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"Equity".....The dumbing down of 'Murica


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On 4/24/2021 at 10:21 PM, AJ Oliver said:

And some of ya wonder why I am a democratic socialist. 

Because your low hanging fruit?

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I have two daughters who are both bright enough, but one has to work hard at getting good grades and the other is naturally smarter but has some mental health challenges.  I switched halfway thro

Or aging past 19.

This debate has been raging in the education community for years.  In my high school, we ultimately discouraged accelerated classes, and went instead with integrated curriculum classes (eg. Biology/En

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4 hours ago, Venom said:

Because your low hanging fruit?

Basic grammar alert. 

Go back to school for a century or two. 

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1 hour ago, El Mariachi said:

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I have that book. It was a gift from my son, he meant it more as a hint to not always take things so seriously but it is not a bad book. 

One of the things I will point out is that those when someone is over performing academically, we are not necessarily doing them a favor by creating dedicated classes so they can move ahead faster. Instead, we are teaching them that they are privileged which can backfire when they enter the workforce and discover they are not. The ability to learn quickly in a classroom setting is only a minor contributor to success in life. More important than that are social skills and working in a group where folks have a mixed set of skills and strengths. When you separate out kids who overperform academically, you are actually robbing them of the opportunity to work within a group that is much more like what they will deal with when they leave school. They are still learning something important even if it is not the material being taught at that moment. If teachers and parents tell those kids that their job in that circumstance is to learn how to get along with others, support others when you can, and to be humble, that would be much more valuable later in life than any AP class. 

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1 hour ago, LenP said:

I have that book. It was a gift from my son, he meant it more as a hint to not always take things so seriously but it is not a bad book. 

One of the things I will point out is that those when someone is over performing academically, we are not necessarily doing them a favor by creating dedicated classes so they can move ahead faster. Instead, we are teaching them that they are privileged which can backfire when they enter the workforce and discover they are not. The ability to learn quickly in a classroom setting is only a minor contributor to success in life. More important than that are social skills and working in a group where folks have a mixed set of skills and strengths. When you separate out kids who overperform academically, you are actually robbing them of the opportunity to work within a group that is much more like what they will deal with when they leave school. They are still learning something important even if it is not the material being taught at that moment. If teachers and parents tell those kids that their job in that circumstance is to learn how to get along with others, support others when you can, and to be humble, that would be much more valuable later in life than any AP class. 

Or you sit around bored out of your skull learning to get As while still screwing off 99% of the time.

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Just now, kent_island_sailor said:

Or you sit around bored out of your skull learning to get As while still screwing off 99% of the time.

If that is what happened, then I think the teacher and parents failed. I spent a lot of time in AP classes, and I don't think it helped me at all. In fact I know it did not. What would have been better is for me to learn early that people learn in different ways, that just because I grasped something faster does not mean I am smarter, that others who take longer to initially grasp something often develop a much deeper understanding of the subject matter, to learn some humility, and to learn how to work in a group where not everyone arrives at the same point of understanding at the same moment, and most importantly not to judge those who may not get to the same point at the same time and in the same way. I am cautious about hiring folks who excelled academically unless there is some other evidence in their resume that they can work well in a group, because all too often those folks can negatively affect team dynamics and grind things to a halt. 

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33 minutes ago, Blue Crab said:

"Over-perform academically"

Say wot?

Over perform is not a negative and not a positive, just a recognition when someone is moving through material faster than what is expected. The question is what do you do when someone moves through material faster than expected. I think that is an opportunity to teach other valuable skills that person will need later in life. Worrying that they will be bored and so creating special classes for them is, I think, counterproductive. That shit does not happen in real life. If you are on a team, you don't pick up your stuff and leave if some others are moving through the initial material at a different pace. It is often those who move a bit slower who find an insight that is later critical. We focus far too much on how fast someone grasps a superficial understanding, and not nearly enough on the things that really matter later in life. 

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39 minutes ago, LenP said:

If that is what happened, then I think the teacher and parents failed. I spent a lot of time in AP classes, and I don't think it helped me at all. In fact I know it did not. What would have been better is for me to learn early that people learn in different ways, that just because I grasped something faster does not mean I am smarter, that others who take longer to initially grasp something often develop a much deeper understanding of the subject matter, to learn some humility, and to learn how to work in a group where not everyone arrives at the same point of understanding at the same moment, and most importantly not to judge those who may not get to the same point at the same time and in the same way. I am cautious about hiring folks who excelled academically unless there is some other evidence in their resume that they can work well in a group, because all too often those folks can negatively affect team dynamics and grind things to a halt. 

