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Customer Discussions > Psychology forum

End Results of Our Rock-Bottom Educational System


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Showing 101-125 of 611 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jan 31, 2010 12:25:19 PM PST
Interested posters may want to check out my new thread on "Cognitive Fluency". Are people being courted-and-manipulated because their public education never taught them that hard truths have to be sorted out and faced? Or because the average student has no or only weak critical thinking skills? Looks like that scarey One-Think Society warned about in some sci fi novels is finally here ...

Posted on Feb 23, 2010 10:11:22 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 23, 2010 10:30:15 AM PST
http://www.boston.com/news/education/k_12/articles/2010/02/23/boston_gets_an_f_in_teacher_appraisals/

This is an article from bostonglobe.com. Despite a new state law bolstering the superintendent's ability to fire teachers at underperforming schools, the lack of teacher appraisals gives the authorities no paper trail to verify and fire bad teachers.

Posted on Mar 5, 2010 8:33:57 AM PST
http://www.splcenter.org

According to a just-released report by the Southern Poverty Law Center (which tracks and investigates "hate groups"), hate groups surged last year. The Patriot (or anti-government) groups grew almost 250% last year!

Just yesterday, one of these "Patriots" was killed at the Pentagon, after driving cross-country from California to shoot a couple Pentagon officers. And only a few weeks ago, a guy drove a small plane into the IRS Building in Austin, Texas, killing 200 people.

This surge in hate groups is alarming and dangerous news. Although teachers can help. If you go to the above link-site, SPLCenter offers a free "Teaching Tolerance" kit for teachers.

Posted on Mar 5, 2010 10:26:59 AM PST
Ronald Craig says:
How many threads can you post about this in? (What's the matter, kinda stretched for material today?)

Posted on Mar 6, 2010 7:28:52 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jul 19, 2013 9:29:32 AM PDT
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/01/health/la-he-0301-brain-music-kids-20100301

EFFECTS OF MUSIC ON COGNITIVE FUNCTION ("Playing an instrument seems to make learning math and foreign languages easier, but researchers aren't sure why.")

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2010 9:49:36 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 6, 2010 9:49:57 AM PST
Ronald Craig says:
So ... mandatory music lessons will cure the ills of US education?

How does this relate to yesterday's hate groups? Or bullies?

You're just a beautiful topic butterfly, flitting from one bright point to the next, eh?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2010 4:15:41 PM PST
TO: Marilyn Martin
RE: "...Although teachers can help. If you go to the above link-site, SPLCenter offers a free "Teaching Tolerance" kit for teachers."

The problem isn't the kids who are currently in school. The perps of those anti-government vendettas are long past school age. Call 'em what they are - terrorists.

Posted on Mar 7, 2010 7:58:45 AM PST
Hi Walter!

You're right about these dangerous and deluded "Patriot" groups - they are indeed the quintessential "domestic terrorist". I think it goes back to their upbringing, since no one takes Responsibility for anything anymore. And without Logical/Critical Thinking, there's a total-disconnect between Actions and Consequences. There's always some looming "Bad Guy" that will "get what he deserves", and the anonymity of our massive government makes it the easily-targeted "Bad Guy".

There's also the bad economy feeding into these "domestic terrorists". Someone gets fired or laid-off, especially from a well-paid job he thought he'd have for life, and he's angrily looking for someone to blame. And somehow "the economy" leads straight to "our government" in a lot of unsophisticated minds.

I asked this question in the "Bullies" discussion, but I wonder if there is any connection between school bullies who grow up to become domestic-terrorists. Bullies usually target weaker/younger/smaller people they can dominate. But when the Bullies are grown, they usually have no such easy-prey to terrorize and dominate. So they start railing against "the system", that they think is "dominating" THEM, and mysteriously ruining their lives.

Come to think of it, there's probably more than one Bully who grows up to be a chronic domestic-abuser too. Again, seeking out easy-prey to terrorize and dominate.

Posted on Mar 7, 2010 2:02:04 PM PST
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/magazine/07Teachers-t.html?emc=th

"BUILDING A BETTER TEACHER" A long but fascinating article about the search for that "essential something" that makes a better teacher.

Posted on Mar 20, 2010 8:12:39 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 20, 2010 8:14:58 AM PDT
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/magazine/14vision-t.html?th

CONCOCTING A CURE FOR KIDS WITH ISSUES (Discusses some success with a "Behavioral Optometrist".)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2010 9:20:18 AM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
The article is actually about treating eye-related problems that have been misdiagnosed as ADHD and other learning disabilities.

