Watered down children?

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posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 04:01 PM
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Let's face it folks, we all know that the quality of public education sucks, but is it an accident?

We all have to ask ourselves whether or not state- and federal-mandated minimums on education are too low due to an accident or a deep conspiracy. One wonders whether or not we are being fed sub-par education like prisoners are fed sub-par food to keep spirits and radical tendencies down.

I remember reading once that teachers that very rarely deviate from pre-planned lessons have lower average test scores among their students. I think that this is a great example of the inhibition of the child psyche due to too much constraint. It's an established fact that independent learning stimulates greater growth in intellect.

But, is the government involved with this inhibition of the vast majority of American children? I think yes. The governments, both state and federal put minimum requirements on the average test scores of schools, and their tests cover a broad range of topics, but nothing too in depth. That scares school districts into forcing curriculums onto their students that address what is on these aptitude tests, and nothing more. by not teaching kids more than what they need to know, they are crippling the future of the country, by making our children blissfully unaware.

Test scores are at an all-time high, yes, but if you were to begin a conversation with one of those children about the Spanish-American war, all but a few high school seniors would even know what the hell you're talking about. Personally, I find it sickening that we are 'Watering Down' the brains of all our children with useless knowledge, and not teaching them what matters most: There are three topics in school that are most important, above all. Psychology, Sociology, and History. These three subjects teach people much of what they need to know to get through life, not what the verb is in the sentence: The american government is screwing us blind.

What do you propose we do about this?




posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 04:15 PM
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I think the education aithorities should stop trying to bring every child down to the level of the "lowest common denominator". They will tell you that this is so nobody gets left behind. In truth the primary education system, atleast in the UK - I can't speak for the US elementary schools - teaches children very little at all, and what's more, it's done over an unbearably long period of time. After seven years of schooling, a child can come out knowing little more than they would have had they never bothered to go to school. Independent learning as you say is the only way to beat the system.

The teachers who drag everyone down to the level of the least capable students are stifling those who could get more out of their education.



posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 04:17 PM
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Well said, Cider.

It's appalling how absolutely STUPID some policies can be.



posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 04:21 PM
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Very true Loki, it's this which leads me to believe that there is some hidden agenda in the dumbing down of children. Politicians couldn't possibly initiate schemes like this if they had the students' best interests at heart.

Some people put it down to political correctness, and trying not to discriminate against the hard of thinking. I'm inclined to disagree - they could easily be separated in class.



posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 04:28 PM
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Our schools teach what is on the test and not what needs to be taught. Take the FCAT for example, it was designed to make sure that we are learning what we needed to. Instead they teach us what is on the test. Why? Any school that improves in a grade letter for the test gets a bonus of 100$ per student. And who decides how to spend this money? The teachers. And what do they do with it? Spend it on themselves, the problem was that the money could be have more effective replacing our 12 year old out-dated books instead of the teachers.

The very few teachers who do inspire thought are among the coolest and brightest. Imagine if school was taught by a robot doing nothing but the curriculum, one word: boring. We might all have to go home and shoot ourselves if it comes to that. I say all this as a high school student of a Florida school. If you'd like me to go on as the the stupidity and what we're really learning about just tell me to and I will, I think I got a little off-subject.



posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 04:31 PM
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You forgot English and Basic math, without it no further education could continue. I personally made strait F's for a certain amount of time in my life. I made A's in subjects that were interesting to me. And , was a trouble student until finally asked to leave one day. To which I gladly agreed.

If my kids didn't get three ours of homework done every night I am convinced they would learn very little. I don't know what they do all day at school but it must not be learning.

I personally know three teachers who spend their entire evening every day of the weak until 12:00 PM and some on the weekends grading papers. I don't know how they do it. And the pay is not that good either. There really needs to be some changes made in the entire school system. Seems like a hampster wheel to me.



posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 04:39 PM
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In the Chicago area at this moment, teachers are striking for more benefits.

Know what I think?

Pay them in accordance with how well they teach. Elementary students in the city can't read or write, but the teachers want more pay. Not like a few months off a year is enough for them.

