OT: What the heck do they teach in college??

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Michael Pardee wrote:

Besides how can you deny the existence of a God that knew about cars long before we did?
"God *drove* Adama and Eve from the Garden of Eden in a *Fury*."
"For I did not speak of my own *Accord*."
"The apostiles were in one *Accord*" (Odyssey minivan?)
"Joshua's *Triumph* was heard throughout the land."
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Fury - why would God drive a Plymouth? [shudder])
Mike
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On 23 Sep 2005 01:51:59 -0700, "larry moe 'n curly"

Not scientist - scientologist.
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wrote:

Mike
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College is just a mechanism to teach you how to teach yourself, IMO -- college does not somehow magically makes you smarter. All the stuff you learn is basically the equivalent of a stupid pet trick if you cannot apply it.
Remco
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remco wrote:

But she couldn't teach herself how to figure out the problem.
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calculation. She knew to divide, and divided correctly. Rather, her problem seems to be in reasoning.
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: >My niece recently graduated from a prestigious university. Talked to : >her the other day, she was complaining that her new Honda was getting : >only 14 mpg. Turns out she was dividing the miles driven by the total : >gas tank capacity, not the actual amount of gas it took to fill the : >tank. Took several minutes of explanation before she realized her : >error. Apparently she was following the instructions of a friend from : >school. All that theoretical calculus sure came in handy. Where's : >the Gas Mileage 101 course when you need it... : Doesn't sound like a problem with her ability to do the actual : calculation. She knew to divide, and divided correctly. Rather, her : problem seems to be in reasoning.
Yeah, that would be a deficiency of common sense.
I mean, come on.
Paul <shaking head and sighing>
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That's something that she should have picked up in grade three at the latest.
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Waiving the right to remain silent, "Brian Smith"

A common problem when they're being taught by aging, leftist Hippies.
George Bush is BAD!!!
Gasoline is BAD!!!
Tenure is GOOD!!!
--
Larry J. - Remove spamtrap in ALLCAPS to e-mail

The United States is the greatest country in the world..!
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C'mon now... How do you spin politics in a calc class? /Now/ who has no common sense?
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Waiving the right to remain silent, "remco"

My point being that they aren't taught the skills they need to have, just a "liberal" agenda.
--
Larry J. - Remove spamtrap in ALLCAPS to e-mail

The United States is the greatest country in the world..!
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said:

That's just silly: for any group to have an agenda, they'd have to agree first. They can't agree themselves out of a wet paper bag.
I am not a political animal, but "no child left behind" - /COME ON NOW/ - what a joke! While I am not blaming the current regime for the education mess, can it truly be said that what was recently done is helpful?
How many in this country - educated during a non-liberal period - are functionally illiterate? They can read but cannot understand while they are doing so. They can write, but not without making many errors. They cannot do simple math. We're not even talking higher education, but just high school level.
How many kids educated in /liberal/ countries surpass our kids in math and sciences?
So having a left or right agenda has nothing to do with education.
The real problem is that our kids are not educated correctly from early on. There are many truly dedicated teachers out there, but some are just there for a paycheck - and we are not allowed to weed them out. Good teachers are not identified and thus are not being paid what they truly deserve - some never even become teachers for that reason.
We cut school programs like music, shop, arts, special science programs -- all the stuff that teaches you more than just stupid facts.
On top of that, our student/teacher ratio is ridiculous. Material is often old and lacking. We expect our schools to teach our kids manners or discipline. We complain when our kids get two hours of homework because they need too much help and we don't have that kind of time.
This is because we spend an average of 10 minutes 'quality time' with our kids each day - a term invented to ease a parent's concience, btw. We spend too much time at work, spend way too little time with our family and pay other people to take care of our kids.
Not a formula for parental success.
It largely is due to the type of society we are. (remember why Rome was bowled over? Or does one only learn about that in a liberal school system :)
Let me get off my soapbox now and get back to working on my vw bug..
Remco
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Liberals in other countries aren't quite like the liberals in the US. While they both believe in big government, the liberals in the US have much more touchy/feely kind of slant. Not really sure where that came from, however, as it's a more recent phenomenon.
Witness the recent craziness in using purple markers to score tests instead of red ink, because red is too "frightening", and the belief by many that it's not important what you get on a test, but that the attempt was good enough.
http://www.boston.com/news/education/k_12/articles/2004/08/23/harshness_of_red_marks_has_students_seeing_purple /
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They do have them, but where I grew up most kids went to public schools unless the parents had specific religious convictions (Catholic, mostly).
I think by and large we agree that something needs to change. To shove it into the shoes of left or right doesn't fix it, though. The problem has been here with both extremes in power.
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On Tue, 20 Sep 2005 20:45:50 -0400, "remco"