Interesting, but as such it really has nothing at all to do with the "rock-bottom" condition of the US education system and therefore is irrelevant to this thread.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2010 3:31:42 PM PDT
May I quote you? : "What I was trying to get at in that last paragraph, is that few people anymore take responsibility for their actions. Every blantantly evil action is explained away. Thus the trial laywer reference to "mitigating circumstances"

What a great quote. Are students people too? Where is their responsibility in the educational process? Why is it always the teacher's fault? Teachers work very hard to know content and deliver it in a culturally relevant way even though that is constantly changing and very difficult. Where is our country headed if we keep teaching our kids to make excuses and blame others for their lack of progress instead of taking ownership of their own education and making an effort in the classroom themselves? Are you actively teaching at this time in your life, Ms Martin?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2010 3:46:29 PM PDT
May I quote you? : "What I was trying to get at in that last paragraph, is that few people anymore take responsibility for their actions. Every blantantly evil action is explained away. Thus the trial laywer reference to "mitigating circumstances"

What a great quote. Are students people too? Where is their responsibility in the educational process? Why is it always the teacher's fault? Teachers work very hard to know content and deliver it in a culturally relevant way even though that is constantly changing and very difficult. Where is our country headed if we keep teaching our kids to make excuses and blame others for their lack of progress instead of taking ownership of their own education and making an effort in the classroom themselves? Are you actively teaching at this time in your life, Ms Martin?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2010 8:37:14 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 21, 2010 8:39:42 AM PDT
Hi CT!

Glad you're enjoying this discussion. I routinely add links here to articles where someone is trying out new and different teaching approaches.

I'm not a teacher, but I believe strongly that "our children are our future", and that a good public school education is paramount. (Funny, there's more discussion on making healthier school lunches, than there is on how to better our schools overall!)

I also know teachers take a lot of heat, and the Gates Foundation has set aside $45 million to upgrade teachers training. And I've also read where teachers put the blame on parents, who so under-value education that their kids are noisy, disrespectful and have no interest in "learning". There's a lot to be fixed, and a lot of places to put the blame.

You didn't say what subjects you teach, but here are some sites with some ideas/products for teachers:

http://www.coolmath.com
http://www.teachersdiscovery.com
http://www.bulwar-lytton.com
http://www.splcenter.org

The first couple of sites are on math and teacher aid products. The bulwar-lytton isn't really a teacher's site, but an annual contest for the absolute worst opening line of a story. Might come in handy if you teach English. The last site is the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate-groups, and offers free teachers-kits to help teach tolerance.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2010 12:20:55 PM PDT
TO: concerned teacher
RE: "May I quote you? : "What I was trying to get at in that last paragraph, is that few people anymore take responsibility for their actions. Every blantantly evil action is explained away. Thus the trial laywer reference to "mitigating circumstances""

That's exactly right! Along with the "3 Rs" (with which many school systems don't seem to be doing all that well), a fourth R should be added - for "Responsibility." And it's not just kids who are lacking in this area. Many so-called "adults" could use a big dose of responsibility, as well. That could be given through the legal system. For the long term, however, social mores and expectations will have to be changed.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2010 2:49:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 22, 2010 8:18:09 AM PDT
Hi Walter!

Thanks for your input. This current idea of "ducking responsibility" seems shockingly wide-spread. Remember President Truman's desk plaque that read "The Buck Stops Here!" No President today would take that form of "final responsibility". The President blames Congress, Congress blames the President, and the public is fed up with both.

You stated that "social mores and expectations will have to be changed". What happened to the simple statement that "All actions have consequences"? If people would just think out all possible outcomes BEFORE they take action, a lot of stupid and dangerous activities could be avoided. (Reminds me of a recent bank robber. Robbing a bank was obviously a spur-of-the-moment decision, since he wrote his "gimmee all yur money" note on the back of his most recent Probation paper.)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2010 5:09:36 PM PDT
TO: Marilyn Martin
RE: "What happened to the simple statement that "All actions have consequences"?"

Well, making that statement is easy enough to do; even the most irresponsible and/or criminally inclined will admit to the truth of it. However, actually believing it and living it is a whole different thing. That's why there is the necessity for changes in social mores. For people to actually believe, deep down, that "all actions have consequences," they will have to see concrete examples of that happening, right before their eyes, all the time.

Posted on Mar 22, 2010 8:28:55 AM PDT
Hi Walter!

This all goes along with teaching kids Critical/Logical Thinking in school. If all our schools teach is disconnected subjects, and expect only memorization, then kids have no way to see how all of Life is "connected", let alone learn how to "think thru (and solve) a problem", especially to "avoid the worst possible outcome(s)".

