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View Poll Results: What is to blame for the United States failure in Math and Science?
Reality tv 5 35.71%
Schools 6 42.86%
teachers 5 35.71%
education system 13 92.86%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll


Thread: Mathematics and Science! Why is citizens in the U.S. are doing so poorly at them?
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Old 09-19-2006, 03:37 PM   #1
Windu Chi
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Thumbs up Mathematics and Science! Why are citizens in the U.S. are doing so poorly at them?

I believe the answer to that question will have to be reality tv.

There is to much reality tv and not enough education programs

Why don't the network execs create reality education programs about Math and Science?

I know some people will blame the schools and education system.

But tv entertainment should hold some responsibility too.

Well since more people pay attention to tv viewing then teachers.

Last edited by windu6; 09-19-2006 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 09-19-2006, 07:02 PM   #2
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Probably for the same reason US citizens are so poor at english and grammar.

I blame the internet.



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Old 09-19-2006, 07:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ET Warrior
Probably for the same reason US citizens are so poor at english and grammar.

I blame the internet.
The internet is not always a bad influence.


MIT have release their lecture notes about their courses; they called it Open courseware.

These lecture notes can be download for free anytime.
http://ocw.mit.edu/index.html

So there is some free knowledge to obtain for anybody interested.
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Old 09-19-2006, 07:52 PM   #4
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As much as I despise reality TV as a threat to American democracy, I'm not so prepared to BLAME reality TV for a lack of education in math and science.

Maybe Americans don't care about math and science because it doesn't effect them. Most citizens working at a desk or on a job site aren't using algebra, oceanography, or ecology to lay bricks or enter data on a computer.

I'm going to vote to blame the educational system, since we shouldn't be forced to learn ****ing geometry and oceanography to begin with. It should be voluntary.

Oh, and notice the title of this thread...

"Why is citizens..."
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Old 09-19-2006, 08:41 PM   #5
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Teachers, the Internet, TV, and many other reasons can affect those things, though it ultimarely comes down to the student. Blaming teachers, television, the whole system even, is one of the things that irritates me to the extreme. It comes down to the student for how well they want to do. You can read cases in which someone from a poor family in an inner city became a brain surgeon, or where someone from a rich family was sent to an Ivy League school and failed miserably, due to sheer stupidity.

Every person chooses what happens with them. Obstacles such as the things Windu listed can have an effect, but not a great one. If the kids just plain don't like math and science, not a thing anyone can do will change that. Blaming things like that is a form of laziness, in refusing to accept responsibility for one's actions. Again, it all comes down to the student.

Why you believe reality TV is the answer, windu6, is beyond me. It's simply a type of television, and there are plenty of kids who watch it, and there are plenty who don't. All of which do better or worse in some areas than others.

Holding TV responsible sounds like an excuse to me. If kids listen to their teachers, read their textbooks, put effort into their assignments and turn them in on time, they'll do well. If they spend time watching reality TV instead of studying, they won't. But with the logic that reality TV itself ruins grades, you might as well hold all forms of entertainment responsible. Lots of people can get distracted from their studies by all sorts of things, and reality TV is one of many.

And in any event, television has no effect when the kid is in the classroom. It's not like any responsible teacher is going to tell everyone they can watch pointless shows while (s)he's talking. If (s)he does, well, that's still the student's fault for choosing their lessons.

I myself am more concerned with why subjects that most people won't use extensively in their lives are mandatory.

There are shows out there devoted to science and math anyway, windu6. I've not heard of any students with poor grades who frequently watch those, but if there are, it's still their fault. I don't watch TV, but I've seen an episode of some show devoted to science, and it looked very informative.

But even if reality TV was replaced with educational shows, just how many people would watch them? The reason they're watching reality TV in the first place is for entertainment, and for someone who actually likes it, I doubt science and math could provide any form of enjoyment when on a screen over a book.

To summarize my points: it all comes down to the student.

However, I'm more concerned over why topics that most kids won't use extensively in their lives are mandatory to take.


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Old 09-19-2006, 09:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Teachers, the Internet, TV, and many other reasons can affect those things, though it ultimarely comes down to the student. Blaming teachers, television, the whole system even, is one of the things that irritates me to the extreme. It comes down to the student for how well they want to do. You can read cases in which someone from a poor family in an inner city became a brain surgeon, or where someone from a rich family was sent to an Ivy League school and failed miserably, due to sheer stupidity.

