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Thread: How would you fix Education?

  1. #21
    Senior Member ErinsEdge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juli H View Post
    IMO, education starts at home. Parents that do not care about their children's education will raise children who don't care about their own education. Teachers fight a real uphill battle when they have to try to teach students that don't care. Apathy is a huge problem here in Tok...and I know it is a major problem across the country...


    Greater emphasis needs to be made at younger ages on possible career paths...Classes which open the world of 'work' to pre-teens and teens...Later in HS, students should have to research at least 5 different careers that interest them - job shadowing should be encouraged. Of course, finding people for these students to 'follow' might be challenging..I would hope that businesses would see the benefit of allowing job shadowing...Also, schools need to realize that not every student is going to want to go to 'college' - there are many careers which do not require a 4 yr degree...

    Juli
    Juli, I agree with you. My kids are 20 years past HS. I would go in on parent teacher conferences and the teachers would say your child is doing very well no problems being surprised I came in. Well, my kids knew I would go in and so they better be better and not screwing around. The teachers told me then so few parents showed up. I think the career path thing is important also. I don't think parents expose their children to career paths enough, thinking they will magically know what's right for them. I gave my kids a book when they were about 13 which explored what areas interested them through a series of questions. I took the test first and found it to be pretty accurate. I then asked friends if they could tag along for a day to see how they liked their career. I lucked out, both chose the paths right for them and I didn't waste any of their college money because they didn't change majors, maybe concentrations, but not fields. I thought my daughter might like teaching math so she volunteered as a tutor. Well, it turned out she wasn't a good tutor for someone that had trouble learning, but as an engineer, part of her job was instructing the installation and troubleshooting of equipment all over the US, but the people she was instructing better have brains and be quick to understand. She has no patience with me as I am not mechanically inclined. LOL. I remember putting those barrels together for the dogs where I was demoted to gopher. Parents need to pay attention and care, show up at extracirricular activities and not just once in awhile. Teachers need a break so year round school is not going to cure the education problems. I still think there are better schools in a more rural setting because the teachers want to be there to teach, because they could get more pay elsewhere. I'm glad my kids grew up in the country.
    Nancy P



    "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." M.Facklam

  2. #22
    Senior Member T-Pines's Avatar
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    First comment on Potus Place. We have been talking about this subject with many teachers I know( all grades) and some parents.

    I agree that the core value of respect seems to be not as inportant in our culture anymore, very sad across the board in all areas of life. So even for many of the great teachers it is difficult for them to teach effectively and efficiently. I also agree that parents have to step up and hold their children accountable for their effort in the current education system. No more excuses because "Billy and Susie" are so wonderful.

    This next point is a huge pet peave of ours, and we have discussed it with many Math teachers. Fortunately, we have been reassured that they have had countless meetings about how Math is currently being taught and they are soon to be implementing major changes. From our personal experience,neices and nephews, friend's children and countless children that JIm has tutored the current math curriculum is not working. It may be working very well for the exceptional students but not for everyone else. The teachers have told me that for now their hands are tied, but that research has shown that for most kids they are introducing concepts too early for their brains to be ready to process in the hopes of getting the kids to do algebra in sixth and seventh grade. So we are finding that these unsuspecting kids do not have the basics(addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, numberline etc.) solidified.The curriculum has rushed through the basics and they seem to think if they just keep repeating it that it will eventually sink in. I say teach it right the first time, make sure the student understands at a very high level and then he is going to find out that Math is fun. How are you supposed to do Algebra, if you do not understand fractions or if you can not multiply two numbers in your head to see if your answer makes sense. Do not even get me started on the calculator. So many kids are deciding at a very young age that they stink at math and just hate it, all because they have a poor foundation. By eigth grade we have lost a whole bunch of kids that would now never even consider a technical field. A former Math teacher and tutor told her very bright daughters to take Algebra 1 Freshman year in HighSchool even though they both qualified for either geometry or Algebra 2.

    I know that this is when you start sounding like an " old fogie", however I hope that the new curriculum takes a look at how we were taught 40-50 years ago. Kids were still taking Calculus senior year in High School and scoring a 3,4or5 on the AP exam. The kids not taking the exam, were able to learn the basics of Algebra and Geometry without pulling their hair out, and their parents were not paying money for tutors. And a whole world of potential careers was still open to them.

    Colleen

  3. #23
    Senior Member road kill's Avatar
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    Take algebra? Why? I’ll never use it in real life!

    "When I have more money than I need (which these days seems farther away than it did a few years ago), I want to travel around the world and speak to high school freshmen and sophomores. Ninth and tenth graders.

