We need to focus on educating the below average.

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Zcorp
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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Zcorp » Fri May 02, 2014 8:31 am UTC

jseah wrote:
Zcorp wrote:American's spend more per capita on students than anywhere in the world with really poor results - granted, we also have some of the hardest problems to solve in education.
What are these greatest problems that you see America as facing, that other countries do not?

The US has greater ethnic diversity than anywhere else in the world. This creates a large variety of problems. In a mono-culture each student has childhood that is a a lot of similarity and they share much of that similarity with their teachers who grew up in that same culture. In ethnically diverse situations, it is more difficult for teachers to know what to expect their student learned for skills that aren't directly assessed in the curriculum. So most skills. It creates classroom management problems, student teacher bonding problems, problems with how different ethnic groups treat their children's education and the list goes on. While this doesn't occur everywhere in the US it is a significant factor in many areas, it is fairly common for teachers in LAUSD to have 4+ different ethnic groups represent in their classroom.

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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby jseah » Fri May 02, 2014 9:02 am UTC

Um, if this was a problem that created a barrier to teaching students, then wouldn't you expect parents to demand their children be segregated by racial background? With teachers of a similar background to teach them? After all, if this is as you say, then black teachers teaching black students would be far more effective than trying to get any teacher to teach a mixed class.

Isn't that kind of exactly the thing those education reformers wanted to prevent? I remember reading alot about integrating schools and what not. Why would they do something that would make education less efficient?
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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Paul in Saudi » Fri May 02, 2014 9:12 am UTC

Obviously, applying resources to the low-end of the scale will have more impact than trying to nudge the high-end to even greater levels.

If I had two cars, say an old Dodge Dart and a new BMW and only a $1,000 to spend on them, obviously the Dodge would give me more bang for the buck. With the money I could get it running and maybe even sell it for more than I put in it. Or I could take the same money and add some bit of trim to the BMW. Both improvements cost the same, but one have more of an impact.

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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby leady » Fri May 02, 2014 9:40 am UTC

jseah wrote:Isn't that kind of exactly the thing those education reformers wanted to prevent? I remember reading alot about integrating schools and what not. Why would they do something that would make education less efficient?


Putting aside whether its true or not, you really can't understand why ?

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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Zcorp » Fri May 02, 2014 10:25 am UTC

jseah wrote:Um, if this was a problem that created a barrier to teaching students, then wouldn't you expect parents to demand their children be segregated by racial background?

No, because, and I'm surprised I have to say this, that would be give us the obvious much worse situation.

With teachers of a similar background to teach them? After all, if this is as you say, then black teachers teaching black students would be far more effective than trying to get any teacher to teach a mixed class.

This is no where close to as simple as 'get the black people to teach the black people', and to be clear ethnicity does not equal race.

LAUSD has students who are first or second generation Americans with a noticeable population from Israel, Russia, Korean, China and Japan and this is before we even get to the melting pot of various Caucasians, Hispanics and African-Americans.

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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby EMTP » Fri May 02, 2014 11:33 am UTC

Zcorp wrote:
jseah wrote:
Zcorp wrote:American's spend more per capita on students than anywhere in the world with really poor results - granted, we also have some of the hardest problems to solve in education.
What are these greatest problems that you see America as facing, that other countries do not?

The US has greater ethnic diversity than anywhere else in the world.


Based upon what? Do you have a source for this?
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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby jseah » Fri May 02, 2014 11:48 am UTC

Zcorp wrote:
jseah wrote:Um, if this was a problem that created a barrier to teaching students, then wouldn't you expect parents to demand their children be segregated by racial background?

No, because, and I'm surprised I have to say this, that would be give us the obvious much worse situation.

With teachers of a similar background to teach them? After all, if this is as you say, then black teachers teaching black students would be far more effective than trying to get any teacher to teach a mixed class.

This is no where close to as simple as 'get the black people to teach the black people', and to be clear ethnicity does not equal race.

LAUSD has students who are first or second generation Americans with a noticeable population from Israel, Russia, Korean, China and Japan and this is before we even get to the melting pot of various Caucasians, Hispanics and African-Americans.

