lfnetwork.com mark read register faq members calendar

Thread: Education, education, education
Thread Tools Display Modes
Post a new thread. Add a reply to this thread. Indicate all threads in this forum as read. Subscribe to this forum. RSS feed: this forum RSS feed: all forums
Old 02-17-2009, 09:38 PM   #1
Pavlos
Scruffy Englishman
 
Pavlos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: The real world/ivory towers
Posts: 1,974
Current Game: Viking Warrior Poets
Education, education, education

In 1995 Tony Blair said that a Labour government under him would have three priorities: education, education, and education. It was all rather clever rhetoric and no doubt teachers across the nation leapt for joy. The extent to which the new Labour government of the past decade has improved education is debatable but that's not what I'm here for. I'm a-wonderin' what exactly you feel the priorities for education from age four and up should be and what is wrong or right about the education system in your country, or local area.

I read an interesting study recently which showed that an increasing number of American High School pupils are "playing the school game"; that is: not learning but playing the system to get the highest grades possible, to gain entry to the likes of Stanford, MIT, and (I suppose for the more internationally minded amongst them) Trinity College, Dublin or Imperial College, London. Undoubtedly, this sort of wheeling and dealing would make them good confidence tricksters, or "investment bankers" as they're known in some circles, but I'm curious as to what sort of long-term detrimental effect this sort of non-education will have on American society as a whole and the hollow shells that the system churns out in particular.

Few people now would think it sad that where once a school master would discuss Roman poetry in the original Latin, teachers are now content to simply tell their pupils that there was once a society which wrote in Latin and leave it at that. If Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer were no longer taught in English schools would it matter to people? Does it really matter full stop?


StarWarsKnights.com -- News and features will be returning shortly...

I 'gin to be a-weary of the sun,
And wish the estate o' the world were now undone.
Pavlos is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 02-17-2009, 09:51 PM   #2
jrrtoken
Senior Member
 
jrrtoken's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,995
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos View Post
I read an interesting study recently which showed that an increasing number of American High School pupils are "playing the school game"; that is: not learning but playing the system to get the highest grades possible, to gain entry to the likes of Stanford, MIT, and (I suppose for the more internationally minded amongst them) Trinity College, Dublin or Imperial College, London.
You're spot on, really. Most of the school corporations in areas seem to be focused on improving standardized national exam scores of students, rather than actually preparing them for life. I wouldn't exactly say that the students themselves seem to "ride" along the education system, but more or less I'm sure that societal pressure, especially from their parents, seems to drive some students to be the best. And striving to be the "best" often breeds stress, depression, and perhaps, suicide.
Quote:
Undoubtedly, this sort of wheeling and dealing would make them good confidence tricksters, or "investment bankers" as they're known in some circles, but I'm curious as to what sort of long-term detrimental effect this sort of non-education will have on American society as a whole and the hollow shells that the system churns out in particular.
It's been happening for quite some time, really. There was this "No Child Left Behind" legislature that was introduced by Bush II in 2001, that essentially grouped all students into one, generic standard of learning, allowing those already gift to learn redundant material, while more troubled students are given a more demanding level of curriculum; the results are horrendous, as you can imagine.

To be honest, the whole system needs to be gutted and completely reformed. Each student does not learn like everyone else; it's a simple fact of life that everyone works in their own, personalized way. Administrators seem to completely ignore that, however, I will not blame the tutors. Almost all of my teachers in the past have, thankfully, gave it their best, to make students willing to learn, and to eventually prepare them for life. Ultimately, that is what needs to happen, and it must be available to students of all walks of life, not just the privileged.
jrrtoken is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 02-17-2009, 10:12 PM   #3
Litofsky
Galaxial
 
Litofsky's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,546
As a participant in the joyous American education system, I must say that grades are everyone's primary concern; Learning is second to the number. I have a number of teachers whose primary goal is to teach to the end of year tests, whereas others either have- or don't have- that love of teaching (and subsequently are ones you will remember or hate, respectively).

