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Thread: Education

  1. #51
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    Re: Education

    College Affordability. Stafford Loans and PLUS loans did nothing to make college more affordable. Quite the opposite. With more money in the education marketplace, costs rose. The loans made secondary education more accessible, but saddled a generation with horrific student debt. There's an outcry on the Left to make college "free" for everyone. I see this is taking the failing K-12 model, and extending it to a sure-to-fail K-16 model.


    One reason college is so expensive is that their primary goal is NOT to educate its students. A public school teacher spends far more time in a classroom than an instructor at most colleges. The goal is getting research grants and getting published. The priorities need to be straightened out before we use tax dollars to send kids to colleges and universities with motivations other than student achievement.


    I've mentioned this elsewhere, but as a Service Academy graduate, I owed a five-year commitment to the military in exchange for my 100% taxpayer-paid education. I think this was a reasonable arrangement, and I think it ought to be the means toward paying for college degrees that certainly cannot be "free."


    For every year of taxpayer-funded education beyond High School (whether it be college or trade school), you should owe a year of service. Not necessarily military service, but I'm talking about putting your skills to use somewhere that it's needed. You go to school to become a doctor or nurse, you're going to need to practice for a few years on a Navajo Reservation in Arizona or a small community in Appalachia before you set out on your own. Teacher? Welcome to small town North Dakota for a few years. Culinary School? You can work on school lunches somewhere before you set your sights on opening a restaurant. Obviously, you'll get paid for this service, but it might be lower than your ultimate goal, and it might be in a location other than where you hope to live. Finish that obligation? You can either stay, or move to where you actually want to be.


    I don't see a loser here. Those who can afford to continue their education can do so. Those who need help, get that help, and then fulfill a need somewhere before cashing in. The end result is not only an education, but some relevant experience.

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  2. #52

    Re: Education

    You basically went to an elite private college and owed five years for it. A kid that goes to junior college or a state school should not have that same level of obligation. Wealthy kids will get to go to better schools then grab the best entry level jobs in a field. Poor kids will no longer be offered financial aid (because why should they be?) and will have to take what they're given where they're given it. I'd be in favor of some level of pay back but what you're suggesting is way to extreme, widens the gap between the haves and the have nots, and pushes us ever closer to a caste system.

  3. #53
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post
    One reason college is so expensive is that their primary goal is NOT to educate its students. A public school teacher spends far more time in a classroom than an instructor at most colleges. The goal is getting research grants and getting published. The priorities need to be straightened out before we use tax dollars to send kids to colleges and universities with motivations other than student achievement.
    Depends on the college and the model.

    UCBerkeley where my wife works is pretty much exactly as you describe. And yet it have the awesome rep as a "world class institution." Which is why my son chose to go to Cal-Poly-Slo over UCB despite being accepted to both.
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  4. #54

    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Yankee Tripper View Post
    Depends on the college and the model.

    UCBerkeley where my wife works is pretty much exactly as you describe. And yet it have the awesome rep as a "world class institution." Which is why my son chose to go to Cal-Poly-Slo over UCB despite being accepted to both.
    Yeah. I think Maynerd is using some really broad brushes here in the past couple of posts.

  5. #55
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Texsahara View Post
    You basically went to an elite private college and owed five years for it. A kid that goes to junior college or a state school should not have that same level of obligation. Wealthy kids will get to go to better schools then grab the best entry level jobs in a field. Poor kids will no longer be offered financial aid (because why should they be?) and will have to take what they're given where they're given it. I'd be in favor of some level of pay back but what you're suggesting is way to extreme, widens the gap between the haves and the have nots, and pushes us ever closer to a caste system.
    I know. I know. And, I was hardly paid poverty wages for those five years. The motivation, though, was to expose me to a culture with the desire to keep me beyond those five years. It worked. I didn't retire until shortly before completing twenty one years in uniform. If a one-year-for-one year "payback" is unreasonable, fine. Make it one year service for every two years of schooling. Whatever. I'm just saying that instead of clamoring for "free" college, there should be an expectation of payback via service (rather than payback via student debt).


    As for the wealthy kids getting the best entry-level jobs, I disagree. When I'm hiring someone, I frequently shy away from brand-new college graduates. I'd rather have someone with maybe a little less formal education, but a little more relevant experience. A scheme involving service in lieu of paying for formal education provides that relevant experience in addition to the education piece.


    I'm not suggesting indentured servitude. I'm suggesting paying back the taxpayer who footed your bill by fulfilling a societal need. I'd think a few years of work (with pay) in a less desirable location would be far more palatable than graduating with tens of thousands of dollars in student debt.

