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Why our Public School System is getting an F

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posted on Oct, 21 2008 @ 06:14 PM
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reply to post by amazed
 





Children need simple, hands-on experiences for their brains to develop, such as rolling a ball on the floor, touching a cat or dog, turning the page of a book or reaching to grasp a spoon. These experiences include touching, talking, listening, tasting, smelling, playing, singing, looking and running. All of these varied activities build young children's brains.

These are all activities that are supported in a good pre-k and k class. Fun, enjoyable, stress free activities that create curiosity and an interest in learning.

Another words children need a fun, caring playful environment to "learn" to "learn".

Here is a nice little website that gives some information on the developing brain.

www.umext.maine.edu...

At the ages you are suggesting to "teach children actual knowledge", they should really be developing their brains so that they CAN retain and understand the knowledge that they will be required to learn throughout life.

It is like trying to create a building, without the support system around and under it, eventually the building will fall, and the more you try to build on it, the more it will just fall over.

If you are interested in further information send me an u2u or google children "brain development".

A star for your post.
I am completely against this current philosophy of teaching children to read and perform simple math in Kindergarten.

Attitude and approach to learning are hampered, if children are force fed before they are emotionally ready to accept it.

My grand daughter was in Kindergarten last year. At the end of the year, the teacher wrote in her "report card" that she was more interested in socializing than she was in learning to read, and that being a social "animal"(her exact words) would hurt her ability to learn in first grade.

What have we come to? When my wife and I went to kindergarten, socialization was the main skill that we learned.

Heaven knows, today, children need more socialization skills, when there are video games, TV, etc. to enable them to avoid socialization.

What we are going to do with this approach is end up with people that can't get along with each other, a much more serious problem, than delaying reading and math a year.

This approach is being brought upon the school system by what I call "Educated Idiots", people who do everything by the book, and by books.
They look at children as pure numbers, such as standardized tests, etc. and NEVER look at the whole person.

I ran a successful business for many years, requiring skilled people. However, when it came to deciding who to hire, a highly skilled worker with little social skills, or a person that could get along well with others with average skills, and the ability to learn, I chose the later every time. If workers couldn't get along with each other, OR MY CUSTOMERS, I wanted no part of them.

Let's let children be children and learn to get along with others, and learn to cooperate with others. Then we can teach them the skills that they need to compete in today's world.




posted on Oct, 21 2008 @ 07:06 PM
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reply to post by ProfEmeritus
 


Thank you for that, my own experience has taught me that many people end up graduating High School without truly understanding or knowing the information that a High School graduate should know. I was able to "teach" myself and further my education through University. Took time, hard work, and perseverance.

My son, who is in the 5th grade, has a learning style that is not very well known and or ignored by the school system. This learning style is called kinesthetic learning style, meaning that you use your body and sense of touch to learn about the world around you. Meaning that to learn, you HAVE to be moving, touching, seeing etc. If you have a kinesthetic learning style, forcing you to sit still at your desk, will immediately create intense stress and cause your brain to basically shut down and not comprehend much of what is going on.

People who are predominant in this learning style are thought to be natural discovery learners; they have realizations through doing.

Most of the school population excels through kinesthetic means: touching, feeling, experiencing the material at hand. "Children enter kindergarten as kinesthetic and tactual learners, moving and touching everything as they learn.

But I ask, how do schools continue to teach? Knowing that most people are kinesthetic learners to a certain degree and that kinesthetic teaching is the best form of instruction? They continue to teach in the auditory and or visual style. KNOWING that these are styles of learning that most of the population have the hardest time in.

Why? Because it is FAR easier on the instructor to stand in front of the class talking about something rather than actually going to the work of setting up a kinesthetic learning environment. Kinesthetic teaching requires actual thinking and actual involvement in the classroom.