(more later, sleep now)
Litofsky is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 02-17-2009, 10:48 PM   #4
jawathehutt
Its 5 o'clock somewhere
 
jawathehutt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,636
Current Game: Age of Empires II
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos View Post
I read an interesting study recently which showed that an increasing number of American High School pupils are "playing the school game"; that is: not learning but playing the system to get the highest grades possible, to gain entry to the likes of Stanford, MIT, and (I suppose for the more internationally minded amongst them) Trinity College, Dublin or Imperial College, London. Undoubtedly, this sort of wheeling and dealing would make them good confidence tricksters, or "investment bankers" as they're known in some circles, but I'm curious as to what sort of long-term detrimental effect this sort of non-education will have on American society as a whole and the hollow shells that the system churns out in particular.
Thats exactly what I did 9th through 11th grade, it wasn't until this year when I was accepted to all of the colleges that I wanted to go to that I actually started to "learn" rather than get good grades. A number of the classes I'm in assign mindless homework that really doesn't serve a purpose other than for grades. The teacher doesn't read them(I've written what I had for breakfast before on an essay question about photosynthesis) so I figure, why bother, I know the stuff well enough to be able to explain it to someone who'll listen, why bother explaining it to my self when I would much rather think of the waffles I made for myself. But hey, at least the school gets some extra As' so itll get a budget of $4.67 and a pen instead of $3.83 and an eraser. Fortunately now that I'm a senior, I actually listen in class and read the book to learn, not to answer questions taken directly from the text, a wonderful skill every student from grades 4 and up can do perfectly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos View Post
Few people now would think it sad that where once a school master would discuss Roman poetry in the original Latin, teachers are now content to simply tell their pupils that there was once a society which wrote in Latin and leave it at that. If Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer were no longer taught in English schools would it matter to people? Does it really matter full stop?
My school cut a number of english classes including Shakespeare, meaning that when your a senior now, you either take AP Lit, AP analyzing ads and documents and writing **** about similes in them or Creative writing and media literacy. But hey, who needs the old Shakespeare class or the poetry class, we have 20 new English as a second language teachers. Same with foreign languages. Despite them kinda sorta being a requirement to most colleges, who needs em.



"Everyone that posts here is aware of the game, thanks though." ET
"It is Lucasarts"~ LordJhredmo
jawathehutt is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 02-18-2009, 01:00 PM   #5
Sabretooth
鬼龍院皐月
 
Sabretooth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 9,365
Oh lovely, an education ranting thread! ^_^ I represent the glorious Indian education system, home of some of the world's greatest ancient universities, except not anymore.

The biggest problem I have with the Indian education system is that it is entirely memorization-based and relies wholly on the students' ability to retain data for a while, as opposed to actually testing their skills, understanding or reasoning ability (Maths is an exception). Hence you have tons of kids who can shoot away memorised data like a Tommy gun but can't utter a word if you ask them something trickier.

Education levels themselves are fairly low, with teachers being snobs with poorer knowledge than they should have, and even poorer salaries. All the better and skilled teachers head for the much higher-paying coaching classes, which are another problem as they serve as something of a second school to go to. So not only is your school ****, you have to go to another school to make up for it. Fun.

The education model's focus is entirely off the student, and apparently inspired by Ford's assembly line. It's all about doling out more kids with higher marks, which are in intense competition for securing admissions in colleges. The result is an educational environment that prepares you for mental warfare in an orgy of a battlefield rather than actually instilling any qualities of curiosity for knowledge. The ingrained Indian respect for education doesn't help.

----

My views on how education should be, would first state a diversified model. Upto the age of 10 or 12, they will go through primary or elementary school, with a fixed set of subjects to cover the essentials of everything: language, maths, science etc. Most importantly, a certain understanding of morals and ethics would also be helpful.

In the second tier of education, lasting from say, 12 to 16 will allow the student some degree of freedom in choosing subjects which would increase over time. They will still have certain fixed subjects, basic mathematics and language for example. The next two years of education will focus on specialised education, but still allowing the student versatility to select subjects from various fields.

Schools in themselves should "grow" with the student, rather than following the same teaching practices throughout all ages. There should be a larger focus on having the student research and "learn to learn" rather than force things down their drain. To quote Ayn Rand and suffer a backlash from Rand-haters:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayn Rand
The only purpose of education is to teach a student how to live his life-by developing his mind and equipping him to deal with reality. The training he needs is theoretical, i.e., conceptual. He has to be taught to think, to understand, to integrate, to prove. He has to be taught the essentials of the knowledge discovered in the past-and he has to be equipped to acquire further knowledge by his own effort.
That is exactly what I believe, ma'am, you stay awesome.


