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km gresham
09-09-2004, 11:16 AM
http://www.dailynews.com/Stories/0,1413,200~20954~2388909,00.html

How do you teach people who don't want to learn?

Alan D. Hyde
09-09-2004, 11:22 AM
You can lead a fool to knowledge, but you can't make him think.

Alan

km gresham
09-09-2004, 11:23 AM
I've heard a more crude version. Involves the word horticulture. ;)

JimD
09-09-2004, 11:48 AM
Nice cheap shot at immigrants, Karen. You weren't such a nasty troll when you first joined the forum but I see you've had no trouble learning.

km gresham
09-09-2004, 11:51 AM
Shot? How do you suggest getting people (immigrants or otherwise) to learn if they don't want to do so? We have a bit of a problem with people born and raised here. I don't recall mentioning immigrants in my comment. I mentioned "people" - you know, humans;homo sapiens.

[ 09-09-2004, 12:59 PM: Message edited by: km gresham ]

Kev Smyth
09-09-2004, 11:54 AM
You seem a bit "trigger happy" yourself there Jim. :rolleyes: I didn't think you were part of the "shoot first, ask questions later" crowd. ;)

km gresham
09-09-2004, 12:02 PM
It seems to be the mode of operation for so many people - attack the person who points out a problem, rather than the problem. I imagine that is the much easier path to take. Much easier to kill the messenger than address the message.

Boomkin Joe
09-09-2004, 01:23 PM
How many boats late are they, Karen?
Where do you come from?

JimD
09-09-2004, 01:38 PM
Who besides Karen is saying these people don't want to learn?

Boomkin Joe
09-09-2004, 02:41 PM
Donn,

No child wants to learn, except haggard brats from backward countries.
Parents want us to learn.
Now what's the trouble with theirs?

Keith Wilson
09-09-2004, 03:11 PM
Well, one point that isn't mentioned in the article is that the rates of illiteracy are in English, not one's native language. Not that that helps a lot if one wants to do a job that involves reading and writing in English, but it's not at all the same thing as being illiterate in any language. The numbers may reflect high rates of immigration more than anything else. Or then again, maybe not.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
09-09-2004, 03:16 PM
I would be interested in the number of government services that are offered in spanish, which is of course the second largest language in America.

A lot of this speaks to the social and class structure in America. A lot of these people don't believe that they will ever get ahead enough to use the written word. It also speaks to the incredible gap in funding in the US for public education.


The last available national study was conducted in 1992 by the National Adult Literacy Survey, which found that 48 percent of the nation's working-age population was functionally illiterate.

Canada's figure is still tragic at about 20%. :(

Peter Malcolm Jardine
09-09-2004, 03:37 PM
I can't get the original article to come up.. Did it mention illegal immigrants? I think your illegal immigrant population to be about .. 8 million or something close to that. If ALL of them were illiterate, it would only skew the survey about 5%.

[ 09-09-2004, 04:43 PM: Message edited by: Peter Malcolm Jardine ]

Peter Malcolm Jardine
09-09-2004, 04:02 PM
Here is a significant set of statistics to benchmark this debate. Page six or seven has a graph of relative performance of the 43 countries involved.

Unesco Literacy Study Executive summary (http://www.uis.unesco.org/TEMPLATE/pdf/pisa/exec_sum_eng.pdf)

[ 09-09-2004, 05:03 PM: Message edited by: Peter Malcolm Jardine ]

Peter Malcolm Jardine
09-09-2004, 04:16 PM
Shot? How do you suggest getting people (immigrants or otherwise) to learn if they don't want to do so? We have a bit of a problem with people born and raised here. Most countries have to focus and spend more money on education.


Since we spend roughly 400 times more on the military than you do, ;)

George.
09-09-2004, 04:41 PM
Sorry to remind you all, but a big chunk of your non-immigrant, black American population doesn't speak English that well, and can barely read at all. Bet that's a big part of the LA statistics.

And it is NOT a problem with blacks - down here blacks speak the same language as white, brown, yellow, and all other hues of Brazilian - you can't tell race by accent or syntax.

It is a class problem, and you may have stopped talking about it, but you haven't solved it.

km gresham
09-09-2004, 06:15 PM
Bill Cosby has been lambasted by "black leaders" for stating that very thing. That black children are being left to wander in the wilderness because parents don't care enough to make them get an education, and the children aren't wise enough to realize how the lack of education affects the rest of their lives.
Children don't get here with wisdom and automatically do the things that are good for them. That is why in the great scheme of things they get parents - and too many parents are falling down on the job.

At one time immigrants to this country were eager to learn the language because they understood that the way to success was to be able to recognize and access the wonderful things this country has to offer. Then someone convinced them that it wasn't fair to make them learn the language of their new country. That everything should be provided in their native language.

This assures that they forever remain on the lower rungs of the economic ladder, and if they don't seek better for their children, the misery is perpetuated.

