Talk:Education reform

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US-Centric[edit]

Opening paragraph launched into an unsubstatiated defence of the US ed. system. A review of much of the text that followed indicated the article has much broader coverage than just the US. It needed to go because it was opinion and not fact, but also because it was US and not general. CycloneArmageddon (sorry, did this before creating account - will check back in a couple of days to see what the response is, if any)

Archiving?[edit]

Well anyone by offended if I archive what look like old and unnecessary conversational threads from this page? -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 20:44, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)


one of the most important educational reformists in the US was Horace Mann, credited with almost singlehandedly reforming education in the 19th century, yet he is not even mentioned here...

—Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.168.182.107 (talk) 08:37, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Education needs to reflect the needs of the student. The problem with most educational systems is that they are "top down" instead of "bottom up". When the teacher is trusted by administration (and our legislatures) to presume to know what the student needs to advance in learning, and the teacher is given the resources to respond to that need without a "Big Brother" constantly watching and testing; that's when amazing results can be achieved. The idea of a Federal Government somehow helping out a classroom seems preposterous and illogical. That is why it is not helpful to mention a president's name in a blaming fashion in connection with education.

Take music education for example. The tradition is to start children on musical instruments in the fourth grade. My experience with music is that it is best begun by very young children. The reason is that if children are to learn an instrument, the learning curve is about six years to a proficiency which can be appreciated by others. If children start learning this six year task at age nine or ten, they won't be proficient until age fifteen or sixteen. During that time they really care what their peers think and will often quit due to being made fun of. If, however, they begin at age four or five, they are reasonably proficient by age eleven or twelve, when the peer review is positive because the skill level is adequate to induce praise rather than criticism. --FB

The article is an excellent contribution even though I disagree with many points (I am a science maniac).

The idea that someone should rewrite quality articles tastes of Big Brother!!! With this policy Wikipedia will quickly lose the best authors. No genius will look peacefully as the populus rips his or her output to pieces. If Wikipedia is to live up to Britannica it must provide all (incl. non-neural) views in a systematic manner (even with external links). The sensible approach would be for someone to take a birdseye view and write a short article. For example:

Education reform: the process in which ... <here short definition>

Major standpoints:

  1. <Title> - <Author> - <explanation> (e.g. maniac/genius of sciences presents his view)
  2. <Title> - <Author> - <explanation> (e.g. maniac/genius of artistic education presents his view)
  3. <Title> - <Author> - <explanation> (e.g. maniac/genius of classical education presents his view)
  4. <Title> - <Author> - <explanation> (e.g. maniac/genius of religious education presents his view)
  5. <Title> - <Author> - <explanation> (e.g. maniac/genius of homeschooling presents his view)

if all above maniacs turn there own stuff to rewriting their own stuff the result is easy to predict:

  1. they will be at each other's throats
  2. articles will lose coherence due to being rewritten back and forth a zillion times
  3. ultimately, quality authors will drift away (perhaps to paid jobs)

p.s. If I was to rewrite this article I would put a huge emphasis on making use of learning theories in practise. Psychophysiologists had answers to memory problems a hundred years ago, but ... George W. Bush has never heard any of these. Worse, educational systems around the world are largely oblivous of learning theories. The reform is no easier than an effort of keeping Wikipedia coherent and retaining best brains

Piotr Wozniak



well-put, though I myself classify Cognitive Psychology as a dangerous cult ;).


Cognitive Psychology researchers are a body of people different as chalk from cheese. You cannot put them all to one basket. The scientific fact is that this branch of science produces practical results that all unbiased people should welcome (such as quality learning). I would like those results included in education reform



I'm sure they are - please don't take it personallybut when the goods of a cult comes then there is no end, but what I mean by the <smiley> after dangerous cult is NOT that they don't tell us interesting and useful things, but that they think that they have THE answer. That's certainly how they talk about their field in front of everyone else!



I welcome insertions of the approximate form: "On the other hand, <so&so> believes <insert your text here> because of <some good reason>". References to <so&so>'s work would be nice. This should add a lot of balance, and I promise not to flame these sorts of insertions!