Sabretooth is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 02-18-2009, 01:06 PM   #6
JediMaster12
Dum Spiramus Tuebimur
 
JediMaster12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Buried in books...literally
Posts: 5,933
Current Game: Assassin's Creed
LFN Staff Member Veteran Fan Fic Author Contest winner - Fan Fiction Forum Veteran 
I understand completely the frustrations with the current education system here in the states. My homestate, California, ranks 50 out of 50 and we used to be number one. How embarassing is that?

I understand that there are those who do skate by in the system and part of the problem comes from this teaching to the standardized tests that eventually end up determining the yearly budget. When I was in high school I was confused and pissed that my school (Cajon) had the highest test scores yet we were still listed as a needs improvement school and was endangered of being taken over by the state. San Berdu High got that and they are still under state authority.

I can't speak for myself skating through the system because I actually did learn and was encouraged to do so. Funny thing is my parents taught me to think and yet they get peeved if I suggest something not to their liking. Oh well. As someone once ascribed to me, I have a love of learning and I do enjoy learning and trying out things for myself.

I think though the skating through the system is the mentality that the students have. More likely they picked it up from home where education is not really given an major emphasis. In low income areas, it is disheartening to see kids who run around in hand me downs and parents are barely able to afford rent yet they insist on buying the new big screen TV or iPhones.

Does the system need an overhaul? More than likely yes but that saying education starts in the home is most important to remember and it is true.

JediMaster12 is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 02-18-2009, 01:16 PM   #7
Astor
It's Thornhill!
 
Astor's Avatar
 
Status: Super Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Warwickshire, UK
Posts: 3,632
Current Game: The Old Republic
LFN Staff Member Forum Veteran Helpful! 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos View Post
I'm a-wonderin' what exactly you feel the priorities for education from age four and up should be and what is wrong or right about the education system in your country, or local area.
I'm not going to bore anyone with my own personal experiences, but I do feel that the British Education system places too much emphasis on examinations (although, this has, in some way been lessened by the abolition of SATS test for 14 year olds).

As for what I would like to see taught - better Social Education classes - while I don't think it will stem the rot that seems to be sweeping through a fair portion of today's youth, it might at least make them more responsible.

Regarding English Literature - something more than Shakespeare and Steinbeck. That was all I was ever taught, and it felt like the faculty was simply going through the motions so that we'd remember enough to pass the tests. There was no allure to any of it.

And I would've liked some History beyond Ancient Greece, the Feudal System, The English Civil War (as fascinating as I find it) and World War II. On the plus side, this craving for history lead me to research other periods in my own time.






Astor is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 02-18-2009, 04:15 PM   #8
jawathehutt
Its 5 o'clock somewhere
 
jawathehutt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,636
Current Game: Age of Empires II
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astor Kaine View Post
And I would've liked some History beyond Ancient Greece, the Feudal System, The English Civil War (as fascinating as I find it) and World War II. On the plus side, this craving for history lead me to research other periods in my own time.
Hey, at least you were taught that in your own language. A couple of elementary schools around me are starting to teach history in 4th grade in Spanish. To English speakers. Not English as a second language. English speakers. Fourth grade was the year that I started loving history and to this day I still do. Fourth grade was also the year I started hating Spanish (they were a separate class like most sane schools would do). I wanted to learn German from the day we were forced to "learn"(if that's you call having someone with a couple years of training in spanish teach you) Spanish. Now take those two together and you pretty much destroy the one thing I look forward to in school. I know that I would not enjoy history like I do now had I been forced to learn it in the official language of a neighboring country. And honestly, history? Learning about the country one lives in in another language. Tolerance of other races is a swell thing. But I draw the line when you start teaching a kid about the founding of the US in Spanish when the kid's English is fine.



