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Professor makes his mark, but it costs him his job

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posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 03:07 PM
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I am currently a law school student. I am doing well with my studies and am near the top of my class. I disagree with what the professor did.

Learning something, especially something like science, requires effort. Students need to work through problems, read books, and do other arduous tasks in order to acquire the knowledge and skills the courses they are taking are supposed to teach them. If students to do not have some sort of graded exam to take, they will not put in the work in order to master the skills.

While exams are not a perfect measure of a student's mastery of a course, they are nevertheless a good measure. As a law school student, I am all to aware that sometimes a student that "deserves" an A get sometimes get a "B" and vice versa. This is not to say that students that consistently deserve A's will get C's and vice versa.

If this professor is dissatisfied with the exam taking process, he should have tried to create a different type of exam that could determine if the students were retaining the material he supposedly was teaching. For example, he could grade students on classroom participation, laboratory projects, written papers, or an oral exam.

If the professor is dissatisfied with "ranking" people, he should have nevertheless set some sort of standard so only sttudents that met the standard got a passing mark. Some professors at some schools have classes that are graded on a "pass/fail" basis.




posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 03:29 PM
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UTTER TWADDLE : if he wanted to teach them something - an auto fail would have made them THINK , what do i do now - and auto A grade just makes them lazt muppets -

they will not think - they will party because they know they have passed - there is no need to do anything - so they will not

why study a subject you have aready passed ?

if you are failed from day one - you have 2 challenges - first to actually get a retest - second to pass the retest

now which is the bigger challenge ?



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 03:38 PM
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I think some of you are completely missing his point. The world is much bigger then a class room can contain. What he is speaking to is much in line with our credo here to "deny ignorance" in the world.

Zeitgeist does an excellent job of nailing down this premise in purpose:




posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 04:19 PM
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Originally posted by Retseh
Strange then that our employees who are college graduates are infinitely better than our non-college graduates.

It isn't just about the grades, it's about proving that you can stick at something for 4 years with the required level of commitment.

It's that lack of commitment that we most notice in our non college employees, not their poor grades.


He is 100% correct, and I am living proof. College drop out, twice. I just so happen to have an issue with committing to everything, in every aspect of my life. That includes jobs. I'm intelligent as all hell, but for some reason I can't commit to anything, and when I think I have to, I drop whatever it is I have to commit to.

Jobs see that via dropping out of college, and jobs know that often it is the committed one who gets the work done and sticks around, not the smart one.

It is a shame that I know this fact so well, but it is what it is.

Star for you for speaking the truth.

[edit on 7-2-2009 by grimreaper797]



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 04:29 PM
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Originally posted by die_another_day
Students too lazy, lower the standards, IQ drops another couple of points.


IQ has nothing to do with school. I have a very high IQ, nearly failed out of school. I nearly got 100 on every one of my tests, but I nearly failed the class. I got a 700 out of 800 on my math portion of my SATs with 5 hours of sleep and a hangover, but I never got better than a D in high school math.

The system is set up on generalizations. Anyone hear planning on taking some communication courses? I have taken a couple and they are usually required for a large majority of careers. You know what communications essentially is? Generalization. Generalizations can be great, if you don't mind alienating the minority which your generalized system did not cater to.

School does work for quite a few people. But quite a few people learn via reinforcement, repetition, and bombarding them repeatedly with the same information, often verbally. That is great, for them. But for people like me, the minority, who do not learn via repetition (proven fact), this is tedious, uninteresting, and often completely unproductive.

My IQ is high, but the system is catering to a group that I am not part of. Until teachers start approaching teaching on a more individual basis than a generalized group think, many brilliant minds will be lost in the shuffle.

That is the only reason I applaud this teacher. TRYING to figure out a way to reach people on an individual basis, trying to avoid the generalizations made to cater to the majority group. I don't agree exactly with the way he did it, I can think of some modifications I would have made to better his teaching strategy, but I still applaud him for trying.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 04:32 PM
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reply to post by The All Seeing I
 


I think you are missing the point. Simply saying something (Such as he wants the students to be "scientist") does not mean he did a good job.

I do not know what else to say besides reiterating what everyone else here already said. Let me put it this way...

WORLD PEACE! (Hands out nukes to every single person on the planet).

