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Old 09-24-2011, 12:37 AM
 
146 posts, read 255,240 times
Reputation: 183

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I believe discipline and respect are not inforced in the American schools for the fear of parent complaints and lawsuits. Most parents and teachers do not trust each other, and can very easily turn against each other. If a child complains to a parent about the teacher, the parent automatically believes their child and assumes the worst.
As a parent not born in this country, I always wondered why parents are allowed to volunteer in the schools, why are kids bomborded with so many after school activities, why are kids in school so many hours a day when few of those hours are wasted on stuff that is not important to the kids' education. Growing up we had none of the above. Our parents expected us to behave well in school and to respect our teachers, just as they did. We were given lots of homework, and our parents never complained to the teacher or principal about it. Parents were not allowed to volunteer or to be in the school for any reason unless was parent/teacher conference. We had no "junk" subjects to learn and waste our time on, no after school activities used mainly for socializing, and no time to bully a classmate. We were in school to learn and that's what we did. The reason why foreign students do well in american schools is because of their discipline and work attic.
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Old 09-24-2011, 12:44 AM
 
102 posts, read 144,190 times
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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.
I started teaching more than 20 years ago. At that time, first grade math was addition and subtraction to 10. They were to be able to sound out short vowel words (man, fox) and some regular long-vowel patterns (silent e). They needed to write ONE complete sentence. Where is this dumbing down I hear of? Kindergarten requirements are far more advanced than first grade then.

I was in the Central Library and stumbled upon a curriulum for my district from the 1940s. First grade ended at 1:00. K-2 had an HOUR of block play every day.
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,736,370 times
Reputation: 14499
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slinkygirl View Post
I started teaching more than 20 years ago. At that time, first grade math was addition and subtraction to 10. They were to be able to sound out short vowel words (man, fox) and some regular long-vowel patterns (silent e). They needed to write ONE complete sentence. Where is this dumbing down I hear of? Kindergarten requirements are far more advanced than first grade then.

I was in the Central Library and stumbled upon a curriulum for my district from the 1940s. First grade ended at 1:00. K-2 had an HOUR of block play every day.
What you are missing is that kindergarten and first grade requirements have been raised in response to the dummying down of education. Our solution to get kids to learn more is to try to get them started earlier. You can't look at just the first two grades. You need to compare high school diplomas today to high school diploma's of yesteryear.

In the past, the average graduate could do things like make change...I can't tell you how many times I've seen a manager have to come to the rescue of a cashier who couldn't count out change. Once, the manager couldn't even do it. Her solution to the machine spitting out the wrong amount of change was to void the entire sale and have the cashier rering it so that the machine could tell them how much change to give me.

I once had to argue with a cashier that if you're selling cat food cans at 4/$1.00, a case of 24 DOES NOT cost $24!!! I couldn't convince him it should be $6.00 so I had him open the case and ring each one separately.... Much to his dismay, the total came to $6.00.

Kids may be starting school farther along BUT by the time they graduate, they have fallen behind. We do so much more than just teach these days and our kids think it's everyone elses job, not theirs, to make sure they learn. THEY never fail. They SYSTEM fails them. I've only been teaching for 4 years but I'm pretty convinced there is an 80/20 rule in teaching analgous to the business rule but in our case, it's reversed. We put 80% of our effort into the 20% of our students for whom we will see the LEAST results.

When the only thing they count is students reaching minimum proficiency, student's reaching minimum proficiency becomes the goal and you focus on the kids who are not there yet. They are the ones who eat up your time and effort. Much of the increase in per student spending everyone talks about is special ed spending! That's how we can spend more money now per student than ever and still cry that the budget is short. Only one segment of the student population is getting that extra money. In my dd's school, half of the english classes are co taught with a special ed teacher in the room because there are up to 7 special ed students in the class. So you're paying a special ed teacher in addition to the regular teacher in that classroom. Paying two teachers where you used to pay one, takes a big bite out of your budget which means we're really operating on less funding today, not more. We're just paying more teachers. Unfortunately, there is no bang for your buck if you put effort into kids who have already achieved minimum proficiency. You've already gotten credit for them so we focus on those who have not.

