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Lowering the bar when it comes to school

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    TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    People cheating RAMPANTLY on homework at my high school and very rarely were punished for it. The only subject I remember as having less cheating was Language Arts, and only on long papers where the teacher was more likely to catch you. Even then, there was a lot of "cooperative" paper-writing going on, and a lot of copy-paste-with-different-wording.

    mcdermott, it wasn't just your school. Apparently a half-hour of homework per night per class has gotten fairly standard across the board. This is probably a bit more manageable for schools with block scheduling, where you might get away with just two hours of homework per night, but I had seven classes and thus three and a half hours of homework every. single. night. Homework was typically between 15 and 30% of the grade, meaning that if I didn't do it and had a 95% average on the rest of the class, I automatically got a C. Large chunks of the grades were frequently "homework in all but name," like notebook grades (getting graded on keeping your old papers in order and neatly labelled) or project packets, which were the same as the regular homework but even more repetition-heavy.

    Trowizilla on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Trowizilla wrote: »
    People cheating RAMPANTLY on homework at my high school and very rarely were punished for it. The only subject I remember as having less cheating was Language Arts, and only on long papers where the teacher was more likely to catch you. Even then, there was a lot of "cooperative" paper-writing going on, and a lot of copy-paste-with-different-wording.

    mcdermott, it wasn't just your school. Apparently a half-hour of homework per night per class has gotten fairly standard across the board. This is probably a bit more manageable for schools with block scheduling, where you might get away with just two hours of homework per night, but I had seven classes and thus three and a half hours of homework every. single. night. Homework was typically between 15 and 30% of the grade, meaning that if I didn't do it and had a 95% average on the rest of the class, I automatically got a C. Large chunks of the grades were frequently "homework in all but name," like notebook grades (getting graded on keeping your old papers in order and neatly labelled) or project packets, which were the same as the regular homework but even more repetition-heavy.

    Yeah, at my school homework was generally about 40% of the grade, with other crap (like notebooks! more and more I'm thinking people can take these "it was just your school" arguments and shove them up their ass!) often bumping the out-of-class portion to upwards of 60%. Rare was the class where exams where exams and quizzes were more than about 30% of the grade, with the final being another 10% at the end.


    Oh, and in a college chemistry class we actually had a kid try to turn in his partner's lab report as his own...he had a copy, because cooperative writing of reports was encouraged. But he basically just changed all the formatting (fonts, etc.) and tried to turn it in. But he forgot to change the name. Yeah, the instructor quickly realized what was going on when she had two identical reports, with different formatting, from one student and none from the partner. And this was in college. So I'm doubting this "man, it's hard to cheat on homework so high school kids won't" argument holds much water.

    Especially since at least at my high school I know for a fact that a fuckload of kids copied each other's homework. Because I was there when they did it. The only reason I didn't go ahead and copy the shit too is because I thought that was fucking stupid, as well as dishonest. So I flunked out instead.

    Guess I was the idiot, hur hur.

    mcdermott on
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    ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2008
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Trowizilla wrote: »
    People cheating RAMPANTLY on homework at my high school and very rarely were punished for it. The only subject I remember as having less cheating was Language Arts, and only on long papers where the teacher was more likely to catch you. Even then, there was a lot of "cooperative" paper-writing going on, and a lot of copy-paste-with-different-wording.

    mcdermott, it wasn't just your school. Apparently a half-hour of homework per night per class has gotten fairly standard across the board. This is probably a bit more manageable for schools with block scheduling, where you might get away with just two hours of homework per night, but I had seven classes and thus three and a half hours of homework every. single. night. Homework was typically between 15 and 30% of the grade, meaning that if I didn't do it and had a 95% average on the rest of the class, I automatically got a C. Large chunks of the grades were frequently "homework in all but name," like notebook grades (getting graded on keeping your old papers in order and neatly labelled) or project packets, which were the same as the regular homework but even more repetition-heavy.

    Yeah, at my school homework was generally about 40% of the grade, with other crap (like notebooks! more and more I'm thinking people can take these "it was just your school" arguments and shove them up their ass!) often bumping the out-of-class portion to upwards of 60%. Rare was the class where exams where exams and quizzes were more than about 30% of the grade, with the final being another 10% at the end.


    Oh, and in a college chemistry class we actually had a kid try to turn in his partner's lab report as his own...he had a copy, because cooperative writing of reports was encouraged. But he basically just changed all the formatting (fonts, etc.) and tried to turn it in. But he forgot to change the name. Yeah, the instructor quickly realized what was going on when she had two identical reports, with different formatting, from one student and none from the partner. And this was in college. So I'm doubting this "man, it's hard to cheat on homework so high school kids won't" argument holds much water.

    Especially since at least at my high school I know for a fact that a fuckload of kids copied each other's homework. Because I was there when they did it. The only reason I didn't go ahead and copy the shit too is because I thought that was fucking stupid, as well as dishonest. So I flunked out instead.

    Guess I was the idiot, hur hur.

    I know a group who copy each others' Ethics homework.



    What we should really do is have everybody take the MCAS. Granted, all of Texas and Mississippi would fail, but at least we'd know there would no longer be any pass-factories.

    Scalfin on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I know a group who copy each others' Ethics homework.

    They get an 'A' in Irony.

    mcdermott on
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    ZimmydoomZimmydoom Accept no substitutes Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Scalfin wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Trowizilla wrote: »
    People cheating RAMPANTLY on homework at my high school and very rarely were punished for it. The only subject I remember as having less cheating was Language Arts, and only on long papers where the teacher was more likely to catch you. Even then, there was a lot of "cooperative" paper-writing going on, and a lot of copy-paste-with-different-wording.

    mcdermott, it wasn't just your school. Apparently a half-hour of homework per night per class has gotten fairly standard across the board. This is probably a bit more manageable for schools with block scheduling, where you might get away with just two hours of homework per night, but I had seven classes and thus three and a half hours of homework every. single. night. Homework was typically between 15 and 30% of the grade, meaning that if I didn't do it and had a 95% average on the rest of the class, I automatically got a C. Large chunks of the grades were frequently "homework in all but name," like notebook grades (getting graded on keeping your old papers in order and neatly labelled) or project packets, which were the same as the regular homework but even more repetition-heavy.