Here is a website that explains the kinesthetic learning style a little more.

www.learning-styles-online.com...



posted on Oct, 21 2008 @ 07:29 PM
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Now, in regards to my son (5th grade), he is a kinesthetic learner, he has been tested and this is his predominate style by a very large factor, also he is a bit on the hyper side. Meaning that not only does he require movement to learn, but he requires movement just because.

In previous grades I have been very pleased, he has had teacher's that understood this so well they would do things such as buy him a "wiggle cushion" for his desk so he could move without interrupting other students. Or make sure he always had a ball of clay so that as he was listening to the teacher he could also be "mushing" the clay around in his fingers. He has always done very well, and even is involved in the gifted and talented courses in his school.

My son is also highly intelligent and scores far above the 95 percentile on pretty much any type of intelligence test he has ever taken, which the school system seems to require of him every year. Seems they are a bit confused as to "why" he is so intelligent being that he is also hyperactive and has a learning style that they consider "not the norm".

This year I am very disappointed and actually on the side of very angry at the school system (teachers) for their treatment of my son. They are not using the above tactics to assist him with learning, they accuse him of being "destructive", which has never been in question before, they berate him for his need to move, they tell him he has to come into their classroom at lunch to get extra help (knowing that he NEEDS the time outside at lunch to relax, run and clear his brain so that he can have a productive afternoon).

For the first time ever, my son is constantly having "stomach aches" and feels to sick to go to school. For the first time ever he is falling asleep well before bedtime ever comes around, for the first time ever my son is coming home from school on a daily basis cranky, irritable and often despondent.

They are letting him fall behind, they are not assuring his continued development, if he does not catch onto something right away, it does not matter as they move on to the next item anyway. Get it the first time around or not at all it seems. Therefor meaning he is not getting the building blocks he needs for the "next item they are moving onto" so his building is falling down.

Which means my son is getting disgusted, and is feeling that he does not care one way or another. I have spoken with the teachers in regards to tutors etc. The school does not have this as a support system so we are searching for an outside support system.

When we realized how far behind he was getting, he and I spent several days working together, we used the internet, found games that were teaching what he is supposed to be learning in school and obviously is not. Do you know what he said to me very sadly on the second day? He said "Mom, I have learned more from you in two days about how to do these things than my teachers have taught me all year". He said "Thank you mommy" and with tears in his eyes gave me a big hug.

My son LOVES to learn, he is and has always generally been very excited about learning, but I can guarantee that the school system is slowly smashing that out of him this year.

Now he will come in the house and say "Mom, my teachers are teaching about ______, I did not understand the way they were explaining it, can you teach me?" I am having moments of wondering why I am not home schooling my child.

You know what pisses me off? That these "teachers" explain something ONCE in ONE way, and if you don't get it, well just too freakin bad. Instead of actually "teaching" they are regurgitating, I don't even think these instructors would know how to really teach something. If you can't learn it in the one manner they know how to explain it then something must be wrong with you, and not their "teaching" style.

To be honest, I have not been in school in over 20 years, so many of the things they are teaching my son now I never even heard of. But, here I am 40 years old, teaching myself these things well enough so that I can come up with the ways to teach them to my son. Meaning, I have to understand the subject well enough, that I can add his kinesthetic learning style into the equation, and that if the first time I explain it he does not get it, I can explain it another way, and then another until he does understand.

This means, that if today he comes home with something new, and he has to have the homework done by tomorrow, that I spend the next several hours teaching MYSELF so that I can teach him. How can parents who have a full time job do this? Or parents who do not have access to the internet do this?

And then we wonder why our children are falling behind and have to "learn to learn" once they reach university? Or drop out of school? Or graduate actually not knowing anything and NOT CARING one way or the other about the world? Well, my experience tells me that the school system squeezes the love of learning out of people. I am seeing this intensely in my son this year. My little one who has always been the one to come running to me with excitement in his eyes, his little body bouncing around yelling "guess what mom guess what I learned today at school can I show you huh huh?", comes home not caring and not wanting to discuss school. He sits looking at his papers slamming his little hands on the table screaming and crying. I am seeing the school system create something within my son, I never expected to see.

