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  #851  
Old 05-07-2015, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

:psyduck:

I don't know what's real anymore.

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  #852  
Old 05-20-2015, 03:59 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

One of my colleagues sent me this 2012 article today: American Education is being Deliberately Destroyed - But Why?. It sounds a bit paranoid at first glance, but the more I read of it, the harder it is to refute.


Whether it's intentional or not, I can testify from painful personal experience that when an institution of higher education is run as a business and places income above all other considerations -- the quality of education that it offers plummets dramatically.


First paragraph of the article:

Quote:
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, public school teachers are being cited as the chief cause of low educational achievement and are being relentlessly attacked through their unions and other avenues. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan declared the public school system a ‘business portfolio’ whose increased value he pursues through its destruction. State and city universities, once free, are becoming extraordinarily expensive - pricing many out of the market. The quality of content being taught both in elementary schools and at universities has drastically eroded. American education, at all levels, is being deliberately and systematically destroyed. Why? In short, corporate interests have decided that the public education system is no longer providing societal control and corporate profits and therefore should be dismantled.
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  #853  
Old 06-06-2015, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

I know we talked about the Laura Kipnis article on a different thread, but this is more about education and less about gender. Happened upon an interesting article and its rebuttal while reading a movie review. They both address the precarious situation adjunct teachers are in but come at it from different directions. The first says he and many of his colleagues are self-censoring madly to avoid complaints from students. The second responds that it's obviously the administrators that are the problem if people are worried they will lose their jobs for teaching controversial topics. I think reading the two together makes it very clear that labor/employee rights effect everything and the lack of them hurts all our rights. Makes me want to push for unions even harder.
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  #854  
Old 06-07-2015, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

RA is a tenure-track faculty member at a state school. I think he would find the rebuttal much more accurate, based on our conversations, than the first. I would say that the problem isn't just administrators at universities and colleges, especially those that are public institutions or receive significant public funding. Those administrators are often working with public budgets controlled by legislators or politically-appointed boards of oversight. When there is a hard tack rightward when it comes to spending, there is less money to go around, leading to poor employment practices and less academic freedom.

I think that unions are a good idea, but when they can be starved by the elected officials, I don't know how to solve that problem.
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  #855  
Old 06-07-2015, 05:20 AM
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I have to stop reading about NC politics. I read a blurb about ECU's medical school having financial trouble, and then had to look into it more AND !!!!!

Let's just not fund one of the best rural medicine programs in the country, and one of the few places that serves poor people in the poorest part of the state, and limit one of their funding sources and then complain that they made bad business decisions because you changed the policies that made their business idea a worse idea.

NC makes me so furious, because I love the stupid place so ridiculously much and ever since we've moved, it's been like watching vandals invade and destroy. Oh, does something work so well that it improves property values and quality of life on a wide scale and is just good for people? Well, we should completely destroy that.ETA: these two sentences aren't even about the rest of my post, just ranting about something else stupid involving NC.

Last edited by wildernesse; 06-07-2015 at 05:07 PM.
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  #856  
Old 06-18-2015, 12:44 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?



A sentimental education: inside the school that Tilda built | Film | The Guardian
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  #857  
Old 07-31-2015, 01:04 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

McSweeney's Internet Tendency: List: 25 Words Your Kindergartner Must Know Before First Grade.

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  #858  
Old 07-31-2015, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

  1. that
  2. is
  3. awesome
  4. piranha
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  #859  
Old 11-27-2015, 11:00 AM
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:dddp:
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  #860  
Old 11-27-2015, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

A student told me I couldn't understand because I was a white lady | The Washington Post



From the linkSo teach the texts that paint all the beautiful faces of our children and tell the stories of struggle and victory our nation has faced. Speak openly and freely about the challenges that are taking place in our country at this very moment. Talk about the racial and class stereotypes plaguing our streets, our states, our society. You may agree that black and brown lives matter, but how often do you explore what matters to those lives in your classroom?
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  #861  
Old 11-27-2015, 06:37 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Ugh, don't read the comments... :nuhuh:
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  #862  
Old 02-07-2016, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Okay, I've said it before, but teaching is either one of the easiest jobs in the world, or one of the hardest. It depends on how seriously you take your responsibilities.