    Yeah, at my school homework was generally about 40% of the grade, with other crap (like notebooks! more and more I'm thinking people can take these "it was just your school" arguments and shove them up their ass!) often bumping the out-of-class portion to upwards of 60%. Rare was the class where exams where exams and quizzes were more than about 30% of the grade, with the final being another 10% at the end.


    Oh, and in a college chemistry class we actually had a kid try to turn in his partner's lab report as his own...he had a copy, because cooperative writing of reports was encouraged. But he basically just changed all the formatting (fonts, etc.) and tried to turn it in. But he forgot to change the name. Yeah, the instructor quickly realized what was going on when she had two identical reports, with different formatting, from one student and none from the partner. And this was in college. So I'm doubting this "man, it's hard to cheat on homework so high school kids won't" argument holds much water.

    Especially since at least at my high school I know for a fact that a fuckload of kids copied each other's homework. Because I was there when they did it. The only reason I didn't go ahead and copy the shit too is because I thought that was fucking stupid, as well as dishonest. So I flunked out instead.

    Guess I was the idiot, hur hur.

    I know a group who copy each others' Ethics homework.



    What we should really do is have everybody take the MCAS. Granted, all of Texas and Mississippi would fail, but at least we'd know there would no longer be any pass-factories.

    No State Left Behind.

    You fail, you get your ass kicked out of the union.

    Zimmydoom on
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    CygnusZCygnusZ Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    A lot of this just comes down to incompetent teachers. Honestly, if you actually sit there and look at each students paper, you're going to realize when you're reading the same thing or twice or if the passage was copied from another source. The bigger problem, at least in my experience, is making the students realize that cheating is wrong and that they're really not smart enough to get away with it. Those teachers handing out xerox sheets as homework aren't what I'd personally call compotent (burned out is more like it). At least, history, second language and English should be all short-answer/essay format IMHO.

    But yeah, I feel kind of bad for your situation McDermott but if you just took the time to speak to the teachers I'm sure that you could have hammered out an arrangement. The schools should do what is best for most students and deal with the exceptions individually. Why didn't you just get an GED and go to community college?

    CygnusZ on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    CygnusZ wrote: »
    But yeah, I feel kind of bad for your situation McDermott but if you just took the time to speak to the teachers I'm sure that you could have hammered out an arrangement. The schools should do what is best for most students and deal with the exceptions individually. Why didn't you just get an GED and go to community college?

    At the time the Army wasn't really accepting GEDs, and that's the route I was wanting to go. Back in '99, a GED meant a waiver, no chance at a bonus, no chance at a 2-year enlistment, no chance at pretty much anything you might have been wanting. Basically a GED was a green light for the Army to cornhole you.

    Hence my diploma from a non-accredited charter school. At least not nationally accredited...obviously, it was accredited in Arizona.

    As to why I didn't go the charter school route much earlier, it's because I didn't know. For instance the school I got my diploma from would actually pay for you to take community college classes concurrently, up to some limit. Had I done that at 16, I could have wasted a lot less time...especially since the school was largely based on simply showing mastery of the material (testing combined with some one-on-one time with a teacher). Which is why I was able to complete over a semester worth of credits (and get my diploma) in like two weeks, three tops.

    At the same time, I'd hardly suggest that these schools were really there for higher-achieving (intellectually) kids like me...most of the kids there seemed like burnouts and criminals.

    Still, the main reason I didn't go that route was because nobody told me it existed, and how the hell would I know? Our school's guidance counselor just recommended I drop out and get a GED, which obviously didn't work for the reason given above. Plus the stigma a GED has in general, which wouldn't exactly have helped me get a job if I wasn't going the military route.

    Plus, to be honest, I had friends in high school. I'd like to think an optimal solution would have been to find a way to stay in that school but get decent grades based on knowledge and mastery of the material, rather than busywork. And at least one teacher, as mentioned, did make an accommodation...but I don't think most of them gave a shit. Even the ones that did act like they cared seemed to think (according to their conversations with my mom) that the optimal solution was "get him to do this stupid homework," not "maybe we can find an alternate grading scheme since this homework is a waste of his time." Nope, they'd rather give D's and F's to the kid who was getting straight A's (generally highest grades in the class) on their exams and scoring in the 98th percentile on standardized tests in their subject.

    mcdermott on
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    CygnusZCygnusZ Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    A high school diploma doesn't have a good stigma either, to get ahead in the world the way it is you really need at least a Masters degree. Honestly, if you went the GED +community college route I don't think you'd have been at a huge disadvantage.

    Shouldn't at least some of your anger be directed at the Army anyway? Is getting a GED really that easy?

    CygnusZ on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    CygnusZ wrote: »
    A high school diploma doesn't have a good stigma either, to get ahead in the world the way it is you really need at least a Masters degree. Honestly, if you went the GED +community college route I don't think you'd have been at a huge disadvantage.

    Shouldn't at least some of your anger be directed at the Army anyway? Is getting a GED really that easy?

    I always figured a GED was probably easier, as far as both breadth and depth of knowledge required, than finishing a diploma. But I could be wrong. I almost found out, though, when the university I'm going to didn't want to accept my non-nationally-accredited diploma. Luckily I managed to argue that the University of Arizona and Arizona State both would accept it, and since it would have been like four weeks until the next GED test (this pushing me back a semester) they let me in provisionally instead.

    And maybe some of my anger should be directed at the Army, but really I'd argue that if our solution to outliers like myself is a GED then that's pretty sad as well. Is busywork really that integral to a "traditional" high school experience that this is our best option? There's no way to accommodate outliers within the traditional system without ostracizing them?

    Or are those running our school system, from teachers up to administrators, just that bad at thinking outside the box?

    I just think that shutting kids like myself, rare though we may be, out of the mainstream social aspects of high school is not a fair alternative. I mean, I did my four years in school. I had friends there. I found time to go to some football games, dances, etc. Had a couple girlfriends there, including a long-term one that I really cared for. Ate lunch with her, saw her between classes, took her to prom.