Every person chooses what happens with them. Obstacles such as the things Windu listed can have an effect, but not a great one. If the kids just plain don't like math and science, not a thing anyone can do will change that. Blaming things like that is a form of laziness, in refusing to accept responsibility for one's actions. Again, it all comes down to the student.

Why you believe reality TV is the answer, windu6, is beyond me. It's simply a type of television, and there are plenty of kids who watch it, and there are plenty who don't. All of which do better or worse in some areas than others.

Holding TV responsible sounds like an excuse to me. If kids listen to their teachers, read their textbooks, put effort into their assignments and turn them in on time, they'll do well. If they spend time watching reality TV instead of studying, they won't. But with the logic that reality TV itself ruins grades, you might as well hold all forms of entertainment responsible. Lots of people can get distracted from their studies by all sorts of things, and reality TV is one of many.

And in any event, television has no effect when the kid is in the classroom. It's not like any responsible teacher is going to tell everyone they can watch pointless shows while (s)he's talking. If (s)he does, well, that's still the student's fault for choosing their lessons.

I myself am more concerned with why subjects that most people won't use extensively in their lives are mandatory.

There are shows out there devoted to science and math anyway, windu6. I've not heard of any students with poor grades who frequently watch those, but if there are, it's still their fault. I don't watch TV, but I've seen an episode of some show devoted to science, and it looked very informative.

But even if reality TV was replaced with educational shows, just how many people would watch them? The reason they're watching reality TV in the first place is for entertainment, and for someone who actually likes it, I doubt science and math could provide any form of enjoyment when on a screen over a book.

To summarize my points: it all comes down to the student.

However, I'm more concerned over why topics that most kids won't use extensively in their lives are mandatory to take.
There is not a enough education tv programs out there.

Programs like Nova that is on PBS should be more technical.

I mean they should show the math behind the topic in the episode.

I blame reality tv because it has ruin television.

Before reality tv there was more educational programs on that was more technical and informative.
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Old 09-19-2006, 09:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windu6
There is not a enough education tv programs out there.

Programs like Nova that is on PBS should be more technical.

I mean they should show the math behind the topic in the episode.

I blame reality tv because it has ruin television.

Before reality tv there was more educational programs on that was more technical and informative.
There are plenty of educational programs out there. Nobody watches them, but they're out there.



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Old 09-19-2006, 11:35 PM   #8
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I blame the teachers unions, specifically the UFT. My Sociology teacher was not pleased to hear me say that (because she's a big whiney socialist), and my History teacher was also not at all joyfull (If he wasn't the regional President he might not have a job).

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Old 09-20-2006, 01:21 AM   #9
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There's not enough options in the poll. I didn't see "Warcraft" or "the internet", so I didn't vote.

I'd say kids are doing poorly in Math and Science for a couple of reasons.


1. It's boring. Why pay attention in Algebra when you can text to your friends (~omg my tchr is such a dork lol ~i kno rite), listen to your ipod, or play your gameboy?

2. It's not cool. Being in a garage band--NOW THAT'S COOL. Seriously, what do you need math for? Do you actually want to be an engineer or something? Or *gasp* a college professor? (actually, I know a few dorks who wish they could be as knowledgeable and sophisticated as the main character in The DaVinci Code )

3. The education system is also partly to blame. In my school district, you only need to take a science course till 11th grade, and you only need math until 10th. What the hell is that? You can take a few easy electives + english, and then screw around for the last few years of high school. Though I don't know if that holds true for the rest of the US. Utah does have the ****tiest schools in the country. Anyway, my point is kids are stupid. If they're allowed to slack off, then you can bet that they will.

4. I had something else, but I forgot.

Yeah...my 2 cents for now.
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Old 09-20-2006, 01:23 AM   #10
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@Windu6, you forgot to put "Us' in there.

We are also a problem. We don't want to learn.

And TK is right, Who is really going to use oceanography in thier 9-5 jobs.

but then again they want us to be SMARt, to know things to look at a diagram and know what it means.

A Large part of U.S' Problems are that we don't take responsibility for our actions.
So we'll blame Reality T.V. or the educational system, no, don't blame them.

