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8FillTheHeart

"The high stat kids can't think; they can't apply what they supposedly know."

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But most high school courses are too easy for kids who score in that range. (Which of course makes sense: a school can not provide a course that is of appropriate level for the top 1% of its students - nobody else would pass.)

One of the biggest problems for the smart students is that they never learned how to work. They coasted through high school, easily got their 4.0 without much effort, never encountered material that was so difficult that they could not understand it upon first hearing - and then they go to university and take math and science.

I see a lot of these students. Bright, hard working - it is not that they are slackers who don't put in the time. They simply do not know HOW to do it. They spend hours upon hours, to no avail. Some show up in my office in tears. And I have a lot of sympathy for them, because that was *I*, during my first semester at university: I had graduated from my German specialized high school top of the class. I was on a verge of dropping out of the physics program because it did not make sense and I though I was too stupid, because that had never happened to me before. It took me an entire semester figuring out the "how", and from then on it was plain sailing.

It is not that the smart students can not manage the level of coursework. It is that they have never been taught what to do if things do not click immediately. The schools have been failing them, because they never provided an adequate challenge for the bright kids.

I see it all around me, but not just in the schools. 

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You're right that SAT/ACT math is high school math and doesn't include calculus.  But IMO those who score well - as in ivy level - on those tests, took a calculus class (as it's a pre-req for calculus based physics) and did well enough to go onto the physics class, shouldn't have a problem with applying the calculus to the physics, unless they're just not used to used to hard work or haven't learned to ask for help.

 

Sadly, that inference is not correct. Because the calculus classes for the most part teach procedures. Sure, students can take all kinds of derivatives from given functions, or integrate given functions, maybe even know integration tricks. The class may also cover some theory, epsilon-delta proofs, limits etc. What most classes do not teach sufficiently is the conceptual understanding of what calculus means.

I see this every single time one of the physics problems involves setting up an integral: once the integral is on the page, most students can start their drilled procedures - but the critical thinking goes into setting up the integral to model your physical situation.

I teach at a STEM university. I teach science and engineering students. The course prerequisites are calculus 1 (for mechanics) and calculus 2 (for electricity&magnetism). But it is a  huge step from having taken two semesters of calculus and knowing how to work out an integral to understanding how, if they have a line of electric charge, they must set up an integral of the infinitesimal electric field vector components that are created by the infinitesimal charge elements, parametrize the curve, and integrate over it.

They do.not.get.what "integration" means, and this is such a widespread occurrence that I must conclude that it has something to do with the way they are taught. Just compare a standard calculus college text like Stewart, with its unending sets of drill exercises, with AoPS calculus with few, well designed, in-depth problems that require deep thinking. They don't learn what they need, because they are not taught.

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Regentrude I agree!  That's why we chose to homeschool.  

 

That was our main motivation too. Having gifted kids, seeing what schools have done to my smart college students, and having had that miserable first semester experience myself, I was determined to give my kids the gift of struggle, of challenge, before they go off to college. And really, it was the only way - what would high school have done with a 15 y/o who is working as a tutor for the calculus based engineering physics course at a university???

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I wonder in a big way about the students who might be not the top 1%, but would be in the top 5 or 10%.  Are they being challenged in high school and are they finding their way to college without really being called upon to meet challenges?

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Wapati I don't see what he said as being in conflict with what I had written. Hard work is the stumbling block. IMO an AP course should be able to offer more depth than a college course as they have more than twice as long to cover the material, but obviously that isn't happening as they're just teaching to the test, which apparently doesn't require much depth. And clearly those who can do intensive problem solving in math should have no problem acing standardized tests, barring some testing difficulty.

Not necessarily. Ds's school is on a true block schedule. He had AB Calculus in the fall semester and BC Calculus in the spring semester. While I think this may be common in the AP math sequence (though I do know some schools do an entire year for AB and then an entire year for BC) he did all of his AP Chemistry class in one semester (really less, because the test was mid-May). Same for all of his other AP classes - one semester each.

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I doubt the top 5, 10 or even 25 percent are being challenged at many high schools.  I know that some high schools offer a lot for those students, including AP, IB and dual enrollment, but not all those courses are equal either, as this thread points out.

 

Regentrude, if she was in high school, she would likely have not had much leeway in deviating from the standard science sequence, so would have been doing the AP physics as a senior, unless of course you afterschooled or she self studied.   I imagine she would have graduated early and moved on to college.

 

As for my inference being wrong, that's entirely possible.  Again, I can't speak to AoPS as I've not seen their calculus text and I have no idea what my dd does and doesn't do with calculus in physics as I buy the textbooks assigned, and that's it.

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Hoggirl, yes I didn't think of the exception of a student taking only the AB in one semester on the block schedule.  I try to think of exceptions, but obviously missed that one.  I did specified AB as I know that BC is often done in one year, similar to college courses of Calc I and II.  It's great that your son had the BC done in one year as he's already gotten that higher level of work and will easily transition to college courses.

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Hoggirl, yes I didn't think of the exception of a student taking only the AB in one semester on the block schedule. I try to think of exceptions, but obviously missed that one. I did specified AB as I know that BC is often done in one year, similar to college courses of Calc I and II. It's great that your son had the BC done in one year as he's already gotten that higher level of work and will easily transition to college courses.

I hope so! It's one of the things that I really like about his school - the pacing! He will also have AP Bio in one semester - spring - just as his AP Chemistry was last year. He has done AP Lit this fall and will do AP Language and Comp in the spring and take both English APs in the spring. While I can't speak to the rigor of the AP exams themselves and how worthwhile they are, he has done well on all he has taken, and I like the fact that they are paced so quickly by only being one semester. Maybe spreading them out over an entire year is part of the problem???

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Not necessarily. Ds's school is on a true block schedule. He had AB Calculus in the fall semester and BC Calculus in the spring semester. While I think this may be common in the AP math sequence (though I do know some schools do an entire year for AB and then an entire year for BC) he did all of his AP Chemistry class in one semester (really less, because the test was mid-May). Same for all of his other AP classes - one semester each.

 

I am trying to warp my mind around this and picture a semester for AP European History or AP Chemistry, although as I have researched in order to turn in my own AP audit, I find there is a vast discrepancy in how teachers manage to impart the information and have students prepare for the exams. Does a 4.5 month AP course adequately prepare a student who will use the credit to skip the introductory course? I am not thinking about the AP tests so much as really being prepared to manage the college work.