    Of course, this entire time I was failing school, and wasn't going to graduate. Sure, I could have dropped out, got a GED, and moved on...but I'd have been missing out on a lot by going that route, too.

    mcdermott on
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    Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    CygnusZ wrote: »
    A high school diploma doesn't have a good stigma either, to get ahead in the world the way it is you really need at least a Masters degree. Honestly, if you went the GED +community college route I don't think you'd have been at a huge disadvantage.

    Shouldn't at least some of your anger be directed at the Army anyway? Is getting a GED really that easy?

    It was when I got mine. Had to take a test I could've passed easily in middle school or earlier. Every question of even remote difficulty was multiple choice and tended to have the answer explained in the question.

    I suppose it depends on the state, but yeah, GEDs are very easy to get for the most part.

    Vincent Grayson on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    The really cool part, to me at least, is that while a child with disabilities, even relatively minor ones, can get all kinds of accommodations to ensure that they can work their way through school there's simply no way that a high performing child (intellectually) can get accommodations due to, say, socioeconomic conditions.

    So while an otherwise low-performing student can get accommodations such as (as an example) additional time on tests in order to help them thrive in the traditional classroom environment, if a kid has shown themselves to be at the absolute top tier in intelligence through pretty much any form of testing available but is having problems completing out-of-class coursework there's no possible way we can accommodate that kid. You know, because "being poor" and "having other shit to do" and "there's no reason he should have to spend what little free time he has between school and work on this stupid bullshit because he already fucking knows all of it and can demonstrate that fact" aren't valid disabilities.

    Our school system is actually pretty shitty at dealing with outliers on both ends of the spectrum, to be sure. But at least with the kids at the bottom the school will bend over backwards trying to push them through in a traditional education environment if at all possible. The top end? Do the fucking same shit everybody else is doing*, or take your lazy goldbricking ass out the door and get a GED. It's just impossible to imagine making any allowances there, right?


    EDIT: * - The funny thing is that this actually takes many forms. For instance, I did the gifted program for a couple years in elementary school. But for whatever reason, at my school the gifted program was always treated as an "add to" not a "replace." So I'd go however many times a week to the gifted classroom, and do smart people shit...but then any work I missed during that time I was expected to make up on my own time...either as homework or whatever. Basically, the teachers couldn't imagine that a kid who qualified as G&T might not need the same amount of practice on number facts (things like multiplication tables) as the other kids. I could be missing out on that oh-so-valuable practice! Despite the fact that on (as an example) multiplication tables I was the fastest in my class at them by like an order of magnitude.

    Hence the reason I eventually dropped out of the gifted program...basically, it felt like a punishment for being smart. But then, languishing in the regular-ed classroom all day wasn't much better. But hey, at least I never wound up stick in during recess doing stupid classwork I missed during my G&T time.

    And again, we get into things that are not limited to my school (and this was in a different district, in a whole 'nother state anyway). For instance, my wife is an elementary school teacher. There are teachers at her school that honestly think that a kid in first grade who is reading at the fourth grade level needs to be doing the same phonics practice as the rest of the kids. So they have them sit there and sound out "C-A-T" along with the rest, because god forbid they miss out on all that tasty repetition (yes, this is an actual real-life example). Meanwhile, I bet if you listened closely you could actually hear parts of the kid's brain screaming out in agony from the sheer absurdity of it.


    EDIT: Basically, what all these entirely-too-wordy posts amount to is that our school system sucks at dealing with outliers...hard. And that in the policies outlined in the OP (and clarified in a later post) I see at last some possibility of an improvement on this front, even if the specific policies aren't perfect. Sure, it might mean a few more run-of-the-mill slackers manage to game the system a bit. So be it, I say. Especially since our high schools aren't exactly batting a thousand at rewarding hard work and/or intelligence accurately and reliably anyway.

    mcdermott on
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    CygnusZCygnusZ Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    There are difficult high schools, but that would have been even worse for you. It's not unreasonable for teachers to expect the same work for you as other students regardless of ability if you're enrolled in their class. I'm saying that if you had family and economic reasons why you couldn't complete the courseload, then the teachers have a responsibility to help you. If you're just being lazy, that's another story. If you want the high school experiences you ahve to undertake the same high school responsibilities as everyone else.

    The solution is to have an entrance exam system. I'm personally for it, but the fact is that the single group that would be hurt the most by this system are poor minorities. It would solve your problem though McDermott.

    CygnusZ on
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    CygnusZ wrote: »
    Quid,

    In my legal, business and government work experience I have never witnessed somebody getting praised for going against the grain to fix an effiency. The workplace is about culture, politics and looking good on paper. Doing things you aren't good at is good for you, because it builds your ability to concentrate and overcome obstacles.
    Your jobs sucked and are in no way representative of anything I'd ever encourage my kids to achieve. I'm sorry you worked at crappy places, don't start inflicting it on minors.

    Quid on
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    AsiinaAsiina ... WaterlooRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    ITT mcdermott had a shitty school experience and wants the school system overhauled to make up for it.

    This thread has contained exactly 2 real pieces of evidence. One saying that rote memorization is helpful for learning, another saying that homework isn't a good indicator of achievement (outside of GPA). The rest has just been a giant pity party for those who dislike what they had to do in school.

    It's nice to say that quizzes and exams and retests should provide the marks but how about those who have test anxiety, or the fact that all of these things take up quite a bit of class time with an already crowded curriculum. For those saying that if they relied only on tests they'd be getting A's, what about those who do poorly at tests because of stress or difficulty reading or writing quickly enough to finish on time? Should they be allowed to have their homework be worth their entire mark? Should we tailor a grading structure to each individual student so that they are marked on what they do well on?

    Homework is a drag, but there is a lack of practicality in a lot of the other solutions suggested here.

    Asiina on
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    ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2008
    mcdermott wrote: »
    The really cool part, to me at least, is that while a child with disabilities, even relatively minor ones, can get all kinds of accommodations to ensure that they can work their way through school there's simply no way that a high performing child (intellectually) can get accommodations due to, say, socioeconomic conditions..