Well yes, I hadn't gotten quite that far but I was leading up to something like that in order to justify rejecting his hypothesis/explanation.

I was giving him a chance to explain/clarify in case I had interpreted his post badly.
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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Chen » Fri May 02, 2014 12:21 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:
Zcorp wrote:The US has greater ethnic diversity than anywhere else in the world.


Based upon what? Do you have a source for this?


Yeah the wikipedia article that talks about ethnic diversity in various countries doesn't have the US anywhere even close to the top. Perhaps pockets of the US are extremely diverse, but as a whole it's apparently not the case.

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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri May 02, 2014 2:35 pm UTC

jseah wrote:Um, if this was a problem that created a barrier to teaching students, then wouldn't you expect parents to demand their children be segregated by racial background? With teachers of a similar background to teach them? After all, if this is as you say, then black teachers teaching black students would be far more effective than trying to get any teacher to teach a mixed class.

Isn't that kind of exactly the thing those education reformers wanted to prevent? I remember reading alot about integrating schools and what not. Why would they do something that would make education less efficient?


It may be harder to cross culture barriers, yes, but sometimes the hard way is correct. We should not rate methods of teaching solely by how easy they are.

As you get into better and better methods of doing MOST things, you face diminishing returns. The same is probably true of education(and also, why focusing on the below average is likely to have a more efficient boost than focusing on another subset). So, yeah, overcoming culture barriers may have a cost associated with it, but the resulting benefits are pretty worthwhile. The whole point of education is to prepare someone for reality. In reality, you will need to deal with a variety of people from different cultures, genders, whatever. So...segregating is essentially "efficiency" in the same way that dropping a class in which students get rough grades to improve average grades is "efficiency". It fixes the numbers, but misses the point.

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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby addams » Fri May 02, 2014 2:45 pm UTC

jseah wrote:
addams wrote:I agree, Critical Thinking skills need to be taught.
To teach people to say out loud to themselves,
What Do I Know?
How Do I Know it?

And;
Why?

More than critical thinking, I think problem solving skills also need to be taught explicitly and practiced at an early age. Too much of our jobs demand high level problem solving compared to what is taught.

Problem Solving??
How can you solve a problem UnDefined?

What Problem?
A Set of Skills?

Like Working Through Quadratics?
Some poor little children are forced to do so many Quadratics they can do them in their sleep.

How does that Help them, you or me, When faced with a New Problem?
What intellectual Tools do they have? A Hammer? OK! It's a Nail!

In the US today, We have a Population with a Hammer.
Every Problem Looks Like A Spider.

Spoiler:
(Scary for the Fucking Spider)
Boo! I'm a problem child.
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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby jseah » Fri May 02, 2014 4:27 pm UTC

addams wrote:
jseah wrote:More than critical thinking, I think problem solving skills also need to be aught explicitly and practiced at an early age. Too much of our jobs demand high level problem solving compared to what is taught.

Problem Solving??
How can you solve a problem UnDefined?

What Problem?
A Set of Skills?
Like our much vaunted STEM fields?
Those require a strong problem solving skill.

So does the vocational training that was mentioned in the OP.

As for the skills in question, I confess I do not have a clear idea. But it did seem to me that my success in math and science is due to my constant practice at thinking in the appropriate way so often that problem solving is very nearly "free" in terms of how how effort it takes to use it.

Perhaps a start like this.
Understanding concepts: practice generalising from example into conceptual rules or standard strategies
Using concepts: apply abstract rules to problems
Analysing problems: how to break problems down into smaller chunks solvable by using a single concept each
Reframing problems: practice taking a problem presented in one way and present it in a different way that will make it easier

how to teach this or what sort of practice would be useful I have no idea. Not even sure if I got the strategies right.
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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Whizbang » Fri May 02, 2014 4:35 pm UTC

All we need to do is make enough people educated that they continue to advance science. Eventually there will be a way to implant education directly into the brain (though I bet critical thinking will still need to be learned the old fashioned way). Then everyone* will get the benefit of an education.