That is down to teaching style. It is certainly possible to challenge the "gifted" kids too. I get the issue, our elementary school was pioneering various advanced (for the day) concepts. Some it succeeded brilliantly and some not so much. Having to be able to do math in binary, octal, and hex was a skill I have used most of my life. The funny thing was computers were not even mentioned, it was all about learning there are other numbering schemes. Turned out to be a very useful skill B)

OTOH another math class had the option that if you got over 90% on the tests,which you could take in advance, you didn't have to even SHOW UP at class, let alone participate. Of course I and my buddies all aced every single test early on and had free reign of the school the rest of the year for that period. That is a HORRIBLE idea for 5th graders :o

My grandmother had a story she liked to tell about her first year at college. She had never got a C grade in her life and probably not many Bs either and was horrified to have a couple Cs her first year. Her counselor told her "You might be top of the milk back home, but it looks like you aren't top of the cream". Despite that she went on to some great jobs post college, which certainly was a bit unusual 100 years ago for a woman.

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As Len suggested above, people differ greatly in terms of the learning styles that work best for them . . 

So a good teacher will mix it up so the yoot have opportunities to . . 

Learn by reading 

Learn by listening (often to lectures) 

Learn by doing (hands on) 

Learn by being part of a team 

Learn by writing 

Learn by speaking 

And etc. 

Interestingly, to me anyway, is that a lot of the top academic performers really hated to learn as part of a team, or by speaking . .  

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I would recommend working your kid's ass off, in school and out of school. The government's job is to be fair. Your job is to be unfair. it's a competitive world out there and expecting any different for your little precious is just entitlement [*].

It's tough to get into good colleges; it's tough to get into good majors; it's tough to get into a good grad school; and it's tough to get good jobs. Life's just tough.

Maybe I have Silicon Valley tunnel vision but the competition here is just brutal and with our freakish immigrant heavy labor pool, it doesn't stop at the border. Globalism means you have to compete at the world level. In fact with H1B visas, you're probably at a competitive disadvantage here because when companies hire an H1B, they're basically hiring an indentured servant who can be deported if they get fired. Tends to motivate.

It's a tough world out there. The time for fun in the mud is when you're in elementary school and before. After that, life is unforgiving. We do have mechanisms for re-invention but you shouldn't bank on those. We also have truly amazing resources available to everyone for little or no dinero. But someone hungrier has access to those resources as well.

[*] Don't even get me started on the entitlement of anti-science nativist SoCons, Walmart cowboys in their Toyota 4x4s.

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5 minutes ago, Olsonist said:

It's a tough world out there. The time for fun in the mud

Well, you are correct, but it need not, and should not, be that way. 

What has our society gained by having the Type A Alphas take over and make it "winner take all" ?? 

What we think of as a meritocracy is actually an oligarchy .  

this book explains . .  

Hardcover The Meritocracy Trap : How America's Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite Book

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Learn a fuking real trade. Or reinvent the mouse trap. The world already has way too many 'academia hamsters' that can't do shit, don't know shit and aren't worth a shit.....and making shit wages whilst their at it......

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1 hour ago, AJ Oliver said:

As Len suggested above, people differ greatly in terms of the learning styles that work best for them . . 

So a good teacher will mix it up so the yoot have opportunities to . . 

Learn by reading 

Learn by listening (often to lectures) 

Learn by doing (hands on) 

Learn by being part of a team 

Learn by writing 

Learn by speaking 

And etc. 

Interestingly, to me anyway, is that a lot of the top academic performers really hated to learn as part of a team, or by speaking . .  

The FAA got tired of "good pilot bad teacher" and made us all take various "how to be a teacher" courses. One thing that really stuck with me is the "Law of Primacy" or something like that where students remember the FIRST way you teach them something, so never teach them anything wrong to be fixed later.
All the bizzare common-core math bullshit classes were FULL of wrong ways to do things to get "close", presumably to make the numerically illiterate feel like "yay I am doing math" :rolleyes: I told my son to ignore all that and showed him the real way to get the right answer the first time.

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18 hours ago, longy said:

 My two kids were waay smarter than most of their classmates (thanks Mom). Both suffered thru nicknames like "professor & brainiac" through all levels. Pairing them with slower kids made them lazy & both had to learn better study habits in college (UCLA & UCSD). The older kid was (is) a master at doing just enough to get reasonable grades. There was no competition for the best grades until he went to college, where he struggled for a year learning to work/study properly. The only classes that challenged them were the AP (advanced placement) courses. The number & variety of these went down by 60% during their yrs in school, due to "no child left behind" bullshit. This program sacrificed the achievers and moved all resources to the bottom quartile of classes. It is virtually impossible (in CA) to 'flunk out' & have to repeat a grade. Supposedly that mentally scars a kid beyond any help - so pass them up the line, ready or not

I experienced a few kids like that as a teacher.   After a few discussions with them about work ethic and taking responsibility for their learning, if they didn't smarten up I put them in the "not deserving much of my attention" pile.  Given how bright they were, they'd do well anyway.  I would give them challenges, and if they didn't take them on, they would get no more challenges.  

