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Geographic Illiteracy in US.

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posted on May, 20 2013 @ 02:40 AM
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Originally posted by charlyv
The sad thing is that today, we finally have the tools that can make all the difference in education, but they are not being used that way. Imagine (and I date myself in the process) if we had these tools 40 years ago. Remember going to the Library and spending a half hour looking up some obscure fact?

I would make it mandatory that all schools elementary on up, provide a tablet, and all school books were downloadable. Printing paper school books and endlessly publishing them are one of the most wasteful and costly line items in the educational ledger.

Internet access in school could be limited to educational content or hosted by a system that would only provide educational content. We are wasting kids away, because we have provided a technology that is programmed to distract them rather than educate them. We need legislation and leadership to make this happen as soon as possible, IMO.
*Great point Charly.Information is just a click away and not just the youth but their elders don't seem to utilize this.No more running to the library,if you have web connection and any skill with keywords the answer's on you!




posted on May, 20 2013 @ 05:32 AM
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Originally posted by Cabin
reply to post by Malcher
 

Everything depends on the type of the calculator and the subject.

Using calculator that solves matrices in linear algebra or a calculator which solves integrals in calculus is cheating.

I was only allowed to use simple calculator which only let to * / + - ^ SQRT and sin/cos/tan.

Graphing calculators are disallowed.

Although depends on subject. Subject which is not meant to teach you how to calculate something is okay, although if the subject teaches you calculation, then using calculator is same to cheating.


I guess so. Leave that up to the math people. My point wa that this poll tells us virtually nothing.


Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
reply to post by Malcher
 


Indeed... As you note, I agree. If new methods are found to work? Lets have at it. Progress is never a bad thing, when it's been shown to be effective. See test scores lately? Whatever we're doing? Isn't working....it's failed miserably. That's kinda the point. We are trying new things and in getting away from what worked? We're not picking up replacements that do. Sadly, the generations of kids who live the "trial and error" process get to suffer and "make do" when they happened to live through an "error" phase of the experimenting.


Also... Calculators shouldn't be in ANY classroom to replace the fundamentals of Math. It's not a point I brag about, obviously, but Math is my weakest point and always has been. I just finished 040 math to move to 050 in the fall. That consists of starting from the basics. ("The is a fraction. This is a Pizza cut 4 times..and that is 4/4ths. Removing one slice makes 1/4th.) and so on. That is the level of Calculator taught math.

You know what pisses me off though and I'll be writing (More...since I already have written them on this earlier). When you forget the steps to something? I don't care if it's the steps of PEMDAS or working down an equation or what to do if traffic on a road in front of you goes to hell in a split second. You do not think back through everything you've been taught. TRAINING is what takes over.

Wanna know how that works out when you have a final and for whatever reason, the steps aren't popping to mind? "You just need to know how to enter that into a calculator" IS the training...and so, the BEST those who learn this way will ever do or be worth if that calculator isn't handy for immediate help.


I pity the kids learning this way, if they join Foreign Service and actually face a math problem OUTSIDE the land of calculators coming out every ear and open space. Locals will likely find it raging funny that the "Super American" cannot re-write the entire times table by memory and knowledge .....let alone divide a large, odd decimal number into equal parts with a couple other steps required. That is the problem. You're ONLY as good as your training. This training sucks. Outright.

edit on 19-5-2013 by Wrabbit2000 because: minor correction


Pretty sure i said college level, so by then times tables are usually learned. I agree this is important to know, even still, there are many reasons why some things may not be learned. Look at what we now know about dyslexia. The first diagnosis of developmental dyslexia mentioned in any publication appeared in a British Medical Journal in1896.

My point is not only about calculators, this has been an issue for decades anyway. Look at script writing. I can see why learning it may not seem important, although it is very easy to learn. Who writes in script anymore?



posted on May, 20 2013 @ 10:28 AM
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reply to post by Malcher
 


Well, you can come up with any reason you like to justify the use of cheat aids for Math class, right into and including final exams. Personally? It's cheating. Pure, simple and outright. Every problem NOT done by hand during the *LEARNING* phase of CLASSROOM time? Is a bit of practice lost and that much faster the day will come when it can't be done without it.

Now, you're creative about why cheating ought to be allowed in math class...and sorry, I can't and won't see using a calculator while learning math as anything but cheating....however, it comes down to two things to me.

