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Article: "Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?"
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xcriteria Offline
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Post: #1
Article: "Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?"

Article in Readers Digest:

"Parents send their children to school with the best of intentions, believing that formal education is what kids need to become productive, happy adults. Many parents do have qualms about how well schools are performing, but the conventional wisdom is that these issues can be resolved with more money, better teachers, more challenging curricula, or more rigorous tests. But what if the real problem is school itself?

The unfortunate fact is that one of our most cherished institutions is, by its very nature, failing our children and our society."


Read more: Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?

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01-12-2014 02:23 PM
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Article: "Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?"

About time an article against factory model education gets on a pretty decent site. Hopefully this will encourage people to start opening up their eyes.

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01-12-2014 02:35 PM
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Ky Offline
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Article: "Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?"

YES!

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01-14-2014 08:09 AM
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Lime Offline
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Article: "Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?"

Yes, certainly. This problem is FAR from exclusive to Americans though. A lot of the students in foreign countries that our politicians compare our students to have to live through even more mentally damaging school systems. You have to feel sorry for those kids.

And they want to make OUR system into that. Great, let's descend down into another level of hell.
(This post was last modified: 07-07-2014 03:14 AM by Lime.)
01-14-2014 09:11 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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RE: Article: "Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?"

There are people running, planning, and building learner-centric learning environments, as well. So not all hope is lost.

The key is identifying and learning about these other models, and then educating others about their viability and benefits... while contrasting them with harmful alternatives.

One model is Sugata Mitra's SOLE approach, self-organizing learning environments, which have applicability from young kids to college level to lifelong learning.

People who are familiar with factory-model education are often afraid of change. Demonstrating how alternatives can work is one way to address those fears.

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01-14-2014 09:32 AM
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LightAbyssion Offline
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Article: "Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?"

Somebody from the comments got "disturbed" by this article:

Quote:I don't buy it. A child or teen will not naturally seek out and wrestle with geometric formulas or chemistry and algebraic equations. He or she is highly unlikely to want to "explore" the Declaration of Independence or try to understand the nuances between federal democracy and oligarchy. On their own I doubt that he or she will attempt to gain competency in spelling or parse out the rules of proper English grammar.

I think it's humorous, no, actually it's tragic, that the same system that produced the engineers, and scientists who sent men to the moon or invented the super computer, and that produced many of the best universities in the world (the same ones that this author uses to demonstrate the "effectiveness" of this new method in that students were able to get into them), is the same system the author is complaining about here. It's the same problem I have with what I call the “new math” I see being taught in public schools now (e.g. story problems taught in the early grades instead of working on a foundation of memorization of the facts. I taught in public schools for 3 years, I know what I saw--4th and 5th graders who still counted on their fingers because they'd never simply memorized basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.). If the old math made us the most technoligcally advanced nation on earth, why do they think it needs to be changed?!

I don't disagree that there's room for improvement within the current system, but to decry it as the source of all woes is foolish and hubristic. Learning is both passive and active. Perhaps we could have a little more active learning in our schools, but try telling that to the teacher of 30 inner-city kids who didn't eat breakfast, feasted on Doritos, pop tarts, and coolaid the night before, and whose educational support system at home includes hours of violent video games and television, absentee parents, bed times past 11 p.m., and too often verbal, physical, and emotional abuse.

Most kids needs passive learning—the transmission of content and ideas from one who has already mastered it presented in an understandable way to those who are unable to digest it on their own—and most need the structure and discipline of the classroom in order to learn. Education builds upon the work of previous generations. If we always start from scratch, or let kids “discover” on their own, they'll miss much of what has gone before or waste precious time trying to figure it out for themselves. Again, I'm not saying there's not some room for active learning, but it cannot be the foundation.

Hierarchical learning works best for most children and is the most effective way to handle the transmission of the building blocks of education. Just ask the Chinese, whose students are now surpassing us in math and science. No “active” learning there. The place for more active learning might begin in high school and come to fruition in college and graduate school, but I doubt it's a remedy for all that ails our public schools.

Sorry to hijack this post. But I feel strongly about this kind of pollyanaish approach to “free” learning. I have nothing against home schooling, or even some more creative types of schools, but what this author proposes disturbs me.

Why did I quote this? Only because it's humorous how much people talk when they're encountered with anti-school beliefs. I get similar, long-winded replies when I write such articles. Are they trying to convince us, or themselves? Same old arguments either way, of which I am too tired of seeing to refute.

The fact that this person mentioned Chinese students means they are not worth appealing to on a humanitarian level. Unfortunately, these are the beliefs of many citizens (just ask the president they elected). So long as kids "excel" in math or science, it does not matter how many are driven to pills or suicide. They would gladly trade the beautiful spirit of youth for Asia's robotic workforce. If the statistics show higher grades, that's all it will take to sell the superficial on school's core.