Teaching has elements of triage to it.  Kids like that shoot themselves in the foot.  Fortunately they were rare compared to the kids who were bright and willing to both take on challenges and help other kids.

I would argue that pairing them with weaker kids had zero to do with their work ethic problems.  While they may have inherited intelligence, they clearly did not inherit work ethic.  It goes both ways, unfortunately.  

Blaming that on the teachers, or the system, is part of the problem.

For the record, I was exactly like them in school.  I didn't smarten up until I nearly failed 1st year Engineering.

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4 hours ago, LenP said:

Over perform is not a negative and not a positive, just a recognition when someone is moving through material faster than what is expected. The question is what do you do when someone moves through material faster than expected. I think that is an opportunity to teach other valuable skills that person will need later in life. Worrying that they will be bored and so creating special classes for them is, I think, counterproductive. That shit does not happen in real life. If you are on a team, you don't pick up your stuff and leave if some others are moving through the initial material at a different pace. It is often those who move a bit slower who find an insight that is later critical. We focus far too much on how fast someone grasps a superficial understanding, and not nearly enough on the things that really matter later in life. 

Heh. "Superficial understanding." Sez who? Your comment is the essence of dumbing down, Len. 

I'm one of those bastards that only pay for right answers. Right now. The very last thing I'm concerned about is how you fit it the group. 

And who made you the "decider" of the things that really matter in life? I gots me a hunch we might differ in what those things are.

After reading for years here, I am aware of some of your story. And good on ya. But let's keep it real.

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7 minutes ago, Blue Crab said:

Heh. "Superficial understanding." Sez who? Your comment is the essence of dumbing down, Len. 

I'm one of those bastards that only pay for right answers. Right now. The very last thing I'm concerned about is how you fit it the group. 

And who made you the "decider" of the things that really matter in life? I gots me a hunch we might differ in what those things are.

After reading for years here, I am aware of some of your story. And good on ya. But let's keep it real.

Well I do get to decide what is important on the teams I run. There is ample evidence that assholes, even very smart ones, cost organizations a lot in ways that are not always obvious. Team dynamics are actually far more important in any given projects success than the skill or knowledge level of any single team member. The team is what is important, and AP classes tend to give folks the impression that it is them as an individual who really matter. That is teaching them something that is simply not true, and so does them and everyone else a disservice. 

When I build a team, and I have built many of them, I prioritize diversity, openness, trust, and collaboration. I don't really care how smart someone is or what they bring to the table, if they don't score high on those traits they are not on my team. My teams have historically overperformed, so I am not going to change what has worked for me for thirty years without seeing some real proof that there is a better approach. 

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37 minutes ago, LenP said:

Well I do get to decide what is important on the teams I run. There is ample evidence that assholes, even very smart ones, cost organizations a lot in ways that are not always obvious. Team dynamics are actually far more important in any given projects success than the skill or knowledge level of any single team member. The team is what is important, and AP classes tend to give folks the impression that it is them as an individual who really matter. That is teaching them something that is simply not true, and so does them and everyone else a disservice. 

When I build a team, and I have built many of them, I prioritize diversity, openness, trust, and collaboration. I don't really care how smart someone is or what they bring to the table, if they don't score high on those traits they are not on my team. My teams have historically overperformed, so I am not going to change what has worked for me for thirty years without seeing some real proof that there is a better approach. 

Sadly the idea that being an asshole means you are some kind of "on the spectrum uber genius" has caused many people to try and look smart by being assholes :rolleyes: 

True genius assholes need to be managed like Master-Blaster from the Mad Max movies. You need genius-boy in the corner where no one goes near him and the other guy channels info in and out of the corner.

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1 hour ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Sadly the idea that being an asshole means you are some kind of "on the spectrum uber genius" has caused many people to try and look smart by being assholes :rolleyes: 

True genius assholes need to be managed like Master-Blaster from the Mad Max movies. You need genius-boy in the corner where no one goes near him and the other guy channels info in and out of the corner.

Bill Campbell called them aberrant geniuses, but also pointed out that while you can tolerate some things from them, that the one thing you can not tolerate is when they put themselves above the team. I agree with him on that. 

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Len, all that teamwork kumbaya is a nice little diversion from the several terms you used and I questioned in this very thread having to do with the dumbing down of the country:

students that over-perform academically ... what are the parameters?

Superficial understanding ... per you, a quick uptake has to be superficial? You're not serious.

Your version  of what's really important in life. WTAF?