 

ETA: By "true block schedule," do you mean that your student focuses only on three or four classes per semester, whereas my older kids had 7-8 courses that rotated on A and B days all year?  If so, I can better picture semester-long AP courses.

 

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Hoggirl, sounds like he's doing great!   I would think that having semester courses, same as college, would definitely make the courses more rigorous.  I haven't heard of other high schools doing AP bio, chemistry, literature, etc.  in one semester each.  You're lucky to have that school!   I'm sure his schedule will make him stand out with admissions.

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Sadly, that inference is not correct. Because the calculus classes for the most part teach procedures. Sure, students can take all kinds of derivatives from given functions, or integrate given functions, maybe even know integration tricks. The class may also cover some theory, epsilon-delta proofs, limits etc. What most classes do not teach sufficiently is the conceptual understanding of what calculus means.

I see this every single time one of the physics problems involves setting up an integral: once the integral is on the page, most students can start their drilled procedures - but the critical thinking goes into setting up the integral to model your physical situation.

 

+ eleventy billion.

 

This goes not for just calculus, but any level of math. I have students in every math class who will tell me that they are 'good at math, but hate word problems'. If you cannot set up word problems, you are not good at math -- you are good at computation.

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Just out of curiosity, are there really physics (for scientists and engineers) tests which give the student the formula and have the problem set up for them?  I have seen some of her tests, and they were word problems, with nothing given to them, but with a page for each as the space was needed to work the problems.   If the formulas or calculus problem was given to them, I'd call that a calculus test, not a physics test.

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Just out of curiosity, are there really physics (for scientists and engineers) tests which give the student the formula and have the problem set up for them?  I have seen some of her tests, and they were word problems, with nothing given to them, but with a page for each as the space was needed to work the problems.   If the formulas or calculus problem was given to them, I'd call that a calculus test, not a physics test.

 

That depends on the school. All our tests are as you describe: a description in words, a figure, a question, a blank page. But I had students tell me they had physics before at some other college and

 

"it was completely different; we were putting things into formulas and did not derive things and such stuff".

 

Shudder. This is why I almost prefer my students to have had no prior physics of any kind, because then I do not have to wean them of the common misconception that physics is a grab-bag of equations and one only has to fish for the right one. 

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That depends on the school. My tests are as you describe: a description in words, a figure, a question. But I had students tell me they had physics before at some other college and

"it was completely different; we were putting things into formulas and did not derive things and such stuff".

 

Shudder. This is why I almost prefer my students to have had no prior physics of any kind, because then I do not have to wean them of the common misconception that physics is a grab-bag of equations and one only has to fish for the right one. 

I see similar things in math. When they did do word problems, basically, the teacher stuck to a few types of word problems and they just had to remember what formula you used on which problem. In some cases, they were told "use this formula to solve this problem."

 

One thing that I like to do when I'm teaching calculus 2 is to say "Set up, but do not evaluate, an integral to solve this problem." This allows a wider range of application problems because I do not have to make sure that it is a problem amenable to hand computation - it can be something which does not have a closed-form solution where a computer would be necessary to find an approximation. But they loathe this type of problem, because the emphasis is all on the set-up and not on the computation, and set-up is where most of them are weakest.

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Same here, but I don't think there were any figures.  As I'm thinking about this, there definitely were for electric circuits and such, just not for mechanical?

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Same here, but I don't think there were any figures.  As I'm thinking about this, there definitely were for electric circuits and such, just not for mechanical?

 

I would find it preferable not to give figures and have the students interpret the problem and draw their own.

 

This may, however, cause some students to interpret the problem incorrectly and to solve, with correct physics, a modified problem. Deciding how to grade this will be a nightmare, especially when the misinterpretation caused a significant simplification.

 

When I started teaching, it was in a course that had 400 students. I learned from my mentor that it is best to avoid ambiguities that can lead to complaints and disputes by giving a clear figure of what exactly is going on. Otherwise, with so many students, there will always be some that have issues or ask for clarifications; with different sections taking the test simultaneously in different rooms, all extra oral information given by the proctor to the students would have to be relayed to all other sections in all other rooms to ensure fairness... we spent a LOT of time making sure any test problem was absolutely clear and left no loophole for a possible misinterpretation.

 

So that's why we have figures.

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I just had a conversation with a swim coach this am and he is worried about the kids.  He says all these kids (except mine) are in high pressure IB programs and they are exhausted. They are so stressed with the pressure of just keeping up an insane workload and the constant sense that they have to do the sports and the clubs or they will not get into College A or College B.

 

I made a deliberate choice with my kids that we were NOT going to do this.  I don't want them learning to be work-a-holics.  I want them to learn to be well-rounded.  It has paid off well, for the ones that have hit college so far.

But most high school courses are too easy for kids who score in that range. (Which of course makes sense: a school can not provide a course that is of appropriate level for the top 1% of its students - nobody else would pass.)

One of the biggest problems for the smart students is that they never learned how to work. They coasted through high school, easily got their 4.0 without much effort, never encountered material that was so difficult that they could not understand it upon first hearing - and then they go to university and take math and science.

 

This is very true.  It is, however, one of the reasons for some kids to do extra-curricular activities.    My current 13yo is definitely top 1%.  (She took the ACT as a talent search contestant last year, and scored college level in every area.)  There is no non-college course that would adequately challenge her, but she is a bit young for the typical college system.    So we challenge her by requiring her to do things that come to her less easily, such as piano lessons.  We told her, "It's not about the piano lessons. It's about learning to do things that are hard."

 

 

Sadly, that inference is not correct. Because the calculus classes for the most part teach procedures. Sure, students can take all kinds of derivatives from given functions, or integrate given functions, maybe even know integration tricks. The class may also cover some theory, epsilon-delta proofs, limits etc. What most classes do not teach sufficiently is the conceptual understanding of what calculus means.

 

This is one of the things I really like about Life of Fred.  He requires the kids to work with the problems, in ways they haven't learned a formula for, yet.  Some parents have a fit about this, but we've found that it really helps my kids.

 

I wonder in a big way about the students who might be not the top 1%, but would be in the top 5 or 10%.  Are they being challenged in high school and are they finding their way to college without really being called upon to meet challenges?

 

 

The simple answer is, no, they don't.

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You know, the analogy that's occuring to me is sending all kids through a mandatory 13 years of basketball and then having a university coach saying, "I don't know what's wrong with these kids. They're supposed to be such great athletes, and we only admitted those with the best stats. But they suck at hockey!"