When criticism for school goes beyond funding or teachers, I have no doubt it's "disturbing" for those who have lived their entire lives thinking school is like breathing: it just is and always must be. Children being treated with freedom and respect? brrr scary.

"Oppressed people might overthrow their tyrants, but not if they can count on one day joining the oppressors."
01-15-2014 05:25 AM
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brainiac3397 Offline
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RE: Article: "Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?"

I decided to go the library myself and pick up a 1960 book on atomic and nuclrar physics. No teachers influenced me, nor parents. I just said "I like". I studied communism, fascism and libertarianism while my peers talked about shoes and Jersey Shore. No teacher or parent influenced me there.

The commenter is basically saying children and teens dont have a self.

Also, isnt it quite possible it wasnt the system the created these geniuses? His logic seems to be "They were in the system so the system made them" which I think is a fallacy. Why? What of the geniuses before the system?

Whats that mean? If there were smart people before the system, then you cant say they turned out smart because of the system because there have been smart people before the system was ever devised.

I dont think the public education system was ever made to make smart people. Smart people just are. The system was made to turn the uneducated and illiterate into more obedient citizens. Will a man who cant read or write not trust one who could? Will a child not see these "educators" as role models because they know nothing else?

Ignorant people tend to come to illogical conclusions.

(Isnt just possible that due to having nearly 4-5 times the population, the Chinese are likely to have 4-5 times larger the number of naturally intelligent people? If I said every 1% a national population will become highly intelligent, wouldnt the nation with the greatest population obviously have more?)

And space travel wasnt thanks to the US system. It was thanks to the Germans of the Third Reich. You think he ever wondered why the US is in need of scientists and mathematicians badly? If the system made them, why should there be a need for more in that field? Oh right, because all those past geniuses either not from the US, or just naturally good at what they do.

Plus I sense some egalitarianism nonsense. While you can educate a man, you cant create a smart man. Smart people are just naturally talented. Its just the way of the world. Not everybody is good at everything.

So the system was never meant to make smart. It was just to make citizens more useful as a resource. What use is an illiterate citizen that can only barely do basic math?

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(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

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01-15-2014 06:05 AM
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RE: Article: "Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?"

I suck at math because I sadly didn't learn the building blocks properly. I am very literate however. Everyone is naturally different. Math was also just an invention of man. Language existed in animals. Look at whales for example, who communicate in sub bass moans and hums that we can't understand. (Although since I am naturally understanding of animals, and I could possibly sense their aura and emotional range, spiritual as it may seem).I am an Unorthodox Christian.
01-15-2014 06:51 AM
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RE: Article: "Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?"

Ignore my spelling errors, as I am tired
01-15-2014 06:53 AM
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brainiac3397 Offline
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Article: "Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?"

Actually math is the perfect universal language.
It's pretty much the foundation of science. God is probably a mathematician(to that extent).

So we actually "discovered" math, not invent.

We did invent language though.

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(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

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01-15-2014 07:06 AM
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Article: "Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?"

You covered the good points brainiac.

When a person excels in spite of school, they simply "got lucky." However, when a schooler does the same, it's thanks to their schooling. Convenient.

More of the same commenter:

Quote:I'm sorry, have you done research on the Asian culture of schooling? I have a professor who attended "high school" in Korea - and it is much different. Children at a young age - As in, "junior high" grades over here - are being fully prepared for the route they would like to take in life - I.E., skilled work, higher education, specific trades/skills/knowledge bases, and their learning in the later years is dictated by these choices. They are given much more freedom to pursue their interests during later years of schooling. Perhaps you should research before you begin using comparisons you are unaware of.

This is the first time I have heard any talk of "freedom" for the Asian school system, so here's my research:

http://beyondhallyu.com/culture/south-ko...the-world/
Quote:South Korea is richer, more stable and more influential that it has ever been, but as the country rapidly developed and became ever more prosperous, suicide rates climbed to give South Korea the nickname of ‘suicide capital of the world’. There was a time when South Korea had one of the lowest suicide rates in the world, but as the country thrived, the mounting pressures have seemed to have become overwhelming for some South Korean citizens... 9% of young people in school (both primary and secondary) admitted to considering suicide. Most of them blamed the academic pressures that they are under for their suicidal thoughts, and indeed many students do commit suicide because they can’t take the huge amount of academic pressure being put on them

Isn't it a coincidence how "better" schools and suicidal thoughts go hand in hand? They strive academically and economically, and yet they're more miserable than ever.

North America seems to be heading in the same direction, only without the economic part and loads of medication for depressed youth. People like Obama don't seem to mind, because the system ensures that those who can't stand school off themselves, while the ones who are dumb can walk around cocksure thanks to school telling them they're smart for complying. Little do they know, their schools are like brainiac said, "it was just to make citizens more useful as a resource."

