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We need to reform our education system

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posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 12:58 PM
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Originally posted by RabbitChaser

"... freedom to pursue the education of their choice" -- He chooses to homeschool. I just wanted to make sure that was clear.





Well of course



(Just had to add the "mandatory" thing because thats what some actually propose).




posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 01:41 PM
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Very good thread but I'm surprised that there are not more members participating, as practically everyone has an opinion on this topic.

At risk of offending (which is certainly not my intention) some of the very persuasive and well-written teachers on the thread, I am going to maintain that there are three key factors that need addressing.

Teachers
Parents
Government

As a former education major I jumped ship before my senior year of college after doing many in-school-observations and activities. Honestly, I was not impressed with my peers or the teachers I observed in the school. The school I was assigned to was a magnet high school for gifted kids, so I expected to see some great professional examples. Not so. Many of them seemed less than enthusiastic about their jobs, as they did not exhibit a passion for teaching; instead they seemed more excited about their schedules and summers off.

As far as my college classmates, many of them, mostly females, seemed to be more interested in a career that would suit their schedule and lifestyle until they got their real degree, a Mrs. Many of the males where post high school jocks who really just wanted to coach so teaching was just a means to an end. Overall, my impression was that many of the degree candidates and teachers I observed just really weren't past their own high school days, emotionally speaking, and were just trying to hang on to the environment.

I have, however, been generally impressed with elementary school teachers, who from my observations tend to have more of a calling.

As far a parents go, often time they fail to support the school or the curriculum and really use the schools as more of a daycare, someplace for the kids to go while they are at work. There is definitely very little partnership or follow-up. Frequently they stoke the naturally occurring flames of rebellion in their children by being dismissive or mocking of their teachers.

Lastly, the government needs to get out of the business of babysitting and into the business of education and preparation. No more teaching to tests. No more passing kids who are not cutting it. It does not do our society any good to churn out socially and professionally unacceptable career candidates. A great example is the removal of tag and dodge ball from school playgrounds or the limiting of competition in general from the schools. In the real world you have to compete. It ensures that the best and brightest among us help to shape our society instead of the weakest. Survival of the fittest is how humans have maintained the top of the food chain for eons. When we teach to the lowest common denominator and we eliminate competition, we are short changing our children’s future and churning out a bunch of weak and ill prepared cry-babies.



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by kosmicjack
Very good thread but I'm surprised that there are not more members participating, as practically everyone has an opinion on this topic.


I figure the reason for this is that its obvious and nobody will deny it. The only question remaining is: What are we going to do about it? Who´s in charge of this stuff? "The Government" is too broad of a term.



At risk of offending (which is certainly not my intention) some of the very persuasive and well-written teachers on the thread, I am going to maintain that there are three key factors that need addressing.

Teachers
Parents
Government

As a former education major I jumped ship before my senior year of college after doing many in-school-observations and activities. Honestly, I was not impressed with my peers or the teachers I observed in the school. The school I was assigned to was a magnet high school for gifted kids, so I expected to see some great professional examples. Not so. Many of them seemed less than enthusiastic about their jobs, as they did not exhibit a passion for teaching; instead they seemed more excited about their schedules and summers off.


The teachers that have responded to this thread make it too easy if they simply say "the government has to change". They, the school principal and board, the state authorities on education...they all have to be addressed somehow. The apathy on all these levels is just amazing.



Lastly, the government needs to get out of the business of babysitting and into the business of education and preparation. No more teaching to tests. No more passing kids who are not cutting it. It does not do our society any good to churn out socially and professionally unacceptable career candidates. A great example is the removal of tag and dodge ball from school playgrounds or the limiting of competition in general from the schools. In the real world you have to compete. It ensures that the best and brightest among us help to shape our society instead of the weakest. Survival of the fittest is how humans have maintained the top of the food chain for eons. When we teach to the lowest common denominator and we eliminate competition, we are short changing our children’s future and churning out a bunch of weak and ill prepared cry-babies.


Interestingly, everyone posting here agrees on very much the same points (with small differences in detail).

So if must agree on what needs to be done, why isnt it happening?

Thats puzzling. Everyone knowing whats right and it not happening...

...no wonder we frequent a conspiracy-website.



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 04:13 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


One question is, world-wide, what educational system is producing the best results?

I guess another comment is - What exactly is the goal? To prepare students for life? For college? For a career? All of the above?

As someone already mentioned, not everyone is a candidate for an advanced degree. When you start talking in terms of preparing students for life, that brings up controversial issues of values, norms, diversity, income, social class, etc. As far as a career goes, a career in what? The service industry? That's the only sector doing any real hiring and with the economy, that is about to come to a screeching halt.