 

Yeah, they do, and by picking those who were best at basketball, you've eliminated those who spent a lot of time on anything else (like hockey or ice skating). When you pick the kids with great SAT scores, ACT scores, and AP test scores, one of the things you're selecting for is skill at identifying which of four choices the test-makers want. The top stats belong to those who have played along and learned to get the "right" answer. (But that's the best data you can get, because most of the kids who are *not* good at those things aren't going to even apply to your highly competitive university.) The ones who have learned to play hockey, so to speak, are those who have done it on their own.

 

 (The next is also a quote, but I'm not sure how to do them on this forum.  Sorry.)

8FillTheHeart, on 11 Nov 2013 - 05:57 AM, said:

 

    Absolutely!! It is a manipulation of admission standards that has become a sort of sport in and of itself. The actual losers are the kids who do care to think deeply yet don't play the sport.

(end quote)

 

This is rather unfair.   Kids who really understand the material will generally get high scores, and even gaming the system can usually not produce the very top scores.    Games can help, and lots of people do play the games, but it's unfair to classify all kids who do well as only doing so because they are gaming the system and claiming they are not truly deep thinkers.

 

(next quote)

 regentrude, on 11 Nov 2013 - 05:15 AM, said:

    Lastly, I do not believe that large scale examinations with millions of participants can effectively be graded in a full response format. Essay readers on the SAT have 1-2 minutes to evaluate an essay, making an in-depth evaluation impossible.

(end of quote)

 

UGH! Don't even get me started on the SAT essays!  The best, most creative writers are heavily handicapped by trying to do it in 30 minutes, and even the rubrics do nothing to reflect what makes writing truly shine.  The vast majority of today's best selling writers and an even higher percentage of classical ones would do abysmally on these tests.

 

 

(next quote)

    Teachin'Mine, on 11 Nov 2013 - 4:34 PM, said:

 

    You're right that SAT/ACT math is high school math and doesn't include calculus.  But IMO those who score well - as in ivy level - on those tests, took a calculus class (as it's a pre-req for calculus based physics) and did well enough to go onto the physics class, shouldn't have a problem with applying the calculus to the physics, unless they're just not used to used to hard work or haven't learned to ask for help.

(end of quote)

 

Again, this is not necessarily accurate.   My dd has a 2240, within range for Ivy League from what I understand.  She has at least been heavily courted by these schools and others such as Cal Tech, University of Chicago, etc.   She has had neither calculus nor physics, and didn't need them to get her 800 on Reading, nor the 690 she got in math--probably not enough on the latter to be an engineer or physicist at a school like Harvard, but enough for any of the humanities, I suspect.     It is very possible to score very, very well on these tests and not have taken calculus.

 

That said, it does not negate the OP's point, which is that our kids need to learn to solve problems, and not just to spit out answers.   At the same time, there is a basic level of competence that is needed as background to the problem solving.  From what I see, the pendulum seems to swing back and forth, and very rarely hit the balance needed for real success.

 

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(next quote)

 regentrude, on 11 Nov 2013 - 05:15 AM, said:

    Lastly, I do not believe that large scale examinations with millions of participants can effectively be graded in a full response format. Essay readers on the SAT have 1-2 minutes to evaluate an essay, making an in-depth evaluation impossible.

(end of quote)

 

UGH! Don't even get me started on the SAT essays!  The best, most creative writers are heavily handicapped by trying to do it in 30 minutes, and even the rubrics do nothing to reflect what makes writing truly shine.  The vast majority of today's best selling writers and an even higher percentage of classical ones would do abysmally on these tests.

 

 

 

I was the person who brought up essay questions.  I wasn't referring to the SAT essay, but to essays in particular subjects.  A British high school exam (mass marked across the country) would include - for arts and humanities subjects - a series of prompts to which essays have to be written.  It's not 'tell me everything about Henry VIII' but 'to what extent were Henry VIII's marriages driven by concerns about foreign policy'.  You have to take the facts you have learned and construct an argument on a topic that might be aslant of what you had previously considered.

 

L

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Sadly, that inference is not correct. Because the calculus classes for the most part teach procedures. Sure, students can take all kinds of derivatives from given functions, or integrate given functions, maybe even know integration tricks. The class may also cover some theory, epsilon-delta proofs, limits etc. What most classes do not teach sufficiently is the conceptual understanding of what calculus means.

I see this every single time one of the physics problems involves setting up an integral: once the integral is on the page, most students can start their drilled procedures - but the critical thinking goes into setting up the integral to model your physical situation.

I teach at a STEM university. I teach science and engineering students. The course prerequisites are calculus 1 (for mechanics) and calculus 2 (for electricity&magnetism). But it is a  huge step from having taken two semesters of calculus and knowing how to work out an integral to understanding how, if they have a line of electric charge, they must set up an integral of the infinitesimal electric field vector components that are created by the infinitesimal charge elements, parametrize the curve, and integrate over it.

They do.not.get.what "integration" means, and this is such a widespread occurrence that I must conclude that it has something to do with the way they are taught. Just compare a standard calculus college text like Stewart, with its unending sets of drill exercises, with AoPS calculus with few, well designed, in-depth problems that require deep thinking. They don't learn what they need, because they are not taught.

And this is why, in my high school math classes, I often ask things like what is a square root?  I've never had a student be able to answer that question.  They know how to find square roots, but they have no clue what they are doing when doing it.  There are other questions too pending what the class is doing at the time.  Rarely can a student answer the "what it means" question.  I did have a Calc student tell me one time that I should "Stop confusing him by trying to teach the meaning and just give him the formula to find it" with regards to why periods change.

 

Most students just want the procedures and memorization. Is it any wonder they then can't apply the knowledge?  They don't really have the knowledge to apply.

 

I wonder in a big way about the students who might be not the top 1%, but would be in the top 5 or 10%.  Are they being challenged in high school and are they finding their way to college without really being called upon to meet challenges?

The majority of the top 10% are not challenged IMO.  The lack of challenge or merely a decent foundation is why we chose to homeschool the high school years - and I wish youngest would have been willing to do the same.  Homeschooling the middle school years for him at least set a good foundation to that level, but it was disappointing seeing his national scores drop from top 85 - 99% (pending subject) in 8th grade to far more average by 11th.  He's capable, but it's difficult to know information you never get to study.

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Most students just want the procedures and memorization. Is it any wonder they then can't apply the knowledge?  They don't really have the knowledge to apply.

