Jump to content
Political Discussion Forums
Cum Laude

Onatrio Gr.6 Math Scores Dismal

Recommended Posts

We pay teachers as high or higher a salary than anywhere on Earth, and ask very little from them by way of results. Would it be so hard to demand that those teaching Math know a lot about Math?

By the way, you spelled the name of Ontario wrong. Did you go to school here?

Edited by Argus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Argus said:

We pay teachers as high or higher a salary than anywhere on Earth, and ask very little from them by way of results. Would it be so hard to demand that those teaching Math know a lot about Math?

They only need to know social justice math. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Argus said:

We pay teachers as high or higher a salary than anywhere on Earth, and ask very little from them by way of results. Would it be so hard to demand that those teaching Math know a lot about Math?

By the way, you spelled the name of Ontario wrong. Did you go to school here?

Yes, I realized long ago I spelled Ontario wrong. Oh well.Llike overpaid people who run our expensive public education system say.....spelling doesn't matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Argus said:

We pay teachers as high or higher a salary than anywhere on Earth, and ask very little from them by way of results. Would it be so hard to demand that those teaching Math know a lot about Math?

It's a lot harder to find teachers who are comfortable enough with math at the high school level than history, english and some other things.  Also hard to find French and music teachers as I understand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

It's a lot harder to find teachers who are comfortable enough with math at the high school level than history, english and some other things.  Also hard to find French and music teachers as I understand.

Probably doesn't help that people have a hostile attitude towards teachers. 

Edited by herples

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, herples said:

Probably doesn't help that Canadian society at large has a hostile attitude towards teachers. 

It's a complicated relationship, and related to the relationship between all civil servants and doctors with the 'public'.  These people tend to make better wages, are specialists etc. but the labour-management relationship combined with the political aspect makes it difficult.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

It's a lot harder to find teachers who are comfortable enough with math at the high school level than history, english and some other things.  Also hard to find French and music teachers as I understand.

We have a huge surplus of teachers. We continue to train more every year than we need. New teachers have to go to Korea and Malaysia and live like monks on almost no salary in hopes of gaining experience they can cite to get them a job back home eventually. Would it be so illogical to suggest to people in university who want to become teachers that they need to take a lot more math?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Argus said:

We have a huge surplus of teachers. We continue to train more every year than we need. New teachers have to go to Korea and Malaysia and live like monks on almost no salary in hopes of gaining experience they can cite to get them a job back home eventually. Would it be so illogical to suggest to people in university who want to become teachers that they need to take a lot more math?

Since when does logic have anything to do with anything? Why take a math class that involves doing a lot of real hard work when you can take another social justice class instead? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Argus said:

We have a huge surplus of teachers. We continue to train more every year than we need. New teachers have to go to Korea and Malaysia and live like monks on almost no salary in hopes of gaining experience they can cite to get them a job back home eventually. Would it be so illogical to suggest to people in university who want to become teachers that they need to take a lot more math?

At the same time teachers should be allowed to fail students. Parents and administration should not be able to pressure teachers into passing weak students. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Argus said:

Would it be so illogical to suggest to people in university who want to become teachers that they need to take a lot more math?

Getting 'more math teachers' by teaching it as part of the BEd studies is exactly the kind of quota-managing governments love to do, and critics rightly criticize.  Getting someone with a general arts degree to take a 'teaching math' course won't do it.  You'd need to recruit science & math undergrads to take a B Ed. and then hire them.  It's difficult to do that, because a lot of such people have better career prospects and simply don't want to teach.  Also the system as it is won't prioritize such skills as much as it should.  

You can call it 'political correctness' and maybe there's something to that but generally it's a disconnect between what is really needed and what the administrators think is needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Michael Hardner said:

You'd need to recruit science & math undergrads to take a B Ed. and then hire them.  It's difficult to do that, because a lot of such people have better career prospects and simply don't want to teach.  Also the system as it is won't prioritize such skills as much as it should.  

Indeed. Someone who can cut it in a real science or math degree program at a real university can go on to design cutting edge technology or solve some of the fundamental mysteries of the universe. Or they can go work in the financial technology industry and make millions. And you're gonna recruit them to be a teacher? Don't think I knew a single person in any of my undergrad courses that wanted to be a teacher. Everyone wanted to be on the forefront of research, to found a startup based on some new technology, or to follow a career in industry. 

