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Thread summary:

Education: teacher, curriculum program, children, build a house, great schools.

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Old 02-25-2009, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Where the sun likes to shine!!
20,546 posts, read 27,300,897 times
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I watched President Obama last night and he talked about the high drop out rate in the US. I think the biggest problem with our schools is our curriculum. I learned nothing useful in JH or HS and I hated school because of what I was "required" to take.

When I was in elementary school and even JH all the students took tests to see what we were good at. Great. What exactly was the purpose? It didn't matter what our natural aptitudes were we all had to take the same classes. I think that's where our schooling begins to fail is.

I liked school when I was very young and I later learned to hate it. Let me tell you what I was "required" to take in HS.

Math
Algebra
Geometry
Trigonometry

These courses were very hard for me(I have "no" mechanical ability) so I dreaded these. Don't you think it would have been more beneficial to teach me about mortgages, loans, interest rates, banking, credit cards, budgeting, household finances, how to count money back without using a machine?

Foreign Language
I was required to take 3 years and I remember nothing. Now I know in some parts of the country it is extremely beneficial to know Spanish but I have never needed it.

Science
More dreaded courses for me. Again I have no aptitude for science.


English
At least one of the more enjoyable classes for me but still many courses that were useless. I like reading but I hate Shakespeare and the literature that was required reading.

Social Studies/History
Although interesting it was pretty much useless for everyday life. More US Politics would have been more useful.


These required classes that I spent years taking were completely useless to me.


We also had "Boces" classes for the "bad/delinquent" kids. I am envious of them because they got to learn a skill that they could use in their future. I was one of the good kids and I ended up with nothing from HS.

I went off to college and the first year was a repeat of the dreaded "required" courses but this time I paid a lot of money to learn Algebra ll, Philosophy, Astronomy. That is why I left school.

So maybe we need to change our curriculum to suite the needs and aptitudes of our children. Maybe more children would be interested in learning if we offered children more of what they are good at. There are some people who are very academic and they will be our future thinkers. But there are also many doers. It is for the doers that our schools are sorely lacking for.

This is my experience for school. My school taught me how to get a minimum wage job or work as a waitress. Yeah it was well worth it. Lets not fail our future generations by making them take the "exact" same courses as all their peers. We are not "one size fits all" but that is what our board of education seems to believe. And they are supposed to be the smart ones.

I have grown and learned many things in my life. I can build a house on my own, I can do landscaping, I am not afraid of hard work, I am logical, everyday smart, and I am confident but it had nothing to do with my schooling.. I am one of the lucky ones even though public school failed me. Many are not so lucky.

I just had to get this off my chest. Our schools need change and they need it desperately if we want a strong future.
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:42 AM
 
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I absolutely agree with you. I don't know what could be done... as it is, school is an institution where there is no real choice when it comes to what the kids do. They all have to do the same things (with the exception of independent study in the higher grades for certain courses), and the goal seems to be to have all kids on the same mediocre level. I too consider myself quite intelligent, well-read, etc, but it has nothing to do with my school experience. My parents are both avid readers, and I think that that was the most important influence on me in that regard. I grew up in a house filled with books, so I was enabled and encouraged to be an independent learner. That is what I'm doing with my own kids... we choose not to send them to school.
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by younglisa7 View Post
So maybe we need to change our curriculum to suite the needs and aptitudes of our children. Maybe more children would be interested in learning if we offered children more of what they are good at. There are some people who are very academic and they will be our future thinkers. But there are also many doers. It is for the doers that our schools are sorely lacking for.
Very well said. The 'one-size-fits-all' approach may work great for Pizza Hut, not so great for schools - too much variation in the ingredients.

At the risk of raising the ire of some of the regulars on this forum, we should be exploring a 'multiple intelligences' approach to schooling.
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:15 AM
 
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Okay. I'm really suspicious whenever yet another president trots out yet another idea for educational reform. Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and now Obama all had a plan for improving the quality of our schools. It's a feel good proposition that makes everyone swallow tax increases under the slogan, "Well, we're doing it for the kids." But here's the problem. We already spend a greater percentage of our GDP on education than any other industrialized nation on education. Where are the results?


