Is our system of education really that bad?

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FrancisZ

My main problem with school is that sitting still and quiet while being lectured to is the hardest way for me to learn. Or more accurately, it's the way that makes me least likely to WANT to learn. Yet, that's most of high school. Very few teachers at my high school really engaged the students, but this might be because very few students wanted to be engaged.

Nowadays, teachers are actually encouraged to employ student-centered activities. And while I agree that that has it's place, I haven't see it as very practical (yet).

Part of your overall effort as a teacher in the United States, unfortunately, is commonly spent just keeping students under wraps. It's very tiresome and often defeats the more noble purposes of education. In other words: what most people take for granted is normal behavior, most teachers never actually get as a class. There's always somebody that bucks what you're doing somehow. There's always somebody that hasn't grown up with basic respect for other humans. You have to fix that.

And, you as an educator, cannot simply throw them out like garbage either; because no body is garbage (even if they do piss you off). The success and failure of society truly rests in your hands; sometimes even more than in the hands of this person's family, unfortunately. You have to make up for whatever they didn't get before they came to school. It's very hard.


I also think a lot of the homework assigned in school is pointless busy-work.

Sometimes it is. A teacher that doesn't care--or is way overburdened with workload--will give busy work.


I'd rather see just a couple challenging problems in a math or science class than 30 easy problems.

I agree, especially as you grow older. You need the repetition maybe a little less. Maybe depends on the topic too.

However, when you are a little kid, the repetitiveness of certain homework is actually well intentioned. We give it to you, not simply to be a pain in rear (as so many assume), but rather as an effective form of brainwashing--albeit it for the much nobler reason of getting you to, say for example, learn to spell some word correctly.


I did terrible in high school because I was bored out of my mind. Memorizing facts, applying easy algorithms, and otherwise being still and silent killed my morale.

It took me 7 years after high school to recover.

I always tell my kids the same story, upon first meeting them; then I usually sing them a song to prove my point.

Ahem...


"The world looks mighty good to me, cause Tootsie Rolls are all I see.
Whatever it is I think I see, becomes a Tootsie Roll to me.
Tootsie Roll how I love your chocolatey chew.
Tootsie Roll I think I'm in love with you.
Whatever it is I think I see, becomes a Tootsie Roll to me."



Now...in my life...do you honestly think that I ever consciously memorized that song?

Well, for the record: I never did. So why do I know it? Because...it was part of a commercial that I remember seeing through all of my childhood. As a matter of fact, if you watch television even now, I bet you're liable to see it yourself. Here it is on Youtube...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaXk6PVXqJE&feature


It was on the air for at least 20 years of my own life; and probably for years before that. You can tell if you analyze the style of clothing the children in the cartoon are wearing. They all have bell bottoms.

But anyway, my point is this: I know this song, because it was repeated so often growing up, that I couldn't possibly not know it. I was brainwashed in a sense. And that is what teachers do sometimes: they brainwash you, to know your multiplication tables; among other things. When you're that young, it sometimes is the easiest way to get the point across. Students may not appreciate it, but eventually, they will employ it. And it is the basis for so many other things to flow. With just that comprehended--multiplication--you can build so much in a student.

And for the record also: I know the complete dialogue between the Tootsie Pop boy and Turtle and the Owl in that commercial. Also the Klondike Bar song (geez, I spend a lot of time singing ).:redface:
 
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speaking of brainwashing, i remember sometimes when the teachers had nothing better to do, they'd show us some film. don't remember what the film was about, but there was this absolutely horrid tune at the beginning of it that made me want to wretch.

http://www.freetobefoundation.org/audio/free_to_be.mp3 [Broken]

feminist propaganda, i guess.

http://www.freetobefoundation.org/history.htm [Broken]
 
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