* Meaning rich people, at first, until costs come down, or until the rich smart people oppress the dumb poor people and we end up with a Eloi/Morlock type scenario.

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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Brace » Fri May 02, 2014 4:59 pm UTC

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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby addams » Sat May 03, 2014 4:29 pm UTC

jseah wrote:
addams wrote:
jseah wrote:More than critical thinking, I think problem solving skills also need to be aught explicitly and practiced at an early age. Too much of our jobs demand high level problem solving compared to what is taught.

Problem Solving??
How can you solve a problem UnDefined?

What Problem?
A Set of Skills?
Like our much vaunted STEM fields?
Those require a strong problem solving skill.

So does the vocational training that was mentioned in the OP.

As for the skills in question, I confess I do not have a clear idea. But it did seem to me that my success in math and science is due to my constant practice at thinking in the appropriate way so often that problem solving is very nearly "free" in terms of how how effort it takes to use it.

Perhaps a start like this.
Understanding concepts: practice generalising from example into conceptual rules or standard strategies
Using concepts: apply abstract rules to problems
Analysing problems: how to break problems down into smaller chunks solvable by using a single concept each
Reframing problems: practice taking a problem presented in one way and present it in a different way that will make it easier

how to teach this or what sort of practice would be useful I have no idea. Not even sure if I got the strategies right.

STEM Cells?
no. Focused Learning.

From Wikipedia.
Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America have announced the roll out of an awards program in the spring of 2012 to promote more interest and involvement in the STEM disciplines. The NOVA and SUPERNOVA awards are available to Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Venturers as they complete specific requirements appropriate to their program level in each of the four main STEM program areas (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).

Fine!
People Must Learn SomeThing!
OK!

The Boy Scouts still go Camping?
Camping will teach critical thinking skills.

If it is done Wrong; Those lessons can stay with a man for a lifetime.
Those friendships might last, too. If they live.

Theory is Fun!
Practice is even More Fun!

If ya' live.
What a way to go. (huh?)

edit:
I am horrible.
Spoiler:
Who would sign up to take the Below Average camping?

Drill Sergeants!
They give them Live Amo and take them Camping.
No wonder those guys get a reputation for strict discipline.

What do those guys say over cocktails?

"Give them an Inch and they start shooting the Fucking Wild Life!"
"That's nothing. Mine started shooting each other."
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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby gladiolas » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:54 am UTC

Instead of putting the likes of Bernie Madoff in prison, could he be put to work taking care of disadvantaged persons? He wouldn't he in a position to rip off their finances.

I don't know what to do about the unfortunate implication that being a teacher is a punishment for him.

Some people enjoy teaching, I know. For them it's not punishment. For Bernie Madoff, at least he isn't stealing billions, and he's doing something more useful to make society a bit better.

Or maybe it won't work. (And it's not just Bernie Madoff, there's plenty of other white-collar miscreants to choose from. These wouldn't be in certain categories, like the violent offenders.)
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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby EMTP » Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:20 pm UTC

gladiolas wrote:Instead of putting the likes of Bernie Madoff in prison, could he be put to work taking care of disadvantaged persons? He wouldn't he in a position to rip off their finances.


Uh . . . I think not. Rotting in prison is right where Bernie Madoff belongs . . . nor do I think giving an expert liar and manipulator and notorious thief access to impressionable youths is the best idea.

Probably the best way to improve the education of the "disadvantaged" is to have policies in place to make them less disadvantaged during the period of their lives when they are acquiring said education. Ensure adequate food, shelter, and medical care, and you will have better luck with teaching and training.
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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby addams » Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:03 pm UTC

Yeah, EMTP!
That is the correct answer.

You get a Cookie!
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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Euphonium » Fri Sep 26, 2014 5:55 am UTC

leady wrote:I wouldn't hire someone with 5 degrees, it screams "I have no desire to work"


I wouldn't hire someone with 5 STEM degrees, it screams "I have no interest in the fact that there's a world full of people who by and large are not me and who have experiences and subjectivities different from mine that are worth learning about and taking into consideration."

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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Brace » Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:13 pm UTC

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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby WilliamLehnsherr » Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:47 pm UTC

Surely you're under no obligation to put every degree on your resume?

