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Old 04-27-2007, 05:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by AnimeSpirit
I agree entirely that students are just not as smart as they use to be coming out of high school. Basic reading, math, and science are dwindling to nothing in many graduates. However, there are more factors to consider that this article doesn't seem to address.

For one, there are far more students in school than there was back in 1962. The more burden you put on a simple system, the more shaky and less efficient that system becomes.

Secondly, the curriculums are somewhat different and often more complex in today's schools. Math and science aren't what they were back in 1962. New discoveries are being made all the time and new methods are being learned that make the simple lessons from 1962 into entire chapters here in 2007. Did you learn about variables in your Algebra class back in high school? Did you discuss the human genome in your biology classes? Did you ever learn what a quark was in your physics classes or what the center of an atom is called? I wouldn't know for sure because I graduated in 2000, but if you went to school before 1970, I'd imagine you didn't discuss these things.

It's hard to know where the improvements must be made in today's schools though. I think that student behavior is a problem because too many students care more about disrupting class, playing hooky, or dropping out entirely than actually doing their assignments. This was an observation I made in school. If teachers and high faculty put more effort into enforcing student behavior and parents made more effort in ensuring their children study and complete their assignments, I'd imagine some bright students would start emerging from the woodworks.
Agreed in some ways, but let the real current student take up for the mentality behind lack of success in school systems today.

Firstly, I have ZERO homework per night. If a teacher assigns it to me, regardless of point value or anything, I won't do it, it's not something I think that will ever help students in today's time deal with learning the material, people simply don't want to be involved with school once that last hell bell rings every day. I want to get out and do my own things, learn in my own way, and experience what I want, but personally, and for a lot of others: it doesn't take away from our learning experience overall, and those who have the maturity to actually make a learning situation from a seemingly "fun" event have much more to discuss and obviously appear more educated.

I've actively maintained a policy of zero homework (except for things with due dates, projects and such, that won't take too long, but are essential to the trashy grade system) and zero studying for tests. Isn't the entire point of the test to determine what you know? Since when did "learning" the material the night before, and forgetting it the next become a reasonable way to calculate what is being taught and learned in schools? I think this is a large difference in the way the system is being run now, students cram and cheat in order to get around standardized tests and assignments, rather than doing it themselves because they don't either want to spend time out of school to learn it (which shouldn't be required anyway) and other mentalities that I'll get to later.

Kids in class want out. That's what I hear all day: "I wish school was out now", "I wish today was Friday", "I want to go party" or whatever, I say it too, but why do we actually say it? It's not because we just want everything to be slackerville, it's because of the way we're bombarded with "homework" and the terrible job our school teachers are doing their own work, making us rely on our own "teaching" abilities to somehow memorize this insignificant material. If you're in class and you get assigned homework, you think about it all day, no matter what it is, and all you do is think about when you're going to do it, rather than continuing class and doing it when you get home and have time, so by the time you're even out of school, you've been constantly pounding yourself as if you're being totally focused on doing the work, you think you've already spend enough time worrying about homework and just skip it or do a crappy job on it.

If our teachers did their jobs, homework would not be necessary. I cannot believe the administration even allows this kind of bullsh*t process go on from their employees. Nobody wants do to homework, and if you considered all of the massive research and projects I do on my own outside of school not enough to get me an A in a class I "should be doing homework for" and learning valuable material, although it doesn't meet the current agenda, why would they press things on you that they know you won't need to know until the night before finals anyway? It is a job of students to be attentive in class and be conscious of their studies, but it is also the job of teachers to teach adequately and appropriately in a way to familiarize all students with the education they need, rather than blaming students entirely and saying they are unable to meet the standards of education, leaving them behind.

I have teachers that literally will come into class, assign Notes Chapter 1-1, tell you to read the book at night and do the homework, and the next day in class you "check" the homework, at the end of class you receive Notes Chapter 1-2, and that's the way the ENTIRE class is run, until time for the teacher to administer tests, and the occasional student bashing when the teacher feels like he needs to assert his authority over others. This gets no learning done, and doesn't adequately appropriate the hour we get for class into reasonable learning time, I want to take a damn class when I'm at school, not check homework I and everyone else knows they didn't do, it's unreasonable and a failure of the school system as a whole. The sad part is: this is considered acceptable by administration and staff, as well as students.

The grade system is awful as well. You are not rewarded for your outside academic accomplishments unless they meet your schedule (which is also undetermined by yourself, you take what they give you in order and there's no speaking against it) and allow you to pass routine "tests". This is why cheating occurs, a student who (like myself) is very academically inclined that doesn't think reading a fiction novel is a required and necessary action to learn a valuable concept or amount of information will be punished by these "tests" and marked as if they were a literal failure and uneducated and my grades (all colleges and other crappy schools care about now.. stupid GPA) would drop so that it would reflect such a lie. Homework does the same, it only punishes or wrongfully rewards those who do such a simple but extraneous task where a teacher is lacking in their own public duty.

I know I'm not an expert, so don't bash me for my comments, but I also think that I have the most insight into the current school system, since I'm still very much a part of it and actively studying it as I have to go every day. Thanks for your time.
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