    I want to talk to them about the hidden power of mathematics. In math of all sorts, you’re given problems to solve. In the beginning, they’re easy. Add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Then come fractions. But still the same big four solve all the problems.

    Then algebra. A whole new language of math appears. It’s pretty confusing at first, but as you’re given each series of similar problems to solve, and you begin to work them, at some point you “get it,” and can figure out the answers to the rest relatively quickly.

    Many people say, “Why do I have to take algebra? I’ll never use it in real life!” That may be the most incorrect statement of your life.

    Algebra teaches you to solve problems logically.

    When you’re given a math problem, here’s what happens:

    1. You study it to see if you know how to solve it or not.

    2. If yes, you go to the next step of using the prescribed system, process, formula, or answer path to solve it.

    2.5 If no, you have to do additional study and research to figure it out, or learn how to solve it, then go back to step 2, and come up with the correct answer.

    “Jeffrey, what’s your point?” you whine. “Come on, I’ve got a quota to meet, cold calls to make, e-mails to follow up on, and voice mails to leave that will most likely go unanswered. Help me with the real stuff here.”

    Relax Euclid breath. This is a “big picture answer” that transcends your self-created sense of urgency and lack of sales dilemma.

    Math is a science. A logic-based, formula-based science.
    Selling is also a science. An emotion-based science.

    In sales, business, and life, you are presented with problems and obstacles. You may know them as customers, competition, bosses, coworkers, service issues, complaints, overcoming objections, and other sales and business hurdles that you must solve or resolve in order to have a successful transaction, or resolution.

    It’s the logical side of what would otherwise be seen as an emotional process. Emotion is to engage, show your passion, love, and belief, be compelling, prove by example, congratulate when completed, and celebrate the victory.

    I admit I’m an emotional salesman, but I am a superior salesman because I am able to add the understanding of logic into the total sales and relationship building process.

    The reason you need to study math is that it provides you with the logical side, and the thinking side of the sale.

    From the customer side of the decision, the simple rule is: The sale is made emotionally, and then justified logically. (First you say, “I love this house.” Then you say, “I wonder if we can afford it?”)

    “Eh, what’s up doc?” is the emotional opener. In the world of logic the question converts to, “What’s up, Spock?”

    If you want to rediscover how logic fits into your selling, business, and life process, go back to your algebra class, and you will find the answers:

    • Math taught you to think about the solution or the answer logically and use the process or the formula to come up with an answer.

    • Math taught you to see if the answer applied to all the problems or that there were exceptions.

    • Math taught you to think about and visualize your moves in advance (chess is a great example for thinking three moves in advance – so is predictable customer service after a sale).

    • Math taught you to see elements of the solution, the answer, or the probable outcome in advance.

    • Math lets you see that there’s always a way to solve the problem, and arrive at the end desired result. Math logic says if you study it hard enough and deep enough you can find, or should I say, discover the answer.

    • Math taught you to solve problems logically. You will continue to face problems the rest of your life, in every aspect of your life your job is balance the emotional side and find the best resolution.

    These math awareness bites will help you understand why you should have paid more attention in your math classes. And, these are messages I’d like to deliver to every high school kid in America."

    Interesting concept.


    RK
    Stan b & Elvis

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Pines View Post
    The teachers have told me that for now their hands are tied, but that research has shown that for most kids they are introducing concepts too early for their brains to be ready to process in the hopes of getting the kids to do algebra in sixth and seventh grade. So we are finding that these unsuspecting kids do not have the basics(addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, numberline etc.) solidified.The curriculum has rushed through the basics and they seem to think if they just keep repeating it that it will eventually sink in. I say teach it right the first time, make sure the student understands at a very high level and then he is going to find out that Math is fun. How are you supposed to do Algebra, if you do not understand fractions or if you can not multiply two numbers in your head to see if your answer makes sense.
    Sounds like dog training...

  5. #25
    Senior Member dnf777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ducknwork View Post
    Sounds like dog training...
    I was thinking about an e-collar curriculum, but the selector switch would be pretty cumbersome for 20+ class size?
    God Bless PFC Jamie Harkness. The US Army's newest PFC, but still our neighbor's little girl!

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnf777 View Post
    I was thinking about an e-collar curriculum, but the selector switch would be pretty cumbersome for 20+ class size?
    Nah...just nick all the kids at once no matter who screws up. I bet there would be some peer pressure for each kid to do a little better in class..

