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Old 09-05-2022, 03:08 AM
 
Location: ☀️ SFL (hell for me-wife loves it)
3,647 posts, read 3,122,515 times
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MS. Ruth:
I'm dying to know what state you went through grade school and highschool in, that prepared you so well!

What is "basic English" if not grammar? What does "basic English" mean? What did that class cover? And was literature a separate course? Or was "basic English" gradeschool reading, and literature was in highschool (or starting in middle school/junior high)?

Latin was available in highschool as a program of its own


Me:
Grammar taught us syntax and sentence structure. Verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc. That was one class. English taught us vocabulary and (I think) root words, etc. This is the class that taught us "latin light," so we could understand the meaning of scientific terminology.
Yes, literature was another class, where we learned about famous authors, playwrights and were given a weekly book report.
I went to Drexel Private, in Florida. Miami Beach to be exact, right off Lincoln rd. in what is now very near the famous South Beach.

Last edited by TerraDown; 09-05-2022 at 03:19 AM..
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Old 09-05-2022, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
27,107 posts, read 14,393,818 times
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this makes me feel so old.


They didn't have calculators when I went to school.


We had slide rules.
Manual typewriters. (They made electric ones but not for school kids)


Computers were mainly on sci-fi shows and room sized.



Yet with all the technical advances available now and not then, I think we had it easier than today's kids.


We never had to be concerned about guns in school. Cyber-bullying. Inability of teachers to discipline.
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Old 09-05-2022, 08:27 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
98,589 posts, read 97,046,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraDown View Post
MS. Ruth:
I'm dying to know what state you went through grade school and highschool in, that prepared you so well!

What is "basic English" if not grammar? What does "basic English" mean? What did that class cover? And was literature a separate course? Or was "basic English" gradeschool reading, and literature was in highschool (or starting in middle school/junior high)?

Latin was available in highschool as a program of its own


Me:
Grammar taught us syntax and sentence structure. Verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc. That was one class. English taught us vocabulary and (I think) root words, etc. This is the class that taught us "latin light," so we could understand the meaning of scientific terminology.
Yes, literature was another class, where we learned about famous authors, playwrights and were given a weekly book report.
I went to Drexel Private, in Florida. Miami Beach to be exact, right off Lincoln rd. in what is now very near the famous South Beach.
AHA! The bolded explains it! All this time, I thought you were talking about public schools, and wondering where in the US public schools were so on the ball. (It's not unheard of, but the West Coast with perhaps a few rare exceptions, didn't cover those things). Of course private schools teach/taught phonics, grammar, etc. Even so, by highschool, many private schools didn't teach how to read literature, until the 90's, when literary analysis became the new method for teaching lit. They did, however, teach advanced college-prep grammar and writing.
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Old 09-05-2022, 08:56 AM
 
10,895 posts, read 6,988,743 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Wow. So much for teaching kids to think for themselves!
I'm surprised that you're surprised by this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
AHA! The bolded explains it! All this time, I thought you were talking about public schools, and wondering where in the US public schools were so on the ball. (It's not unheard of, but the West Coast with perhaps a few rare exceptions, didn't cover those things). Of course private schools teach/taught phonics, grammar, etc. Even so, by highschool, many private schools didn't teach how to read literature, until the 90's, when literary analysis became the new method for teaching lit. They did, however, teach advanced college-prep grammar and writing.
It may not have been called "literary analysis" but it was certainly taught well before the 90s. As an example for both of these, I recall my 2nd semester, freshman year lit class discussing some stupid poem about raindrops on red wheelbarrows beside white chickens. The professor explained to us how many papers had been written and how many PhD dissertations done on that dumb little poem.

In one of the few times I agreed with a professor about the symbolism in a poem, she said her theory was the poem was a joke meant to show up the pompousness of professors looking for symbolism in poems.

The other point I found interesting was how those students, even in high school, scored higher when they, esp the girls, found sexual and phallic symbolism in poems. Back then the textbooks used abridged versions of most lit, but our high school lit teacher has us buy and read the unabridged full versions of Shakespeare, Chaucer, Whitman, etc.
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Old 09-05-2022, 09:52 AM
 
Location: ☀️ SFL (hell for me-wife loves it)
3,647 posts, read 3,122,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
AHA! The bolded explains it!...
LOL, the way I read "Aha," it's almost as though you caught a criminal.
Anyway, the OP did not specify public or private. And I would hope they had similar curriculums?