Classic hallmark of political indoctrination. All Liberal actually means is free-thinking, not constrained by previous ideas (but also not prohibited from those same ideas) If it wasn't for 'liberals' the few lucky enough to go to school would be memorising times tables by rote in full uniform, and getting a caning for having dirty nails.

I for one, am currently dealing with one of the consequences of this act. A friends new step-daughter (they've been married now about 3 months) is repeating the 5th grade. She failed the rgade last year, but because of 'no child left behind' the school was trying to push her p to the middle school anyway, that is what the act calls for after all - no child to be left behind. It took her father, and her new step-mother (our friend) 2 weeks of fighting with the school district to have her repeat the year. As it is, i'm working out some extra stuff and am now gong to tutor her every other weekend.

When i first moved to the US 2 1/2 years ago, my wife's cousin was just finishing high school, and needed some serious help with her maths classes. Since we were staying at their house (whilst i painted and prepped our new house) i was tutoring her in the evenings (since i have UK A-levels in maths and further maths, closest equivilent to the US is an associates in maths) Going over the sylabus, it was nothing more than basic calculus and trig. VERY basic stuff, the same stuff i'd done years earlier in the (getting dumbed down year-by-year) british system aged 15-16. To say she was flat out amazed when all her homeworks and problems were answered just by looking at them (the trig were almost all varients of 3-4-5, 1-2-root3 or 1-1-root2 triangles and since i've just given you all 3 sides, its more a ratios question than trig)
A guy in one of my IRC channels (on astronomy) is just starting university, and was bitching about the books he had to buy for his first year. The one for his physics classes was the same one i used for my GCSEs (those are school-leaving qualifications, taken one per-subject, at age 16) Hes not online right now, so i'm not sure where hes going, but its New England area i think.

The US education system lacks far behind european nations. American educated students, have to take a 'year0' or foundation year at british universities, to get them upto standards. The problem is easy - theres too much time for socialising, and irrelevence. Too much time spent giving so much choice to students, being able to pick and choose classes, the extra-curricular activities, that the point of school - BEING THERE TO LEARN has been forgotten.
We had homecomming last friday. It started off quite literally about 20ft from my desk here. It was filled by 'senior favourites' and 'class of 06 that' and even the one private school in the this county (and indeed the only one in the surrounding 8 as well) was there with a big floats. All together, maybe 90% of the kids in the high school were invovled somehow, from band, to flag corp (?!?!?!?) to JROTC (and don't get me started on them, I saw less of an unruly mob during the Miner's Strikes against Thatcher in the 80's.
Where has all the education gone? look right there. Don't get me wrong, i'm not against the organisations themselves, its just the way they've 'taken over' school life. When I was at school, the school has a lot more sports teams (roughly 7 cricket teams, a similar number for football (or soccer, as the world minority in north america calls it) and the same again for Rugby (or American football for men) 2 swimming squads, an athletics team, 4 basketball teams, 2 badminton teams, a squash 'squad', a cycling team, a hockey team (grass, not ice) and even a small half-marathon team (try and fit THAT practice into a lunch hour!) as well as more cerebral teams like chess, analytical chemistry, debating, mock trials, all of these competing at the national level, and STILL kept in the top 5 schools in the region academically, because ALL those squads and teams were own time stuff. They used school equipment, but all on their own time. I rmmeber once, when i was about 14-15, the headmaster announcing that the football first XI had won the national football competition, but there were no parades, that was it. It didn't dominate the school, because the school was about LEARNING.

its more about the aims of that agenda and how they're reached.