Come on doc ... teamwork is not the subject of discussion. 

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6 hours ago, El Mariachi said:

Learn a fuking real trade. Or reinvent the mouse trap. The world already has way too many 'academia hamsters' that can't do shit, don't know shit and aren't worth a shit.....and making shit wages whilst their at it......

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Why can't she change her own tyre?

Your Macho shit get s bit old Maria.

My kids grew up without a male "mentor"

They can both change a tyre, a washer, replace a showerhead and even fix things with fencing wire.

Their mother taught them.

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22 minutes ago, Shortforbob said:

Why can't she change her own tyre?

Your Macho shit get s bit old Maria.

My kids grew up without a male "mentor"

They can both change a tyre, a washer, replace a showerhead and even fix things with fencing wire.

Their mother taught them.

This is America, gurly.....the country that was built by folks with huge balls.

 

No one gives a fuk about your kids tire changing abilities in your little hovel in Haiti. Or Greenland. Or wetf you live. But do your children a huge favor, call the guy that knocked you up......and invite over for tea this week. I'm sure your kids would at least like to once meet their father......

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53 minutes ago, El Mariachi said:

This is America, gurly.....the country that was built by folks with huge balls.

 

No one gives a fuk about your kids tire changing abilities in your little hovel in Haiti. Or Greenland. Or wetf you live. But do your children a huge favor, call the guy that knocked you up......and invite over for tea this week. I'm sure your kids would at least like to once meet their father......

He's dead.

And you sure as hell are compensating for something :D

Is this the great Rick we've all been waiting for?

I feel a wizard of Oz moment coming on.

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1 minute ago, Shortforbob said:

He's dead.

Well I sure as fuk stepped in THAT one. And I'm terribly sorry.....that was truly very un-nice of me.......

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2 minutes ago, El Mariachi said:

Well I sure as fuk stepped in THAT one. And I'm terribly sorry.....that was truly very un-nice of me.......

No worries. You've been away.

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Just now, Shortforbob said:

No worries. You've been away.

My sincere apologies....that one had to suck......

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Just now, El Mariachi said:

My sincere apologies....that one had to suck......

Not as badly as raising two kids "alone" with a bipolar "absent" dad did. 

Sometimes there's worse things than being a single parent.

 

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11 hours ago, LenP said:

If that is what happened, then I think the teacher and parents failed.

I'm going to Disagree with you here.  The issue is that the lower performing 50% of the class is going to require 90% of the teacher's time.  She/he is not going to have the bandwidth to then entertain the bright kids who are already well ahead of the material.  

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2 hours ago, Blue Crab said:

Len, all that teamwork kumbaya is a nice little diversion from the several terms you used and I questioned in this very thread having to do with the dumbing down of the country:

 

Come on doc ... teamwork is not the subject of discussion. 

Len, I sorta agree with crabs here.  We are talking about 5-11th grade "Academics".  A kid's one and only J-O-B in school is to learn the material.  Schools, and specifically classrooms, should not be social experiments in team building or all the other shit we think school's should do.  That schools offer those opportunities outside of the classroom with such stuff as sports, drama club, band, cheer, Math club, chess club, square dancing club, etc. is a bonus.  Those social skills and life skills should primarily be the parents job.  And of course kids are going to learn social stuff - good and bad - through interaction outside of and between classes.  But the classroom should be for learning the material and yes it's pretty much every kid for themselves.  

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19 minutes ago, Burning Man said:

I'm going to Disagree with you here.  The issue is that the lower performing 50% of the class is going to require 90% of the teacher's time.  She/he is not going to have the bandwidth to then entertain the bright kids who are already well ahead of the material.  

Spend 4-5 years getting a modern teaching degree and get back to us.

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 "The issue is that the lower performing 50% of the class is going to require 90% of the teacher's time."

The really interesting bit, for me, is that this is perfectly OK with many people.

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4 minutes ago, Blue Crab said:

 "The issue is that the lower performing 50% of the class is going to require 90% of the teacher's time."

The really interesting bit, for me, is that this is perfectly OK with many people.

would it be mo beter if the lower performing 90% of the class got 50% of the teaching time?

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1 hour ago, Shortforbob said:
2 hours ago, El Mariachi said:

This is America, gurly.....the country that was built by folks with huge balls.

 

No one gives a fuk about your kids tire changing abilities in your little hovel in Haiti. Or Greenland. Or wetf you live. But do your children a huge favor, call the guy that knocked you up......and invite over for tea this week. I'm sure your kids would at least like to once meet their father......

He's dead.

And you sure as hell are compensating for something :D

Is this the great Rick we've all been waiting for?

I feel a wizard of Oz moment coming on.

El Moran really outdid himself with that gem.

