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The Great Education Swindle

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posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 03:35 AM
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I have been an educator for about 9 years and I consider that educational theorists and authorities are con-men, equal to the status of our oleaginous politicians. and that we as parents and educators, are being swindled.

Why? Let's consider the facts:

1. We fail many, if not most, of the children we teach, leaving them disillusioned, disenchanted and disenfranchised from the learning process - up to 60% of students in Comprehensive schools cannot gain a grade A*-C in five subjects to enable them to study further

2. We were forced to teach a National Curriculum to enable parents to compare different schools who are NOT equal in circumstances - a private school which charges fees is not equal to schools on negative or struggling budgets

3. We are teaching an academic Curriculum at Yr 10 and 11 which is not contextual to the lives of most children who need concrete learning (concrete experiential learners) - abstract learners only make up 20% of total numbers. As educators, we teach useless facts to students that do not make sense to their lives. I have had many students who wanted to be builders asking me why they needed Modern Foreign Languages or Science when both were irrelevant to their chosen careers (I normally agree with them)

4. As a result of not meeting the needs of most children, educators experience disruption and anomalous behaviour from BORED students

5. We are teaching Citizenship to turn out submissive and unthinking raw material for the Capitalist machine so that learning 10,000 facts off by heart will give them GOOD jobs. where they will make more money and will be far more willing to give up their rights to people who claim to know better (our politicians)

7. We teach 'know-how' NOT wisdom so that the ideal student is a trusting ingenue without the tools to think about the world for themselves but gives his trust to people with 'more' knowledge - a disastrous move which gives politicians an immediate advantage due to their 'superior' knowledge

8. We are meeting agendas in education that come directly from Government and which are changed, on average, every four to six years when the next 'good' idea comes along. We are also open to changes put into place from above the Government from the people who tell Tony Blair what to do (e.g. the Bilderberg Society)

Maybe I am just a grumpy old man but I believe that we need an overhaul of the Education System which meets the needs of a changing, selfish, self-centred Materialist society. The current system fails approximately 60% of students in Inner City areas and 30-40% of children in middle-class areas.

What should be the aim of education? Surely it is to turn out students who are literate and numerate and who can make decisions about society and their lives in a well-balanced way so that they can fulfil their God -given potential in life. Surely we need youths who have enough relevnt information so that they can see through the propaganda they are exposed to in everyday life? Surely we need people who are willing to enter into lobbying and using the democratic process in the way it is supposed to be used? Surely we need people who will not be swindled by the current educational system but wil be prepared to push for change in the future?

Our educational theorists have looked at Kant and Hegel for answers and - have come up with nothing. We cannot accept the status quo and continue to disenfranchise our youth, because they will be running the country next.

Any suggestions for a change are welcome.




posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 08:25 PM
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Hi there Heronumber0!


I have just come out of the education system you speak of and have been attending college on a British National diploma level course. I have to agree with you on many of your points. I'll try to give a students perspective of this system.

- At the school I attended I think most students do/did achieve the grades they needed for further education. I know most of my friends did, but I was there on the day to pick up my results because of an operation, so I didn't get to see the big mix of gleeful and distraught faces.

- As far as I'm aware school funding has always been a problem. I remember there being 'offsted' inspections a couple of times a year. I was rather surprised to find that if the school scored well it would be given more money. In my opinion it should work almost the other way round. If a school is failing then it needs help.

- I rather identify with the comments about irrelevant information. I'm now on a media course, and as far as I can currently see, I'm never going to have to review the conflict them in MacBeth, nor am I going to have to find the tangent of x. The interesting thing that struck me is I spent 2 years learning gcse math to attain a B grade, now only months later I would be lucky to gain a D if I took one tommorrow. This opens up another issue... Is this useless information taking up space in our brains that we could use learning something relevant to our lives? I'll have to read about it when I get the time...

- When I was at school I always felt sorry for the teachers, especially the ones who couldn't handle the class. Of course... I am not completely innocent... Mucking around was fun back then. I can see that being an educator is a very difficult job with disruptive student... But I don't think students being bored is the only factor. It's the whole social dynamic of modern youth and school life. There is a lack of respect there that past generations never had, because students know that their actions will have little consequence.

- I'm not sure I agree on the teaching us to be obeying citizens. School did the opposite for most people I know, and the individual teachers themselves seemed to actually WANT to help us learn as much as possible. But When I say that I really mean help us get a good grade via learning of useless information. The education system we have is certainly now a very mechanical one, and due to the growing amount of students coupled with the dwindling funding is meaning teaching is getting less and less personalized as schools struggle to cope.

- Point 7 I just could not agree with more! Theres nothing more to add to that...

