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News Dumb Teachers!

  1. Oct 6, 2005 #1
    No wonder the educational system in the US is in trouble, our teachers seem be, well… not very bright! Only Public affairs and Services majors have lower SAT scores than Education majors.

    The Math guys are the brainiest, as a group scoring almost as well as President Bush followed by:
    Language and Literature
    Philosophy, Religion, or Theology
    Foreign or Classical Languages

    My apologies go to the lit, philosophy, and language people, whom I’ve always thought to be kind of slow, you know, anyone that couldn’t quick-draw a slide rule from his belt holster.

    If you sort by math scores you get the expected Math, physics, and engineering ranking.

    Yikes! The worst performers will go off to run the government bureaucracy, the next worse will teach our children.

    http://www.collegeboard.com/prod_downloads/about/news_info/cbsenior/yr2003/pdf/2003_TOTALGRP_PRD.pdf [Broken]

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 6, 2005 #2
    I am a secondary math ed major, and yeah, most ed majors I have met are idiots. I would say elementary ed majors are probably the worst. Also, because of seeing so many future teachers, I have decided to not let my kids go to public schools in the future.

    And the math scores on the lit/lang majors definitely surprised me!
  4. Oct 6, 2005 #3


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    I'm a lit/philosophy major (used to be a science major) and scored very, very close to perfect on my SAT. You'd be surprised at how much non-majors struggle when they take philosophy classes (above the 100 level). They aren't easy.

    Anyway, it's no big surprise to me that education majors are among the lowest performers. My school has one of the better education programs in the western states and it's a very popular major. I haven't actually taken any of the education classes and don't plan on doing so, but I'll take a look in their classrooms sometimes, and they seem to spend a lot of time making posters, focusing on how to create empathy with students rather than learning anything academic, and they seem to engage in a lot of political discussion regarding school funding and curricula and such. Call me crazy, but I'd rather have the administration focus on that, and have the teachers focus on having knowledge of the subjects they'll be teaching.

    I also volunteer for AmeriCorps, and most of the the people I work with are education majors. What we do is teach phonics and comprehension to students who are below grade level in reading. Just so you don't get the impression that I'm criticizing the program - it does make a real difference; the students do catch up, usually after a year, sometimes two, in the program. But seeing the kind of people that are going to into education is a little unsettling. When we were doing our introductions to each other, and the question came up about why we were doing this, most of the people said that they were low achievers in elementary school that had a lot of difficulty reading, were often well below grade level (some had learning disorders), and that they wanted to help out kids in the same situation. I was the only one that said I was always way ahead of grade level in reading, practically grew up in the library, and wanted to instill my love of reading into a new generation.

    Now I can understand why this is happening. There is simply a difference of philosophy here. Education programs focus on being able to identify with the kids, on creating rapport, trust, and getting through in that way. If I am right that many of the people running these programs were students that struggle in school, then this makes sense. They are trying to create an environment that lifts up the least among us. On the other hand, my experience was different. I actually felt sometimes like I knew more about the subject we were being taught than my teachers, and I almost certainly learned more on my own than I ever did in school. Even today, I feel as if elementary school failed me, by focusing so much on the low achievers and providing little to nothing for high achievers - even GATE and Academic Olympics and such were more fun than educational.

    I'll never forget my first three years of school - kindergarten, first, and second grades. Myself and another student named Chris Ramos were very good in math. The way the program worked was that we were given a workbook that we were to go through during the semester, doing assignments as we were taught how. There was, however, no requirement that we wait. So Chris and I would compete to see who could finish the entire book first. Both of us usually completed the book within a month or two and then had nothing to do when it was math time for the rest of the year. At least they allowed me to move up with the older kids to learn reading.

    I agree with matt, though - my own kids will not be attending public schools. Even my little sisters are now going to private schools. Unfortunately, my parents were still in their 20s back when I was going to school and couldn't afford to put me into private education.
  5. Oct 7, 2005 #4


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    What went wrong, 50 years ago the USA had the best overall education system in the world, and it was for the most part public education. Now we rank below 15th in the world.

