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Thoughts on the School System?

Harper
Posts: 374
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10/19/2014 4:52:24 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
One of my favorite teachers from sophomore year once said that "if you want better education, it's going to be tougher education"-- I completely disagree. Better does not equal harder; it equals *freer*.

*My problems with the school system:
My main problem with the current system is that it's too rigid. You have due dates, tests, required homework, and required curriculum. When a kid is given homework, they're not thinking "Oh wow, exercises to help me learn the material! Thanks, teacher!" No, they're thinking "Oh man, more stuff I have to get done". This is why school learning will always be regurgitation-- learning requires time and experimentation but they don't have time to experiment or think about anything, they have to complete the homework on time, then they have to worry about being able to pass the Friday test or quiz.

Then there's required curriculum. Why they do this is beyond me-- they say that they have to introduce different subjects to the student. I don't know about you, but being forced to learn chemistry isn't going to make anyone like it or want to pursue it, on the contrary, they'll end up hating it. Why? It's the difference between sex and rape-- once you force something on someone, it automatically becomes a bad thing. That's why people today don't read very much or inform themselves about the world around them. They've learned to psychologically associate learning with slavery.

Grades: one of the greatest deterrents to actual learning in the entire system. Learning requires you to be wrong, to make a million mistakes, and to see where you went wrong. The school grading system makes this impossible. Everyone wants to get good grades or else their parents will yell at them and colleges won't accept them. And in order to get good grades you must make the least amount of mistakes as possible. So they child grows up to associate making mistakes with horrible things, and thus they will forever stay away from any real learning. The school doesn't care if you've improved from a 20 to a 60 over the year, they'll just average it all up and tell you that you're a failure.

*A simulation of a good school system:
A good school system would go a little like this:
You're a couple weeks from the beginning of the school year and you go to a "subject fair" where you're introduced to all of the subjects the school has to offer (teachers will hand out syllabuses and demonstrate what they can expect from the class). You're then given a schedule to fill out and return to the counselors who will then sort your schedule out and make sure you're on the roster for the classes you've chosen. You're interested in guitar, but you're poor and they don't offer guitar classes, so they allow you to use a waiver to buy a guitar and go to the music room that period to study it individually. You walk into your World History class on the first day. The teacher asks every student why they wanted to study World History and what their favorite periods of history are. He then has everyone write it down. Some of the students are interested in ancient Egypt, others Rome, Medieval Arabia, and finally, you are interested in the Mongolian Empire. Every one then studies their subject individually or with a partner or group and come together at the end of the week to have class discussions, guided (but not dictated) by the teacher. During the week you have discussions with your teacher about the Mongols, he recommends sources and documentaries to check out. You're enthusiastic about the Mongolian Empire and cannot wait to share what you've learned-- in fact, everyone is enthusiastic about history as they all chose to study it. Some people are so enthusiastic, they make presentations and dress up and re enact their chosen subject.

*Another example:
(YouTube Video above)

I hope you get the gist of what I mean by a good school system and please do leave your thoughts on the matter.
mayfieldga
Posts: 7
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12/7/2014 5:43:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I see major needs for change.
1. I see the myth of genetics in ability is creating many hundreds of deaths each year from drug/alcohol abuse and suicide. I feel this teaching in school is creating stagnant students as early as first grade. We need to begin using cognitive tools to show how our individual environments greatly affect thinking, learning, motivation, and mental/emotional health. We should redefine our average stress as many layers of mental work our minds are dealing with with some kids having to work two or three times as hard to receive the same mental reward. We should show students how they can approach their lives more delicately to slowly understand, resolve and make changes in some faulty weights or values that may be causing needless layers of mental work. With each more permanently removed layer, we improve that much our thinking, learning, and motivation to learn.
2. I see the rush for pace and intensity as a major drawback for students who come to school with fewer supported academic tools from their environment. We need to release students from Galton's myth of genetics in succeeding by ability and "effort". We need to understand that learning new mental work "requires us" to approach new mental work more slowly at first and allow our pace and intensity to increase naturally. the sad part about trying hard is that students from lower socioeconomic environments come to school with higher layers of mental work that invariably feeds off into much improper pace and intensity in approaching mental work that kills their learning and motivation to learn.
3. I see the idea of discipline and authoritarianism as completely out of place in school at any grade. In the early grades, teachers should use a quiet, Canter Variation with positive reinforcers on the hour or hour and a half. In the older grades, students should be given cognitive tools to help them increase their intrinsic reward and have various areas of support to encourage long-term change and improvement. Again, this must also entail releasing students from the horrible myth of genetics in ability.
4. We need to make high school more voluntary with those students opting out to go to a Junior college to get a GED if they desire. We should make classes such as chemistry and algebra enrichment only but with grades applied to college if the student desires so.
We should make learning in high school more like a Junior college with numbers of classes given according to the student's ability to take those classes comfortably. I suppose there are other ideas if given time.
debate_power
Posts: 726
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12/10/2014 5:25:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/19/2014 4:52:24 PM, Harper wrote:
One of my favorite teachers from sophomore year once said that "if you want better education, it's going to be tougher education"-- I completely disagree. Better does not equal harder; it equals *freer*.