It's Sunday, and here I am in my office, preparing for tomorrow's classes. Oh yeah, and I have to make sure I have everything I'll need for tomorrow's lab, too. I'd better make sure of that before I go home for the evening, too. In short, I'll be here for several more hours, at least.

I was here yesterday, too, preparing lesson plans. I didn't leave until after midnight.

And that's entirely typical.


I hear people talk about how teachers are underworked and overpaid. Really? I work 7 days in a typical week and way more than 40 hours per week. True, things won't be quite so hectic next year, since I'll have taught all of my classes before, so I'll simply be revising and revamping my lectures instead of making them up from scratch.

I'll still be working 60-plus-hour weeks though, if past experience is anything to go by.

And I'm a college professor; I don't have the same degree of stress and responsibilities that an elementary- or high school-level teacher does.


True, we (sometimes) get our Summers off, and that is a nice perk, I must say. But I'd argue that you need that time off to re-charge and de-stress. Otherwise, you burn out quickly.


Even so, a lot of people do burn out.

I've had plenty of talks with colleagues who cheerfully admit that they do as little as they possibly can, and who seem to think that I'm putting way too much effort into my teaching. They just show the students the Powerpoint presentations that come with the Teacher's Edition of the textbook, they give the students the prepared multiple-choice exams that come with the Teacher's Edition of the textbook, and they assign their Teaching Assistants to do the actual grading. See? What could be easier?


So why on Earth am I putting in so much effort? Why do I insist on writing my own lectures? Why do I insist on preparing lesson plans and course outlines for the students? Why do I insist on writing my own exams (with essay questions that are designed to ensure that the students understand the material and aren't just parroting back memorized "facts") and then grading them by myself?



Because, yesterday, a student e-mailed me with a question. I provided a detailed and (I hope) helpful and enlightening response. This morning, I received a reply; the title of the e-mail was "God Bless You!".

Because I think it's far more important that students understand the concepts I'm trying to teach them than that they simply memorize a bunch of "facts" that they'll forget instantly as soon as they've completed the exam.



One of the students in my Introductory class last semester had taken it with the previous instructor and dropped out. She told me in great detail how much she enjoyed my class -- even though she isn't a Biology major -- because I actually cared about the students' education. According to her, the previous instructor would walk in, show his Powerpoints (taken straight from the publisher) without taking any questions or offering anything other than the barest of commentary, and then walk out. His tests were simple multiple-choice exams taken, again, straight from the publisher.

According to her, the instructor made absolutely no effort to hide the fact that he was just going through the motions, and had no interest whatsoever in actually educating the students.


In my Zoology class this semester, a student has been telling me exactly the same story. According to her, the previous instructor would just walk in, show a bunch of Powerpoints without taking questions or bothering to offer any explanation other than just reading straight from the slides, and then walk out.


As it happens, I was prepping a lab a few days ago, and a fellow instructor was teaching in the room next door. He walked in, droned at them for an hour or so without taking any questions, and then walked out. When I glanced into the room from time to time and saw that most of the students were either sleeping or playing with their phones, I couldn't help but think, "Well of course they aren't paying attention; if I didn't know any better, I'd think he was trying to put them into a coma.".



But then, an awful lot of students are used to this sort of "teaching." It's easy for them, too. All they have to do is memorize the questions and answers -- which are provided in the "Study Guide" (which would more accurately be labeled "This Is What Will Be On The Exam") -- just long-enough to pass the test, and then they can (and do) promptly forget them. Thus, they can pass the course with almost no actual effort on their parts.



And then I come along, and I demand that students explain things and demonstrate that they can do more than just memorize facts.

