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    #235428 - 12/11/16 06:38 PM Re: Education in the United States [Re: SaturnFan]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4902
    Originally Posted By: SaturnFan
    I agree with pretty much everything that has been said so far.
    Me, too. smile

    Originally Posted By: SaturnFan
    I especially feel strongly about ability grouping. I also believe that mixed age classrooms in general are better.
    Agreed!

    Originally Posted By: SaturnFan
    My other thing that I feel strongly about is teaching beyond academics. How will a child living in poverty ever learn to manage money for instance? How will a kid who sees adults in their life making poor choices daily ever learn to be a good decision maker? We need to spend a lot of the day teaching real life skills to children, especially those children who are not learning it at home. IMO, this is an important part of breaking the poverty cycle.
    Absolutely! Excellent to teach life skills such as financial literacy, planning, weighing outcomes, decision making. That said, fortunately many children may still learn these these skills and concepts at home, from their parents.

    Originally Posted By: SaturnFan
    We need to teach all students to be better critical thinkers. To understand and interpret statistics and navigate a world full of advertising and politics. We need to teach logic rather than just textbook math.
    Yep! smile

    Originally Posted By: SaturnFan
    I would also argue that the assertion that less able kids benefit and so do more able from mixed ability classes sounds ridiculous to me... I honestly think ability grouping leads to better self esteem and more effective teaching of all abilities.
    I believe these links provide the research/findings/facts which support this:
    - http://www.casenex.com/casenet/pages/virtualLibrary/gridlock/groupmyths.html,
    - http://www.gifted.uconn.edu/nrcgt/reports/rbdm9204/rbdm9204.pdf

    Originally Posted By: SaturnFan
    OK, said my bit. Not that it will make any difference.
    Well, it just might... especially as other parents find areas of agreement, and support grows for these ideas.

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    #235429 - 12/11/16 06:41 PM Re: Education in the United States [Re: KJP]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4902
    Originally Posted By: KJP
    I think we need a complete overhaul of everything students learn in public education. I think there is a lot of math taught that is never ever used. I think most people will graduate and never again write a research paper. Science and history/government might be fine but I'd put more emphasis on understanding medical and child development issues under science. I'd also add a how to live on "insert median household income here" while saving for retirement classes.

    There is a huge disconnect between what is taught and what people need to know. Learning how to weigh salary and benefits packages, negotiate a lease, compare credit card offers, convince a city council to pass an ordinance or do home maintenance is far more relevant than learning about something like iambic pentameter.
    Agreed! smile
    Teaching these life skills (along with nutrition which was mentioned upthread by another poster) may keep kids more engaged now, and better prepared for life scenarios in the future.

    That said, I will mention that a debate has been ongoing for decades: the value of liberal arts education (sometimes called classical education, or the education of free people) -vs- career-oriented education (sometimes called vocational training, or the task-oriented training traditionally given to peasants). These may be viewed differently depending upon one's place in the current economy. In a shrinking economy, more families may be drawn to vocational training for employment in manual tasks which cannot be easily outsourced, providing a semblance of job security, financial stability, and more control over career length.

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    #235430 - 12/11/16 07:05 PM Re: Education in the United States [Re: LAF]
    Ocelot Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/16
    Posts: 61
    Another thing to add to a dream curriculum: critical appraisal of scientific literature. There is a lot of reporting in the lay media about science, ranging from nutrition research to climate science, which frequently over or under represents the validity of the research or the conclusions that can be drawn. I think in the modern world people need to have a rudimentary ability to understand the difference between the results of a single poorly conducted study, a well conducted study, and a rigorous body of research. They also need to understand why studies may legitimately get different results.

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    #235431 - 12/11/16 07:10 PM Re: Education in the United States [Re: indigo]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    While some may form rather insular groups by ethnicity, and not assimilate, I prefer to focus on individual motivation, to the degree that is possible when the topic is how children achieve/perform as a whole, by country, and by demographic.

    While some may find it difficult to change parental behavior, the qualifications to receive government funding (collected from taxpayers and redistributed) could change, rewarding desired behavior. There is an old saying, "What you reward, you get more of." For example, some now find that the easiest way to receive a funding increase is to have an additional child, and not have the father in the home.

    These choices may detract from, or negatively impact, the level of in-home educational support for these children.


    While the US is different than NZ simular claims are made. The statistics though say that it is a small minority that have more kids to stay on a benefit longer or who are teenage benefit mums. The highest number of people on the sole parent benefit are divorced women in their thirties and it is usually temporary. MMore common is a child who isn't getting the support they need becsuse both parents work long hours at poorly paid jobs leaving kids cared for or caring for siblings.

    NZ is dropping in the PISA ratings because despite being similar in set up to Canada and having a relatively consistent schooling system we have a huge variation of scores. We have about 20% of kids whom we have been compketely unable to lift academically.