*My problems with the school system:
My main problem with the current system is that it's too rigid. You have due dates, tests, required homework, and required curriculum. When a kid is given homework, they're not thinking "Oh wow, exercises to help me learn the material! Thanks, teacher!" No, they're thinking "Oh man, more stuff I have to get done". This is why school learning will always be regurgitation-- learning requires time and experimentation but they don't have time to experiment or think about anything, they have to complete the homework on time, then they have to worry about being able to pass the Friday test or quiz.

Then there's required curriculum. Why they do this is beyond me-- they say that they have to introduce different subjects to the student. I don't know about you, but being forced to learn chemistry isn't going to make anyone like it or want to pursue it, on the contrary, they'll end up hating it. Why? It's the difference between sex and rape-- once you force something on someone, it automatically becomes a bad thing. That's why people today don't read very much or inform themselves about the world around them. They've learned to psychologically associate learning with slavery.

Grades: one of the greatest deterrents to actual learning in the entire system. Learning requires you to be wrong, to make a million mistakes, and to see where you went wrong. The school grading system makes this impossible. Everyone wants to get good grades or else their parents will yell at them and colleges won't accept them. And in order to get good grades you must make the least amount of mistakes as possible. So they child grows up to associate making mistakes with horrible things, and thus they will forever stay away from any real learning. The school doesn't care if you've improved from a 20 to a 60 over the year, they'll just average it all up and tell you that you're a failure.

*A simulation of a good school system:
A good school system would go a little like this:
You're a couple weeks from the beginning of the school year and you go to a "subject fair" where you're introduced to all of the subjects the school has to offer (teachers will hand out syllabuses and demonstrate what they can expect from the class). You're then given a schedule to fill out and return to the counselors who will then sort your schedule out and make sure you're on the roster for the classes you've chosen. You're interested in guitar, but you're poor and they don't offer guitar classes, so they allow you to use a waiver to buy a guitar and go to the music room that period to study it individually. You walk into your World History class on the first day. The teacher asks every student why they wanted to study World History and what their favorite periods of history are. He then has everyone write it down. Some of the students are interested in ancient Egypt, others Rome, Medieval Arabia, and finally, you are interested in the Mongolian Empire. Every one then studies their subject individually or with a partner or group and come together at the end of the week to have class discussions, guided (but not dictated) by the teacher. During the week you have discussions with your teacher about the Mongols, he recommends sources and documentaries to check out. You're enthusiastic about the Mongolian Empire and cannot wait to share what you've learned-- in fact, everyone is enthusiastic about history as they all chose to study it. Some people are so enthusiastic, they make presentations and dress up and re enact their chosen subject.

*Another example:
(YouTube Video above)



I hope you get the gist of what I mean by a good school system and please do leave your thoughts on the matter.

There's not enough critical thinking involved and science and mathematics are too dominant.
You can call me Mark if you like.
Harper
Posts: 374
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12/11/2014 1:10:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
There's not enough critical thinking involved and science and mathematics are too dominant.


Agreed. It's as if the less academic skills are seen as worthless in the school system. Learning how to weld or smith or make fire isn't seen as important to them. All they want you to do is memorize and regurgitate.

Many teachers hate the whole "memorize and regurgitate" method that seems to dominate the school environment, but it's really the only way people are going to pass these multiple choice exams. You can "learn" and "understand" the material, but that takes way too long and with homework and all you have very little time to think about the concepts. All a student can realistically do is memorize, regurgitate, and repeat. It's not a problem with the teachers or with the curriculum, it's the system itself.