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People slipping through the cracks

  1. Nov 2, 2005 #1

    Pengwuino

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    Something I've been noticing a lot is that there are a LOT of students who have somehow slipped through a ton of cracks in the "system" of education. Today I heard something from a grad student that absolutely took the cake. He does tutoring and one day he is helping someone with their intro to mechanics work and he finds out something absolutely insane. The person had no concept of what volume was... he didn't know what it was! And there was nothing special about this person either... not foreign or "special" or anything that could remotely explain what was going on. Another time he had someone who (this is less spectacular) who did not know an ellipse was a shape!
    Now this stuff is 2nd grade information... and theres plenty of barriers meant to stop these people from advancing until they know the material... so what exactly is going on here? I mean you have to pass classes in every grade... you many times have to pass exit exams in high school.... theres math requirements in high school... theres math requirements to enter the university... theres even math requirements to get into that class. How are people doing this??? Does the educational system in the US need re-evaluating?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2005 #2
    mel hurtig wrote in "the vanishing country" that it's possible for someone in canada to get a phd in history without doing a single course on canadian history. i guess the world is a crazy enough place that it's possible but he didn't list the universities that don't have canadian history required for history students, so who knows.
     
  4. Nov 2, 2005 #3
    Referring back to Pengwuino's example...

    Well, I'm a HS senior and to pay for AP tests I have to tutor some people to pay for AP exams (really, it's a HS program thing-->not an individual project).

    One of the people I'm tutoring is taking AlgebraII and cannot multiply fractions :eek: Another person I tutor in AlgebraII cannot solve simple proportions. :bugeye:

    Whoever reads this thread MUST ALSO READ THESE:

    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=96967
    and
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=66263
    and
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=95904

    Speaking of holes in the educational system :wink:
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2005
  5. Nov 2, 2005 #4

    matthyaouw

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    Perhaps the problem is that once it has been learned, in some cases it is just assumed that people will remember what they are taught forever, and it doesn't get touched on again until much later. I learned so much maths in high school, but I've simply not used it since, and as a consequence don't remember much of it.
     
  6. Nov 2, 2005 #5

    Pengwuino

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    But volume.... how can you "lose" that information? We literally deal with it every single day of our lives. I mean this isn't formulas we're talking about or properties... we're talking about their actual physical existance.
     
  7. Nov 2, 2005 #6
    But Pengwuino! Don't you realize that we are all equal? And that it's wrong to make people feel stupid by failing them? And that it racist to give bad grades to people who aren't white?
     
  8. Nov 2, 2005 #7

    Pengwuino

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    :devil: :devil: :devil: *beats Ape with a salmon*
     
  9. Nov 2, 2005 #8
    chomsky is a hardcore anarchist who believes in montessori/dewey/etc-style education. if you read his reviews on www.ratemyprofessers.com he's a very harsh marker. i would think that he believes in challenging a student just as much as anybody.
     
  10. Nov 2, 2005 #9

    Moonbear

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    Volume? Hmmm...let's see, that's the button you press on the remote control to make the TV louder, right?

    *stands back and watches Pengwuino stroke out* :rofl:

    Okay, I have to admit it's hard to figure out how someone got through life without knowing what volume means, though, an ellipse is a bit different. That's not exactly one of the shapes in the shape-sorter for 2 year-olds. I could see how someone would be taught that in geometry and just as quickly forget the name because there's no reason for most people to ever use the word again.

    Once in a while I get shocked to realize there are kids who don't know things that I thought every kid grew up knowing. One of our technicians was telling me the other day that she used to give farm tours to the city kids who would come on class trips to see animals. They had a hereford cow (one of the brown varieties...you know, like the rhyme "How now brown cow?"), and one of the kids asked her if it was a goat! Even if you've never been on a real farm, how do you grow up not knowing what a cow looks like? Hasn't everyone had the Playschool See and Say thing with the cows that go moo, and the pigs that go oink?
     
  11. Nov 2, 2005 #10

    ranger

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    Wow....well said.
     
  12. Nov 2, 2005 #11
    I definitely believe in differant types of intelligence and that people have differing strong points and weak points. My comment was really just a joke about the direction that things have gone here in CA where Pengwuino and I live. There are seriously schools here that still want to institute the use of "ebonics" in the class room and say that asking students to learn and be proficient with the english language is racist (hence the comment about racism). They are also against testing senior high school students to be sure they have actually attained an education before they graduate them so as to not let people slip through the cracks. When a school tested out this idea and several students failed the exit exam they protested that we would be ruining these kids' futures by not allowing them to graduate.
     
  13. Nov 2, 2005 #12

    Pengwuino

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    Yah I remember that. Im sorry but putting someone out in the real world with no skills is going to ruin someones future must quicker then hurting their feelings by holding them back. I mean when did feelings become so important.
     
  14. Nov 2, 2005 #13
    From what people have been posting here at PF, it seems there is a huge problem, and it is starting to worry me. Public education has never been perfect, but it used to be basically reliable in a way it doesn't seem to be anymore.
     
  15. Nov 2, 2005 #14

    Math Is Hard

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    Agreed. It's a very sad state of affairs. The recent California high school exit exam scores speak volumes:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/education/la-093005exit_lat,0,1534949.story?coll=la-home-headlines
     
  16. Nov 2, 2005 #15

    Pengwuino

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    I think we can start looking here for our problem. You don't have a "chance" to "EARN" things. You just earn them. You don't go to work and do your work for the "chance" of earning your paycheck. People are acting like this is anything other then something you work at an earn. If you can't pass this test, then you have not earned what a diploma signifies.
     
  17. Nov 2, 2005 #16
    This is a pretty deadly problem in and of itself.
     
  18. Nov 2, 2005 #17
    oh well now i understand then, that IS crazy :uhh: i can't believe that's even taken seriously
     
  19. Nov 2, 2005 #18

    Pengwuino

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    Well you don't want to offend anyone by not allowing made-up racial inspired languages that further create racial problems through its use.

    Or something like that....
     
  20. Nov 2, 2005 #19

    Moonbear

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    When the ebonics thing first came out, my reaction then is the same as it is now...that is racism! Deciding that because a kid is black and growing up in an inner city they can't learn proper English, and to then handicap them by not even trying, you just don't get any more racist than that.

    I agree with this wholeheartedly. I see too much of trying to sugar-coat everything to avoid hurting kids' feelings rather than giving them the constructive criticism and honest evaluation that they need to improve.
     
  21. Nov 3, 2005 #20
    A girl in both my maths b and physics classes was unable to add and subtract fractions from each other for the majority of year 11.
     
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