Last edited by TerraDown; 09-05-2022 at 10:24 AM..
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Old 09-05-2022, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville NC
6,693 posts, read 7,105,975 times
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OP, thanks to the pandemic, schools scrambled to provide devices for every student and spent a lot of money on chromebooks so that the ratio of computers to students could be 1:1. Now that we are back in school, that's what it looks like. I don't know much about how teachers are implementing the use of the chromebooks in the classroom, but they have them and use them daily.

to the negative nellie who mentioned vaping and tiktok...that's what kids do after school, but cell phones aren't allowed in classrooms at our school and of course we are a smoke free campus. I can't speak for how successful other schools are at enforcing their rules, but the rules do exist, and in my middle school, we dont have a problem with either.
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Old 09-05-2022, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Sandy Eggo's North County
8,338 posts, read 4,298,665 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durpie22 View Post
I graduated college in 2005 and back then we had paper books and few online assignments and no online tests. Tests were graded with scantrons. What is it like today? Is everything digital? Does everyone have a computer in the class room? Are assignments online?
In America, the 3rd/4th Graders are deciding if they are "she's" or "he's."

Meanwhile, the 3rd/4th Graders in other Countries are learning physics and calculus.

As the meme says, "This won't end well for the American kids" because they'll be unemployable.

By then, they'll be serfs, and too stupid to realize it.
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Old 09-07-2022, 12:09 AM
 
Location: near bears but at least no snakes
26,032 posts, read 26,102,427 times
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Yes, it seems as though today all they care about is figuring out who is a boy and who is a girl and trying to call them by what they want to be called. I'm not in favor of this. The other problem, and it has plagued schools for a few decades, is discipline and lack of respect. Teachers being told what to do and not allowed to discipline problem kids. No one ends up learning anything because of the disruptive kids who disrupt the class and take up the teacher's time.

Anyway, back in the dark ages, we learned to read by the look/see method while some kids learned by phonics. I preferred the look/see and found phonics to be a waste of time. English is not a phonetic language but some kids seem to take to reading if some phonics is used.

We printed our letters and then we learned to write with a stick pen dipped into an inkwell. It was awful. For some reason they thought that was good for us. Later on, we got to write with fountain pens and we kept our own bottle of colored ink inside our desks. We could use whatever color we liked and it was fun.

We learned the three R's and we wrote reports, lots of book reports. The teachers also read to us, a chapter a day. We got to long division around 4th or 5th grade and it was a real pain but we had memorized our multiplication tables by third grade. They used to give us spelling tests and we had classes in health, social studies, language, arithmetic, and by grade six they taught us about finances. Not a lot, but we did learn about borrowing money, interest, compound interest, and we all had our own bank accounts. We would bring a little bit of money and our bankbooks to school one day per week and line up at the teacher's desk as she deposited our money into our accounts.

In 7th grade, English class was devoted to grammar. We learned the parts of speech and we diagrammed sentences. We would write little poems about assigned topics and we learned how to write a thank you note.

Eighth grade was mostly literature. A lot of reading and a lot of book reports.

In high school English was mostly literature with a little bit of grammar and weekly spelling tests. In any subject, if you misspelled a word, you were marked down. We read a lot of books and they would have been boring (The Red Badge of Courage or The Scarlet Letter) but the teacher had us read the books together in class and discuss them so it actually became interesting. When we had Chaucer, the teacher let us try to read a few of the tales in Olde English just for the fun of it. Then we got to choose a few tales to read in more modern English. Found that at least one of them was pretty risque and bawdy.

One year in high school was mostly American literature and another year was English literature. Besides books, we read a lot of poetry--Longfellow, Whitman, Hawthorne, Poe, Hemingway, Robert Frost were some of them. We had to analyze the meaning and what the author was trying to say. Byron, Blake, Dickens, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Shakespeare, of course. Studied their styles and times.

I think by senior year we were reading mostly from reading lists in which we could choose what to read. In history class we had reading lists that coordinated with what we were studying. That's how I got to read The Diary of Anne Frank, a book that really hit me hard. We didn't discuss these books in class because we were all reading something different like The Catcher in the Rye or A Tale of Two Cities. But we had to write a report explaing what the author's purpose was in writing the book. This got so frustrating that some kids started to write, "The author's purpose was to earn money."

We studed American history in one grade and I really wanted to memorize something but our school system believed in thinking, not memorizing. Thank goodness I had one old teacher who had us memorize the preamble to the Constitution, so I got to really know something by heart. I memorized a few poems too, just because I wanted to.