As the student evaluations reveal, students tend to either love or hate that. My evaluations tend to be rather bimodal, as a result. Some of the reviews are along the lines of: "At last! Finally, a teacher who actually teaches and makes sure that we understand the material!".

The remaining reviews tend to be along the lines of: "Who does he think he is? He's way too demanding! How dare he insist that we think; this isn't graduate school?". [You may think I'm exaggerating for effect, but sadly, I'm not. More than one student complained bitterly that it was totally unrealistic and unfair that I expected them to think.]



Oh well, rant over. Time to get back to work.
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  #863  
Old 02-08-2016, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

I only lasted 7 years teaching Jr. HS shop class, and I couldn't get over the fact that most of my students didn't want to be there. To me shop was like recess, play time, time to make stuff with machines, I just couldn't comprehend that there were students that didn't want to be there.

When my daughter was going to a technical school to be a massage therapist she had been going to a school that seemed to care more about churning out graduates, than actually teaching anything. Just before she transferred to another school, she complained that her teacher, in one of her core classes, wasn't teaching. This teacher was new to the school and the first week, would come into the class and have the students read from the book. My daughter decided to give her some time to get her teaching together, but the next week she was writing on the board, and asking the students to write it down, what was in the book. That's when my daughter transferred. My daughter said she had the book and could read it herself, she expected the teacher to add to the information that was in the book.
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  #864  
Old 02-08-2016, 01:22 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
So why on Earth am I putting in so much effort? Why do I insist on writing my own lectures? Why do I insist on preparing lesson plans and course outlines for the students? Why do I insist on writing my own exams (with essay questions that are designed to ensure that the students understand the material and aren't just parroting back memorized "facts") and then grading them by myself?
Simply enough, you enjoy learning - knowing things. And just as importantly, you enjoy imparting that knowledge. It's a real boon for us especially. We sure can't pay you for what you've posted on this site alone, let alone the other forums where you've posted.
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  #865  
Old 02-08-2016, 04:21 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

When I was in college I took a history class and wasn't doing very well, I was trying to answer the questions in my own words. After the professor talked to me and said I had to do better, I changed my method of study, I recopied my notes from the class. The next test I got a much better grade and the professor said my answers were like a tape recorder playback of his class lectures. It seemed that the professor liked the sound of his own voice, more that having a student who could think for himself. I passed the course, but most of what he taught was BS, I just repeated back whatever he said in class.
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Old 02-08-2016, 04:43 AM
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Simply enough, you enjoy learning - knowing things. And just as importantly, you enjoy imparting that knowledge. It's a real boon for us especially. We sure can't pay you for what you've posted on this site alone, let alone the other forums where you've posted.

My real education started after my graduation from college when I started learning about subjects that I was interested in. Actually I had started in HS but nothing I learned on my own was any benefit to my HS or college education, in fact one or two other college students made fun of the things I was interested in and reading about.

In HS I played chess, and in college I played to the final match in my dorm wing tournament, but the game was never played, I think the other player chickened out. When I was teaching I took over the chess club in a Jr. HS and came up against some really good players and found out just how good I wasn't. But I did manage to beat a good player in a match of "air chess". I was the assistant baseball coach and she was a manager for the track team. We started calling out moves and after 3 or 4 moves I took her knight with a pawn and she said ARRRGH!, and resigned. I haven't played in so long that I am still stuck in the descriptive notation, and am having trouble with the newest notation, however I am the "Talk Rational Chess Champion".
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  #867  
Old 02-08-2016, 01:03 PM
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Dear Ms Morgan: your guidance on reading is a mini-syllabus on how to wreck poetry for children | The Guardian

From the linkIf you put a group of poets, teachers, pupils and parents in a room to talk about why we do this, we come up with a wide range of answers. Here are some I’ve collected: it’s a good way to open up conversations about our lives, experiences and feelings; poetry often uses the sound of words to express feelings without actually saying what those feelings are; it’s a good way to express “big ideas in small spaces”; suggest things without necessarily coming to a conclusion; express a single moment without necessarily relating the consequences; play with language without it having to be literal; confess things about our lives; soap-box about our beliefs; express identity and culture; and, because it “borrows” voices from a wide range of sources (including poetry itself), it has an infectious quality that enables many of us to imitate it, parody it, learn it and play with it. We are able to do all this without any direction from on high. We just do it.

