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jld

Low expectations?

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But you've essentially just pushed the American college system down into high school.

I'm not suggesting college-level content (not for everyone, anyway), just more choice and more specialized teachers. I think writing can be taught in a class on science fiction or Shakespeare or Greek tragedy just as easily as it can be taught in an English II class, and if students were reading things that interested them, then they might be more inclined to apply themselves to writing about them. And I do think that math up to Alg II should be standard, but after that if a student wants to do statistics or problem-solving or 3D geometry or whatever instead of Precalc, I think they should have that option; perhaps that would persuade more kids to take 4 years of math, instead of dropping it after 2 or 3.

 

There's currently such a huge gap between what HS is like and what college is like, and I think making HS a bit more like college (instead of making college more like HS, with lots of remedial courses) might help. I'm not sure the problem stems from lack of drill in the basics, so much as from lack of engagement on the part of the students, who find school boring and meaningless, something they need to endure until they can either go to college or go to work. I think if we gave them reasons to want to be there, and gave them subjects they want to learn about, presented in interesting and engaging ways, they might retain a lot more of what they learn.

 

Jackie

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:iagree:

I agree with English, math, and writing being compulsory subjects, but I would also allow some choice within those subjects. E.g. kids could choose a semester of Russian literature and a semester of Shakespeare or Science Fiction or whatever,

 

My bar is way lower than that.

 

I want reading reading and only reading. Learning how to read. Learning how to read well. Learning letters and phonics basically. Maybe learning to read until one reads swiftly. Maybe learning how to read aloud. Learning how to read fiction and nonfiction. If one can read, one can teach oneself whatever one likes.

 

Literature would be way in the electives category, not compulsory. At least in my "heaven" as Rosie calls it :)

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I think making HS a bit more like college (instead of making college more like HS, with lots of remedial courses) might help. I'm not sure the problem stems from lack of drill in the basics, so much as from lack of engagement on the part of the students, who find school boring and meaningless, something they need to endure until they can either go to college or go to work.

 

Yes!

I teach intro courses, so I see the students early in their college career. My wish list for skills they should bring to college contains some academic ones, such as:

- solid algebra 1

- the skill to read a textbooks and take notes on the reading

- a systematic approach to problem solving

- time management

and some more related to character development:

- taking responsibility for their education

- knowing that their actions have consequences

- asking for, and accepting, assistance

- wanting to be there

 

I do not need the students to be proficient in calculus, we can teach them that. But we should not have to re-teach them 9th grade algebra, or how to read a book.

And we should not have to coax and bribe them into being there- after all, they choose their major and their school and they or their parents pay a lot of money - so why are many trying so hard to NOT get the education they paid for?

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You know, I think English would be better off if it had more forms of the word you. Maybe we should all use one and the southern you-all more.

 

Humbly,

Nan

 

Now wait a second please...a "real" Southerner would never say you all! It's y'all. Sheesh!:lol:

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Well, I thought of spelling it properly, but then I remembered that some people in this discussion aren't from the US, so I thought I'd better be a bit more clear...

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Well, I thought of spelling it properly, but then I remembered that some people in this discussion aren't from the US, so I thought I'd better be a bit more clear...

 

Yes, but does you-all have a different connotation than y'all?:D

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Yes!

 

And we should not have to coax and bribe them into being there- after all, they choose their major and their school and they or their parents pay a lot of money - so why are many trying so hard to NOT get the education they paid for?

 

In NZ getting into uni is based mainly on what achievement & unit standards (test scores & grades) that you recieved in the last 2-3 years of highschool. Getting into polytech is based mostly on the interview. Grades are taken into consideration, but a strong desire to learn the course/program you are applying for will in many cases override any holes in your academic record. If a student is truely engaged & passionate about what they are studying, they will succeed in most courses, even if they have to work a bit harder. This has opened the door to tertiary education for many for whom the PS highschool was not a good fit & for many who decided to go back to school a few years after leaving highschool.

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There was *talk* of such a system at one point but progress is slow. I read that "they" wanted to get scientists and mathematicians into the high schools. These professionals would be adjunct faculty....could teach their class and get back to work. They wouldn't need to do the 2years of teacher licensing crap which doesn't help w/ content. I know I'd teach if it weren't for Hsing and 2yrs of licensing courses.

 

But yes, you must shore up K-8 so that the kids are ready to fully partake in such a program.