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  6. #56

    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by ajra21 View Post
    whenever parents of young children (3 to 5yo) asked me how best to support their kid in school, my standard response was:
    - teach them how to sit.
    - teach them how to listen.
    - teach them how to read.

    it might sound basic, it might even seem dismissive but if parents can do that, the next fifteen years are gonna be easy for their kid. i can do the rest. as they get older, there will be more stuff for the parent to do.

    around 65% of the jobs our children will do as an adult do not currently exist. the only way to prepare them for the unknown is to develop their skills & thinking. knowledge & fact based learning is significantly less successful at producing successful adults.

    don't get me wrong, knowing the fundamentals of the civil war has it's place. but it's better that a child develops the skills to inform themselves. teachers & parents who teach knowledge & facts alone limit the student/child to their own knowledge & facts. teachers & parents who develop the child's skills & critical thinking will produce self-learners. self-learners are consistently the most effective & productive people in society.
    You sound like an exceptional educator. Passion for teaching comes through in all your posts.
    I know I sound very selfish but boy am I ever glad you're in our country instead of the UK.

  7. #57
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Texsahara View Post
    Yeah. I think Maynerd is using some really broad brushes here in the past couple of posts.
    Of course I am. One college is not the same as the other. But, am I wrong that there's a "publish or perish" culture in an increasing number of college faculties? And if so, why should my tax dollars go to pay for a kid to go to such a college? I'm told that in this day and age, a kid with a college degree is of greater use to society. Then, shouldn't most of our colleges be primarily interested in educating the kids, rather than writing textbooks?


    I'm a taxpayer. I went to public schools, as did my kids. 60-something people tend to vote against school taxes, because they don't have kids in school, and they defeat a lot of proposals. I'm one of those 60-something people, yet I tend to vote for increases that will benefit our public schools. I'm willing to consider backing the use of my tax dollars to send kids to college. Is it really so wrong for me to expect the college that's financially benefitting from focusing the vast majority of its resources to providing that instruction? Is it wrong for me to have an expectation that the kid who receives this "free" education provides a service to society before lining his own pocketbook?


    If I'm painting with a broad brush, sorry. But, if you want to reach into MY wallet to send more kids to college, or to let those who go graduate debt-free, I'd like to see the colleges investing their revenue more to the students than research or staff publication goals, and I'd like to see the students contribute to societal needs before their own personal goals. I don't think that's unreasonable.

    "But what people tend to forget...is that being a Yankee is as much about character as it is about performance; as much about who you are as what you do."
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  8. #58
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post
    I know. I know. And, I was hardly paid poverty wages for those five years. The motivation, though, was to expose me to a culture with the desire to keep me beyond those five years. It worked. I didn't retire until shortly before completing twenty one years in uniform. If a one-year-for-one year "payback" is unreasonable, fine. Make it one year service for every two years of schooling. Whatever. I'm just saying that instead of clamoring for "free" college, there should be an expectation of payback via service (rather than payback via student debt).
    I would not oppose a model that required some sort of "payback". I suspect many would support such an idea. If I'm not mistaken I believe it has been brought up that it was one aspect of the Hillary Plan.

    As for the wealthy kids getting the best entry-level jobs, I disagree. When I'm hiring someone, I frequently shy away from brand-new college graduates. I'd rather have someone with maybe a little less formal education, but a little more relevant experience. A scheme involving service in lieu of paying for formal education provides that relevant experience in addition to the education piece.
    Come on it's still more who you know than what you know in many career paths. Obviously not every business and career path.

    I'm not suggesting indentured servitude. I'm suggesting paying back the taxpayer who footed your bill by fulfilling a societal need. I'd think a few years of work (with pay) in a less desirable location would be far more palatable than graduating with tens of thousands of dollars in student debt.
    And I think you'd find a lot of support for that model.

    On a semi-related note my Bother In Law is an orthopedic surgeon in an area of the country he never would have chose on his own if it hadn't been for fact that part of his 5 year commitment to the hospital was retiring his not insubstantial debt racked up in medical school. Now he's pretty much set there and probably not moving anytime soon.
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  9. #59

    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post
    Of course I am. One college is not the same as the other. But, am I wrong that there's a "publish or perish" culture in an increasing number of college faculties? And if so, why should my tax dollars go to pay for a kid to go to such a college? I'm told that in this day and age, a kid with a college degree is of greater use to society. Then, shouldn't most of our colleges be primarily interested in educating the kids, rather than writing textbooks?