I am inclined to say that we can't even fix the system as a whole because the problems are too big and the system too complex. Additionally, there are students in flux, in the system, that won't be adaptable to change based on their current skill set.

As such, I think we need to phase out what is not working and implement whatever plan is adopted starting with students entering Pre-K in the year 20xx - fill in the blank. And then roll the changes out incrementally from that point forward.



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 08:57 AM
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Originally posted by kosmicjack
One question is, world-wide, what educational system is producing the best results?


They say scandanavian countries have the best results. "They" being the stats collected by the msm. Why Scandanavia? Probably because they have shifted a few of the little details being mentioned in this thread.



I guess another comment is - What exactly is the goal? To prepare students for life? For college? For a career? All of the above?


In my perfect world school would be cut down in time with the sole purpose of teaching kids the "basics" such as reading, writing, language, math, ánd the stuff mentioned in the OP...and all other purposes being fullfilled in other venues of education...individualized venues




I am inclined to say that we can't even fix the system as a whole because the problems are too big and the system too complex. Additionally, there are students in flux, in the system, that won't be adaptable to change based on their current skill set.


Thats why I keep emphasizing "slight shifts" rather than radical overhaul. Focussing on what is immediatly viable.



As such, I think we need to phase out what is not working and implement whatever plan is adopted starting with students entering Pre-K in the year 20xx - fill in the blank. And then roll the changes out incrementally from that point forward.


For example.

On another note: Im dissappointed that this discussion is not going anywhere much apart from the ocassional poster saying "Its the governments fault". Id love to find out how WE can influence public opinion and those in charge.

This in itself shows that we are educated to focus on the wrongs rather than on "how can we improve?".

Isnt that the case...school teaches people to focus on their mistakes. Its all about mistakes made, punishment for the mistakes, avoiding bad grades, etc.

Teachers: Can you tell me which committe it exactly is that determines and defines the national curriculum???????



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 03:07 PM
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I'm sure there are members more informed than myself, but it is my understanding that the Montessori teaching method is more individualized and focuses more on the students interests and skill level, no matter the age and is somewhat learner-led.

My nephew was in such a school and discipline as well as lack of structure were a huge problem.



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 05:18 PM
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reply to post by kosmicjack
 


Yes, private schools are all run in some of the ways we´ve been discussing here.

Why dont public schools learn from private schools and pick up some of its habits? They must not want people to get too smart, unfortunately.



posted on Apr, 25 2008 @ 10:33 PM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating


Teachers: Can you tell me which committe it exactly is that determines and defines the national curriculum???????


I'm not a teacher, but I believe that would be the Department of Education. And then of course the State Superintendent and the District Superintendent decide how this curriculum will be implemented.

As an aside, I think the real problem with education and its involvement with government is that members of government are constantly fighting each other on everything. How can they decide and execute what is best for students when they can't decide and execute what's best for the country/state/town?



posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 07:22 AM
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Originally posted by sc2099

I'm not a teacher, but I believe that would be the Department of Education. And then of course the State Superintendent and the District Superintendent decide how this curriculum will be implemented.


State Superintendent...thats what I was looking for. Thats the person between Government and school. Thanks for that.



As an aside, I think the real problem with education and its involvement with government is that members of government are constantly fighting each other on everything. How can they decide and execute what is best for students when they can't decide and execute what's best for the country/state/town?


True. Thats why I´d vote for the first politician who states education as the FIRST priority, because its the basis of our society.

But I have never heard any politician stating education as the FIRST priority.

But at least their lack of involvement inspired me to choose adult education as my personal "lifes work".



posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 08:36 PM
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First apparently old methods still apply.

Teaching Math with real example is worse than teaching symbolically alone.

www.eurekalert.org...

This is probably, why in the old Schaum’s Outline Series, they make you do symbolic problem first, followed by example with numbers.

Second, I agree with the statement:


I feel like they are teaching me to become a good quiet little worker


In fact, more and more I think about it (I’m 51 years old, Engineer by trade), I feel we are forming little quiet worker (not independent thinking citizen) and little quiet consumer and docile citizen (the whole society/media is gear-up for the 15 seconds sound-bite and superficial things (Paris Hilton and alike)).

So unless you are ready for a revolution, things won’t change anytime soon.

Third, when someone says: More budget/priority needs to be allocated to schools and away from things such as weapons.

It seems that everyone agree, except there are bad teachers out there (rubber-stamp civil servant waiting for their pensions (people in the private sector, also act like that)) and no way of getting rid of them. Pouring money after money is not the option (of course we need to valorize teaching, reward good teachers accordingly), but where is the parents implication in all that (some are too busy making money and dump the education (not knowledge teaching) to the teachers).