The reality is the entire paradigm of teaching at both the school and university level needs to be rethought. There is a tiny subset of teachers and professors that are actually good at the lecture/explanation part of teaching. We should record the lectures of the very best of the best in each field, and use that as the teaching material. Then, the actual teacher in the room with the kids (school) or students (university) can be there to answer questions, assign/collect homework, and perform other administrative/personal duties as needed. This would improve the quality of education, reduce the workload of teachers, and give every student everywhere equal access to the very best in teaching. 

Edited by Bonam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Bonam said:

The reality is the entire paradigm of teaching at both the school and university level needs to be rethought.

Let us dream, for a moment, of a leader who would/could make such a thing happen.  Even dream of one who would want to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

36 minutes ago, Bonam said:

....The reality is the entire paradigm of teaching at both the school and university level needs to be rethought. There is a tiny subset of teachers and professors that are actually good at the lecture/explanation part of teaching. We should record the lectures of the very best of the best in each field, and use that as the teaching material.

 

Great idea, but there are other competing forces at play for STEM education, often leading to the lowest common denominator (pun intended):

1) Teacher unions

2) School boards

3) Education publishers (software & text books)

4) Academic aptitude testing industry and competition

5) Other social and economic factors for students and families.

 

I would argue that the most important investment for math education must start earlier and with more rigor in the basics, but the opposite has been happening.   Students who "get it" start to leave their classmates behind at an early age.  If I was forced to choose one teacher who had the most impact on my education and subsequent employment in engineering and technology, it would be my algebra & geometry teacher.  She was an outstanding teacher...who also happened to know her subject very well.

Thank you...Mrs. Jones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

I would argue that the most important investment for math education must start earlier and with more rigor in the basics, but the opposite has been happening.   Students who "get it" start to leave their classmates behind at an early age.  If I was forced to choose one teacher who had the most impact on my education and subsequent employment in engineering and technology, it would be my algebra & geometry teacher.  She was an outstanding teacher...who also happened to know her subject very well.

Thank you...Mrs. Jones.

I had a good science teacher starting in grade 8, all the ones before that were terrible. Never had a good math teacher in school though I did get a few good profs in university. Fortunately I was one of the few who "got it" and also my parents were able to get me into some extracurricular activities, where there were good teachers/leaders. 

The reality today is that kids are finishing high school with a solid grasp only of basic arithmetic. They're exposed to algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and sometimes the beginnings of calculus but only those that have an interest and pursue math and science outside of school firmly grasp any of these concepts. The "standard" level of math competence that is imparted on people by the end of high school is to be able to understand the meaning of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing natural numbers and to be able to use a calculator to do these operations with a reasonable level of accuracy. 

Everything beyond that is learned only on a "cookbook" type level... kids know that to answer a certain type of question on a test, they have to follow a certain procedure that they can commit to memory by cramming for an exam. But there is no understanding of what that recipe means or how it can be applied to solve a real world problem. And there is no retention of even the recipe itself for more than a week or two after exams are done. The reality of this can be seen in the particularly dismal scores that people get on "word problem" parts of math tests... where they aren't simply asked to do a computation but to read a paragraph, pick out the relevant parameters, and understand what computation they actually need to do to get the answer. 

Teachers that don't teach well is certainly part of the problem, but another part is just the general cultural aversion to math and science and more recently, downright rejection of reason and rationality in favor of faith and emotionalism. Even as the economy becomes increasingly dominated by tech, the culture shifts further and further away from being conducive to generating or encouraging the right kind of talent that is needed. I suppose that's why tech firms rely more and more on immigration to find the talent they need and why university programs in STEM fields are mostly full of foreign (or recent immigrant) students. 

And what do our so called leaders do in the face of all this? They decide that math and science classes should forgo most of the little math and science that they still try to teach so that they can instead teach more about social justice :lol:

The best bet is for parents that have a STEM background to see to the STEM education of their kids themselves because society certainly won't. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Bonam said:

...The reality today is that kids are finishing high school with a solid grasp only of basic arithmetic. They're exposed to algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and sometimes the beginnings of calculus but only those that have an interest and pursue math and science outside of school firmly grasp any of these concepts. The "standard" level of math competence that is imparted on people by the end of high school is to be able to understand the meaning of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing natural numbers and to be able to use a calculator to do these operations with a reasonable level of accuracy. 