Now, though, there’s an official view of what poetry is for: “Standards and Testing Agency, Key stage 1 English reading, sample questions, marks schemes and commentary for 2016 assessment”. Here we find Where Go the Boats? by Robert Louis Stevenson, followed by eight questions, their correct answers – that’s to say, the only answers that are allowed, and a commentary to explain what’s being tested. This will lay down the activities of thousands of teachers, children and parents between now and May 2016.
[...]
The final roadcrash comes with “Why does Robert Louis Stevenson use a question for the title of this poem?” There are of course many possibilities here – including the entirely legitimate answer, “we don’t know” – but the only ones allowed must include the idea that the poem gives “answers” (really?) or that the poet (!) doesn’t know where the boats will turn up. If I had written, “because a lot of poems eg Who killed Cock Robin? begin with questions”, I would have been wrong. So, what we have here is a mini-syllabus in how to wreck poetry for five- to eight-year-olds. Thank you, Ms Morgan.
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  #868  
Old 02-08-2016, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
I've had plenty of talks with colleagues who cheerfully admit that they do as little as they possibly can, and who seem to think that I'm putting way too much effort into my teaching. They just show the students the Powerpoint presentations that come with the Teacher's Edition of the textbook, they give the students the prepared multiple-choice exams that come with the Teacher's Edition of the textbook, and they assign their Teaching Assistants to do the actual grading. See? What could be easier?
~snip~
According to her, the previous instructor would walk in, show his Powerpoints (taken straight from the publisher) without taking any questions or offering anything other than the barest of commentary, and then walk out. His tests were simple multiple-choice exams taken, again, straight from the publisher.

According to her, the instructor made absolutely no effort to hide the fact that he was just going through the motions, and had no interest whatsoever in actually educating the students.
That's perfectly acceptable behavior -- for a proctor. For someone employed as a teacher, it's unconscionable.

The closest I ever came to that sort of "teacher" was for one of my Civil Procedure classes when I was going for my Paralegal Certificate. The so-called instructor was an attorney trying her hand at teaching for the first time. That would garner some sympathy if she'd had a modicum of social skills, but it became clear throughout the semester that she had no interest in anything other than the paycheck, and possibly the chance to round out her c.v.

As an undergrad, I didn't have a single instructor who acted like this. A few who weren't very good at their jobs, but none of them thought they could get away with this bullshit.
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  #869  
Old 02-10-2016, 10:55 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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I provided a detailed and (I hope) helpful and enlightening response.
I know it was helpful and enlightening because I've never known you to give any other kind of response. Your students are very lucky to have you.
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

This is why so many kids hate school.

https://www.facebook.com/codyy.fogar...8/?pnref=story
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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This is why so many kids hate school.

https://www.facebook.com/codyy.fogar...8/?pnref=story
Well I couldn't access the video, but I would say that children come to school and echo the attitude of their parents. If the parents hate school or don't value the public education then the students will act accordingly. Mostly the kids those parents appreciate an education will themselves appreciate the education they are getting.
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Old 03-09-2016, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Sometimes, it really does seem like you can't win.


So, it's Spring Break this week. Yay! It means I can sleep in a bit each day. Of course, I still have two exams to write, several tests to grade, and at least two lectures to write before Monday. But at least I'm not up 'til midnight each night doing it.

So that's definitely nice.


