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Those who can't teach.

  1. Sep 25, 2007 #1
    Here is the vocabulary list that my 7th grader son brought home for study. The words come from the book 'The Cat Ate My Gymsuit' by Paul Danziger.

    interpretation - to make clear or understandable or reveal the the meaning of.
    contagious - to spread by direct or indirect contact
    grammar - the study of the structure and forms of words in a language
    clod - a dull or awkward person
    dynamics - characterized by or full of energy and vigor
    cretins - a person having a condition present at birth, or developing in infancy, characterized by stunted physical and mental growth
    syllabus - a brief summary or outline of something, as a course of study

    I find 7 errors and one probable. How many do you get?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2007 #2
    A lot of comma splices :)
     
  4. Sep 25, 2007 #3

    Evo

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    Yeesh. These are supposed to be definitions given by the teacher? Back in my day, we looked up the definitions ourselves.

    I'd accept syllabus. Grammar isn't exact, but close enough. The others...

    Clod is ok.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2007
  5. Sep 25, 2007 #4
    jesus. is this for real?? here are two words the author of this book should look up:

    VERB:
    NOUN:

    (and I get the irony of me never starting a new sentence in the upper-case. but, like, what-evah)
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2007
  6. Sep 25, 2007 #5

    Kurdt

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    I agree with Evo. The kids should be taught how to use a dictionary rather than given definitions from the teacher. Especially considering the teacher appears to be giving very specific definitions, that a lot of people do not agree with.

    Teaching them to use a dictionary would give them a much more useful skill and not waste their time.
     
  7. Sep 25, 2007 #6

    Moonbear

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    On a quick perusal, I see a noun and an adjective each defined as a verb, another noun defined as an adjective, and a plural defined in the singular. And that was just a first pass. I'm also not sure that some of those are correct even if they were adjusted for the appropriate part of speech. For example, "grammar" isn't the "study of" anything, is it? Isn't it just the structure of sentences?

    I agree with Evo, especially if the teacher is that bad, they should be looking up the definitions themselves!
    (Edit: LOL! I see that Kurdt posted almost the exact same thing just above me. :biggrin:)
     
  8. Sep 25, 2007 #7
    yea, it should be up to the kids to look it up for themselves, and the teacher should make sure his students succeeds interpretationing the words that are given to him... poor textbooks could result in poor English contagious from student to student; you don't want your child to grow up to be a cretins! — to prevent this, make sure your child is dynamics in his studying, and all will be fine.
     
  9. Sep 25, 2007 #8

    Moonbear

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    :rofl: I think jimmy should copy that and attach it to his kid's homework assignment with a note that it's time for a parent-teacher conference to discuss the vocabulary lists they are being given. :biggrin:
     
  10. Sep 25, 2007 #9

    Evo

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    :rofl: <sputter> :rofl:
     
  11. Sep 25, 2007 #10
    someone had to do it :biggrin:
     
  12. Sep 25, 2007 #11

    Moonbear

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    If you want to know how much of a goody-two-shoes I was as a kid, that's the sort of assignment that would have prompted me to grab the dictionary, write out all the correct definitions, and then march to the principal's office to rat out the teacher! (But I didn't have the nerve to do it myself; 3 of my friends would go with me.) Honestly, I think it worked better than having someone's parents complaining. The one time we did that was because a substitute teacher was teaching us how to read a periodic table incorrectly, and he was never seen again. :biggrin: I never had a regular teacher that bad, so don't know how that would have worked out.
     
  13. Sep 25, 2007 #12

    G01

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    On the topic of bad teachers, two friends of mine had a psychology professor who refused to admit that the units of "nanometers" existed. The correct SI units were, of course, millimicrons. Believe it or not, his contract was not renewed for the next year.

    Also, a friend in a Chem 101 class had this grad student who told the class that "0 degrees Celsius was absolute zero," and that "paint was a solution as long as you kept mixing it." Yeah, that's right, a chemistry graduate student.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2007
  14. Sep 26, 2007 #13
    There were a lot of suggestions based on the idea that the teacher shouldn't even be providing definitions. I consider this an opinion that could be argued either way (except perhaps for this particular teacher.) I note that the definition for cretin(s) was correct but I that was the 'probable' that I was talking about. It is an archaic sense of the word, the more modern meaning is simply 'stupid person' used sarcastically. I expect that in the book it is used in this sense, but I don't have the book and can't say. My point is that even if the kids do look things up themselves, there is no guarantee that they will get it right. The errors, most of which have been noted are:

    interpretation - to make clear or understandable or reveal the the meaning of.
    noun - verb (and two the's in a row)

    contagious - to spread by direct or indirect contact
    adjective - verb

    grammar - the study of the structure and forms of words in a language
    study of the structure of sentences (etymology is the study of the structure of words)

    dynamics - characterized by or full of energy and vigor
    plural for singular, or if you wish spelling, or noun - adjective

    cretins - a person having a condition present at birth, or developing in infancy, characterized by stunted physical and mental growth
    plural - singular

    I have marked the sheet in red and sent it back to the teacher. I hope the teacher will not retaliate against my son. It won't be as easy to do because my son is under the watchful eye of a child study team and they have known him since he was just under three years old.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2007
  15. Sep 26, 2007 #14

    vanesch

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    Which would go against every ideology of teaching nowadays !
     
  16. Sep 26, 2007 #15

    J77

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    :rofl:

    They'll love you. Even the use of a red pen... :tongue:

    Do you have the term "helicopter parent" in the US?
     
  17. Sep 26, 2007 #16
    I never heard the term before, but I googled it. It reminds me of the story of the man and his son walking a donkey. I'm sorry if my parenting style does not meet your needs.
     
  18. Sep 26, 2007 #17

    J77

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    Sorry -- it's just that my partner's a teacher (of English, in fact) -- and I now how much she'd love to receive a corrected sheet from a parent :tongue:

    btw. I'd be more concerned that a negative word like "cretin" was on a vocab sheet :confused:
     
  19. Sep 26, 2007 #18
    J77- I suppose if your child brought home a vocabulary list like that, your partner would just sit idly by and do nothing? I know if I found out that my son was learning things that were wrong, I would have something to say about it.
     
  20. Sep 26, 2007 #19

    Kurdt

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    If only your partner knew. :tongue2: :wink:
     
  21. Sep 26, 2007 #20
    I appreciate when people correct my mistakes, especially when they do it in private, but if not, then publicly works too. There is more at stake than ego. and this was in private. However, 7 mistakes in 7 vocabulary words points to a deeper issue. I am hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.

    It's supposed to be a list of words from the book, so there wasn't much choice. Perhaps this works better as a criticism of the choice of book. However the negativity of the original meaning of the word is blunted by common usage. Now it just means a silly or foolish person. I don't know how it's used in the book, but chances are it is the current, not the archaic meaning.
     
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