 

In my district, there is a research program. I've heard it's quite demanding. You find a mentor at one of the not-so-local universities and do research which you are expected to publish in peer-reviewed journals. One student spent time at the zoo observing primates and made some great observations about their behaviour and was published in a high-level scientific journal. Others have gone to national meetings in their field to present their findings. I might add that in a community which is 90% Caucasian and the other 10% being a mix of Hispanic, Black, Asian, Indian if I remember correctly, about 60% of the students participating in the research program were Asian or Indian. Granted I'm talking small numbers. I think the number was 20 students in the picture and 12-14 of them were Asian or Indian. I think 50% were female. This is from a school of over 3,000 students.

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- solid algebra 1

- the skill to read a textbooks and take notes on the reading

- a systematic approach to problem solving

- time management

and some more related to character development:

- taking responsibility for their education

- knowing that their actions have consequences

- asking for, and accepting, assistance

- wanting to be there

I totally agree with your skills list, and I think the current emphasis on memorizing a standardized list of facts has had the effect of diminishing exactly the skills that students need to be successful in college. Because the entire focus is on making sure students will check the right boxes on the standardized tests, the content is predigested and the students are given all the answers (including the "correct" way to interpret literature, analyze history, etc). HS textbooks are full of vocabulary lists and chapter summaries and little icons for "key facts" (i.e. this will be on the test), and the tests are multiple choice or have "word banks" to choose the answers from.

 

Then these kids get to college and have to use college texts, which don't have all those multi-colored "study aids" and they're lost — Why aren't all the key points highlighted for me, so I can just skim like page like I did in HS? Where's the "word bank" in this exam, how am I supposed to remember all those terms on my own? Who changed the rules???

 

You can't teach analytical skills if you never give kids anything meaningful to analyze; you can't teach them how to use a textbook if you predigest and prehighlight everything in it; you can't expect kids to take ownership of their education if they have no choice in the content and no choice even how they respond to the content (there is one correct answer, supplied in your textbook, to be regurgitated on the exam). Give kids real content that's meaningful to them, and a teacher who can stimulate and engage them and get them to think, and I believe the vast majority of kids would thrive.

 

Jackie

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GRIN Don't ask me. I am from New England. We say you all when we want to emphasize the all, as in You all have to do this, or when you alone would be confusing, and the rest of the time we just use you for both the singular and plural second person. It wasn't until we began a Latin program that used you all for the second person plural that I realized what my Texas cousins were actually doing. : )

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Yes!

I teach intro courses, so I see the students early in their college career. My wish list for skills they should bring to college contains some academic ones, such as:

- solid algebra 1

- the skill to read a textbooks and take notes on the reading

- a systematic approach to problem solving

- time management

and some more related to character development:

- taking responsibility for their education

- knowing that their actions have consequences

- asking for, and accepting, assistance

- wanting to be there

 

I do not need the students to be proficient in calculus, we can teach them that. But we should not have to re-teach them 9th grade algebra, or how to read a book.

And we should not have to coax and bribe them into being there- after all, they choose their major and their school and they or their parents pay a lot of money - so why are many trying so hard to NOT get the education they paid for?

 

I had a professor who liked to say that college was the only place where people were happy not to get their money's worth. :lol:

 

If we're talking high school, I think not treating them like babies/inmates would go a long way toward helping attitudes.

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Business first:

 

I don't understand your claim that I just shoot down other people's ideas and don't propose alternatives;
You asked why I thought your post sounded angry. I answered. I answered that specific question and my answer to that specific question doesn't apply to everything you've ever said.

 

Consider the difference between these two answers and how one might seem more rather than less conversational:

 

a) I would have hated that and my husband really did hate that.

 

b) I would have hated that and my husband really did hate that. I already typed out my proposals in post #, buried a few pages back, linked here:

 

For the record, I'm not the type to call a miscommunication ALL THE OTHER PERSON'S FAULT, which is why I clarified. This is standard procedure when people want to converse rather than behave like Australian politicians during Question Time, I think.

 

Anyway...

