We don't need no Education (thread)

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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby jotabe » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:46 am

I think the biggest problem is not homework itself, but how homework is done. Very often it's too easy to do homework disengaged from what you say that day. If you do your homework in cruise control, it's really worthless.

In my elementary education, most subjects were taught 3 times a week, so most of the time, there was at least one day in between two lessons. Homework is usually done the day before the lesson when you have to turn it in, not the day when it was proposed. With more than 24 hours between the lesson and the moment you start your homework about that lesson... it's hard it's useful as a reinforcement of the lesson.
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby neo-dragon » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:18 pm

Yes, you're quite right. Homework is meaningless if it doesn't directly tie into the material covered in class, and if it doesn't reinforce that material while it's still fresh. Unless of course it is meant to be a review of previously learned material, or as is sometimes the case, a preview of material that will soon be introduced.

In any case, at the high school level I think that a ban on homework is impractical as well as a disservice to students. There is simply not enough class time to cover the curriculum and allow for adequate practice in applying new skills and concepts. I think there's also something to be said for the value of learning time management and work ethics at that age. It's not like homework assignments are designed to be terribly time consuming, and when students say that they are, it's usually because they're doing it while on facebook/twitter, IMing, and watching TV at the same time.


On an entirely different education related topic, I came across this today: Tim Hudak wants student loans tied to marks

Tim Hudak is the leader of the opposition in my province. I agree with what he's saying about guiding more students to community colleges where they can gain job related skills as opposed to getting a university degree just for the sake of having one, but I'm not sure about linking student aid to marks. On the one hand, that's kind of what most scholarships are already. On the other hand, student aid is supposed to be just that, aid. We should want to help everyone who desires it to achieve post secondary education, not just the A-students. This would just put even more emphasis on marks above all.
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby LilBee91 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:51 pm

In regards to homework, I think it is essential in high school. And in middle school or junior high you at least need to have homework in math and English. Math and writing need to be practiced. I am a pretty fast learner and have always been a good student, but I could never have learned all of the material for my high school classes without homework. In elementary school, homework is a bit trickier. I think in fourth and fifth grade I had actual writing assignments and math homework, but before then I don't recall much homework. I think reading should be assigned--just logging that you read something at all, preferably student's choice--in every grade. Short worksheets could be used to reinforce topics discussed in class and (ideally) inform parents what their kids are learning, but I think they should be kept to minimum. I've had many friends rant about their kids' school projects that are way beyond their capabilities. I don't know if that falls into the homework category or not, but it doesn't do any good if your mom has to do your whole project for you because it's too complicated. They can make learning more fun and interactive, but they can also be a great stress.

Tying aid to marks seems like a terrible idea to me. I don't know how the Canadian university system works, but I think the student loan system in the US is pretty fair (in principle at least). Anyone should be able to get a loan for education. Subsidizing them costs money, but I think that money is worth it even if the student doesn't do spectacularly in school. At least they are there. To me that isn't a gigantic investment to "lose." Scholarships, to me, seem like good enough incentive to get good grades--you don't have to pay those back, which everyone loves.

Now, if you want to get started on how it costs way too much to attend most universities, making student loan debt ridiculous...but that's another issue.
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby Rei » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:59 am

I definitely agree with emphasising the value of trades and various applied learning programmes through colleges. It both directs people to careers that they may find more fulfilling than that gained through a university degree and helps fight the inflation of university degrees. Trying to reduce the number of people getting degrees by restricting loans based upon grades, though, risks leaving university education for only the wealthy who don't need loans and those who are able to be in the top percentile of grades. Quite frankly, I didn't get good grades until I went to university, and couldn't have gotten my degree without loans.

Far better than restricting loans is to stop telling people they need a degree to succeed and encourage more to take up college courses, apprenticeships, and trades.
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby Gravity Defier » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:41 pm

Se paciente y duro; algún día este dolor te será útil.

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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby neo-dragon » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:19 pm

I'd have to see that in action. I'm inclined to believe that there'd be a fair bit of horseplay, at least until the novelty wore off.
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby Eaquae Legit » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:21 pm

I'm going to stick this here. I can't figure out where else to put it, but this is a made-up statistic that drives me almost as nuts as the "10% of our brains" myth.

ACCORDING TO PEER-REVIEWED LINGUISTIC STUDIES, WOMEN DO NOT TALK MORE THAN MEN AND REPORTS TO THE CONTRARY ARE BULLSHIT

The report about a supposed biological reason for women talking more has been making the rounds and it's just plain not true. It's driving me CRAZY.
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby Caspian » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:48 am

Whaa!? But everyone knows chicks never shut up! It's SCHMIENCE!

