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  #1  
Old 05-31-2010, 12:51 AM
stonewall50 stonewall50 is offline
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A REAL Education Discussion

Let's try to focus on the real issues in education now, instead of how some of you have no life and want to just get high all the time(sad).

I think one of the biggest problems right now is that the Federal government wants to make all of these policies for education. The standardized test thing that people love to blame on Bush, comes from before him. It was made by Bush SR(if I am not mistaken) and supported by Clinton(with minor changes). This whole issue of the democrats are doing THIS wrong, and the republicans did THAT wrong. All of that is ruining the education system.

The fact is that the if the Federal government wants to do any real good they would get rid of ALL beuracratic positions dealing with how to deal with education and would only dole out money. States with worse education get more money. That money would of course syphon to areas that need it the most, but not in our current system where school money is based on property tax. Any time someone votes to raise property tax on the rich, they don't realize that that property tax won't go to their school district. It goes to the rich school district. The best idea would be to reduce the amount of schools in areas where schools are underpopulated, and to edit spending so that property taxes for schools went out according to school performance.

People said there was too much focus on empirical data, but the fact is that this data is an invaluable tool that can be used. Graduation rates and all of these numbers are important to recognize how poorly a school is doing. The ACT/SAT scores tell a student where they rank on a national average, and if a school sees that its students do NOT rate highly on a national average then they might want to increase performance.

Maybe we should stop talking about religion needing to be out of school and get politics the hell out of it because all they want to do is change policies around and make themselves look like the good guys.
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  #2  
Old 05-31-2010, 02:12 AM
andy_amfad andy_amfad is offline
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i think the biggest problem is simply a theoretical catch 22 situation. I'm not American, i am speaking as a product of the British education system, but i think that what i am saying is universal.


A government wants high performance schools. So do most people. These are the steps that must be taken:
1) identify which schools are underperforming.
2)See where the problem with these schools lies
3)Adjust budget/policy accordingly.

Step 1 basically means creating a statistics based curriculum. The more carefully you want to measure a school, the more tests the schools and pupils must do. This creates a chain of undesired events.
At the school end of things:

1) We must survive as a school
2) The only thing we need to do to be seen as a good school is teach the material which is on the tests, and teach it so well even a parrot could repeat it back to us.
3) Everyone forgets about education.


Sure a small effort is made to get the pupil to think for themselves, but those who do not are not punished, so long as they are good at repeating themselves.


What i am saying is that to blame the government for this is simply stupid. It is a theoretical problem with trying to set a standard for education, and that standard is something that most people would say that they want.

Aside from that point:
The one question i found myself asking at school was "why am i being made to learn this?"

the only answer i ever got was "So you can get a good job".

There's something missing here and that is passion and care. Learning to pass a test to get a job to have lots of money to die rich is a very good way to forget about about life, but most children do not want to forget about life, they want to live it.
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  #3  
Old 05-31-2010, 04:22 AM
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First of all, why is the Federal government even in the business of worrying about education? That is the role of local and State governments.

Second of all, it is not the passing of tests that should be focused on it is the actual studies of the subjects that should be focused. Why are we worried about what other nations are doing? We should be focused on a general based education for our youngsters, THEN when they get to university/college level they should worry about specifics of what their careers are going to be.
What they should be worried about in school is these subjects:

Math
History(US and World history)
Science(biology, chemistry, physics)
Reading/writing
government(learning about the constitution and parts of the government)

That is all they need to know before finishing high school(secondary education). Sure there will be different levels in different subjects.
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Old 05-31-2010, 11:51 AM
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From three posts we can already see that the main problem with education systems is that there are so many (different) opinions on it. In reality education systems do not benefit from being messed around with too much, and changes take time to have an effect that can be properly assessed. We need to look to Finland to see an absolutely world class education system. Although Finland has a small population the basic principles are there. Most importantly the Finlanders recognise the education should be integrated into wider society to do what it should do: arm kids with the knowledge and skills they need to become productive members of society (economically, socially and politically).

Here are five reasons, why Finnish people have been, and are successful:

* Quality education with equal opportunity
* High level of investments in R&D for technology development
* Good regulatory framework and efficient public service
* Open economy: competition has to prevail
* Social model: social market economy, welfare society

Another important aspect of their system is that the teaching profession is really emphasised, in other words its vital to ensure the teachers are properly trained. Based on the case study of Finland I reckon three themes come up to improve education:
Less focus on exams and more on actual learning, A greater emphasis on teacher education and less on a centralised curriculum, and make sure the budget is spent efficiently, less money on fancy buildings and more on actual equipment (my university really needs to focus on the last one grr)
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  #5  
Old 05-31-2010, 08:01 PM
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Symptom777 Symptom777 is offline
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Money is the key here. Two aspects:
1) The state uses education to try and generate workers; they involve businesses to determine what kind of economic units to turn out. "To get a good job" is a real suck thing to say to a kid who asks why. The answer should be "to understand as much as you can about the world you live in".