 

If the question you feel I didn't answer was do I think students who want an elite classical education should be given $14,000 scholarships to attend private schools, my answer would be no, I don't think people should be singled out for special treatment just because they want a classical education. If there are enough people who want that education in that community, they can form a charter, and if that doesn't work they can homeschool. If that's not possible they can do what everyone else does, and try to get the best education they can within the system. If I were looking for ways to "wangle [certain] kids out of the system," high-ability kids who would prefer a classical education are not the first group I'd try to help.
Ok, so scrap the classical bit. If you consider the same idea for the "top 10%" (however you think it best to define that) do you still think the same? We both agree that these kids would be (in most cases) better off outside the public school system, but that not all parents wish to take those steps and the government is obliged to cater to them. Would it be better all round if scholarships routed them into the private school system? 10% is a lot of people, so that sounds impractical to me. The German system of streaming isn't perfect, but it's sounding more and more like the most workable system.

 

I believe students should have more freedom, not less; I believe students should have far greater choice in the courses they take, including math and English; I believe students should be encouraged to design and carry out independent study courses and individual projects with teachers or outside mentors; I believe students should be given more opportunities to tailor their education to their interests and abilities and should be given more time to find and explore their passions. I have said these things repeatedly throughout this thread, including in direct response to a previous post of yours.

 

We had some of this at the school dh worked at, but that had 2000 students in only years 11 and 12. I think I said that in a previous post somewhere. Year 11 and 12 schools not typical over here, usually it is 7-12 and half the size. Are schools typically that big in the US? How else would you be able to float so many elective choices? You previously suggested by correspondence, so would that work be done during spare periods? (You have spare periods? I wouldn't know!) How would you run the independent projects so they can be COMPARED AND CALCULATED AND REDUCED TO A SIMPLE SCORE. Not shouting at you, by the way, but at the way everything in education needs to be reduced to a test score. We had to do "Communication Projects" in year 11 which seems to be what you are talking about, except it was fueled by it being mandatory, not by any driving passion, so few people actually did anything remarkable because they didn't have anything remarkable to do. It didn't mean much though. The people who usually got As got an A for that too. People who usually got Cs got a C too. Remarkable would surely happen if it was an elective, but marking would be difficult, I think. Thoughts?

 

That school was supposed to work like your CC, which is great in theory, but doesn't work unless operating in that heavenly state where teachers can kick students out of their classes. It doesn't work when anything the student doesn't do is the teacher's fault. :glare:

 

Getting rid of the requirement for experts (I'm thinking musicians and other professionals) to be qualified teachers would surely help the system. The US sounds the same as here, where the school is not legally covered unless there is a qualified teacher in the room. I don't know why the 'working with children' check everyone has to have isn't sufficient.

 

There's currently such a huge gap between what HS is like and what college is like, and I think making HS a bit more like college (instead of making college more like HS, with lots of remedial courses) might help.

 

Hang on. What's causing this huge gap? The structure of the system or the way it is implemented? From what I've read, I'm hazarding the latter? The rhetoric stage WTM chapters look like undergrad level work to me, in the humanities at least. If the average "well trained" kid is supposed to be able to make a reasonable stab at that in high school, nothing could be better than to actually do it in high school instead of college. Then undergrad could go back to being what graduate work is now and we wouldn't have to rack up so many years of debt. But alas, none of this can happen while we are all PC and allow that everyone has the right to everything.

 

My bar is way lower than that.

 

I want reading reading and only reading. Learning how to read. Learning how to read well. Learning letters and phonics basically. Maybe learning to read until one reads swiftly. Maybe learning how to read aloud. Learning how to read fiction and nonfiction. If one can read, one can teach oneself whatever one likes.

 

 

Now I'm completely lost. Shouldn't people have learned that before high school? Can't people learn that before high school? I didn't, but I assumed that's because I didn't know anyone was trying to teach me (and still don't know if they were.)

 

You can't teach analytical skills if you never give kids anything meaningful to analyze; you can't teach them how to use a textbook if you predigest and prehighlight everything in it; you can't expect kids to take ownership of their education if they have no choice in the content and no choice even how they respond to the content (there is one correct answer, supplied in your textbook, to be regurgitated on the exam). Give kids real content that's meaningful to them, and a teacher who can stimulate and engage them and get them to think, and I believe the vast majority of kids would thrive.

 

 

WHAT? Allow kids to disagree with the teacher and the textbook? This is just getting too radical :tongue_smilie: You know, my sister missed out on first class honours by one point because she included something in her "personal diary" that the lecturer didn't say. I couldn't believe that old rule carried so far after high school.

 

Rosie

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