Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by actsnoblemartin, Jul 15, 2007.
Why did we lose our powerful manufacturing industry, why are we doing on science?
We lost our manufacturing because it is more profitable to manufacture goods by paying slave wages to children in foreign countries.
We are failing in science because there is a group in this country that hates science and sees it as a threat to their religious beliefs. We are next to last of the "westernized nations" in our belief in evolution. It is impossible to emphasize science when you have people fighting to teach "intelligent design" and creationism in schools.
Actually the US doesn't do that bad in science, when the differences in US v. European educational systems are considered:
You have to scroll down.
I do think that this is a serious problem - I don't think Christianity is the problem. The argument could be made that more people believed in Christian concepts like Creationism in the 50's and 60's when America was leading the way in the areas of math and science.
I would place the blame on our educational system and its declining definition of success. I worked with a science teacher in my middle school who retired last year. She had been teaching middle school science for over 25 years. She stopped by my room one day to show me the science text book from her first year teacher. I could hardly believe it. As someone recently out of college, it looked more complex than my college level biology text book had been.
I think we have spent years lowering standards in order to include all children...and in that process have created students who are not as capable of succeeding in the higher, more complex math and science fields. You add to this a generation of the gifted, highly intelligent children who aren't as interested in taking the harder, honors-level or advanced-placement level classes for fear that it will damage their GPAs....colleges accepting children with incredibly poor grades or low SAT scores (although there are signs that this may be slowly changing)...and you have a bunch of students who just aren't as able or interested in pursuing these fields...
ITA!!! It seems to me that we have been more interested in making sure everyone achieves no more than mediocrity ... don't get too smart, too successful or too rich. You can, however, be as petty, shallow and "special" as you can be.
That was my point, it's our system. Perhaps we should be 'educating' those that wish to be?
Mandatory grade school attendance. Optional high school and college only if you truly WANT it.
No grading curves, no social crap, no sports programs. Scholastics only.
Eek! I couldn't disagree more. Part of successful public education has to be about creating citizens of value. Social skills and health are integral to that. And more importantly than that, we CAN do both - educate and socialize.
My first order of business would be to attack standards at the elementary level - some have recommended higher salaries for high school math and science teachers - but unless we have students who know HOW to learn, we are going to fall flat on our asses in teaching them WHAT to learn.
Students who are not proficient in mathematics and reading by 3rd grade will be removed from the regular education system. They will not go to special education - but rather to an intensive program that focuses solely on reading and mathematics. (Science and Social Studies can be taught through reading material - but will not be the main focus at this time). Programs such as the Linda Moot-Bell reading program or the Wilson Reading System can teach completely illiterate adults to read in 3 months with daily 30-40 minutes sessions...students will be given daily intensive reading and mathematical sessions to catch them up to their peers. Studies have shown that a vast majority of middle and high schoolers identified as "learning support" or "special education" are actually students who just didn't master reading at these early levels and therefore fell further and further behind with each passing school year. Catching these students early and helping them perform will bring more students into regular education system.
I would also implement a vocational-technical aspect of education beginning at the middle school level. If you hate school and think you might want to try automotive repair or welding or culinary arts, GREAT! Here's a program for it...only know that you are going to be held to standards just as high in that area that you will find in the regular school setting and of course, you will still be required to receive mathematical, science, social studies, and English education, just on a more business oriented direction.
I could go on...but thats a start...
When I mention sports I was referring to allowing atheletes to pass because they are some sort of "star" at a particular school. By social crap, I meant the formal and informal ranking of students based on things other than academics.
Everything else I think we are vehement agreement.
I hear you Gem regarding sports, though disagree with you on the social programs regarding 'lifestyle choices' and such. What I do disagree with is the tendency of high schools to be mini colleges, regarding sports programs. To many anecdotes regarding coaches calling grades and such. Then there is the ever present 'jocks rule' sort of problems. Address this and a lot of problems fall by the wayside in schools that mostly work.
Schools, IMO should not be a the place of indoctrination. Not for prayers, not for morality, not for birth control, not for drug use. Nor should they be the panacea for any of the above.
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