    Well, I got accomodations AND and 800 on the reading section of the SATs, so high performing students can get accomodations... as long as they also have a disability.

    Scalfin on
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Asiina wrote: »
    Homework is a drag, but there is a lack of practicality in a lot of the other solutions suggested here.
    Actually, it was suggested that those unable to do well on the tests be able to do homework to help make up for it while those already doing well on them not need it since, hey, there's a test right there saying they don't need it. This was suggested several times. I don't see how it's wildly impractical. My school currently cuts out an entire period if you're keeping over a B average on all your tests, and homework, while required, isn't graded except as a participation grade.

    Quid on
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    The Black HunterThe Black Hunter The key is a minimum of compromise, and a simple, unimpeachable reason to existRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    This can all even out if they finally re-allow the cane

    The Black Hunter on
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Asiina wrote: »
    ITT mcdermott had a shitty school experience and wants the school system overhauled to make up for it.

    This thread has contained exactly 2 real pieces of evidence. One saying that rote memorization is helpful for learning, another saying that homework isn't a good indicator of achievement (outside of GPA). The rest has just been a giant pity party for those who dislike what they had to do in school.

    It's nice to say that quizzes and exams and retests should provide the marks but how about those who have test anxiety, or the fact that all of these things take up quite a bit of class time with an already crowded curriculum. For those saying that if they relied only on tests they'd be getting A's, what about those who do poorly at tests because of stress or difficulty reading or writing quickly enough to finish on time? Should they be allowed to have their homework be worth their entire mark? Should we tailor a grading structure to each individual student so that they are marked on what they do well on?

    Homework is a drag, but there is a lack of practicality in a lot of the other solutions suggested here.

    I find school is woefully inadequate for doing much.

    After 5th grade, English became redundant and had no other point other than "Read some books and write some paragraphs about it." Great, busy work.

    Social studies, loved it, but essentially was the same thing every 4 years. Ancient History->Medieval History->Amer Revolution History->1800-Vietnam War history, rinse and repeat.

    Math was about the only practical class where you learned new things. Some of it was really not that applicable, like geometry proofs, but most of it was. It's nice to be able to use logic proofs and algebra in real life. Theoretical Math is a bit of a boner sport for nerds though, yay for derivatives and anti-derivatives, just not very practical for most students.

    Science was great for learning the world around you and learning how shit works and why it works. A bit of a bore most of the time unless you have hands-on lab.

    I take the same stance on liberal art degrees in college. They're a pointless waste of time and are basically High school all over again. Awesome, I loved being told I need to take 8 courses of English where we read some books and write some paragraphs on it. How about competency testing? See if I can write a report adequately and send me to a class if I can't. I've noticed liberal arts degrees don't allow you to test out too often either, but maybe that was the colleges I looked at.

    High schools need to test the children to see where their skill levels are and place them accordingly. Each kid gets the help they need, or the challenge they need. It's not perfect, but I think it'll help. Same for college, test skills and require courses before graduation. Of course their test systems are broken since they want money... I had taken calculus in High school and was told I needed to take rudimentary math when I did the pretest.

    bowen on
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    AsiinaAsiina ... WaterlooRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    bowen wrote: »

    I find school is woefully inadequate for doing much.

    After 5th grade, English became redundant and had no other point other than "Read some books and write some paragraphs about it." Great, busy work.

    There are some legitimate arguments to be made about math and science classes, but if you don't see the benefits of reading increasingly more complex books and learning how properly articulate an argument then you completely missed the point of English class. Completely.
    High schools need to test the children to see where their skill levels are and place them accordingly. Each kid gets the help they need, or the challenge they need. It's not perfect, but I think it'll help. Same for college, test skills and require courses before graduation. Of course their test systems are broken since they want money... I had taken calculus in High school and was told I needed to take rudimentary math when I did the pretest.

    Aren't there different levels of classes? Can you take general or advanced classes based on your skill level and/or teacher recommendations? And I don't know of any university degree that doesn't have some required courses. What is your argument here?

    Asiina on
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    KingGrahamKingGraham Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    bowen wrote: »
    I take the same stance on liberal art degrees in college. They're a pointless waste of time and are basically High school all over again. Awesome, I loved being told I need to take 8 courses of English where we read some books and write some paragraphs on it. How about competency testing? See if I can write a report adequately and send me to a class if I can't. I've noticed liberal arts degrees don't allow you to test out too often either, but maybe that was the colleges I looked at.

    Liberal Arts degrees are one of the largest wastes of money I've ever experienced. It took me seven years from high school graduation to force myself through one, thousands and thousands of dollars...and by the end of it I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I could have gotten the same education with a library card. In all seven years I took a total of three classes that I thought were worthwhile. THREE CLASSES out of 130 credits.

    High School = Exactly the same as college. They're both basically unnecessary for anyone who has intellectual curiosity. I've always hated (and performed very poorly) in math and science, but I've come to realize recently that it's not the fault of the subject; it's 100% the fault of the school system and teachers that I've had. I'm starting the process of teaching myself math, with the goal of understanding some advanced physics on a more than purely conceptual level. It's actually interesting when you aren't 100% focused on memorizing a formula for the test tomorrow. If I forget something, I can go back and look it up. There's no pressure, and that makes learning fun (as it fucking should be).

    And testing out is one of the biggest scams in higher education. I tried to test out of a 100 level computer class. Considering I can build my own system from pieces, install operating systems, troubleshoot, etc. I figured I'd have no problem testing out. So I paid them $100 to take a test that turned out to have nothing to do with computers and everything to do with extremely specific business related acronyms. Of course, there was no way of actually knowing what the content of this test would be like before I took it. So they got my $100 and I had to waste a semester on a class for people who can't find the letter R on a keyboard.

    KingGraham on
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    MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    You had to pay to test out of a class? Is that a common practice, because I definitely didn't have to do that.

    Malkor on
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Asiina wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »

    I find school is woefully inadequate for doing much.

    After 5th grade, English became redundant and had no other point other than "Read some books and write some paragraphs about it." Great, busy work.

    There are some legitimate arguments to be made about math and science classes, but if you don't see the benefits of reading increasingly more complex books and learning how properly articulate an argument then you completely missed the point of English class. Completely.

