Realalisticly, how important is high school...
Mar 15, 2006 at 6:17 PM Post #121 of 157

EyeAmEye

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Zanth, my phrasing was bad (as is usual for me
biggrin.gif
). Education isn't pointless, but the education system we have in place is. High school and college are no more than memorization clinics where students learn to read, memorize, and recall information in order to pass "tests". Very little of the material is actually retained or later applied in life. In theory, the education system should provide the foundations you detailed, in reality, they do not. One's major in college is perhaps the sole exception, and even then, most students sleepwalk through their intended fields, receive "grades", and join the assembly line of the business world for the next 40 some odd years.

Physical education is a complete waste of time (I will never waiver from that), yet students are forced to take a class in phys ed each semester. Foreign language is fruitless in it's current state, and the vast majority of advanced mathematics and sciences aren't applicable (someone please explain to me why I needed two years of chemistry for a BA in Communications?). It should be covered in concepts, not formulas that no one understands nor cares about, and is forgotten a moment after the pen stroke on the exam paper.

In actuality, high school and college do more to make students hate the topics covered than anything else. In the two years I was force fed chemistry, biology and physics, I learned absolutely nothing. As an adult (and after years of negative opinion due to school), I took an interest in the topics, and saught the education out myself. The end result (still in process) will be a better understanding and appreciation than any school teacher can impart.

And if anyone brings up Shakespeare, I will SLAY them
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Mar 15, 2006 at 6:27 PM Post #122 of 157

jingusus

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Agreed. Though education is not the only way, it certainly shoud not be overlooked. But most people are not as lucky as you Sleestack. SAT scores, for example, correlate quite highly to one's performance in high school. Consequently, most people who don't do well in high school, or those who lack a proper academic foundation (which perpetuates in further academic failure), won't go on to big university or even college. In a sense, there are only so many opportunities (finite number) to mess up before one is in a dead-end road.

That being said, I also did not do that well in high school, but managed to get into university, probably because I was fortunate enough to go to a high school where 99.2% of the students went on to big university. But I always wished I did better in high school, and University for that matter, simply because it was an opportunity and opportunites not taken sting the most.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Sleestack
Don't get me wrong. I completely support the importance of education and will do everything I can to encourage my own son to study and pursue the best possible education he can get. I just don't want people who happen to be going through troubles in their teens to think there isn't an opportunity to turn it all around.


 
Mar 15, 2006 at 6:42 PM Post #123 of 157

jingusus

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EyeAmEye
Zanth, my phrasing was bad (as is usual for me
biggrin.gif
). Education isn't pointless, but the education system we have in place is. High school and college are no more than memorization clinics where students learn to read, memorize, and recall information in order to pass "tests". Very little of the material is actually retained or later applied in life. In theory, the education system should provide the foundations you detailed, in reality, they do not. One's major in college is perhaps the sole exception, and even then, most students sleepwalk through their intended fields, receive "grades", and join the assembly line of the business world for the next 40 some odd years.

Physical education is a complete waste of time (I will never waiver from that), yet students are forced to take a class in phys ed each semester. Foreign language is fruitless in it's current state, and the vast majority of advanced mathematics and sciences aren't applicable (someone please explain to me why I needed two years of chemistry for a BA in Communications?). It should be covered in concepts, not formulas that no one understands nor cares about, and is forgotten a moment after the pen stroke on the exam paper.

In actuality, high school and college do more to make students hate the topics covered than anything else. In the two years I was force fed chemistry, biology and physics, I learned absolutely nothing. As an adult (and after years of negative opinion due to school), I took an interest in the topics, and saught the education out myself. The end result (still in process) will be a better understanding and appreciation than any school teacher can impart.

And if anyone brings up Shakespeare, I will SLAY them
very_evil_smiley.gif



I think your comment is corrent to a certain extent, but I've always believed, as Carl Sagan did, that the world is what you make it. If all students believed your statement, then no one would be motivated to do anything, which clearly is not the case considering there ARE people out there that work very hard to get where they want to go.