[ 09-09-2004, 07:16 PM: Message edited by: km gresham ]

George Roberts
09-09-2004, 06:36 PM
km gresham ---

Sometimes earning a living takes so much effort that there is no effort left to apply to learning.

Boomkin Joe ---

You wrote "No child wants to learn"

Give a child a rich environment and the child will learn. Almost all learn to walk and talk - not easy tasks. Lots of praise helps.

A rich environment for a child is new challenges almost every day.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
09-09-2004, 10:10 PM
At one time immigrants to this country were eager to learn the language because they understood that the way to success was to be able to recognize and access the wonderful things this country has to offer.

If that were truly the case we would all be speaking the language of the Indian

Then someone convinced them that it wasn't fair to make them learn the language of their new country. That everything should be provided in their native language.

Actually, the hispanics learned spanish from the Spanish. How many languages should they have to learn?

This assures that they forever remain on the lower rungs of the economic ladder, and if they don't seek better for their children, the misery is perpetuated.

One of the great responsibilities of progressive governments is to provide a working challenging education system. Apparently, the administration you support would rather buy missiles. That's their choice, but you shouldn't complain when the education system fails people.

Look at the Unesco graph KM Gresham, the US is not even in the top five.

High C
09-09-2004, 10:22 PM
Originally posted by George.:
It is a class problem, and you may have stopped talking about it....Perhaps that's because certain people go nuts whenever the topic is broached.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
09-09-2004, 10:25 PM
The World Bank has assembled similiar data. It is a free world and everyone has the choice of deciding not to be aware of scientific information.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
09-09-2004, 10:37 PM
On the contrary Donn, I'm happy to look at any data you might have that contradicts the above posts. Bring it on. ;) ... but as it is, the United states is not a leader in world literacy.

Oh, and edited to add that Canada is not in the lead either. ;)

[ 09-09-2004, 11:42 PM: Message edited by: Peter Malcolm Jardine ]

Meerkat
09-09-2004, 11:27 PM
Donn; You're claiming that the 52% of Americans that are functionally illiterate (according to the article, quoting census data) are all (illegal) immigrants? I sincerely doubt that!

BrianM; I'd be interested to know what sort of people, and how many of them, you think are on welfare? I'll give you a clue: there are vanishingly few healthy (!) single persons with no children on welfare. Even single mothers are out after 5 years since the welfare reforms in 1994. Even before that, healthy adults need not apply.

BTW, it's unconstitutional to compel someone to work unless they're found guilty of a crime. Should illiteracy and/or poverty be made criminal?

imported_Dutch
09-10-2004, 01:03 AM
**** the horse. I want a mule

Meerkat
09-11-2004, 05:34 AM
bump

Jack Heinlen
09-11-2004, 07:32 AM
"You can lead a whore to culture, but you can't make her think."

Dorothy Parker

Ross M
09-11-2004, 09:56 AM
Jack

Have you seen "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle"? It was excellent, IMO.

Ross

LeeG
09-11-2004, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by Dutch:
**** the horse. I want a mule**** the mule, I want a ROKON.

Jack Heinlen
09-11-2004, 03:36 PM
Ross,

I did see that when if first came to video. Lot's of fun. What a time! I like Jennifer Jason Leigh. What happened to her anyway?

As with Chris Hitchens, I would have hated to be on the receiving end of Parker's wit. Some of her prose and poetry ain't bad either, but it's her 'zingers', often delivered face to face, that are immortal. :D

[ 09-11-2004, 04:37 PM: Message edited by: Jack Heinlen ]

Peter Kalshoven
09-13-2004, 02:15 PM
I hate to commit negative thread drift (that's when you bring a thread BACK to the topic) but what the heck, let's get back to illiteracy. There are a whole buch of simple answers here, but it's still a fairly complex question. And please don't tell me that as a resident of South Carolina, I can't possibly understand. My sister-in-law teaches elementary school in South Central LA, which is also where they live. (Nice place to visit, but the search-light equipped helicopters take some getting used to! smile.gif )

She attributes the problem to many things. These include, but are not limited to:
overcrowded schools
budget issues
high crime
poverty
language issues
and most of all - parental dis-interest

Just be glad that there are still good folks like her who are willing to teach in areas that noone wants to live in, let alone visit.