"Everyone that posts here is aware of the game, thanks though." ET
"It is Lucasarts"~ LordJhredmo
jawathehutt is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 02-18-2009, 04:36 PM   #9
jrrtoken
Senior Member
 
jrrtoken's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,995
Another thing I think that should be changed is the sort of content that is told from a philosophical standpoint. From that, I mean, there should be a greater amount of time spent on teaching non-Western literature, history, and philosophies. I mean, the Greco-Roman period is fine and all, but a good deal of intellectual content developed in that time period was either created or innovated by other cultures that usually perfected concepts, often times years earlier. Of course, a good deal of those cultures have been made extinct by Western supremacists.

The point is, Western ideals aren't everything in life, and I'd rather have a more global perspective.
jrrtoken is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 02-18-2009, 05:08 PM   #10
Web Rider
Senior Member
 
Web Rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: here
Posts: 1,768
Quote:
Originally Posted by PastramiX View Post
Another thing I think that should be changed is the sort of content that is told from a philosophical standpoint. From that, I mean, there should be a greater amount of time spent on teaching non-Western literature, history, and philosophies. I mean, the Greco-Roman period is fine and all, but a good deal of intellectual content developed in that time period was either created or innovated by other cultures that usually perfected concepts, often times years earlier. Of course, a good deal of those cultures have been made extinct by Western supremacists.

The point is, Western ideals aren't everything in life, and I'd rather have a more global perspective.
The only problem with studying non-western literature and history and philosophy, is that it won't be relevant to 9/10 western people. I suspect this is a bigger problem in the US than Europe due to the many diverse cultures in Europe. I think a move diverse background in European cultures would be applicable, but teaching American or European kids about the Chinese way of life really isn't going to benefit any but a few who interact with them on a regular basis.


"So if you go to Washington, it's buildings clean and nice. Bring a pack of matches...and we'll burn the White House twice!"

"Nobody's talking about extermination. No one ever does. They just do it." - Magneto

"Don't solicit for your sister, that's not nice, unless you get a good percentage of her price."
Web Rider is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 02-18-2009, 06:05 PM   #11
Jae Onasi
Antiquis temporibus, nati tibi similes in rupibus ventosissimis exponebantur ad necem
 
Jae Onasi's Avatar
 
Status: Super Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 10,916
Current Game: Guild Wars 2, VtMB, TOR
Alderaan News Holopics contributor Helpful! LucasCast staff Veteran Fan Fic Author 
I'd like kids to learn how to read, period, and do basic math. I can't tell you how many people I see at McDonald's who don't know how to count change properly or the difference between to, too, and two.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

Read The Adventures of Jolee Bindo and see the amazing Peep Surgery
Story WIP: The Dragonfighters
My blog: Confessions of a Geeky Mom--Latest post: Security Alerts!
Love Star Trek AND gaming? Check out Lotus Fleet.

Jae Onasi is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 02-18-2009, 06:46 PM   #12
Arcesious
Trolololololololololololo
 
Arcesious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: NE
Posts: 1,876
Current Game: Mass Effect
For me, what I sadly notice is that many students in my school don't care about learning at all, and are totally disrespectful to the teachers.

My school is pretty great, but the students have the worst attidtudes about it. We have Laptops, great teachers, and wonderful, very lenient, helpful, freindly teachers! But no, most of the students complain, complain, and complain.


I bet that there are lots of bad schools out there and lots of good schools. The bad schools- they only need to be improved to be like the good schools.

The problem at the good schools (like mine, cause its awesome!), is that there are lots of disinterested students. I think the problem is the students, not the teachers. The system can always have room for improvement, but I think the problem is, at the core, the attitudes of the students.

Yes, I admit that I don't really enjoy certain required classes, like history/government classes & english classes, but I understand that they're important.

The thing is, most students I know loathe homework, and hate having responsibilities. This is really sad. Perhaps one of the greatest, most beneficial, rewarding responsibilities a person should have is to learn!

Something needs to be done about this. There has to be a way to motivate the students to want to learn! Maybe a motivational speech or two?