Finally running the school like a business is not the answer and parents should not always have their says, just because they are the tax payers (if parents want to have the school system teaching Creationist Theory or some other crazy things, no tax payer money should go into that).



posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 05:54 PM
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homeschooltoharvard.net IS A SITE YOU WANT TO VISIT TO GET A REAL VISION OF REVAMPING THE ENTIRE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM: THERE IS ALSO A BOOK CALLED " PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME GUESS" WHICH EXPLAINS THE TRUE EDUCATION AND WHY OUR SYSTEM IS FAILING OUR CHILDREN: IS IT PLANED? WHY? BY WHO? THERE IS ONE WAY A CHILD CAN BE TAUGHT IF THEY ARE TO BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE IN A WORLD THAT HAS GONE AS FAR FROM LEARNING TO PROGRAMING EACH AND EVERY CHILD TO BE ENSLAVED TO THE ONE WORLD ORDER!
GOD BLESS, FRENCHIS



posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 06:57 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


i totally agree i am a 19 years old yet all i learned in high school is futile about 80%
the only reason my friends or students go to school is to see their friends not to learn
the student must be interested in learning and the effort of schools must be beyond comparison the rest is known



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 07:32 AM
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Information and Experience

One thing that I always found odd is how 90% of "education" is based on information and processing data and around 10% on experience or action.

From my own profession I know that you can speed up the learning process if you actually do/experience something yourself rather than only processing abstract data on a piece of paper.

In adult education (which adults pay for) this is not done. Driving is learned by driving a car, Management is learned by being in a company and managing, being a policeman is learned by going to the police, language is learned by going to the country and so on. Doing all this on paper only, theoretically only would be seen as absurd.

A schoolteacher might now argue that they dont have the resources or budget to go to all these places, to do field trips, to visit museums, companies, or to purchase all the tools and objects required.

That counter-argument is fair. But then at least that could be done would be to copy or imitate the actual experiences needed...right there in the classroom...instead of taking it all from reading and memorizing.

The counter-argument to that might be "yes, but that would take too much time".

To which I counter: No, it saves time. I learn more about the taste of wine by taking a sip then reading an entire book about it.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 07:40 AM
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Excuse me if i offend anyone by saying this, but i thought the nessecity to reform our education system was common knowledge?

If you're going to fix a problem that you've failed to fix before, the first place to start is with your perception of the problem.

By looking at the problem differently, you might be able to see an angle through it you couldn't before.

If you want my beliefs on why this hasn't already be done - i'll explain it as succiently as possible;

Basically, the Labour government we have in britain actually got into power on the basis that it would reform public schools - and to an extent it has done, but not the way tha majority of the voters wanted i think.

My belief is that when Governments decide it would be a good idea to do something, they quickly get distracted by more pressing concerns - like wars and the economic difficulties that war brings.

*slaps self for going off on a tangent momentarily*

So, what is the problem?

Well - in my rather young and amatuerish opinion, it's that the political establishments (U.S, U.K) lack guidance from members of society whom are best placed and best informed to provide it - instead they rely on those whom are trusted and are known not to mess up, which unfortunately we have few people who are known not to mess up where educational reforms are concerned.

In otherwords, our Political Establishments lack confidence in us, like the true elitist scumbags they are.

[edit on 28-4-2008 by Anti-Tyrant]



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 08:09 AM
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Originally posted by Anti-Tyrant
Excuse me if i offend anyone by saying this, but i thought the nessecity to reform our education system was common knowledge?


If it were it would be happening.




Basically, the Labour government we have in britain actually got into power on the basis that it would reform public schools - and to an extent it has done, but not the way tha majority of the voters wanted i think.My belief is that when Governments decide it would be a good idea to do something, they quickly get distracted by more pressing concerns - like wars and the economic difficulties that war brings.


I see. So they considered it (at least), but then there were "more pressing" issues. The whole point of this thread is to shout out loud: There are no issues that can possibly be more pressing than the basic-foundation-of-society.




Well - in my rather young and amatuerish opinion, it's that the political establishments (U.S, U.K) lack guidance from members of society whom are best placed and best informed to provide it - instead they rely on those whom are trusted and are known not to mess up, which unfortunately we have few people who are known not to mess up where educational reforms are concerned.In otherwords, our Political Establishments lack confidence in us, like the true elitist scumbags they are.




Interesting point and a new viewpoint added to the thread. This is saying that our leaders are more afraid to mess up than to progress.



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