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1 hour ago, Blue Crab said:

 "The issue is that the lower performing 50% of the class is going to require 90% of the teacher's time."

The really interesting bit, for me, is that this is perfectly OK with many people.

Take the bottom 5% and ship them to reform school. That will free up ~ 50% of the teacher's time

DSK

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2 hours ago, Burning Man said:

I'm going to Disagree with you here.  The issue is that the lower performing 50% of the class is going to require 90% of the teacher's time.  She/he is not going to have the bandwidth to then entertain the bright kids who are already well ahead of the material.  

A quote from a very good teacher friend of mine:  "All kids are special needs."

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The modern education system was designed to teach future factory workers to be “punctual, docile, and sober” not critical thinking. Their teachers were trained under the same system they teach. 

 

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4 hours ago, El Mariachi said:

This is America, gurly.....the country that was built by folks with huge balls.

 

No one gives a fuk about your kids tire changing abilities in your little hovel in Haiti. Or Greenland. Or wetf you live. But do your children a huge favor, call the guy that knocked you up......and invite over for tea this week. I'm sure your kids would at least like to once meet their father......

He ran away from home with a Thai girl. One would have to wonder why finch’s think ...

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3 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

Spend 4-5 years getting a modern teaching degree and get back to us.

Right-oo 

When it comes to edumacation, everyone is an expert. 

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1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

Take the bottom 5% and ship them to reform school. That will free up ~ 50% of the teacher's time

Dunno if I would go that far, and I would point out that the "bottom 5%" are often smart, but they have other issues. 

But, I do agree that "pupils" who disrupt the learning process can and should be removed from the classroom. 

Does that make me a man of the Reich ?? 

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1 hour ago, Rain Man said:

A quote from a very good teacher friend of mine:  "All kids are special needs."

Or as I am wont to observe if given the slightest of opportunities, 

every one of us has a learning disability or several. 

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45 minutes ago, Venom said:

The modern education system was designed to teach future factory workers to be “punctual, docile, and sober” not critical thinking. Their teachers were trained under the same system they teach. 

 

Every teacher knows this video well.  Teachers today are caught between the archaic funding, management and structures of schools under the old paradigm, and kids who are exactly as described by Ken Robinson. 

For example, teachers everywhere are fighting against standardized testing, and anyone who hasn't seen this video thinks they are doing so to avoid accountability.  

This video needs to be shared far and wide.  It helps people to understand what is going on in schools today.

 

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1 hour ago, Venom said:

The modern education system was designed to teach future factory workers to be “punctual, docile, and sober” not critical thinking.

That explains why you follow the Great Orange One 

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9 hours ago, Burning Man said:

Len, I sorta agree with crabs here.  We are talking about 5-11th grade "Academics".  A kid's one and only J-O-B in school is to learn the material.  Schools, and specifically classrooms, should not be social experiments in team building or all the other shit we think school's should do.  That schools offer those opportunities outside of the classroom with such stuff as sports, drama club, band, cheer, Math club, chess club, square dancing club, etc. is a bonus.  Those social skills and life skills should primarily be the parents job.  And of course kids are going to learn social stuff - good and bad - through interaction outside of and between classes.  But the classroom should be for learning the material and yes it's pretty much every kid for themselves.  

That is how we have done things for half a century. It is not working out well. I would point out that what I am talking about is not intended to be some feel good nonsense, it is born out of real world experience building high performing teams that are able to create real value by creating something which had not previously existed. I am far from alone in this belief. From Bill Campbell to the Navy Seals, this is the way folks have figured out how to build high performing teams. Nearly all work is performed in the context of working with a team, whether that is the dept you work in, or a project specific team with a more finite life span. 

Aside from the productivity that comes from this approach, there are the societal implications. We really need to shift our culture away from the selfishness that is consuming our nation. It is not healthy, and it will destroy us.  

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8 hours ago, Venom said:

The modern education system was designed to teach future factory workers to be “punctual, docile, and sober” not critical thinking. Their teachers were trained under the same system they teach. 

 

kudos. That's pretty spot on.

How do we get there/

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1 hour ago, LenP said:

Nearly all work is performed in the context of working with a team, whether that is the dept you work in, or a project specific team with a more finite life span. 

Aside from the productivity that comes from this approach, there are the societal implications. We really need to shift our culture away from the selfishness that is consuming our nation. It is not healthy, and it will destroy us.  

Notes from a hedgehog: That way's no good, my way is better. (With apologies, Len.)

Also have to say I know a least a dozen MDs who find something lacking in their lives, I guess, and decide their brilliance could serve the public better by becoming a "public servant, and start solving societal issues like selfishness that will otherwise destroy us. I suspect that we all know what is sure to improve. More dough, no liability ins weight on your back ... and very little accountability.