I am partially feeling at a loss at this time on what to do, I am so angry at the school system at this moment in time. I have never seen the reactions my son is giving in regards to school work and learning. I feel that the system is causing so much stress in my child, I fear for his continued love of knowledge.

I have the feeling that by the end of this year, I could teach 5th grade better than "qualified" teachers, but I can guarantee I could not get a paying job doing so.


[edit on 21-10-2008 by amazed]



posted on Oct, 21 2008 @ 08:03 PM
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I hear your voice. I too live in the Midwest, and am in high school. I can recognize exactly what your saying. Honestly, it is exactly what I am doing.

My public school here in St. Paul has done nothing to actually educate me, except for my AP class... different story.

Kids get answers right because they did what the teacher said, and sometimes that is different that the actual answer, which is usually more comprehensive. I know students who are open about NOT reading books. They say they hate it, I say go have a good life.

They do what the book tells them, or skim through it. The subjects taught are not comprehenisive enough. Students look at school like a 9-5 job, not a need for a education. They coast and slide, while others play the system to get A's.

Earlier, my late mother told me, while I was talking about the problem with public schooling and people not really getting an education, she said [paraphrased]

"Play the system, get straight A's, then learn the stuff if you want to, the A's are more important for you to get into a good college"

It doesn't matter to most people. To get 'straight A's', I have learned that it falls into the category of staying up to 11:30 at night working on HOMEWORK, not studying.

HOMEWORK is the papers and problems assigned in class, mostly 'busy work' to have your mind memorize it. Then, once that is laid aside, STUDYING comes into play. For me, that is actually learning the material and understanding. Most of the people do not study.

For instance, a good buddy of mine took Algebra II last year, somewhat advanced, he got by with a A. He used his standard graphing calculator to solve equations that work take a page of handwritten work. He claimed he could do it without the calculator, but did not prove that he could.

There are so many stories to tell, I'm willing to talk about it some more, just U2U me. Public schools are a mess.....



posted on Oct, 21 2008 @ 08:36 PM
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reply to post by amazed
 





People who are predominant in this learning style are thought to be natural discovery learners; they have realizations through doing.

Most of the school population excels through kinesthetic means: touching, feeling, experiencing the material at hand. "Children enter kindergarten as kinesthetic and tactual learners, moving and touching everything as they learn.

But I ask, how do schools continue to teach? Knowing that most people are kinesthetic learners to a certain degree and that kinesthetic teaching is the best form of instruction? They continue to teach in the auditory and or visual style. KNOWING that these are styles of learning that most of the population have the hardest time in.

Why? Because it is FAR easier on the instructor to stand in front of the class talking about something rather than actually going to the work of setting up a kinesthetic learning environment. Kinesthetic teaching requires actual thinking and actual involvement in the classroom.


You hit the jackpot with me.
My teaching style as a Professor involved virtually all hands-on exercises, and learning, because, like you, I understood that is the way most students learn.

That is the way I learned, and in the field that I taught, that is a very necessary component, in my opinion. Most of my colleagues did not agree with that approach, and they were constantly trying to sabotage me, but fortunately the students responded very well, and the results were the proof. My students had the best skills, got the best jobs, and ended up with great careers.
I was looked down upon by colleagues, because I stressed hands-on, and did not worship the rote memorization and recitation of theory without any understanding that was so prevalent where I taught.

I'd give you 10 stars if I could, but 1 is all I can give.
Great post.



posted on Oct, 21 2008 @ 08:47 PM
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reply to post by truth_seeker3
 


You have the right attitude. Keep the faith. I know you will succeed.