I thought I did put in some science. Piaget was a founding cognitive developmental psychologist... I thought he needed to be mentioned. So too, Myers & Bgriggs. These psychologists measured important effects that most educational theorists seem not to take into account- so I have no theories to report.

Also, most educators have a worse record than Dewey at rolling out improvements. As far as my research has found, only the Kentucky Dept. of Education has done much real science on education (i.e. with controls and meaningful statistics). I'd be glad to hear about others.

The reason why there's so much about classical education is because education has centuries of practical experience. One ignores that at one's peril. The only journal article I could find that actually documented scientific success with teaching generalized reasoning, a holy grail of educational theorists, used the Socratic method, and measured it with Piagetian tests.

Ray Van De Walker


In Japan and Europe, primary education is excellent

Are you serious ? In this part of Europe it really sucks. --Taw


Same in East Asia. I'm always amazed that Americans seem to see East Asian schools as some sort of ideal, while people in the system think its awful.


Well, it may be unpleasant, but 30% of the students in the bad local high schools have one or more of the following deficits: They can't read food cans, can't write grocery lists or can't do math well enough to do Ohm's Law. And no I am not making this up. In Southern California, where I live, the good schools produce students who would score just at the barely passing level in French or Japanese schools. Of course, the excellent students are always with us, but they are just evidence that the schools here can't force dedicated students to fail.

User:Ray Van De Walker


And you think this is better than the situation in low performing schools in Japan and Europe because ????

Roadrunner

US ed reform section[edit]

Does anybody want this, or any part of it? Because it looks unsalvageable to me. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 21:42, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Education Reform in the United States[edit]

At the current time, in the U.S., public attention focuses on the perceived high expense and poor outcomes of U.S. primary and secondary schools, relative to their counterparts in other countries. The U.S. however, by many accounts has the best tertiary (university-level) education system in the world. Important contributing factors to this excellence seem to be that it admits on tested merit, is supported by a large base of paying students (and thus can afford the best teachers and researchers), and has nearly perfect student choice (so that poor institutions lose funding).

Within the United States, educational reform is often based on the premise that East Asian and European primary schools are excellent, although this is commonly disputed by East Asians and Europeans. This is thought to occur by continuous improvement of the programs of rigidly-controlled centralized state-run schools. However much dissatisfaction focuses on the lack of tertiary education for moderately gifted persons and "late bloomers." In some of these societies, higher education is state-paid, and only available to the small fraction of students that, in the U.S., would qualify for full scholarships. Also, tertiary education in these nations, while good, is often lower than U.S. standards.

In the U.S., the political conflict over primary and secondary education has two positions. One position wishes to remake U.S. education in the image of the European and Japanese, with central standards and control. The other position wishes to emulate the success of the U.S.'s tertiary education by extending vouchers (already tested in the form of the G.I. bill) to primary and secondary education.

Vouchers seems more consistent with U.S. culture, but distrust of the free market remains strong in the U.S. educational elite, who consistently oppose vouchers, or parental choice in education. The opposition has been led and funded by teacher's unions, whose membership might decline if teachers could open schools and cash vouchers.

In Kentucky, the performance of the public education system was so bad that in 1989, the state's Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional and charged the Legislature to do something about it. As a result, KERA - the Kentucky Education Reform Act was passed and achieved a significant improvement for Kentucky's public schools.

Charter schools and Magnet schools are other examples of reform efforts in the United States.

Classical education[edit]

If anyone wants this, they should move it to Classical Education or somesuch. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 21:48, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Classical education[edit]

Education reform has a long history, starting with Classical Education, the system originally targeted by most reforms. Classical education is now rare in many countries. It itself might contribute improvements to modern education.

Primary education was classically called the "trivium", and teaches grammar, logic and rhetoric.

Classically, grammar consists of language skills such as reading. An important goal of grammar is to acquire and many words and concepts as possible. Very young students can learn these by rote.

Young adults can learn logic, the art of correct reasoning. Modern logical systems are remarkably easier to learn than classical logic.