Of course we aso had ancient history and history was studied both in 7th and 8th grade and then again a year was devoted to each in high school. By about 10th grade we had to write term papers, choosing from a list of topics. That was hard because we had to add footnotes the correct way and we were doing this on a typewriter! Typing had been required for all students back in 8th grade because the high school teachers would not accept long handwritten papers. We did memorize the Chinese dynasties and learned a little bit about China but I would have like to have studied more about Asian history.

Probably it was senior year that we had a course called Modern Problems that covered comparative religion, gangs, families, society, types of government--it was the most amazing class because the teacher left it wide open to discussion and there were some really well informed kids in the class, a few who later became lawyers.

So I think they covered just about everything in those days. We had math, of course, and I hated it. We had science experiments in 8th grade and biology in high school. They seemed to like to assign projects to us that would make us think: I remember one in 7th grade biology was to write a paper entitled, "Photosynthesis Fails." You could let your imagination run wild but what you wrote had to be based upon what we had learned.

I took three years of Latin and loved every minute of it. All of the teachers were enthusiastic but my Latin teacher was the most enthusiastic of all. Her hobby was to translate obscure Latin writings into English. We translated some of the easier ones by ourselves and it was fun. She held a Latin banquet in which we dressed in togas and reclined on pads on the gym floor while the first year Latin students waited on us and brought us grapes and other authentic foods. The Latin language truly helped me to understand the English language and contributed greatly to understanding unfamiliar English words. It helped me for years and years.

Discipline in school--well, the kids pretty much behaved, unlike today. One or two kids were problematic and were expelled. They did return eventually and they were like different people, calm and more normal. I think they had been in reform school, whatever that was. Reform school and expelling obnoxious kids should make a return in today's schools so that kids who want to learn can learn.

I know I have gone on and on but school covered a lot in those days and wasn't concentrated on computers because we didn't have any. I know that the previous generation had studied more classical knowledge, that is, more ancient Rome and Greece than we did. Each generation seems to lose something because there is new knowledge to learn. These days, I fear that kids are missing out on a lot of learning. Our teachers made learning fun, for the most part, but homework was piled on and school was competive. No excuses, no papers handed in late no matter what, and you could actually get a zero as a grade on a paper. School was hard work but at the same time they made it enjoyable!
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Old 09-07-2022, 10:47 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
31,457 posts, read 51,904,192 times
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Quote:
. I really wanted to memorize something but our school system believed in thinking, not memorizing. Thank goodness I had one old teacher who had us memorize the preamble to the Constitution, so I got to really know something by heart. I memorized a few poems too, just because I wanted to.
It is a stark contrast that many elderly we assist, recite very lengthy and complicated poems to each other, that they learned in elementary school (often in eastern or northern Europe). Several of these very elderly have 100's of memorized poems they can enjoy together, even tho their failing sight no longer allows them to read. I will be short-changed if I live that long, I have a great memory, but few pleasurable pieces of literature memorized.

All of our Asia friends are very accomplished pianists. They learn it in elementary school. Mandatory in some schools to attain a required (UK) skill level in music. In USA it's tough to find someone to play the piano, in SE Asia people (kids - elderly) are clamoring to get the opportunity to play, because many have never been able to have a piano in their small apartment.

We like to host international families, as their kids really know how to creatively play together, and converse very engaged and intellectually with adults. They are interesting, fun, smart and they are inquisitive and interested in many things, especially conversation with adults. A very stark difference than your typical USA youth. Wonder why? It's quite obvious why, and has a lot to do with their schooling and cross generational society. We're missing something, and as per above comment ^^^ from NF... Our youth, and eventually our society will suffer immensely.

It doesn't have to end that way, and could change for the better today!
Do your part, enjoy it.
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Old 09-08-2022, 02:40 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
98,589 posts, read 97,046,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post



We like to host international families, as their kids really know how to creatively play together, and converse very engaged and intellectually with adults. They are interesting, fun, smart and they are inquisitive and interested in many things, especially conversation with adults. A very stark difference than your typical USA youth. Wonder why? It's quite obvious why, and has a lot to do with their schooling and cross generational society. We're missing something, and as per above comment ^^^ from NF... Our youth, and eventually our society will suffer immensely.
I just wanted to point out, that many American adults don't engage with kids that way. They don't expect kids to to be bright, interested in adult topics, or able to carry on a conversation with adults that's not about "kid stuff". Adults tend to hold kids back that way, by their low expectations. Rare adults who recognize teens, and even pre-teens/tweens, as budding adults full of curiosity, initiative and intelligence capable of absorbing vast amounts of information in areas they're interested in, engage with said kids completely differently. IOW, they are taken seriously, and develop into the type of youth you've encountered from abroad.

It takes an enlightened attitude to treat young people that way. That seems rare in our society.
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