People will engage something if they a.) realize that they NEED this knowledge; or b.) want this knowledge. I think you acknowledge the 'want' aspect, but forget that many people may not be interested in a given subject, but NEED that subject to get somewhere else. If a person recognizes that they need math, for example, to become a physicist, I wouldn't bet against them for engaging the subject, whether or not they care about math.

Furthermore, everyone's education background is different. Mine, certainly, was not the memorization factory that you describe. And I know for a fact that many schools in Canada and the United States, are in a reform stage. Project-based learning is gaining considerable support. Thus, to brand "learning" and "school" as memorization and non-applicable theories may be true in some parts of the world, but, in my opinion, somewhat of a generalisation.
 
Mar 15, 2006 at 8:11 PM Post #124 of 157

EyeAmEye

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If US schools are in a reform stage, they best hurry up. The school system in the US is primarily a failure.

The world is what you make it, on that I agree, but if you are fed nonsense, your will to seek further knowledge/understanding in certain areas is diminished. I have had an urge to learn Latin for a few years now, but it was quelched throughout my younger years by my complete disdain for being forced to take 6 years of Spanish, which served absolutely no purpose because I can't read or speak a word of it. Sorry, I should correct that, I can say si and no, and read them too
tongue.gif
!

You have to make generalizations when it comes to education, because you're dealing with the general public, and generalizations apply. You can't cater education as a whole to a small percentage, you can specialize certain schools for exceptional students. Teaching chemistry to 99% of the population will always be wasted time, money, and resources that can be better suited in other areas.
 
Mar 16, 2006 at 4:17 AM Post #125 of 157

Coltrane

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Full disclosure: I am a certified high school social studies teacher. I taught full time last year but not this year due to moving to a different state. I am only 24.

EyeAmEye, I think your approach and your perspective is widespread and actually an epidemic in high schools. And that is a travesty.

The NUMBER ONE problem with the American education system is children's refusal to learn, and their almost rabid consumption of pessimism and negativity. The idea that knowledge, ALL knowledge, is good is beyond the capabilities of most. It even takes a few years of college to get kids to finally admit that they like to not be stupid.

I fed off it too for so long. Schools were trying to indoctrinate, everything was a lie, they fed me nonsense. In the end, that is just pure ********. Schools are FILLED with honest teachers who care deeply for their students and who care for their subjects. The reason people and students don;t admit that is because in high school the worst thing you could ever do is admit to caring about anything. Because once you do you are vulnerable, and with emotions what they are at that age vulnerability is the last thing you want.

You can learn in high school, you can learn about things that matter. It comes down to a personal choice. You can choose to learn, you can choose to want to know about the world, or you can pull a silly cop out by claiming everything is stupid and dumb and all that other crap.

Now, this is obviously not to say that every student won't sit through their fair share of stupid classes with poor teachers. There is some of that, even a good deal of it. But there is a much greater world also open to every student, and the attitude the fosters such negativity is the real culprit, not the environment itself.
 
Mar 16, 2006 at 4:29 AM Post #126 of 157

Teerawit

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EyeAmEye
And if anyone brings up Shakespeare, I will SLAY them
very_evil_smiley.gif



Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
eek.gif
 
Mar 17, 2006 at 5:28 PM Post #127 of 157

Zanth

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Coltrane
Full disclosure: I am a certified high school social studies teacher. I taught full time last year but not this year due to moving to a different state. I am only 24.

EyeAmEye, I think your approach and your perspective is widespread and actually an epidemic in high schools. And that is a travesty.

The NUMBER ONE problem with the American education system is children's refusal to learn, and their almost rabid consumption of pessimism and negativity. The idea that knowledge, ALL knowledge, is good is beyond the capabilities of most. It even takes a few years of college to get kids to finally admit that they like to not be stupid.

I fed off it too for so long. Schools were trying to indoctrinate, everything was a lie, they fed me nonsense. In the end, that is just pure ********. Schools are FILLED with honest teachers who care deeply for their students and who care for their subjects. The reason people and students don;t admit that is because in high school the worst thing you could ever do is admit to caring about anything. Because once you do you are vulnerable, and with emotions what they are at that age vulnerability is the last thing you want.