 

 

Not only students!  Last year I offered to tutor a family friend who was struggling in her math class, a watered down Precalculus course called Functions or something like that.  Anywho it turned out to be nothing but a class of calculator algorithms!  I told the girl's parents I am appalled that our tax dollars are being wasted on such nonsense.  We all know that the students will forget the algorithms immediately after testing. For some reason, teaching calculator algorithms is considered an important step in technological literacy.  I think I am missing the boat here.  The students are required to have matching brands of calculators so they are literally memorizing key strokes. 

 

There is some good news though.  The young lady in question (who had been homeschooled until 10th grade) is now at the CC where she is taking a college transfer (not developmental) math.  Many of our local high school graduates must start in developmental courses despite having had four years of math in high school. 

 

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posted by whitehawk:

You know, the analogy that's occuring to me is sending all kids through a mandatory 13 years of basketball and then having a university coach saying, "I don't know what's wrong with these kids. They're supposed to be such great athletes, and we only admitted those with the best stats. But they suck at hockey!"

 

Yeah, they do, and by picking those who were best at basketball, you've eliminated those who spent a lot of time on anything else (like hockey or ice skating). When you pick the kids with great SAT scores, ACT scores, and AP test scores, one of the things you're selecting for is skill at identifying which of four choices the test-makers want. The top stats belong to those who have played along and learned to get the "right" answer. (But that's the best data you can get, because most of the kids who are *not* good at those things aren't going to even apply to your highly competitive university.) The ones who have learned to play hockey, so to speak, are those who have done it on their own.

 

 

8FillTheHeart, on 11 Nov 2013 - 05:57 AM, said:

 

    Absolutely!! It is a manipulation of admission standards that has become a sort of sport in and of itself. The actual losers are the kids who do care to think deeply yet don't play the sport.

(end quote)

 

 

This is rather unfair.   Kids who really understand the material will generally get high scores, and even gaming the system can usually not produce the very top scores.    Games can help, and lots of people do play the games, but it's unfair to classify all kids who do well as only doing so because they are gaming the system and claiming they are not truly deep thinkers.

 

 

You actually completely changed the context of my post since you place my response under a different post than I quoted and responded to.  My post was NOT in response to WhiteHawk and I was not referring to test scores at all. 

 

My posted quoted the following:

I totally agree.  To a certain extent, I feel like the colleges have brought this on themselves.  They select the students they admit, and they signal very clearly what they want.  I'm guessing that this dean, complaining about all the high-stat kids, doesn't care a whit if they earned a varsity letter on some sports team, or served in a leadership role in some extracurricular activity.  But that's what admissions keeps insisting is important.

 

 When I said the losers were kids who didn't play the admissions game, I was referring to the kids who didn't have pages of extra-curricular activities/sports with lots of leadership roles or Varsity letters  but are deep critical thinkers.   When admissions folks place a higher emphasis on pages of outside involvement, etc, then that is what the "players" are going to "perform."     I think that GGardner's pt is a direct hit.......I'm sure the ranter could careless about what extracurricular activities his students were involved in high school and is more interested in if they can think.

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This is an extract from an English literature mark scheme for GCSE (taken at age 16).  

 

<snip>

 

 

 

 

That is similar to the AP English expectations here at the same age. The course is open to the 25% of students that were selected for the honors program in Grade 6 (age 11).

 

Roughly how many students sit the exam?

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That is similar to the AP English expectations here at the same age. The course is open to the 25% of students that were selected for the honors program in Grade 6 (age 11).

 

Roughly how many students sit the exam?

 

It is the standard syllabus for people who want to go to university.  So about half of all teenagers maybe?  If you want to study science at university, GCSE English Literature will be the last English exam you take at school. If you want to study arts, you will probably study for another two years and take an A level in the subject.

 

Because we don't have transcripts, almost all pupils will take courses that lead to exams, up to twelve in different subjects at age 16 and three or four at a higher level at age 18.

 

ETA: there is another English GCSE that is meant to be the same achievement level but less based around literature.  You would need that for almost any job beyond minimum wage - office junior, apprentice in a trade, etc.

 

L

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I am trying to warp my mind around this and picture a semester for AP European History or AP Chemistry, although as I have researched in order to turn in my own AP audit, I find there is a vast discrepancy in how teachers manage to impart the information and have students prepare for the exams. Does a 4.5 month AP course adequately prepare a student who will use the credit to skip the introductory course? I am not thinking about the AP tests so much as really being prepared to manage the college work.

 

 

ETA: By "true block schedule," do you mean that your student focuses only on three or four classes per semester, whereas my older kids had 7-8 courses that rotated on A and B days all year? If so, I can better picture semester-long AP courses.

 

Hoggirl, sounds like he's doing great! I would think that having semester courses, same as college, would definitely make the courses more rigorous. I haven't heard of other high schools doing AP bio, chemistry, literature, etc. in one semester each. You're lucky to have that school! I'm sure his schedule will make him stand out with admissions.

Ds takes four classes per semester. What would be semester long classes are only nine weeks (as an example, he had nine weeks for Health and nine weeks for Fine Arts, which are both state, 1/2 credit, graduation requirements). By virtue of this format, *most* AP courses are taken in the spring, though he did have one last fall (still earned a 5 on that exam - the teacher held Sunday afternoon review sessions to refresh the material) and has one this fall. All four of his classes will be AP in the spring.

 

I suppose that time will tell how well prepared he will be. Although, as far as maths and sciences go, this is not an area that ds intends to pursue in college, so he is hoping to get gen ed requirements out of the way via AP exams. Thus, he wouldn't be relying on what he learned as his foundation for higher level course work in those areas. It would not, for him, be a "skipping" of the introductory course - but rather a fulfillment of a core requirement. Some schools on his list will take his AP credits, some won't. Depends on where he is accepted and decides to attend and how high it is up the food chain - lol! He earned 5s on Chemistry and BC Calc (as well as the AB subpart). I will say that most students here who go on to matriculate at the local Big State University retake these foundation courses regardless of AP scores if the courses are core requirements in their major. The engineering departments prefer this.

 

We do feel lucky to have this school! I had wanted to homeschool through high school, but my ds did not. It was ONLY because of the existence of this open-enrollment, public charter school that we allowed him to do go into a B&M setting. We would not have placed him in the regular local public high school with approximately 4,000 students. His charter has a STEM emphasis. In our state, the public charter schools have some state regulations they must follow, but they have freedom to do some things quite differently. As an example, the guy who taught Calculus and Chemistry has a Chemical Engineering degree from Ga Tech but is not "certified" as a public school teacher. Ds's AP Bio teacher next semester has a PhD in marine biology but is likewise not "certified" as a public school teacher. Having that type of flexibility in hiring has enabled our superintendent to have some wonderful faculty who are very strong in their respective fields.

