October 27, 2009 – We don’t need no education

1.      Michael Biller
2.      Seth Jordan

1.      Edmund Brown
2.      Megan Lindsey

O’Donnell and McClurken videos:

*Note* You should have already watched Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity. If you have not, watch that. Also, I recommend starting Liz Coleman’s video at 9.10 to skip the introduction and get right into the meat of the talk.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2005/nov/27/davidsmith.theobserver

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/02/15/life.without.college/

38 Comments

  • O’Donnell

    To frame this discussion, we will be debating whether structured learning is more important, or whether it is that structure that does kill creativity. Whether we should let kids choose their own path (are they really at an age to be trusted with choosing?) or if not, who should choose it for them. Finally we will address the future of the educated man. Should he be hyperspecialized, focused completely on one area of learning, or should we strive to broaden our education to make everyman an everyman?
    Think, think, about it.

  • I am very interested in this talk only because I have been in about 5 different school settings and each country I have lived in had a different structure for teaching. In America I think that educators focus too much on SOLs or standards of learning, rather than things that actually matter. I do not think that kids should be forced to take a number of sciences or history classes when they are not necessarily interested in these subjects either. I do think that there should be grammar and english every year of school, and I think environmental science and government are two classes that should be required in all high schools.

    In my opinion, Robinson is right. Schools are killing creativity. Many schools and teachers make children do projects and such ONE way, and tell them exactly how they want it done, leaving no more for thinking or showing character.

    Arthur Benjamins talk was also great. I do agree with him that statistics is much more important when talking about the average kid or student. It is used more during our daily lives, and it used in various work environments. In Europe, instead of taking one subject of math such as algebra or statistics each year, students take a little bit of each. For example, one year, a student will learn 3 chapters of algebra, 3 chapters of statistics, and 3 chapters of math modeling or graphing. To me, thats a better plan that what we have in the US.

    Overall, I am very interested to see what everyone has to say about education in the US tomorrow.

  • Are schools killing creativity? yes and no. i believe it is easy for kids especially that are in school to say that it does, maybe as an excuse for a bad grade, but I have had teachers all through my school experiance that would give us an assignment with strict guidelines, but if you were an imaginative student you would be able to incorporate your own creativity into a project that may seem cut and dry. so basically, if a child is that creative he or she will find a way to go about expressing that creativity.

    yes, that is only for projects but what about actual classes? those tend to be pretty boring. then it is up to the teacher to make the class creative and fun but can they do that today with having to follow a certain syllabus of their own to teach us about what’s going to be on the SOL?

    I also think that in high school, even college, not everybody knows what they want to do with their life so having many different classes that we are required to take is a good thing so we can get a litle information about everything in order for us to make a good decison about what we are really passionate about later in life, and having information on many different subjects wouldf make “everyman the everyman”. But is having everyman being the everyman a good thing? yes and no again. I would love for my doctor to know a ton about medical problems than know a little bit about medicine and a little about history and english.

  • So I can’t wait for this discussion tomorrow– It’s one we are all invested in, and so I think we should get some good comments.

    Liz Coleman’s focus on interdisciplinary, solution-based education was nothing new to me– I was part of a gifted education program in elementary school, where one day a week we went to a separate campus that focused on problem-solving and going across disciplines. Doing this in elementary school meant that from then on, I approached subjects from that perspective– how does this tie into something else? What problem does this help solve? However, I do feel that there is a place for learning just for the love of learning– that we should be able to delve into something without worrying about the consequences of what we’re learning.

    I agree completely with Benjamin in that statistics is more relevant to daily life. The posters around campus that cite statistics about drinking problems at UMW really bother me: if you look at the statistics, they actually present some rather disturbing numbers. Taking statistics taught me to look closely at what the numbers actually mean and analyze how they are worded. However, I do feel that arithmetic and algebra are necessary skills, and they do progress so nicely to calculus, so I’m not sure how statistics would fit into this framework.