Last edited by Ivorytickler; 09-24-2011 at 09:10 AM..
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:34 AM
 
146 posts, read 255,240 times
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This year when my child started 3rd grade, parents were asked to purchase calculators for their math class. Why? They really don't need them! Kids are supposed to learn to add and subtract, to multiply and divide at an early age.
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Old 09-24-2011, 12:16 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,511,564 times
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Regarding the calculators, I think it reflects the changing curriculum. Keeping in mind that the students haven't yet learned how to perform long division, please consider this recent word problem from my youngest's mathbook:

Mark has 3 boxes of 98 marbles and 7 boxes of 46 marbles each. If he puts all the marbles equally into 8 boxes, how many marbles are there in each box?

That's a pretty challenging problem for a 9-year-old. The point was to have the student model the problem, which my son was able to do graphically, demonstrating that he understood. It was simply the calculation that was slowing him down. We'll continue to practice long division for speed and accuracy, but in this instance I had no problem handing over my calculator.

Last edited by formercalifornian; 09-24-2011 at 12:32 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 09-24-2011, 12:23 PM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,952,401 times
Reputation: 3819
Quote:
Originally Posted by justnice View Post
I believe discipline and respect are not inforced in the American schools for the fear of parent complaints and lawsuits. Most parents and teachers do not trust each other, and can very easily turn against each other. If a child complains to a parent about the teacher, the parent automatically believes their child and assumes the worst.
As a parent not born in this country, I always wondered why parents are allowed to volunteer in the schools, why are kids bomborded with so many after school activities, why are kids in school so many hours a day when few of those hours are wasted on stuff that is not important to the kids' education. Growing up we had none of the above. Our parents expected us to behave well in school and to respect our teachers, just as they did. We were given lots of homework, and our parents never complained to the teacher or principal about it. Parents were not allowed to volunteer or to be in the school for any reason unless was parent/teacher conference. We had no "junk" subjects to learn and waste our time on, no after school activities used mainly for socializing, and no time to bully a classmate. We were in school to learn and that's what we did. The reason why foreign students do well in american schools is because of their discipline and work attic.
Extremely similar experience.
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:17 PM
 
572 posts, read 1,072,164 times
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I disagree with the statement that extra-curriculars are not important. They are extremely important. They create a well-rounded student and a well-rounded person. Children who are in sports, scouts, or play musical instruments tend to perform better academically than those that don't.

As far as discipline, I think that even parents are afraid of disciplining their children in public anymore, for they may get reported to CPS for child abuse. It's a fear driven society.
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,736,370 times
Reputation: 14499
Quote:
Originally Posted by jojo61397 View Post
I disagree with the statement that extra-curriculars are not important. They are extremely important. They create a well-rounded student and a well-rounded person. Children who are in sports, scouts, or play musical instruments tend to perform better academically than those that don't.

As far as discipline, I think that even parents are afraid of disciplining their children in public anymore, for they may get reported to CPS for child abuse. It's a fear driven society.
I had neighbors who spent six months fighting to keep their three kids because their oldest daughter told a teacher she would get a spanking if she got a bad grade and the teacher turned the parents in. After it was all over, they packed up and moved. I don't blame them.
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:46 PM
 
18,856 posts, read 30,492,371 times
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I taught for 20 years, and while I support LRE and parents right to choose, I feel like the push for SPED students to have services in their neighborhood schools has done nothing but reduce SPED education and dilute services to a population that needs them the most.

Parents expect more, and don't realize that their insistence actually gets them less. SPED kids are missing critical cirriculum, that even ESY does not address. Even the push for "expanded core cirriculum" does not address the underlying issues.

Teachers are on a leash. We can't do our best, so we just do our job.
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:31 AM
 
102 posts, read 144,190 times
Reputation: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
What you are missing is that kindergarten and first grade requirements have been raised in response to the dummying down of education. Our solution to get kids to learn more is to try to get them started earlier. You can't look at just the first two grades. You need to compare high school diplomas today to high school diploma's of yesteryear.
.
Yes, I agree that content is pushed into lower and lower grade levels. A teacher friend has an idea for a bumper sticker: Every Fetus A Reader. I know high schoolers often can't perform the most simple tasks. It's just that, as an early childhood teacher, it makes me tear my hair out to be lectured at about dumbing-down when for us, the bar is much higher than a generation ago.
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