Classically, rhetoric and composition (which is just written Rhetoric) are taught to somewhat older students, who then have the concepts and logic to criticize their own work, and persuade others. The only known way of teaching Logic and Rhetoric is the Socratic method, in which the teacher raise questions, and the class discusses them.

Secondary education, classically the "quadrivium" or "four ways," taught "astronomy, arithmetic, music and geometry." In modern terms, these fields might be called natural science, accounting and business, fine arts (at least two, one to amuse companions, and another to decorate one's domicile), and military strategy and tactics, engineering, agronomy, and architecture.

In a perfect classical education, the historical study of each field is repeated three times: first to learn the grammar (the concepts and design techniques in the order developed), next time the logic (how these elements could be assembled), and finally the rhetoric, how to produce good objects based on the grammar and logic of the field.

By the time a student has completed a project in each major field of human effort, they often have an excellent idea of what type of profession they would like to pursue.

In a classical education, history is the unifying conceptual framework, because history is the study of everything that has occurred before the present. A skillful classical teacher also uses the historical context to show how each stage of development naturally poses questions and then how advances answer them, helping to understand human motives and activity in each field. The question-answer approach is called the "dialectic method," and permits history to be taught Socratically as well.

The socratic method is the only known technique to teach people to think correctly and critically for themselves. In-class discussion and critiques are essential in order for students to recognize and internalize critical thinking techniques.

A classically educated person is intensely skilled, highly disciplined, broadly educated, and if taught Socratically, an amazingly supple and accurate logician and Rhetorician.

Accurate information about classical education is difficult to find. People took it for granted for generations, and then within one generation, it was replaced by Progressivism. The best available information is "The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home," by Jessie Wise and Susan Bauer. This and other resources by Bauer and Wise are available from one of the leading publishers of home education materials, Peace Hill Press (http://www.peacehillpress.com/ ).

This quote seems questionable without a proper citation "Given that the body of knowledge of the pre-Christian Romans was heathen in origin, was it safe to teach it to Christian children?" -> google pulled up this site (religious education) and I'm not sure if who copied who here www.k12academics.com/ed_reform_history.htm but the quote should be removed if there is no citation. In fact the whole paragraph has no value without a citation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.189.72.24 (talk) 03:46, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Reforms of classical ed. section[edit]

This section actually concerns reform, but it needs serious editing. Particularly, someone needs to define what the hell "classical education" is supposed to refer to--i.e., what historical period or population or theory are we talking about? Then we can deal with the POV issues and the writing. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 21:50, 8 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Reforms of classical education[edit]

Classical education has weaknesses that inspired reformers.

Classical education is most concerned with answering the "who, what, when, where" and "how" questions that concern a majority of students. Unless carefully taught, group instruction naturally neglects the theoretical "why" and "which" questions that strongly concern a minority of students.

Young children with short attention spans often enjoy repetition, but only if the subject is changed every few minutes. Skilled, compassionate primary classical teachers (always a rare breed, now nearly nonexistent) have always changed subjects continually and rapidly. Unskilled, or unkind classical teachers have drilled the joy of learning right out of young heads. For more information, read "Marva Collins' Way" by Marva Collins, a gifted teacher.

Some people can regurgitate words and yet never understand what they mean in the real world. This was terribly common among classically educated scholars.

Classical education can also be expensive, difficult and boring.

Reforms have taken three tracks.

One is to reduce the expense of a classical education. Ideally, classical education is undertaken with a highly-educated full-time (extremely expensive) personal tutor.

Another track of reform attempts to develop the same results as a classical education with less effort, by concentrating on neglected "why" and "which" questions, which theoretically can compress large amounts of facts into relatively few principles.

Another track focuses on bringing educational topics into a concrete focus. In these reforms, book-learning is de-emphasized in favor of real-world experience. A rather insulting sub-text of many such reformers is to imply that average persons cannot profit from theory, or information irrelevant to their every-day tasks.

A final track of reform has been to maintain a group's cultural and national identity.