    Baraniuk’s talk made me quite upset, actually. To me, literature is an art form; just as any random person isn’t allowed to go change a da Vinci, the public should not be allowed to change works of literature. He seemed to not draw a distinction between literature and books that are information-based, and I think there is a very important distinction there. Also, interaction is a great way to learn material, but there is a more important skill that learning material from reading teaches: how to interact with written text. In the real world, things are not presented in a nice “interactive” format, so we need to learn how to deal with a more static text.

  • McClurken
    I think this discussion will be interesting tomorrow, because we all have different views on how education is and should be. All the videos and articles were interesting but the ones that suck out to me the most were Arthur Benjamin, Sugata Mitra, and the first article. First, I think Benjamin is right we do need to concentrate more on statistics than calculus. Statistics is seen more in the world and is used for many different things. Sugata’s talk and the article seemed like they coincided with each other. What I came to realize is that countries that don’t have as much educational opportunities want to learn more so than countries with educational opportunities. In the talk Sugata showed children willing to go to this computer he had put out and learn by playing with the computer. In the article it had said that people were scrambling trying to get books because they want to learn from those books. The people that were trying to get the books were not from countries that had a bookstore down the street. They were people that didn’t have books or access to them on a regular bases. This shows people want to learn.

  • Good education is a necessity to society. Students seem to relate to teachers whom they feel really care about them and can relate to them. I have had horrible teachers and amazing teachers. The teachers I loved always had something to say, had an edge to that specific class. They taught with a passion for their subject to make their student learn the curriculum and even go outside the box. Some teachers know how to approach their students in a way that instills confidence in the student allowing them to express themselves and grow in that subject. I hated the teachers that taught strictly on the guidelines of the SOL, but I guess that’s what education is coming to. The SOL classes weren’t challenging and were extremely boring.

    I also believe that the student or individual should choose their own path in what they do later in life. Saying that, I think it is good for teachers and advisors to guide the student in the direction they want to go but they have no right to pick a certain career for that student. Students have to motivate themselves to succeed and find what they love in life. I don’t believe we should have an “everyman an everyman” view in life. People are passionate about different subjects. I’m not saying that we should not have background information in other subjects; I’m saying that when an individual specializes in a subject it makes them unique.

  • I am really excited to help lead this talk tomorrow. This subject is one that everyone has experienced and should have views about. Personally I think the ideas expressed in the last talk are really thought provoking ideas about children’s ability to teach themselves. Personally I believe that we should give students more freedom in schools and more control over their learning.

  • I’m interested in seeing where this talk will be going and seeing everyone’s stand point on how education should be dealt with. Of all the talks I enjoyed the last one the most. Mainly because it discussed the importance of technology while making sure it doesn’t take over the education system. I liked his quote “If teachers can be replaced by a machine, they should be.” As for the article about the shortage of books in many countries, I think that books are one of the most important tools a person must have to learn. I love reading its one of my favorite pasttimes and I couldn’t imagine living in a place where I didn’t have the opportunity to read. The second article focused more on higher education but i believe this discussion will be based more on grade school and public education systems.

  • O’Donnell

    As stated in the previous comments, I think this will be an interesting discussion tomorrow because we can all relate to this discussion. I hope that this will be the discussion where everyone in the group will bring one valid thought to the group. Personally, I believe our education system can use a little work. As of now, American students do not know the basic rules of grammar and are too focused on learning calculus problems which they will most likely not use in real life.

    I enjoyed the Ted talks. Out of all of the speakers, I agree with Arthur Benjamin the most. As I mentioned before, not many people use calculus in everyday life. However, the point on which I agree strongly with Arthur Benjamin, is making statistics more available to students. I believe that statistics can be found more often in daily life than calculus. Statistics are used in research and sports, and they can be used as a hobby. I thought Richard Baraniuk also had an interesting idea by sharing knowledge like music. It will be interesting to see what everyone’s “knowledge playlist” would look like, as if we were looking at one’s playlist on ITunes.

    I hope this discussion will be interesting tomorrow. I am sure everyone can bring their insight and ideas on how we can improve our education system, if they thinks it needs to be improved.