Next you'll be telling me that white men can jump!
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby TerresaWiggin » Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:28 pm

While I think that some homework can be useful I find that often times in Elementary school homework is repetitive and time consuming without much real value. Luckily as you advance in school the homework becomes more useful productive.
I think reading should be assigned--just logging that you read something at all, preferably student's choice--in every grade.

As for reading my experience was always that reading logs just took up time I would rather spend reading. In addition logs reinforce the idea that reading is something you are supposed to do not something you should want to do.
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby neo-dragon » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:15 pm

Yeah, I'm not such a fan of reading logs either. It makes it seem like more of a chore.
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby LilBee91 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:46 pm

I didn't like reading logs much when I was in school either, but it is a homework assignment I can understand. They can make reading a chore and be annoying to students who like to read, but what do you to get the kids who hate reading to read? Formal logs probably aren't the best choice, but students of all ages should be reading regularly and logs are a way for teachers to see that that is happening. It may be better to require or challenge that a certain number of books be read during the school year rather than requiring a set amount of time daily. It is biased towards faster readers, but I think I would find that less of a chore. That is unless I procrastinated and had to cram a bunch of books in right at the end of the semester... I don't know. I instinctively dislike the idea of reading being an assignment, but how can educators ensure that students are reading without assigning it?
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby KennEnder » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:56 pm

As unsavory as keeping logs can be, and as repulsive as "mandatory fun" (like reading) can be, you might as well get used to both... even if they seem to serve no useful benefit now, they are actually "excellent real-life models." :( Just think of all those people (especially employees) spending hours to document (think logs) all of their costs, time spent, cash earned, and benefits realized; for every imaginable detail that might excuse them for money or time spent on their company versus personal use; for medical expenses, housing expenses, and educational expenses - and all because of taxes, if nothing else.

Mandatory fun, whether it be reading for personal/educational pleasure, advancement in the company ("company picnics"), or anything else, certainly takes away from the underlying pleasure of the event. You might as well learn now, while you're a prisoner to learning, that even "fun" can be a drag if you let yourself fall prey to that mindset.

There are rules we end up having to follow because the world is not ideal; the world cannot tell which of us needs the control, and which don't; we are all under its power, and cannot escape its grasp with logic or rebellion.

Welcome to our world that favors the brilliant, but codifies for mediocrity :(
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby Dr. Mobius » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:55 am

My school had a computerized quiz system in the library and each student had their own account. Instead of logs, you were required to earn a set amount of points per grading period. The point value for each book was a bit arbitrary, but it generally translated to two or three YA novels or one adult novel to reach your goal. I got a lot of my friends to read OSC and Michael Crichton in middle and high school because of that system.
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby elfprince13 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:14 pm

I loved reading logs because I got to show off (and get free baseball tickets). Read 63 novels the summer between 8th and 9th grade, and that was with 2 weeks at camp and not reading at all.
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby Gravity Defier » Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:52 pm

I pretty much consider Goodreads to be a reading log. Love that and if done properly, kids can love them in an educational setting, too.
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby neo-dragon » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:16 pm

On a random note, I ended off this past week by writing a reference letter that made a young lady beam with pride and delight, and making another young lady who's made no secret of the fact that she hates science leave class with a big smile on her face saying that science can be fun.

I love my job. :D
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby steph » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:05 pm

On a random note, I ended off this past week by writing a reference letter that made a young lady beam with pride and delight, and making another young lady who's made no secret of the fact that she hates science leave class with a big smile on her face saying that science can be fun.

I love my job. :D
Awesome!

I had never experienced a reading log before Tyler started them last year. Is that weird? Or is that normal?
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby TerresaWiggin » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:50 pm

On a random note, I ended off this past week by writing a reference letter that made a young lady beam with pride and delight, and making another young lady who's made no secret of the fact that she hates science leave class with a big smile on her face saying that science can be fun.

I love my job. :D
Cool! There should be more classroom stories on this thread, it can only help for teachers to see things from students perspective and students from teachers.

keep things in full communication.
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby neo-dragon » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:19 pm

An interesting article from the Toronto Star: We need to increase respect for teachers
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby TerresaWiggin » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:38 pm

Read the article and I totally agree, teachers are extremely important parts of our communities because they shape a communities future. They have the largest general influence on the students that will eventually be the community. Most students are in school 7 or so hours a day, not to mention that many after school activities are coached or directed by teachers. Compared to the amount they contribute to the community teachers are paid pitifully and definitely deserve a more prominent position in the community. So thanks for posting I think all could do well to read this.
"when a school counselor called her in to tell her that the school administration was growing concerned about the fact that Petra seemed to be associating with the antisocial element in the school, she knew that she was truly at home in Maralik."

