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jlai
10-04-2011, 01:31 PM
As for Europe, in most of our high schools (14-18/19 y.o. pupils) there is a native speaker for each of the languages taught in the school, with the specific purpose of collaborate with languages teacher (as teaching assistant, especially for pronunciation skills).

(Cough...cough...) I believe many TESL teachers who teach English in other countries believe that preferring native speakers is a discrimatory employment practice. In fact, a sub-group exists in TESOL likes to send out angry accusatory letters to employers worldwide who dare state this preference in the job ad. :scream:

Karina1974
10-04-2011, 05:29 PM
Of course I am much older than you but I learned a lot about WW2 in HS, like the lend-lease program, Babi Yar, the Occupation in Scandinavia, the Low Countries, & France, the war in North Africa, etc. I can't ever remember being told to ask our fathers. All the men I knew who were in the war never wanted to talk about it. One of my college roommates was a senior in HS before she knew her father had been on the death march in the Phillipines. Maybe baby-boomers were taught more about it & about the Korean War because they had been so recent.

My father served on Guam too & Okinawa.

Sounds like you're from my parents' generation or thereabouts - Mom was born in 1937 and Dad in 1939. Dad says that the only thing he remembers from the war is going to the train station in Hudson, NY when my grandfather was shipped West in 1943 - I assume to go to the Pacific, because I have seen the home movie of that and he was in uniform. My mother remembers that during the entire occupation of Norway it was impossible to get any news about her family. When the first letter from Norway finally came, the mailman hand-delivered it to my grandmother, and stayed with her while she read it, in case it was bad news. She also remembers putting up black-out curtains, because they lived out in the boonies.

Yeah, I think that WWII (and 20th century history in general) was not taught very well in the classes I took in HS, either Global Studies II (European History) in 10th grade or American History in 11th. I don't even remember there being any real, serious, class discussion - it was more like "sit, watch a bunch of videos and take notes on them". *I* didn't mind watching them, because I like watching archival films, the older the better, even if it was something like battle footage from WWI, but the rest of the class was bored by it. And these were Regents-level classes, back when taking Regents Exams was still optional in New York State. If the teacher really wanted to get their attention, he'd have showed them, say, footage from when the concentration camps were liberated.

snoopy
10-04-2011, 05:43 PM
Two things:

1) I am always puzzled when people say that they never use what they learned in high school because I use what I learned in high school ALL THE TIME.

My most recent example is that I had to give a sales type Board Presentation – and the last time I have done any type of official sales presentation is never. I had zippo on-the job training for this. But I did have my high school debate and English classes that taught me a lot about how to organize presentations and “present”. And I totally remembered and used it for my job – and frankly, it went quite well. Sorry but I have to think people who say they don’t use their K-12 education were either not good students or didn’t have good teachers (or they lead an incredibly narrow lifestyle). My K-12 experience prepared me pretty well for life as far as I am concerned.

2) As far as criticizing the US – well, I think we are up for more criticism than general because we both used to be number 1 in many areas and we have a segment of the population who still thinks we are number 1 and isn’t keeping up with how we are being out paced by other countries these days. A reality check is fine by me.

Matryeshka
10-04-2011, 08:06 PM
If I ever get to teach Free Enterprise again, I think I'm going to use posts on this thread to illustrate the principle of opportunity costs and risk-reward. :D

For everything you add to a school system, you have to take something away. Students already go to school longer, both in number of days and hours spent at school. PE/recess has been cut for every grade level at most schools save K-3...in fact, the school I'm subbing at right now (kiddies are in Art), don't get a recess besides 15 minutes after lunch. They're third graders! Third graders should get to play :mad: To be effective, foreign language instruction needs to be done at least every other day. Are you going to take away music/band, art, PE, and computer to make room for it? Cut social studies and science even more? Schools aren't going to take time away from math and ELA, so some other subject is going to have to suffer even more.

I'm sure most school administrators would love to include foreign language, but the budget isn't there and the time isn't there. Some elementary schools around here were trying to teach Spanish, but with it only being 25 minutes once a week, the students retained nothing and got nothing out of it.

I also wanted to point out this study (http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2011/07/study_older_students_may_learn.html) which negates the idea that its easier for kids to learn a language later on in life. It's not the only study on this subject, but it is the only one I could find that was free.

Vagabond
10-04-2011, 08:42 PM
I am always puzzled when people say that they never use what they learned in high school because I use what I learned in high school ALL THE TIME.

My most recent example is that I had to give a sales type Board Presentation – and the last time I have done any type of official sales presentation is never. I had zippo on-the job training for this. But I did have my high school debate and English classes that taught me a lot about how to organize presentations and “present”. And I totally remembered and used it for my job – and frankly, it went quite well. Sorry but I have to think people who say they don’t use their K-12 education were either not good students or didn’t have good teachers (or they lead an incredibly narrow lifestyle). My K-12 experience prepared me pretty well for life as far as I am concerned.

This reaches back to the original point of this thread. A good education should develop one's critical thinking skills, communication skills, and ability to learn new things even on one's own. In many respects, History can be an ideal subject to do this, since, when properly taught, it requires the student to examine and analyze various contributing factors, outcomes, and points of view. That's why it is such a shame that so many teachers, parents, schools, and districts, don't put more of an emphasis on a rigorous History education.

kia_4EverOnIce
10-04-2011, 09:01 PM
A good education should develop one's critical thinking skills, communication skills, and ability to learn new things even on one's own. In many respects, History can be an ideal subject to do this, since, when properly taught, it requires the student to examine and analyze various contributing factors, outcomes, and points of view. That's why it is such a shame that so many teachers, parents, schools, and districts, don't put more of an emphasis on a rigorous History education.