While what I said was nice, my actions are highly counter-intuitive.



[edit on 7-2-2009 by FritosBBQTwist]



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 04:37 PM
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Originally posted by dirtonwater
I suspect you people who applaud this professor are just high school grads or less.


Oh, I suppose they're just peasants, huh? They're below you because they haven't been to college? Think before you say rude, generalizations of BS. Deny ignorance, right?

This professor has an extremely good point. However, giving everyone an A+ is flawed too. As some people have said, it would be dangerous if someone like, let's say a surgeon, doesn't know what he's doing. He should have figured something else out.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 04:37 PM
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Originally posted by FSBlueApocalypse
Ok, the professor was teaching a 4th year physics class, or I assume that would translate to a 4000 level course for most US universities. While giving everyone an A is nice, I guarantee you a good chunk of those in the class will be going on to attend some grad school. I don't know about most, but if I was told on the first day of class I was getting an A, I wouldn't have bothered to show up for the rest of the year and turned in my book. Even the students who did go to class didn't put in near the time they would have if they were trying to get a grade. It would be one thing to go, SURPRISE! you're all getting A's after everyone took your final even, but I feel he did a disservice to many.


And there is the issue. You aren't there to learn, you are there to get a good job, which you obviously aren't interested in, because if you were, you would be going to learn the material.

You are there to get this nice piece of paper, which will hopefully get you a nice job which makes you a nice sum of MONEY. That is all you are after. For instance, if you are a pre-med student, and have that attitude, you aren't there to become a doctor, you're there to get a degree which will get you a job that makes a nice paycheck. You have no interest in the profession, and no interest in learning the profession. You just want the money.

That is what materialism breeds.


If I knew I were going to get an A, I would undoubtedly show up to that class everyday, with my attention at full. Why? Because I could choose what work I felt was unnecessary, and simply not do it. That homework is a bunch of stuff I already know? I'm not doing it. I still get an A.

Why go to a class, spend all this money on it, if all they are going to do is teach right out of a book? I might as well go to the library and save myself thousands of dollars. But you aren't there to learn, you are there to get the degree which means a good job, which means money.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 04:42 PM
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reply to post by grimreaper797
 


I think many of us liked the idea - but as my previous post said, he went about it in a completely bad way.

High school is very simple so I do not know why you say it caters to the majority.

High school serves a few purposes. Could be said about college until you get more specialized.

Eliminate the lazy people.
Help kids think more.
Allow socialization.

The only bad part about school is that it is not stressed enough that if you want to slack off your whole life, chances are that getting into good colleges/better jobs will slim down a lot.

I hear this ALL the time. "When will we use this in life?"

Remember what I just said? The whole point is to help you learn to think more and comprehend more complex subjects, and if I can recall, THINKING is used everyday of your life. For most people that is


[edit on 7-2-2009 by FritosBBQTwist]



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 04:47 PM
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Originally posted by FritosBBQTwist
Except basic math is precise and google can only provide opinion most of the time.

You say a calculator is like cheating. I see it differently.

In the first 12 grades, you could either spend time learning more basic math, or use a calculator, skip tedious work, and then move on to more advanced math sooner where a calculator can not help you.

My only beefs with calculators is that teachers nowadays do not care much at all about teaching kids long division, which hurts when dealing with variables.


A calculator cuts out the middle process between the question and the answer. It cuts out the connection. 2+2=4. If you use a calculator you cut out the reasoning. You have 2. 1,2. You add another 2, 1 2. 1,2,1,2 can be translated into 1,2,3,4. With a calculator that process is gone. Now its just a matter of memorizing how to type it into a calculator correctly.

You learn the how, not the why, when you use a calculator. THAT is the problem with mathematics classes today. You teach the how, forget about the why, and wonder why you have a bunch of mindless drones walking around. That calculator is another way of saying, why the answer is what it is, is not important. What is important is that you got the right answer.

That mentality is great in a school setting, where a teacher can tell you if you got the right or wrong answer. This isn't practical in the real world where often, there is nobody to tell you that you are right or wrong. You only have the answer you came up with, and if its wrong, somebody may get hammered for tax fraud. If you knew why the answer was what it was, you could be more certain of the answer itself.