First look at yourself. And then when you've fixed your faults you can blame someone else.

Note: This was not directed at anyone here at the forums.
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Old 09-20-2006, 03:21 AM   #11
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At this point I'd like to point out that math is a science, too. X)

However, how about "blaming" society, for creating values where knowledge and skill are of no significance. It's all about being rich, poor, top, flop, in, out, religious or not, hiphop or rock, .. you get the point.


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Old 09-20-2006, 06:50 AM   #12
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Two words: Sex appeal.

Show scientists as uber-rich, super-cool, superhuman, ultra-virile mega-studs; dripping with cash, and over-weighted down to the point of barely able to move under all the piles of bling and the gaggles of smokin' hot babeage that won't even fit into thier fleets of pimped-out Benzes... and you won't be able to keep the kids away from hittin' the books.

But until that day happens, kids will still be more interested in being sports stars, famous actors, or rock and/or hip-hop gods.

But Reality T.V. is no more to blame than anything else. It was exactly the same when I was a kid, and the term "Reality T.V." had yet to be invented.

Besides, shows like Mythbusters are science and reality T.V. at the same time.


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Old 09-20-2006, 02:01 PM   #13
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- Society values
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- Education system that is based on the needs of 1900s students, not modern ones.



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Old 09-20-2006, 04:46 PM   #14
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Personally, I think it is a combination of factors.

Media in general shares some blame - not only is reality TV part of it, but educational media for children is of a decidedly lower quality than it has been in the past. Also, kids are watching more television and playing more video games than ever before - this has an effect on mental development, and it's not healthy.

Parents have also contributed. There has been a movement away from tradional parenting toward parents trying to be friends with their kids. This does not work, because it isn't real parenting. All it teaches kids is that they can do whatever they want.

Discipline at school lends to it - and slack parenting styles effect this area, as well. Corporal punishment is illegal, and in too many cases, teachers' hands have been tied when it comes to discipline problems. I have seen this with my own eyes - positive reinforcement does not work on many undisciplined children, and when teachers are not allowed to use effective punishments, the kids are allowed to keep on misbehaving, disrupting the classroom and taking away from teaching time.

Special interests are intruding on the public school system, trying to get their agendas inserted into school curiculum. Our schools are having enough of a hard time teaching the basics as it is, without having to teach the agendas of the environmentalist and homosexual lobbies.

Illegal immigration also plays a huge role. My wife and mother-in-law are elementary school teachers, and through them I have met many other teachers, and I hear stories every year about how they keep getting children who cannot speak or write English, and are stuck trying to get them caught up while trying to get the rest of the class up to grade level, most of whom were under-performing when they came into the class.

And, in many cases, the teachers themselves play a role. This is less the fault of the teachers themselves as it is the fault of the schools of education, who spend at least as much time trying to indoctrinate students into liberalism as they do teaching them how to be good teachers. This produces below-average teachers who cannot effectively teach our children...and then the situation perpetuates itself when those children themselves become teachers.

And the sad thing is, there are likely more factors than that...these are just the ones I can think of.


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Old 09-20-2006, 04:56 PM   #15
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It's rather strange to me how a thread reflecting upon the U.S. educational system and how it is failing in comparison to many other developed nations has been totally hijacked by rccar to be an anti-planet, anti-gay, anti-liberalism rant.

Are you honestly saying that feminists/atheists/gays/lesbians/Al Gore are the reasons why the U.S. system fails? When the rest of the developed world is FAR more liberal than anyone in the U.S.? Why is it that when students in other countries are "indoctrinated into liberalism" they do extremely well in school, but when American students are indoctrinated as you say they are, they fail? Hmm?

I am in no way defending special interests and lobbyists who inject their propaganda into schools... for example, I hate it how the Christians have essentially taken over the educational system in some parts of America. Maybe THAT is why the U.S. system fails so much. Hmm.
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Old 09-20-2006, 06:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
It's rather strange to me how a thread reflecting upon the U.S. educational system and how it is failing in comparison to many other developed nations has been totally hijacked by rccar to be an anti-planet, anti-gay, anti-liberalism rant.