Just last MArch, they raised my property taxes to help float the financially strapped school where my daughter goes. They threatened to cut out all non-essential classes, art,music,p.e., and even the lunch program. They wanted to cut the school day to the state minimum of 5 hours.

My thoughts?

How is art, music and p.e. "non-essential"?

They need to quit building so many god**** houses on all the open land in our area, adding hundreds of new students with each new subdivision they build. Construction contractors will eat up every square inch of available land to make money. Any one who lives in or near a city knows that.

In Illinois, a percentage of the lottery money goes to education. Where the heck is THAT money at?



posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 05:21 PM
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You can't pay teachers based on how well they teach, because then you get teachers who don't want to teach the handicapped because they may have more trouble on the standardized tests making it seem like the teacher is not teaching well. I heard a saying once it goes:

"I truly await the day education gets all the money it needs, and the military has to have bake sales to buy bombs!"



posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 08:02 PM
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I think Loki's hit the nail on the head. A lot of of attention is (rightly) paid on making sure teachers are competent, intelligent, and capable of forcing knowledge into an unwilling kid's head, but ultimately the deck is stacked against them. The American educational system was NOT designed to produce students with critical thinking skills or even general knowledge. It was designed to produce a large, competent, but docile, labor force; you don't need to know anything about the Spanish American war in order to dig ditches or push buttons. In fact, the Amercian system was directly modeled after Prussia's system (keep in mind that prussian citizens were basically serfs) A good article can be found here: nj.npri.org...



posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 08:11 PM
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and you can guess what the teachers teach "well this will be on the test, so come to tutoring if you don't understand it, oh, that you don't understand that, well that won't be on the test so don't worry"



posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 08:11 PM
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Personally, I have first-hand experience. (Well I guess we all do, but I'm in the middle of this situation) To be frank, there are good teachers and bad teachers. There are some that just teach to the book, but there are many that try to teach kids the things they care about. The kid asks a question, the help them understand. We just have to face it, a majority of the population is stupid.

There are a lot of bright students, more than enough to be in the government and such, its just there are so many more bad ones. We are not watering down our education, we just don't look hard enough in water that is naturally there for the fruit.



posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 08:12 PM
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Originally posted by outsidethemilkglass
and you can guess what the teachers teach "well this will be on the test, so come to tutoring if you don't understand it, oh, that you don't understand that, well that won't be on the test so don't worry"


This all depends on the teacher. Some just read the book, but my science teacher went off-topic for two days explaining the relationship between the mystery of the atom and the mystery on the universe. And you can bet that won't be on the test.



posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 08:22 PM
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speaking as a high school freshman who understands what they're trying to do to us, you are all completely right on a lot of things. the teachers only have a curriculum so they can make money by having good grades on a test and then don't use it on books but instead on a new cell phone (i actually saw this happen last year). and the people who make curriculums want us to know only what we need to know and nothing else.
i've always thought the reason that history is so boring is because they are most hard-pressed to follow the curriculum.
and there is so much else going on. my teachers punish me for writing essays on government conspiracies, and my favorite teacher tells me that if i don't want to get in big trouble one day i'll stop writing about them. they don't want us to know what's going on.
and it true, hardly any of us are getting the "education" we need.
and i was probably just rambling on and not making much sense... sorry about that.
just wanted to say that i agree with everything that is being said in this thread.

hearts!



posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 08:26 PM
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Originally posted by effigyrelease

i've always thought the reason that history is so boring is because they are most hard-pressed to follow the curriculum.


