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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    16 Dec '10 21:51 / 1 edit
    In looking at the structure of school systems out preforming Americas, I've noticed 4 things that seem to be fairly consistent.

    1. Higher achieving school systems seem to start children 1-2 years before American kids start.

    2. These school systems have few, or no extra curricular activities such as sports, music, etc.

    3. School days at these schools are 1-2 hours longer than in Americas

    4. Many of these schools require uniforms.

    Perhaps Americas schools should move in this direction...Thoughts?
  2. 16 Dec '10 21:59
    Originally posted by bill718
    In looking at the structure of school systems out preforming Americas, I've noticed 4 things that seem to be fairly consistent.

    1. Higher achieving school systems seem to start children 1-2 years before American kids start.

    2. These school systems have few, or no extra curricular activities such as sports, music, etc.

    3. School days at these schools ...[text shortened]... schools require uniforms.

    Perhaps Americas schools should move in this direction...Thoughts?
    1. Start them 1-2 years later? Why schools can't even seem to afford to educate what they do now. In fact, at a local school in my area they nixed the athletic program and music program so how are they to afford anything more?

    2. See above.

    3. Loner work days? Eeeks!! Apparently you have not gone up against the American teachers unions. Just ask governor Christie of New Jersey. They will begin by praying for your death.

    4. Great idea!! No doubt, the ACLU will have something to say about it though.
  3. Standard member joneschr
    Some guy
    16 Dec '10 22:24 / 2 edits
    I guess it depends on what your goals are - which weren't stated. You said out performing. Out performing in what?

    Sure, if you cut P.E. and music, and have kids stay in school 2 hours longer, they'll probably be better at math. Sort of follows. But does that make them better people? Or fat, stressed-out problem solvers with no sense of the arts and no time to see or bond with their families?

    I guess if you have high scores to point at, and we compete better with china, it doesn't matter.

    I agree slightly with uniforms, but I don't feel strongly - there are problems and benefits.
  4. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    16 Dec '10 22:28
    Originally posted by bill718
    In looking at the structure of school systems out preforming Americas, I've noticed 4 things that seem to be fairly consistent.

    1. Higher achieving school systems seem to start children 1-2 years before American kids start.

    2. These school systems have few, or no extra curricular activities such as sports, music, etc.

    3. School days at these schools ...[text shortened]... schools require uniforms.

    Perhaps Americas schools should move in this direction...Thoughts?
    Outperforming in what sense?
  5. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    16 Dec '10 22:29 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by joneschr
    I guess it depends on what your goals are - where weren't stated. You said out performing. Out performing in what?

    Sure, if you cut P.E. and music, and have kids stay in school 2 hours longer, they'll probably be better at math. Sort of follows. But does that make them better people? Or fat, stressed-out problem solvers with no sense of the arts and ...[text shortened]... ess if you have high scores to point at, and we compete better with china, it doesn't matter.
    You get East Asians. I think there was an average of one Asian suicide a year when I was in college. I knew one kid who was disowned by his family because he chose to be an art major. He was very sad and lonely.

    However Jewish culture seems to do well without the stress.
  6. Standard member joneschr
    Some guy
    16 Dec '10 22:34 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    You get East Asians. I think there was an average of one Asian suicide a year when I was in college. I knew one kid who was disowned by his family because he chose to be an art major. He was very sad and lonely.

    However Jewish culture seems to do well without the stress.
    Anecdotally, I have had similar experiences. Speaking personally, I've seen more than one straight-A student in high school turn to drugs or otherwise burn out in college. I think we put too much pressure on our kids to perform and spend too little time teaching them to love to learn.
  7. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    16 Dec '10 23:21
    Originally posted by bill718
    In looking at the structure of school systems out preforming Americas, I've noticed 4 things that seem to be fairly consistent.