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Most students just want the procedures and memorization. Is it any wonder they then can't apply the knowledge?  They don't really have the knowledge to apply.

 

The majority of the top 10% are not challenged IMO.  The lack of challenge or merely a decent foundation is why we chose to homeschool the high school years - and I wish youngest would have been willing to do the same.  Homeschooling the middle school years for him at least set a good foundation to that level, but it was disappointing seeing his national scores drop from top 85 - 99% (pending subject) in 8th grade to far more average by 11th.  He's capable, but it's difficult to know information you never get to study.

 

The top students here are taking private instruction or self-teaching in addition to the dumbed down schoolwork.  Stereotypically, most of their parents are math/science/engineering types, Asian businesspeople, or teachers who have a network to fall back on should jr go outside their area of expertise. 

 

The top 2-5% are challenged here. They are very very good at memorizing or have photographic memories. That serves them well on the tests that have test banks that they can memorize. What they don't have are thinking skills and that's why the AP test scores are only in the 2 or 3 zone. Big class rank vs SAT test mismatch for this group. 

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FWIW, my take is that the professor was referring students who scored well on the AP test itself rather than students who performed well within a course, as the test does not involve a lot of depth.  If the AP courses were lacking, they were lacking depth not required by AP.

 

I think the professor's lament is a bit like what Rusczyk noted with regard to problem solving and high school prep.  A couple quotes:

 

 

The above lament is the crux of the problem, I think?  (Problem solving and creativity are the same thing, at bottom.)  I don't think this isn't a new problem.  My parents complained about their educations, also.  My father's advice to me was to go to engineering school - at least I'd learn how to think.  My mother received an enviable classical education, which she says was dry as bones and made her never want to learn anything again.  She also says she didn't understand algebra until she had to use it when doing biological research.

 

I think the answer to how Hoggirl's son's school gets through AP classes in one semester is that the AP classes are building on previous knowledge and skills.  They don't have to start at the middle school level.

 

But most high school courses are too easy for kids who score in that range. (Which of course makes sense: a school can not provide a course that is of appropriate level for the top 1% of its students - nobody else would pass.)

One of the biggest problems for the smart students is that they never learned how to work. They coasted through high school, easily got their 4.0 without much effort, never encountered material that was so difficult that they could not understand it upon first hearing - and then they go to university and take math and science.

I see a lot of these students. Bright, hard working - it is not that they are slackers who don't put in the time. They simply do not know HOW to do it. They spend hours upon hours, to no avail. Some show up in my office in tears. And I have a lot of sympathy for them, because that was *I*, during my first semester at university: I had graduated from my German specialized high school top of the class. I was on a verge of dropping out of the physics program because it did not make sense and I though I was too stupid, because that had never happened to me before. It took me an entire semester figuring out the "how", and from then on it was plain sailing.

It is not that the smart students can not manage the level of coursework. It is that they have never been taught what to do if things do not click immediately. The schools have been failing them, because they never provided an adequate challenge for the bright kids.

 

We have a top rated public high school.  My nieces and nephews are receiving a good education, even by board standards.  It used to be structured rather like TWTM.  They are having a horrible time restructuring it to meet the requirements for state standardized testing.  They still are managing to provide a good education, one that produces students who can actually speak the foreign languages they take, write essays, solve word problems, and design science experiments.  They encourage things like robotics, math competitions, and debate team.  They send their students off to "good" colleges.  There are still problems.  Major ones.  The very, very top are running into the same problem that Regentrude discusses and flunking out of those top colleges.  The next layer down (top students) does well.  The layer just below that is ignored.  They are neither fish nor fowl.  The top classes are too hard and the middle classes are much, much, much too easy.  The next layer down is ok, academically, but they are suffering because all the home ec, shop, etc. classes (nice applied stuff) have been turned into fine arts classes for reasons of prestige.  The bottom layer suffers as well.  When do they not?  It is a small school with limited resources.  They try, obviously, but the best they can offer is often to send the child off to private school for awhile and hope they pick up enough survival skills to manage when they come back.

 

Nscribe - I feel like telling you Be comforted - there are universities out there that are aware of the problem.  The one my youngest is at offers an alternative admissions process.  They say something like, "If you wish, you may send us something that you feel represents your academic abilities better than your test scores."  It is pretty open.  They rely more heavily on gpa than on test scores.  Once the students arrive, they talk about what they had to do to get into the college and how that is NOT what they want now.  The whole academic program is structured to encourage something else other than box-checking and grade-seeking and they put a ton of effort into switching their student population over.  They also put a ton of effort into getting them the study skills they suspect that a good bit of their students are lacking, due to having slid through high school thinking about something else, like the video game they are writing.  I also feel like telling you Be uncomforted - it costs a small fortune.  There are scholarships, but only the top students get these, obviously.  But some of the programs structure is translate-able to a large public university.  I think?  They would have to put more money into advising and tutoring than football, of course.  And they would have to have good professors...  and pay them...  I don't really know enough about education in general to know whether it would really work, but it seems like it might?  But then you would run into the problem of the grad schools wanting more statistics for THEIR admissions process, and you would also have the problem of students arriving drastically unprepared, not just with a few holes or a lack of problem solving ability.  I don't know.

 

Nan

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You know, when it comes to the "teaching creativity" bit, I think a good bit of the problem is that most people don't really understand very much about creativity.  Self-discipline is a huge piece of it.  A lot of what one needs to know to be creative about something looks distinctly UNcreative while it is being taught.  For example, I happened to be in my sister's kitchen while my niece and her friends were discussing writing their latest Spanish essay (they are in 9th grade).  They had to use a specific number of transition words and there were various other severe limitations on their creativity.  The resulting essays were going to sound very contrived.  But the interesting part of the discussion was that as much as possible of it was TAKING PLACE IN SPANISH.  Their Spanish was actually good enough and came easily enough to them for them to use it just for FUN.  Teaching in such a way that the required skills and knowledge come easily enough to be used for creative purposes without squashing that creativity in the first place is really, really tricky, I think?  And when you add in a very competative college admissions process, it gets even trickier.  We gambled with the youngest and won - or rather, it looks like we might have won.  We won't know until he's managed to make it THROUGH college and has found a job that allows him to use that creativity we tried so hard to encourage and discipline.