    –Stacey Peros

  • McClurken
    This topic is interesting because it involves each and every one of us. I think that there is no wrong way to go about this situation. You can do well or do badly if you don’t go to college. The same thing can happen if you do go to college. This article really struck a chord when the said “there are many African people who die having never turned a page.” We take something as simple as reading a book for granted. I think that since books play a big part in our lives, that we should share the love, and bring books to those who cannot afford them so that they can educate themselves. I think that the first movie was not very exciting. I did like the second speaker, he seemed really happy and a lot more alive than the first. I think that the second speaker’s ideas were great, but how realistic is it. It would be great if all of my books were much cheaper than they actually were. I like his idea, but I do not see it happening, any time soon at least. I like the fourth speaker had an interesting idea, and it could be really great, or the people could get in to the wrong things and it starts the downslide of their life. I do think that it is an overall great idea, and seeing the children learn in such a short time is amazing!

  • O’Donnell

    The question of does school kill creativity is a both sided view. Yes because there are those teachers who could give more life to their classes. The argument no is teachers and schools have a certain curriculum to follow and can’t add extra to the class. Now that pertains more to middle and high school. College allows many of us students to broaden our minds more.

    I think that teachers having to follow a certain curriculum a certain does kill our creativity. I think schools should be more lenient on how teachers are to present a topic to a class. This is a very good topic, I am sure we will get a talk out of this.

  • -I think Ashlee is right, the united states is too wrapped up in SOLs, and standardized tests- but the basic need for them is there. We need to know if kids are in fact learning at least 70 percent of the curriculum, the only issue is how this ends up being all the teachers focus on, and thats just it- its 70 percent of what you need to know. But I think that having a student pick the general subjects they want to learn is a bad idea. I went to the montessori school for pre-k and basically they let you pick what you go around and learn about whatever you want. Now- I went on to public school for first grade and on while some of my friends stayed in the montessori program. All I have to say is the kids who went to montessori, “special and talented” as they are, make my fries at McDonalds (which I appreciate). I do not think kids should pick the subjects they are interested in to just focus on. Later on, like in college, I think its important to focus what your major is going to be on- because you REALLY need to know your subjects of choice.
    -Schools may be killing creativity but I think that, again, there isn’t really another plausible way of doing it (or else thats what we would be doing). It is really up to extra curricular activities to harbor the creative minds of children I suppose.
    -As for Statistics being what I learn instead of calculus- I AM FOR IT! I hate calculus. I am terrible at it. and if I should be learning about statistics well then what am I doing in Dr. Lee’s calculus I course?! But he makes a good point in his 3 min talk- that if we had learned statistics and probability we wouldn’t be in this economic crisis. Whether that is all true or not, it has some basis of truth I feel like. If people had learned this in school they may have been somewhat prepared and we wouldn’t be picking up the pieces now.

  • McClurken

    I thought some of this was very interesting. The guy who talked about how math should all lead up to statistics instead of calculus really did a good job of getting his point across in a small amount of time. I completely agree that statistics would be way more useful for everyone to know then calculus. For almost every section of calculus i sit there wondering when i would ever use this in real life. Even my teacher failed to come up with an answer unless i was like an engineer. Considering I’m at this school, i obviously dont want to be an engineer. The idea about the mass itunes like education source where everyone can add content and be an author somewhat confused me. From what i got out of it, it sounds very useful. It was pretty amazing how cheap that textbook was, only 22 dollars was amazing. I would love to see where that project ends up going. It somewhat seems like since anyone would be able to update it that you could get false information in it, but who knows, i am not entirely sure how it works. I guess it somewhat goes back to the talk about all the books being on google books instead of being from libraries. This is going to be a very interesting class to see what people think we need and dont need in our education.

  • I think that Arthur Benjamin has a good point, i think statistics is much more useful in our everyday life and that we can apply it in a lot of ways but I don’t think that it should over-ride calculus. Calculus is formated to challenge students; if we were to learn in schools only what is useful to us how will we ever be challenged? And grow and learn? We learn a lot of useless facts in high school that would necessarily help us in the future for jobs, raising kids, etc. but if we aren’t challenged by history, english, bio philosophy, and so on then how will we ever learn what we actually need to know? Who chooses what is or isn’t important to be taught and how?

