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Old 09-23-2011, 11:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wsop View Post
IDK. I don't remember things being so good when I attended public school from grade 7 on, and that was over 35 years ago and I actually think things have improved since then. Granted my kids are in a different school district in a different state than I was, but the behavior of he kids was pretty bad then, and many teachers had no control over their classes.

This is in complete contrast to my K-6 years when I attended Catholic school
Well, I was in the Scottish system and not the US one and left school in 1973. Our teachers had numerous options for maintaining order. The infamous Lochgelly Tawse (strap) was used from age 7. Lines or essays were regularly given out as a punishment. Kids would be made to stand outside the classroom door if they were disruptive and after school detention was another option. Suspension was almost never used; why give the kid a few days holiday? I can never remember parents getting involved with discipline. That was entirely down to the school. We also had strict uniform rules.

Neither did we have parents helping out the teacher or more than one teacher to a class. Certainly we had weak teachers and we took advantage of them. But, for the most part we took no chances as the retribution would be swift. And yet, we could all read pretty well. We all knew our tables as multiple speed tests ensured and most of use knew the difference between 'there' and 'their' and 'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.

Now, I would not pretend to have any particular expertise in the teaching arena. But, as I read this thread, it does seem that we are both throwing more resources at our kids while expecting less of them in terms of behaviour, attention to detail and attentiveness. As an employer, I have noted that, while numeracy tends to be very good, written English skills tends to be rather bad. And this is for kids graduating college with GPAs of 3.4 and better.

Perhaps the time has come for teachers and parents to give some thought to what they expect from kids. There needs to be a balance between making kids feel good about themselves and actually preparing them for the real world.
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Rhode Island
6,304 posts, read 10,473,063 times
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quote:My question is: if people know it's all about cultural change, why do they get bogged down in all sorts of irrelevant and lame speculations about "how to improve K-12 education?".


Because most educators would see a return to discipline and previously successfully teaching methods as backsliding and political suicide, both in terms of methodology and social "progress".

Two more major educational events that I forgot to add- one of which was huge- forced integration. This caused massive white flight. Again beginning in the early 1960s, it obviously didn't affect all school districts in all communities, but enough so that today, many urban school districts are ghettos for minorities and now subjects for "how to improve K-12 education" .

Again, don't assume I'm advocating "white only" schools- I am pointing out what changed in our public schools.

The other trend was emphasizing training in social subjects such as sex education, cultural awareness, and so on instead of basic subjects such as mathematics, reading and writing, and geography. Look up Jay Leno's comedy videos on Utube in which he interviews high school students on their knowledge of geography. Watch and weep.

I don't even want to think about the death of the book and the electronic information revolution. I deal with students in college today who proudly tell me they have never been in a library and avoid reading "whole books" whenever possible. They want it to be simple and they want it to be instantaneous.
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollytree View Post
quote:My question is: if people know it's all about cultural change, why do they get bogged down in all sorts of irrelevant and lame speculations about "how to improve K-12 education?".


Because most educators would see a return to discipline and previously successfully teaching methods as backsliding and political suicide, both in terms of methodology and social "progress".

Two more major educational events that I forgot to add- one of which was huge- forced integration. This caused massive white flight. Again beginning in the early 1960s, it obviously didn't affect all school districts in all communities, but enough so that today, many urban school districts are ghettos for minorities and now subjects for "how to improve K-12 education" .

Again, don't assume I'm advocating "white only" schools- I am pointing out what changed in our public schools.

The other trend was emphasizing training in social subjects such as sex education, cultural awareness, and so on instead of basic subjects such as mathematics, reading and writing, and geography. Look up Jay Leno's comedy videos on Utube in which he interviews high school students on their knowledge of geography. Watch and weep.

I don't even want to think about the death of the book and the electronic information revolution. I deal with students in college today who proudly tell me they have never been in a library and avoid reading "whole books" whenever possible. They want it to be simple and they want it to be instantaneous.
Sadly, you are too right about everything you summarized.

So it's all a bit fat lie. I guess it is this pervasive hypocrisy that I see all around me, every day, that leads me to constantly notice all those aspects Aconite would rather not have me notice.

However, everyone I have lamented such issues to assure me that across the lake things are heading in the exact same direction.
When I go there I see that the schools, the parents, the children, the overall cultural climate are not quite there yet; but I do see serious attempts to copy the parenting and schooling-related "wisdom" of post 1960's America. I cringe every time.