Everything beyond that is learned only on a "cookbook" type level...

 

 

Agreed, and ironically, it is the easy access to technology and automation that has undermined a rigorous education and understanding of mathematics basics...some would argue this is true even for elementary arithmetic.    Concepts and proofs are lost to history, number theory is left to chance.  

All one has to do to see this in practice is to drive to a fast food restaurant and over pay with currency and coin to avoid a pocketful of change.   Most of the younger employees will just brain lock and stumble through the cash transaction. 

This has been happening for decades now.   We use to give all job applicants math questions (prime numbers, time/speed/distance, exponents, square roots, decimals, etc.), on a written test just to assess a minimum education level.    Many immigrants were far better prepared to compete...I guess they had far more at stake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

This has been happening for decades now.   We use to give all job applicants math questions (prime numbers, time/speed/distance, exponents, square roots, decimals, etc.), on a written test just to assess a minimum education level.    Many immigrants were far better prepared to compete...I guess they had far more at stake.

Native born Americans (and Canadians too, of course) tend to chase careers as athletes or celebrities, since those are what they see glamorized in the media, and when 99% of them inevitably fail they get minimum wage jobs, or work a series of "side gigs" while couch surfing, or get welfare, and/or go around protesting about how "there aren't any opportunities any more". Programming a computer? Machining some metal? Doing some science in a lab? That's for uncool nerds and foreigners. 

I recently visited a major semiconductor R&D facility in the US on a business trip. It was full of Indian immigrants, Chinese immigrants, and Russian immigrants. Probably less than 10% of the 2000+ person work force were native born Americans. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Bonam said:

...I recently visited a major semiconductor R&D facility in the US on a business trip. It was full of Indian immigrants, Chinese immigrants, and Russian immigrants. Probably less than 10% of the 2000+ person work force were native born Americans. 

 

Sure....I've seen that multiple times in different U.S. facilities.   Most Indian nationals have already survived and escaped from a brutally competitive system of social class and reserve set asides for education and opportunity.   The Russians are amazed at such easy access to resources and technology and know how to exploit it.    The Chinese seem to struggle more with the language barrier, but will never be outworked.    Science and engineering mathematics is a universal language.

For this OP,  my state began to openly recruit engineers and scientists in industry for high school math and science classes by granting teaching credential waivers.   The teacher unions went nuts.    And some applicants were not suitable teachers as well, lamenting the state of safety and discipline in the schools.    Math requires more academic discipline than social studies or political science.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

Let us dream, for a moment, of a leader who would/could make such a thing happen.  Even dream of one who would want to.

Seems improbable, doesn't it? I'm starting to reach the conclusion that democracy is broken. It was the best form of government from around 1600-2000 but seems increasingly unsuitable to the present day. Much like monarchy seemed like the natural and obvious choice before that and yet became obsolete. Countries can only handle so many decades of self-destruction at the hands of incompetent or corrupt leadership before rivals with alternative systems that function better start to out-compete them. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/3/2017 at 5:25 PM, eyeball said:

Sounds more like it's democracy that's in trouble when the government ignores the people.

That deserves a quote as well as a like.

I am not an educator, but my wife, her sister and our eldest daughter all are.  They cover the range from infancy to post-secondary in their teaching experience and one (my wife) has degrees in early childhood and exceptional children.  I will attempt to distill what I have learned from them.

It is mostly an institutional and societal problem.   Legislators for the most part get their view of the world through the senior bureaucrats in the departments from which their Ministers sit at the top for a very short time and try to understand the actual issues.  The view from Parliament Hill/Legislature Drive/etc. is not very clear and not much partisanship surrounding the issues.

