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    Joined: May 2009
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    Kai Offline
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    Originally Posted by aquinas
    Originally Posted by Val
    No, the problem is that we present children with superficial ideas and pretend that a gifted program will solve the problem. It might make it less bad for the fortunate few, but it doesn’t compensate for the inherent badness of the system.

    This. Well said.

    I agree 100%.

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    aeh Offline
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    So true, Val.

    And actually, we import quite a lot of other skilled workers, too, in fields like stonemasonry and deep sea fishing...


    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...
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    Originally Posted by Val
    European schools don’t have gifted programs (I don’t know about Asia, South America, and other parts of the world, but suspect that many nations are closer to the model in Europe than to our model). But European schools have a meaningful, deep curriculum. Students there read short stories as early as age 7 and answer long-form questions about them. They eventually move to novels and write essays. They do math problems that take time and are taught to think through the problems. They have music and art class and recess and time to eat lunch. After primary school, the students are sorted into tracks that lead apprenticeships, jobs, or university.

    So... Europe is a big place, but I would be fascinated to learn on what sample you are basing this assessment of European schools.

    Not that I disagree with most of your other points.

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    Originally Posted by Val
    After primary school, the students are sorted into tracks that lead apprenticeships, jobs, or university.

    Hmm, I’m not sure about sorting kids into tracks just after primary, unless there are plenty of opportunities for crossovers.

    My youngest was much less academically focused than her siblings (where my son had set his ambitions on R & D engineering at the age of 5, my youngest at age 11 was still steadfastly declaring that she was going to grow up to be a unicorn and day dreaming through her primary classes). Now, at 14, her academic performances are on par with her older siblings’ when they were at this age.

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    aeh Offline
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    Originally Posted by Eagle Mum
    still steadfastly declaring that she was going to grow up to be a unicorn
    Just have to say that I love this!

    One of my siblings wanted to grow up to be a kitten, but had to settle for being a professor and consultant.

    Last edited by aeh; 10/13/21 03:39 PM.

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    If by “kitten” we can mean “well-rested, well-fed retiree who benefits from frequent massages”, then maybe your sibling can still achieve kittenhood.

    Add a cashmere sweater and the case is made. 😆


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    Originally Posted by aquinas
    If by “kitten” we can mean “well-rested, well-fed retiree who benefits from frequent massages”, then maybe your sibling can still achieve kittenhood.

    Add a cashmere sweater and the case is made. 😆


    😆😆😆

    I also wholeheartedly agree with AEH's proposed model, and agree with you Val.

    I find it very odd here in Australia that we share the obsession with everyone going to university... but Electricians, plumbers, etc. Particularly good ones, particularly if they run their own business, are VERY well paid, far better than many bachelor qualified roles (or higher). These are regulated & licensed fields who charge substantial fees.

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    Val Offline
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    Originally Posted by SiaSL
    So... Europe is a big place, but I would be fascinated to learn on what sample you are basing this assessment of European schools.

    Not that I disagree with most of your other points.

    Personal experience in education systems in 2 western European nations (two different languages, one being English).

    A close family member who's a teacher in the second nation (and my husband was educated in it along with the rest of his family). We've had numerous long talks about the education system there.

    A child who completed elementary school in a school run by a third nation (a third language).

    Close friend and university faculty member who wrote exam questions for the UK A levels and shared questions with me (we would converse about them). I have not experienced the UK education system personally.

    I don't know about Eastern Europe. I have friends from there and they all seem to be well-educated, but they're also a skewed sample of university-educated people.

    That said, a friend from one of the nations I lived in also moved to the US. He said once, "I have better, more intellectual conversations back home with random people who left school at 15 than I do here with supposedly college-educated people." Everyone in the group agreed. It's a sad comment on our education system. Recall the studies showing that US college students don't learn much.

    This one from 2011

    A discussion here from 2018

    Graduate schools here can be very, very good. But there are also a lot of non-Americans who fill the slots as postdocs and PhD students, especially in the STEM fields. There are multiple reasons for this, but one of them is that our K-12 education system doesn't do its job properly and too many bright people drop out of rigorous undergrad programs.

    I'm not trying to claim that schools in Europe are perfect or even incredibly universally wonderful. I know they have problems. But are they better than US schools on the whole? Absolutely. A huge part of the difference is that those societies see education as something that benefits the society and invest accordingly, whereas Americans see it as something that benefits individuals and invest accordingly.

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    Originally Posted by aeh
    Originally Posted by Eagle Mum
    still steadfastly declaring that she was going to grow up to be a unicorn
    Just have to say that I love this!

    One of my siblings wanted to grow up to be a kitten, but had to settle for being a professor and consultant.

    Aiming for the stars, so if you miss, you land on the moon.
    Have you heard of the caticorn?

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    aeh Offline
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    No, I hadn't, but I just Googled it, and I believe you have exposed a critical incompleteness in my experience!


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