Hey Ohio- A test for today

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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby vincentpa » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:57 am

ohioboy wrote:and teaching how to use the technology is a large part of what we do. its new to us and to them. its hard. it takes practice.


Teaching the technology? :huh:

My daughters could both use the iPad when they were 1.5 years old. Now that they are 2.5, they have it mastered. They even understand some fundamentals of the computer. It takes all of a few days for a child to master "new technology." Please don't use that as a crutch.

ohioboy wrote:if you want me to teach that test to my kids, they would crush it. if you want me to teach a huge curriculum (no grades are different really) and not teach what is on the test (i dont get the final exam until the day they take it), it takes more than just standing up and lecturing. "But that is how i learned!" Sure. Awesome. Great. Today we do projects, debates, hands on stuff. They actually learn it and not just memorize it. that is all kids did 50 years ago. that is why today we have added in the many ways we come up with a grade. it is not just a test anymore. there is a ton of variety to the assessments.


If you're going to retort AT's argument with how you do things now, at least make sure the how-you-do-things-now method is actually working or superior to the way-things-used-to-be method.

ohioboy wrote:who do you think allowed the system to get this far gone? it is in need of fixing, i have always said that. so who? wasnt me. i walked into this the way it was.

start searching for this and i think you will hate who you have to be mad at.

I've always said, it's not just the teachers but more so the parents, culture and government PC practitioners.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby ohioboy » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:58 am

Indaswamp wrote:Went ahead and pulled out this link (which is in the congressional record) just to back up what I am saying.
http://www.eagleforum.org/educate/marc_tucker/marc_tucker_letter.html

Students are not taught to think, they are taught to conform and find the "right" answer and to be "good employees".

Tucker's plan would change the mission of the schools from teaching children academic basics and knowledge to training them to serve the global economy in jobs selected by workforce boards. Nothing in this comprehensive plan has anything to do with teaching schoolchildren how to read, write, or calculate.


but read it for yourself, don't take my word for it...


As I said earlier, this problem starts with a generation that we all love and revere. Anyone want to take a guess.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby ohioboy » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:11 am

assateague wrote:
ohioboy wrote:
assateague wrote:Yes, they have computers. They have iPads, for ****'s sake. And $5000 "smart boards" in the classrooms. And kids who don't know what a fraction is.

As for what you want answered, I have absolutely no clue what you want answered.

Are you finished tap-dancing around what all has consumed so much classroom time? So far, your answer has been "lots of stuff", which ain't gonna cut it.

2. back to Assa and the original test-i am betting that the teachers who designed that test taught exactly that material. and with limited book availability, i am sure it came right from the teachers. even with that benefit the kids did horribly (see statistics i posted previously). Assa, do you care to tackle that point or do you want to ignore it?



You want me to "tackle" something that "you're betting on"? That's your point?

Well, ok.

Each question on that test involves a massive (by today's standards) amount of critical thinking for an eight grader. So if you mean "they taught children how to think" as a means of teaching the test, then yes, that is exactly what I think. As for "kids doing horribly", should I regurgitate your reasons for the massive amount of failures by high school students in Montgomery County which was addressed in a recent thread, or would your response simply be some variation of "well, that's different"?

You continually state "technology" as something which has "robbed" students of classroom time, requiring teachers to "teach" it, and I have repeatedly asked for examples. Since you haven't clarified, I'll provide some which weren't around then, and you can tell me how the current educational system in general, and you specifically, has deemed them "necessary" to be taught in schools:
-automobiles
-airplanes
-microwaves
-cell phones
-refrigerators
-televisions
-asphalt shingles
-nylon
-fluorescent lights
-running water
-Xboxes
-drive thrus
-electronic cash registers
-toasters
-gas pumps
-thermostats
-ATMs
-steam irons

There are no "how-tos" for any of these technological advances covered in any grade school I've ever been to. Yet people know how to operate them. Huh.

