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View Full Version : A chance to look ahead: education



John Smith
04-11-2009, 07:30 AM
I haven't heard much in the way of education reform that I really like.

Here is a subject open for ideas on how to better get our children to learn. As some background, my mom taught at a private school. She quit when she was instructed to issue no grade lower than a "c". This was to pump of the GPA average to help sell their school to future parents.

When my daugher was in 6th grade, I accompanied her on a field trip to Washington's headquarters in Morristown, NJ. On the bus ride back to the school, her teacher asked me what I'd put on the test. I suggested she asked them to write a bit on how their lives today would be different if Washington and his men hadn't survived that winter. She wouldn't know how to grade that. I suggested she not grade that part, but it would give them a moment to connect that moment in history to their lives today.

I hear about "merit" pay, and I wonder who judges the merit.

I hear a lot about getting parents involved, but have no idea how anyone forces the parent to be involved. Then I go to some baseball games kids are in, and I wonder if I want some of those parents involved.

I've suggested to my board of ed, without success, that they contact some of the still available WWII vets and/or some of the area's civil war re-enactment people. I'm sure they'd be thrilled to be invited to some schools to address the kids, even demonstrate, with blanks, of course, some of their weapons.

Among the other problems, today's kids have, frequently, a whole host of sports they play, and a bunch of exciting video games, all of which make homework even more boring and laborious.

Before I risk making this too long to get read, one of my ideas would be to make the school day longer, and what is now "homework" could be done in school during the extra time.

floor, as they say, is open.

cybulski
04-11-2009, 07:46 AM
It is verry hard for me to understand alot of what my kids come home from school with, I usualy feel ignorant when i am asked for help. So many things are based on individual perceptions, The world seems to be changing rappidly.
I wonder what we should be educating them about.

John Smith
04-11-2009, 08:03 AM
It is verry hard for me to understand alot of what my kids come home from school with, I usualy feel ignorant when i am asked for help. So many things are based on individual perceptions, The world seems to be changing rappidly.
I waunder what we should be educating them about.

I frequently talk to kids when I have the chance, and one of the things I ask them: What will you make more of in your life than anything else?

The answer, which no one ever guesses, is "decisions" Our lives, in my view, are the sum total of the decisions we make. The more knowledge one has, the more likely one is to make better decisions.

Aside from the basics of reading, writing, rithmatic, we need to teach our children to critically think, so they don't just nod their head in agreement when someone tells them something, but, instead, disect what was said to see if it makes sense.

EXAMPLE; How could Columbus discover a land where people were already living? Answer: he didn't know it was there, so, to him, it's a discovery. You can discover a restaurant you didn't know about, even though it's full of people already eating.

I think simple money management: not stocks and bonds, but credit cards and the high cost of buying things with them. What's the difference in cost between driving a car that gets 20 mpg, versus one that gets 24 mpg. That kind of thing.

Obviously, our present system isn't working so well, and they'll be lots of opinions as to why that is. "Thorough and Efficient Education" under Reagan really strapped our teachers' hands.

I expect that if every classroom has computers for every child, within each school year a child could make a lifetime of decisions starting with some arbitrarily set income and see where he ends up at the end of his "life" in the computer.

Aside from smaller classrooms, I've not heard a lot of things that I get particularly excited about.