Oh, those exams? The students in my Zoology class have an exam on Monday. Frankly, the day after Spring Break wasn't my preferred choice, since I'm not dumb-enough to think that they'll be spending their Spring Break studying. Still, after we lost two class days due to snow, that was the way things worked out. And the students seemed to agree: we could either try to rush through the remaining lectures and have the exam on Friday, or we could have it on the Monday after Spring Break.

The overwhelming student preference seemed to be for Monday. Not an optimal choice, but better than the alternative. [The real reason why the Friday before Spring Break began was unacceptable is pretty obvious. Spring Break officially began at 5:00 p.m. on Friday. In reality, most students had left campus by Thursday morning -- heck, quite a few had left by Wednesday morning. Fewer than half of my Friday 2:00 p.m. class actually even showed up.]



So anyway, I got an irate e-mail from a student yesterday morning. She expressed her outrage at learning that there is an exam scheduled for Monday.

She said that I'm ruining Spring Break for "everyone." Then she went on to say that I should try to remember what it was like to be a student, and do the "right thing" and cancel the exam.

She finished up by pointing out that she "hasn't had time" to download and look over any of the supplementary material that I give them, to help them prepare for the lectures.




I was nice.

I did not point out that if she had a.) consulted the syllabus, or b.) paid attention in class, or c.) bothered to actually attend class regularly, none of this would have been a surprise to her. I did, however, gently remind her that we had repeatedly discussed the exam and when it would be held during class time.

If she couldn't be arsed to pay attention, how is that my fault? [I didn't say that.]



I found the "try to remember what it was like to be a student" comment especially funny and ironic.

You know what? If I had tried anything like that on any of my professors, they'd have laughed themselves silly.

On the first day of class, they handed out syllabi and told us to familiarize ourselves with them, as they contained the dates when each assignment was due. I don't think I ever had a professor who announced test dates during class. If you didn't read the syllabus and prepare appropriately, this was -- as far as they were concerned -- proof that you were too immature and/or stupid for college.


By contrast, I make a point of reminding the students during almost every class meeting of the date of the next exam. I do so because painful experience has taught me that few -- if any -- of them actually read the syllabus. Thus, if I don't constantly remind them of the test dates, they will not be prepared. And even then, it's all but guaranteed that at least one student will walk into the classroom on test day and express shock and amazement that there's an exam scheduled. "How come nobody told me?" is the usual refrain.



None of my professors would have shown the least bit of sympathy for students who consistently wander into class 5, 10, 15, or even 30 minutes late almost every day -- when they bother to show up at all, that is. Many of my professors closed -- and locked -- the door when class began, and if you weren't there on time, tough luck. And most of them had a policy that if you missed so many classes -- for any reason whatsoever -- you automatically failed the class. This was especially the case in laboratory-science classes: if you missed 3 labs, for any reason, you automatically failed the course.



Nor did any of my professors provide extensive notes regarding exactly what would be on the exam. I'm pretty sure that every single one of them would have laughed themselves silly at the thought.

"You have the textbook, which you're supposed to read before each lecture. And you have my lectures, during which you're free to ask as many questions as you like and to take as many notes as you like. What more do you expect?" That is the answer I would have received.



But, painful experience has taught me that: 1.) the majority of our students will not (and in far too many cases, I suspect, cannot) read the textbook. And 2.) the vast majority of them have no idea at all how to make an outline, summarize information, or pick out key concepts.



This, sadly, is something that has been repeatedly confirmed to me by both the students themselves and by my colleagues in the Education Department and at the Student Learning Center. When I tell my students that the textbooks aren't just for show, and that I expect them to read them, I get puzzled looks. When I tell them that I'm not lecturing to hear myself talk, but that I expect them to ask questions and to take notes, I get more puzzled looks.

When I tell them that, after reading the text and taking notes during class, they should put together an outline in order to see what the key points are and how they relate to each other -- the honest-to-goodness response is, "What's an outline?".


I've had plenty of students tell me that they've never-before been asked to summarize material, much less write an outline. This, again, has been confirmed to me by my colleagues in the English Department and the Student Learning Center, who tell me that almost none of our students have ever been taught how to write an outline (or even what an outline is), much less how to summarize information.