Teamwork works for folks that like being part of a tight knit team. What about the rest of us? 

 

9 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Take the bottom 5% and ship them to reform school. That will free up ~ 50% of the teacher's time

We know facetiousness when we read it captain but ya gotta love the divergent thinking. I do. I recall the Gary Jobs Corp. Indeed, it's still out there but wasn't the paradigm shift we'd hoped.

 

7 hours ago, AJ Oliver said:

Dunno if I would go that far, and I would point out that the "bottom 5%" are often smart, but they have other issues. 

But, I do agree that "pupils" who disrupt the learning process can and should be removed from the classroom. 

Yep and yep. 

 

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41 minutes ago, Shortforbob said:

kudos. That's pretty spot on.

How do we get there/

This is not all the horror you think it is.
Back in the day completing 12 years of school was not common, kids dropped out early to work. Even basic reading and math were not universal skills by any means. I know there is a subtext of "docile workers who do what their told", but on the good side kids who learned to read, write, do basic math, show up on time, and so on were going to make a LOT better living on average than the ones who couldn't.  I knew a guy who was a street kid in the 1930s who got taken in by an orphanage  - or maybe the cops got tired of arresting him and took him there - and he got a high school diploma and learned to do machine work. Being a skilled machinist right when WW II came along put him solidly in the middle class and he was still working in his late 70s and good at it. Also dude got so much old lady action he had to make a schedule :D

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39 minutes ago, Blue Crab said:

Notes from a hedgehog: That way's no good, my way is better. (With apologies, Len.)

Also have to say I know a least a dozen MDs who find something lacking in their lives, I guess, and decide their brilliance could serve the public better by becoming a "public servant, and start solving societal issues like selfishness that will otherwise destroy us. I suspect that we all know what is sure to improve. More dough, no liability ins weight on your back ... and very little accountability.

Teamwork works for folks that like being part of a tight knit team. What about the rest of us? 

 

We know facetiousness when we read it captain but ya gotta love the divergent thinking. I do. I recall the Gary Jobs Corp. Indeed, it's still out there but wasn't the paradigm shift we'd hoped.

 

Yep and yep. 

 

Dude, teamwork has been part of the human experience since before we began walking on two legs. You are reading far too much into what it means to be part of a team. I have had teams where fully 1/3 of the folks on it were on the spectrum and had no problem with team dynamics. It is not about forcing everyone to work in the same style or use the same communication methods, it is about openness to ideas, respect for others, collaboration, and most importantly trust. Those are important things and are important to all humans. When we do not trust and respect each other, bad things happen, which is fairly obvious if you look at our own country over the last decade. 

In any case, I have no interest in getting into some absurd argument over this. I have stated my opinion derived from decades of work. The same ideas are used by high performing organizations across numerous and diverse industries, from the Navy Seals to Intuit and Google. Perhaps you are right, and those folks are wrong along with me being totally wrong. It could be a total coincidence and they are successful in spite of their approach not because of it. 

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43 minutes ago, LenP said:

Dude, teamwork has been part of the human experience since before we began walking on two legs. You are reading far too much into what it means to be part of a team. I have had teams where fully 1/3 of the folks on it were on the spectrum and had no problem with team dynamics. It is not about forcing everyone to work in the same style or use the same communication methods, it is about openness to ideas, respect for others, collaboration, and most importantly trust. Those are important things and are important to all humans. When we do not trust and respect each other, bad things happen, which is fairly obvious if you look at our own country over the last decade. 

In any case, I have no interest in getting into some absurd argument over this. I have stated my opinion derived from decades of work. The same ideas are used by high performing organizations across numerous and diverse industries, from the Navy Seals to Intuit and Google. Perhaps you are right, and those folks are wrong along with me being totally wrong. It could be a total coincidence and they are successful in spite of their approach not because of it. 

Yes humans, wolves, lions, and meerkats succeed or fail as a group. We are not tigers hunting alone.

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3 hours ago, Shortforbob said:

kudos. That's pretty spot on.

How do we get there/

In short, stop categorizing children by manufacturing date.  Get rid of age-based grades, and instead simply place children in progress-level groups so they can learn at their own pace.  Integrate subject matter (get rid of "math" class) up to grade 11 or so.  Switch to project-based learning.  Track kids progress by simply noting whether they have met the desired learning outcomes or not, not with percentage grades.   Scrap standardized testing except for certification purposes. Bring real certifications into high school.  Extend the trades apprenticeship programs down into high school.  Equip every high school with fully functional metal and wood shops, and have every kid get some training there.  Have every kid learn the basics of coding through robotics.  Make sure every kid graduates with basic computer skills (word-processing, spreadsheets, webpages, images, video).