Children start off life with an incredible capacity to learn.  It is what parents do for their children in every waking moment.  Societally, what we teach them is that Mom has to go to work to pay for "location, location, location" and all of the "stuff" we deem important.  Kid is shuffled off to a paid babysitter so Mom and Dad can get off to work.  WTF do you think the child care person is trained and experienced at doing for pre-schoolers????   Change diapers and keep them from killing each other is about the limit.  There was a time when the family meant that the FAMILY raised children, and that meant one full time parent, or in exceptional circumstances, one of or a pair of grandparents would step in and lend a hand.  Those first four and MOST IMPORTANT years are usually wasted now, but if you know anything about Grandparents, few are going to make the mistakes and bow to pressures as they did in their younger days and kids will get a pretty good amount of attention that fits the personality, ability and interests of the child in question.  We don't live with/near our families these days, as it interferes with making money.   I will post our experience:  Our children were enrolled in just about anything you could imagine for educational and health reasons pre-school, and their Mother gave up her career to teach them what she could (that was quite a bit) in the hours in between.  Their first classes at University started at the ages of 4 and 3 in a music programme (that required parental participation to the tune of many, many hours a week).   Kids can swallow that intensity with far more ease than parents.

When they hit school, don't care if it is public or private, if their interest in learning is still in tact, they are now thrown into an institutional situation largely designed by bureaucrats that has to manage millions of kids, 25 or so at a time, with a very, very wide diversity in ability and interests.   Problem is: one teacher can only do so much in a system designed to cater to the lowest common denominator, when in fact, if you had a hope in hell of keeping up with what any one kid can learn, you pretty much need one-on-one instruction/support.  Yup: daycare version #2.  We have this ridiculous idea that you can just throw a kid into a box with two dozen others and a teacher can just wave his/her magic wand over them and turn them all into genii.   Truth is, they almost ALL have that potential, but you need to be feeding it a lot more mental diet and challenge than the institutional setting can deliver.   Again, I will post my experience:  I thought that meant sending our kids to some kind of private or new-age school where some higher level of ability that public institutions could do wonders.   I was more than a bit surprised when my wife insisted they would go to a public school - as the main thing they would learn was how to interact socially with their peers and teachers.  There WAS some conditions placed:  would be in French (we are Anglos) as the skills of language and music would be so important to their future scores and abilities in math and science (Who'd a thunkit???).  It would also be a religious school (we are not religious, but prefer the general values of Christian institutions) and they would not be allowed to move ahead (they were academically years beyond the "grade level").   She and many other teacher/friends tell me that what is learned in school academically in a typical day can be delivered on-on-one in an hour or so - and THAT is what parental contribution can be (IMHO SHOULD be).

By the time they are in secondary school, the die is long cast.  The really bright kids are often academic superstars but absolute PITA for teachers - as they are bored silly with the snail pace of learning and non-existent challenges to their intellectual self.  Note here:  we DO have programmes in many public school systems for "actel" kids (academically talented) and the ones our kids used were genuinely beneficial to the development as students and people.  And of course we have policies and programmes for those who are not up to the average.   Problem is, the whole thing is aimed very low as the system is riding dwarf ponies.  AND, it is us, the general tax-paying, voting public that cut the legs off.

The idea that "the government" is supposed to be responsible for doing EVERYTHING for us is where the partisanship SHOULD come in, but there is nobody out there in the political world who seems to have the brains or balls to tackle this extremely important issue.  We have conned ourselves as a society into believing the future of the country lies in having a bigger house, having more money, more "stuff".    We have completely missed the fact that our future is our children, and we have abandoned our responsibilities as their parents to allow the state and contractors to step in and do what WE should be deeply involved with.

Post secondary we have a new set of problems:  EVERYONE is supposed to get some kind of post-secondary education these days, so what do we do?   We just lower the standards so EVERYONE can be graduated.  I could fill a book with stories of professionals in my field that do not have even the basic level of understanding of the science behind what we do.  My children have told me endless instances in grad school and with post-docs with such narrow understanding of their own work that they are completely clueless as to the inter-disciplinary science behind even the most plebian of concepts.  My own take is my view from the very technical side of things, where  EEs dont understand MEs who don't understand CEs.   Trades that don't understand EETs and EETs who don't understand PEs in same discipline!!!!!    IMHO, EVERY technical discipline should have a format that takes EVERYONE through the trade level with same academic and practicum content.  That leaves the path open to go into technologist's training and just add another stage of academic achievement.   From there, professional graduation should START from the same path as trade and techs (EETs) did and simply add the last two years to reach baccelaureate level.  From there to the MSc and PhD level, we have the process right as a continuum, but no place here to get back to the lowering of standards issue that dominates those last two steps!!!