(Hmm, maybe I need a motivational speech so I'll stop slacking on my civics homework. )


Please feed the trolls. XD
Arcesious is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 02-18-2009, 07:04 PM   #13
jrrtoken
Senior Member
 
jrrtoken's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,995
Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider View Post
The only problem with studying non-western literature and history and philosophy, is that it won't be relevant to 9/10 western people. I suspect this is a bigger problem in the US than Europe due to the many diverse cultures in Europe. I think a move diverse background in European cultures would be applicable, but teaching American or European kids about the Chinese way of life really isn't going to benefit any but a few who interact with them on a regular basis.
I agree, to some extent. Alternatively, the same thing can be said about impressing Western ideals into Eastern cultures.
jrrtoken is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 02-18-2009, 07:11 PM   #14
Pavlos
Scruffy Englishman
 
Pavlos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: The real world/ivory towers
Posts: 1,974
Current Game: Viking Warrior Poets
Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider View Post
The only problem with studying non-western literature and history and philosophy, is that it won't be relevant to 9/10 western people. I suspect this is a bigger problem in the US than Europe due to the many diverse cultures in Europe. I think a move diverse background in European cultures would be applicable, but teaching American or European kids about the Chinese way of life really isn't going to benefit any but a few who interact with them on a regular basis.
Understanding what other people think or thought and the reasons why is pretty critical for understanding what you think and why you don't hold the same views as a seventeenth century Lutheran. It exposes the things that you take for granted as being a little odd.

Think about the way we in Europe arrange our maps and the way the USA do. In European maps Greenwich, England is placed slap bang in the middle. Putting aside the reasons for the decision, think about the psychological impact that placing Europe at the centre of the map has. To a European, Europe is the centre of the world, the most culturally sophisticated location and perfectly positioned to act as mediator between the old world of the East and the new world of the West. Hop over to the States and suddenly the map's changed completely, now the USA is in the centre. Up until the collapse of the Soviet Union it was a wall between communism and capitalism -- the first line of defence.

That example's something of an exaggeration but I think that understanding alternate views of the world is important not from the perspective of "breeding tolerance within society" or any such politically-minded things (as important as tolerance is) but for understanding the multiplicity of forms that humankind can take. The humanities were once defined as being the search for man's unchanging soul of love and hate, thought and instinct, and whatever else you care to mark as "universal" in truth. Far more accurate is the view that they encourage a questioning mind and an appreciation of how those universal, biological, genetic features of the human mind can express themselves in societies and in people.

There's a reason why the Americans call them the "liberal arts"; they liberate the mind. The frontpage of the Guardian in 1890 is highly relevant to a man born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, he just needs to find the ways in which that relevance presents itself.


StarWarsKnights.com -- News and features will be returning shortly...

I 'gin to be a-weary of the sun,
And wish the estate o' the world were now undone.
Pavlos is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Old 02-21-2009, 09:19 AM   #15
Bee Hoon
ngom ngom ngom
 
Bee Hoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Sydney
Posts: 1,269
Forum Veteran Veteran Fan Fic Author LFN Staff Member Helpful! 
^Well said, Pavlos.

Malaysia has a terrible education system. The syllabus is painfully limited--in history, we only did two chapters on the history of the world. Everything else that that I learned in Forms Four and Five was about Malaysia and the history of the Islamic world:/ Even that was such a clearly biased account that reading it made my brain shut down in protest. Literature for English and Malay was recently introduced, and they give us gutted versions of novels (e.g. The Phantom of the Opera) for English, while the Malay novels read like trashy propaganda brochures with inane plots.

The current focus is on getting as many students with as good results as possible. Instead of raising the standard of teaching to actually produce better students, they just mess with the graph and lower the benchmark for A's. I want to know that if I get an A, then I really deserved it, but blah

[/rant]

the tl:dr version--Less studying, more learning, less propaganda, more balanced views.



The sun goes down and the sky reddens, pain grows sharp.
light dwindles. Then is evening
when jasmine flowers open, the deluded say.
But evening is the great brightening dawn
when crested cocks crow all through the tall city
and evening is the whole day
for those without their lovers

-Kuruntokai 234, translated by A.K. Ramanujan

[Fic] Shreds of a Dying Belief
Bee Hoon is offline   you may: quote & reply,
Post a new thread. Add a reply to this thread. Indicate all threads in this forum as read. Subscribe to this forum. RSS feed: this forum RSS feed: all forums
Go Back   LucasForums > Network > Knights of the Old Republic > Community > Kavar's Corner > Education, education, education

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:47 AM.

LFNetwork, LLC ©2002-2011 - All rights reserved.
Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.