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 A question on cultural education
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ScooterCommuter
Male Junior Member
52 Posts


Saint Paul, MN
USA

Kymco

Xciting 500RI

Posted - 09/07/2013 :  3:24 AM
EDITED TO ADD: ScooterCommuter it appears that I owe you my deepest apology!!!! I thought I was replying with quote and I appear to have edited your post instead. I am sorry and embarrassed. To our readers please note that this is not the original post by ScooterCommuter

Ray

quote:
Originally posted by ScooterCommuter

Sorry for the late reply
Absolutely no apology necessary. I appreciate the reply.

Classroom time in the UK appears to not be significantly longer in total than in the US, at least not enough IMO to explain the difference in final level math. Perhaps the amount of time spent on math is different? I've seen comparisons to some Asian schools and they appear to devote 50% more time to math and science than US schools. If I again come across a very nice diagram that showed the differences I will post the link.

Thank you for the information.


Edited by - rayg50 on 09/07/2013 7:31 PM
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ScooterCommuter
Male Junior Member
52 Posts


Saint Paul, MN
USA

Kymco

Xciting 500RI

Posted - 09/10/2013 :  1:30 AM
oops! No harm no foul.

For the benefit of thread continuity, the post that was lost was relating my experience in the UK school system where we had 7 classes each a "nominal hour" during each day. I cant remember the exact verbiage but I know I mentioned the "2 classes, break, 2 classes, lunch, 3 classes" daily schedule, and that intense classes were often combined into a double - or in the afternoon a triple - in order to make better use of the time. I believe I mentioned the entire afternoon that my school devoted to cadet force muster too.

To respond to Ray's thoughts on total hours of math - We had a total of 35 "hours" in a school week, deleting the entire afternoon for cadet muster and the other entire afternoon for phys ed, we had 29 hours of academics in a week. 5 of those in every week were math, sciences got 5 per week too. Languages and humanities got 2 per week, as did arts. So for a kid like me that was science-heavy math, chem, phys, bio, eng lang, eng lit, french, geography left me one "study period" a week... we had the option of filling that one study period per week with an extra optional subject - I did that with latin class for a couple of years. That routine lasted until age 16 and the national "O-level" (O stands for "ordinary" in this context) after that the time allocation changed - I had 7 hours per week each on math, chem, phys, bio for my last two years of "high school" leading to "A-level" (and in this context, A stands for "Advanced") examinations that determined my college placement.
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2083 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 09/10/2013 :  6:10 AM
quote:
oops! No harm no foul
Thank you. My ego will be sore for a bit yet.

I've actually come across some eye opening articles regarding instructional hours.

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011...lds-longest/

http://www.centerforpubliceducation...e-US-compare

http://www.theguardian.com/news/dat...s-statistics

Of course I failed to save the best link but the thing that caught my eye was that Finland has among the lowest instructional hours yet their students consistently are top performers (top 3 if memory serves). The US has among the highest hours and yet ranks somewhere in the 20's of the nations compared.


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Magnawing
Male Senior Member
281 Posts


The Woodlands, TX
USA

Honda

VF750C

Posted - 09/10/2013 :  10:18 AM Follow poster on Twitter
quote:
Originally posted by rayg50

The US has among the highest hours and yet ranks somewhere in the 20's of the nations compared.


I think this may partially be a result of our "No Child Left Behind" legislation. The kids have figured out that they're going to pass whether they actually perform well or not. As a parent of two (now only one...my oldest graduated last year) school aged children, I have seen that schools "adjust" the curriculum for individual students that may be struggling in a certain topic in order to allow them to be "successful" and pass the class.

In other words, the school keeps their federal/state funding that is based on student success rates.

IMHO, this is doing a dis-service to the children who have their assignments "modified" if they aren't passing. Now, there are some students with legitimate learning disabilities that need the modification but schools are modifying assignments for entire classes based on the abilities of the lowest performing students...they're "dumbing down" the education so that the entire student body appears successful.
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2083 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 09/10/2013 :  12:52 PM
I had to look up Finland's approach to education. I have not yet found any nuts and bolts explanation but I think I can take a pretty good guess at what I will find. In the meantime here are some quotes as food for thought.
quote:
http://k12educationsystem.com/compa...t-countries/

In the comparison of education in different countries, Finland comes out as #1. Finland recruits its teachers from the top 10% of their respective college classes. In this highly competitive environment, teachers must have a Masters degree. Students in this country are not grouped by ability but, by learning style. Additionally, each community, whether poor or affluent, is funded equally. Finland says that it does not invest money in standardized testing, but in teacher education. Some countries, like Japan and India, require students to take other classes after normal school hours.