    I liked how in Richard Baraniuk’s talk how he talked about the importance of text books and books in general. But I don’t feel like just anyone should be allowed to change the works of literature. This talk made me realize how much we’re progressing further into being more dependent on technology. I think it’s an excellent way of making things more interactive for students but I don’t know how efficiently it would work.

  • Donnelly Phillips
    October 26th, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    O’Donnell

    There are severals of things wrong with today’s education system. I agree with Ken Robinson in the expectations increasing and academic inflation. It used to be rather normal for people to get a real-deal job after high school. Now it has become increasingly casual for students to get a college degree. Education is turning toward math and science over language and arts. Like one of the comments on the Ken Robinson video stated:

    “You got a talent for drawing, but are bad at math? Idiot.
    You can’t draw a scribble, but do your algebra well? Bright lad.”

    The education system is not that extreme, but it is skewed towards it. Let us make science and math the cake, arts the icing, and encourage everyone to do what they want to do. Not that we do not already do that, but we really are not encouraging all the right traits in schools.

    I did like these videos as well, I suppose. It is just that the school killing creativity one trumps them all.

  • O’Donnell

    This topic of education is one of the things I’m passionate about. Of course I am more into change in special education in the US and the world. But I will start to change the US first. Liz Colemans talk really is unfortunatly true. When I told my english professor that my ultimate goal was to change the world he kind of looked at me in a way that seemed to say no you can’t. I have big plans but I will find a way to make them happen. I plan to get a degree in education. I want ultimatly to get the the swpecial ed students into the “normal” student population. Liz Coleman talked about what I am seeing, action as an extra curricular. There deffinatly needs to be a change in the education system.

  • McClurken

    We don’t need no education? According to that last article (and common sense), it would be in our best interest to continue our college education. The first video was horrendous. I skipped to the 9.10 minute mark, but could only get to 16 minutes, her speech was so dull and unenthusiastic. Improv is key? Why was she reading from a binder then?? I really liked the idea of the third video, though. Everything in our lives should be linked together and, although I do dislike the subject of history, it still ties in with everything around me and my life. The fourth video kept me intrigued the entire time: non-English speaking children could teach themselves English simply because they wanted to play on the computer?! That is so remarkable, it really should guide us in how we teach and learn.

  • McClurken
    i like the post from fholzgrefe, why was she reading from that binder?
    first off, over an hour of video… awesome.
    I think that most schooling does kill creativity because some teachers are just down right boring. They just read from slides and dont add on to it or use stories to make thier point.
    However i have had a few teachers since kindergarden who made learning fun. Making learning alot more hands on and bringing in outside ideas to the class room. Such as using things that we are all used to seeing and using to count…
    I dont feel asthough the education system is going to change in any big way for a long time. The government has made a system and they dont see it as broken. It would take alot to change it, because if people dnt like the way things are being done they can send thier kids to private schools and get scholarships if they try hard enough.
    and sorry this is a little late, the internet on my pc is awful.
    Tyler

  • sorry this is late!

    I do not think that everyman needs to be educated on all the topics because that is why we get jobs that are specialized in certain things so that we can do well in that one job, whether it be performing open heart surgery or digging ditches or helping people out with their banking problems.

    On the topic of education killing creativity I agree with Sean when he says yes and no, this is what I look forward to talking about most tomorrow.

    Education is a very important topic that i feel will be a passionate discussion on how the education system should be directed, whether it leave room for creativity or it should be structured to standardized tests.

  • The article based around college made me think of a TedTalk I had seen previously: “Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity.” I am thinking about his idea of “education inflation” and how relevant it is to this talk tomorrow. I like to work in some humor to a lot of my thoughts so I think I’ll include this little “tid-bit”: [ http://www.collegehumor.com/article:1792887 ] which I think does a good job of describing Education Inflation.

    This idea of Education Inflation worries me, as a college student, because it affects me directly. I’m interested to discuss the possibilities of alternative educations because I am not quite sure that I can understand them entirely by myself.