:respec:

taf2002
10-04-2011, 09:22 PM
Sounds like you're from my parents' generation or thereabouts - Mom was born in 1937 and Dad in 1939.

I was born in the late 40's...wayyy after your parents. :mad: Your parents are not baby boomers.

Prancer
10-04-2011, 10:05 PM
Maybe baby-boomers were taught more about it & about the Korean War because they had been so recent.

IME, the more recent the history, the less that will be taught about it in history class. That makes perfect sense in several ways.

I think that many older people believe that students today graduate from high school knowing nothing, while the older people in our society learned and retain so much more more. That might very well be true for some individuals, but it certainly isn't true as a rule. The older a college student is, the more likely it is that the student will need remedial classes before being able to do college level work. Just IME, older students usually have it all over the kiddies in terms of discipline and focus, but the kiddies have it all over the older students in terms of general academic knowledge--as well they should, since their classroom experience is recent.

But, you say, the schools used to be so much better. Well, read on.


2) As far as criticizing the US – well, I think we are up for more criticism than general because we both used to be number 1 in many areas and we have a segment of the population who still thinks we are number 1 and isn’t keeping up with how we are being out paced by other countries these days.

Perhaps that is so, but American public education at the K-12 level has never been number one internationally (http://www.thedaily.com/page/2011/04/30/043011-opinions-oped-schools-ravitch-1-2/).

When the first international math test was administered to students in eighth grade and 12th grade in 1964, our eighth-graders came in next to last and our seniors were dead last. In the first international test of science in the early 1970s, our seniors scored last. In additional tests of mathematics and science in the 1980s and ’90s, American students seldom surpassed the international average.

I suspect one of the reasons that there is no real will to address the primary problem facing the public schools here--poverty--is that we have done very well by most measures in spite of the public schools. It was, after all, the Why Johnny Can't Read generation that put men on the moon.

VALuvsMKwan
10-04-2011, 10:19 PM
I was born in the late 40's...wayyy after your parents. :mad: Your parents are not baby boomers.

They are the much younger brothers and sisters of the "Greatest Generation", called by some the "Silent Generation".

The "baby boomers" era of births extends from 1946 through 1964, according to the U. S. Census Bureau (others use 1943 through 1960):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_Boomer

My two brothers and I are all boomers, as are Bill Clinton and George W. Bush at the early end (1946) and Barack Obama close to (or just past, depending on definitional source) the later end (1961) of the "boom" period.

snoopy
10-04-2011, 10:45 PM
When the first international math test was administered to students in eighth grade and 12th grade in 1964, our eighth-graders came in next to last and our seniors were dead last. In the first international test of science in the early 1970s, our seniors scored last. In additional tests of mathematics and science in the 1980s and ’90s, American students seldom surpassed the international average.


Yes but this link says we are about tops in reading tests.
http://nces.ed.gov/pubs97/web/97939.asp

Which isn't to say that proves anything about getting to the moon or economic conditions but then neither does only quoting results specific to math and science. Or quoting test scores for that matter. Or maybe it does. It's all up for review IMO.

WRT to poverty and education, I think people only care about educational issues when it pertains to their own kids. And there are certainly American kids getting a fabulous education - maybe some of them will take us to Jupiter. Or at least try to since NASA is not exactly front and center anymore.

Karina1974
10-04-2011, 11:12 PM
I was born in the late 40's...wayyy after your parents. :mad: Your parents are not baby boomers.

Never said they were. I consider anyone too old to have been my sibling, and old enough to have given birth to me (which you would have been as I was born in 1974) to be a part of my parents' generation. FYI, my father's youngest sibling was born in 1948, 14 years after his oldest was, in 1934. And they certainly "Boomed" for a couple of years - one or other of my father's sisters or his SIL was giving birth between 1959 and 1967. The only year without a birth was 1966, because my oldest brother was stillborn.

Andrushka
10-04-2011, 11:39 PM
I don't have time right now to read everyone's posts.But I can say from talking to my various friends,I am astounded at how little people know about history and geography as well.Even more so the lack of knowledge about the rest of the world,is the complete lack of education in our own countries history.I personally find it disturbing and I very much believe in that saying "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it." I am a history geek myself and enjoy watching things about history and reading about it.Geography wise,I am pretty good at but that might also be from being in a military family and living abroad at an early age.Maps were a big deal."This is where we are.This is where Daddy is.This is where Grandma is" etc...

taf2002
10-05-2011, 12:04 AM
Never said they were. I consider anyone too old to have been my sibling, and old enough to have given birth to me (which you would have been as I was born in 1974) to be a part of my parents' generation. FYI, my father's youngest sibling was born in 1948, 14 years after his oldest was, in 1934. And they certainly "Boomed" for a couple of years - one or other of my father's sisters or his SIL was giving birth between 1959 and 1967. The only year without a birth was 1966, because my oldest brother was stillborn.

Just because you consider it doesn't make it so. And persisting is a little rude.

agalisgv
10-05-2011, 12:26 AM
Sounds like someone is a little touchy about their age :shuffle:

Prancer
10-05-2011, 01:24 AM
Yes but this link says we are about tops in reading tests.
http://nces.ed.gov/pubs97/web/97939.asp

Yes, our fourth graders do well on international tests in pretty much every subject and very well in reading, and our eighth graders aren't too bad at reading, either. This has been the case for several years now It's our high schoolers who don't do particularly well and fall into the average range on every tested subject, including reading: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/07/AR2010120701178.html

My point, however, was not that we suck at international tests, but that there is evidence from multiple sources that indicate that our schools weren't so hot in the good old days, either. Our academic successes have been college-oriented for decades. Most countries track their kids starting around what we would consider middle school age; we hold off until college.


WRT to poverty and education, I think people only care about educational issues when it pertains to their own kids.

And very often, not even then.