    1. Higher achieving school systems seem to start children 1-2 years before American kids start.

    2. These school systems have few, or no extra curricular activities such as sports, music, etc.

    3. School days at these schools ...[text shortened]... schools require uniforms.

    Perhaps Americas schools should move in this direction...Thoughts?
    Uniforms?? What's the rush to make people into interchangeable drones?
  8. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    16 Dec '10 23:31
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Outperforming in what sense?
    Out performing in math, science, languages...and other things that help people succeed in the world
  9. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    16 Dec '10 23:34
    Originally posted by bill718
    Out performing in math, science, languages...and other things that help people succeed in the world
    "Trust children and they will learn."

    http://www.albanyfreeschool.com/overview.shtml


    That's real education reform!
  10. 16 Dec '10 23:45
    Originally posted by bill718
    In looking at the structure of school systems out preforming Americas, I've noticed 4 things that seem to be fairly consistent.

    1. Higher achieving school systems seem to start children 1-2 years before American kids start.

    2. These school systems have few, or no extra curricular activities such as sports, music, etc.

    3. School days at these schools ...[text shortened]... schools require uniforms.

    Perhaps Americas schools should move in this direction...Thoughts?
    There aren't many jobs out there for professional test-takers. Why do we insist on running an education system as if that was the primary goal?

    I would go the other direction -- instead of eliminating extracurricular activities and adding an extra hour of instruction -- I would add at least an hour of extracurricular activities and have one hour less of formal instruction. There's a lot of stuff that you learn during extracurricular activities -- social skills, teamwork, sportsmanship, creative problem-solving, performing in public etc -- that you don't learn from just sitting in a classroom and doing homework assignments.
  11. Standard member RevRSleeker
    CerebrallyChallenged
    16 Dec '10 23:46
    A good teacher is paramount, teachers pay is paramount...attract the appropriate 'type' and the true professional will inspire all to excell in their 'own way'.
  12. 16 Dec '10 23:55
    Originally posted by RevRSleeker
    A good teacher is paramount, teachers pay is paramount...attract the appropriate 'type' and the true professional will inspire all to excell in their 'own way'.
    We rely too much on teachers -- we need to teach children how to teach themselves.
  13. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    17 Dec '10 02:16
    Originally posted by bill718
    In looking at the structure of school systems out preforming Americas, I've noticed 4 things that seem to be fairly consistent.

    1. Higher achieving school systems seem to start children 1-2 years before American kids start.

    2. These school systems have few, or no extra curricular activities such as sports, music, etc.

    3. School days at these schools ...[text shortened]... schools require uniforms.

    Perhaps Americas schools should move in this direction...Thoughts?
    Students don't need more time in the classroom. They need a more dynamic learning system that makes them want to learn. Whether that means overhauling the way teachers teach or the way they're trained or hired is open for debate. But making kids sit in the same boring classes for more hours is not necessarily the silver bullet.
  14. 17 Dec '10 04:32 / 1 edit
    When do you think American kids start? My son started school before he was three.
    I think extra curricular activities should be encouraged especially academic ones. Leadership skills are developed and some like math team, debate team. model congress, school government, foreign language clubs, newspaper, yearbook etc actually further develop classroom skills.
  15. 17 Dec '10 15:44
    You always seem to hear about how someone tried this or that, or gave huge amounts of money to this or that school -- but where ultimately, it was shown to have no effect on test scores or any other measures of education.

    One experiment I would love to see would be to get two groups of students from middle class suburbia. One group would be the control group who would attend school in the usual way. The other group would get a year off from school and be allowed to do anything they wanted (as long as it was legal, of course).

    Then we evaluate both groups of students so that we can get a baseline measure for what a typical year of school specifically contributes to the development of a student's skills -- as opposed to other things like learning from non-school sources, or the gains that come from simply being a year older.

    If such a study was proposed, there'd be the obvious ethical objections. But if the results allowed money and resources in education to be used much more efficiently, the overall benefit could greatly outweigh the costs.