. However, learning is still the primary responsibility of the student. I do sympathize with you having had to deal with crappy teachers, though; I've certainly had a few of those! (like the guy teaching my RF circuits class... how you can teach a circuits course without ever drawing a circuit until over 3 weeks into the course is beyond me, but it's what he's done)

If you find yourself unchallenged by your schoolwork, try finding some books in the subjects you are most interested in, that are at a higher level than what you are taking, and reading those.

To me, high school is a thing to be endured. I didn't like it at all, and I see a lot of my own reasons in previous posts by many of you. Try to get as much as you can out of your high school courses, even if it isn't much. Another thing you can try is registering in the IB program (international baccalaureate, if I've spelled that right) if you have it at your school, or taking AP courses if they are offered (we didn't have AP courses at my high school, but we did have IB; I didn't take it, and I think in retrospect I should have)

posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 07:06 PM
From what I can tell AP Classes are well worth the difficulty. I currently take AP US Gov. and AP Physics B, and have friends in AP Calculus, AP Biology, and AP English. The stuff you learn in the standard version of these classes pales in comparison, especially when it comes to math and sciences. A lot of the information is new/looked at in a different way. But if you don't have a good teacher you won't get anything out of the class except for very poor grades.

posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 09:05 PM
School..pfftt it's a joke... I'm in grade 8 and so far I've learned everything I'm re-learning in the last 4 years of school. I haven't been taught anything new besides a few math units. But we're having health and career guidance units about making friends, and feelings, and familys, and how to get a job and what kind of job we would like. Now I don't know about you but these are COMPLETELY STUPID things to be teaching grade 8's and I can hardly tell the two classes apart...I've learned more from tv and books than I have from school..At least my LA teacher is ok...

I am outraged that the school board would let this slack teaching go on...Art is a joke, health, career guidance, science and social are all the same thing every year! I am learning a small amount of things in math most of which will never apply to real like. Ex- How many ways can you make change for \$5? And LA is alright, except we are re-learning english, still doing spelling. And the rest of the time is doing book reports..

posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 09:31 AM
Unfortunately, it does seem that every single government funded school is BORING. I have been to two countries with a completely different systems and I also have an account from a friend who said a friend of his took naps in class. (do they care?) But then again, remember those long boring lessons, and then think, would you really want to be the head of education. I don't think so.

If anyone does, please do so, espicially if you have an interesting method involving originallity.

(spilling mistoks serereved with care)

posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 09:16 PM
A friend of a friend of mine has recently started something called The Thomas Jefferson Education which might be of interest to some of you. I didn't buy the book they're trying to sell you, but their description of this form of education sounds quite interesting to me.

The basic idea is you have to find a mentor, and then together you study and learn from the same material at the same time, one on one, and discuss the stuff you learned. It seems to be to be a cross between home-schooling and getting a tutor, although this form of education is strictly 'on-your-own'; you won't get any credit for it in school, it's just for personal enjoyment.

If you are interested, try to find a good mentor, maybe a good teacher, a parent, an older friend or sibling, a neighbour, or maybe even someone on ATS, to help you out.

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