Kids are already impatient, and thinking-thru-a-potential-situation-to-all-possible-conclusions, is something they don't want to waste time on. (Studies have show than a kid's willingness to accept "delayed gratification" is a sign of maturity. Although poorer kids are the most impatient, and richer kids the most patient. So there may be other factors at work here, since wealthier families can offer their children more opportunities and advantages that are "worth waiting for".)

What I don't understand, is why more teachers don't structure the occasional class in a "What if?" fashion, so the kids have to see the "problem" without knowing the outcome, and have to verbally "work thru" all possible outcomes. Science and math do this in a way. But it would be a great teaching tool for everything from History to Civics to even Health.

Posted on May 3, 2010 3:25:42 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 3, 2010 3:27:13 PM PDT
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/03/opinion/03mon3.html?th&emc=th

From today's New York Times on-line, comes a fascinating article called THE NEW HAVEN MODEL. This school district has come up with an intense and hands-on approach, for both training new teachers and fairly evaluating them. (The usual "evaluation process" is a principal who drops in a few classes a year, to "evaluate" the teacher. It's also noted that many teachers know they need help or direction, but don't have cooperative or concerned principals or other teachers.)

This new approach has principals and administrators working with new teachers to develop goals and teaching plans, and giving them feedback throughout the school year. At the end of that year, each teacher is graded from 1 to 5 on how well the students learned, how well the teacher performed, and how well the teacher cooperated with other teachers.

A score of 5, or exemplary, finds that excellent teacher offered leadership positions, to help train and guide other teachers. All those scoring lower numbers, are counseled and offered some time to improve. If a teacher with a 1 score doesn't show immediate improvement, they can and will be quickly let go.

Some great new and workable ideas for training our public school teachers. Just a little more intense training, and a more hands-on approach is needed. But this model should work for the vast majority of public schools in this country.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2010 5:41:17 AM PDT
D. Russo says:
Understanding what is being taught and how in any one subject is paramount to the structure you speak of. It seems that art, music, drama are subject areas that continue to be "frills" and therefore cut from the curriculum. Art in fact, presents a "problem" that has to be figured out, tried out, experimented with and solved by using the right brain functions along with the left brain (the side that public education thinks is the ONLY side that works!) - More right brain thinking, visualization, solving problems in different ways contribute a vital part to our thinking processes and our education system. Yet these are the subjects that get cut. We are literally cutting off our noses to spite our face. Keep these subjects IN the curriculum!

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2010 10:19:57 PM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
What's your teaching background again, Marilyn? You seem to speak with a great deal of authority with regard to the "ground zero" of American education. How many years of experience do you have, and at what level?

Posted on May 5, 2010 8:36:52 AM PDT
D. Russo -
I totally agree! A well rounded education should always include the Arts, even if only offered as an "elective". You may want to check my March 6, 2010 post above, for a link to an article titled EFFECTS OF MUSIC ON COGNITIVE FUNCTION. Thanks for posting!

RC -
Check my March 21, 2010 post above.

http://www.boston.com/news/education/k_12/articles/2010/05/05/mass_about_to_enter_world_of_virtual_schools/

This is an interesting article from the Boston Globe, about how Massachusetts is going to join Texas, Colorado and Arizona in setting up "virtual public schools". Children can stay at home, and watch daily classes via the internet. Although this new approach is not for all kids, since most students receive more benefit from face-to-face instruction and being around other kids.

But this program seems to be a good bridge between Home Schooling and public schools. These "virtual schools" are expected to help lower the drop-out rate, as well as answer the educational needs of sickly, incarcerated, or expelled students.

Posted on May 13, 2010 10:19:45 AM PDT
The following link is to a New York Times editorial about the importance of fighting the overseas, terrorist-incubator countries by bettering their public education.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/13/opinion/13kristof.html?emc=th
PAKISTAN AND TIMES SQUARE (A Rand Study has stated the obvious: "Military force has rarely been the primary reason for the end of terrorist groups." Based on the successful Bangladesh Model, investing in public education bolsters an economy, reduces population growth, nurtures a civil society, and dampens fundamentalism. So maybe some of the Kerry-Lugar-Berman aid package for long-term solutions in Pakistan, should include provisions for better schools and teachers.)

In reply to an earlier post on May 13, 2010 11:37:29 AM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
Which has WHAT bearing on this topic, about American schools?

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2010 12:51:45 AM PDT
TO: Marilyn Martin
RE: "Based on the successful Bangladesh Model..."

BANGLADESH?!?! - of all places - is supposed to be a model for something other than crushing poverty???
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Discussion in:  Psychology forum
Participants:  31
Total posts:  611
Initial post:  Aug 10, 2009
Latest post:  Sep 1, 2013

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