 

Nan

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Little Women wrote:

 

"Again, this is not necessarily accurate.   My dd has a 2240, within range for Ivy League from what I understand.  She has at least been heavily courted by these schools and others such as Cal Tech, University of Chicago, etc.   She has had neither calculus nor physics, and didn't need them to get her 800 on Reading, nor the 690 she got in math--probably not enough on the latter to be an engineer or physicist at a school like Harvard, but enough for any of the humanities, I suspect.     It is very possible to score very, very well on these tests and not have taken calculus."

 

Maybe I wasn't clear, but I was referring to students who take calculus based physics exclusively.   For those students, they would have had to have calculus as it's a pre-requisite for calculus based physics.

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Is anyone else leery of the test, rather than the results, if 98% of people who take it score in the "genius" category?  That's the part I keep coming back to.  I assume it was a test on thinking outside the box, and most 4 year olds came up with wildly creative ideas… but how many of those ideas were actually possible?  If looking for creative solutions for a problem, my 4 year old would probably suggest invoking Santa Claus, getting on a rocketship, or having his favorite stuffed animal do something.  Are older kids being dinged because their ideas are not quite so "creative"?  Im just having a tough time understanding what they could possibly be looking for that so many little kids score off the charts, and older kids fail so miserably.

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Yes, I find that schoolkid tests of creativity are stunningly uncreative...the ones that are used for Odyssey of the Mind team selection so diappointed my child that he withdrew his name from consideration.  They were all little things that  a two year old would have enjoyed, where he was looking forward to real creativity with more advanced knowledge and material. He's gone off to music and video game design to satisfy his creative urges.

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I don't know about the test, though I think your questions are interesting. One of the ways I look at creativity in my own (and, I admit, others') kids is their ability to put together lots of strands of knowledge to answer and think about questions.  I am a complete liberal arts person, and my math/science knowledge is fairly limited, so I don't know what creativity might look like in that field.

 

The hs kids I know (and most are in IB programs) have a really hard time connecting the things they have learned about to a new work or new idea without specific guidance.  And I know that the IB program is supposed to give them those skills-but it does not seem to be working. They wait to be guided and told what to think. And I think that is a result of the pace of their school and how they have been taught to tests since they were little kids. To the frustration of my kids, they might read the same things, but they have no desire to talk about them outside of class or homework. I know several parents who are watching the race with concern, and not too surprisingly most of them were educated outside the US.

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But most high school courses are too easy for kids who score in that range. (Which of course makes sense: a school can not provide a course that is of appropriate level for the top 1% of its students - nobody else would pass.)

One of the biggest problems for the smart students is that they never learned how to work. They coasted through high school, easily got their 4.0 without much effort, never encountered material that was so difficult that they could not understand it upon first hearing - and then they go to university and take math and science.

I see a lot of these students. Bright, hard working - it is not that they are slackers who don't put in the time. They simply do not know HOW to do it. They spend hours upon hours, to no avail. Some show up in my office in tears. And I have a lot of sympathy for them, because that was *I*, during my first semester at university: I had graduated from my German specialized high school top of the class. I was on a verge of dropping out of the physics program because it did not make sense and I though I was too stupid, because that had never happened to me before. It took me an entire semester figuring out the "how", and from then on it was plain sailing.

It is not that the smart students can not manage the level of coursework. It is that they have never been taught what to do if things do not click immediately. The schools have been failing them, because they never provided an adequate challenge for the bright kids.

 

This is absolutely correct (somehow I missed this post) and I ran into the same thing. So did my mother - during her senior year of HS (in the sixties) she cut over a hundred days and still maintained a B average, and she was gobsmacked when the same thing didn't work for engineering school.

 

I don't think it matters much what a kid learns to work in. It doesn't even have to be academics. I learned so much on a personal level when I started doing martial arts, because it was the first thing I'd ever done that didn't come easily, where I had to work and sweat just to be equal with the others. Music, sports, crafts -- but every kid should do *something* which doesn't come at all naturally and where they have to work. If they've learned to work and learn at *something*, they can transfer that work ethic.

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Is anyone else leery of the test, rather than the results, if 98% of people who take it score in the "genius" category? That's the part I keep coming back to. I assume it was a test on thinking outside the box, and most 4 year olds came up with wildly creative ideas… but how many of those ideas were actually possible? If looking for creative solutions for a problem, my 4 year old would probably suggest invoking Santa Claus, getting on a rocketship, or having his favorite stuffed animal do something. Are older kids being dinged because their ideas are not quite so "creative"? Im just having a tough time understanding what they could possibly be looking for that so many little kids score off the charts, and older kids fail so miserably.

I don't know how they tested, but typically they are not like what you are suggesting. The tests I have previously read would be more along the lines of given an item discover just how many things it can do (so for young children perhaps it is a toy that can transform into different shapes or be made to make different sounds, etc). They are usually quantifiable in some way vs being completely open-ended. Those examples would just be part of an over all test, but no, adults would not be "dinged" for not offering an Easter bunny solution.

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You know, when it comes to the "teaching creativity" bit, I think a good bit of the problem is that most people don't really understand very much about creativity.  Self-discipline is a huge piece of it.  A lot of what one needs to know to be creative about something looks distinctly UNcreative while it is being taught.  ...

Nan

Yup. 

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Are older kids being dinged because their ideas are not quite so "creative"?  Im just having a tough time understanding what they could possibly be looking for that so many little kids score off the charts, and older kids fail so miserably.

In a couple of words...nonconformity and absence of inhibition.  As people age, they tend to gain affirmation from their compliance and achievement within systems.  The 4 or 5 year old is less likely to show restraint than the 9 or 10 year old. 

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Sadly, that inference is not correct. Because the calculus classes for the most part teach procedures. Sure, students can take all kinds of derivatives from given functions, or integrate given functions, maybe even know integration tricks. The class may also cover some theory, epsilon-delta proofs, limits etc. What most classes do not teach sufficiently is the conceptual understanding of what calculus means.

I see this every single time one of the physics problems involves setting up an integral: once the integral is on the page, most students can start their drilled procedures - but the critical thinking goes into setting up the integral to model your physical situation.

I teach at a STEM university. I teach science and engineering students. The course prerequisites are calculus 1 (for mechanics) and calculus 2 (for electricity&magnetism). But it is a  huge step from having taken two semesters of calculus and knowing how to work out an integral to understanding how, if they have a line of electric charge, they must set up an integral of the infinitesimal electric field vector components that are created by the infinitesimal charge elements, parametrize the curve, and integrate over it.

They do.not.get.what "integration" means, and this is such a widespread occurrence that I must conclude that it has something to do with the way they are taught. Just compare a standard calculus college text like Stewart, with its unending sets of drill exercises, with AoPS calculus with few, well designed, in-depth problems that require deep thinking. They don't learn what they need, because they are not taught.