    Wrong. The point should be to get children to enjoy reading to further their knowledge and learning outside of school. Schools force-fucking-feed reading, at least around here. The only choice I ever got was during summer reading and it was still limited to "Shit no one reads except for class, maybe you'll find something you like". And let's face it, I'm not wanting to read on those beautiful summer months.

    I also don't consider Ethan Frome the pinnacle of Complexity. It's good to read, yes, but reading to write paragraphs is the epitome of busy work. Because, where I come from, it's 5 years of reading books to write about on your final test. However, when I got to college I found people from outside of my state had a really, really hard time writing reports of any kind. So it had its merits, in the context of schooling, but it was ultimately teaching for test taking. The reports I've written in the real world, are completely different than scholarly writing.
    High schools need to test the children to see where their skill levels are and place them accordingly. Each kid gets the help they need, or the challenge they need. It's not perfect, but I think it'll help. Same for college, test skills and require courses before graduation. Of course their test systems are broken since they want money... I had taken calculus in High school and was told I needed to take rudimentary math when I did the pretest.

    Aren't there different levels of classes? Can you take general or advanced classes based on your skill level and/or teacher recommendations? And I don't know of any university degree that doesn't have some required courses. What is your argument here?

    There are, but you'll get to take maybe 1 or 2. If you start from the get-go in assessing the child independently of their class, you'll get better results. I'd rather see a fuckton of 13-14 year olds heading into college level classes than 5-10 seniors taking a few AP courses because they finally got to that level.

    And I'm not talking about a course or two in English, I'm talking a lot of courses in things completely independent of your degree. One of the colleges I looked at required you to take Psychology. Come on.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • Options
    ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2008
    KingGraham wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    I take the same stance on liberal art degrees in college. They're a pointless waste of time and are basically High school all over again. Awesome, I loved being told I need to take 8 courses of English where we read some books and write some paragraphs on it. How about competency testing? See if I can write a report adequately and send me to a class if I can't. I've noticed liberal arts degrees don't allow you to test out too often either, but maybe that was the colleges I looked at.

    Liberal Arts degrees are one of the largest wastes of money I've ever experienced. It took me seven years from high school graduation to force myself through one, thousands and thousands of dollars...and by the end of it I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I could have gotten the same education with a library card. In all seven years I took a total of three classes that I thought were worthwhile. THREE CLASSES out of 130 credits.

    High School = Exactly the same as college. They're both basically unnecessary for anyone who has intellectual curiosity. I've always hated (and performed very poorly) in math and science, but I've come to realize recently that it's not the fault of the subject; it's 100% the fault of the school system and teachers that I've had. I'm starting the process of teaching myself math, with the goal of understanding some advanced physics on a more than purely conceptual level. It's actually interesting when you aren't 100% focused on memorizing a formula for the test tomorrow. If I forget something, I can go back and look it up. There's no pressure, and that makes learning fun (as it fucking should be).

    And testing out is one of the biggest scams in higher education. I tried to test out of a 100 level computer class. Considering I can build my own system from pieces, install operating systems, troubleshoot, etc. I figured I'd have no problem testing out. So I paid them $100 to take a test that turned out to have nothing to do with computers and everything to do with extremely specific business related acronyms. Of course, there was no way of actually knowing what the content of this test would be like before I took it. So they got my $100 and I had to waste a semester on a class for people who can't find the letter R on a keyboard.

    Yes, because every high school has an animal behavior lab with African Grey Parrots that understand the concept of zero.

    Scalfin on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The rest of you, I fucking hate you for the fact that I now have a blue dot on this god awful thread.
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    acronomiconacronomicon Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Malkor wrote: »
    You had to pay to test out of a class? Is that a common practice, because I definitely didn't have to do that.

    It's a common practice, depending on how you're testing out. CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) tests run about $70 to take the test, and can let you get college credit for basic level courses. The caveat to them is it's probably worth spending some extra money on a CLEP prep test, just to get a full idea of what's actually going to be covered on the test. In the same way that having knowing how to configure, manage, and work a computer network environment doesn't mean you can pass network certification tests, knowing how to do something nominally covered by a CLEP test doesn't mean you can pass the test.

    acronomicon on
    32340.jpg
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Asiina wrote: »
    ITT mcdermott had a shitty school experience and wants the school system overhauled to make up for it.

    Yes, God forbid I suggest improvements to the school system so that maybe my kids don't have to deal with the level of absurdity I did. The fact that you thrived (or are thriving?) on this same absurdity doesn't change this.
    This thread has contained exactly 2 real pieces of evidence. One saying that rote memorization is helpful for learning, another saying that homework isn't a good indicator of achievement (outside of GPA). The rest has just been a giant pity party for those who dislike what they had to do in school.

    I'd say the latter (homework being a poor indicator of achievement) is, by itself, a compelling argument for overhauling the current graded homework requirements. You know, taking into account the "ridiculously easy to cheat on" argument in particular.
    It's nice to say that quizzes and exams and retests should provide the marks but how about those who have test anxiety, or the fact that all of these things take up quite a bit of class time with an already crowded curriculum. For those saying that if they relied only on tests they'd be getting A's, what about those who do poorly at tests because of stress or difficulty reading or writing quickly enough to finish on time? Should they be allowed to have their homework be worth their entire mark? Should we tailor a grading structure to each individual student so that they are marked on what they do well on?

    Homework is a drag, but there is a lack of practicality in a lot of the other solutions suggested here.

    I'd say this is probably the closest answer to what I'd suggest. It wouldn't be entirely necessary, though. See, all I'm suggesting is a different starting point. Instead of starting from a position where kids who fuck up tests can just make it up with homework, whereas kids that perform just fine on tests then have to also do all the same homework for no good reason (again, it's not a reliable or fair measure of either mastery or work ethic, given cheating) I'd recommend that it's on the kids with testing issues to get accommodations instead.