    I'm a taxpayer. I went to public schools, as did my kids. 60-something people tend to vote against school taxes, because they don't have kids in school, and they defeat a lot of proposals. I'm one of those 60-something people, yet I tend to vote for increases that will benefit our public schools. I'm willing to consider backing the use of my tax dollars to send kids to college. Is it really so wrong for me to expect the college that's financially benefitting from focusing the vast majority of its resources to providing that instruction? Is it wrong for me to have an expectation that the kid who receives this "free" education provides a service to society before lining his own pocketbook?


    If I'm painting with a broad brush, sorry. But, if you want to reach into MY wallet to send more kids to college, or to let those who go graduate debt-free, I'd like to see the colleges investing their revenue more to the students than research or staff publication goals, and I'd like to see the students contribute to societal needs before their own personal goals. I don't think that's unreasonable.
    I think that academic research is incredibly important to the universities, the professors and to the students. Nearly all of the knowledge, theories, models, etc found in textbooks comes from university research. Practitioners would never be able to conduct the level of research needed to provide the broad amount of knowledge that should be taught in college. I also think there is a symbiotic relationship between research, teaching and learning that is of primary importance at the university level. Research is what separates lifelong learning from simply career training. I remember early on in college being told that great learners make the best teachers. I believe it and think that research is the baseline.

  10. #60
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Texsahara View Post
    I think that academic research is incredibly important to the universities, the professors and to the students. Nearly all of the knowledge, theories, models, etc found in textbooks comes from university research. Practitioners would never be able to conduct the level of research needed to provide the broad amount of knowledge that should be taught in college. I also think there is a symbiotic relationship between research, teaching and learning that is of primary importance at the university level. Research is what separates lifelong learning from simply career training. I remember early on in college being told that great learners make the best teachers. I believe it and think that research is the baseline.
    I fully believe academia is the obvious location for expanding the sum of what we know. Yes, research ought to a part of what colleges do, but we've gone overboard. We use the undergraduate student's tuition to fund the research. What's the reasonable ratio for a University faculty member, as far as time spent on research to time spent in the classroom? I think if we're to rely on the taxpayer to pay the Undergrad's bill, most of that money needs to be going to the classroom. The system, as currently executed, is badly inefficient, which is why it's so expensive.

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  11. #61
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post
    I fully believe academia is the obvious location for expanding the sum of what we know. Yes, research ought to a part of what colleges do, but we've gone overboard. We use the undergraduate student's tuition to fund the research. What's the reasonable ratio for a University faculty member, as far as time spent on research to time spent in the classroom? I think if we're to rely on the taxpayer to pay the Undergrad's bill, most of that money needs to be going to the classroom. The system, as currently executed, is badly inefficient, which is why it's so expensive.
    Again that seems like something that could be fixed in the "Free Education Bill" or whatever the hell it might be called.

    Either "free education doesn't extend to research institutions" i think that would be short sighted or set some "minimum teaching requirements for professors" and don't let them buy out teach time with grant money.

    What you are addressing is just one small piece of a big puzzle and seem to be saying "well this piece is broke let's throw the whole thing out"

    I could be misreading it but that's kind of the feeling I personally get reading your posts on the subject. Not sure if that is your intent or not but it is how it comes off to me. I'm not saying I'm right I'm just giving my perspective on how your posts on education read to me.
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  12. #62
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Yankee Tripper View Post
    What you are addressing is just one small piece of a big puzzle and seem to be saying "well this piece is broke let's throw the whole thing out"

    I could be misreading it but that's kind of the feeling I personally get reading your posts on the subject. Not sure if that is your intent or not but it is how it comes off to me. I'm not saying I'm right I'm just giving my perspective on how your posts on education read to me.
    I don't want to throw the whole thing out. But, I want an acknowledgement from within the education industry that what we're currently doing isn't working. We need outside-the-box solutions to the problems.


    When our public education system is producing High School graduates who can't read, the last thing we need to do is extend "public" education to include four years of college. If what we do in the first 13 years isn't working, why should we add four additional years?


    Again, I'm more supportive than most conservatives of using tax dollars to fund higher education (both college and vocational), but I'd like to see a service obligation, as I've outlined earlier. That's not suggesting we throw the whole thing out; it's suggesting we make it an investment of sorts, rather than simply a financial outlay. Use these resources to help with that infrastructure thing we keep hearing about.


    Similarly, I don't want to throw the whole thing out regarding K-12 education, but I'd like there to be certain educational standards to advance from grade to grade, rather than simply doing it by age. Teachers steadfastly reject accountability standards to achieve tenure. I don't blame them. Because, until the kids have standards against which they'll be held accountable, it's insanity to hold the teachers accountable. So, I'm not advocating throwing anything out; I'm proposing we do it differently.