First, this wasn't the idea of educators or the college. Hardly... You may have missed it...but students had to SUE to FORCE their "right" to cheat through math class. Now, if this was no big deal, believe me, schools wouldn't be going through the expense of seeing a law suit through from start to finish, just to lose it. It's a big deal. Like using Audio books to get through reading.


Second though..... You continue to make hypotheticals.... Oh, you meant math ..oh you meant only a certain kind of math.

Well.. Considering your reply was to me? Let me knock the stupid hypotheticals out of this. I *SAID* this was about 040 and basic math being taught in college...I didn't run a hypothetical here until we could find where my argument fit and could work..as you did. These are being used from BASIC BASIC Remedial Math, all the way through ALL levels of Algebra and into College Math. Every class. Every level. Every Test.

Now...that isn't leaning math. That's learning mathematical theory and the mechanics of entering it into a calculator.

The problem is..not everyone on this planet has one coming out of their tail pipe, as Americans do. So, I pity the poor, lazy students who go overseas thinking they have something to teach the world.....and then get shown how pathetically ignorant they really are without their little gizmos and electronic toys. Much of the rest of the world still learns it the REAL way ...and doesn't require a gizmo to work a math problem. Imagine that.



posted on May, 20 2013 @ 10:53 AM
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Originally posted by GrandStrategy
I'm not going to fault individuals for what they do or don't know, it's obviously a symptom of a wider issue and individuals can't necessarily be faulted if society has indoctrinated you to be an idiot, but I would say that If you don't want to know about the planet you're living on then there's something not quite right. Correctly wired human beings have curiosity and a thirst for knowledge


Try to tell that to the younger generation and they'll think you're on drugs. I'm not kidding.

Or as they say in the Bahama's:



[It's a joke.........lighten up]

edit on 20-5-2013 by Taupin Desciple because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 20 2013 @ 05:05 PM
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My apologies if I offended anyone with that.

The point of the picture when taken in context of the conversation was that it's not only the educational system, it's not only the kids, the culture, etc........ that is making things the way they are. I don't think anyone can pinpoint when the educational system got to where to where it is or how it happened. The fact is that no, schools aren't what they used to be. The curriculum as a whole isn't as extensive as it used to be, and what curriculum there is is written by companies who seem to have political and ideological agenda's. A biased learning experience is not a complete one.

Some people would argue that the school systems don't have to be as complete in their purpose of educating as they used to be because the job market itself s so limited to graduates. All of these theories do lend an aire of credibility to the fact that kids aren't learning as much as we did. As far as this up and coming generation not seeming to care............I can't say that I blame them. They do watch the news and they do try to gain employment. They're growing up in a period of time where it's extremely hard to be productive, intelligent and respected for it all.

Hence the picture. No, I'm not sexist, but you have to admit that a lot of kids are growing up with that "F**k it attitude. Put yourself in their shoes and you can't really blame them. ( No, they're not all that blase' about it all, but a good number are)



edit on 20-5-2013 by Taupin Desciple because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 11:05 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


My point is that if a person is bad in math what is the point of forcing it on them? Sure they will not excel in fields where math is a requirement, but that is understood by all parties involved. That is no great revelation.

That does not mean this person cannot show remarkable abilities in other areas. By the same token, if a person is never going to travel or have a need to know where a country is located on a map then I dont think it should be a big deal.

These views i am writing are becoming more understood. I see no reason to believe that a person growing up in present times would not be more aware than a person growing up 20 years ago. One thing that seems to be universal phenomenon in humans is the glorification of the past. Sure kids in some remote school 20-30 years ago would know every spot on a map, through basic memorization, but think of the things they did not know compared to present times with so many new discoveries and technologies and it is pretty amazing.

I also wonder if, like dyslexia (previously mentioned), some other subjects may be more difficult for certain people. Just like being extremely proficient in math does not mean that person would also be an excellent writer.

edit on 22-5-2013 by Malcher because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 11:19 AM
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reply to post by Malcher
 


I think you might have a decent point about math, except that I flat out disagree with it. I didn't always. Then, in the school I'm at, I met a special lady in math tutoring who happens to have spent most of her adult life as a Neurology based psych, treating brain injured people. It wasn't until I met her and she explained to the class I was in what the REAL differences are between people who flat can't do Math and people who simply aren't learning or being taught well, that I realized the vast majority can do math just fine. The VERY strong majority. It's very true that a test of only a matter of minutes, given by the properly trained people, can show if you have a true failing in math. It's a brain thing...not a subjective thing...and the signs show in other very testable ways.