  • O’Donnell

    Sorry so late – internet issues.

    The structure of schools kill creativity. It enables basically one mode of left-brain success, and memorization is more important than creation on most levels.

    I was lucky to go to an art school (Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk) for two years in high school. The kids who struggled with basic algebra and core sciences were often absolutely brilliant in sculpture and design. They had been stigmatized as lost causes in the world of academia yet they could make such moving, immaculate art. Places like GSA were a haven to people who thought differently (not less, just differently).

    I’m not a huge fan of the “everyman” approach. I don’t see the point in a highly specialized society to make people learn an inadequate amount of a lot of things rather than an incredible amount of one or two things. Unless you practice these subjects regularly in life they will be forgotten anyway. Waste of time and resources.

    Stats definitely > calc.

  • I really thought today’s talk went well. I think it was a topic that nearly all students could have an opinion on and they could state that opinion openly. I have gone to private school since I was in kindergarten.I have never experienced being in a public school, but I always wish I have. I think that all students should have the opportunity to choose what kind of school they want to attend. No one should be forced anywhere. I do think that a public school is a very good place for students to get an education, even though I have never attended public school. I believe that a public school provides students with something that private schools do not. I think that at a public school a student has the opportunity to be introduced to more people of different, race, background, and culture. I would constantly compare my private school experience to students’ experiences at public school and I honestly feel like the students in public schools are more knowledgeable about a wider range of variety and more topics that relate to the outside world. I almost feel like I lived a sheltered life in private school. Also, today in class we discussed whether teachers should follow a specific criteria or add little of their own teaching to it. I strongly think part of being a great teacher is finding a new way to approach students with the lesson plan and to incorporate your own information into the syllabus.

  • Todays talk went very well. I feel like everyone gave a good set of opinions especially when talking about teachers and the liberal arts program.

    I have been to DOD schools, private schools, public French and Italian school, school of the arts, and public American school so the types of teaching I have been exposed to have greatly changed over the years. The standards of learning is very different in all of them, yet I have had no trouble learning in America or in college now. I think that SOLs are a good way to test the standards and I think they should be the same nationwide. A good teacher will know how to interest and keep the attention of students even if they have to teach SOLs.

    As for teachers, I do NOT think teachers should ever be replaced by machines. The relationship between teachers and students would never be the same with a machine.

  • Quantitative results are the most realistic and efficient way of evaluating how effective a student was at learning a particular subject. This is view is most likely how underfunded schools look at their situation. It’s unfortunate that many students will be overlooked, but we must ask ourselves about these students: “Would they have achieved anyway?”

    Looking back on today’s topic, I’m surprised none of us brought up Obama’s call for year-round schooling. I hate this idea, but I see the necessity for it. The idea of year-round schooling is that there is no down time for students. Could this increase our potential to learn subjects? I think it would, and if we switched to year round schooling we would see an increase in the qualitative and quantitative results.

  • O’Donnell

    I thought today’s discussion went well. We covered a wide variety of topics concerning education, and everyone brought a differenct perspective to the topic. Personally, I do not believe standards of learning are killing creativity. I think it is up to the teacher to keep the attention of his or her students. He or she can either do it in a mundane fashion and bore the students or think up of new and exciting ways to learn the subject. However, I also believe that schools should prepare us for the real world. Coming into college, I would have loved to have had more knowledge about everyday things such as cooking or managing my budget.

    I do not think teachers can be replaced by machines. I have personally used programs such as Rosetta Stone. Even if I do learn from them, I believe that a foreign language teacher is still more effective. I mean, in order to learn a foreign language you have to COMMUNICATE with someone who speaks that language. I have a better understanding of the languages I have learned from actual instructors than the ones I have tried by using a program such as Rosetta Stone. However, I do like the idea of group learning. I know that if I am in a cooperative group, it just reinforces the information i need to know.

    One point in class that was made is that people in the same major do tend to stick to each other. I personally know that I am already very good friends with a lot of people majoring in International Affairs. I think that might be one advantage of the general education requirements; it allows you to become close to people from other majors as well.