In school the why of questions are ignored because in school, the answers are known. When you are confronted with a problem that is original in form, and nobody has the answer already, it is imperative that you know the why, because otherwise you are one step away from guessing.

Taxes would be a good example. Nobody has the correct work predetermined waiting to see if you get the right answer. If you do something wrong, there is a great deal of trouble that results. If you are confronted with a problem that you haven't bashed into your memory via countless examples, and you don't know the why, you aren't going to get the answer.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 04:49 PM
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Originally posted by grimreaper797
I don't agree exactly with the way he did it, I can think of some modifications I would have made to better his teaching strategy, but I still applaud him for trying.


i'm all ears



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 05:01 PM
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reply to post by grimreaper797
 


I am in high school at the moment and it seems that on many of our tests, calculators are not even allowed for half of it. That half is the part where you have to know what you are doing.

The only times I can even think we are allowed to use our calculator is FOR TEDIOUS WORK, such as large addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, where everyone already knows what to do but this saves the time of doing that and allows us to focus on the subject.

All the comments I see from you are mindless and it seems you are spewing mindless hate with no real background to your statements.

Same goes with the professor. Saying something does not make it true nor does it validate his teaching means.

I can not speak for all schools, but in my area (middle class), advanced courses are replacing many of the "slow paced ones", enforcing students to not slip away in an easy wave of mindless work

edit - To add about your taxes comment. I think that would be more in line with a "Life Lessons" class...and no - almost all schools do not have something like that. I fail to see the relation though about basic math THAT IS TAUGHT and taxes besides irresponsibility.



[edit on 7-2-2009 by FritosBBQTwist]



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 05:05 PM
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Originally posted by Bringer
It's sad that he will be replaced by some random neocon idiot. that will teach the exact things he speaks out against.


I know some "automatons" they are complete idiots, no common sense at all. they can only repeat what they are told they cannot articulate there own thinking, soulless machines is what they emulate.

[edit on 6-2-2009 by Bringer]


Replaced by a neocon??? When has a university hired any type of conservative??? Do you even know what a neocon is???



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 05:09 PM
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Originally posted by FritosBBQTwist
High school is very simple so I do not know why you say it caters to the majority.


Nobody is saying high school is complicated. But it does cater to the majority via methods they use. The way the system is set up caters to a majority of people, who learn a certain way. I learned the material just as well, if not, much better, than the other students, but I got terrible grades. It is because the way the system is set up.

If my job is to learn, and prove I learned it, then grades should be based solely on tests. If that were the case, I would be at the top of the class my entire life. Unfortunately, tests and quizzes together, in a majority of classes, count as 70 percent or less toward the overall grade.

That means you could ace every test and quiz, but if you didn't do the classwork and homework, you can't get better than a D.

Traditionally, homework and classwork is considered reinforcement. It was proven that with a majority of kids, when you gave them more classwork and homework, it was more reinforcement and they were more likely to learn and remember the material.

Unfortunately, I am not part of that majority. I have taken numerous clinical tests, gone to many specialists, and I am one of the people who is no more likely to remember something after you tell them 5 times, than if you told them once.

The idea, the more repetition you do, the more likely you are to remember it, is A GENERALIZATION. I read something once, unless I am reading fast because a time constraint and miss something, I will remember everything about it I am going to remember. I could read something once, and read something 10 times. I will remember just as much from the thing I read once as the thing I read 10 times.

As a result. Homework is INCREDIBLY tedious and pointless for somebody like me, as the entire point of the homework is completely null for me. You tell me "do these 50 math problems for homework tonight" and its the same 3 or 4 types of math problems, done in a bunch of different ways, I'll simply throw it out.

It is the equivalent of sending you to college and going "write the a,b,c's for me 1000 times on this piece of paper, and hand it in tomorrow" Its a tedious, fruitless process, where I learn no new information, and spent an unnecessary amount of time doing the task.

But because of generalizations in how people learn, I was stuck in this system that alienated me and the way I learn.



High school serves a few purposes. Could be said about college until you get more specialized.


High school, like college, should do one thing. Teach the material. Focus on getting kids to understand a concept or point, then moving on.



Eliminate the lazy people.


School eliminates the lazy people in the majority, and the minority as a whole. The majority of kids who learn via repetition, and simply choose not to learn the material, are the same kids getting 50's and 60's on their tests.