- I didn't see much change in the education system when I was there. It all comes back to funding, change costs money. The whole education system needs to be completely overhauled and re-personalized in order to make sure everyone achieves to the best of their ability.

So being a student, the way I see it is people are failing because of the mechanical nature of the currents system, coupled with the current social culture today. Some students are just bad apples, (the kind who see 'bunking off' as a cool thing to do... maybe due to their background, whatever... It just causes disruption in the class an slows learning of the irrelevant information we need to get good grades.

Continued...



posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 08:29 PM
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We had this English teacher who could not control he class. I was in the higher set for English initially but being CaptainLazy I missed deadlines and the department took it to mean I had a slower learning pace that a lower set would fill the need for. Well... It did the opposite of helping, I fell in to a disruptive class that achieved little in the way of learning objectives. I myself stopped doing the work in class because no one else was and theres the element of wanting to fit in. The social dynamic in schools can be harsh to some too and theres countless people who suffer bullying, I'd say about 1/10 in my school were bullied in some way... keeping in mind that it was nothing like the schools where you get people bringing in knifes ect.. what this all boils down to is... Kids just don't want to go to school. It's just a crap environment to learn in, attending college and learning something useful has been a breath of fresh air to me.

Anyway I hope sharing my experiences will help people understand what the current British school system looks like through the eyes of a modern student.



posted on Dec, 29 2006 @ 09:19 AM
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Stupid In America

You'd might be interested in that. Not only does the United State's school system teach useless facts, but they're not even good at it.

Our public schools say they need more funding, when in reality they need a system reform.



posted on Dec, 29 2006 @ 09:29 AM
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The same down fall that the education system suffered while under the Reagan administration when religious rights took hold of what was allow or not to teach in schools, and science became a controversial subject . . . the same is happening now under the bush administration.

The same movements that were sprouting in the Reagan era and kind of went into low profile during the Bush Sr. and Clinton years are now more financed, prepare and with enough government power to push their agendas once more.

Why? because in order to appeases the the religious right the government is allowing them to become more active in the schools curriculum.

In the last 6 years education has become stagnant once again.

I was an educatior for 9 years and I stop teaching in 2002.

At that time to many people had priority over the educatiors, I imagine that now is even worst.

[edit on 29-12-2006 by marg6043]



posted on Dec, 29 2006 @ 10:01 AM
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The only way to bring about education reform is to mandate that the children of our lawmakers attend public schools. Until their kids are thrown into the 'mosh pit', the best option, in the interest of a well rounded education, will be home schooling.



posted on Dec, 29 2006 @ 10:02 AM
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Watching that 20/20 video opened my eyes to something. Not just that the schools are bad, but the parents rely too much on them. I don't know about you. but when I was a child my parents helped me learn to read and write. They sat with me and read through alphabet books when I was small. This helped me no end, and the only thing that stopped me from attaining top grades was my own laziness.



posted on Dec, 29 2006 @ 12:12 PM
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What hurt me the most in that 20/20 video, were some of the comments from the Belgian students in regards to American students. Escpecially the young girl who said:

"...I think it's a pity that American children don't have the same opportunities and the same choices we have, but if your used to it maybe, it's just normal."

That hurts.



posted on Dec, 29 2006 @ 01:22 PM
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I imagine that it will be normal not to have the same educational benefits of other nations if everybody around you are like you.

I got my education outside the US and I can tell you that is true, my education was very diversified and it was not stagnant and stuck to one main topic.

Our books where not made in the US they were made in Spain, so yes you do not get to understand history until you learned from the point of view of other people in the world.

When my children attended schools they were on DOD schools so their education was very advanced compare to when they move on to public schools.

I was taken by the lack of good historical emphasis on world history but the emphasis of local history that for my children been in the military moving from state to state made them stagnant to world wide issues.

Funny.



posted on Jan, 3 2007 @ 06:21 PM
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You have voted Heronumber0 for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.


I have some thoughts on what is presented in this thread, however, I am at work. Hopefully, sometime soon, I will return here.

Until then......doubleplusgood
up:



posted on Jan, 3 2007 @ 06:30 PM
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Originally posted by Chelseh
Stupid In America

You'd might be interested in that. Not only does the United State's school system teach useless facts, but they're not even good at it.

Our public schools say they need more funding, when in reality they need a system reform.


I have attended both british and american schools as a child and I can tell you that british schools are seriously lacking in their curriculum. I was even asked by my teacher if I thought english schools were better and I told her that they were far worse than MOST american schools.

I am not saying this to slam any education system, but I can tell you that britain's education system is not what they try to sell it off as. Of Course, students have to be willing to learn and some simply are not.



posted on Jan, 3 2007 @ 06:35 PM
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Great post


The only thing I disagree with is point #3, although you kind of correct that in point #7.