    –Stacey Peros

  • I think unfortunately college is becoming the new high school. Instead of higher education, its another level of general education. When this becomes the case for graduate school I have no idea where people will go to one-up the competition. That is pretty stressful for me as someone who will eventually be dipping in the job market pool. The more advantages I have over someone looking for the same job, the better- but where are these advantages going to come from? Everyone is going to college!! Sure, there are filters to weed out those who shouldn’t really be attempting college but with all the colleges out there, I think everyone is getting a chance to one-up their competition. Public schools offering the “two-year transfer” is great for people who don’t have the money to further their education but then they get to transfer to UVA!? They hardly worked in high school, while I earned my place in college. Its pretty stressful, my future is on the line!

    I enjoyed our discussion in class, and I think that a lot of people have some really good ideas to bring to the table.

  • McClurken

    Though I realize that education should have a purpose, and I understand why people would want to get a good job as a result of their education, I think that learning for the sheer joy of it should be emphasized more. I don’t work hard in classes to get an A; I work hard so that I know the material. I enjoy taking classes that don’t relate to my goals in life because they do, in a way: they make me more aware of the world and different parts of it, as well as giving me the sheer joy of learning something I love. For me, if you’re going to go to college, you should really want to be there. I have little patience for people who come just to do it to get a good job, or because their parents are making them. We shouldn’t view college solely as an economic investment (paying money now will get me a higher-paying job in the future), but rather an intellectual one.

  • McClurken

    It seemed like for the most part everyone was on the same page. Everyone is frustrated with how our current education system works and how easy it is for some people to get into college. I guess i see the reason why they want to make getting an education so easy. This way all of the people who would normally not of gone to college can get good jobs and support themselves and help out our economy. But honestly, if we have everyone going to college, who is going to serve me tacos at Taco Bell??? And if we have all of these kids who cant pass high school getting a college education they will be competing for jobs with the people who actually deserve them. For now anyways it is difficult for people even with a college education to find jobs, so why bring unworthy people up to make it even harder? I do not have a problem with the 2 year transfer deal at community colleges because that gives people without money opportunities to go to schools that they never before dreamed of. And i have never heard of this no grading scale thing before like they have at Brown. Not really sure how i would feel about being under one of these systems but the idea is potentially great. It will be interesting to see if more schools begin to head in this direction or a completely new direction then the current system.

  • O’Donnell

    I thought the talk today went well. My persepsctive of how a teacher should be was that he/she should be lively, able to keep the class’s attetnion, and actually knows the material. Creativity was an agreed idea. I believe that in order to keep a class’ attention, some creativity should be put into what ever the class is learning.

    Being in a private school since the 6th grade it was hard for me to relate when talking about SOLs. At my private schools, I had numerous teachers who were not creative at all, but the curriculum was a little more lenient. Overall I thought there were some good points made that could help school systems.

  • O’Donnell

    The discussion made me realize how supportive I would be of extremely harsh restrictions on teachers. Textbook preachers should be replaced with ebooks, surely. I also favor the idea of the anti-magnet school where children who don’t succeed because they are less gifted move to a new school. Keeping the best with the middle will pull the middle up instead of the current system where they are pulled down.
    As important as specialization is, it isn’t as important as an all-around education. Those who complain that they are terrible at a certain subject probably shouldn’t be in school, especially university, because if you have one skill set under your belt, and you aren’t being challenged in any others, you should be working. University is too much a statement of social class than of educational need. America needs to stop treating students like babies and start treating them like future world leaders. Otherwise we won’t have any.

  • McClurken

    The discussion went well and I realized everyone has almost the same opinion on education. It seemed liked we all are unhappy with the current education system.I think education has changed a lot over the years. It used to be that didn’t need a college education to get a job, now you do. I feel like this higher form of education is turning into a general education. It seems like that it will come to a point where going to college isn’t that big of a deal. Already you can see that it’s beginning to be the new high school. If and when this happens I wounder how everyone going to compensate. How much education do we really need to live and work?