James R
09-13-2004, 03:55 PM
Originally posted by Peter Malcolm Jardine:
It also speaks to the incredible gap in funding in the US for public education.On page 10 of the Unesco Survey (http://www.uis.unesco.org/TEMPLATE/pdf/pisa/exec_sum_eng.pdf) that you linked to there is a graph that shows that the only country that spends more on education than the US is Austria. A lot of people believe what you wrote but the truth is that the US spends considerably more on education than most countries, Canada included. Throwing more money at the problem is not necessarily the solution. Those that say that it is either have little understanding of the issues or have their hands in the cookie jar and want more.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
09-13-2004, 05:32 PM
If you believe that funding is a simple matter of comparing dollars per capita, or overall education expenditures, then I suppose your remark would have some basis in fact. Education strategy is a complex issue, but the United States in the face of it's results and it's demographics should be spending more money. It also should be looking at overhauling the system itself, since much of it is out of date. (Canada's system has similiar problems, and has done a fair bit of reform in the last decade.) My bottom line is quite simple: If the results aren't as good as they should be, then some serious reform and funding overhauls need to take place. KM Gresham blames the student in this thread. That is, quite simply, incorrect. One of my beefs with SOME americans is their unwillingness to accept their shortcomings and do something about them. I call it the "We're the Greatest" syndrome. Every country has the same syndrome, but the USA seems to have a lot of people who suffer from it. ;)

[ 09-13-2004, 06:38 PM: Message edited by: Peter Malcolm Jardine ]

Peter Malcolm Jardine
09-13-2004, 05:43 PM
Those that say that it is either have little understanding of the issues or have their hands in the cookie jar and want more.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"hand in the cookie jar" I'm sorry, I don't know what that means.

JimD
09-13-2004, 05:54 PM
"hand in the cookie jar" I'm sorry, I don't know what that means. Its similar to when Arnie was groping female starlets and stage crew in Hollywood, only different.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
09-13-2004, 06:01 PM
You see? I just had to have a fellow Canadian explain it to me and it's sooooooooo simple :D tongue.gif

Jack Heinlen
09-13-2004, 06:02 PM
Peter,

I'm not really up on this, the details, but the teacher's union in this country has become a powerful force that often isn't interested so much in teaching as in squeezing as much out of the system as they can. That's an exageration, but it holds some truth. In anycase, that's the reference to the 'hand in the cookie jar'.

[ 09-13-2004, 07:03 PM: Message edited by: Jack Heinlen ]

Peter Malcolm Jardine
09-13-2004, 06:05 PM
Jack, We have the same problem here. The Conservative Ontario government took them to task a few years back and straightened some of that out. Now the liberals are back in... :rolleyes:

Peter Kalshoven
09-14-2004, 12:40 AM
Jack, while no fan of the NEA, I still say you gotta give credit to those who are out there teaching (This does not necessarily include administrators). It's just not a job you do for the money.

Throwing money at the problem is also not the solution. There are several approaches being tried, including heavily regulated, successful curriculum, that does work. Many Teacher unions fight these programs, thinking that it takes away their creativity. And to be truthful, that's what happens. Better to sacrifice the teacher's creativity to better teach the student. Use what works, not that which sounds like it ought to work.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
09-14-2004, 10:08 PM
I agree with you Peter, but one of the things that needs to happen is that education should be funded so that the basics are accountable, and the creativity is possible. That's a tough job. I think we have a lot of good teachers that can do both, but we also have a lot of teachers that do the minimum. Accountability is the key.

James R
09-15-2004, 12:05 AM
Originally posted by Peter Malcolm Jardine:
If you believe that funding is a simple matter of comparing dollars per capita, or overall education expenditures, then I suppose your remark would have some basis in fact. Education strategy is a complex issue, but the United States in the face of it's (sic) results and it's (sic) demographics should be spending more money. It also should be looking at overhauling the system itself, since much of it is out of date. (Canada's system has similiar problems, and has done a fair bit of reform in the last decade.) My bottom line is quite simple: If the results aren't as good as they should be, then some serious reform and funding overhauls need to take place. KM Gresham blames the student in this thread. That is, quite simply, incorrect. One of my beefs with SOME americans is their unwillingness to accept their shortcomings and do something about them. I call it the "We're the Greatest" syndrome. Every country has the same syndrome, but the USA seems to have a lot of people who suffer from it. ;) And one of my beefs is people blindly accepting exaggerations or outright lies simply because they reinforce a preconception. This widespread belief that Americans spend little on education is one of those lies. The report that you linked to neither compared dollars per capita (for the population as a whole) nor overall education expenditures. It compared dollars spent on education per student up to the age of 15 and to make the comparison even more meaningful it used purchasing power parity to calculate exchange rates. That takes care of your objection regarding demographics. Where we do agree is that the system itself needs to be overhauled. However, it doesn't necessarily follow that more money has to be thrown at the problem. Maybe it does, but blindly claiming that more money will solve everything, while resisting reform (as many teachers'unions do), will only fleece the pockets of taxpayers and, most importantly, shortchange the students.

There are a lot of good teachers out there but there are also many that are more interested in maintaining the status quo. We saw what happened in Ontario when the Harris Tories shook things up. The teachers'unions and many teachers fiercely resisted the changes. There were strikes and riots in Toronto and we were bombarded with disinformation, all designed to malign the Tories and prevent reform. Much the same thing is happening in the US with Bush's "No Child Left Behind" program. All the critics do is criticize. Few, if any, offer workable solutions.

[ 09-15-2004, 01:06 AM: Message edited by: James R ]