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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Mutex » Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:52 pm UTC

WilliamLehnsherr wrote:Surely you're under no obligation to put every degree on your resume?


You're not. I've heard of people with master's degrees taking them off their CV because they weren't getting interviews, and then immediately getting interviews.

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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Brace » Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:00 pm UTC

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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:24 pm UTC

Brace wrote:I would have gaps to account for if I did that. My life has already taken a very weird trajectory which I have to try and gloss over with people because it makes them uncomfortable. It would genuinely be easier if I pretended to be a felon or drug addict, because then I could simply say "I made some mistakes in my life, but I found jesus and turned myself around" and people would nod their heads and bless me for my honesty.


Gaps happen. The easiest way to disguise them is simply abstracting to a layer where they cease to become obvious. Obviously, for sufficiently large gaps, this doesn't always work, but nobody really needs a to-the-month detailing of events many years past.

My resume invariably ends up being wildly trimmed, as I'm a crazy person, and typically have a minimum of 2-3 things I could list as full time jobs or equivalent for any given period of time. I've also listed "pursuing BS degree" for over a decade, across six colleges, and maybe 200 credits. One day, I might actually get it, if I run out of other interesting things to chase, but that suffices for job purposes.

Honesty is great, but society frowns on too much of it.

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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:27 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:
WilliamLehnsherr wrote:Surely you're under no obligation to put every degree on your resume?


You're not. I've heard of people with master's degrees taking them off their CV because they weren't getting interviews, and then immediately getting interviews.
On a similar note, it can be quite redundant. I have a masters from the university I'm getting my PhD from, and listing both on my resume wouldn't be very succinct of me. It smacks of padding.

But anyway, EMPTs statement above is the most on point thing that's been said in this thread.
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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Mutex » Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:21 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I've also listed "pursuing BS degree" for over a decade, across six colleges, and maybe 200 credits.


I take it BS stands for business studies, unless you were in an angry mood when you wrote your resume.

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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:42 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I've also listed "pursuing BS degree" for over a decade, across six colleges, and maybe 200 credits.


I take it BS stands for business studies, unless you were in an angry mood when you wrote your resume.
I'd guess Bachelors of Science actually? A BA is a Bachelors of Art - typically I think you write what your degree is, and then what it is in. I.e., I have a BS in Biology from undergrad.
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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:33 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Mutex wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I've also listed "pursuing BS degree" for over a decade, across six colleges, and maybe 200 credits.


I take it BS stands for business studies, unless you were in an angry mood when you wrote your resume.
I'd guess Bachelors of Science actually? A BA is a Bachelors of Art - typically I think you write what your degree is, and then what it is in. I.e., I have a BS in Biology from undergrad.


That's the one. BS in CS, which sounds awkward.

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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Angua » Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:08 pm UTC

Try having a BA in Med Sci.

Makes no sense.
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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby freezeblade » Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:38 pm UTC

Try explaining to people that a B.Arch is an actual thing, and no, it's not a B.A with a focus in Architecture.
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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Mutex » Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:48 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:
Mutex wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I've also listed "pursuing BS degree" for over a decade, across six colleges, and maybe 200 credits.


I take it BS stands for business studies, unless you were in an angry mood when you wrote your resume.
I'd guess Bachelors of Science actually? A BA is a Bachelors of Art - typically I think you write what your degree is, and then what it is in. I.e., I have a BS in Biology from undergrad.


That's the one. BS in CS, which sounds awkward.


Oh. I've only seen Bachelor in Science written BSc.

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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Sep 27, 2014 3:22 pm UTC

Are you perchance not in America?
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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby eSOANEM » Sat Sep 27, 2014 4:33 pm UTC

Angua wrote:Try having a BA in Med Sci.

Makes no sense.


If I graduate this year (instead of doing a fourth year), I'll have a BA in theoretical physics.

No-one thinks PhD's in stuff other than philosophy's weird though.
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Re: We need to focus on educating the below average.

Postby Mutex » Sat Sep 27, 2014 4:54 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Are you perchance not in America?


UK.


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