    As for allowing those students with testing issues being able to have homework worth their entire mark, that makes no sense at all. See, there's a huge fundamental difference between tests and homework...tests are generally done in the presence of the teacher. Whereas, as pretty much every honest person here has stated, homework is commonly...shall we say, collaborated on. For this reason relying on homework for an entire grade is fucking ludicrous. In fact, I'd suggest that relying on it for any significant portion of the grade is an absolute travesty. It reliably indicates absolutely nothing.

    Hell, a couple people here have suggested that teachers are reasonable people and that had I approached them something could have been worked out. Right? Well why couldn't kids with test anxiety or the inability to read or write fast enough to finish approach those same oh so reasonable teachers and, you know, work something out? Who knows, maybe some portion of those kids actually have undiagnosed learning disabilities and this would spur them to actually get those looked at and get official accommodations like an IEP.

    At any rate, I'm saying that a less rigid grading scheme and one that tries to more accurately assess the kids' actual mastery of material and general knowledge on the subject is, you know, a "good thing." As opposed to now, where it factors in hugely their ability to choke down silly busywork, except not really since a lot of kids just cheat on it fucking over both those that actually do the work as well as those who know the material, and of course the intersection of the two.
    High School = Exactly the same as college. They're both basically unnecessary for anyone who has intellectual curiosity. I've always hated (and performed very poorly) in math and science, but I've come to realize recently that it's not the fault of the subject; it's 100% the fault of the school system and teachers that I've had. I'm starting the process of teaching myself math, with the goal of understanding some advanced physics on a more than purely conceptual level. It's actually interesting when you aren't 100% focused on memorizing a formula for the test tomorrow. If I forget something, I can go back and look it up. There's no pressure, and that makes learning fun (as it fucking should be).

    I dunno, maybe it's just liberal arts degrees that are the issue. Because this has not been my experience at all in engineering. We do a lot of hands-on shit that would be hard to get just from a library card, and professors are actually quite helpful at getting us through the difficult concepts. And memorizing equations, while not discouraged, is generally not focused on at all. By junior year a majority of exams are open notes, open book, or both. Even before that we were almost always allowed an equation sheet...all you had to "memorize" is how to apply them and/or what they meant.
    I also don't consider Ethan Frome the pinnacle of Complexity. It's good to read, yes, but reading to write paragraphs is the epitome of busy work.

    It's never good to read Ethan Frome, though. I'm not a fan of banning books from school libraries, but I figure if we're going to the criteria should be "might contain witchcraft" and instead we should ban books that are soul-crushingly horrible. Like that one.

    mcdermott on
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I also don't consider Ethan Frome the pinnacle of Complexity. It's good to read, yes, but reading to write paragraphs is the epitome of busy work.

    It's never good to read Ethan Frome, though. I'm not a fan of banning books from school libraries, but I figure if we're going to the criteria should be "might contain witchcraft" and instead we should ban books that are soul-crushingly horrible. Like that one.

    I liked it, and The Crucible. Probably because they were the best books we were forced to read. I swear if I had actually read The Great Gatsby I'd have gone fucking crazy. Passed that fucker essay with a 92 based off the back of the book and the last 2 chapters.

    I hated being forced to read, I wish Arthur C. Clarke books were on that curriculum, loved me some Rendezvous with Rama and Childhood's End.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    In case that wall of text above is just too much for some people, I'll highlight the single most important point:

    Homework reliably indicates absolutely nothing. Being ridiculously easy to cheat on, the suggestion that it indicates either mastery of the subject or any particular work ethic is laughable. At which point the only reason I can come up with for including it is to help those poor souls with horrible testing-related issues, and even then I'd say there has to be some better accommodation that can be done for them on a case-by-case basis, rather than foisting this flawed system on everybody.



    And the fun part is that in college I've shown that I have no problem handing a soul-crushing homework load anyway. At least now that I'm not working 20+ hours a week in addition to 30+ hours in class. And my homework actually teaches me something. And is worth significantly less of my grade, if any, to boot. See, for whatever reason college teachers seem less excited about handing out grades for a bunch of crap that kids are just cheating on. At least in my experience.

    Oh, and I still generally kick ass on exams.

    Also, I'm wondering how those kids who suck at tests are handling the college courses I've been in, many of which rely on exams for a vast majority (often 70%-80%) of the grade. And where homework is rarely worth more than 10%.

    mcdermott on
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Also, I'm wondering how those kids who suck at tests are handling the college courses I've been in, many of which rely on exams for a vast majority (often 70%-80%) of the grade. And where homework is rarely worth more than 10%.

    They're the ones whom, after the curve is adjusted, give you the fucking A++.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    MulysaSemproniusMulysaSempronius but also susie nyRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Poorly designed homework is easy to cheat on. Once I got to highschool, most of my teachers expected that we would work together in groups, and even encouraged it. It's not like every teacher I had was good, or gave decent homework- I had a geography class that consisted of memorizing where every (yes every) country (at that time) in the world was, and filling in a map with their names and capitals, along with major rivers, seas, mountain ranges, etc. So our homework was filling out practice maps. Over and over. And learning to draw a world map by hand (I suck at drawing.) I felt the pain of bad homework
    But good homework is worthwhile and useful. Math assignments where you practice going through the steps of problems you learned to solve in class at your own speed. English assignments where you're given a literary technique to analyze in a reading so you can see how it is developed in an actual work. History assignments where you critically analyze why something occurred.
    Assignments where the answer matters as much, or less than, the work you showed or the arguments you made in arriving at your answer. Where it would be painfully obvious if you were to copy somebody else verbatim.
    Unfortunately, a lot of teachers don't have the time, etc. to do this, and give stupid fill-in-the-blank assignments. But homework can have its uses in helping to teach people and reinforce classes.

    MulysaSempronius on
    If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
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    DmanDman Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    School should prepare you for university and attempt to teach as much as possible instead of trying to make sure every single student graduates.

    In my experience School wasted my time not only with pointless homework, but also with really pointless repetition in class. I recall a grade 10 science class where 20 minutes was wasted describing how exactly we were to make a miniature poster that featured our name so the teacher could learn them more easily.
    Yay science!

    There are right and wrong ways to do things.