You claim things have been "added", which detracts from the time available. So I ask again- what has been "added" that hasn't simply replaced something? Even a computer simply took the place of the Dewey Decimal system lessons, card catalogs, Encyclopedia Britannicas, a pencil, and a piece of notebook paper. They are simply tools, a means to an end, not ends in and of themselves.

As for condescending, I condescend because you're not that bright. Apparently, you are used to dealing with compliant (or apathetic) students, who accept what you say at face value, rather than people who have more education, experience, and wisdom than you do. And when challenged, you don't like it. So you resort to puerile nonsense, and hope you can bluff your way out of it, through platitudes, vagaries, and a whole lot of fluff. Make no mistake- I'm not mad, aggravated, or anything close. I am simply more and more confident in my assessment of both teachers and the educational system. Thanks for that.

I actually teach 8 of those listed. Not how to use them, but their place in history.


If you think the Dewey decimal system takes as much time as computers, try teaching it to a kid. Computers take more time. Benefits are countless, but you have to provide instruction to get these benefits.

I'm smart, not as smart as others. I am aware of this. You seem to have answers that would help us all. Why don't you get involved in the schools?
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby ohioboy » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:15 am

vincentpa wrote:
ohioboy wrote:and teaching how to use the technology is a large part of what we do. its new to us and to them. its hard. it takes practice.


Teaching the technology? :huh:

My daughters could both use the iPad when they were 1.5 years old. Now that they are 2.5, they have it mastered. They even understand some fundamentals of the computer. It takes all of a few days for a child to master "new technology." Please don't use that as a crutch.

ohioboy wrote:if you want me to teach that test to my kids, they would crush it. if you want me to teach a huge curriculum (no grades are different really) and not teach what is on the test (i dont get the final exam until the day they take it), it takes more than just standing up and lecturing. "But that is how i learned!" Sure. Awesome. Great. Today we do projects, debates, hands on stuff. They actually learn it and not just memorize it. that is all kids did 50 years ago. that is why today we have added in the many ways we come up with a grade. it is not just a test anymore. there is a ton of variety to the assessments.


If you're going to retort AT's argument with how you do things now, at least make sure the how-you-do-things-now method is actually working or superior to the way-things-used-to-be method.

ohioboy wrote:who do you think allowed the system to get this far gone? it is in need of fixing, i have always said that. so who? wasnt me. i walked into this the way it was.

start searching for this and i think you will hate who you have to be mad at.

I've always said, it's not just the teachers but more so the parents, culture and government PC practitioners.

Two bingos on there.

1. Your kids have it. My 14 year olds don't a lot of the time. And an iPad is far different than a pc. I wish we had iPads, it would help promote learning AND reduce textbook costs.

2. What time period did the parents start to step back?
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby vincentpa » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:35 am

ohioboy wrote:Two bingos on there.

1. Your kids have it. My 14 year olds don't a lot of the time. And an iPad is far different than a pc. I wish we had iPads, it would help promote learning AND reduce textbook costs.


Sounds to me that you're not efficiently teaching technology. There should be a class on PC basics and that should be enough. If you have to continually have to teach unique software for each class, you are wasting time.

ohioboy wrote:2. What time period did the parents start to step back?


My guess is that it began with the Baby Boomers and has gotten worse with each successive generation.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby SpinnerMan » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:41 am

ohioboy wrote:Computers take more time. Benefits are countless, but you have to provide instruction to get these benefits.
Teach them to do what? Type? Click? Use spell check? Excel, Word, Powerpoint? Plagiarizing without getting caught? How to program on a massively parallel supercomputer like the IBM Blue Gene/Q. Hey, my coworker just told me that he is able to get way more computing time on the Blue Gene/P machine since it is basically going the way of the dinosaur now that we have the BG/Q machine is available and all the cool kids want to use that.