Are you honestly saying that feminists/atheists/gays/lesbians/Al Gore are the reasons why the U.S. system fails? When the rest of the developed world is FAR more liberal than anyone in the U.S.? Why is it that when students in other countries are "indoctrinated into liberalism" they do extremely well in school, but when American students are indoctrinated as you say they are, they fail? Hmm?

I am in no way defending special interests and lobbyists who inject their propaganda into schools... for example, I hate it how the Christians have essentially taken over the educational system in some parts of America. Maybe THAT is why the U.S. system fails so much. Hmm.
I'm saying that US schools have already been failing to teach basic education for a long time now...but our schools and our schools of education are being hijacked by liberal special interests, and that is further harming our schools. I'm not saying that anything is the reason that the US system fails. It's a combination of factors. If all you saw in my post was my condemnation of the liberal takeover of the education system, that's your own fault.


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Old 09-20-2006, 06:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rccar328
I'm saying that US schools have already been failing to teach basic education for a long time now...but our schools and our schools of education are being hijacked by liberal special interests, and that is further harming our schools. I'm not saying that anything is the reason that the US system fails. It's a combination of factors. If all you saw in my post was my condemnation of the liberal takeover of the education system, that's your own fault.
Except for the fact that the U.S. schools have been hijacked by evangelicals, not liberals.
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Old 09-20-2006, 06:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
Except for the fact that the U.S. schools have been hijacked by evangelicals, not liberals.
I think that depends on where you are in the US. Out here in California, it's liberals.


How about this: it isn't right for any special interest group to inject their agenda into our schools' curriculum, right or left.


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Old 09-20-2006, 06:35 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by rccar328
I think that depends on where you are in the US. Out here in California, it's liberals.
Ahhhhh... I see what you mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rccar328
How about this: it isn't right for any special interest group to inject their agenda into our schools' curriculum, right or left.
Agreed 100%. I don't want evangelicals setting up creationism, abstinence training, and bible reading any more than I want homosexuals and environmentalists inserting their propaganda into schools. But be fair and don't JUST say liberals and gays and Al Gore are the ones with the special interests.
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Old 09-20-2006, 06:54 PM   #20
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Agreed 100%. I don't want evangelicals setting up creationism, abstinence training, and bible reading any more than I want homosexuals and environmentalists inserting their propaganda into schools. But be fair and don't JUST say liberals and gays and Al Gore are the ones with the special interests.
Well, like I said, I live in California...and I've had professors in the school of education try to indoctrinate me for so long, sometimes I think a little evangelical indoctrination would be a nice change...


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Old 09-20-2006, 07:20 PM   #21
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Let's see--outside interests dragging away attention from the basics--liberal or conservative interests, doesn't matter.
Unfunded school mandates that take money away from directly educating the students and put it into adminstrative crap.
Teachers being forced to spend so much time on crazy paperwork that they have less time to teach.
A culture of mediocrity--in our efforts to make everyone feel good about themselves and their mediocre performance, we've taken away any incentive for students to work hard and excel. If Joe Mediocre's going to get an A, why should Suzy Brilliant put out any more effort than she has to in order to get the same A?

Parents, parents, parents. All of the above pales in comparison to parental responsibility.
I'm the parent of 2 schoolagers. I don't expect the school to have sole responsibility for educating my kids. Nor do I want to give them sole responsibility. Learning happens all day, not just at school. What's that mean? It means I have to spend time with my kids. I have to look at their homework and help them figure out their mistakes (I never do it for them--they'll never learn that way). I have to read with them at night instead of watching TV. I have to take advantage of 'teachable moments'--my youngest was playing with a pile of change and started counting. I stopped what I was doing and sat down with her to show her the differences between the different coins, had her find different numbers of coins, that kind of thing.
My daughter is, for some reason I can't fathom, really fascinated by frogs. So we've spent time looking at books about reptiles, going to the zoo to look at reptiles and amphibians, looking for frogs at uncle's pond, and identifying different kinds of frogs and toads. Would I rather be doing something else besides learning the differences between red-eyed tree frogs and Pacific tree frogs? Sure. I find reptiles about as interesting as bug spray. However, it's important that she learns things, and if it means I spend time with her and learn about frogs, so be it.
I also have to keep on top of what's happening in the classroom. We can't be experts in every subject. If one of the teachers excels in math but not spelling, then I might make sure to work on the spelling a little more at home.
Helping the teacher in the classroom is big. I understand not everyone has the opportunity because of their jobs or whatever to be able to do that, and in the past I didn't either. Now my schedule has freed up enough where I can. I could do other activities, but I choose to make the commitment to their education. Sometimes I help the kids directly, sometimes I help grade papers so that she has more time to spend teaching. It also lets me see how she's teaching things so that I can follow up on that.
At home the rule is homework first before anything else--we want to stress the importance of learning and make that a habit for when they're older and in high school and have to accept more responsibility for their own actions.
Specifically for math and science--we try to work it in to our activities. Both hubby and I have had a lot of science in college so it's a natural interest for us--we'll watch nature and science shows any day, go birdwatching, and so on. For math, the kids are getting to the age where they can do things like measure out stuff for recipes or help measure for building and repairing things. It takes hubby and I longer to get stuff done that way, but it's the day-to-day activities that help reinforce what's going on at school.
As they get older, we'll probably check their homework a lot less often, but we plan on staying involved in their school activities to make sure they're doing well and that they're learning the skills that they'll need for adulthood. I don't want to be an over-protective parent because kids can't learn to be responsible for themselves that way, but I don't want to be one of those parents that sits in front of my big-screen TV all night watching comedies and ignoring what's happening in my kids' lives.