You can learn in high school, you can learn about things that matter. It comes down to a personal choice. You can choose to learn, you can choose to want to know about the world, or you can pull a silly cop out by claiming everything is stupid and dumb and all that other crap.

Now, this is obviously not to say that every student won't sit through their fair share of stupid classes with poor teachers. There is some of that, even a good deal of it. But there is a much greater world also open to every student, and the attitude the fosters such negativity is the real culprit, not the environment itself.




Well put. My wife is a teacher, a good bunch of my closest friends are highschool teachers, and I know first hand they work their butts off trying various ways to motivate students. One can't blame the parents, one can't blame the teachers, not 100% of the time, and likely not 50% of the time, for poor motivation. Kids are so involved with their social lives, the latest gadgets which help increase connectivity to their social lives (cell phones in class anyone? text messaging...BRUTAL for learning) that kids beyond having to have the motivation to want to learn in the first place...also need the discipline to actually learn while in class or outside of class, rather than wasting their lives online. Broad generalization perhaps, but given the experiences of my friends (my wife's experience is moot at this point given she is a kindergarten teacher) it applies at least in this major metro. My friends teach in different boards too from the regular joe public system to an exclusive Jewish school, to private Catholic school, regular Catholic school and one of the premier secular private schools in Canada. Save for the expensive private schools, be they secular or not, kids are generally not motivated to learn as much. Perhaps the private schools create an environment where the kids want to learn, or perhaps their parents, paying the tuition, provide a greater amount of pressure to perform. I can't say for sure, but I do know that my friends teaching at the free institutions have a tough time with the kids.
 
Mar 17, 2006 at 10:15 PM Post #128 of 157

vcoheda

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High school is not important if you are wealthy or a genius. Otherwise, unless you are content to be a low-paid worker, it's pretty important.
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 3:04 AM Post #129 of 157

EyeAmEye

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Coltrane: my knock on the education system is not, and never was, against the teachers. The teachers are unfortunately hand-cuffed by the curriculum and various other obstacles. There are many teachers who have the ability to make the education system better, and probably the desire to as well, but simply can't. In it's current form, it is absolutely pointless to "teach" students, because the method is a failure, and the end result is no retention, understanding, nor appreciation of the knowledge supposedly gained. I am very much in favor of education, but in order to maximize it's effectiveness across the board, you have to trim the unnecessary and place a greater emphasis on the "need to know" subjects in high school. Higher education, as they like to dub universities, is where a student should explore other areas.

Teerawit: I don't knock people's likes and dislikes, so if Shakespeare is what you like, have at it, but the importance of it in high school is pretty sketchy.
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 3:51 AM Post #130 of 157

Teerawit

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EyeAmEye

Teerawit: I don't knock people's likes and dislikes, so if Shakespeare is what you like, have at it, but the importance of it in high school is pretty sketchy.



I was just joking, as I thought you were.
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(it was a line from Romeo and Juliet)
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 7:45 PM Post #131 of 157

DRSpeed85

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I'm a sophmore in university. From where I am standing, I am starting realise the importance of highschool, not as an individual institution but by the way it influences ur subsequent future. In highschool I didnt really bother asking the question cuz all I was thinking was that if I work hard and party hard, I'll do fine, which I did. Looking back, only now do I realise how ur high school performance opens many different kinds of opportunities. I went to a small private school in Italy, and now my friends are scattered all over Europe. We have tremedous opportunities that others with less GPA simply dont get. I assume the same will apply to my university education and business school after this.