    1. The right way to teach french:
    only French is allowed to be spoken in the classroom, by anyone.

    2. The wrong way to teach french:
    The teacher speaking only english and being off-topic for 90% of the class time.

    This is why unions sometimes annoy me. The teacher from number 2 does not get fired, she goes on strike for higher wages and gets them.

    I think there needs to be better incentives for both students and teachers to do their best.

    Dman on
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    The class where everyone spoke the foreign language sucked ass.

    The next year class where the teacher taught the foreign language and had us speak it in regards to questions she asked in said foreign and then reaffirmed it if we had any questions in English was much better.

    If I don't know the language how can I articulate my question and then understand your response? Yeah learning by pictures is always fucking awesome.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2008
    bowen wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I also don't consider Ethan Frome the pinnacle of Complexity. It's good to read, yes, but reading to write paragraphs is the epitome of busy work.

    It's never good to read Ethan Frome, though. I'm not a fan of banning books from school libraries, but I figure if we're going to the criteria should be "might contain witchcraft" and instead we should ban books that are soul-crushingly horrible. Like that one.

    I liked it, and The Crucible. Probably because they were the best books we were forced to read. I swear if I had actually read The Great Gatsby I'd have gone fucking crazy. Passed that fucker essay with a 92 based off the back of the book and the last 2 chapters.

    I hated being forced to read, I wish Arthur C. Clarke books were on that curriculum, loved me some Rendezvous with Rama and Childhood's End.

    I have read the same translation of Beowulf twice. Once on my own, and once for aclass. Guess which time was torturous.

    Scalfin on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The rest of you, I fucking hate you for the fact that I now have a blue dot on this god awful thread.
  • Options
    durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Poorly designed homework is easy to cheat on. Once I got to highschool, most of my teachers expected that we would work together in groups, and even encouraged it. It's not like every teacher I had was good, or gave decent homework- I had a geography class that consisted of memorizing where every (yes every) country (at that time) in the world was, and filling in a map with their names and capitals, along with major rivers, seas, mountain ranges, etc. So our homework was filling out practice maps. Over and over. And learning to draw a world map by hand (I suck at drawing.) I felt the pain of bad homework
    But good homework is worthwhile and useful. Math assignments where you practice going through the steps of problems you learned to solve in class at your own speed. English assignments where you're given a literary technique to analyze in a reading so you can see how it is developed in an actual work. History assignments where you critically analyze why something occurred.
    Assignments where the answer matters as much, or less than, the work you showed or the arguments you made in arriving at your answer. Where it would be painfully obvious if you were to copy somebody else verbatim.
    Unfortunately, a lot of teachers don't have the time, etc. to do this, and give stupid fill-in-the-blank assignments. But homework can have its uses in helping to teach people and reinforce classes.

    Homework is a tool that is used by good teachers well and bad teachers poorly.

    My mom teaches English. Know how you get better at writing? You write. Every friggin week, at least one moderate to major written assignment. It takes a while, but fuck you.

    Teachers get ~25-35 minutes a day, ~140 days a year to teach ungrateful pricks how to do things that might prove useful. The idea that they're the assholes for wanting you to work on something an extra half hour a day is maddening.

    This isn't to say a good teacher won't be open to other options for varying learning styles. But I think a lot of people in this thread haven't met a high school teacher outside of class.

    durandal4532 on
    Take a moment to donate what you can to Critical Resistance and Black Lives Matter.
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    BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I didn't really dislike (m)any of my teachers, but man oh man did I hate high school and college.

    But hey, I guess I'm just an ungrateful prick.

    Bama on
  • Options
    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Poorly designed homework is easy to cheat on. Once I got to highschool, most of my teachers expected that we would work together in groups, and even encouraged it. It's not like every teacher I had was good, or gave decent homework- I had a geography class that consisted of memorizing where every (yes every) country (at that time) in the world was, and filling in a map with their names and capitals, along with major rivers, seas, mountain ranges, etc. So our homework was filling out practice maps. Over and over. And learning to draw a world map by hand (I suck at drawing.) I felt the pain of bad homework
    But good homework is worthwhile and useful. Math assignments where you practice going through the steps of problems you learned to solve in class at your own speed. English assignments where you're given a literary technique to analyze in a reading so you can see how it is developed in an actual work. History assignments where you critically analyze why something occurred.
    Assignments where the answer matters as much, or less than, the work you showed or the arguments you made in arriving at your answer. Where it would be painfully obvious if you were to copy somebody else verbatim.
    Unfortunately, a lot of teachers don't have the time, etc. to do this, and give stupid fill-in-the-blank assignments. But homework can have its uses in helping to teach people and reinforce classes.

    Homework is a tool that is used by good teachers well and bad teachers poorly.

    My mom teaches English. Know how you get better at writing? You write. Every friggin week, at least one moderate to major written assignment. It takes a while, but fuck you.

    Teachers get ~25-35 minutes a day, ~140 days a year to teach ungrateful pricks how to do things that might prove useful. The idea that they're the assholes for wanting you to work on something an extra half hour a day is maddening.

    This isn't to say a good teacher won't be open to other options for varying learning styles. But I think a lot of people in this thread haven't met a high school teacher outside of class.

    Get better at writing what?

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Homework is a tool that is used by good teachers well and bad teachers poorly.

    Teachers get ~25-35 minutes a day, ~140 days a year to teach ungrateful pricks how to do things that might prove useful. The idea that they're the assholes for wanting you to work on something an extra half hour a day is maddening.

    Can you demonstrate that the extra half-hour per day actually does any good and is not in fact a waste of time?

    There's this huge unsupported assumption in this thread that more work = more learning, even though there is a growing body of research that suggests the exact opposite.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2008
    bowen wrote: »
    Poorly designed homework is easy to cheat on. Once I got to highschool, most of my teachers expected that we would work together in groups, and even encouraged it. It's not like every teacher I had was good, or gave decent homework- I had a geography class that consisted of memorizing where every (yes every) country (at that time) in the world was, and filling in a map with their names and capitals, along with major rivers, seas, mountain ranges, etc. So our homework was filling out practice maps. Over and over. And learning to draw a world map by hand (I suck at drawing.) I felt the pain of bad homework
    But good homework is worthwhile and useful. Math assignments where you practice going through the steps of problems you learned to solve in class at your own speed. English assignments where you're given a literary technique to analyze in a reading so you can see how it is developed in an actual work. History assignments where you critically analyze why something occurred.
    Assignments where the answer matters as much, or less than, the work you showed or the arguments you made in arriving at your answer. Where it would be painfully obvious if you were to copy somebody else verbatim.
    Unfortunately, a lot of teachers don't have the time, etc. to do this, and give stupid fill-in-the-blank assignments. But homework can have its uses in helping to teach people and reinforce classes.