School also eliminates the kids who don't learn via repetition, because even though that child got 90-100 on every test and quiz, they still ended up with C's and D's.



Help kids think more.


Having attended high school during this decade, no it doesn't. Not in any way, shape or form. Not even remotely. I have yet to see a SINGLE high school class that promoted thinking. College, yes, I attended some philosophy courses that promoted thinking, definitely. But high school? There was ZERO thinking going on in this class rooms. NONE.



Allow socialization.


OH it does that big time, and you wouldn't believe how many times I've seen everybody completely ignoring the material to "socialize". Socializing can be beneficial, when people are socializing about the material at hand. That can be constructive. Only thing is, that is rarely ever the socialization going on in school.



I hear this ALL the time. "When will we use this in life?"


I use the material all the time, but I don't remember ever using that homework or busy work. I remember using my physics class knowledge to figure out a basic problem in real life. I don't remember using the pointless worksheet they forced me to do in class, and applying it in real life though.



Remember what I just said? The whole point is to help you learn to think more and comprehend more complex subjects, and if I can recall, THINKING is used everyday of your life. For most people that is


Yeah, and they don't do that in high school. I used the information I got from high school in real life, but I have never learned how to think in high school. Never. If the whole point of high school is to teach kids how to think, you might want to start pulling your tax money out of education, because all it does it "This is the answer, this is the answer, this is the answer. reword the same concept, this is the answer, this is the answer. Now you do it."

That...isn't thinking.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 05:21 PM
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Originally posted by The All Seeing I
i'm all ears


For starters, I agree with doing away with letter grades. It is a pass or fail mentality. You get an A+ or an F. One mistake doesn't earn you an F, and one success doesn't earn you an A+ (unless its incredibly brilliant).

This would promote both a stress free environment(I can make a mistake without it damaging my grade) but at the same time promotes people to try. If they don't they may fail and have to retake the class.

School isn't meant to "rank" people. That's what standardized tests are for. School is about either you learned the material or you didn't. You either got it or you didn't. That means you either passed or you failed.

This would also allow for a wide range of individualism. It no longer requires you to conform to the system, but learn things via your own methods. It allows for individual approaches to the same situation, which is the essence of learning and thinking.


Next, rather than homework, I would have people explain, verbally or in writing, what they learned that day. It not only encourages a certain type of reinforcement via "this is what I learned..." and reinforcing the concept, but it also allows for self-realization. If somebody went to write "this is what I learned today" and realized they can't think of anything, they will have proven not only to the professor, but to themselves, that they did not pay attention in class that day.

It would also develop writing skills. It would develop peoples ability to explain a technical example in simple short wording. It may only be a paragraph long, it may be an essay, depending on how much the person learned and thought.

This would prove to the professor, on an individual basis, just how capable an individual is, and just how far a long a student has come. Having the students simply explain "this is what I learned" gives a huge amount of information to the professor, it gives a huge amount of information to the student, it promotes writing skills, and it could take a matter of minutes for the student to complete.

Those are just two of the ideas I have come up with.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 05:25 PM
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reply to post by grimreaper797
 


I do not see how learning to program, speak foreign languages, do calculus, does not help you think on a general level.

There are times where random work is thrown in the schedule. Other times, they just tell you to study.

The main thing I fail to see about you is how does being in the minority prevent you to do class work and homework? If you were smart enough to get great grades on the tests, I fail to see why you wouldn't spend the little time it takes to do the "useless" work that is easy enough? My perception of that is just laziness.

I know plenty of kids in the same field. Having a high "IQ" does not mean one is willing to do the work either. Now, I am far from the business world, but pushing the class work and homework to the side during school just seems like you did not care at all?

If you were so smart why wouldn't you just do the useless work instead of being a rebel which leads you to a stone wall? I guess I would consider myself in the group where repetition does not help me learn at all also - but even then I still do the work (and complain).

I think I see what you are trying to say but of course the school system was built for the majority - there are hundreds and thousands of kids going to school. I fail seeing how being in the "minority" prevents you from doing this useless work that would only benefit you in the long run (better college, better grades, better work POSSIBLY - if you chose to).

Where I am from we have certain schools that you take basic classes(english, math), and then specialize in areas such as welding, computer design, etc. High school BTW.

