On Sat, 16 Oct 2010 16:57:31 -0400, J. Clarke wrote:
Well, assuming we're still talking about industrialized countries, over
80% of people surveyed in western Europe accept the proofs of evolution
compared about 14% who are "sure" in the US. I'd say that's a little
more than a "paper measure" of the quality of education. Or would you
rather believe that Europeans are inherently more intelligent than us?
Of course, if you're one of the 30% of US residents who declare evolution
absolutely false (the other 56% are apparently undecided) don't even
bother answering - we have no basis for discussion.
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
On Mon, 18 Oct 2010 07:06:26 -0400, J. Clarke wrote:
I thought we'd gotten off of schooling and were just discussing "falling
behind" in general. But if you want to get back to that, I'd say
teaching proper nutrition, the benefit of exercise, etc. in K-12 could
well affect life expectancy.
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
It was almost unheard of when I was in school. In my 4 years of HS, we had
gym only one year, one period a week. I believe it is a requirement now.
Don't know about nutrition. We did not have sex ed either.
I have no idea what other countries teach, but in some third word countries,
they probably teach kids to eat anything they can to survive.
Total dollar (rupee?) amount is misleading. % of GDP is probably a
bit better, but that is also misleading.
If you look where the US falls in that graph, we're right in there
with the other 'smart' countries.
"When a country values philosophy over plumbing, neither their
philosophy or plumbing will hold water."
I forget who said that, but there's a lot of truth to it.
The problem with our schools today is the parents. If the parents do
not create an environment that is conclusive to learning, the child will
not see school as important and will not learn.
The governments (federal,state and local) can double the spending for
education, but it will change nothing.
The one thing that the government schools have gotten right is that
every child has unique abilities and learn rates. HOWEVER it is not the
government that needs to monitor each child to see if they are at the
knowledge level for their age, it is the PARENTS. They see their child
on a one to one basis daily. They should be interacting with the child
to assess the depth of his knowledge of the subjects. They are suppose
to be learning in school. If they do not, the PARENTS should be the one
who are drilling the children to bring them up to the point they should
Schools are not day care centers, but centers of learning. Without the
very active participation of the parents there is no hope for the
American education system.
No, the problem is that (a) the kids can tell that most teachers are
blithering idiots and (b) the schools are run like prisons, you _have_
to be there whether you want to or not.
Until they replace the "them as can, do, them as can't, teach, them as
can't teach, administrate" model.
Where did they get that right? "No child left behind" doesn't recognize
this, it tries to force them all into the same mold.
The PARENTS aren't the ones who are forcing the kids to go to these
worthless schools and waste 12 years of their lives listening to
blithering idiots blather.
What is the parent's basis for such assessment? The parents went
through the same schools and got the same blithering blather and the
ones with any sense forgot most of it as soon as they had passed the
Then give the parents the duty of educating their children and provide
some incentive for doing so rather than dragging their children kicking
and screaming into the clutches of the blithering idiots.
ROF,L. You've never actually attended a public school in the US, have
If the parents have to teach the kids then why have the schools?
One must ask, when did you last visit or have intimate contact with a
school or school system? Your blanket assessment of schools as prisons,
worthless, and full of blithering idiots does not match any I know
personally, though I will grant there are exceptions... and there is
probably a higher percentage of blithering idiots among administration.
Now, I _have_ known some blithering idiots who practiced home
schooling, but most of their offspring would have failed finding
education in public schools.
No, I don't think parents are, or should be responsible for the
item-by-item parts of an education. Parents _must_ provide a
"hospitable" atmosphere for their childrens' education; this begins by
recognizing the value of education and instilling that same recognition
in the student. Parents must support the school's discipline -- by
this, I mean not only following the rules of the school AND offering
respect to both teachers adn classmates, but the discipline of
following course work.
(I'm a fine one to talk here -- there probably wasn't a high school
math homework assignment I handed in on time...)
Really, the true measure of education is learning to think through a
problem and discover a solution, not to be able to recite the
"Them as can, do, etc." is generally credited to Mark Twain, who also
is credited with "Never let the facts get in the way of a good story."
There is a grain of truth in the first saying; it's no absolute, as the
If you must throw out an adage, why not, "Watch one, do one, teach
one," as a better way the learn?
Actually, it's both. Here's an example. There's not enough light falling on
the surface of the earth to have ANY possibility of running this country off
of sunbeams. Those who mastered the multiplication tables in the third-grade
can easily determine this to be true; those who did not master these
fundamentals now run the government.
After my first year of law school, I was ranked 18th of 180 freshmen. I went
to my advisor and asked how this could be - I skipped a third of the
classes, didn't open a book until the week before finals, and so on, while
my classmates lived in the library and dreamed in Latin.
"What's your undergraduate background," he asked.
"Uh, I have a Master's in math," I replied.
"Oh, then, you won't have any trouble in law school. You see, the purpose of
law school is not to teach law - that changes every day! The purpose of law
school is to train you to think like a lawyer! Since you already know how to
think logically, deductively, objectively, you won't have any trouble."
"In general, we find that the students who come to us from math, the hard
sciences, and engineering make the best law students. Those who majored in
the soft sciences and business become the average law students. Those who
studied the fine arts, education, and the liberal arts like English or
History, well, they never really make it."
Bottom line: It's the memorization of the multiplication tables that led to
mastering math which in turn guaranteed success in higher endeavors. You
can't build a worthwhile structure on a feel-good foundation.
Which argues well for the one-room schoolhouse. The older kids teach the
younger ones and the lesson is further imprinted.
I've liked the following quotation ever since I first read it years ago.
I share it with my students, up to the word "not", when appropriate.
Thomas H. Huxley (1825-1895):
Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make
yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether
you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and
however early a man's training begins, it is probably the last lesson
that he learns thoroughly.
The Marines get that through one's head in 13 weeks. The schools have
our kids for 12 years.
On the other hand, some things have to be taught by drill and practice.
Reading, writing, and basic arithmetic are fundamental tools--if you
can't do those then your ability to discover solutions is severely
Any course in which the majority of class time is spent with the teacher
standing up at the front of the room regurgitating crap that he or she
read out of a book should be automatically suspect--the kids can read
the book a lot faster than the teacher can recite it.
Some of the college kids tell me it will be a lot faster if I just "show
them how to do it". I tell them at the beginning of the course that one
of my main goals is to make myself obsolete--so that don't need me
around when they get stuck.
There have been various academic swings over the years, but I think it's
fair to say that most educators are taking their mission seriously. I
think failure is more related to social issues than on teachers not
trying to teach.
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