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A simple parable for the Wisconsin news
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1941

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote

Quote:
Of course self esteem is important.........I didn't suggest otherwise. What I did suggest is that self esteem in students should be built as a result of learning and academic achievement.........not from policies and practices that make students feel good about themselves until they encounter the real world where they are expected to perform. That's why I said......


This, of course, is the ideal. The little town where I live has gone to an "expendentiary" curriculum where students focus on a topic and then apply subject matter (math, science, writing) in their "project".

The students seem to really like it; but I have to wonder if the time would not be better spent in more rigorous study of the subjects to achieve a solid basis for higher education and career.

Regarding discipline and political correctness - I agree. I know teachers who are less likely to punish a rowdy minority or poor kid than a white, middle class kid for fear of being discriminatory. This is not fair to put teachers in this conflicted position.


Last edited by coboardhead on Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1941

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac -

Could some of the difference in scores in US students be based, not on the quality of the educational system, but the quantity?

In this country, the school year is nine months (180 days). Most other industrial nations have year round curriculum with shorter, and more frequent breaks. Japanese students attend school 240 days per year.

I had an employee, a Dutchman, who was appalled at the idea of his child spending thrre months with no defined schedule. He sent his daughter to Holland in the summers to enroll in public school.

Maybe we should consider more school days and year round schooling.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5194

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead asked:
Quote:
Could some of the difference in scores in US students be based, not on the quality of the educational system, but the quantity?


I have no simple, or simplistic answer. It all depends, and since I think American culture continues to treasure the rebel, we are more innovative than the Japanese. The simple answer is it depends--on the kid and the environment. If we can get a kid to focus more of the time, they will learn more, whether they learn fast or slow. But this needs to be weighed against the fact that kids (and adults) hit a wall at some point of concentration and their learning rate goes way down. In both kids and adults, their eyes glaze over and learning ends. Equally important is the mindset that a child brings to the learning experience. Defensiveness is a huge element, and if a child approaches learning with a fear to make a mistake, they have real difficulty that is not related to their underlying intelligence. I tell my fifth grade math students that what I am really teaching them is how to fail and not quit.

I learned this teaching first graders, where the reading recovery teacher took me aside and explained that kids need to be in a mode of recognizing about 95% of the words they encounter to make the most rapid progress. Any more words they need to puzzle out and they get tired and frustrated. They do build their own self-esteem and confidence by succeeding in reading new material, and 95% success is what research tells us is the optimum rate. I tell my kids that, I tell them that to go fast they need to slow down and get fluent.

I will tell you a story about how their emotional state matters to their learning, and to the overall learning of the class. Two years ago we had a student that was repeating first grade, she had not succeeded in the two way immersion class, the Spanish had confused her reading. She was the biggest kid in the class, very angry. She usually wouldn't work with me, and I always told her that she didn't have to, that I would work with the kids who wanted my help. My way of holding her accountable for her behavior, which was very disruptive. Near the end of the year, she welcomed my help in math, she was struggling terribly with subtraction, and didn't understand that numbers go backwards and frontwards. She was going to be in the summer school program (which was largely, it turned out, babysitting), and I had a torn biceps tendon so I walked down to her school nearly every day of the session and worked with her. I reduced her to tears one day, but she persevered for about an hour a session. On the last day of the session, she answered every single subtraction question correctly. Her reading had also improved, so she was returned to the grade level she should have been at--where she continues to be at least moderately angry.

There are several morals to this story. First, defensiveness often develops in response to initial failure-particularly with kids from multi-generational poverty. The message this society sends is that if you aren't rich it is your own fault. Shame and defensiveness are the cultural response to that message. Second. while time spent with a student really matters, they have to welcome that time. She had really walled herself off, and when I saw an opportunity, and she wanted to trust me, I went for it. Third, many kids from poor neighborhoods have lots of good reasons to mistrust adults, whether it is their parents, their teachers, or their tutors. They're as angry as Iso. Teaching her to subtract meant that I had to get past that barrier. But the underlying emotional problems persist, despite her success in subtraction. I have many other stories of failure.
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3352

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could some of the difference in scores in US students be based, not on the quality of the educational system, but the quantity?

The question I ask is-How can the much larger and more advanced body of knowledge be taught in 9 months if we learned a much simpler set of facts in our youth in the same 9 months?
We teach calculus to tenth graders in flip flops.
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3352

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"...the apparent breakdown in school discipline has nothing to do with assessing performance (since there has been no performance assessment system). Rather it has to do with political correctness..."

There has long been attempts at performance assessments and there are many in place right now.
Did you mean performance assessments are extremely hard to do and fifty years of trying has produced unsatisfactory results?

At our school we engage in political INcorrectness everyday and still have discipline problems. any chance it might have other causes? Everyone in the biz of teaching thinks so.Could we all be wrong?
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5804

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"........and then they crap on the carpet............not unlike a few posters on this forum!"

Still a bit unsettled?
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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 4099

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BREAKING NEWS: This just in:

Recent Aljazerra Headline: Muslim Union Cuts Benefits for Martyrs.....

Muslim suicide bombers in Britain are set to begin a three-day strike on
Monday in a dispute over the number of virgins they are entitled to in the
afterlife. Emergency talks with Al Qaeda have so far failed to produce an
agreement.

The unrest began last Tuesday when Al Qaeda announced that the number of
virgins a suicide bomber would receive after his death would be cut by 20%
this February from 72 to 60. A company spokesman said increases in recent
years in the number of suicide bombings have resulted in a shortage of
virgins in the afterlife.

The suicide bombers' union, the British Organization of Occupational
Martyrs ( or B.O.O.M. ) responded with a statement saying the move was
unacceptable to its members and called for strike vote. General Secretary Abdullah Amir
told the press, "Our members are literally working themselves to death in
the cause of Jihad. We don't ask for much in return, but to be treated
like this is like a kick in the teeth".

Al Qaeda chief executive Osama bin Laden explained, "I sympathize with our
workers' concerns, but Al Qaeda is simply not in a position to meet their
demands. They are simply not accepting the realities of modern-day Jihad
in a competitive marketplace. Thanks to Western depravity, there is now a
chronic shortage of virgins in the afterlife. It's a straight choice
between reducing expenditures or laying people off. I don't like cutting
benefits, but I'd hate to have to tell 3,000 of my staff that they won't be able to
blow themselves up."

Spokespersons for the union in the northeast of England, Ireland, Scotland (with one exception discussed below), Wales, the entire Australian continent and New Zealand stated that the change would not hurt their membership, as there are few virgins in their areas anyway.

According to some industry sources, the recent drop in the number of
suicide bombings has been attributed to the emergence of Scottish singing star,
Susan Boyle. Many jihadists now have a more complete visual understanding what a virgin actually looks like and have reconsidered their benefit packages.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5194

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
dogs...are dependably eager to please........and then they crap on the carpet............not unlike a few posters on this


Hellhound on your trail?
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1344

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You certainly know how to spread peace, and influence moderate Muslims Bard! Wouldn't you be better employed searching for Noahs Ark?

As for lumping us Yorkshire lot in with those leek chewing, close harmony singing Welsh, who need a pint of phlegm just to pronounce their place names, it just isn't cricket! (The Scots are little better. They're always very cross, and talk as though they have a thistle jammed up their kilt!)
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 1248
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought it was pretty darned funny, but then I've seen "Four Lions".

-Craig

GURGLETROUSERS wrote:
You certainly know how to spread peace, and influence moderate Muslims Bard! Wouldn't you be better employed searching for Noahs Ark?

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