This overnight ideology of "progress" can be a terrible thing to happen to societies.
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:55 PM
6am
 
276 posts, read 214,198 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
My question is: if people know it's all about cultural change, why do they get bogged down in all sorts of irrelevant and lame speculations about "how to improve K-12 education?".
Does it mean as parents we try our utmost best to create this parenting balance of raising our kids with this "changing American Culture" structure ...while each maintaining the distinct set of cultural values and practices that defined their entire previous existence, hoping our child turn out successful ? Is there a set of culture nuturing that might be successful in churning out better educated kids which we as parents might examine?
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6am View Post
Does it mean as parents we try our utmost best to create this parenting balance of raising our kids with this "changing American Culture" structure ...while each maintaining the distinct set of cultural values and practices that defined their entire previous existence, hoping our child turn out successful ? Is there a set of culture nuturing that might be successful in churning out better educated kids which we as parents might examine?
I am not sure I understand what you are getting at...

To put it simply... I, for one, feel like I am trying to go pee-pee against the wind everyday.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,821 posts, read 39,387,870 times
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People ARE aware that it's totally possible (and not that difficult) to ensure that students do feel confident and good about themselves WHILE preparing them for independence, right? I mean, one follows the other. You learn how to do things well, and you consequently make gains in self-esteem.

I always read people parroting the so-called "self-esteem movement" and (1.) implying that it's stupid for students to increase self-awareness/worth, (2.) expressing a belief that teaching (or learning) with attention being paid to students' confidence somehow undermines any learning occurring.

I went to elementary and middle school during the 1980s...the origins of the so-called self-esteem movement. I certainly never had a teacher who intimated to me that there were no wrong answers, or who didn't correct my work when I was incorrect. I'm not sure who all these people are who had schooling where they were told that they were always correct when they were incorrect in the name of enhancing their self-esteem, but I didn't go to school with any of them, or meet any of them later in life. I wonder where they're all hiding?
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
People ARE aware that it's totally possible (and not that difficult) to ensure that students do feel confident and good about themselves WHILE preparing them for independence, right? I mean, one follows the other. You learn how to do things well, and you consequently make gains in self-esteem.
I always read people parroting the so-called "self-esteem movement" and (1.) implying that it's stupid for students to increase self-awareness/worth, (2.) expressing a belief that teaching (or learning) with attention being paid to students' confidence somehow undermines any learning occurring.

I went to elementary and middle school during the 1980s...the origins of the so-called self-esteem movement. I certainly never had a teacher who intimated to me that there were no wrong answers, or who didn't correct my work when I was incorrect. I'm not sure who all these people are who had schooling where they were told that they were always correct when they were incorrect in the name of enhancing their self-esteem, but I didn't go to school with any of them, or meet any of them later in life. I wonder where they're all hiding?
Just for the sake of simplification: are you arguing that the summary Holly Tree wrote is just in some people's imagination? Because there is not a whole lot of empirical evidence to support this point of view. The vast majority of evidence points in the opposite direction.

The self-esteem movement, along with many other cultural changes, has been very real since the 70's. It manifests itself in myriad ways including the dumbification of the curriculum, making standards easier than they should be, trophies for everyone, turning comparisons in academic performance into top secret information, etc. It comes in the form of "creative writing", "game playing", no use of red for correction, not making students consider spelling because it puts "a dent on creativity", showering students with praise for minimum performance (even though studies are now beginning to show that too much praise lowers performance)... and the list goes on.

To pretend such things have had no impact is just naive or plain reactionary.

PS: Achieving a sense of "worth" must be based on something. In education, you don't achieve a sens of worth just because you breathe. The only way to feel good about yourself is to achieve something you found to be quite difficult when you first attempted it. I see plenty of children and young people today feeling super-great about themselves without much substance to show.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:39 PM
 
5,945 posts, read 12,726,291 times
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I like to cull through antique shops and find very old books. It always blows me away when I find the primary school readers from the 1920's or 30's.... SO very different than the dumbed-down curriculums of today.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
I like to cull through antique shops and find very old books. It always blows me away when I find the primary school readers from the 1920's or 30's.... SO very different than the dumbed-down curriculums of today.
That would be enough empirical evidence for me; but for some people, the all mighty "evidence" is never enough.
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Old 09-23-2011, 02:32 PM
 
15,296 posts, read 16,849,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauramc27 View Post
This was not free time. She was trying to get them all to sit and write the daily information in their agenda. The louder she spoke, trying to get the info out, the louder the kids got.
This is why the teacher needs to learn other techniques.

When the kids are talking over her she should whisper, not get louder. If they miss something, that's their problem not hers.

She could also have a sign they go over at the beginning of the year. Our school does a clapping thing. Whenever the kids hear the clap, they all stop and clap and then when all the kids are clapping, they stop and listen. It can also be something like turning off the classroom lights for a minute. That usually gets the kids attention.

I suggest that the teacher get Harry Wong's book, "The First Days of School" and that she starts over and teaches procedures. It will pay off.
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