Again, no matter how many arguments we make, I really think people only look at grades to prove schools' worth. xcriteria can post a bunch of good links, but they will spin this however they can while ignoring our points (as the commenter I quoted has shown). Still, they'll gladly complain about funding or classroom size to make it seem like they don't blindly obey, even though their rationalizations are transparent.

"Oppressed people might overthrow their tyrants, but not if they can count on one day joining the oppressors."
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RE: Article: "Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?"

So why can't I properly keep math in my head? And am I fucked for life? (9th grade)
01-17-2014 05:04 AM
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Article: "Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?"

As long as you can do arithmetic math, you shouldn't really have a problem(unless you're looking to become an engineer or mathematician or something that requires a higher level of math).

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(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

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01-17-2014 05:16 AM
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Lime Offline
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Article: "Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?"

Sudbury Valley's students seem to be doing just fine. I don't know where it is that people get it into their heads that children are opposed to learning.
01-17-2014 06:45 AM
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Article: "Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?"

Honestly, the reason kids supposedly "hate" learning is because the idea of learning that is embedded in their head is factory model schooling. If we had a competent education system that change that perception, perhaps students would actually like learning.

Looking at the wrong problem here, commenter.

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01-17-2014 07:32 AM
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RE: Article: "Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?"

(01-14-2014 09:11 AM)Lime Wrote:  Yes, certainly. This problem is FAR from exclusive to Americans though. A lot of the students in foreign countries that our politicians compare our students to have to live through even more mentally damaging school systems. You have to feel sorry for those kids.

And they want to make OUR system into that. Great, let's descend down into another level of hell.

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"CONSENSUAL incest is not wrong. (Abuse victims: being abused by a relative does not make it wrong for others to have consensual incest, any more than rape by a stranger makes all sex wrong. Sex and assault/molestation are two different things.) An aversion became common in humans that aided in population growth as one disease couldn't wipe out the human race. That's not a problem anymore.

Consensual incest is very common. You know people who have been involved, whether you know it or not.

There is no rational reason for keeping laws or taboos against consensual
incest that is consistently applied to other relationships. Personal disgust or religion is only a reason why one person would not want to personally engage in what I call consanguinamory, not why someone else shouldn't do it. An adult should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with ANY consenting adults. Youthful experimentation between close relatives close in age is not uncommon, and there are more people than you'd think out there who are in lifelong healthy, happy relationships with a close relative. It isn't for everyone, but we're not all going to want to have each others' love lives, now are we? If someone thinks YOUR love life is disgusting, should you be thrown in prison?

Some people try to justify their prejudice against consanguineous sex and
marriage by being part-time eugenicists and saying that such relationships inevitably lead to “mutant” or “deformed” babies. This argument can be refuted on several fronts. 1. Some consanguineous relationships involve only people of the same gender. 2. Not all mixed-gender relationships birth biological children. 3. Most births to consanguineous parents do not produce children with significant birth defects or other genetic problems; while births to other parents do sometimes have birth defects. 4. We don’t prevent other people from marrying or deny them their reproductive rights based on increased odds of passing along a genetic problem or inherited disease. It is true that in general, children born to consanguineous parents have an increased chance of these problems than those born to nonconsanguineous parents, but the odds are still minimal. Unless someone is willing to deny reproductive rights and medical privacy to others and force everyone to take genetic tests and bar carriers and the congenitally disabled and women over 35 from having children, then equal protection principles prevent this from being a justification to bar this freedom of association and freedom to marry.

Some say "Your sibling should not be your lover." That is not a reason. It begs the question. Many people have many relationships that have more than one aspect. Some women say their sister is their best friend. Why can’t their sister be a wife, too?

Some say “There is a power differential.” This applies least of all to siblings or cousins who are close in age, but even where the power differential exists, it is not a justification for denying this freedom to sex or to marry. There is a power differential in just about any relationship, sometimes an enormous power differential. To question if consent is truly possible in these cases is insulting and demeaning.

Some say “There are so many people outside of your family." There are plenty of people within one’s own race, too, but that is no reason to ban interracial marriage. So, this isn't a good reason either. Let consenting adults love each other the way they want!"-Keith Pullman

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Post: #17
Article: "Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?"

"Is the <insert literally any country here> school system damaging our kids?"
01-12-2017 08:22 AM
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RE: Article: "Is the American School System Damaging Our Kids?"

I don't buy that politicians are comparing our student's performance with that of other countries'. Just look at the statistics. Although the US education system is "declining" year by year, we still have the largest economy, the most science innovations, and most medical advancements. Yes, our test scores are behind. However, does anyone do tests for a living or does our national GDP depends on test scores? No!
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