Mira, an IBM Blue Gene/Q system, consists of 48 racks of computers, 786,432 processors and 768 terabytes of memory and is capable of 10 quadrillion calculations per second – making it the fifth-fastest supercomputer in the world. To put those capabilities in perspective, Mira is 20 times faster than its IBM Blue Gene/P predecessor at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), Intrepid, which was ranked third in the world when it was installed in 2008. - See more at: http://www.anl.gov/articles/senator-dur ... hmbsJ.dpuf


I was trying to stay out of this one, but the comment earlier and your response is what drives me nuts about education today. Kids do not know how the hell to think for themselves. I use just a tad bit of math in my day to day job. Sometimes I use the whiteboard, but mostly you will see scrap paper with equations, notes, figures, tables, etc. scribbled all over them as I solve the problem du jour. Once the problem is worked out, then I go to the computer to write it up and document it or use some other piece of software to perform the calculations from a basic calculator to a Excel to a custom piece of software to codes that run on parallel computer systems that can now solve problems in minutes that would have taken a hundred year or more to do when I was sitting in high school learning the basic skills that I would be applying to this day or using to build other skills upon. None of which required me to learn the wildly obsolete technology of the day.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby ohioboy » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:44 am

vincentpa wrote:
ohioboy wrote:Two bingos on there.

1. Your kids have it. My 14 year olds don't a lot of the time. And an iPad is far different than a pc. I wish we had iPads, it would help promote learning AND reduce textbook costs.


Sounds to me that you're not efficiently teaching technology. There should be a class on PC basics and that should be enough. If you have to continually have to teach unique software for each class, you are wasting time.

ohioboy wrote:2. What time period did the parents start to step back?


My guess is that it began with the Baby Boomers and has gotten worse with each successive generation.


Exactly my point I am trying to get Assa to see. You have to realize there are some programs that overlap, but there is a need for specific ones occasionally.

Baby boomers, yes. And who allowed that to happen?
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby assateague » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:57 am

You have apparently bought into what they have told you education should be. You cannot even see that education isn't about teaching kids WHAT to think, it's about teaching them HOW to think. You are an instructor, not an educator.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby vincentpa » Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:28 am

ohioboy wrote:
vincentpa wrote:
ohioboy wrote:Two bingos on there.

1. Your kids have it. My 14 year olds don't a lot of the time. And an iPad is far different than a pc. I wish we had iPads, it would help promote learning AND reduce textbook costs.


Sounds to me that you're not efficiently teaching technology. There should be a class on PC basics and that should be enough. If you have to continually have to teach unique software for each class, you are wasting time.

ohioboy wrote:2. What time period did the parents start to step back?


My guess is that it began with the Baby Boomers and has gotten worse with each successive generation.


Exactly my point I am trying to get Assa to see. You have to realize there are some programs that overlap, but there is a need for specific ones occasionally.

Baby boomers, yes. And who allowed that to happen?


The Lord Jesus Christ?
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby WTN10 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:52 am

ohioboy wrote:And hate to burst your bubble, but lots of those questions are just bs memorization questions.


As of 10 years ago, this was all that was taught in schools. Considering that standardized tests are still the benchmark for evaluating performance and intelligence, I'd bet not much has changed. When I could walk into a standardized test and pass, if not perform very well, without studying or paying attention at all, something is wrong. I hadn't mastered the material; I'm just very, very good at deduction.

Essay tests are measures of intelligence. They require you to read, write, and reason well in order to perform well. Even better is a conversation about a given area of subject matter.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby SpinnerMan » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:08 am

WTN10 wrote:When I could walk into a standardized test and pass, if not perform very well, without studying or paying attention at all, something is wrong. I hadn't mastered the material; I'm just very, very good at deduction.
That is a poorly designed test and not and indictment of tests.

I agree completely that many things are not amenable to a standardized test, but many things are. It is also how those tests are used.

The worst teachers out there are often the most beloved by the students. When I was a teenager, I thought I had the greatest boss. What was my standard of evaluating his skills? He would buy us beer whenever we wanted and that was cool and it made us cool because we always had beer. The judgment of children is so suspect as to be useless in many cases.