The reason history is so boring is because you've started to hear the basics from the 3rd grade, and all they do each year is add details. Its not like math or science where when you get to a higher level you can learn something new, there is no parallel universe-history they can teach you about. And do you really care about the political history of Zimbabwe?



posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 08:33 PM
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History-as-detail is a good example of what's wrong with the curriculum. They only teach dry facts: Columbus discovered america in 1492, money can be exchanged for goods and services. That's fine for the 5th grade, but by highschool they should be teaching children to ask questions about the facts, to develop their own theories as to why things are the way they are. Creativity and independent thought are discouraged, as long as you can parrot back the facts, you're considered "smart".



posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 09:19 PM
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I have to agree. I have many little nephews, well, not little, little, but still young enough. They say they are bored because the teachers don't let them do anything that invovles free thought. Same thing over and over...quite boring according to them. I have heard this arguement before and I can say that it is very possible. It is a shame..but, if it is a conspiracy, what would be the motive behind it? There has to be a motive, right?

-wD



posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 09:21 PM
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Originally posted by sharky
History-as-detail is a good example of what's wrong with the curriculum. They only teach dry facts: Columbus discovered america in 1492, money can be exchanged for goods and services. That's fine for the 5th grade, but by highschool they should be teaching children to ask questions about the facts, to develop their own theories as to why things are the way they are. Creativity and independent thought are discouraged, as long as you can parrot back the facts, you're considered "smart".


I have two points to make, one proving you wrong, and one just me saying your wrong


1. Columbus didn't discover America, Prince Madoc of North Wales did
Bu then thats, just my opinion, some might got with those damn Norwiegians

2. I don't know how it was when you went to school, but today that is exactly what they are doing. My ho=istory teacher will lecture us from the book, then ask us whether we think that is really true and how we think the book is slandering it. We are also learning to get information oursleves base don opservations, based on things we gather.



posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 09:31 PM
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Originally posted by WeBDeviL
I have to agree. I have many little nephews, well, not little, little, but still young enough. They say they are bored because the teachers don't let them do anything that invovles free thought. Same thing over and over...quite boring according to them. I have heard this arguement before and I can say that it is very possible. It is a shame..but, if it is a conspiracy, what would be the motive behind it? There has to be a motive, right?

-wD


I had a problem like that when I was in school, elementary all the way through the semester I spent as a senior. Free-thought in my school was rather discouraged, as was anyone who didn't follow the status quo. Unless you were out for one of the sports or in band/choir, they didn't seem to care about you. I had a college instructor who was the same way, didn't care about students unless they are of a particular major, but that's a different story. Anyways, in my highschool, they teach the same # everyday to the students in every grade. The only difference between 6th grade math and algebra is that in highschool, the class is actually called "Algebra". Until my senior year, no advanced placement classes were even offered. All of the classes seemed to be taught so that even a person in a vegetative state could pass them. For example, history class taught basically what Pherophile said it teaches. Economics taught that money can be exchanged for goods or services, we actually learned nothing about capitalism or any other school of economy. I went to public school my entire life, after speaking with some people from a private school about 20 miles away, I found that their curriculum varied very little from ours, with the exception that they take classes about the bible as well. I think the education system is crap, and my children will be homeschooled. As for social interaction, I hope that when I have children, people still believe in taking their children to public places where they can interact with their peers, such as parks and playgrounds and stuff.



posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 09:33 PM
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Originally posted by Pherophile

Originally posted by effigyrelease

i've always thought the reason that history is so boring is because they are most hard-pressed to follow the curriculum.


The reason history is so boring is because you've started to hear the basics from the 3rd grade, and all they do each year is add details. Its not like math or science where when you get to a higher level you can learn something new, there is no parallel universe-history they can teach you about. And do you really care about the political history of Zimbabwe?


The political history of Zimbabwe, while interesting, has nothing to do with the argument here. All I'm saying is that ALOT can be learned about what's going to happen in the future, by learning what happened in the past.

We as a species haven't gotten smart enough to learn from it, thus we are doomed to repeated, as the old saying goes.

What is going to change this? Awareness. Get aware, people.



posted on Nov, 17 2003 @ 09:49 PM
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Learning from our mistakes also has nothing to with this discussion. The whole Zimbabwe thing was to demonstrate that although there is social content that is not being taught, not many people care or will ever need it. Frankly, there are very few moments in history I think we actually need to learn from. Many of the situations are irrevelant in our current politcal situation.





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