In the US, students spend equal amounts of time on outdated material as relevant material. The textbooks also invest chapters on material students won't necessarily be able to apply. The curriculum may be in need of an overhaul.
The boldfacing above is mine.
quote:

http://k12educationsystem.com/finla...tion-system/

Free school in Finland has an outstanding track record of success when compared to school systems in other countries. Students in Finland earned the highest test scores in a 57 nation study by the OECD, with Finnish students placing at the top in science, math and reading. This international acclaim has attracted educators from around the world to learn about the factors making their education system so strong.

Unlike in the US, where schools put many restrictions on students, Finnish schools have open campuses with no tardy bells. Students are allowed to sleep in class or doodle if they choose, and they are assigned no more than 1/2 hour of homework each evening. Finnish students also address their teachers by first name and they do not even start school until the age of 7.
The boldfacing above is mine. IMO, sometimes in an effort to aid learning we get in the way of it.

Edited to add a link that I had failed to copy.

Edited by - rayg50 on 09/10/2013 1:01 PM
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2083 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 09/10/2013 :  1:14 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Magnawing

... I have seen that schools "adjust" the curriculum for individual students that may be struggling in a certain topic in order to allow them to be "successful" and pass the class...
I think what you are pointing out is a factor. I'm drawing a blank on the term but what it pretty much says is that people will tend to live up (or down) to expectations.

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gymnast
Moderator
4260 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 09/10/2013 :  1:22 PM
Unlike the the USA the countries that rank higher in "educational achievement" (please define) do not have "diverse populations" or do have rigid exams such as A and O level exams that determine what level or educational track a student is going to follow. It is easier to gain entry to an institution of higher education in the USA than in any other country in the world and entry is not dependent on an exam taken when 12 or 16 years of age. In most countries, higher education is totally subsidized by the state, and is as selective as that in the most selective institutions in the USA.

It is folly to include "mainstreamed" students with "learning disabilities", include ESL students, promote "social promotion" and include the test results of such students along with the vast majority of other students when making international comparisons of students with far different (and more selective) educational systems than exist in any state within the USA.

Very few journalists have had coursework in statistical analysis of educational achievement, yet it does not deter them from writing, critically, about that which they know virtually nothing.

If there is a valid criticism of American Education, it is that it is wasteful. Wasteful of the taxpayers money, wasteful of resources, wasteful of the talented (both students and teachers), and wasteful of students in general.
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gymnast
Moderator
4260 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 09/11/2013 :  6:00 PM


The Crushing Racism of Low Expectations

Why won't America's public schools and teachers' unions raise the bar for African American students?

- See more at: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Colum...nu.dpufhttp:
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aidanspa
Male Advanced Member
1740 Posts
[Mentor]


Omaha, NE
USA

Harley-Davidson

Road King

Posted - 09/11/2013 :  9:02 PM
quote:
Originally posted by gymnast



The Crushing Racism of Low Expectations

Why won't America's public schools and teachers' unions raise the bar for African American students?

- See more at: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Colum...nu.dpufhttp:

Follow the money.
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aidanspa
Male Advanced Member
1740 Posts
[Mentor]


Omaha, NE
USA

Harley-Davidson

Road King

Posted - 09/20/2013 :  2:56 PM
quote:
Originally posted by aidanspa

Following on the heels of our successful national health care system (where states have final say), and in an effort to raise the math and reading scores of our youth, meet our national education system. See, the way to raise our kids' scores is to lower the standards (and expectations), and the really great part is that kids will feel good about themselves.

In our new math, 1 + 1 = 9 if the teacher likes the way you got there.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/3...t=latestnews



Follow the money redux.

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/20213
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2083 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 09/21/2013 :  10:03 AM
A little task completion has kicked in. I will be posting my views on the 3Rs but I thought I would comment on the impact of culture first.

Although the original context may have been the cultural differences between nations in regard to education, I believe that there may be a huge divide within a country. Here in the US we have a saying:

"Those that can do, those that can't teach.".

That saying says much, IMO, about the attitude towards educators held by some segments of our population. An equally telling insight into the attitude towards the educated in the US is the existence of words such as nerd or dweeb. Both seem to portray the educated as flawed and worthy of derision. The implication is that to be one of the cool people you must not be educated. A mindset that IMO sets unnecessary limits to the effort that our youth will put into learning.