So I wouldnt say highschool itself is very important, but it really is a foundation of what ur going to build on top of that. If u dont get it right, ur chances of reaching ur dreams probably slim down considerably. IMO most highschoolers know what they are being taught are abit easy for their level, hence all this laziness and doubt. But if u really think about it, its a fairly cheap ticket to a decent university.
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 8:18 PM Post #132 of 157

YamiTenshi

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Wow, you guys explained it a lot better than I did. When I said most people should at least complete high school, I didn't mean because of what they learned in high school. I hardly remember anything I learned in the classroom, but it's the experience of going to high school and graduating that people need. The same goes for college. I just graduated less than 2 years ago from college and I'm starting to forget a lot from the lectures already. But I met a lot of interesting people from different places and backgrounds. It's really neat to see how big this world really is (cliched, I know
tongue.gif
). And if you didn't learn much academically from high school/college it can still open up a lot of opportunities in the future. Even if you major in something completely impractical and useless (not going to insult anyone, but you guys know what I mean
wink.gif
) just saying you have a college degree will get to further than if you didn't (all else being equal).
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 8:29 PM Post #134 of 157

familyman

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EyeAmEye
Zanth, my phrasing was bad (as is usual for me
biggrin.gif
). Education isn't pointless, but the education system we have in place is. High school and college are no more than memorization clinics where students learn to read, memorize, and recall information in order to pass "tests". Very little of the material is actually retained or later applied in life. In theory, the education system should provide the foundations you detailed, in reality, they do not. One's major in college is perhaps the sole exception, and even then, most students sleepwalk through their intended fields, receive "grades", and join the assembly line of the business world for the next 40 some odd years.

Physical education is a complete waste of time (I will never waiver from that), yet students are forced to take a class in phys ed each semester. Foreign language is fruitless in it's current state, and the vast majority of advanced mathematics and sciences aren't applicable (someone please explain to me why I needed two years of chemistry for a BA in Communications?). It should be covered in concepts, not formulas that no one understands nor cares about, and is forgotten a moment after the pen stroke on the exam paper.

In actuality, high school and college do more to make students hate the topics covered than anything else. In the two years I was force fed chemistry, biology and physics, I learned absolutely nothing. As an adult (and after years of negative opinion due to school), I took an interest in the topics, and saught the education out myself. The end result (still in process) will be a better understanding and appreciation than any school teacher can impart.



Wow, i agree 100%. I went through school with A's in courses i liked, and C- in courses i hated, just because it was the easiest and funnest way and i was so frustrated with how the school system is, imagine if you where put through courses from roughly grade 7 through to college, based around the big question "What do you want to be when you grow up". Say you wanted to be a astronaught, then you wouldn't have any social studies courses, you would have more science and physics, along with some Phys Ed or exercise courses, and if you wanted to be a researcher the might have some heavy science, biology, chemistry courses, with some light history courses, and no Phys Ed.
This way your fully interested in all of your schooling and therefore have WAY higher average grades, along with a much more advanced society.

Imagine what an amazing conversation you would have if you were a biologist talking with a astronomer, and neither of you have any knowledge about each others education, think about the first time you heard about how big the universe is, or how evolution works, i was pretty amazed. i bet the conversation would last for HOURS. And both of you would REALLY know what you where talking about.
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Mar 18, 2006 at 8:35 PM Post #135 of 157

Linda513

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Coltrane
Full disclosure: I am a certified high school social studies teacher. I taught full time last year but not this year due to moving to a different state. I am only 24.

EyeAmEye, I think your approach and your perspective is widespread and actually an epidemic in high schools. And that is a travesty.

The NUMBER ONE problem with the American education system is children's refusal to learn, and their almost rabid consumption of pessimism and negativity. The idea that knowledge, ALL knowledge, is good is beyond the capabilities of most. It even takes a few years of college to get kids to finally admit that they like to not be stupid.



I don't think children refuse to learn. I think that if you are a good teacher they can't help but learn if they are sitting in your classroom, they are somewhat like sponges. What a lot of kids refuse to do is to prove that they've learned. I love to learn things, but I hate having to prove that I've learned it by doing homework and tests and papers, etc etc. I got through 4 years of college and everything went fine for me, but my son, who is now 15, is the same way. He's really interested in a variety of subjects and loves the classroom. He doesn't do any homework, and rarely any classwork. He does very well on quizzes and tests. His gpa, therefore, is not great. For many years I tried lots of different ways to make him do his work, but what I now believe is that motivation must come from within. I'm hoping he'll go to college and take courses in subjects that interest him, unlike high school where one is required to take lots of different things, and many of them are uninteresting. I'm inspired by the posts in this thread.

Linda
 

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