And in college, co-op is an option as well. So I fail to see your point.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 05:32 PM
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Originally posted by FritosBBQTwist
I am in high school at the moment and it seems that on many of our tests, calculators are not even allowed for half of it. That half is the part where you have to know what you are doing.


Good, now they just have to stop allowing it for the other half.



The only times I can even think we are allowed to use our calculator is FOR TEDIOUS WORK, such as large addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, where everyone already knows what to do but this saves the time of doing that and allows us to focus on the subject.


We are talking about tests. During a test, it should not be assumed that a student does or doesn't already know how to do something. It is a test. That means, prove you know how to do this. Not "prove you know how to do this certain concept, the rest we will assume you know how to do" it is "prove you know how to do this" period.

Calculators should not be allowed on a test period. It is meant to gauge how well YOU can solve the problem. Not how well and fast your calculator can solve it. Even large addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, can be done on paper relatively quickly, ESPECIALLY if you are going to assume kids know how to do it. If kids know how to do it, they shouldn't have an issue proving that in a timely manner.

I went through every high school math test without a calculator, just a piece of scrap paper, and I never ran out of time before the test was over. They give you PLENTY of time of tests, and if you do not understand the concepts well enough to finish all the work yourself, that in itself should say something.



All the comments I see from you are mindless and it seems you are spewing mindless hate with no real background to your statements.


Yeah, this comment isn't completely baseless or anything.



I can not speak for all schools, but in my area (middle class), advanced courses are replacing many of the "slow paced ones", enforcing students to not slip away in an easy wave of mindless work


*sigh* I think your school had an issue with teaching reading comprehension. It doesn't matter how basic or advanced the classes are, its the methods they are using to grade proficiency. The way they grade how well you learn the material is the issue, not the material itself.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 05:33 PM
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reply to post by grimreaper797
 


Great ideas by the way. I have some teachers that have this mentality already...but of course still uses the letter grade system.

I do not like "tedious" work. It IS there for the general mass. It would be to hard to make certain students exempt from homework and such though while others have to do it. Usually, all of that is laid out on the teachers hands.

I do a have question though. How would that work in a math environment? In that - its either you know it or you don't. You think a students that knows it just enough to pass should pass on the same level as someone who is a master? What if they are already in the "most advanced" class? I think the letter grading system awards students who perform better. Give or take.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 05:38 PM
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reply to post by GrayFox
 


That wasn't an ad hominem. Your failure to recognize this is probably reflective on your own lack of education. Don't be quick to jump the gun. What he said was not a generalization. It was an inference as to the nature of the patience of one who has not completed a high school education.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 05:51 PM
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Good, now they just have to stop allowing it for the other half.




We are talking about tests. During a test, it should not be assumed that a student does or doesn't already know how to do something. It is a test. That means, prove you know how to do this. Not "prove you know how to do this certain concept, the rest we will assume you know how to do" it is "prove you know how to do this" period.

Calculators should not be allowed on a test period. It is meant to gauge how well YOU can solve the problem. Not how well and fast your calculator can solve it. Even large addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, can be done on paper relatively quickly, ESPECIALLY if you are going to assume kids know how to do it. If kids know how to do it, they shouldn't have an issue proving that in a timely manner.

Yeah - guess you are right on this. I probably would be shocked at the number of students who would fail at the foundation of the problem.




I went through every high school math test without a calculator, just a piece of scrap paper, and I never ran out of time before the test was over. They give you PLENTY of time of tests, and if you do not understand the concepts well enough to finish all the work yourself, that in itself should say something.

I said you have no foundation to your argument because you did not state something like this earlier. Understood good man!



*sigh* I think your school had an issue with teaching reading comprehension. It doesn't matter how basic or advanced the classes are, its the methods they are using to grade proficiency. The way they grade how well you learn the material is the issue, not the material itself.


All of that lies in the teacher...sadly.

I do not plan on going into a field that will pay low. At the same time, I want one I can relatively enjoy.

Could teachers salaries be preventing a lot of real geniuses from becoming educators?

I hope I am not coming off as a jack a- it is sometimes hard to interpret words as we all come from a different area.

My initial thought was that you hated the system due to some useless class work and homework.

Education IS the key to the future, and we depend on good teachers for that. Sad thing is, many current teachers sure as hell do not know what they are doing.




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