    Homework is a tool that is used by good teachers well and bad teachers poorly.

    My mom teaches English. Know how you get better at writing? You write. Every friggin week, at least one moderate to major written assignment. It takes a while, but fuck you.

    Teachers get ~25-35 minutes a day, ~140 days a year to teach ungrateful pricks how to do things that might prove useful. The idea that they're the assholes for wanting you to work on something an extra half hour a day is maddening.

    This isn't to say a good teacher won't be open to other options for varying learning styles. But I think a lot of people in this thread haven't met a high school teacher outside of class.

    Get better at writing what?

    I found that I was fairly good at history papers, although it helps when you get to blame WWI on ass-fuckery (or,as I called it, a belicose mindset on international relations)

    Scalfin on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The rest of you, I fucking hate you for the fact that I now have a blue dot on this god awful thread.
  • Options
    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Scalfin wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    Poorly designed homework is easy to cheat on. Once I got to highschool, most of my teachers expected that we would work together in groups, and even encouraged it. It's not like every teacher I had was good, or gave decent homework- I had a geography class that consisted of memorizing where every (yes every) country (at that time) in the world was, and filling in a map with their names and capitals, along with major rivers, seas, mountain ranges, etc. So our homework was filling out practice maps. Over and over. And learning to draw a world map by hand (I suck at drawing.) I felt the pain of bad homework
    But good homework is worthwhile and useful. Math assignments where you practice going through the steps of problems you learned to solve in class at your own speed. English assignments where you're given a literary technique to analyze in a reading so you can see how it is developed in an actual work. History assignments where you critically analyze why something occurred.
    Assignments where the answer matters as much, or less than, the work you showed or the arguments you made in arriving at your answer. Where it would be painfully obvious if you were to copy somebody else verbatim.
    Unfortunately, a lot of teachers don't have the time, etc. to do this, and give stupid fill-in-the-blank assignments. But homework can have its uses in helping to teach people and reinforce classes.

    Homework is a tool that is used by good teachers well and bad teachers poorly.

    My mom teaches English. Know how you get better at writing? You write. Every friggin week, at least one moderate to major written assignment. It takes a while, but fuck you.

    Teachers get ~25-35 minutes a day, ~140 days a year to teach ungrateful pricks how to do things that might prove useful. The idea that they're the assholes for wanting you to work on something an extra half hour a day is maddening.

    This isn't to say a good teacher won't be open to other options for varying learning styles. But I think a lot of people in this thread haven't met a high school teacher outside of class.

    Get better at writing what?

    I found that I was fairly good at history papers, although it helps when you get to blame WWI on ass-fuckery (or,as I called it, a belicose mindset on international relations)

    So, unless you're going for your PhD and staying in the scholarly environment, what is it helping you learn? That is, other than how to write for a school assignment.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • Options
    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Feral wrote: »
    Homework is a tool that is used by good teachers well and bad teachers poorly.

    Teachers get ~25-35 minutes a day, ~140 days a year to teach ungrateful pricks how to do things that might prove useful. The idea that they're the assholes for wanting you to work on something an extra half hour a day is maddening.

    Can you demonstrate that the extra half-hour per day actually does any good and is not in fact a waste of time?

    There's this huge unsupported assumption in this thread that more work = more learning, even though there is a growing body of research that suggests the exact opposite.

    I'd have loved to never had had any homework and just got by on testing. In fact, that's what I did my senior year. Most relaxing year of my life.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • Options
    ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2008
    bowen wrote: »
    Scalfin wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    Poorly designed homework is easy to cheat on. Once I got to highschool, most of my teachers expected that we would work together in groups, and even encouraged it. It's not like every teacher I had was good, or gave decent homework- I had a geography class that consisted of memorizing where every (yes every) country (at that time) in the world was, and filling in a map with their names and capitals, along with major rivers, seas, mountain ranges, etc. So our homework was filling out practice maps. Over and over. And learning to draw a world map by hand (I suck at drawing.) I felt the pain of bad homework
    But good homework is worthwhile and useful. Math assignments where you practice going through the steps of problems you learned to solve in class at your own speed. English assignments where you're given a literary technique to analyze in a reading so you can see how it is developed in an actual work. History assignments where you critically analyze why something occurred.
    Assignments where the answer matters as much, or less than, the work you showed or the arguments you made in arriving at your answer. Where it would be painfully obvious if you were to copy somebody else verbatim.
    Unfortunately, a lot of teachers don't have the time, etc. to do this, and give stupid fill-in-the-blank assignments. But homework can have its uses in helping to teach people and reinforce classes.

    Homework is a tool that is used by good teachers well and bad teachers poorly.

    My mom teaches English. Know how you get better at writing? You write. Every friggin week, at least one moderate to major written assignment. It takes a while, but fuck you.

    Teachers get ~25-35 minutes a day, ~140 days a year to teach ungrateful pricks how to do things that might prove useful. The idea that they're the assholes for wanting you to work on something an extra half hour a day is maddening.

    This isn't to say a good teacher won't be open to other options for varying learning styles. But I think a lot of people in this thread haven't met a high school teacher outside of class.

    Get better at writing what?

    I found that I was fairly good at history papers, although it helps when you get to blame WWI on ass-fuckery (or,as I called it, a belicose mindset on international relations)

    So, unless you're going for your PhD and staying in the scholarly environment, what is it helping you learn? That is, other than how to write for a school assignment.

    Well, it did bear a striking similarity to Bush.

    Scalfin on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The rest of you, I fucking hate you for the fact that I now have a blue dot on this god awful thread.
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