The failure of democracy is that we are not participating, not aware and don't seem to give a damn.  So, why do you expect our teachers (product of same) and legislators (products of the same) to behave any differently??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/10/2017 at 7:04 PM, bush_cheney2004 said:

This has been happening for decades now.   We use to give all job applicants math questions (prime numbers, time/speed/distance, exponents, square roots, decimals, etc.), on a written test just to assess a minimum education level.    Many immigrants were far better prepared to compete...I guess they had far more at stake.

As has been alluded in other posts: education in many countries is an extremely competitive thing.  Here is where we really miss the point:  just getting the accredation does not mean getting an education.  Especially for Asian students, the value within most Eastern cultures is the result, so they will work very hard, lie, cheat and learn tricks to get the degree(s).  It is so bad that many grad schools will see the millionth application from Chinese (in particular) students - all with perfect scores, perfect resumes and perfect references that will attest to their perfection when asked.   Application goes straight to the round file and they miss the GENUINE rock stars in all of the noise.  Our eldest left academia over here to teach pre-schoolers - as she encountered only students where were in her class to pass the exams - virtually NONE interested (or even able) to learn the science being taught. 3 and 4 year olds have no such learned inhibitions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎9‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 10:33 AM, cannuck said:

When they hit school, don't care if it is public or private, if their interest in learning is still in tact, they are now thrown into an institutional situation largely designed by bureaucrats that has to manage millions of kids, 25 or so at a time, with a very, very wide diversity in ability and interests.   Problem is: one teacher can only do so much in a system designed to cater to the lowest common denominator, when in fact, if you had a hope in hell of keeping up with what any one kid can learn, you pretty much need one-on-one instruction/support.

But weren't teachers expected to do even more a century ago? In the traditional one-room schoolhouse a teacher had students from multiple grades in the same room and was responsible for teaching all of them to their abilities. Further, the institutional setting is hardly new. What is new is that students are doing more poorly on tests.

On ‎9‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 10:33 AM, cannuck said:

By the time they are in secondary school, the die is long cast.  The really bright kids are often academic superstars but absolute PITA for teachers - as they are bored silly with the snail pace of learning and non-existent challenges to their intellectual self.  

So what should be done? Who does it better?

On ‎9‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 10:33 AM, cannuck said:

Post secondary we have a new set of problems:  EVERYONE is supposed to get some kind of post-secondary education these days, so what do we do?   We just lower the standards so EVERYONE can be graduated.  I could fill a book with stories of professionals in my field that do not have even the basic level of understanding of the science behind what we do.  My children have told me endless instances in grad school and with post-docs with such narrow understanding of their own work that they are completely clueless as to the inter-disciplinary science behind even the most plebian of concepts.  

There's no doubt universities have lower standards now, and are filled with courses of no value. They also seem to place more emphasis on keeping the 'children' happy then on teaching them how to think, let alone how to think for themselves. Universities are little more than trade schools, for the most part, filled with students who are there to get a piece of paper they think will get them into a good job. Learning stuff is irrelevant. It's the paper that matters. Which is why you have grads who can barely express themselves in writing and are so emotionally fragile they can't handle challenges to their positions or beliefs.

On ‎9‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 10:33 AM, cannuck said:

The failure of democracy is that we are not participating, not aware and don't seem to give a damn.  So, why do you expect our teachers (product of same) and legislators (products of the same) to behave any differently??

That's a generalized failure, with people showing little interest in anything the government does at any level, and especially bad given the poor quality and short-sighted thinking of our political leadership at all levels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Argus said:

But weren't teachers expected to do even more a century ago? In the traditional one-room schoolhouse a teacher had students from multiple grades in the same room and was responsible for teaching all of them to their abilities. Further, the institutional setting is hardly new. What is new is that students are doing more poorly on tests.

So what should be done? Who does it better?

There's no doubt universities have lower standards now, and are filled with courses of no value. They also seem to place more emphasis on keeping the 'children' happy then on teaching them how to think, let alone how to think for themselves. Universities are little more than trade schools, for the most part, filled with students who are there to get a piece of paper they think will get them into a good job. Learning stuff is irrelevant. It's the paper that matters. Which is why you have grads who can barely express themselves in writing and are so emotionally fragile they can't handle challenges to their positions or beliefs.

