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Are schools slacking or are kids getting dumber?
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Flare

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I think it's more that the kids are getting lazier, rather than dumber. I don't know about where the rest of you guys are, but here (IL) people are just lazy. If they can find a way that requires minimal effort, they'll use it. Sparknotes are ridiculously popular here. And like with the Shakespearean thing, if they have the slightest problem with something, they immediately decide they're stupid and don't even try. There's this one girl who's taking the same online class as me (Intro to HTML), and she asked me for help on like the second assignment. It was ridiculously easy stuff in that assignment either. When I tried to explain it to her, she just decided to copy and paste what the teacher had put there to show us how to do it and just leave it at that. That just irks me greatly.
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Puu

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chris_Lightfellow wrote:
And like with the Shakespearean thing, if they have the slightest problem with something, they immediately decide they're stupid and don't even try. There's this one girl who's taking the same online class as me (Intro to HTML), and she asked me for help on like the second assignment. It was ridiculously easy stuff in that assignment either. When I tried to explain it to her, she just decided to copy and paste what the teacher had put there to show us how to do it and just leave it at that. That just irks me greatly.


I don't think it could be because they're lazy... girls especially have low confidence when it comes to stuff like computers and maths and sciences... T_T;

I admit to have low confidence in Maths or Sciences ;3;

IT'S THE TEACHER'S FAULT. THEY'VE GOTTA BE NICER TO THEIR STUDENTS >:O j/k

Admittedly, too, the fact that we're all about doing things the easiest ways must have a great effect.... Before, obviously, people thought making an effort yield great results, now it's all about making things easy...
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Puu wrote:

IT'S THE TEACHER'S FAULT. THEY'VE GOTTA BE NICER TO THEIR STUDENTS >:O j/k


Hahaha, this somehow reminds me of my AP Government teacher. He uses a hammer, drill, and broom to fool around with us. Don't worry, it's not as abusive as it sounds :) it was actually a fun class

Puu wrote:

Admittedly, too, the fact that we're all about doing things the easiest ways must have a great effect.... Before, obviously, people thought making an effort yield great results, now it's all about making things easy...


Thank goodness for sparknotes. Has anyone ever read For Whom the Bell Tolls. It's the worst book I ever read, and it's over 500 pages of small print and pure boredom. *shudders*
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
I don't think it could be because they're lazy... girls especially have low confidence when it comes to stuff like computers and maths and sciences... T_T


From what Chris wrote, sounds like laziness to me. As being a teacher myself and seeing from experience, girls tend to be more mature than guys and take school work more seriously. Of course, there are exceptions. And even with low confidence, I have seen them do extra work and get extra help to pass the class than the people who sit there and find the classes easy and become lazy quicker and don't do the work because they have such high confidence. And sadly, with math and science, without practice, it may look easy when a teacher is showing it on the board, but when you are stuck with that physics question in front of you with no practice, it is a little rough.
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Puu

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Dew Dust wrote:
And sadly, with math and science, without practice, it may look easy when a teacher is showing it on the board, but when you are stuck with that physics question in front of you with no practice, it is a little rough.


Ahh... I know how that is. Though, the mathematical aspect of science isn't so bad compared to the pure knowledge and stuff. Grr. I still shudder at the thought of the stuff we were forced to do in Grade 12 Chemistry... the ones that didn't require math equations... just, pure memorization. D:
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Dew Dust




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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Ahh... I know how that is. Though, the mathematical aspect of science isn't so bad compared to the pure knowledge and stuff. Grr. I still shudder at the thought of the stuff we were forced to do in Grade 12 Chemistry... the ones that didn't require math equations... just, pure memorization. D:


*laughs*
Isn't science a lot of fun =D
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

In my country's case, both. :shock:

Schools slacking: Teachers are almost always off doing one thing or another, meaning that they're absent for class. Because of this, students start to play around, run out of class, give living hell to the replacement teachers and other things.

Students getting dumber: Part of the reason may be the education system. All you really need is to learn the relevant material and write things exactly like the textbook. Unfortunately, this means that you have a bunch of clueless people ambling into college, not knowing what to do. They don't know how to properly cite articles, express their opinion, write proper essays or even question their own beliefs.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I don't know if kids are getting dumber. I think it is more that the people on this board were the people who did well in school and our life experiences reflect that.