 

 

I posted this video over on the General board last night.  It kept me awake.  He diagnoses the problem as the basic philosophical approach we (teachers in the US) take to math education: We teach kids to find the answer, not to learn to understand the underlying math.  I found his description of how math is taught and "learned" chillingly familiar: yep, that's how I learned math.  I'm trying to teach it differently.  I don't know if my kids are lucky or unlucky to have me as a teacher: at least I'm aware of the problem and of my own shortcomings as a teacher and trying to improve, both in philosophy and in practice.  

 

But I do think this speaks to the problem the OP raised.

 

http://vimeo.com/30924981

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In a couple of words...nonconformity and absence of inhibition.  As people age, they tend to gain affirmation from their compliance and achievement within systems.  The 4 or 5 year old is less likely to show restraint than the 9 or 10 year old. 

 

So any idea how they're controlling for this?  Like, if the tester is a hot 22 year old grad student, is the 17 year old high school kid less "creative" than if the tester is old enough to be the kid's grandparent and covered in warts?  That would actually be an interesting study, LOL.

 

I've been reading this conversation with interest, because I think that I agree with almost everything that everyone has been saying, and I think that there's some really great comments.  I'm just having a really hard time with the starting point.  How can you have a test where 98% of participants are scoring off the charts?  And then have such a steep decline in nearly everyone, down to levels which are, frankly, more reasonable… if you're going to use the word "genius" to mean something real, "top 2% of people" sounds a lot more likely.

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Is anyone else leery of the test, rather than the results, if 98% of people who take it score in the "genius" category? That's the part I keep coming back to. I assume it was a test on thinking outside the box, and most 4 year olds came up with wildly creative ideas… but how many of those ideas were actually possible? If looking for creative solutions for a problem, my 4 year old would probably suggest invoking Santa Claus, getting on a rocketship, or having his favorite stuffed animal do something. Are older kids being dinged because their ideas are not quite so "creative"? Im just having a tough time understanding what they could possibly be looking for that so many little kids score off the charts, and older kids fail so miserably.

Totally. Test that show 98% of 4 year olds are geniuses and that this percentage drops to near nothing over time make me think the tests are measuring something other than "genius."

 

I also think the take-away is wrong. If not teaching and learning subjects in depth (and with an aim of fostering creative solving and creativity) is a problem, then how does "delay" help?

 

A better, and more practical solution, is to capitalize on young children's curiosity early, and to stimulate their congnative brain centers when their minds are still highly plastic and dendritic branching is easily encouraged.

 

Taking small portions of time to have creative problem solving opportunities does not, despite claims to the contrary, undermine or elimate a child's time to learn through creative play. These things are complementary, and not antagonistic.

 

A huge practical advantage (to say nothing of building a better brain) of being ahead of the curve, is it gives students the luxury (necessity) of time to purse subjects in depth, or to go on "side-tracks" (such as exploring discrete mathematics of number theory using AoPS) without being stressed for time.

 

I'm all for teaching /learning for understanding (with an emphasis on reasoning, and creative problem solving at the core). This kind of education is best promoted from early on in developmentally appropriate ways that argument children's natural thirst for learning.

 

Bill

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The top kids are not being challenged. I graduated at 16 with 28 credits on an independent study program and could have stayed home, never graced the halls of my high school, nor interacted with an educational professional and managed that just fine. I was not under the slightest stress to pull that off, and was bored most of the time. Since calculus wasn't offered at my school, I never got into a higher math that might have really held my attention. The physics was entirely algebra 1 based, conceptual, and well, all of it was easy. Too, too, easy.

 

The only reason I was even prepared for college rigor was the fact that I was studying the piano at a very high level of achievement. Four hours per day of grueling practice was normal during the school year, 1 in the morning before school, and 3 in the afternoon and evening. 5 on Saturdays. My piano teacher put me through the paces and kept the standard high. I accompanied for professional vocalists and instrumentalists and that also helped because I had such a high standard to meet. That said, except for music and performance classes, and college calculus, every single class I took in college was easy. It's only been in my master's degree coursework that I've felt my brain has been very challenged. Dh breezed through his degree without hardly studying...I envy him! I'm pretty sure if I had taken abstract algebra 2, number theory, and the like, I would have had to study my brains out! LOL, not him...and he had a perfect 100% in his math major. I'm not kidding. Not.one.single.error. I think he's a walking, breathing IBM mainframe computer! However, there were four credits he had to work his tail off for - his college piano lessons.

 

My kids would be bored to death if they went to our local high school. The work is just so easy, all rote, parroting...just parrot back what the teacher wants to hear. No real discussions, no real projects, no meaningful work, very little writing, etc. Every core class must spend 15 minutes of every single class period on bubble test prep.

 

DD, the only one who attended a brick and mortar school after kindergarten, went to a Lutheran school for 2.5 years while I taught there. She attended 5th-  the first semester of 7th grade. We pulled her out when it became obvious that the teacher was completely incompetent in mathematics, and we would be teaching this at home. The 8th grade teacher, a very talented, amazing instructor, said to us, "Good. Keep her home. Don't return her to any school. School will ruin her mind." That was from a teacher in a school that is highly regarded to have some of the best standards in a five county radius and if it were not parochial and were ranked with other schools would be in the top 10% in the nation. So, that top 10% of students of Michigan...if they can't afford the Classical Latin school in Grand Rapids, Cranbrook in Detroit, West Bloomfield, The Saginaw Academy of Science and Arts, etc. (that one is a public charter so it's free and they do a pretty good job with math and science - auditions and testing required to get in the door to begin with so they deal with a select group of students), they are out of luck. Except for some of these very, very few schools (Cranbrook runs around $30,000.00 a year in tuition, ouch) the top students in this state get just about nothing. The only thing I know of in the UP is that MTU is active with high schoolers in the Houghton/Hancock school district and even have research opportunities for them which are directed by grad school students. There are some mentoring options and coursework on campus choices as well as science, math, and archaeology clubs. Outside of these rare options and the good fortune of geographical proximity to them, mostly this state is an educational desert.

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The hs kids I know (and most are in IB programs) have a really hard time connecting the things they have learned about to a new work or new idea without specific guidance.  And I know that the IB program is supposed to give them those skills-but it does not seem to be working. They wait to be guided and told what to think. 