The system encourages this indeterminacy of the student ability, by providing only one grade, the GPA. When the school does grade subjects individually, its just a single flat mark, be it percentage or a grade. Ability/effort grading internalls, and per-subject competance grading externally is what is needed. A 3.0 GPA means what? they're a bit above average in all subjects? They're really good in all but 1 or 2?

not sure i agree with you 100% here. It depends what you mean, really. General shop (or really design-technology) is good, anything specific in that isn't. What do you mean by special science programs? ones conecntrating on a specific area of a subject, or a good in depth look all over. The ability to drop subjects is one there should be, but it should only be doable once or twice, and then its not dropping, as switching. I for one dropped Music when i could, switching for Business Studies, and dropped Spanish for 3D art+design

I'm all for homework, the more the better. However, when my 8yo gets stuck, I don't help. i only guide a step or 2. If she still can't do it, i'll guide another step or two and then, if its still stumping her, i'll write a note to the teacher, and bring her attention to that. Helping them through their homework hurts, because you're doing the problems, not them. You won't be there in the exam time. Her 3rd grade teacher this year has been very hapy with the grades my daughter's got. Her teacher last year was also happy with it (she had just qualified as a teacher, and was her first year of work) So far, my daughter's had all a's for that whole time. In her first grade, her teacher wouldn't work with us, She taught in school, worked in school, and when she wasn't at school, she didn't want to think about schoolwork.Not a good teacher.

Guess thats where i'm lucky. I spend most of my time working from home.

nowt wrong with soapboxing. US education system does need a severe kick up the arse though

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As much as we hate that stultifying picture, the question of what skills and knowledge should be taught in school, and the question of what atmosphere (oppressive or free wheeling) in which those skills and knowledge should be taught are very separate. Unfortunately, many among us lump them together for ideological expediency.
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Thank you - You said it all.
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Interesting perspective - well put.

I think anything that helps the connecting of different synapses is a plus: We've all been in classes as kids where all we'd do is regurgitate facts. You and I can tell anyone what the capitol of Juguslavia was without even thinking -- and that's not an all bad thing as long as there are other classes that allow one to open the mind a little. If one never learned to be interested in history/politial sciences/cultures, knowing the capitol of Yuguslavia is hardly relevant (anymore).
Shop could be wood working, welding, car repair or metal working - where one learns how something works or learns to build something from design to product. Science/Technology could be some sort of programming class or some sort of biology experiment.
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On Wed, 21 Sep 2005 17:43:44 -0400, "remco"

Alas, history, and political science seem to be two of the most piss-poorly taught subjects in the US. History is heavily biased towards the modern era, and filled with historical propeganda. As for political science, the oxymoronic nature of the 'title' should clue you to the amount of crap it contains, and taught by a country that teaches and nurtures the most absurd facts and statements as political reality. School isn't really the place for political science any way. You have to really put a lot of time into it to follow it properly, half-a-job is worse than a proper job, and to do a proper job in a high school setting requires time that could, and should be spent elsewhere in more core subjects (so people are not lumbered with finishing these subjects that should have been done at high school, in university.
So, you've taken your short and inadequate political science class, leaving you with a poor and inadequate understanding of political realities, and now you're gong to college and never use the polSci, BUT you will have to go and use an extra years worth of classes to make up for the maths and english classes you should have done at high school instead of the useless polsci.
What a worthwhile system. Doesn't benefit the students, they get an inadequate education in many advanced subjects, leading to misunderstanding and have to pay for an extra year at univresity for the core classes everywhere else teaches at school. Who's the winner here?

nope, car repair, welding, they're very specific skills. Thats not what high school is about. I can weld if i need to, but i don't, prefering to let others do it. Car repair varies so much from model to model, that only basic stuff is generally applicable. wood and metal work combined is good. Thats general. who here has never worked with wood and metal in their lives?following and making accurate diargams is also general knowledge worth having. Weldig and car repair, whislt something sot here will have done (well, those of us reading from alt.autos.honda) is not something for general use.
Programming classes are similarly specialised. In short, think of how often you'll need to use things in your everyday life, not just your job. I haven't programmed anything more than markup language since i left university, and which language would you have them proram in? java, c++? delphi? LOGO? Biology experiments should, however, be part of the biology class curicculum, be it time-elapsed investigatiosn of amalyse via starch content measured by iodene, or disection of a bovine heart.

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