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Old 05-14-2015, 08:39 AM
 
28,906 posts, read 45,254,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmarie123 View Post
Make it less about age, and more about a child's development and abilities. Why must all children start at the same age and progress at the same rate? What about placement tests instead of purely using birth certificates?
Bingo.

The last outposts of Stalinism can be found in North Korea and the average school. All students are pretty much treated the same and progress the same for no better reason than blind orthodoxy.

Think about this for a moment. We live in an incredibly decentralized age. You can find an embarrassment of information on any subject on a search engine with a few keystrokes. Heck, you can buy Rosetta Stone and learn languages in a self-paced way. So why do we continue doing things as if it were still 1895?
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:32 AM
 
28,002 posts, read 19,677,561 times
Reputation: 16471
Quote:
Originally Posted by katie1215 View Post
What changes would you make if you could?
I would put those in the trenches on the boards and committees who direct education. Teachers should have a MUCH louder voice in the decision making of school districts and education in general.

Other changes I'd make:

Encourage a more informal, fluid, organic approach to learning

Institute a program to help with college tuition to encourage more people to become teachers

Begin having more than one teacher in a classroom, like a co-teacher or assistant teacher

Start parent advisory boards so parents have a formal channel in which to address their concerns to the school and teachers

Have programming available within the schools so parents can be more involved with their children's education

Encourage the use of professionals in the classroom for educational purposes. IE - if kids are working on Environmental Sciences have an environmental scientist come in and teach a lesson or do a demonstration

Schedule more breaks and recess time

Expand the school day and change school hours

Place more emphasis on the arts through music, art and library programs

In middle and high schools, build gyms that include exercise machines and hold different classes like yoga or spinning and allow the kids to choose what they want to do for their gym credits

I think that's it for now.
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:35 AM
 
28,002 posts, read 19,677,561 times
Reputation: 16471
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
What an opportunity but I'll limit to just my top three, not in any particular order.

a. Eliminate Federal level initiatives -- return education to a more local control because local boards know their needs the best. This gets away from a one size fits all type approach and is more tailored.

b. Return to tracking (or whatever term) where the top students, who can be successful in college are placed into college/professional track and fully supported along the way. Those who show a greater tendency toward skilled work, then focus high school on preparing them for that career path rather than trying to force them toward a degree program. And we have to be willing to admit that for some kids, "do you want fries with that?" will be a stretch goal. Don't force the tracks into the same class or take the same tests out of some misguided social fairness mindset.

c. Change teacher education to require a BS/BA in a specific subject first and then add on a set of education courses rather than education being the centerpiece with a smattering of subject matter around it. IE reverse the focus. I know that may offend some, but here's the carrot -- now that they are taking the subject matter expert type courses, pay them a competitive salary compared to what a professional in that field with that education and experience will make. IE, if a person with a BS in physics can make $X in the commercial sector, the pay them $X to teach. Makes it more financially viable for someone to teach vs industry.
All great ideas!!!!
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:39 AM
 
28,002 posts, read 19,677,561 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhag1 View Post
1. Return to tracking.
2. Get rid of the vast majority the standardized testing and all the test prep.
3. Move disruptive kids out of the regular classroom/schools quicker - disability or no disability.
4. Put the ownership for failing back on the student and parent, it is not just the responsibility of the teacher.
5. Bring back meaningful vocational ed.
I know many teachers who would disagree with you on this regarding children with disabilities. My son has an aide in the classroom that is dedicated solely to helping him. He maintains A's and B's even though he has learning disabilities. I don't think its fair to exclude disabled children if they have the intellectual capabilities to work to grade level, even with some help.
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:45 AM
 
28,002 posts, read 19,677,561 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dxdtdemon View Post
Get rid of any remaining art and music programs.
Spend the time that used to be wasted on the arts on Java/SQL/other similar languages.
Cut down time in English class to whatever's necessary for the kids to be literate.
Make sure as much of the day as possible is devoted to STEM subjects or vocational training for people who are too stupid for STEM.
No, no, no.

No.