Heck..I never in my life thought I'd see 4.0 GPA on ANYTHING...yet this semester ended solid 4....including my adventures in Math. (We'll avoid detail discussion on just how the scoring works at times...suffice it to say, I'm happy with that part ..lol) So the idea that people 'just can't do math' isn't one I accept anymore. Outside a small...TINY...% of people who truly have mental challenges that make it impossible to grasp. (Those ARE real enough)


Geography and History? Well.... Knowledge isn't necessary but then, you enjoy debating things here, don't you? You like feeling like you know enough to join a discussion about Iraq or Libya or Russia and not be stomped to ignorant mush in moments..correct? Without a sense and knowledge of history as it really happened, such an outcome isn't just possible...it's certain. Such enjoyment in debate isn't possible ...it's going to be a fighting challenge every step.

What benefit does it possibly do me to listen to Classical Music or read Literature by the classic authors of time? None... Not one iota of practical good. It DOES add to culture though, which impacts world view and the way life and the world is seen overall. Usually in good ways, for those areas. The difference in educated vs. simple minded is normally clear within a few minutes of chatting with someone. I determined as a child I would NEVER be one of those classed as and laughed off as simple minded.

Fortunately...the vast majority of people at ATS are likewise educated...or the majority of debates we have here could never get past the first page or two. It's likewise clear when the 'other sorts' invade a discussion with the singular lack of education to match opinion. Just my thoughts..and sorry if they're harsh but the real world is EXCEPTIONALLY unforgiving to ignorance. Stupidity? That is understood and fixed....ignorance? Not so much.
edit on 22-5-2013 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 12:52 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


i would say that a lot of the issues we have in education come down to how ti's taught, not that kids are less intelligent, interest is the problem and we are failing at it.
this is not the education systems fault, this is our fault, our fault as a society. our way of living is at fault here, we live to work, not work to live. we think we need to be the best and our children suffer for it.
studies have shown that parents that help their children with education do better. of course that is just part of it, the teachers suffer from being overloaded by helicopter parents who would never believe their kid is failing because they ignore their children's need for help at home.

instead the parent demands their child get bumped up a grade simply because they are old enough and the child will feel left out when their friends move on. so the administrations and the government attempts to fix this issue by dumbing down the difficulty of the education given to the children, making it blander and less engaging, so in the end, the smarter students get bored and do poorly and the slower students do poorly because they didn't absorb it the first time.

of course there is also a social issue that is also to blame, the long growing attitude that education is worthless if it doesn't get you a job. this seems to be something that is having a heavy impact on how we educate as well,
education has long stopped being about creating the next generation of einsteins, galileo and newtons. its now about creating a generation of cogs and drones, only good for consuming whatever bland over processed garbage they give us.

when we get outraged over giving scientists money to better understand this world, we have lost something important.
i can see both sides, but only one makes me weep for humanity and it isn 't the pro-education side.



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 01:02 PM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
reply to post by Malcher
 


I think you might have a decent point about math, except that I flat out disagree with it. I didn't always. Then, in the school I'm at, I met a special lady in math tutoring who happens to have spent most of her adult life as a Neurology based psych, treating brain injured people. It wasn't until I met her and she explained to the class I was in what the REAL differences are between people who flat can't do Math and people who simply aren't learning or being taught well, that I realized the vast majority can do math just fine. The VERY strong majority. It's very true that a test of only a matter of minutes, given by the properly trained people, can show if you have a true failing in math. It's a brain thing...not a subjective thing...and the signs show in other very testable ways.

Heck..I never in my life thought I'd see 4.0 GPA on ANYTHING...yet this semester ended solid 4....including my adventures in Math. (We'll avoid detail discussion on just how the scoring works at times...suffice it to say, I'm happy with that part ..lol) So the idea that people 'just can't do math' isn't one I accept anymore. Outside a small...TINY...% of people who truly have mental challenges that make it impossible to grasp. (Those ARE real enough)


What is a tiny percentage? Is it one or a few people in a class? Suppose this person wants to be a lawyer but is not good at algebra? Not good because through some fluke he gets so far and the numbers just get all jumbled up. He\She is still very intelligent though. I knew someone with dyslexia and they were also very good at math and remembering hundreds of phone numbers.

