Education systems and what can be improved
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25-02-2010, 10:02 PM
 
Education systems and what can be improved
Good day, all.

I had an interesting debate with a fellow student in one of my night school courses the other day. We are both attending a project management class on planning and scheduling provided by one of the major universities in Canada.

The teacher is sub par...she has very little organization, no agenda, no clear direction, nothing. Shows very few examples of how to draw conclusions on planning task durations, costing, etc.

Now, this may be a one off, but in speaking to my colleague, I began going down an interesting path with my debate. In the back of my mind, I was thinking about my Atheism, and how I have now dedicated my life to logic and reason. My debate headed down the topic of making classes in science and mathematics a priority for ANY school kids (kindergarten up to graduate level University and College).

What are your education systems like? Here in Canada (at least, the school I'm attending), you are required to take your core classes, choice electives and liberal studies (from areas of history, psychology, philosophy, etc). It is up to you to decide what your interests are...but at least you are required to take SOMETHING in these areas.

Aside from my question above, how do you think education systems CAN be improved?

I look forward to seeing your responses.

ipsa scientia potestas est - Knowledge itself is power.
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25-02-2010, 10:12 PM
 
RE: Education systems and what can be improved
Well, i'm from iceland and the education system here is really strong, and i only find one weak link in it really. That is that all children from 6-14 study something that's called "christian studies". This is basically just the teachings of the bible in the classroom. However, it isn't as bad as it sounds, even though it is there it doesn't take priority over more useful classes such as math, natural sciences and languages. The education system is also a bit different here, we don't have your typical high schools. We have grade school from 6-16, which is mandatory for all kids, then we have something called either "continuing school" or "educational school" (bad translation, i know) which are usually finished in 4 years and then it's university. These continuing schools are some sort of a mix between highschool and college, and it's usually there that you start to figure out where your interests lie.
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25-02-2010, 11:29 PM (This post was last modified: 26-02-2010 04:14 PM by ashley.hunt60.)
RE: Education systems and what can be improved
I'm from America, and in high school, so that is what I'll be talking about. Our teachings are paid horribly. So we get a rather....interesting group. Most of my teachers no longer care, half of them fail at teaching the curriculum, and instead spend their time complaining about their lives. Ironically, it's the lower level teachers that are mostly like this. The closest my chemistry teacher came to teaching chemistry, is explaining how he brews his own beer. Yet my AP chemistry teacher does such a better job.... Too bad I have have no knowledge that I should have when going into AP chemistry.

Anyway, yeah, crappy pay and equally crappy teachers. I have to agree that logic is important to instill in a devolving mind. Literature can make you sound smart, but the math and science classes will make you smart. The problem with the electives, in what I have seen, is that too many kids flock to the easy classes, like agricultural or art. Not sure how to fix that, but yeah. It's usually in universities that we find out interests. High schools classes tend to be too few in number to give a true variety.

As for the actual structure, I don't think it would be too different from Canada.You have to go to preschool or day care when 4 to learn how a class room works. Then we start kindergarten at 5, then grade school, which goes from the 1st grade to the 8th grade. High school for 4 years, then college for however long you want, up to five years in most cases. For the better careers, such as a doctor or lawyer, then you have to go to yet another school, for however long depending on your career.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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26-02-2010, 02:49 AM
 
RE: Education systems and what can be improved
In Israel, we're going to an elementary school by the age of 6, and stay there till the age of 12.
When you're on the second grade, you start learning the Jewish bible (I believe you call it "Torah" in English).
During that 6 years, you learn Hebrew (The same way Americans got an English lesson. We learn how to speak and write better), math (Basic things like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractals, percentages and some basic geometry) and geography (I believe I forgot some lessons).
After 6 years in elementary school, you go to Junior-High-School for 3 years.
On the first year, the boys have a Bar Mitzvah.
On the junior-high-school, we learn some science lessons (FINALLY!) - we learn chemistry and biology (No physics >_>).
After junior high school, you go to high school for 3 additional years.
At the high school, you pick your own classes (which is cool) but you still have some classes that you must attend.

Now in Israel, we got the final exams, which summarize the 12 years you studyed.
If someone wants to continue to the university or collage, he must complete all of the required tests which are - the bible (Yeah, we must study the bible in order to go get a further eduction), literature, history, math, English, Hebrew and citizenship.
There are additional tests that the student may do if he wants to like physics, programming, biology and many more science lessons.
As you can see, the additional tests are not a requirement. We basicly don't study science at school. Maybe for 3 years, but that's it. :|

About the teachers - well, everything that's interesting me, I learn from the internet, since I'm an autodidact, and because of the stupidity of teachers.

Man I wrote a lot. ;o
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26-02-2010, 08:33 AM
RE: Education systems and what can be improved
(26-02-2010 02:49 AM)HurricaneIL Wrote:  In Israel, we're going to an elementary school by the age of 6, and stay there till the age of 12.
When you're on the second grade, you start learning the Jewish bible (I believe you call it "Torah" in English).
During that 6 years, you learn Hebrew (The same way Americans got an English lesson. We learn how to speak and write better), math (Basic things like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractals, percentages and some basic geometry) and geography (I believe I forgot some lessons).
After 6 years in elementary school, you go to Junior-High-School for 3 years.
On the first year, the boys have a Bar Mitzvah.
On the junior-high-school, we learn some science lessons (FINALLY!) - we learn chemistry and biology (No physics >_>).
After junior high school, you go to high school for 3 additional years.
At the high school, you pick your own classes (which is cool) but you still have some classes that you must attend.

Now in Israel, we got the final exams, which summarize the 12 years you studyed.
If someone wants to continue to the university or collage, he must complete all of the required tests which are - the bible (Yeah, we must study the bible in order to go get a further eduction), literature, history, math, English, Hebrew and citizenship.
There are additional tests that the student may do if he wants to like physics, programming, biology and many more science lessons.
As you can see, the additional tests are not a requirement. We basicly don't study science at school. Maybe for 3 years, but that's it. :|

About the teachers - well, everything that's interesting me, I learn from the internet, since I'm an autodidact, and because of the stupidity of teachers.

Man I wrote a lot. ;o

well, I'm from Israel too, and I don't know what about you hurricanIL-but I did study science since elemntary school. geography I studied since 5th grade 'till 9th grade. I think it's your school, not the entire education system. I didn't learn chemistry in my life (only as part of biology class), it's a choice subject in my school.

and those additional tests are required, because you need at least 22 unit points for having the Bagrut complete, and with English, math, bible, sports, Hebrew, history, litreture and citizenship only you don't have 22 units points. you must have at least one more subject which include 5 units points.
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26-02-2010, 01:49 PM
 
RE: Education systems and what can be improved
Leave it to the late Carl Sagan to make the statement I meant to put up at the beginning:

"We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces." - Carl Sagan

How true do you believe his statement is?

I worry that most of the 'kids' I know in school are pursuing Business Management courses. Very few of them (with the exception of one relative who has 'broken the mold' and is pursuing Psychology) are going into the sciences. What has gone wrong?

I am promoting science with my kids (6 and 2 1/2). I love the wonderment in their eyes. I explain the possibilities of their pursuit when they see something on television that looks wrong in their eyes (e.g. commercials showcasing poor children in 3rd world countries)...I try to teach them that, if they keep on this path of science, they may be the ones who solve some of the world's worst problems.
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