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Old 09-20-2006, 07:35 PM   #22
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Old 09-20-2006, 08:35 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edlib
Two words: Sex appeal.

Show scientists as uber-rich, super-cool, superhuman, ultra-virile mega-studs; dripping with cash, and over-weighted down to the point of barely able to move under all the piles of bling and the gaggles of smokin' hot babeage that won't even fit into thier fleets of pimped-out Benzes... and you won't be able to keep the kids away from hittin' the books.

But until that day happens, kids will still be more interested in being sports stars, famous actors, or rock and/or hip-hop gods.

But Reality T.V. is no more to blame than anything else. It was exactly the same when I was a kid, and the term "Reality T.V." had yet to be invented.

Besides, shows like Mythbusters are science and reality T.V. at the same time.
You make a good point.

The kids today don't see scientists as cool or see them as the walkway to the money train.

It is a damn shame that only money interest people and not the knowledge of math and science.

Yes! I know that stupid belief that money rule everything.

But that is bulls**t.

Kids need to stop being taught that crap.

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Old 09-20-2006, 09:37 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Jones
At this point I'd like to point out that math is a science, too. X)

However, how about "blaming" society, for creating values where knowledge and skill are of no significance. It's all about being rich, poor, top, flop, in, out, religious or not, hiphop or rock, .. you get the point.
*ahem* Math is an art



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Old 09-20-2006, 09:53 PM   #25
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Math is a suck.

I've never been good at math and never will be. My brain isn't geared towards solving algebra problems or memorizing the layers of the ocean or the atmosphere. I'm WAY better at history and philosophy and ****.
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Old 09-21-2006, 05:38 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmac7142
*ahem* Math is an art
Mathial art? W00t.


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Old 09-21-2006, 07:39 AM   #27
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I tend to agree with alot of factors here but none of them are on the poll.Those that are listed on the poll are only excuses of what is really to be blamed.( if you wanna blame anything that is). ill just through in my cents while im at it .

1 Student. Emperor Devon I agree with what he says on the student. If you really wanted to get good grades on it you would studystudystudy to get good grades on it. It seems some students dont try hard enough or the things they test on them are to hard for there grade level.

2 the parent! I would think it would be sad if the parent had no care with what there sons grades are.

3 school system Should have its deal of blame here.

4 maybe the goverment has to be involved here as well. If they wanted kids grades to go up and up and up they would provide all the money necesarry so the teachers and all the bigwigs can have a big paycheck and still can teach the students.

And please dont pull that Religion card on why kids are doing so poorly sheesh. That has nothing to do with why kids are doing so bad with math and science.


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Old 09-21-2006, 03:01 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Jones
Mathial art? W00t.
Yep, the sexy curves of an integral, the lovely... spikes of sigma, IT'S ART DAMNIT.



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Old 09-21-2006, 03:23 PM   #29
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Illegal immigrants make up (at most) between 3-6% of the population.. i don't see how they can wreck classes. And legal immigrants would speak different languages as well, so their legal/illegal status wouldn't make much difference. Plus there are a lot of countries in the world where kids learn in 2 or more languages, and they don't seem to have any trouble.