    I take a great interest in education. That's why I opened a stand-alone thread. But, I don't think our currently-constructed federal Department of Education represents a solution to a very real problem, and I don't think that restricting education to people with education degrees is going to get us anything more than we're getting today.


    A great many schools are failing in their only purpose: educating America's young. We need to stop doing things the same way we've always done them if we want to get different results.

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  13. #63
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    Re: Education

    Thanks. Maynerd your perspective helps. I hope you didn't take my last post as an attack on you. It wasn't meant to be. Just wanted a frame for discussion.

    I agree there are problems with the current system. I probably disagree with what those fixes should be as my solutions would generally involve more money going towards education, especially in disadvantaged places where the dollars simply aren't there.

    My feeling is if we can throw $15B that is this monstrosity http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the...be-close-15206 we should easily be able to throw 10 times that at education.
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  14. #64
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Yankee Tripper View Post
    Thanks. Maynerd your perspective helps. I hope you didn't take my last post as an attack on you. It wasn't meant to be. Just wanted a frame for discussion.
    Understood. No worries.

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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post
    Understood. No worries.
    I think we'd all like a better more functional education system that actually does a good job teaching kids and preparing them for the "the real world".

    We probably all have different views of what that should be and how to get there.

    My strong feelings are we should work to fix what's broken in the current system and not come-up with a redundant and expensive parallel system.
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  16. #66
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post
    We use the undergraduate student's tuition to fund the research.
    That may be partly true, but academic researchers have to spend much of their time hunting down funding. Being able to write a good grant proposal is probably a more important skill than being able to write a good paper.


    Also, graduate students do a lot of the research work and serve as TAs, all for a pittance.
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  17. #67
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    Also, graduate students do a lot of the research work and serve as TAs, all for a pittance.
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  18. #68
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Yankee Tripper View Post
    My strong feelings are we should work to fix what's broken in the current system and not come-up with a redundant and expensive parallel system.
    I'd agree, if I thought that was at all achievable.


    I suspect the one lesson a lot of kids learn early on is that they can be complete failures in third grade, and the end result is that they'll get "promoted" to fourth grade. Unless and until parents get involved in their kids' education (rather than treat the school as a babysitter), there's no incentive for those kids to receive instruction. So they sit there, bored and disruptive.


    A generation ago, a kid who couldn't meet the standards of a certain grade level would be left behind to do it again. Two generations ago, a kid who excelled might even skip a grade and go from 4th Grade all the way to 6th. But, without any formal changes to "the current system" these practices are all but unheard of today. What changed? The way we teach our teachers. As long as we teach our future teachers that what we're doing today is the only way things can be done, we're not going to see fundamental change to what happens inside the classroom.


    And, that frightens me, more than a little.

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  19. #69
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    Also, graduate students do a lot of the research work and serve as TAs, all for a pittance.
    So, as a parent, you pay a small fortune to send your kid to a top-notch school, and that money goes to pay for the research being done by the top-notch faculty, while a graduate student receiving just a pittance carries the teaching load. How is that an acceptable model?

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  20. #70
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post
    So, as a parent, you pay a small fortune to send your kid to a top-notch school, and that money goes to pay for the research being done by the top-notch faculty, while a graduate student receiving just a pittance carries the teaching load. How is that an acceptable model?
    It's not. That's why both my kids go to schools where that is not the model.
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  21. #71
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post
    I'd agree, if I thought that was at all achievable.
    I believe we can.

    I suspect the one lesson a lot of kids learn early on is that they can be complete failures in third grade, and the end result is that they'll get "promoted" to fourth grade. Unless and until parents get involved in their kids' education (rather than treat the school as a babysitter), there's no incentive for those kids to receive instruction. So they sit there, bored and disruptive.
    That's sad. I hope not.

    But your point about parental involvement is spot on. But how do you force that parental involvement? and what if it is an illiterate or semi-literate single parent working long hours and ill equipt to provide the home support the child needs?


    A generation ago, a kid who couldn't meet the standards of a certain grade level would be left behind to do it again. Two generations ago, a kid who excelled might even skip a grade and go from 4th Grade all the way to 6th. But, without any formal changes to "the current system" these practices are all but unheard of today. What changed? The way we teach our teachers. As long as we teach our future teachers that what we're doing today is the only way things can be done, we're not going to see fundamental change to what happens inside the classroom.
    I don't know. And I don't know if retention rates (holding a kid back) is the same, more or less than it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago.

