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    #235493 - 12/14/16 06:01 AM Re: Education in the United States [Re: LAF]
    cricket3 Offline

    Registered: 11/02/09
    Posts: 693
    Perhaps it has partly to do with subject matter. My DD has had flipped classrooms a couple times for science; her AP bio teacher this year uses that approach, She loves it. There is a relatively short video lecture most nights (or kids can use the textbook for the assignement, whichever the student prefers) and then the kids are set free the next day. All of their labs are self-designed, so she and her lab group, who have no problems with understanding the presented material, can spend their time applying the lessons without being slowed down by the need for questions and clarifications from other stiudents. (Our school encourages all students to take as many advanced classes as possible, so large variability in student readiness for the classes persists, just like in the non-tracked middle school classes, but that's another issue.) The kids who need help with questions have direct access to the teacher, often one-on-one or in small groups, while,the kids who don't need it aren't held back. I can't speak from the experience of weaker students, but for my kid it's fantastic. If she is organized and speedy, sometimes after working on the lab she is able to complete homework, lab write up stuff, or work on the next day's lesson during some of the class time. This is a huge bonus in her day, which is more often than not filled with unnecessary but mandatory review/repetition and slow pacing, leaving a boatload of homework every night, which will be reviewed in painstaking detail during class time the next day, a real waste of time from her perspective. (Especially, as spaghetti noted, there are lots of kids who just don't bother to do the homework, doubly punishing those who did.)

    I'm not sure how math would lend itself to this format, honestly, but for lab science I think it's great. I't does help that the video lessons are well-done, and also that a textbook option exists for those who learn better that way. I know my DD wishes more teachers used this format.

    #235496 - 12/14/16 06:35 AM Re: Education in the United States [Re: LAF]
    madeinuk Offline

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1453
    Loc: NJ
    I will probably get banned for this but here goes my understanding of the kernel of the education mess we have in the USA.

    The elephant in the living room is that there are huge disparities, even controlling for household income, number of degrees attained by birth parents etc, between average IQ AND Achievement scores across racial lines.

    This means that any attempts at tracking like ability students gets reflexively shot down for perceived lack of diversity.

    It means that standardized test ceilings are brought down to a level at which it is impossible to distinguish the brilliant from the just-above-ok.

    It means that the focus is on forlornly trying to get the LHS of the bell curve 'camel' through the high achievement 'eye of a needle' let alone up to average.

    When intelligent children have to wait for the others to catch up then, naturally, this inhibits their ability to soar.

    Why as a country we cannot have civil debate on this important topic that concerns the competitiveness and ultimately the quality of life of the entire country just leaves me flabbergasted.

    While there are notable exceptions like the Ashkenazim, the Igbo and the Russo-Finns, they are exceptional and relatively minute populations.

    Well goodbye everyone - this post will undoubtedly OFFEND someone which will cause me to get banned.

    I learned a lot from you all here and you have all helped me to better deal with raising an extremely bright and sometimes quirky beautiful daughter - THANK YOU!
    Become what you are

    #235498 - 12/14/16 07:50 AM Re: Education in the United States [Re: LAF]
    atticcat Offline

    Registered: 06/29/14
    Posts: 58
    Great,thank you.My searching led me there,it slip my mind though.

    #235500 - 12/14/16 09:47 AM Re: Education in the United States [Re: madeinuk]
    Val Offline

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    Re: madeinuk's post.

    IMO, the fact that disparities exist isn't germane to the fact that US textbooks are lousy by any objective standard, that the teaching pool's SAT and GRE scores are very low, that high-stakes tests focus on a narrow set of skills, and that homework in the lower grades is of dubious benefit. Etc.

    Just because there are disparities doesn't mean that the US education system isn't fundamentally flawed. If the disparities were to disappear tomorrow, the kids would still have math books that present ideas out of order, history books that used the word "immigration" to describe slavery, and a near-total lack of grammar books. And the teachers would still lack subject knowledge.

    #235504 - 12/14/16 11:37 AM Re: Education in the United States [Re: cricket3]
    HowlerKarma Offline

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Cricket makes a great point-- but I have to wonder if the reason why it is preferable isn't ultimately more of a band-aid approach to the underlying problem of placement in a course which is really slightly beneath that ideal proximal zone of development.

    Because I can definitely recall DD preferring this sort of thing when her chief goal was to get through the class assignments as efficiently as possible, if that makes sense.

    Why waste time doing both the reading, attending class, writing up notes, etc. etc. if you *could* get an A by just watching the videos and acing assessments, right? (Which, to be clear, she did do in a few of her high school classes).

    Also-- flipped pedagogy has ALWAYS been a thing in STEM coursework. We just didn't call it by the trendy moniker, and we had more realistic expectations that no, NOT all students were going to be doing the reading before coming to class-- therefore, you couldn't take it to such extremes that you left kids in the dust if they weren't well-prepared.

    Besides, the average student STILL needed the second mode of hearing it from an expert teacher during in-class time prior to using the material in applications to solidify and consolidate learning.

    But that is always what my classrooms looked like. About 30-40% "content delivery" and about 60-70% students working with that material to cement understanding.

    Also-- inquiry-based lab exercises are a thing now, which is also extremely trendy. Problem is, most students are not really well positioned to LEARN much from them. It becomes a matter of them finding the right protocol on the web, or cajoling it from someone who got an A in the class previously or something.