2) Money flows the wrong way. Schools are either punished for doing well, by giving a bigger slice of funding to bad performing schools, or else they are punished for being underfunded by getting even less money - and these two methods swing around every time the government changes from socialist (or democratic) to conservative (or republican).

Then on top of this we have observer selection effects. If you are an accountant you probably have a bias towards accountancy , an Engineer has bias towards engineering, an artist towards the arts, and so on. What is it important to teach? What I learned. What is the right way to teach? How I was taught.
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  #6  
Old 05-31-2010, 11:51 PM
stonewall50 stonewall50 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by free tibet View Post
From three posts we can already see that the main problem with education systems is that there are so many (different) opinions on it. In reality education systems do not benefit from being messed around with too much, and changes take time to have an effect that can be properly assessed. We need to look to Finland to see an absolutely world class education system. Although Finland has a small population the basic principles are there. Most importantly the Finlanders recognise the education should be integrated into wider society to do what it should do: arm kids with the knowledge and skills they need to become productive members of society (economically, socially and politically).

Here are five reasons, why Finnish people have been, and are successful:

* Quality education with equal opportunity
* High level of investments in R&D for technology development
* Good regulatory framework and efficient public service
* Open economy: competition has to prevail
* Social model: social market economy, welfare society

Another important aspect of their system is that the teaching profession is really emphasised, in other words its vital to ensure the teachers are properly trained. Based on the case study of Finland I reckon three themes come up to improve education:
Less focus on exams and more on actual learning, A greater emphasis on teacher education and less on a centralised curriculum, and make sure the budget is spent efficiently, less money on fancy buildings and more on actual equipment (my university really needs to focus on the last one grr)
While I like some of the ideas of Finland, I would have to say that for the United States to attempt to base an education system off of countries FAR smaller is a bad idea. That is why I feel that the US trying to do universal health care is a bad idea. We simply have TOO many people.

But back to the Finland idea. You say less exams, but the reality is that proper and frequent exams can actually help a student to retain information. Of course learning is VERY stylized to an indvidual learner, but this is fairly true for most learners.

But also I would say that a centralized curriculum does not exist in the United States. The last issue you pointed out about money, that is a major issue with our education. The problem is that our schools suffer from poor building structures and not enough room for students(we have many students). I think that technology is important, but you only need so much of it before it becomes overused. You still need to have Art and Physical Education in school.

But you are right in that education systems are messed with too much. I think that it is important to recognize that the closer the level of government is to the area the better able they would be to dictate where the money goes. I think the feds need to stay out and just hand money.
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  #7  
Old 06-01-2010, 11:15 AM
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Nef Raven Nef Raven is offline
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Quote:
"What is it important to teach? What I learned. What is the right way to teach? How I was taught."
That is your perspective. We appreciate your contribution. Most would prefer to agree they had the best teachers in the world and most of the excellent teachers I know can even name some of the teachers they had straight through elementary school. It is not a requirement to be a dedicated, hard-working, reliable teacher but it is classified as personal educational experience and it can be quite useful when someone wants to pick an approach from the many that teacher's use.. We all know something about it, of course.

(The entire post is neat. These four sentences kind of tickled me a little bit.)


Thank you.
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  #8  
Old 06-02-2010, 10:35 PM
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PoseidonsNet PoseidonsNet is offline
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Well my teachers were all psychopathic nazis,
so I educated myself.

Whilst smoking infinite cannabis attained distinctions in school
in maths and science whilst being beaten regularly and trained to kill
anything that was not white.

Thereafter I attended university, smoking infinite reefer and got distinctions in :
computers, philosophy, psychology, linguistics

so mr Stonewall, I expect all your education sucked even worse than
my helluva education because you are frightened of your own mind
and what lies therein

and i invented this
http://www.poseidons.net/air-wheel/a...ive-flight.htm

despite my teachers being of that quality which could be seen to be
worse than
zombies-from-mars-who-suck-your-brains-for-breakfast

so yeah to free will
and burn the schools to the ground
for they only teach children to be in regiments
ripe for cannon fodder

long live the internet

WE DON'T NEED NO THOUGHT CONTROL
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