Back to the OP. Let's see. At the wise old age of 15 or 17, you decided the curriculum wasn't relevant to you. Well, what the heck does a teenager know about anything? My God, my teenager is only interested in playing computer games and listening to music. Does that mean we should pare his curriculum down to subjects that instantly engage him?

What's more, you yourself stated that you dropped out of school, then you turn around and state that your education prepared you to do nothing but wait tables. Well, duh. That's because you dropped out. Sounds like self-inflicted problems to me.
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:18 AM
 
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I think she left college, not high school. And it seems as though she's an adult looking back, not a 17-year-old whining about her math class that she needs to be at in 10 minutes.

I graduated in the top 10% of my high school, took honors and AP classes, and can agree that really, I didn't learn anything of substance that I would not have learned if I had not gone.
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Where the sun likes to shine!!
20,546 posts, read 27,300,897 times
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I graduated in the top 10% of my High School. I left college because I had to "pay" for useless courses. I am 42 and you couldn't pay me to go back to school the way it is. Now to learn a trade or something "hands on" that would get my attention. Don't forget, it's all the "academics" that we voted to run our country that got us into the financial mess our country is in. Remember schooling and higher education does "not" equal common sense or brains.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Okay. I'm really suspicious whenever yet another president trots out yet another idea for educational reform. Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and now Obama all had a plan for improving the quality of our schools. It's a feel good proposition that makes everyone swallow tax increases under the slogan, "Well, we're doing it for the kids." But here's the problem. We already spend a greater percentage of our GDP on education than any other industrialized nation on education. Where are the results?

That's because we don't spend it right and offer the right courses for each individual.


Back to the OP. Let's see. At the wise old age of 15 or 17, you decided the curriculum wasn't relevant to you. Well, what the heck does a teenager know about anything? My God, my teenager is only interested in playing computer games and listening to music. Does that mean we should pare his curriculum down to subjects that instantly engage him?

Yes, we should gear what our children learn by what they are good at. First we have to give them many different areas to find out what they are good at. If they like it, they will like learning it, and they can excel.

No, I decided that "looking back" at how ineffective my schooling was.


What's more, you yourself stated that you dropped out of school, then you turn around and state that your education prepared you to do nothing but wait tables. Well, duh. That's because you dropped out. Sounds like self-inflicted problems to me.
Try reading the whole thread before you post. I left college not HS.
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:56 AM
 
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We have very good technical colleges in SC. Are there none where you are?
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Where the sun likes to shine!!
20,546 posts, read 27,300,897 times
Reputation: 88742
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanandpumpkin View Post
I think she left college, not high school. And it seems as though she's an adult looking back, not a 17-year-old whining about her math class that she needs to be at in 10 minutes.

I graduated in the top 10% of my high school, took honors and AP classes, and can agree that really, I didn't learn anything of substance that I would not have learned if I had not gone.
Thank you. You sound smart and you have common sense. I am impressed. I bet you think for yourself too.
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Where the sun likes to shine!!
20,546 posts, read 27,300,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swampwolf View Post
We have very good technical colleges in SC. Are there none where you are?
Thanks. I don't need it now. My husband and I are retired but I think our education needs serious changes.
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Denver
2,970 posts, read 6,400,307 times
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I was .....shhhh....... it is embarrassing.......the valedictorian of my class and I don't use half the stuff I learned in high school (or my general ed. classes in college). However, I did learn valuable life skills from taking them like teamwork (science classes and experiments), writing skills (from English), perservence (Chemistry and AP Physics -- hated those classes, etc. for just a few quick examples. I appreciate the skills the classes "taught" me, even though they didn't really have anything to do with the specific academics.

Speaking as a high school teacher now, students are definitely not getting prepared for life "in the real world" at the moment whether it be college or trade. But the reason isn't the curriculum -- the reason is today's generation (speaking generally, there are always exceptions) is used to getting everything without putting in any real effort. They want EASY and FUN and instant gratification and aren't willing to work hard for things much of the time. Overall, they seem to have a totally different attitude from when I was in high school and a lot less respect for authority and a bigger sense of entitlement too. (And I am only 29 so it wasn't that long ago that I was in their shoes)

So sorry to vent ------ yes the schools need a lot of work, but we need to revamp teenagers too

Last edited by HighlandsGal; 02-25-2009 at 12:40 PM..
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