I work as a math tutor as a community college and everyday I help people nearly twice my age with things I learned in middle school. It's very strange to explain to a 45 year old that if X+2=6, X=4 and have them not understand it or to watch these same people need a calculator to do 12-6.

I think there's a large segment of the population that doesn't really learn in school, but is allowed to pass so that they aren't there forever.
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Last edited by Timbo on Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Luceit

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:

I don't know if kids are getting dumber. I think it is more that the people on this board were the people who did well in school and our life experiences reflect that.

I work as a math tutor as a community college and everyday I help people nearly twice my age with things I learned in middle school. It's very strange to explain to a 45 year old that if X+2=6, X=4and have them not understand it or to watch these same people need a calculator to do 12-6.

I think there's a large segment of the population that doesn't really learn in school, but is allowed to pass so that they aren't there forever.


I didn't do too well in school, but I saw a lot of people who did worse. I occasionally teach people English in my college and it appears that their grammar and spelling is horrible. Not only that, students have to wait for the teacher to ask them questions before they actually ask anything.
As for the population thing, you'd be interested to know that about 20% of the Standard 6 students were found to be lacking in the 3 basics of education: Reading, writing and counting. The ministry was shocked to see such a large number, but we normal citizens aren't. The normal situation over here is that the teachers will just let vagabonds be vagabonds either due to lack of intrest or because they're frightened for their lives. Even in later years, the same thing repeats itself, where hte rejects get sent to one class and the smart ones get sent to another. The lousy teachers are sent to teach the former; good teachers are sent to the latter.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I found out some more information today. One of the teachers whose student(s) I tutor told me today that their school scores very low in the "computational" part of standardized tests. I hinted at this earlier when I said (or I think I said, and I'm too lazy to check right now) that one student I had needed a calculator to do basic arithmetic.

This is entirely because of the math curriculum they now use. It's a lot of reading, a lot of thinking, and not much actual computation. It's like a book (well, series of books) composed entirely of story problems. They're trying to teach the kids processes and reasoning, so they should technically now how something works or why something works the way it does, but they cannot do the actual math involved it seems. They also miss key concepts. I was helping one girl today with "triangular numbers" (which is something I have never dealt with, but was easy to figure out), and they asked for the "nth" something in a problem. This girl knew nothing of algebra or why there was a letter there. I think the teacher missed something rather important in his lectures. >_>

In my day, we did dozens of calculation-esque problems and we learned things by rote. This is the other extreme. They need to find a balance.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Late reply, but! IT'S NEVER TOO LATE!

Not sure about most of the other states, but at least in California there's a serious language problem. A lot of parents, for whatever reason, refuse to learn English, so their kids don't learn it either (aside from through school). As you can imagine, these kinds of kids fall behind and stay behind, especially with reading and writing.

No Child Left Behind is supposed to help, but for poor areas, it doesn't really. It puts a lot of pressure on teachers to shove a lot of material in a rather small amount of time, especially with standards going up and up and up. Because of the pressure to perform, there's no time to give attention to the stragglers and those that are struggling. It's a fight to keep the state from overtaking your school.

Sometimes in elementary schools there are horrible people in teaching or leadership positions. At an elementary school in my local area, the principal recently decided to get rid of a program called reading recovery, even though it saved the system literally thousands of dollars by having reading specialists work with children one on one (instead of sending those students to special ed) to get them caught up.

There are also heinous teachers, some who actually shove and intimidate children. That's not condusive to a learning environment.

And sometimes... students just don't get stuff. I didn't get geometry and I struggled with it for an entire year. Of course, the teacher's method of 'teaching' was that of "here's the book, read it and understand, I'll sit on my ass up here and watch."

I also sucked ass at chemistry. I remember asking the instructor for help; all he did was ask if I'd had chemistry before... I said no and he told me that's why I was struggling, then sent me on my way. Yeah, really helpful, buddy.

So yeah, some teachers need to fire themselves.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Part of your post makes me think it could partly be due to teachers just not being up to snuff either. The dozen or so people I know personally that are in the education major here at college are in it for one of two things: the high girl to guy ratio or because the curriculum is easy. I only know one guy who actually said he wanted to be a teacher.