This is one area where standardize tests as a way to double check that quality of the teachers has great value. If you have 20% of 8th graders failing to perform at a 5th grade level, you have a problem. Granted it could in fact be a problem with the test, but you should for damn sure want to know.

Of course, every morning I step on the scale and I know it's just a testing problem :eek: :no:

What I would like to see technology used for is unbiased testing of children. In a large school district or among cooperating school districts, there is no need for the classroom teacher to be the sole grader. Give the written tests to a secretary, she scans them in with all identifying information removed and a ID# and sends them out to be graded randomly by other teachers. If the grade is poor, they can send it to a different teacher for a second opinion. There is so much that can be done to have a basic common sense quality assurance program to confirm that every individual student is getting a quality education and that every individual teacher is performing up to the minimum standards of quality.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby ohioboy » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:14 am

WTN10 wrote:
ohioboy wrote:And hate to burst your bubble, but lots of those questions are just bs memorization questions.


As of 10 years ago, this was all that was taught in schools. Considering that standardized tests are still the benchmark for evaluating performance and intelligence, I'd bet not much has changed. When I could walk into a standardized test and pass, if not perform very well, without studying or paying attention at all, something is wrong. I hadn't mastered the material; I'm just very, very good at deduction.

Essay tests are measures of intelligence. They require you to read, write, and reason well in order to perform well. Even better is a conversation about a given area of subject matter.

We do tons of writing now. Hate to grade it, but it is cool to see kids explain things. And often quite comical.

Discussion is a big part of mine and most classes in my subject area.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby ohioboy » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:21 am

assateague wrote:You have apparently bought into what they have told you education should be. You cannot even see that education isn't about teaching kids WHAT to think, it's about teaching them HOW to think. You are an instructor, not an educator.


No. I actually said the opposite on page two. Lecturing does not help much with critical thinking unless you are one of the top of the class. Thinking has to be taught. Hands on, projects, discussions help facilitate this. That is actually what I talk about on day one of class.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby assateague » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:35 am

You seem to prefer to believe that the way you are doing it is "the best", yet you offer no real proof that this is so. In fact, the vast majority of evidence, both anecdotal and otherwise, indicates that you have it completely ass backwards.

You stated that the 100 year old test was not "good" because it came straight form one teacher, and was done via rote memorization, or some such. Methods which you claim don't help students "think". And then you go on to claim that your methods are better, yet the students educated via your "approved" methods couldn't pass that test. Doesn't make any sense. If your methods of "hands-on, projects, and discussions" are superior, then why would they not enable a student to pass this 100 year old test?

Conversely, how many of those students taught in those "arcane, ineffective" (according to you) methods would pass the CURRENT 8th grade test? Probably all of them. And in 1/3 of the time.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby SpinnerMan » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:42 am

Here's the problem with this whole discussion.

OB may in fact be the best teacher in the entire country. Probably not, but he may be very good. Like any other large group, it tells you nothing of value. Many a lousy sports team has had players with great talent. Many a losing sports team even arguably had the best talent, but without good administration and management it got squandered. Education is an integrated process. A kid moving from K through 12 may have many great teachers and get a worthless education and he could have many mediocre teachers and get a great education.

What we do know is vast numbers of kids are getting short changed on their education. How do we fix that?

Sure, not every kid has Tiger Woods' father for a father, but that doesn't mean that you change the definition of par because some kid has a lousy father. If he shoots a 200 and it takes a 150 to advance to the next level, he doesn't advance. If he never advances, so be it, but you don't start handing out a bunch of mulligans, keep kicking it out of the rough, act like a 20' putt is a give me, so you can get his score down to that of Tigers and then pretend like when you send him out on his own he can compete. The real world will crush him and his ability to go back and actually learn is greatly limited at that point. Crappy parents are no reason to lower standards, if anything they need to be raised because the kid is already at a big disadvantage when it comes to life and will need to perform at a higher level if he is to overcome that handicap.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby vincentpa » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:05 am

WTN10 wrote:
ohioboy wrote:And hate to burst your bubble, but lots of those questions are just bs memorization questions.


