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Do you think children would learn better if they were taught like the over 30 crowd was taught?

We have friends who are teachers and they say "we teach them to pass a test. when asked how come 2+2=4 they have to reply because that's the number you get". My youngest had a teacher I had in middle school. She literally had a book sent from the feds with when she had to start a certain subject, dates to test on that subject and dates to close that subject. she said i'm really sorry if your child doesn't understand (and this was too all the parents not just me) the work but we have to stay on track in accordance to these guidelines. if someone falls behind they may need tutoring outside of school.

When we were young you were taught 2+1=3 1+2=3 and as long as you showed your work and came up with the answer you'd get it right. now if you show your work and got the same answer if you didn't use the formula they taught...then you get it wrong. so frustrating.

it seems like they are trying to fit everyone into the "off to college" box and it doesn't work for everyone.

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 12:51 PM on Apr. 7, 2011 in General Parenting

Answers (13)
  • It isnt the off to college box, it is the end of year grading box. They dont care if they go to college, and every high school has different tracks so they know not all kids are on college tracks. They just need to teach. Period. Stop teaching to the test. They need to use the tests as they were originally intended. I am from CA and almost 40. We had our tests at the end of the year and had little to no pressure. They didnt mean anything to US as student. It was just a snap shot for the state to see how our schools were doing.
    gemgem

    Answer by gemgem at 12:53 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • I think NCBL has made learning worse, for YES, teachers are forced to teach to a test. The flexibility for teachers to teach beyond the text, and be more creative with the curriculum is GONE in many districts. It's a shame.

    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:54 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • People from the 60's and 70's like me have a much higher percentage of college or trade school degrees than kid's from my kid's ear of the 80's. So I say yes, teach them how they taught me and maybe they will actually learn and be educated, not taught to pass just tests and maybe they will go on to a career where they dont have to ask, "would you like fry's or an apple pie with that?"
    vbruno

    Answer by vbruno at 12:55 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • I think children are tested way too much, then again there's been some breakthroughs here in the UK, they're cancelling all the younger official tests because the pressure on the children was found to be too much for the children after a government survey.
    kayalouise

    Answer by kayalouise at 12:56 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • I don't agree that NCLB is working. It was born out of good intentions, but it's fallen on it's face & needs to be sent off to early retirement.

    I don't think EVERY school district has fallen prey to the 'teach to the test' mentality. My kids have absolutely spent time practicing timed test, practicing standardized testing styles. BUT, their teachers have a gift at getting kids to see the why it works behind the 'what to do' and 'here is the answer.' It is true that there is "new math" vs what I was taught. My kids have learned to solve equations both ways and frankly, the more we practice at home, the less 'new' it all seems to me. It's really the same old thing with a slightly different window dressing. ;) They learn some things sooner than I did and the biggest difference I see is much more hands on experience learning which I think is a MUCH better approach than what I saw in the 80s.
    ldmrmom

    Answer by ldmrmom at 1:03 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • I am a teacher and I do my best to teach kids so that they understand what they are learning and can use it in real life situations and to help them pass the test. Unfortunately these tests are designed to show what the students don't know, they are not beneficial and don't paint an accurate picture of what the students do know.  The sad part is that in order for the schools to get funding they have to do well on these tests- putting pressure on the teachers and the administration.  There are much more accurate ways to assess student learning.

    skittles1108

    Answer by skittles1108 at 1:03 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • vbruno, I'd be curious to see the stats you refer to about the percent of people that went to college in those decades. My parents were through school in the late 50s into the 60s. Neither has a degree and my dad eventually rose up to the lower rungs of 'upper management' in his 40+ year career at a major Fortune 100 company. When he began work at that organization, degrees were not uncommon, nor, however, were they common enough to be a hiring requirement or preference. I worked for managers and directors in my field that of similar age and also not degree holders for the same reasons. When I graduated in 1991, we knew that most jobs required a degree, trade school, or certification of some sort. When I got my degree in '94, there wasn't a single job in my field (marketing/public relations) that did not list "college degree required" in the job listing. The problem today is a glut of applicant degrees for each position.
    ldmrmom

    Answer by ldmrmom at 1:10 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • I have 2 college degrees, my mom has none but she remembers the stuff she was taught in school. She can still recite the Preamble to the Constitution and remembers her French even though she hasn't used it much in 40 years! I am always amazed at how well she was taught and I'm not sure what the difference was except that I see a huge slide of people understanding the importance of education. Sure, they need it to get a job but it seems like that's the whole goal - a job, not learning for the sake of learning People take education for granted and don't realize that knowledge is power!
    missanc

    Answer by missanc at 1:17 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • Skittles - maybe you know the answer to this - I was under the impression that NCLB standards (and related testing) was actually determined by each state. Doesn't the federal law simply require each state to set forth clear guidelines of minimums and a means to test the progress of students towards meeting those minimums? I still dislike the testing concept and what it means for our students. My son's 3rd grade class has been chugging along without a 'focus on the test' mentality all year but they do test in a month and lately, they are devoting a lot of time to practice tests in preparation. It's a waste of good classroom time. ; ) Ahh, I digress. I guess the point is we can all agree (or disagree) on a high level, but specifics become hard to debate unless we're all in the same state as those individual guidelines and testing practices skew our experiences.
    ldmrmom

    Answer by ldmrmom at 1:18 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • missanc (I'm hogging the thread! sorry! I'm just intrigued by this topic!) Do you think disinterest in learning is a new thing? Looking back, I think of those of us that were driven to do well in school and learned for the love of it AND because we saw the pay off in our future (aka careers.) At the same time, there was always that group trying to ditch class and hide out in the woods behind the school to smoke - they didn't then (and still don't) see the importance of learning. Does your mom remember those things because she was taught well or because she's an active learner with a fantastic memory? Is it trend or individual? I just think we all have anecdotal experiences and backgrounds that can easily paint a picture one way or another - but that doesn't mean *that* is the norm of what was and what is. I'm not saying today's schools can't be fixed or that things aren't different. I'm not just not sure it's so different.
    ldmrmom

    Answer by ldmrmom at 1:23 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

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