America has always been a country made up of immigrant groups (polish, italian, irish, spanish, etc..) and that never effected the education system much.

And since when was being liberal a "special interst group"? Its a cultural attitude. Before the 60s cultural attitudes were very traditional. In the 60s they became much more liberal. Now they are becoming more traditional again. This inevitably influences those who teach, and are taught.
I don't think this "libralism" itself is the problem.. though it did cause some problems that the old traditional system didn't have.. but it also brought a lot of benefits. However the school system hasn't really evolved since those attitudes of the 70s.. it needs to evolve to the '00s.

Also, if you watch programmes like Supernanny (do you get that in the US?) it becomes clear that the tearaway kids that shout and scream and hit things are the ones with the parents that shout and scream and hit things. The host of that show seems to be able to "fix" all these problem kids without any need to use corporal punishment.

-

i'm not actually sure the education system IS failing. It all depends on what it's goals are. And i think that is half the problem.. no one has ever really decided what the POINT of schools is. If it is to get as many people as possible to have a basic understanding of as many subjects as possible then the current system is doing better than any before. Its churning through a record number of students, as quickly and cheaply as possible.. and teaching them a record number of things... its just not making them OUTSTANDING in any way.

There are lots of cases of people going through the current system and doing great.. and usually they experience roughtly the same system as those that do badly (though poorer areas almost always do worse).
Is it that they are just smarter? I doubt it.. i think its down to motivation. Wih the current education system, you only really get back what you put in.. and most kids aren't motivated to put much in.

This is probably due to the fact that, in todays fast moving world, attention spans are shorter, and kids are fed a media diet that tells them that they don't need to study or work hard to be sucessful.. they just need to be famous. So maybe all this z-list celeb culture and reality tv IS one of the causes.

But what can you do about it?

First everyone needs to agree on what the actual goal is. I bet if you ask a lot of teachers or education officials then you'll get a whole different set of answers. If a company didn't know what it's goal was then it wouldn't be very efficient!

I think that the aim should be to (a) prepare kids for real life (which current schools don't do at all) and (b) teach kids the skills they need for work (which current schools tend to do the opposite of).

Lessons should be shorter, broken into smaller chunks. They should be more varied and dynamic. Innovation and creativity should be rewarded. Homework should be to write a GOOD report on one page.. not a report padded out to 10 pages. Emphasis should be on goals, motivations and team working.

Split kids into different groups every 6 weeks and give them a different project to complete as a group. then have everything they learn in those weeks contribute and relate to that project (be it maths, history, or even french).
Have projects that reflect different careers, so they might actually have an idea of what real life is like, and have some information about what thy like when they make important choices about subjects.

Use modern techniques, like computer programes, phonics, flashcards, memory reinforcement, etc.. I've got some really cool software to help me learn japanese.. i never had stuff like that when i was learning french at school.. so they should get to use these things in schools.

Explain to kids what adult life is like, and how the choices they make will affect their future.. which is something too far ahead for most of them to see.
Make them set long and short term goals.. write them down, and then review them periodically to see how they are doing.

Give them self study periods.. with the resources they need to learn.. but make them have goals and make sure they work towards them.

Enforce a strict dress code. Not uniforms.. but smart, businesslike.

Give them good nutritious food. (This has been proven repeatedly to have a major effect on results, attention spans, behaviour, etc..)

Make them responsible for the classroom. Before each lesson they have to set it up. After school they have a rota to clean up the mess, put things away, etc.

Make school discipline sensible. Most school discipline is pointless, because it isn't a punishment to the kids and it often seems unfair or random. Make the reasons WHY they are punished obvious and accountable. Kids now all play computer games.. they understand how the systems in those games work. SO make something like that. they get points for achievements.. loose points for bad behaviour.. different points levels have different rewards/punishments.

Behaviour points shouldn't just affect the individual, but should affect the whole project group, or maybe the house if its split into houses (harry potter style). Kids dont' care so much about being punished themselves as they do about letting the whole group down.