As of 10 years ago, this was all that was taught in schools. Considering that standardized tests are still the benchmark for evaluating performance and intelligence, I'd bet not much has changed. When I could walk into a standardized test and pass, if not perform very well, without studying or paying attention at all, something is wrong. I hadn't mastered the material; I'm just very, very good at deduction.

Essay tests are measures of intelligence. They require you to read, write, and reason well in order to perform well. Even better is a conversation about a given area of subject matter.


This is not entirely true. Standardized tests are not necessarily a gage of intelligence. They are gages of how much is being learned. Those are two separate issues. Intelligence is more akin to the ability to learn not how much you have learned. In any society, there will be a bell curve of people representing intelligence from smart to dumb. Standardized tests compare one group to another considering the bell curve should and is the same for intelligence among most groups of people. The only real difference statistically is not that intelligence varies but how much is actually learned.

Conversation is not a great measure of intelligence. I know many PhD's from places like CMU that could not compete with me or anyone here in the CI Forum in a conversation. Some people lack the expressive skills that others take for granted. Would you call all of those introverted NSA engineers and programmers dumb? I bet less than 50% could carry on a good conversation that would demonstrate how intelligent they really are.

I agree that written tests demonstrate more intelligence. As you stated, one has to reason as well as know the material. One has to have a mastery of the material to reason well. An intelligence person will demonstrate a better ability to reason. It's a shame there aren't more written tests anymore. My guess is teachers don't like them because they require effort to grade. Sorry OB.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby ohioboy » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:18 am

vincentpa wrote:
ohioboy wrote:
vincentpa wrote:
ohioboy wrote:Two bingos on there.

1. Your kids have it. My 14 year olds don't a lot of the time. And an iPad is far different than a pc. I wish we had iPads, it would help promote learning AND reduce textbook costs.


Sounds to me that you're not efficiently teaching technology. There should be a class on PC basics and that should be enough. If you have to continually have to teach unique software for each class, you are wasting time.

ohioboy wrote:2. What time period did the parents start to step back?


My guess is that it began with the Baby Boomers and has gotten worse with each successive generation.


Exactly my point I am trying to get Assa to see. You have to realize there are some programs that overlap, but there is a need for specific ones occasionally.

Baby boomers, yes. And who allowed that to happen?


The Lord Jesus Christ?


Nope. Their parents.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby ohioboy » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:25 am

assateague wrote:You seem to prefer to believe that the way you are doing it is "the best", yet you offer no real proof that this is so. In fact, the vast majority of evidence, both anecdotal and otherwise, indicates that you have it completely ass backwards.

You stated that the 100 year old test was not "good" because it came straight form one teacher, and was done via rote memorization, or some such. Methods which you claim don't help students "think". And then you go on to claim that your methods are better, yet the students educated via your "approved" methods couldn't pass that test. Doesn't make any sense. If your methods of "hands-on, projects, and discussions" are superior, then why would they not enable a student to pass this 100 year old test?

Conversely, how many of those students taught in those "arcane, ineffective" (according to you) methods would pass the CURRENT 8th grade test? Probably all of them. And in 1/3 of the time.

My students would not because I would not teach most of that. It was something the teacher liked, she taught it, kids memorized it. She is not teaching thought.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby ohioboy » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:38 am

vincentpa wrote:
WTN10 wrote:
ohioboy wrote:And hate to burst your bubble, but lots of those questions are just bs memorization questions.


As of 10 years ago, this was all that was taught in schools. Considering that standardized tests are still the benchmark for evaluating performance and intelligence, I'd bet not much has changed. When I could walk into a standardized test and pass, if not perform very well, without studying or paying attention at all, something is wrong. I hadn't mastered the material; I'm just very, very good at deduction.

Essay tests are measures of intelligence. They require you to read, write, and reason well in order to perform well. Even better is a conversation about a given area of subject matter.