That's a generalized failure, with people showing little interest in anything the government does at any level, and especially bad given the poor quality and short-sighted thinking of our political leadership at all levels.

Will try to answer in short form (stealing time from client right now).

Many years ago, teachers were probably the best educated people in the community (especially true in rural Canada - and we were an ag society and economy until not that long ago).  Their parents simply did not have the education to pass on.  That is no longer the case.

Who does it better?  Well, better results come from the ultra-high pressures of Asian schools, but only the results of granting degrees.  I am not convinced there is any better level of understanding or ability to reason and think through things.  Changing education to actual learning, rather than simply tests of recall is a much larger problem, but we don't even do the basic tasks that well now.  How to fix that?   Simple: pay for results.  Teachers' rewards should be a function of what INDEPENDENT testing and scoring produces from standardized tests.  Today, there is no consequence for not teaching the course material, so only the small percentage of genuinely dedicated and motivated teachers will do so.  Letting testing and grading happen in house would simply mean making sure everyone gets a passing grade of...oh...I would expect 99%.  Since teachers can't fail students any more, that is essentially where we are now.  As in industry, if you don't pay for merit and productivity, you don't get merit or productivity, so why would we pay teachers a guaranteed reward with no obligation to perform???

As I mentioned, those legislators and their bureaucrats are a product of a society that is totally screwed up, and reflect the same quite accurately.  It's the Wall Street and WalMart world today - there is no longer any honour or respect for intellect, integrity or productivity.   Greed is the new religion, and it is fed by a steady diet of ignorance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎9‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 9:33 AM, cannuck said:

That deserves a quote as well as a like.

I am not an educator, but my wife, her sister and our eldest daughter all are.  They cover the range from infancy to post-secondary in their teaching experience and one (my wife) has degrees in early childhood and exceptional children.  I will attempt to distill what I have learned from them.

It is mostly an institutional and societal problem.   Legislators for the most part get their view of the world through the senior bureaucrats in the departments from which their Ministers sit at the top for a very short time and try to understand the actual issues.  The view from Parliament Hill/Legislature Drive/etc. is not very clear and not much partisanship surrounding the issues.

Children start off life with an incredible capacity to learn.  It is what parents do for their children in every waking moment.  Societally, what we teach them is that Mom has to go to work to pay for "location, location, location" and all of the "stuff" we deem important.  Kid is shuffled off to a paid babysitter so Mom and Dad can get off to work.  WTF do you think the child care person is trained and experienced at doing for pre-schoolers????   Change diapers and keep them from killing each other is about the limit.  There was a time when the family meant that the FAMILY raised children, and that meant one full time parent, or in exceptional circumstances, one of or a pair of grandparents would step in and lend a hand.  Those first four and MOST IMPORTANT years are usually wasted now, but if you know anything about Grandparents, few are going to make the mistakes and bow to pressures as they did in their younger days and kids will get a pretty good amount of attention that fits the personality, ability and interests of the child in question.  We don't live with/near our families these days, as it interferes with making money.   I will post our experience:  Our children were enrolled in just about anything you could imagine for educational and health reasons pre-school, and their Mother gave up her career to teach them what she could (that was quite a bit) in the hours in between.  Their first classes at University started at the ages of 4 and 3 in a music programme (that required parental participation to the tune of many, many hours a week).   Kids can swallow that intensity with far more ease than parents.

When they hit school, don't care if it is public or private, if their interest in learning is still in tact, they are now thrown into an institutional situation largely designed by bureaucrats that has to manage millions of kids, 25 or so at a time, with a very, very wide diversity in ability and interests.   Problem is: one teacher can only do so much in a system designed to cater to the lowest common denominator, when in fact, if you had a hope in hell of keeping up with what any one kid can learn, you pretty much need one-on-one instruction/support.  Yup: daycare version #2.  We have this ridiculous idea that you can just throw a kid into a box with two dozen others and a teacher can just wave his/her magic wand over them and turn them all into genii.   Truth is, they almost ALL have that potential, but you need to be feeding it a lot more mental diet and challenge than the institutional setting can deliver.   Again, I will post my experience:  I thought that meant sending our kids to some kind of private or new-age school where some higher level of ability that public institutions could do wonders.   I was more than a bit surprised when my wife insisted they would go to a public school - as the main thing they would learn was how to interact socially with their peers and teachers.  There WAS some conditions placed:  would be in French (we are Anglos) as the skills of language and music would be so important to their future scores and abilities in math and science (Who'd a thunkit???).  It would also be a religious school (we are not religious, but prefer the general values of Christian institutions) and they would not be allowed to move ahead (they were academically years beyond the "grade level").   She and many other teacher/friends tell me that what is learned in school academically in a typical day can be delivered on-on-one in an hour or so - and THAT is what parental contribution can be (IMHO SHOULD be).