There are lots of other things you could do. Basically I think the system is underfunded.. and no one has the guts or vision to make major changes to how things work. But i think a lot of the teachers who complain are just stuck in an outdated routine.. they need to look at WHY they are teaching, what their goals are, what the kids will respond to, and then try and cahnge their teaching methods to match today's times. Not just blame illegal immigrants, or other external factors that they can't control.



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Last edited by toms; 09-21-2006 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:31 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmac7142
Yep, the sexy curves of an integral, the lovely... spikes of sigma, IT'S ART DAMNIT.
Mathematics is the skill of pattern recognition:
  1. Arithmetic: the patterns of numbers
  2. Calculus: the patterns of motion
  3. Probability: the patterns of uncertainty
  4. Logic: the patterns of reasoning
  5. Geometry: the patterns of shapes
  6. Algebra: the patterns of complex relationships of the structure of mathematical quanities
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Old 09-21-2006, 04:06 PM   #31
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Hhmm good points there toms nicely thought up. I pretty much think that it all comes down to funding with me. public schools I live around stink ( highschools). And then comes the money issue. (we dont got the funding we need all that nonsense stuff) When they pay themselves nice good salaries and raise taxes and all that yackity stuff. People think they pay to much taxes on schools when kids test schools scores still stink. Is it cause the kids are not learning? you decide


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Old 09-26-2006, 03:30 AM   #32
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The US public education system is the laughing-stock of the civilized world. Only our higher education system can favorably compare with those elsewhere.

Why? Simple: complacency.

How could it be improved? Easy: capitalism! Give it an education alternative to compete against for all our hard-earned tax money and we would see dramatic improvement. It would have to improve or go bankrupt.

A return to teaching children how to think instead of what to think would be a nice improvement as well. The curriculum should be free of the influence of any political agendas (right OR left).

Has anyone seen John Stossle's report "Stupid in America"? He raises some very interesting points (which undeniably put him on the teachers' unions' fecal roster!).
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Old 10-07-2006, 02:12 AM   #33
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i bet the dudes cant concentrate cause of all the girls in the class. i know i cant im failing three classes chemistry biology and art foundations
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Old 10-07-2006, 06:03 AM   #34
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Um, uh... The lack of concentration couldn't have anything to do with your screen name, could it?
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Old 10-07-2006, 02:33 PM   #35
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Can someone post some real numbers please? I remember reading that British children did JUST as poorly as American children on a World War 2 test.
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Old 10-07-2006, 06:56 PM   #36
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I say education system, though the answer is a little more complicated than that. Namely, the politicians in the USA do not bother themselves with improving the country's education system because it suits them to have citizens who are not too smart. They may be well educated in one matter, but completely uneducated in a lot of others, which makes them easier to manipulate. I am ceretain that many, if not all, American members of the forums will object to this statement and that's their right and I can understand it, but they are, IMO (and a lot of other people's all around the world), kidding themselves, if they believe their education system is good, let alone the best there is. It's far from it, my friends.

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Old 10-07-2006, 07:31 PM   #37
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Teachers, the Internet, TV, and many other reasons can affect those things, though it ultimarely comes down to the student. Blaming teachers, television, the whole system even, is one of the things that irritates me to the extreme. It comes down to the student for how well they want to do.
Your parents' attitude, your school's system, your school's social environment, the curriculum, outside influences, and so on mean a lot. Or do you really think that when students who go to good schools get better grades, it's because they're coincidentally less lazy than those who go to less-good schools?

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You can read cases in which someone from a poor family in an inner city became a brain surgeon, or where someone from a rich family was sent to an Ivy League school and failed miserably, due to sheer stupidity.
And they're all exceptions.

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Every person chooses what happens with them.
So when this friend of mine got this really nasty asthma-ish lung sickness causing her to lose lots of school it's because she chose it. Right.

There are tonnes and tonnes of things that influence your life that you don't choose. Everything from death in the family to sickness to bullying other things, big and small.

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If the kids just plain don't like math and science, not a thing anyone can do will change that.
In many cases, things may change that. I used to hate writing in the New Normegian language form - now I love it.

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Why you believe reality TV is the answer, windu6, is beyond me.
Ditto. I could rant on about reality TV and the bullies in the Idol judge panel and about a good deal of other destructive "entertainment" programs that are really not much more than organized abuse. But them being responsible for students in the US doing relatively poorly at mathematics and science? Nonsense.