There was a thread about this not long ago.   

 

 

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2 hours ago, LenP said:

Dude, teamwork has been part of the human experience since before we began walking on two legs. You are reading far too much into what it means to be part of a team. I have had teams where fully 1/3 of the folks on it were on the spectrum and had no problem with team dynamics. It is not about forcing everyone to work in the same style or use the same communication methods, it is about openness to ideas, respect for others, collaboration, and most importantly trust. Those are important things and are important to all humans. When we do not trust and respect each other, bad things happen, which is fairly obvious if you look at our own country over the last decade. 

In any case, I have no interest in getting into some absurd argument over this. I have stated my opinion derived from decades of work. The same ideas are used by high performing organizations across numerous and diverse industries, from the Navy Seals to Intuit and Google. Perhaps you are right, and those folks are wrong along with me being totally wrong. It could be a total coincidence and they are successful in spite of their approach not because of it. 

 

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1 hour ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Yes humans, wolves, lions, and meerkats succeed or fail as a group. We are not tigers hunting alone.

Sure we are. And many of us are savvy enough to work together prn. And the other half are dumber than that.

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1 hour ago, Blue Crab said:

Thanks doc but I say again, we be talking about dumbing down in education.

Do you have me confused with another poster? I am not a doctor, I work in tech. 

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25 minutes ago, LenP said:

Do you have me confused with another poster? I am not a doctor, I work in tech. 

Maybe so, is philly sailor a doc? Still, the subject is education.

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1 hour ago, Blue Crab said:

Sure we are. And many of us are savvy enough to work together prn. And the other half are dumber than that.

That is literally not true. Solo humans are easy meat for just about any predator bigger than a bobcat. Working in groups we are the baddest motherfuckers ever to walk this planet.

 

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4 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

That is literally not true. Solo humans are easy meat for just about any predator bigger than a bobcat. Working in groups we are the baddest motherfuckers ever to walk this planet.

 

baboons are also pretty bad ass when in groups.

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5 minutes ago, 3to1 said:

baboons are also pretty bad ass when in groups.

I have zero problems with cougars however. Either alone....or in a pack. (Preferably a three pack....but I digest)....

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5 minutes ago, El Mariachi said:

I have zero problems with cougars however. Either alone....or in a pack. (Preferably a three pack....but I digest)....

can't say I do, either.

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1 minute ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Baboons were all gangsta until they saw this coming:

Behind the Sounds of War for the Planet of the Apes ...

and everything else was like, 'holy fuck, what have we here..'

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2 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

Solo, however...

goejgwh8nez41.jpg?auto=webp&s=86ad158669

I'd be lyin' if I told you that that's not a disgusting pic....

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1 hour ago, El Mariachi said:

I'd be lyin' if I told you that that's not a disgusting pic....

the lion doesn't seem to have a problem with it.

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5 hours ago, Rain Man said:

In short, stop categorizing children by manufacturing date.  Get rid of age-based grades, and instead simply place children in progress-level groups so they can learn at their own pace.  Integrate subject matter (get rid of "math" class) up to grade 11 or so.  Switch to project-based learning.  Track kids progress by simply noting whether they have met the desired learning outcomes or not, not with percentage grades.   Scrap standardized testing except for certification purposes. Bring real certifications into high school.  Extend the trades apprenticeship programs down into high school.  Equip every high school with fully functional metal and wood shops, and have every kid get some training there.  Have every kid learn the basics of coding through robotics.  Make sure every kid graduates with basic computer skills (word-processing, spreadsheets, webpages, images, video).

There was a thread about this not long ago.   

 

 

I grew up in the UK. A "not bad" state primary school where kids from a mixed demographic were "taught"

We did times tables by rote repetition. Copied text from books. Rote learned poems. There was little free writing. An ex Army officer with a pot full of canes "taught" us a semi "copperplate" .

At age 11 we were to sit our 11+ exam. This determined whether we were doomed to being hairdressers and factory fodder or go to a "grammar" school and possible tertiary education (if our parents could afford it)

We came to Australia. The new school was on the edge of the bush and catered to local kids and a constantly moving cohort of new migrants straight off the boat. The classes were composites and taught  age 9-11 in one group according to ability.

Needs driven flexibility

I still remember our one of my first classes completely clearly. 

It was how to debate. How to think outside the box, turn black into a better colour than yellow.

It was the very first time I'd been taught to think for myself, disagree with authority.

I'm grateful to that little school and that teacher in particular.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Blue Crab said:

It's good to be king.

Apparently his local Costco ran out of Gazelle.....