    I really do not like that student-derived lab thing. I know it's very popular in higher ed, too, but it's really not well suited to lower-division post-secondary students, even-- there is simply too much that they need to SEE/experience and too little time to do it in to permit that kind of 'exploratory' stuff in most classes.

    I mean, it's a great idea-- just not at the expense of other learning that takes place with more conventional expertly-written lab exercises, and thoughtful questions in write-ups.

    Edited by HowlerKarma (12/14/16 11:37 AM)
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    #235512 - 12/14/16 02:32 PM Re: Education in the United States [Re: Val]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4902
    Re: Val's post Re: madeinuk's post -
    Originally Posted By: Val
    Just because there are disparities doesn't mean that the US education system isn't fundamentally flawed. If the disparities were to disappear tomorrow... list of textbook flaws, teacher flaws
    However the corollary may be: If the fundamental flaws in US education regarding teacher expertise and textbooks were to disappear tomorrow, there may still be disparities.

    Some may say that the current focus of the US educational system on equal outcomes may also be a fundamental flaw, and that the fix may be focusing on equal opportunities, while recognizing that some may be more motivated to utilize the opportunities presented... which often requires both hard work and sacrifice.

    As another poster mentioned upthread, "the education system as a whole is such a small piece of educational outcomes."

    Parental choices, including budgeting/financial decisions and nutritional habits, may detract from or negatively impact the level of in-home educational support for some children. To the degree that some parents may not be instructing their children in these life skills, and may not be role-modeling positive choices, government schools may take on this role in teaching children these life skills in addition to academics, so that future generations may benefit. This recaps several pages of posts by various people, upthread.

    #249625 - 04/12/22 10:38 AM Re: Education in the United States [Re: indigo]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4902
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Originally Posted By: ruazkaz
    I am very supportive of more spending up front.
    On what, specifically? For example, on encouraging parents to value education (including the struggle and self-discipline, hard work and sacrifice inherent in academic challenge) so that they both role model and support their children in embracing academic challenge? Or spending on programs and policies intended to provide "equal outcomes" regardless of effort in parenting and studying/learning?

    Early research (Hart & Risley) showed the lasting value from positive parental interaction with a child. More recent studies (Head Start) indicated that any gains from early childhood programs tend to disappear by 3rd grade. Here is a roundup of prior discussions which touched on this:
    - This old post has links to information on both studies.
    - The work of Hart/Risley has been mentioned/summarized/linked to in these old posts: 1, 2, 3.

    Originally Posted By: ruazkaz
    Recently, we toured a boarding school that my son is applying to and it was interesting to note that very few classrooms had smartboards (actually I did not see one but presumably some might have them), instead chalkboards or whiteboards. In our area there is a movement to ensure every classroom has the latest technology and I have always felt like it was a waste of money.
    I would tend to agree as most homeschools would not be early adopters of technology such as smartboards and yet homeschooled children tend to perform/achieve quite well. I do believe that exposure to some form of technology is important... whether laptops, i-pads, i-pods, online exercises/classes, smart phones, apps, fit-bits, etc, and I believe that learning typing/keyboarding skills is important. That said, I am a proponent of books, as they offer advantages such as stability of content, publication history (version, copyright date, author/s, ISBN), ability to thumb through, and no data tracking of readers.

    New research shows:
    Potential short-term test score gains from preschool may not just disappear, but may be offset by long-term harm from pre-school. Children were found to suffer academically and also in their behavior, resulting in more school disciplinary actions.

    Research Reveals Long-Term Harm of State Pre-K Program
    By Peter Gray, Ph.D.
    January 31, 2022
    Psychology Today
    Originally Posted By: article
    In this first-ever controlled study of public pre-K, the control group did best.
    What the Researchers Found: Pre-K Worsened Academic Performance and Comportment in Later Grades

    #249627 - 04/12/22 04:22 PM Re: Education in the United States [Re: LAF]
    Eagle Mum Online   content

    Registered: 02/24/20
    Posts: 150
    Loc: Australia
    We’re not in the US, but wrt Indigo’s post about preschool teaching vs play based learning and their relative advantages, our experience is that the absence of structured teaching in preschool is not an issue at all in today’s digital age. I was a time-poor working parent when my kids were young and their day care centres were entirely play based so DS started school not fully knowing the alphabet (which at the time was a great source of anxiety for me). Fortunately, iPads had just become available, so the year before he started school, we gave him his own with unlimited wi fi access. With this, he watched countless instructional YouTube videos on a broad range of topics. He arrived at the conclusion, just as he was starting school, that in order to properly pursue his interests he needed to learn to read and fortunately the school had a fantastic set up which suited him well. They were trialling completely open classrooms for their kindergarten cohort of 57 kids, supervised by three teachers, the same number of teacher’s aides and parent volunteers, to teach students in small groups based on abilities assessed in the first week.

    Without knowing the alphabet, DS started in the very bottom group (the top group were fluent readers), but he was so eager to learn, he made rapid progress and was moved up every couple of weeks. By the end of kindergarten, he was the most advanced student in the year and past the highest formal level set for structured reading and so could read pretty much anything. Meanwhile, he had been surfing the internet and watching educational videos without regard for the level/age to which the contents were aimed, so his comprehension development matched his reading progress. Since then, he has been an independent self-directed learner and class work serves mainly as revision.

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