BTW, the original quote, ascribed to Aristotle (384-322 BC) is

"Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach."

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greywolf
Male Moderator
1484 Posts
[Mentor]


Evanston, IL
USA

Suzuki

DL650AL2

Posted - 09/21/2013 :  10:20 AM
I can say this. I learned more deeply about motorcycle riding and maintenance from teaching than from study or experience.
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17375 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 09/21/2013 :  10:49 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
While I certainly learned a great deal while I was teaching, I cannot say that I learned more from teaching than from experience and study. But I understand the message you put forth here, because there is a great deal of truth to it.

Unless your teaching form is merely the utterance of the lines in a script, your teaching required that you knew more than you were conveying. You needed, for example, to be able to respond meaningfully to questions - off-script, if you will. You needed, in that case, to understand the information, not just the catechism.

In order for that to be true, you needed to experience and study your topic. That is, you needed to learn - THEN you could teach effectively (though MOST people cannot teach effectively even with encyclopedic amounts of information and experience).

So I believe what you really mean is that because no syllabus, no script, is exhaustive - has all the information that there is to satisfy the needs of your students - you were forced, in order to be an effective teacher, to go beyond the fundamentals - to experience and study broadly - then you could synthesize the material actually required by your students. You learned more not from teaching, but from preparing to teach effectively.

Oh, to be sure teaching caused you to learn things that non-teachers do not. You learned how to relate to your students, how to enable the environment to be conducive of learning, what things a very broad spectrum of experience held by your students would likely result in what kinds of questions and concerns and myths those students would have and to deal with each, how to establish and maintain authority and control over the class, how to allow and deal with new and unexpected tangents from the students - and you also probably learned something new (to you) about your subject matter or teaching in general from each class you taught.

Good teachers like you undoubtedly are/were are also good students.
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greywolf
Male Moderator
1484 Posts
[Mentor]


Evanston, IL
USA

Suzuki

DL650AL2

Posted - 09/21/2013 :  11:01 AM
That's why I wrote "more deeply" rather than just "more". There is an added level with learning a subject well enough to help others understand that took my learning beyond where I was before. The added amount may not have approached the extent of knowledge I already had, but it took me beyond what I had before.

I'm still learning by doing what is necessary to provide answers on Internet fora. When I stop learning, I'll be ready for cremation.

Edited by - greywolf on 09/21/2013 1:02 PM
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2083 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 01/04/2014 :  10:10 PM
I realized I never got around to my view of the importance of reading, writing, and arithmetic in education. In the spirit of task completion here goes nothing.

Most of what I learned in my formal education I have forgotten. Those things that I currently know in large measure are self taught. I am not alone.

IMO the goal of education should be to provide students with very strong reading, very strong writing, and very strong basic math skills in preparation for a lifetime of learning.

Most will say that the educational system does teach these skills and they do. IMO, for most, at a much lower level than should be acceptable. Were you taught how to read a technical reference, a play, a novel, a textbook, a science or a math book, or were you sent home to read them?

IMO, there is much more to reading than being able to recognize and understand all the words on the paper. There is much more to writing than correctly spelling and grammatically organizing the words on the paper. There is much more to math than the fear most have of it.

my .02
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6943 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 790 Adv R

Posted - 01/05/2014 :  9:35 AM
quote:
Originally posted by rayg50

I realized I never got around to my view of the importance of reading, writing, and arithmetic in education.
I'm waiting on your view of procrastination of tasks that need to be completed.

When I was a senior in high school, they offered about a dozen half-year English classes with a lot of the creative stuff and a few choices on the basics. They were surprised when they had about four times as many students sign up for the grammar course as they had expected. I was one of those. I was interested in improving the fundamentals.

But I probably wasn't a "normal" high school student, since I took more of the classes that they called "solids" than I needed to graduate, because I was hoping to learn useful things.
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2083 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 01/05/2014 :  4:34 PM
quote:
I'm waiting on your view of procrastination of tasks that need to be completed.
Let me get back to you on that.
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2083 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 01/28/2014 :  9:14 PM
For those who may not be familiar with ted.com it is a site of eclectic thoughts by a variety of "posters". About a year ago, I learned how to tie my shoe laces there.

Here is one presentation I came across and found interesting. It is somewhat related to this thread.

http://www.ted.com/talks/ramsey_mus...earning.html

And if a teaching topic does not interest you here is how to tie your shoelaces.
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