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14 hours ago, LenP said:

That is how we have done things for half a century. It is not working out well. I would point out that what I am talking about is not intended to be some feel good nonsense, it is born out of real world experience building high performing teams that are able to create real value by creating something which had not previously existed. I am far from alone in this belief. From Bill Campbell to the Navy Seals, this is the way folks have figured out how to build high performing teams. Nearly all work is performed in the context of working with a team, whether that is the dept you work in, or a project specific team with a more finite life span. 

Aside from the productivity that comes from this approach, there are the societal implications. We really need to shift our culture away from the selfishness that is consuming our nation. It is not healthy, and it will destroy us.  

Fair.  But I'm not convinced that is solely or even mostly the school's job or responsibility to do this for young kids.  That is greater society's job.  The Parent's job.  And until we change the paradigm that society is built on, that ain't gonna change.  I do 100% agree with you that that should be the end goal - i.e. a less selfish, "ME" centered society.  But short of making Elementary school resemble BUD/S training - I'm not sure how we get there.  

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9 hours ago, Rain Man said:

In short, stop categorizing children by manufacturing date.  Get rid of age-based grades, and instead simply place children in progress-level groups so they can learn at their own pace.  Integrate subject matter (get rid of "math" class) up to grade 11 or so.  Switch to project-based learning.  Track kids progress by simply noting whether they have met the desired learning outcomes or not, not with percentage grades.   Scrap standardized testing except for certification purposes. Bring real certifications into high school.  Extend the trades apprenticeship programs down into high school.  Equip every high school with fully functional metal and wood shops, and have every kid get some training there.  Have every kid learn the basics of coding through robotics.  Make sure every kid graduates with basic computer skills (word-processing, spreadsheets, webpages, images, video).

There was a thread about this not long ago.   

 

 

I LIKE IT!!!

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9 hours ago, Burning Man said:

Fair.  But I'm not convinced that is solely or even mostly the school's job or responsibility to do this for young kids.  That is greater society's job.  The Parent's job.  And until we change the paradigm that society is built on, that ain't gonna change.  I do 100% agree with you that that should be the end goal - i.e. a less selfish, "ME" centered society.  But short of making Elementary school resemble BUD/S training - I'm not sure how we get there.  

My take is that it is not solely the schools job, however they should be part of it. It is part of a person's education. 

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5 hours ago, LenP said:

My take is that it is not solely the schools job, however they should be part of it. It is part of a person's education. 

This is my issue with home-schooling. I was a quick study, I am sure I could have finished up K-12 at home by age 12 or so. I would have never learned the important lessons from school though.

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14 hours ago, Burning Man said:

I LIKE IT!!!

The trouble is that the education systems everywhere have so much momentum under the existing paradigm that changing directions is nearly impossible, especially when proposing a system that will potentially be more expensive than the existing one.  

<rant>

Our province missed a huge opportunity for change when they recently revised the curriculum.  It was difficult for me to take, knowing that there were teachers participating the process, and ultimately it was another factor in my decision to retire - I managed to retire just before implementation of the new curriculum was mandatory in the grades I taught.  Implementing new curriculum means revising lesson plans, classroom activities, and developing new assessment tools - in short it is a lot of work in the first year.

The new curriculum tried to find a happy medium between the ideas of Sir Ken Robinson and traditional methods, and IMHO failed by not going far enough, and in some ways made things worse.  Not to mention there were some, I believe, politically driven changes, like removing ecosystems from the high school science curriculum. 

</rant>

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2 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

This is my issue with home-schooling. I was a quick study, I am sure I could have finished up K-12 at home by age 12 or so. I would have never learned the important lessons from school though.

Agreed. We have our son in a cyber charter school, so he does a lot of his academic work at home, but there is an in person component and we also make sure to build in a lot of non-school opportunities to develop social and teamwork skills. It works for him, since he gets overwhelmed with more than 6 kids at a time. Neuro typical kids may have different needs, so I don't think we need a one size fits all, but we do need a holistic view of it which incorporates the type of learning and skills that people will need throughout life. 

 

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8 minutes ago, LenP said:

Agreed. We have our son in a cyber charter school, so he does a lot of his academic work at home, but there is an in person component and we also make sure to build in a lot of non-school opportunities to develop social and teamwork skills. It works for him, since he gets overwhelmed with more than 6 kids at a time. Neuro typical kids may have different needs, so I don't think we need a one size fits all, but we do need a holistic view of it which incorporates the type of learning and skills that people will need throughout life. 

 

My nephew liked to be UNDER the desk at school, but his teachers let him do it because it worked for him. His charter school moved the teachers with the kids, so they had the same teachers every year.

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10 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

My nephew liked to be UNDER the desk at school, but his teachers let him do it because it worked for him. His charter school moved the teachers with the kids, so they had the same teachers every year.

Very cool that the school accommodated him like that. 

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