 

 

I've been thinking about this, because the IB as I see it taught here - leading to the same exams - does leave space for innovative thinking.  I have been wondering whether the cramming in the US is a product of previous learning in schools.  In the UK, you start the IB at sixteen.  At that point you will already have completed the rough equivalent of an SAT subject test, but with essay questions, in all the subjects that you will then study for the IB.  You are not trying, for example, to go from zero to IB in physics in two years - you will already have studied physics for two years.  I can't imagine doing the IB from scratch in two years, except in those subjects where it is specifically designed for that - ab initio in a foreign language, for example.

 

L

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My posted quoted the following:

 

 When I said the losers were kids who didn't play the admissions game, I was referring to the kids who didn't have pages of extra-curricular activities/sports with lots of leadership roles or Varsity letters  but are deep critical thinkers.   When admissions folks place a higher emphasis on pages of outside involvement, etc, then that is what the "players" are going to "perform."     I think that GGardner's pt is a direct hit.......I'm sure the ranter could careless about what extracurricular activities his students were involved in high school and is more interested in if they can think.

Admissions goals versus departmental goals...

 

The most selective schools should be able to fill the incoming class with the all of the above type who will demonstrate a record of outstanding academic performance and a full array of extracurricular accomplishments.  Thus, this would be a bigger issue for those schools that may be at the next level of selectivity?

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Admissions goals versus departmental goals...

 

The most selective schools should be able to fill the incoming class with the all of the above type who will demonstrate a record of outstanding academic performance and a full array of extracurricular accomplishments.  Thus, this would be a bigger issue for those schools that may be at the next level of selectivity?

 

FWIW, my impression of late is that for the highly selective schools, it would be more important to show deeper involvement (a passion/hook) than to have a broad array of activities.  This impression comes from that MIT blog and things that Rusczyk says (he has been a local interviewer for Princeton; see also the college admissions math jam transcripts at AoPS though of course those are geared toward math kids).  Do you think that a student needs both a deeper involvement and the broad array?  They seem possibly to be mutually exclusive...

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I've been thinking about this, because the IB as I see it taught here - leading to the same exams - does leave space for innovative thinking.  I have been wondering whether the cramming in the US is a product of previous learning in schools.  In the UK, you start the IB at sixteen.  At that point you will already have completed the rough equivalent of an SAT subject test, but with essay questions, in all the subjects that you will then study for the IB.  You are not trying, for example, to go from zero to IB in physics in two years - you will already have studied physics for two years.  I can't imagine doing the IB from scratch in two years, except in those subjects where it is specifically designed for that - ab initio in a foreign language, for example.

 

L

I suspect some of it is geographical.  Although it varies a great deal from district to district in the US, our local district has IB themed middle schools, with feeder elementary schools to those which emphasis IB elements.  Students can attend the IB high schools without having attended the middle school feeder, but a sizable chunk start early in the process.  A big trend locally is for IB students to take AP classes in addition to their IB workload.  The thing is these kids generally are not exposed to a great deal of diversity anywhere along the way and a great deal of the program's strengths are lost to it all being more theorectical than practical and real for them. 

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Admissions goals versus departmental goals...

 

The most selective schools should be able to fill the incoming class with the all of the above type who will demonstrate a record of outstanding academic performance and a full array of extracurricular accomplishments. Thus, this would be a bigger issue for those schools that may be at the next level of selectivity?

Hmmm. I guess the question is how do they filter for students who love a challenge and love to think vs. simply students that test well and have lots of leadership roles?

 

I hadn't really thought of it in such simplistic terms, but now that you mention it, there is a distinct difference in the "language" the different schools speak. The highly selective schools schools speak with a vocabulary that includes Ross, Promys, ISSYP, RSI, SSP, Math Camp, AoPS, AIME, etc. When you visit the next level of selectivity, those programs mean nothing to them bc they are simply not aware of them.

 

Maybe that is a level of filter?

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Hmmm. I guess the question is how do they filter for students who love a challenge and love to think vs. simply students that test well and have lots of leadership roles?

 

I hadn't really thought of it in such simplistic terms, but now that you mention it, there is a distinct difference in the "language" the different schools speak. The highly selective schools schools speak with a vocabulary that includes Ross, Promys, ISSYP, RSI, SSP, Math Camp, AoPS, AIME, etc. When you visit the next level of selectivity, those programs mean nothing to them bc they are simply not aware of them.

 

Maybe that is a level of filter?

 

Top schools are selecting deep thinkers who don't have a broad array of activities. Trust me, I had one!! My son was quite the homebody with only Scouting and some church stuff and piano for school year ECs. He only outsourced 1 PA Homeschooler class, 3 AoPS classes, & 1 Write @ Home. You couldn't have budged him into doing more regardless of how hard you tried. He's a very modest and soft-spoken boy who preferred thinking during solitary runs on the local trails to joining sports teams. We respected his need for quiet reflection.

 

BUT... you have to demonstrate that deep thinking with some sort of results, kwim? Or with participation in those olympiads and summer camps you listed. My son lived for Mathcamp and USACO...OR it could be research with a local prof, science fair, etc....

 

You can't fill a whole class with this kind of kid, though. What I'm seeing at the top schools is that they're selecting some of these kids and also a broad array of others, too. There's a spot for the pointy theoretician AND a spot for the well rounded generalist who's got the long list of leadership & ECs.

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I suspect some of it is geographical.  Although it varies a great deal from district to district in the US, our local district has IB themed middle schools, with feeder elementary schools to those which emphasis IB elements.  Students can attend the IB high schools without having attended the middle school feeder, but a sizable chunk start early in the process.  A big trend locally is for IB students to take AP classes in addition to their IB workload.  The thing is these kids generally are not exposed to a great deal of diversity anywhere along the way and a great deal of the program's strengths are lost to it all being more theorectical than practical and real for them. 

 

What type of diversity do you see missing?

 

Is IB open admission in your district?

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Admissions goals versus departmental goals...

 

Exactly.  I don't understand why they are so disconnected.  With the hindsight I have now, had I been in 8's shoes in this interview, I would have liked to ask the Dean. "Well, if you don't like the caliber of students that the admissions department is selecting for you, what are you doing to change the admissions process?  Do the admissions folks even know that you are unhappy with what they are providing?"

 

I wonder how many public schooling problems are driven by the college admissions process, and the desire to build up a "perfect" resume for college admissions.  The admissions game isn't just about selecting some students from a pool, it also has a large influence on what the students do.

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Kathy, yes!   There is room for all and each have their niche and each contributes to the college community as a whole.  There's also room for those who prefer to participate rather than lead.  Participants, people who can be part of a team, are needed too. 

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