Quote:
And in any event, television has no effect when the kid is in the classroom. It's not like any responsible teacher is going to tell everyone they can watch pointless shows while (s)he's talking.
"Shaddup, miss, I can't hear the telly!"
()

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There are shows out there devoted to science and math anyway, windu6. I've not heard of any students with poor grades who frequently watch those, but if there are, it's still their fault. I don't watch TV, but I've seen an episode of some show devoted to science, and it looked very informative.
It boils down to how it's presented. I think MacGyver is a prime example on how you can make physics and chemistry fun and interesting.

Quote:
But even if reality TV was replaced with educational shows, just how many people would watch them?
Oh! Oh! Oh! "Arithmetic Idol!" You line up an insecure little child in front of a panel of pre-menstrual judges and yell at him when he answers wrongly! Then they tell the viewers the correct answer and reminds them (and especially the poor sap being yelled at) that if you don't do well, you'll go to Hell with teh fagz and the liberals!

Worst thing is, it would sell.

Quote:
The reason they're watching reality TV in the first place is for entertainment, and for someone who actually likes it, I doubt science and math could provide any form of enjoyment when on a screen over a book.
Because?

I'd 10 times more have Richard Dawkins talk about evolution on Google Video than read what he has to say in a book. Much more lively.

Quote:
To summarize my points: it all comes down to the student.
And to summarize my own points, that's bollocks. Some kids are given better environments for learning, and some are given worse environments for learning. Some are encouraged to do well, others are neglected. Some have plenty of buddies, others are friendless and abused by the teacher.

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However, I'm more concerned over why topics that most kids won't use extensively in their lives are mandatory to take.
Because schools are there for teaching kids stuff?

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Corporal punishment is illegal, and in too many cases, teachers' hands have been tied when it comes to discipline problems. I have seen this with my own eyes - positive reinforcement does not work on many undisciplined children, and when teachers are not allowed to use effective punishments, the kids are allowed to keep on misbehaving, disrupting the classroom and taking away from teaching time.
Corporal punishment=Bad and should not be used even as a last resort. And there are other types of correction than positive reinforcement.

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A culture of mediocrity--in our efforts to make everyone feel good about themselves and their mediocre performance, we've taken away any incentive for students to work hard and excel. If Joe Mediocre's going to get an A, why should Suzy Brilliant put out any more effort than she has to in order to get the same A?
If you're refering to how students get 'A's just for turning in work, I definetly have to agree. It's idiotic that a student who turns in half a page gets the same 100% that the one who turned in nearly two pages.

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Special interests are intruding on the public school system, trying to get their agendas inserted into school curiculum. Our schools are having enough of a hard time teaching the basics as it is, without having to teach the agendas of the environmentalist and homosexual lobbies.
Aaaw, poor you, are they teaching you that Papa Bush the Merciful is wrong again?

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Old 10-08-2006, 12:22 AM   #38
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Ooh, any thread that has MacGyver in it is a good one.

You're right, though, he made science/chemistry fun. Where else can you stop a sulfuric acid leak by stuffing Hershey chocolate bars into the crack of the tank?

We're playing the SW RPG with our kids. You have to watch your stats and do dice rolls and calculate damage, so there's a sneaky way to fit math in.

Which reminds me, that's a great excuse for me to use when the rest of my family rolls their eyes and tells me I'm being the uber-geek again. "We're playing it for our son's learning...."


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Old 10-08-2006, 01:25 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
We're playing the SW RPG with our kids. You have to watch your stats and do dice rolls and calculate damage, so there's a sneaky way to fit math in.
When I was young, like around 7 or 10, my father got me hooked onto games like Magic the Gathering and Warhammer 40k. My family was full of geeks, so we'd make it a thing to play a game of whatever every few weeks or so. I think him letting me play those games was a brilliant idea: I absorbed and understood the entire contents of the Warhammer 40k rulebook -rules, fluff, and all- which was an extraordinary feat as any who played the game may know. I painted my army, managed my squads, and learned how every little thing I did had some other reaction to what I should do or what my opponent would do. My cousins were fairly competetive too, and had few qualms squashing my feeble attempts at victory; I had to handle defeat and setbacks which is a skill few kids really know how to deal with. I learned quite a few valuable lessons and it was time better spent then than on video games or television.



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