The main problem I always had with my classmates in school was that they griped about the stuff they were taught. "Why do I need pre-cal? I'm gonna go into music, or teach english, or..."

What I feel needs to be done is, in addition to teaching someone how to do something, teach them why, and most of the time it's pretty esoteric and still seems like a stretch.

I'm a software developer, so in my career, math's been pretty handy; outside of that, I've never had to officially "solve for x" in any situation. However, algebra gave me the foundations for problem solving, and playing with some of the stuff I learned helps me try and set up my budget now, or determine exactly what percentage of my paycheck gets deducted. It helps me figure out word counts for stories I write, and I use a lot of structure analysis that's almost purely mathematical when I'm trying to write music or even read a book.

Yeah, I'm a nerd like that, and I'm sure there's 1000's of better examples I could give. But there are other places in life that theoretical or "useless" facts can come in handy. History is another that a lot of people say is useless, but IMO it leads to a much better understanding of overall situations. Politics and economics are great areas where it applies--a lot of today's problems can be better understood by looking back a couple of decades, and you can't fix something unless you understand it.

Okay, that might not have made much sense, but I figured I'd throw it out anyways. Again, good post



posted on Jan, 3 2007 @ 06:37 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
I imagine that it will be normal not to have the same educational benefits of other nations if everybody around you are like you.

I got my education outside the US and I can tell you that is true, my education was very diversified and it was not stagnant and stuck to one main topic.

Our books where not made in the US they were made in Spain, so yes you do not get to understand history until you learned from the point of view of other people in the world.

When my children attended schools they were on DOD schools so their education was very advanced compare to when they move on to public schools.

I was taken by the lack of good historical emphasis on world history but the emphasis of local history that for my children been in the military moving from state to state made them stagnant to world wide issues.

Funny.


well I attended a DODs school as well, and a british, public, etc.

I do agree that the DODs schools do tend to be ALOT better than the regular public schools but I dont think the school is solely to blame. Some parents do not even bother teaching their children the basics so when they begin school they are already at a disadvantage.

As an army brat, I can tell you that the worse school I have ever attended was a british public school.



[edit on 3-1-2007 by XphilesPhan]



posted on Jan, 17 2007 @ 04:40 PM
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video.google.com...

About the US education system, First time when I saw it was more scary than the 9/11 movies



posted on Jan, 31 2007 @ 03:02 AM
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Rockefeller Education Board—which funded the creation of numerous public schools—issued a statement which read in part:

"In our dreams...people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions [intellectual and character education] fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple...we will organize children...and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way."



posted on Feb, 1 2007 @ 09:47 PM
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In order to change the US education system, you need to start with an objective. What do you want graduating seniors to know, what skills do you want them to have, and what attitudes / ideas do you want them to form? In your opinion, what should a graduating senior "look like"?

Until you're aware of your ultimate goal, you can't start to change, and you really can't cast blame until you know exactly where the problem lies.

On the matter of useless facts: A good teacher doesn't focus on the facts. Instead, they focus on the big ideas which contain the facts, and how the ideas tie together and relate to life and society.

If you think science and math are useless, you may want to take your English degree, or your political science degree and go live in a cave. Without science and math, the world would be a pretty different place.

Most students don't know what they want to do with their lives when they're 14 or 15. What if they get to college having only taken courses that interest them, and they realize they really like chemistry, biology, or physics? They will not have the tools they need (read: math) to easily pursue these interests.

Anyhow, people are always bashing the US educational system, but I don't see many non-educators offering ideas.

I've been a teacher for 16 years, and I also feel there are many areas of our education system which could use a total shake-up. However, I KNOW there are also a lot of good things happening in schools every day.

Just my two cents.

John



posted on Feb, 3 2007 @ 01:39 AM
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the solution is enthusiasm, or however it is spelt. If someone is giving a lecture or teaching, and they sound bored by the subject matter, why would anyone think those of whom are listening would be anymore enthralled?



posted on Feb, 3 2007 @ 01:52 PM
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Enthusiasm is absolutely one of the key ingredients to both effective and successful teaching! I couldn't agree more!

In my opinion, part of the problem with any school regardless of the country is that some teachers are simply ineffective. This can occur for many reasons. The teacher could just not have the proper personality for teaching. Or maybe they lack sufficient subject matter knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, and pedagogical context knowledge. What ever the reason, teachers need to be enthusiastic and knowledgeable enough to present the lesson in a coherent, interesting, and relevant manner. Without this, most kids will tune out!

However, a lot of the problems with educational systems also lie with how they're run. From the local school boards all the way up to the federal government. But that's a long involved story......


John




[edit on 3-2-2007 by ironjasper]







 
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