  • McClurken
    I thought that yesterday’s talk was interesting. Education is something that is applied to everybody. Today, it is practically assumed that you are going to further your education from high school, and it is becoming so that going to graduate school is now becoming more and more common. Not that there is a problem, but it is becoming increasingly demanding to have an advanced degree and more money.
    I went to private school from 1st to 12th grade, andI think tht I would have been better off going to public school. It was not really like a college prep school like it claimed. The only good department was the history department, and they were phenomenal teachers. The teachers in the science were not the best, and I suffered for that. I think that it is definately more the way that the teachers teach than what the curriculum is.

  • I thought the talk of how education should be was interesting. I think that most people after graduating high school just assume college is what the next step. Our parents, teachers and peers drill into our heads that after high school comes college and no one really second guesses it. But why do we all have to go straight from high school into college? Why is that the “expectable” thing to do? I don’t think anyone will be successful in college unless they are willing to be here and ready to learn and explore to create a future for themselves. I also don’t think going into college any one really knows what they want to study to do for the rest of their life. I don’t think major specific colleges are really necessary until the 3rd or 4th year of college or even into graduate school. Everyone needs time to get their feet in place and figure out their interests.

  • Donnelly Phillips (dphillip)
    October 28th, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    O’Donnell

    The best teacher I ever had was very strict and fearsome. Utilizing these qualities, she smacked me into shape mathematically. She was probably the only high school teacher I ever had who taught properly. And she was able to be like this while being fun and interesting at the same time. I have no idea how she did it.

    Students absorb the energy of the teacher. Energetic teacher means energetic students. Yet you need to be more energetic than you want your students to be. If I become a math teacher, I am not entirely sure as to what kind of teacher I will be like, but if one thing is for sure, it is that I will be the epitome of energy.

    On another note, I suppose I never thought of academic inflation as a good thing. I assumed it was bad because there is the though “Oh great, now EVERYONE needs to go to college in order to just meet the standard, when in the old days it was perfectly normal to not go to college.” What is wrong with the standard set at everyone going to college? It is a life-changing experience that makes those who enroll more intelligent. It SHOULD be the standard. I never gave that thought until last discussion.

  • I agree with Maggie on the fact that if we’re forced to learn a little bit of everything then most of it gets lost anyways. If we were to just learn a few subjects and focus on those it would be more effective in the long run. I had a French exchange student last year and she said that her school was completely different. They are put into different schools based on what their career is going to be. I find that much more useful for the future.

    I think that it should be a requirement that everyone has to take at least one class in each subject. It gives people exposure and helps them make sure of what they want to do with the rest of their life.

    I do not think that teachers should be replaced by computers by any means. Even if the teacher is the most boring/dull person ever, I would learn better by a person than by a computer any day.

  • Sorry this is ridiculously late… I tried to look on the syllabus to see if it was okay that I didn’t post a post-post, but we never decided how many we needed to do, sooo:

    At this point in the year, I feel like we are beginning to repeat our points. I think it is important that school standards are constantly updated (we should not be teaching like our parents were taught). College is just another step in the chain of life: preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school, college. I personally don’t think grad school is quite there yet in the mandatory list, but quite a few did in class. I think just finished loan counseling and being counseled by McClurken telling us his grad education doesn’t allow him a higher pay than his wife, I personally am not sure if I want to go to grad school. In four years, though, it may be a necessity in the competitive job market.

  • I thought this talk went well and we discussed interesting things, especially the subject of computers teaching students. I would have enjoyed talking about everyman being the everyman a little bit more but overall the discussion went well.

  • I felt as though, this day’s talk went really well as everyone is exposed to this in some way or another. Everyone that is in this class has gone through the education system or they would not be here. And everyone has formed opinions on how they could make it better, or what they were doing at a certain time was “stupid.” The one thing that really stuck in my head was the whole conversation about when we should switch our education from generalization to specialization. I personally feel as though high school gives you the generalization that you need to suceed with the basics and that college is the time to focus on a topic. I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be a plan for students who want to take certain general courses to figure out what they want to do. But, I believe if there are students who know what they want to do as far as their degree goes then they should be able to focus on that the minute they get to college.

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