  7. #27
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    No, peer pressure is not good. Works toward making bullies. And of course the kids who work to straighten the one out who goofed get caught and punished. Very unproductive. Just makes for making a bad situation worse.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    I don't think that standardized testing is all bad. I went to school in NYS, and you had to pass Regents tests in major subjects in high school. It assured that all students, no matter how large or small the school, had basic understanding of critical concepts. It enabled me to "compete" for entrance into a good private college ... and also be prepared for the courses I would take there. We had much less in the way of "facility" when it came to things like laboratories in chemistry, but I was prepared to tackle that in college. Same was true for modern languages & math ... although math was not my strong suit!

    So, in addition to standardized testing, there needs to be sound foundations of basics.

    It is very difficult to counteract the environment of many students in inner city schools, but structure in the school would help. Not surprisingly, I would also favor dress codes. Dress does influence behavior.

    Self-esteem that is not earned in some way, is just empty flattery. How stupid do we think the kids are? So, focusing on establishing self-esteem also needs to be grounded in providing the means to attain it. Learning something will increase self-esteem.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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  9. #29
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    NY Times
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/11/ed...dlines&emc=a23

    What Works in the Classroom? Ask the Students

    By SAM DILLON

    Published: December 10, 2010

    How useful are the views of public school students about their teachers?

    Quite useful, according to preliminary results released on Friday from a $45 million research project that is intended to find new ways of distinguishing good teachers from bad.
    Teachers whose students described them as skillful at maintaining classroom order, at focusing their instruction and at helping their charges learn from their mistakes are often the same teachers whose students learn the most in the course of a year, as measured by gains on standardized test scores, according to a progress report on the research.
    Financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the two-year project involves scores of social scientists and some 3,000 teachers and their students in Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas; Denver; Hillsborough County, Fla., which includes Tampa; Memphis; New York; and Pittsburgh.
    The research is part of the $335 million Gates Foundation effort to overhaul the personnel systems in those districts.
    Statisticians began the effort last year by ranking all the teachers using a statistical method known as value-added modeling, which calculates how much each teacher has helped students learn based on changes in test scores from year to year.
    Now researchers are looking for correlations between the value-added rankings and other measures of teacher effectiveness.
    Research centering on surveys of students’ perceptions has produced some clear early results.
    Thousands of students have filled out confidential questionnaires about the learning environment that their teachers create. After comparing the students’ ratings with teachers’ value-added scores, researchers have concluded that there is quite a bit of agreement.
    Classrooms where a majority of students said they agreed with the statement, “Our class stays busy and doesn’t waste time,” tended to be led by teachers with high value-added scores, the report said.
    The same was true for teachers whose students agreed with the statements, “In this class, we learn to correct our mistakes,” and, “My teacher has several good ways to explain each topic that we cover in this class.”
    The questionnaires were developed by Ronald Ferguson, a Harvard researcher who has been refining student surveys for more than a decade.
    Few of the nation’s 15,000 public school districts systematically question students about their classroom experiences, in contrast to American colleges, many of which collect annual student evaluations to improve instruction, Dr. Ferguson said.
    “Kids know effective teaching when they experience it,” he said.
    “As a nation, we’ve wasted what students know about their own classroom experiences instead of using that knowledge to inform school reform efforts.”
    Until recently, teacher evaluations were little more than a formality in most school systems, with the vast majority of instructors getting top ratings, often based on a principal’s superficial impressions.
    But now some 20 states are overhauling their evaluation systems, and many policymakers involved in those efforts have been asking the Gates Foundation for suggestions on what measures of teacher effectiveness to use, said Vicki L. Phillips, a director of education at the foundation.
    One notable early finding, Ms. Phillips said, is that teachers who incessantly drill their students to prepare for standardized tests tend to have lower value-added learning gains than those who simply work their way methodically through the key concepts of literacy and mathematics.
    Teachers whose students agreed with the statement, “We spend a lot of time in this class practicing for the state test,” tended to make smaller gains on those exams than other teachers.
    “Teaching to the test makes your students do worse on the tests,” Ms. Phillips said. “It turns out all that ‘drill and kill’ isn’t helpful.”
    ------------
    I don't think that the problem is with having a standardized test. A standardized test can assure that all students have an understanding of the basic concepts of the topic.

    The problem is with a teacher not guiding the students through the process of how to understand the basic concepts.

    It can be helpful, at a certain stage of learning, to use some rote strategies, but there is more to learning a topic than memorizing answers to the possible answers on a standardized test.

    That said, some of the best teachers I recall did also use some of the past standardized tests for "practice" toward the end of a semester or year, so that the students could feel comfortable with the format of the tests. Similar to what we do with our dogs. Teach first. Then test.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
    "Know in your heart that all things are possible. We couldn't conceive of a miracle if none ever happened." -Libby Fudim

    ​I don't use the PM feature, so just email me direct at the address shown above.

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