I realize it's a very different college experience today than what I had. And I suspect that my colleagues are right when they say it's almost entirely due to a "teach to the test" mentality.

It's not that the students are stupid. It's that, all of their lives, they've been taught that "education" is teachers giving you a list of "facts" to memorize so that you can regurgitate them on demand when test day comes. No analysis, no thinking -- just memorization and regurgitation.

And of course they've never been taught how to make an outline, summarize information, or identify key concepts. All their lives, "education" has been about nothing other than memorizing the lists of stuff their teachers have provided.

Classroom discussion? What's that?

Read the textbook? Why? I've already got the list of stuff I need to memorize.

Summarize and analyze? What the heck are you talking about?




*Sigh*. It gets depressing sometimes.

The "teach to the test" mentality, it seems to me, has resulted in a whole generation of students who can memorize data but simply cannot think. And then we wonder why U.S. students consistently perform so poorly in comparison to students in most other industrialized nations.

And because they literally expect to be handed the answers to every exam beforehand, students all too often don't see why they should put forth any effort. Why read the textbook, why attend class, why participate in any way? None of that matters, and none of it is relevant.





Don't get me wrong, I do love teaching. And I'm desperately trying to get these kids to actually learn something. But we've done them a tremendous disservice, because not only have most of these kids never been taught how to learn, they've never been taught that learning is in any way important or even desirable.



Oh, as for the student in question? I e-mailed her copies of all the stuff that I'd prepared -- you know, the stuff that has been on the class website for weeks now -- along with a reminder that yes, we do have an exam on Monday, and yes, we did mention and discuss this in class. Repeatedly.

I didn't comment on any of the rest.



But yeah, I must admit: it gets depressing sometimes.
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  #873  
Old 03-11-2016, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
Don't get me wrong, I do love teaching. And I'm desperately trying to get these kids to actually learn something. But we've done them a tremendous disservice, because not only have most of these kids never been taught how to learn, they've never been taught that learning is in any way important or even desirable.
You would have liked having my daughters in class, both of them, but the younger one complained that her teachers weren't challenging her in class. A few years After HS she went to a technical school and when the school had a major shakeup of teachers she started what was to be her last semester there. In one class the first week the teacher had the students read from the text book and my daughter decided to give her some slack till she got her program together. The next week the teacher was writing on the board and expecting the students to copy it down, but what she was writing was straight out of the book. My daughter got a refund and transferred to another school.

I got a bad start in college, my first roommate decided he didn't want to be in college, but his mother had given him an ultimatum of either graduating or flunking out. So his last semester, along with skipping a lot of classes, he slept through all his finals and succeeded in flunking out. Another roommate and my one girlfriend also flunked out but not on purpose. One of the other students in the dorm said he felt sorry for me when he passed the door to our room which was open, and saw me trying to study and my first roommate visiting with some other students. I really hadn't developed any good study habits, and it wasn't till part way through college that I figured out my best method of learning. My other downfall was English Comp. When I took the class the method was to assign a paper to write and then mark it up with a red pencil, there was no explanation of how to compose or what was wrong. I guess we were supposed to figure that out on our own.
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  #874  
Old 03-11-2016, 08:51 PM
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Ensign Steve Ensign Steve is offline
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
Sometimes, it really does seem like you can't win.
I misread that as "can win" and read the entire post looking forward to the happy ending. Boy was I disappointed. :sadcheer:
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  #875  
Old 03-15-2016, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

RA has resorted to quiz questions about what is on the syllabus to try to get students to actually read it and stop asking stupid questions.

As for outlining, I have never understood how that is really supposed to help you study. The only time I've ever used one was when it was required as part of a grade, and I suspect it was taught to me by people who didn't find it helpful either. So the focus was on learning which number/letter heading came next instead of it as an organizational tool. Just a way to make work for yourself.
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