This is not entirely true. Standardized tests are not necessarily a gage of intelligence. They are gages of how much is being learned. Those are two separate issues. Intelligence is more akin to the ability to learn not how much you have learned. In any society, there will be a bell curve of people representing intelligence from smart to dumb. Standardized tests compare one group to another considering the bell curve should and is the same for intelligence among most groups of people. The only real difference statistically is not that intelligence varies but how much is actually learned.

Conversation is not a great measure of intelligence. I know many PhD's from places like CMU that could not compete with me or anyone here in the CI Forum in a conversation. Some people lack the expressive skills that others take for granted. Would you call all of those introverted NSA engineers and programmers dumb? I bet less than 50% could carry on a good conversation that would demonstrate how intelligent they really are.

I agree that written tests demonstrate more intelligence. As you stated, one has to reason as well as know the material. One has to have a mastery of the material to reason well. An intelligence person will demonstrate a better ability to reason. It's a shame there aren't more written tests anymore. My guess is teachers don't like them because they require effort to grade. Sorry OB.


We split it up so that we use all different types of assessments. This allows for all types of learners to shine.

Yes, I hate the grading. All teachers do.

But when a student shows you they get it, however it is, that is a little fist pump for me. Alone. In my class. Or if it is in class, my kids think I am nuts. Then it is all worth it.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby ScaupHunter » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:44 am

Actually those things were mandated to be taught and were taught well enough to make a student proficient in them. It had nothing to do with what the teacher liked or didn't like back then. The things on that test were mandatory if a child wanted to be able to succeed in life.

I can tell you that teaching kids to think is a great ideal. It means spit if they can't read, express themselves in written words, do math properly, etc. If you can't get a kid to understand the basics and lock them in to thier head the rest is entirely irrelevant. I could give a crap less if kids become great thinkers. So long as they can do the basics, use them in real life, and then become productive citizens the teachers job has been done. We don't need 300,000,000 Einstein's.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby assateague » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:50 am

ScaupHunter wrote: So long as they can do the basics, use them in real life,...


This is what I meant by "teach them how to think". Applying what they learned where they need to apply it, and knowing how to get more info when necessary. That's all. Not really anything deeper.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby SpinnerMan » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:52 am

ScaupHunter wrote:So long as they can do the basics, use them in real life, and then become productive citizens the teachers job has been done.
:thumbsup:

ScaupHunter wrote:We don't need 300,000,000 Einstein's.
Being able to think doesn't make you an Einstein. Every single family farmer that did a decent job running the farm was a thinker. He had more than mastered the basics of the ability to think.

A big challenge that teachers have is that kids do very little thing in their off time that requires them to think. Back when many kids were learning the family business whether farming, shopkeeping, or whatever, they were learning to think. And if they weren't learning the family business, they were probably still working a job that required thinking. Just think of a checkout boy today versus one working in a story even a couple decades ago. Mindlessly stupid versus an actual thinking job.

Thinking was not a skill that had to be taught to most kids. Today, most kids do nothing that requires thinking and they need that skill more than ever and less they want a mindless job with mindless pay.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby ohioboy » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:54 am

ScaupHunter wrote:Actually those things were mandated to be taught and were taught well enough to make a student proficient in them. It had nothing to do with what the teacher liked or didn't like back then. The things on that test were mandatory if a child wanted to be able to succeed in life.

I can tell you that teaching kids to think is a great ideal. It means spit if they can't read, express themselves in written words, do math properly, etc. If you can't get a kid to understand the basics and lock them in to thier head the rest is entirely irrelevant. I could give a crap less if kids become great thinkers. So long as they can do the basics, use them in real life, and then become productive citizens the teachers job has been done. We don't need 300,000,000 Einstein's.


Hey, if you got the time, you show me the mandated curriculum from Kentucky.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby WTN10 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:03 pm

ohioboy wrote:
WTN10 wrote:
ohioboy wrote:And hate to burst your bubble, but lots of those questions are just bs memorization questions.