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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby TerresaWiggin » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:22 pm

I had these in my 5th grade class and they worked great. We didn't have any horseplay and it stopped kids from engaging in other forms of fidgeting like desk kicking, pen clicking ect. The only problem we had was that one of the 4th grade teachers had to change their class back to regular chairs since she had begun to get sea sick from watching all the kids go up and down.
"when a school counselor called her in to tell her that the school administration was growing concerned about the fact that Petra seemed to be associating with the antisocial element in the school, she knew that she was truly at home in Maralik."

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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby neo-dragon » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:52 pm

Image

One of the great things about being a teacher in this day and age is being able see first hand how technology is changing education, mostly for the better.

When I was in high school, broadband internet had only just become a thing, and very few teenagers had their own cellphone. In university, you were lucky if you had one of the few professors who posted notes online, and being able to email profs and TAs with questions was pretty awesome and unprecedented. In high school there had been no way to contact a teacher outside of school short of finding them in a phone book and calling their home. One of my friends actually did that once. The teacher was not happy about it.

Today's students have been spoiled by technology, as is made evident by the image above, which is not an exaggeration. My students do this all the time in spite of the fact that my notes are available online and there's school wide wi-fi, meaning that they can access them on the very devices they use to snap pictures with!
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby thoughtreader » Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:02 am

It kinda blows my mind a little.... especially since I learn best by writing things down. I took very long very detailed, color coordinated, hi-lighted notes in all my classes and any time I couldn't (arm in sling for 2 months/teacher who wouldn't let me sit in the front were I could see the board to take notes) my grades fell. I would love having the notes as a resource incase I missed something or missed a class. but would have performed much worse if this was a habit of mine.

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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby KennEnder » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:56 am

It kinda blows my mind a little.... especially since I learn best by writing things down. I took very long very detailed, color coordinated, hi-lighted notes in all my classes and any time I couldn't (arm in sling for 2 months/teacher who wouldn't let me sit in the front were I could see the board to take notes) my grades fell. I would love having the notes as a resource incase I missed something or missed a class. but would have performed much worse if this was a habit of mine.
Me too! I think that was basically the only time I really read through my notes: when I was writing them down. sure, I "always" thought it would've been nice (or at least easier) if the teacher just handed them out, but when they sometimes did (in college, mostly) I discovered that I rarely ever read them!
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby neo-dragon » Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:10 pm

Speaking of tech in the classroom

Interesting idea, but I think that I would find it distracting.
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby TerresaWiggin » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:08 pm

Its a cool idea, and seems like it could be really useful. But all the students having their phones out... that just doesn't sound like a good move.
"when a school counselor called her in to tell her that the school administration was growing concerned about the fact that Petra seemed to be associating with the antisocial element in the school, she knew that she was truly at home in Maralik."

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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby neo-dragon » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:28 pm

Smartphones in classrooms are simply a fact of life now. They can be useful tools when used appropriately, but snapping pictures of notes (that I usually post online) is just lazy.
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby TerresaWiggin » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:33 am

I just came across this on my tumblr...

Image
Image
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"when a school counselor called her in to tell her that the school administration was growing concerned about the fact that Petra seemed to be associating with the antisocial element in the school, she knew that she was truly at home in Maralik."

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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby neo-dragon » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:33 pm

I've heard that read as a spoken word poem before. Quite inspirational, and accurate.
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby neo-dragon » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:40 pm

So here's one of the problems in education and maybe society in general in my opinion: kids don't learn how to accept failure, or even disappointment!

I came across this today: Calgary school ends honour roll program because of hurt feelings

I'm a high school teacher, and I've failed my fair share of kids, but for some time now the general rule has been that kids cannot fail (be held back) in elementary or middle school. The rationale being that apparently it is bad for their self-esteem and social development. However, once they get to grade 9, suddenly the kiddie gloves are off and for the first time in their lives students can, and do, fail. Which is not to say that they don't get EVERY POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITY to avoid this fate, and as of late, we're being "encouraged" to use grade calculation methods that disregard or de-emphasize failing results. A colleague of mine is convinced that in the next 5 years k-12 education in Ontario will be a pass/fail system, where failure is all but impossible.

Sometimes I feel that we are actually doing kids a disservice by over-protecting them from failure, and the honour roll story above is just more of this mentality. Is it really right not to reward excellence just because those who don't achieve it might feel bad? Does this prepare kids for what their adult lives will be like?
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby elfprince13 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:02 pm

Ugggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg. Don't get me started on homogenized learning. If I have kids, I will pull them from any school that tries that crap.
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Re: We don't need no Education (thread)

Postby Syphon the Sun » Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:07 am

I agree with you 100 percent, Jason.

Somewhat reminds me of this recent (somewhat related) story. Some parents filed a "bullying" complaint because their kids lost a football game to (mostly) second- and third-string players by more than 90 points.
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