Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Education in This Nation and a Couple of Movies Addressing the Issue


BB-Idaho said...

Like many other areas, the US trails the civilized world in education. While many blame teacher unions we would just note that teacher pay like
all other jobs, relates
locale cost of living.
Since Finnish students are first in the world, there
has been focus on their methods: the teacher process is highly selective, only 3% are accepted for education studies; teachers are highly respected; parents are markedly supportive;
electronics are banned in classrooms and a teacher
stays with their class for
6 consecutive years.
(Now, doesn't THAT sound
like the old one room schools that once dotted our countryside?) I know of a mathematics teacher and a science teacher that are quitting this year, going to higher paying
(and easier) jobs in the private sector. Both say
they are tired of being told by admin what and how to teach, burned out from
dealing with students who
don't care and won't work,
parents who think school is a free day care and are uninvolved; and mostly, they are sick of having their profession constantly villified.
While my state has decided to save money by laying off teachers and replacing them with desktops (the state ed director's brother in law sells desktops) and other states
are doing this and that,
I would suggest than those that criticize spend a year
Maybe in a one room
school! :)
If I had school age
kids, I'd just send them
to Finland!

The Griper said...

i not only remember those days, BB, i remember being in one of those one room schools as a youngster.

and the biggest difference from those days to today's education, in my opinion, and implied in your comment is "discipline".

too many kids grow up on their own without the guidance of a parent at home or a parent incapable of controlling their kids as they do grow up.

then when they do get to school, teachers have no ability to instill that discipline because of laws and ideology so it is the kids that are in control of the classroom and schools.

and you can't have expectations met without discipline instilled.

we have become a society where failure no longer is acceptable and respected.

thus failure is unacceptable for anyone and when that attitude takes over we end up failing everyone.

in fact the word "fail" is a four-letter word in some people's mind and is not allowed to be used.

BB-Idaho said...

Absolutely, Griper.

The Griper said...

he grins as he paraphrases the father as he told his college daughter,
"welcome to the politics of the right, BB."

BB-Idaho said...

Was that the one where she
wanted more $$ for tuition?
Regarding education, you touched on the teacher side, but more importantly
identified the student problem. There have always
been poor students, disinterested students...but only recently have their brains
become scrambled by electronic gadgets. In the larger scope of things, how do we produce productive citizens from
the marginal students?
Seems a critical issue and I have no easy answer...

The Griper said...

it was this joke i was referring to, BB.:)
welcome to the republican party

as to the answer to your question, failure in school doesn't neccessarily mean a less productive person. a janitor can be said as being as productive as an engineer.

the difference between them would be the value that society places on each. the very fact we push for a college education so much verifies this.

and we also determine how well the taxpayer's money was spent on how successfully the schools teach those students. from this we determine the failure of the school rather the failure of the student. this leads us to grade the teachers since we place education of our kids on their shoulders.

and this is just the opposite of the days of the one room schools where blame of failure was placed upon the student and not the teacher and those who failed were either expelled, quit school or kept back.

basically it comes down to the idea that individual responsibility has been replaced by collective responsibility. we are making excuses for the individual and blaming the institutions of the collective for their failures.

that's the best answer i see tho the whole answer would require far more space then i've got here.

maybe the best illustration is to recognize our own attitude. we are both of that same time. i knew that if i wanted a good education that it was my responsibility to take advantage of the educational institution and if i did not then i had only myself to blame and i think you were of the same attitude too.

BB-Idaho said...

True, I know some excellent
contractors who hated school and did poorly.
I've heard that in Europe,
they start separating students by ability by the end of HS, steering them
into suitable areas. Seems kind of harsh. In fact, I had a high school counselor inform me that I
should be a welder. My welding class and even the teacher laughed at my
prowess..kind of got forced into scientific research, ya know? :)

The Griper said...

i agree, BB. i had same experience with a counselor. she was trying to get me into an area that i knew i would be bored to death with. i recognized i had the apptitude for it but had no desire for it. i ended up being a school bus driver and it was something that i actually looked forward to doing everyday.

so, i'm like you and am not so keen on those fandangled apptitude tests they give ya. it gives you the feeling that someone else is making your life choices for you.

i guess i am like lista says, too much of an extremist to fit the mold someone else tries to place me in. but it is a life style that has brought me the contentment i have found in life.

BB-Idaho said...

Come to think of it, I've never heard of anyone who
ended up in a career their
HS aptitude test recommended. :)
You suppose that informs us
about the test...or the test taker? But, it is interesting, watching kids grow up, guessing what they will do....and being
totally suprized..

The Griper said...

it says more to me about the test giver and the profession that he decided to make a career of.

we have to remember that all tests like these are standardized and inherently biased. and to use a word you like they are not flexible enough to fit each individual.

and these tests are written based upon theories that can only be declared as unproven. but more importantly we are talking about theories which measures the reactions of groups and not individuals.

maybe it indicates that we cannot apply the scientific norm to individuals as it tries to do.


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