    And, that frightens me, more than a little.
    School board members who get on the board to actively fight science frighten me. But that's a separate issue and goes more towards the standards.
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  22. #72

    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post
    I'd agree, if I thought that was at all achievable.


    I suspect the one lesson a lot of kids learn early on is that they can be complete failures in third grade, and the end result is that they'll get "promoted" to fourth grade. Unless and until parents get involved in their kids' education (rather than treat the school as a babysitter), there's no incentive for those kids to receive instruction. So they sit there, bored and disruptive.


    A generation ago, a kid who couldn't meet the standards of a certain grade level would be left behind to do it again. Two generations ago, a kid who excelled might even skip a grade and go from 4th Grade all the way to 6th. But, without any formal changes to "the current system" these practices are all but unheard of today. What changed? The way we teach our teachers. As long as we teach our future teachers that what we're doing today is the only way things can be done, we're not going to see fundamental change to what happens inside the classroom.


    And, that frightens me, more than a little.
    If you think that improved parental participation is a requirement for success, you've already lost. Yes, there are interested and involved parents but there are also disinterested parents, uneducated parents, parents working two jobs, single, working parents with multiple kids, parents that don't speak english, etc. Schools have to find ways to teach those kids. They should not be denied a good education because of the circumstances of birth.

    I think you are much more negative about schools, teachers, and kids than I am. Yes, there is a lot of work to be done. We should do a much better job than we do. But at the same time, I don't completely buy into the "broken system" narrative. I'm not sure exactly what you mean when you say "a generation ago" but unless I'm misreading, things haven't changed much since the early 70s. Which I don't think is acceptable but not the gloom and doom that I expected to find either.

    https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcar...df/2013456.pdf

    Both 9- and 13-year-olds scored higher in reading and mathematics in 2012 than students their age in the early 1970s ( gure A). Scores were 8 to 25 points higher in 2012 than in the rst assessment year. Seventeen-year-olds, however, did not show similar gains. Average reading and mathematics scores in 2012 for 17-year-olds were not signi cantly di erent from scores in the rst assessment year.

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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Maynerd View Post

    A generation ago, a kid who couldn't meet the standards of a certain grade level would be left behind to do it again. Two generations ago, a kid who excelled might even skip a grade and go from 4th Grade all the way to 6th. But, without any formal changes to "the current system" these practices are all but unheard of today. What changed?
    Is there any long-term evidence that these rates have changed in an appreciable way that you can point me to?
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Soriambi View Post
    Is there any long-term evidence that these rates have changed in an appreciable way that you can point me to?
    No, but anecdotally I can state that I flunked kindergarten in 1958 and had to repeat. Still not sure why. The only thing I really failed at was naptime. I never once got a star for actually falling asleep. Only one in the class.
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    Re: Education

    Quote Originally Posted by ajra21 View Post
    i've taught in six different schools in two countries. mostly state schools but one private. also have dozens of colleagues with their experiences. i've spent time in american schools too. the difference is minimal. i'd say the US is around five to seven years behind western europe in terms of the consistent use of cutting edge practices & general modern education. most US public schools are in the second stage of modernising. i went though this stage in around 2010 in the UK. the dutch, scandinavians & germans went through it in around 2004-2006.

    - - - -

    less economically well off areas (like you've stated above) are not a large sample size of state schools. their issues are well known and will obviously impact the education of the students. not because they attend a state school but because of the difficulties they face in everyday life.

    class size isn't the only thing but it's about 75% to 85% of it. i've seen fairy crappy teachers get good results with small classes. i've seen damn good teachers struggle with large classes. like i said, face-to-face time is the single biggest component of education for a child.

    as for the bolded paragraph: having smaller class sizes will directly effect how well resources are used. pretty much any modern teacher can get kids to use their resources but being able to sit with a small group of children with there book, tool, material etc is always going to be more effective than doing the exact same thing at the front of a classroom of 25 to 30. perhaps my most challenging class was teaching mathematics to 36 above average 8-9yo. not a single below average kid in the class.
    I still have no idea where you've taught before. Where have you taught? You know, as in specific countries, states, cities, etc.

    If class size is 75-85% of the equation, then I guess that anyone on this board could replace you as a teacher? After all, whatever a teacher brings to the table, such as skills, experience, degree, knowledge of the topic at hand, shouldn't be of much importance, correct?

    I also think that it's far more respect to say things such as "I disagree" or "I strongly disagree", "I couldn't disagree more", than to say "you're wrong". I have no idea who else on this board you say that they're wrong, but a little respect goes a long way.
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

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