As of 10 years ago, this was all that was taught in schools. Considering that standardized tests are still the benchmark for evaluating performance and intelligence, I'd bet not much has changed. When I could walk into a standardized test and pass, if not perform very well, without studying or paying attention at all, something is wrong. I hadn't mastered the material; I'm just very, very good at deduction.

Essay tests are measures of intelligence. They require you to read, write, and reason well in order to perform well. Even better is a conversation about a given area of subject matter.

We do tons of writing now. Hate to grade it, but it is cool to see kids explain things. And often quite comical.

Discussion is a big part of mine and most classes in my subject area.


This is vastly better than when I was in school then. Very little writing. Mostly tests taken on scan trons. Teachers did not want to put the effort in, and I could tell. I performed better with teachers who had discussions and who gave essay tests than teachers who assigned busy work and did scan tron garbage. I walked in to the classroom not caring and if the teacher didn't care, all was lost.
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Re: Hey Ohio- A test for today

Postby assateague » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:11 pm

ohioboy wrote:
assateague wrote:You seem to prefer to believe that the way you are doing it is "the best", yet you offer no real proof that this is so. In fact, the vast majority of evidence, both anecdotal and otherwise, indicates that you have it completely ass backwards.

You stated that the 100 year old test was not "good" because it came straight form one teacher, and was done via rote memorization, or some such. Methods which you claim don't help students "think". And then you go on to claim that your methods are better, yet the students educated via your "approved" methods couldn't pass that test. Doesn't make any sense. If your methods of "hands-on, projects, and discussions" are superior, then why would they not enable a student to pass this 100 year old test?

Conversely, how many of those students taught in those "arcane, ineffective" (according to you) methods would pass the CURRENT 8th grade test? Probably all of them. And in 1/3 of the time.

My students would not because I would not teach most of that. It was something the teacher liked, she taught it, kids memorized it. She is not teaching thought.


This is eighth grade we're talking about, here. And let's look at some of those things you say were taught because "the teacher likes it":

How many steps 2' 4" each will a man take in walking 2 1/4 miles?

Student needs to know how to convert feet and inches to decimals, convert fractions to decimals, divide, subtract, know how many feet in a mile. Sure. Seems useless. Probably because the "teacher liked it".

Find cost at 12 1/2 cents per sq yd for kalsomining the walls of a room 20ft long, 16 ft wide, and 9 ft high, deducting one door 8 ft by 4' 6" and 2 windows 5 ft by 3 ft 6 inches each

Needs to know fundamental geometry calculations, including square footage, converting fractions to decimals, feet and inches to decimals and back again, multiplication, addition, subtraction, and spatial imaging. Not necessary at all. No need to teach it nowadays, I'm sure.

How many parts of speech are there? Name them.

I'm sure English structure has changed drastically in the last hundred years or so, so there's not possibly any time to teach the basics of our language, because of all that "new stuff", and all.

Define proper noun; common noun. Define the properties of each

See above.

Name and give the capitals of states touching the Ohio River

Needs to be able to read a map, identify geographic features, and be aware of the composition of the damn country they live in. But I'm sure that sort of thing was just "teacher preference". Let's ask 8th grade students in your county to name the states which touch the Potomac River and their capitals. Seeing as how that's their next door neighbor, maybe half of them would get it right. But I sincerely doubt it.

Through what waters would a vessel pass in going from England through the Suez Canal to Manila

Need to know world geography and map knowledge. And hey, bonus- everyone wants to claim we need to embrace the global economy/global community/global everything these days. What better way than to educate them about where crap is in the world? But nah, that's ok- you wouldn't bother teaching what is on this test. I wonder how many 8th graders even have a freaking clue what the Suez Canal is, or could point to the Philippines on a globe.

I can go on, but there's really no point. You get the point, you just don't want to acknowledge it. In fact, you just once again pooh-poohed it away

ohioboy wrote:My students would not because I would not teach most of that. It was something the teacher liked, she taught it, kids memorized it. She is not teaching thought.


Which has been demonstrated to be an incredibly asinine statement, even more so coming from a teacher.
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