By the time they are in secondary school, the die is long cast.  The really bright kids are often academic superstars but absolute PITA for teachers - as they are bored silly with the snail pace of learning and non-existent challenges to their intellectual self.  Note here:  we DO have programmes in many public school systems for "actel" kids (academically talented) and the ones our kids used were genuinely beneficial to the development as students and people.  And of course we have policies and programmes for those who are not up to the average.   Problem is, the whole thing is aimed very low as the system is riding dwarf ponies.  AND, it is us, the general tax-paying, voting public that cut the legs off.

The idea that "the government" is supposed to be responsible for doing EVERYTHING for us is where the partisanship SHOULD come in, but there is nobody out there in the political world who seems to have the brains or balls to tackle this extremely important issue.  We have conned ourselves as a society into believing the future of the country lies in having a bigger house, having more money, more "stuff".    We have completely missed the fact that our future is our children, and we have abandoned our responsibilities as their parents to allow the state and contractors to step in and do what WE should be deeply involved with.

Post secondary we have a new set of problems:  EVERYONE is supposed to get some kind of post-secondary education these days, so what do we do?   We just lower the standards so EVERYONE can be graduated.  I could fill a book with stories of professionals in my field that do not have even the basic level of understanding of the science behind what we do.  My children have told me endless instances in grad school and with post-docs with such narrow understanding of their own work that they are completely clueless as to the inter-disciplinary science behind even the most plebian of concepts.  My own take is my view from the very technical side of things, where  EEs dont understand MEs who don't understand CEs.   Trades that don't understand EETs and EETs who don't understand PEs in same discipline!!!!!    IMHO, EVERY technical discipline should have a format that takes EVERYONE through the trade level with same academic and practicum content.  That leaves the path open to go into technologist's training and just add another stage of academic achievement.   From there, professional graduation should START from the same path as trade and techs (EETs) did and simply add the last two years to reach baccelaureate level.  From there to the MSc and PhD level, we have the process right as a continuum, but no place here to get back to the lowering of standards issue that dominates those last two steps!!!

The failure of democracy is that we are not participating, not aware and don't seem to give a damn.  So, why do you expect our teachers (product of same) and legislators (products of the same) to behave any differently??

I wish this would appear in every newspaper in the country. Well said, cannuck. Parents have overwhelmingly outsourced the raising of their children to paid daycare mercenaries. Then parents come home from work and spend maybe an hour or two with their children. For some, that time is filled by giving a child an Ipad and having them use an "educational" app that some tech giant tells you is important for academic development. The electronic babysitter, or pacifier, is used to keep the child busy and out of the way. Now we have a generation of snowflakes who are easily offended. They are delicate flowers, and we must be careful or they will form a life-long mental illness.

 

However, great comment, like the one cannuck made above, would never make it into major newspapers because many who control the print have used daycares to raise their kids, so we continue with the one-sided narrative that daycare is the be all to end all. Kids need parents. It's as simple as that.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the book "Daycare Deception" by Brian C. Robertson. Jay Belsky, at one time was all for daycare, then after astute observations, became a major opponent of daycare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Cum Laude said:

However, great comment, like the one cannuck made above, would never make it into major newspapers because many who control the print have used daycares to raise their kids, so we continue with the one-sided narrative that daycare is the be all to end all. Kids need parents. It's as simple as that.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book "Daycare Deception" by Brian C. Robertson. Jay Belsky, at one time was all for daycare, then after astute observations, became a major opponent of daycare.

Thanks for the kind comments.   Always amazes me that discussing islamaphobia will suck up a quarter of a thousand pages of posts, but the key to the future of the country will only be of any import to a tiny minority.

In lieu of parents, we have always had a great alternative - extended family.   Something that is also a thing of the past.  You can hire people to do a lot of things for you, but you can't buy love.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...