    ETA. The expert on the radio the other day claimed that this problem was caused by ability clustering. He argument was that kids in China were getting an hour maths from the teacher every day whereas because of having to teach a bit of the class at a time kids here only get 3 short sessions a week. I remember that though when I was at school and instruction was about 10 mins to all then 50 mins working in silence. I can't see why the teacher can't do 10 mins with four groups a day. As far as i can see it is more that insuffucent time is allocated in the first place.


    Edited by puffin (12/11/16 07:26 PM)

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    #235432 - 12/11/16 07:47 PM Re: Education in the United States [Re: ruazkaz]
    ConnectingDots Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/06/13
    Posts: 848
    Originally Posted By: ruazkaz
    I doubt you could change parental behavior so would rather put funds into something along the lines of HeadStart, although I am surprised that any gains disappear by 3rd grade...both surprising and depressing.



    I need to find the source, but believe that the Headstart story is not as simple as the gains even out and thus it isn't worthwhile. (Besides, don't we hear that all the time about "kids evening out by third grade" in a very different context re: giftedness?) Will try to find the research/summary I heard and post it.

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    #235434 - 12/11/16 09:57 PM Re: Education in the United States [Re: ConnectingDots]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4902
    Originally Posted By: ConnectingDots
    I need to find the source, but believe that the Headstart story is not as simple as the gains even out and thus it isn't worthwhile. (Besides, don't we hear that all the time about "kids evening out by third grade" in a very different context re: giftedness?) Will try to find the research/summary I heard and post it.
    Possibly the info you are looking for was linked upthread here or here?

    The first link points to a post including:
    Originally Posted By: post
    Head Start, pre-school for 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds: gains even out by third grade.
    This is the longitudinal study by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children & Families (ACF), Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE). One of the report links on this webpage is the Executive Summary for the "Third Grade Follow-up to Head Start Impact Study", and states, in part:
    Originally Posted By: report
    Looking across the full study period, from the beginning of Head Start through 3rd grade, the evidence is clear that access to Head Start improved children’s preschool outcomes across developmental domains, but had few impacts on children in kindergarten through 3rd grade.
    ...
    In terms of children’s well-being, there is also clear evidence that access to Head Start had an impact on children’s language and literacy development while children were in Head Start. These effects, albeit modest in magnitude, were found for both age cohorts during their first year of admission to the Head Start program. However, these early effects rapidly dissipated in elementary school, with only a single impact remaining at the end of 3rd grade for children in each age cohort.

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    #235436 - 12/12/16 06:31 AM Re: Education in the United States [Re: LAF]
    KJP Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 756
    Have there been tests comparing adults on common core type concepts after school? A 5, 10, 15 and 20 years later view would be interesting.

    It seems pointless to spend billions teaching people things they don't use and won't remember. I had an argument with an adult about whether Colombus sailed on the Mayflower. Seriously. Why bother?

    Just teach kids how to learn, how to be healthy and how to make good decisions.

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    #235437 - 12/12/16 09:24 AM Re: Education in the United States [Re: LAF]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    Teaching kids how to learn means presenting stuff to them, getting them talk/write about what they think about it, remember it, and apply it. It's not a process that be written out in steps and tested. It's a skill that's acquired through time and practice.

    If we were to remove history, novels, and other "pointless" things from the curriculum, we'd look back on today as being a golden age of good schooling and well-rounded citizens.

    The capacity to make a decision comes, in part, from knowing about what happened to other people when they made a decision (hence the phrase, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.").



    Edited by Val (12/12/16 09:28 AM)

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    #235459 - 12/12/16 06:12 PM Re: Education in the United States [Re: LAF]
    LAF Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/15/14
    Posts: 469
    Thank you all your viewpoints were all very interesting and "educational" wink.

    I haven't had time to go through all the links but what I've read on here has helped me understand what is going on.

    Regarding puffin's post about ability grouping… there has been a trend at some of the private schools in our area to do "flipped" classrooms… the kids watch a presentation by the teacher explaining what they are teaching them for homework, then students work the problems in the classroom with their groups and the teacher. So they learn the basic idea the night before then practice by doing problems in the classroom.

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    #235461 - 12/12/16 06:58 PM Re: Education in the United States [Re: LAF]
    ElizabethN Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/12
    Posts: 1390
    Loc: Seattle area
    Originally Posted By: LAF
    Regarding puffin's post about ability grouping… there has been a trend at some of the private schools in our area to do "flipped" classrooms… the kids watch a presentation by the teacher explaining what they are teaching them for homework, then students work the problems in the classroom with their groups and the teacher. So they learn the basic idea the night before then practice by doing problems in the classroom.

    FWIW, these were a trend in our public schools, as well. They worked for DD, but I'm not sure if they would work for all kids.

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