I obviously cannot generalize that to everyone without it being a blatant logical fallacy, but I do think it says something about some of those going to be teachers. I've had some amazing teachers in my time who I learned a lot from regardless of the difficulty of the material. I imagine they got there through experience and laying the proper foundation in their own education. The fact that I see people who aren't doing the latter and are going to be teaching children concerns me.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Kids are getting dumber, or rather, they just don't use their brains enough.
In my school, my class is generally regarded as a 'good' class, meaning we have better than average results and competition in the class is tough. Most students in my class are hardworking and a majority of them attend tuition classes. They want to perform well academically. However, though they are able to perform well in exams, tests and homework, they don't have a lot of general knowledge and their usage of grammar plus their pitiful vocabulary makes me laugh. Also, they don't try to solve difficult Math problems themselves. Normally, when they can't solve a problem, they bring it to the teacher or ask someone else. I think they should think harder before taking the easy way out. After all, isn't that what the brain is for?
One incident I would like to talk about is this. There's a girl in my class, she does well in sports, her results are good and she won Math competitions before.
There was once, our Math teacher gave the class an exercise, there was a question where no one seemed to be able to get the suggested answer. Now, the teacher readily accepted the student's answer as the correct answer.
When I did the problem though, I got the suggested answer. The suggested answer was correct since there was another question which would have been wrong if the method the student used was correct. How were they able to calculate the answer for the other question correctly while they got this one wrong? My opinion is that they didn't think deeply enough about it.
It's also apparent that certain students study just to perform well in exams.
My Science teacher(also a Biology teacher) told my class she met one of her
ex-students. This particular ex-student wants to be a doctor. Nothing wrong with that. Here's what's wrong. She told my teacher, "I forgot all the Biology you taught me".
I'm sure this shows that there's something seriously wrong with the general attitude of students in my country.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:

Part of your post makes me think it could partly be due to teachers just not being up to snuff either. The dozen or so people I know personally that are in the education major here at college are in it for one of two things: the high girl to guy ratio or because the curriculum is easy. I only know one guy who actually said he wanted to be a teacher.


Sounds like my country, ya? /sarcasm
In Malaysia, being a teacher is typically thought to be 'an easy job, where you get to go home early, you get a decent pay and you can just relax'. As such, in secondary school, I had to put up with awful teachers who gave us homework but never marked it, teachers who were absent most of the time, teachers who were not interested in their job and the list of transgessions goes on. According to my parents, their teachers had been very dedicated ones, who would help with struggling students and teach whatever they could.

My brother had a marvellous encounter with such a 'scmeacher'. He was in Secondary Six and taking the STPM examination (the second toughest exam in the world). His Physics teacher would read verbatim from the book, and she refused to answer any of his questions.

Quote:

I obviously cannot generalize that to everyone without it being a blatant logical fallacy, but I do think it says something about some of those going to be teachers. I've had some amazing teachers in my time who I learned a lot from regardless of the difficulty of the material. I imagine they got there through experience and laying the proper foundation in their own education. The fact that I see people who aren't doing the latter and are going to be teaching children concerns me.


Agreed. My sister is very pissed with a lot of her teachers, because they just come in and give work, without bothering to check it. This in turn makes the lazier students abandon their work altogether and discourages the more hardworking students from even trying to do anything.
In general, schools in Malaysia have a long way to go. My school life in secondary school was typically characterized by teachers becoming MIA because of meetings, tardy replacement teachers, people playing truant and stupid people.
I'm very worried about this because I believe that every country needs a good education system to improve. Right now, the teachers are sorely lacking, and it's painfully clear that this in combination with the lack of thinking skills needed to succeed has killed off the curiousity and inquisitiveness of many Malaysian students, and that will land us in trouble when it comes to year 2020.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Sage wrote:
Part of your post makes me think it could partly be due to teachers just not being up to snuff either. The dozen or so people I know personally that are in the education major here at college are in it for one of two things: the high girl to guy ratio or because the curriculum is easy. I only know one guy who actually said he wanted to be a teacher.


Yes; it also depends on the area. My elementary school would never hire some of the people I've seen teaching in a poorer area.

A lot of people also don't think that teaching takes as much energy or work as it does, which is dumb. It's probably one of the harder jobs out there.
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