    It can't all be blamed on dumb ED majors.
  6. Oct 7, 2005 #5


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    Some combination of bad curricular design, poor teachers, poorer administration, a huge influx of non-English speaking students, and a culture that does not provide much support to struggling students outside of school.
  7. Oct 7, 2005 #6
    My wife is a 2nd grade teacher here in Phoenix in a poor district.
    She comes home frustrated to her wits end every day that no matter what she tries the kids just dont get it.
    Her class is 100% Hispanic/Black and about 80% have English as a Second language.
    They are nearly off the charts behind in their reading comprehension because of that.
    I think a major part of the problem is that children arent encouraged to learn at home, and as the population grows MOST of the growth is in these poor communities.
  8. Oct 7, 2005 #7


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    These are exactly the kinds of kids I'm working with right now. One-on-one instruction really does help get them up to grade level, but unfortunately we just don't have the resources to give one-on-one instruction to every struggling child.
  9. Oct 7, 2005 #8
    Most of the teachers I've had where pretty smart as far as I could tell. But lots of my teachers also taught at universities and had PhD's. It's the kids that are the problem. Honors classes and below in my high school were a joke. Everything was an argument with the teacher. Every time there was an assignment/test/notes the whole class would b****h and complain, wasting 50% of class time so nothing would get done. It got to the point where quizes and tests where ALL open notes because no one would study. WTF?! OPEN NOTES?! THATS CRAZY!

    No one respects teachers anymore. Teaching use to be an honorable profession, but now what? Most high schoolers make more money working at the grocery story than teachers make teaching.

    We would have the resources if we didn't go spending billions of dollars building nuclear submarines, stealth bombers, and the bloody war in Iraq. WTF do we need another nuclear submarine for anyways?
  10. Oct 7, 2005 #9


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    Money doesn't solve everything. We're still looking for additional volunteers. If any of you have free time, find out if there is a mentoring program out there and get involved. I'm a big fan of being proactive when you see a problem and not waiting for the government to solve it. Usually, they will not.
  11. Oct 8, 2005 #10
    That is the only way: Rightintent.

    The burden of education ultimately begins with the "student"; the individual that INTENDS to learn particular knowledge of any particular subject. If that particular individual did not intend to learn, that particular individual would NOT learn, would not be armed with knowledge, and would not TEACH, despite being a "teacher".

    Now, if a particular 'student' has learned what was intended to be learned, that 'student' then qualifies to 'teach' a 'student' what was learned. However, if that 'teacher', armed with knowledge, does intend to teach 'students' that do not intend to learn, then the 'students' will not learn.

    For the education system to succeed, first, the 'teachers' must be armed with knowledge and the intent to teach, and be provided with 'students' with the capacity to learn, barring mental illness, and the intent to learn.

    Second, the political system must support the education system by ensuring that the monetary system provides the education system with ALL the resources NEEDED to accomplish the first criteria.

    Third, the particular school system within the whole education system must be designed so that the teachers and students converse in the same language.

    Fourth, the first, second, and third criteria depend on the student being able to write text in any language.

    Fifth, the first, second, third, and fourth criteria depend on the student being able to read text in any language.

    Sixth, the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth criteria depend on the knowledge that is being learned is right.

    Seventh, the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth criteria depend on the source of that right knowledge.
  12. Oct 8, 2005 #11
    In the 1960's I volunteered my services to a local clinic that catered to para/quadriplegic patients. I devised some primitive electronic communications and mobility devices, none very successful. Later I tried tutoring two teenagers, one could move his right arm and fingers, and the other had no mobility at all. Both were always on respirators and couldn't speak. For the immobile one, I made a tongue switch (taped to his nose no less) and for the other a finger switch. The switches were used to illuminate lamps arranged in rows and columns and labeled a, b c… left switch move horizontal, right switch move down. In this manner words and sentences could be sent via ASCII code (I recall the data was sent at a very rapid 16 baud) to a Teletype machine, very slow, very tedious, almost useless. I also did a motor driven wheel chair interface that didn’t work very well either. Never the less, the kid with the working fingers really enjoyed smashing into everything judging by the determined grin on his face. Actually I think he was trying to kill himself.

    I gave it up after about a year and a half, just too painful.
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