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America Behind in Math and Science

Discussion in 'Education Policies' started by HappyPeaches, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. HappyPeaches

    HappyPeaches New Member

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    Hey everyone! Peachboy here again. Here's my friend ApplePi's newsletter for today. He does one every Monday and Thursday. If you want, e-mail him (apple.pi.pie@gmail.com) asking for the newsletter, and you can receive it directly.

     
  2. Hobo1

    Hobo1 Active Member

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    This is a good post - for starters, but it doesn't go nearly far enough.

    Problem #1 - Low salary - There is a tremendous demand (when the economy is healthy) for math and science majors who graduate from college. Why would anyone want to go into teaching when they can make a salary of 50% higher to work for a private company? Furthermore, the salary potential in the future is far greater in private companies than in the school system.

    Problem #2 - Teaching Degree. I have a Master's Degree in Science, but I cannot teach in a high school or grade school. However, I can teach in a college (and have done so). We all know anyone who gets a bachelor's degree in Teaching is not the cream of the crop. As I recall, going to a teacher's college was the advance education of last resort. So the people who graduate from teacher's college are certainly not going to be strong in math and science.

    But I am good in math and science, but I was a terrible teacher. So a teacher needs to be both good in the subject and a good teacher.

    Problem #3 - The curriculum is boring and outdated. Anybody who is looking for any zeal in their daily job will not be teaching. Maybe this was okay when only old maid teachers were the ones doing the teaching, but this is the age of technology and a lot of the drudgery work can be done by computers. A professionally produced program to teach geometry (for example) can use the skills of the best and the brightest of teachers, media/graphics experts and computer programmers to explain the basic concepts of a subject, as well as correct tests (really boring).

    Using computers as a basic teaching technique will free up teachers to concentrate on students who need help. Why must the same material be taught from a human mouth year after year? Teachers have brains and they should be used for tasks the computer cannot do.

    Problem #4 - The wrong teaching techniques - A school environment is often the worst place to teach some subjects. Learning a language is a good example. Six months of concentrated learning, spent in Mexico or Quebec, will teach more Spanish or French than be achieved by in any high school environment. Other liberal arts courses may fall into this category.

    I also believe public school should compress its formal teaching time. Four hours in the morning teaching four subjects. The afternoon should be a time to spend in a learning center - that is, a place where student can do homework in a quiet, but disciplined atmosphere. Tutors should be available to either help small groups of students, or answer questions from an individual student. This should be a place where the whole atmosphere is focused on learning - not your typical study hall. Individual students progress at different rates, and 30 kids sitting in a classroom is a recipe for a lot of bored kids who "just don't understand".

    I could go on, because I see many faults everywhere in our school system. Local school boards must be encouraged to think "out of the box". Our whole public school system is painfully out of date, and the future of our country is relying on our school systems to produce the best and the brightest in the world.
     
  3. Dawkinsrocks

    Dawkinsrocks Well-Known Member

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    Not forgetting the elevation of ignorance by the fundamentalists
     
  4. numinus

    numinus New Member

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    This is truly funny since you probably bring down the national average all on your own, judging from the nonsense you have posted here so far.
     
  5. Jarlaxle

    Jarlaxle New Member

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    Teachers are far too busy indoctrinating to teach...
     
  6. top gun

    top gun New Member

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    Maybe if they add a little "magic" in it would be more to your liking.

    You know maybe some religious test for math... something like...

    We don't know really what infinity is so ABRA KADABRA... it's a Zillion (under God)!:D
     
  7. top gun

    top gun New Member

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    Yeah, all that teaching of science, biology and geology is a dangerous and satanic thing!:eek:
     
  8. Jarlaxle

    Jarlaxle New Member

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    You're saying they actually teach any of that? (For the record, I know of nobody who was taught geology in a public school.) Heck, even history was a joke. Math was a joke (like the HS grads who cannot do basic elementary-school math like multiplying tow 3-digit numbers).
     
  9. numinus

    numinus New Member

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    Is there still any doubt exactly why american students are lagging behind in mathematics?

    Fortunately for me, I come from an education system that produce third graders able to solve the solution for systems of linear equations. And the school this particular third grader I have in mind attends is run by jesuits.

    This child is infinitely far-removed from the adult who posted the above, who thinks abrakadabra is part and parcel of that solution.
     
  10. numinus

    numinus New Member

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    And surely enough, you come up with a post that proves it.
     
  11. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Hobo1 and Happypeaches have already given some good reasons why the US might lag in math and science.

    Here's more. From the opening post:

    Although ahead of most of the world, we could do a lot better. That is not the same as saying that we are doing a poor job, but is saying that we need to do better.

    Interestingly enough, Asian Americans tend to dominate math and science also. Maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with culture, aspirations, family expectations? Maybe that's where we need to start to improve.

    And, at the risk of starting another exchange between Dawks and Nummi, a culture that still, after all this time, tries to deny the science of evolution really fails to understand the basics of scientific research.
     
  12. top gun

    top gun New Member

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    Hey don't get upset!:D I'm just saying when you try and force public schools to teach witchcraft... I mean creationism... as a possible alternative to real science.

    Not particularly helpful and very time consuming.



    Not to mention it leads to this type of religious zealotry & righteous indignation.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtNdYsoool8
     
  13. numinus

    numinus New Member

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    Asians tend to be pragmatic with their religion. It does not necessarily have to hinder learning. They tend to compartmentalize the demands of their society, their religion, their intellect, etc.
     
  14. numinus

    numinus New Member

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    Why should I be upset. I'm asian. I have a religious primary and secondary education. My tertiary education was in an american-established university.

    Like you, we have the principle of separation of church and state embedded in our constitution. Unlike you, we do not consider it unconstitutional or taboo to discuss god, christianity and various philosophies in an academic setting.

    In my opinion, a technical education without concurrent training in ethics and the classics serve only to produce an educated a$$hole.

    No such thing where I come from. We are very tolerant when it comes to other religions -- and that includes atheists. Heck, the last day of ramadan is as much a national holiday as christmas where I come from.

    Maybe, just maybe, religious zealotry is a cultural thing. Ever consider that?
     
  15. Jason76

    Jason76 Active Member

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    The news isn't surprising, as anyone who shows enthusiasm for math or science is mocked. People assume such students are arrogant, dorky, teacher's pets, and show-offs. Nobody wants to be seen as good at math in order to look cool.
     
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