Classes like art and music are scientifically proven to help children with math and science. Maths and sciences are just as creative as arts and music but they are different types of creativity. Encouraging both helps students achieve higher levels of artistic (creative) and intellectual abilities.

Your post shows a distinct disconnect from children and the educational process.
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:49 AM
 
28,906 posts, read 45,254,652 times
Reputation: 45820
Quote:
Originally Posted by dxdtdemon View Post
Get rid of any remaining art and music programs.
Spend the time that used to be wasted on the arts on Java/SQL/other similar languages.
Cut down time in English class to whatever's necessary for the kids to be literate.
Make sure as much of the day as possible is devoted to STEM subjects or vocational training for people who are too stupid for STEM.
This would be incredibly dumb. Art and music programs teach abstract learning. Music, especially, is found to boost mathematical ability.
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 69,949,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magritte25 View Post
I know many teachers who would disagree with you on this regarding children with disabilities. My son has an aide in the classroom that is dedicated solely to helping him. He maintains A's and B's even though he has learning disabilities. I don't think its fair to exclude disabled children if they have the intellectual capabilities to work to grade level, even with some help.
That poster was referring to disruptive kids and emphasized that disability didn't matter.
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
2,981 posts, read 3,772,628 times
Reputation: 3789
Default I would lower the price

Quote:
Originally Posted by katie1215 View Post
What changes would you make if you could?
You can't start your citizens out thousands of dollars in debt.
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Old 05-14-2015, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Leaving fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada
3,836 posts, read 6,616,003 times
Reputation: 7254
I would have parents and/or students bid for teacher assignments. Teacher receives x resources per student. Teacher accepts or rejects the bids and has the right to tell parents/student that they are out if they are disruptive, etc.

This way the best teachers have the resources they need and students/parents have an incentive to participate, follow the rules and display appropriate behavior.

If a student needs more assistance in a subject, they can bid for a teacher with strengths in that area. If a student needs special education, the family could bid on that as well. Teachers can have the flexibility to make their student assignments manageable.
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Old 05-14-2015, 12:09 PM
 
336 posts, read 248,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katie1215 View Post
What changes would you make if you could?
In short, I would implement a new, technology-based education model that relies heavily on video lessons supported by teachers and staff -- a variation of the video-based curriculum nows offered by many colleges.

This would include adoption of standardized, video-based lessons incorporating the best teaching practices. We might develop several versions of these video-based lessons to account for differences in the way students learn. Schools could administer a test at the beginning of the year to determine how each student learns best, and then assign students to classes with the lessons that are best suited to the way they learn. There could be routine breaks in these video-based lessons for teachers to lead hands-on classroom activities.

Under this system, most classes would still have a "teacher" (or multiple "teaching assistants"), but the teacher would not be responsible for teaching lessons; instead, teachers and teaching assistants would be responsible for leading hands-on activities, answering questions, providing individual attention where needed, and grading papers (when grading can't be automated). Subjects that require significant hands on attention, like math and chemistry, might receive more staff support (maybe one teacher + 2 teaching assistants), while subjects that require less hands on attention, such as history, might receive less staff support.

Furthermore, gifted students or students requiring less individual attention could be given the opportunity to learn certain subjects at their own pace in computer labs. Picture a classroom with 30 computers, with each student at a computer with a pair of noise-canceling headphones, following video-based lessons at their own pace. Some students might complete one mandatory course in history during a school year, while other students might complete the mandatory course plus three other courses. Separating the kids that require less individual attention (at least for certain courses) into these video instruction labs would free up resources to provide more staff support for students and/or courses that require greater attention/support.

Looking farther into the future, we could potentially eliminate traditional classrooms and replace the computers in the computer labs with VR headsets, with a pool of cloud-based teachers (i.e., teachers with their own VR headsets or computers with cameras) supporting hundreds of students across an entire school district. Certain students, particularly those requiring less attention, could receive their education via VR from the comfort of their own home, freeing up resources to provide those that need it more individual attention in traditional "brick and mortar" schools and/or classrooms.
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