I assume you are going on to college. If so, seek out the teachers that will provide you with real-world education. Ask other students. Get on ratemyprofessors.com and check out the professors ratings, and especially the student comments.
(My colleagues would flip if they knew I was telling you that). Many professors fear that website, and try to disparage it. Yes, you will get some disgruntled students who slam a Prof because they didn't get an A, but for the most part, students are pretty honest. Look for the profs with a lot of ratings. You will usually see two extremes- the ones that have great ratings, and the ones that have terrible ratings. Look at the student comments. Obviously ignore the ones that gave them great ratings because they were an "easy A'. Try to get the ones that had student comments that indicated great qualities and teaching styles.
Of course, look at all of the profs, and their ratings, because sometimes the comments tell more than the ratings.
In addition, try to talk to students that had the professor, and find out what they thought of them.
That is the best way to make the most of your education.
Good luck.



posted on Oct, 21 2008 @ 09:16 PM
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reply to post by truth_seeker3

"Play the system, get straight A's, then learn the stuff if you want to, the A's are more important for you to get into a good college"

Not to berate your mother by any means, but this is simply not true today. I can't speak to times past, but I do have a daughter applying to colleges and for scholarships. Yes, she has straight A's, but most of the applications involve an essay to be written. That cannot be memorized. To write an effective essay, one has to thoroughly understand the subject as well as the aspects of creative writing.

Luckily my daughter has both, and is receiving most of the scholarships that require an essay... so much in fact that we are now targeting this type of scholarship. I honestly believe it is because once an essay is involved, it removes the vast majority of applicants from consideration.

Maybe people who preach grades above comprehension simply are content to be in the mix with everyone else, fighting for every cent, or maybe colleges and scholarship committees have realized the problem of lack of comprehension. But whatever the reason, it's nice to be above the fray looking down.


TheRedneck



posted on Oct, 21 2008 @ 09:31 PM
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reply to post by Phatcat

Ritalin (sp?) and the like is some evil stuff

Oh, don't get me started on this! Anyone who prescribes that poison should be *CENSORED* *CENSORED* *CENSORED* and have their *CENSORED* *CENSORED* *CENSORED* with a *CENSORED* *CENSORED* *CENSORED*.

Children learn through feedback. They learn to do the things which result in positive feedback (pleasure, satisfaction, praise, happiness) and to avoid the things that give negative feedback (pain, humiliation, discomfort, sadness). If you administer a drug into their bodies when they do the things which should be negatively reinforced, you change that negative reinforcement to positive reinforcement. Is it any wonder that we have discipline problems with these children for the rest of their childhood unless they are medicated?

My kids have both told me of classmates who were taking this crap, and in every case the child was unable to get decent grades, and woefully unable to interact socially with anyone else unless medicated. It is my honest belief that one injection is a life sentence for any child, and constitutes assault with a deadly weapon.

Sorry if this post is a bit more angry than most of mine, but this is one button of mine that shouldn't be pushed...


TheRedneck



posted on Oct, 21 2008 @ 09:33 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Thanks,

You have a good point by saying that when a essay is involved, applicants are removed. When writing one, it will set those apart by those who learned, and those who didn't.

My mother was a person who cared about what was best, like all mothers. Unlike my peer counterparts, I enjoy writing thoroughly, and it has helped me on one college essay already that I wrote.

Also,
ProfEmeritus

Thanks for the advice on the professor ratings, I might get a few hints there, or a few laughs
. ATS has changed my thinking, but above most, it helped myself change my point of view, which helped me excel in school. On my way out, I hope to pull up and away.

Thanks to both again, both interesting advance and comments



posted on Oct, 21 2008 @ 10:19 PM
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reply to post by truth_seeker3
 

Best of luck to you. You got some great advice from TheRedneck. Drop back and let us know how you're doing in college, and don't hesitate to discuss things with us. I know I can speak for others here at ATS. We'd be glad to help you succeed.
After all, you'll be helping to pay our social security in a few years. LOL!



posted on Oct, 21 2008 @ 10:56 PM
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reply to post by truth_seeker3

I'd like to second the sentiments offered by the good Prof. My best wishes are yours. Let us both know how you are doing, and feel free to drop me a line anytime. My u2u is always open.

TheRedneck



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