There is still much research to be done. Here is a link for you to better understand what i am referring to.

I love reading classic literature, so consider myself somewhat well versed in the arts. Is it mandatory? On a personal level it is preferable.

We just see things differently. I lean more towards the Montessori method and allow for freedom but that is not to say that your way is wrong.



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 01:18 PM
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reply to post by Malcher
 


I think I'm focusing on two things here in my approach. First is the fact that while the US dumbs down it's schooling so teachers. schools and government officials can look special to media and study numbers? The rest of the world IS NOT dumbing down it's educational approach. Some of the Asian and European nations are BRUTAL by comparison in the focus, effort and methods used to teach the basics ...we're arguing here about even mattering enough to know for a trivia game.

The end result is that we have a nation that..perhaps within it's own borders...can function and not be embarrassed by it...but outside this nation? We're behind and falling further, fast. This isn't the nation that put men on the moon and thought this stuff up. This is the nation coming to hope OTHERS are smart enough to think up what we no longer can or could figure solutions to accomplishing if we could come up with the ideas ourselves.


The other point is simply this..and it is something I learned formally in college but have known most of my life. You do not know something just because you read it and passed a test on it. That isnt knowledge. That's temporary retention of memory and process. Knowledge is being able to TEACH IT to someone else. If you can't teach it, even on a one on one? You haven't learned a thing. Teaching math to a calculator, isn't a teachable skill. Identifying Australia as North Korea (as many did in that video shown last in my Geo course) shows the skill never even existed.

Really.. How hard is it and how much is it really asking that an average person at least know that BIG BIG landmass off all by itself in the Southern Pacific Ocean is Australia??? One even identified it as Iraq for God's Sake. Ignorance isn't just a problem in America at this stage....it's embraced like a religion and worshiped like a golden cow.
edit on 22-5-2013 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 01:42 PM
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2 quick observations.

The "English is the most spoken language on the planet" is a bit of a trick question.

English is the most understood language on the planet.
Mandarin is the most spoken language on the planet.

More than 80% of second languages learned is English for non-English speaking peoples. So although more people use Mandarin as their first language to speak in daily, most second languages are English and thus more people understand English globally than any other language.

Of course this doesn't make the results of the survey any less alaming for Americans.

My sister is a high school math teacher in the USA. She says most teachers teach to the tests and not actually teach. The teachers are graded based solely on how their students perform on the "proficiancy" tests, it effects their job status, because it effects how much governmental money goes to the school district, which pays their salary.

If you teach properly, your students will know more, but perform worse on the tests, your district will get less revenue and will be forced to lay off teachers to cover the difference. This increases class sizes and decreases the learning environment for the students at that school. If you teach to the tests, your scores improve, your district gets more money, you keep your job... but the student knows less.

This is the reality of the USA educational system currently. At my sister's school (MHS in Denver, CO) they are down to 3 math teachers total, due to budget cuts; imagine the geography department and their importance comparred to math and you see the cause of this phenomenon.

Until district revenue is no longer tied to student standardized test scores, the problem will continue the downward trend.

God Bless,
edit on 22-5-2013 by ElohimJD because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2013 @ 03:14 PM
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Wrabbit2000,

I think you are exaggerating quite a bit in that last post as far as what European and Asian schools do.

Either way i just never agreed with a hard core rigid approach to school and any school that is described as "brutal" i would just as soon never walk through the doors...personally speaking, of course.
edit on 22-5-2013 by Malcher because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 4 2013 @ 11:28 AM
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I always wondered how americans could be so stupid
America was this like super big and cool empire when I was a kid then 9/11 happened
I didn't respect it anymore but feared terrorists, i'm so glad I moved past that

You know what no i'm not, my new enemy is the tallest giant
The mind-war. The occupy movement is losing due to a dumbed down populus
Do you think people around the world should be as dumb as they are? Something feels wrong, doesn't it?
edit on 4-6-2013 by RaflClad because: (no reason given)





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