Accountability section[edit]

User:Ray Van De Walker recently added a section titled "accountability"; I've pulled it out because I have some questions and/or objections I'd like to raise. I chose not to simply edit it in situ because the problems seem pretty systemic for it. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽
You "archived" my most recent addition to this document. User:Ray Van De Walker
Well, no, you can't really archive sections of the text. Archiving is just for old material on talk pages. I temporarily sequestered your most recent addition to the article in the interest of getting it cleaned up before reintroducing it to the text.. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽

Traditionally, U.S. schools were governed by local communities via elected bodies called "school boards." The advantage of this system was that local schools are controlled directly by the local community. When the educational process began to fail, reformers would be elected, and the system would be reformed.

First off, it's not immediately clear what this has to do with accountability-based reform (and it should be immediately clear, as the opening paragraph bears that responsibility), second, it's not accurate--schools are governed at the district, county, state, and federal levels simultaneously. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽
It's obvious by elementary civics and grammar. Accountablility literally means that one can be called to account for one's policies. In the U.S. this means "by election." The elected bodies are school boards. QED. User:Ray Van De Walker
It's not hard to understand that there might be some connection between modes of school governance and accountability, but the opening paragraph of the accountability section should make clear exactly what that connection is and how it relates to education reforms; a rhetorical burden is placed upon us as editors to be as exact as we can. Also keep in mind that while all of the English Wikipedia's readers can be expected to have an understanding of English grammar, many are international readers who don't necessarily know anything about US civics, for what that's worth. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽

Recently, this system has not functioned well. Literacy has fallen below 40% in some areas, and numeracy is worse.

This obviously needs substantiation. Lots of substantiation. And in any case is probably a highly controversial claim, not to mention involving a logical error--that because schools have declined, it is owing to a (supposedly) district-based governance system. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽
See Literacy.
Could you be more specific? -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽

There are a number of different explanations.

State and federal laws increasingly make requirements on public schools, reducing the freedom of local school boards, and increasing the number of officials involved in curriculum choices and reviews of the performances of treachers and principals.

What does "increasingly" mean here? How do we now that the state and federal roles have increased? Seems to me that they've more likely declined since the 60's and 70's, since the big surge in state and federal control was around integration, and since then Reagan and other republicans have worked hard to localize school governance and funding, and not gotten too big a fight from democrats--or are we talking specifically about NCLB, which is the most recent federal education move, and which doesn't really mark an overall trend that could be described as "increasingly"? -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽
See the education reform act of 2004, via the congressional web site.
Again, can you be more specific? I performed a search for "education reform act of 2004" on the congressional web site and none of the results looked immediately like what you're talking about. Also, unless the bill happens to argue your point that there is increasing state/federal encroachment, which it probably doesn't, it doesn't constant a trend. More importantly, information of this sort needs to be in the article itself--I shouldn't have to ask you to substantiate your points; they should already be substantiated in the body of the article. If there's a bill that's important to what you're trying to explain, it should be named correctly and, ideally, should be given an external link in the body of the article. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽

Incumbent advantages in local school board elections are becoming very strong. Often incumbents solicit campaign funds from large organizations such as teachers' unions, textbook publishers or local contractors who might profit from school construction. Reformers therefore find it increasingly hard to be elected against entrenched incumbent board-members.

Again, substantiation. Also, who exactly are we talking about? Which reformers? -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽
What evidence could possibly be acceptable? Probably should be rephrased in NPOV because it does seem to be advocacy. However, there are substantial newspaper articles in my area (Santa Ana,CA, OCregister.com) about shady deals between schoolboard members and contractors. I also have personal knowledge of payola from textbook publishers to school administrators, as "paid speakers" at educational conferences.
Basically, here's the thing: the article should be reporting on education reforms. If there are notable reformers or reform programs which talk about this, then in the article we should say who they are, report what they claim is happening, and report what, if any substantiation they have and what rebuttal, if any, their opposition has offered. I also know a lot of nasty truths about education in local regions and also a lot of general truths about what education is and what it should be, but I'm not going to pump the article full of them, because my experience and opinions are not, in themselves, encyclopedic, and what is not encyclopedic doesn't belong on Wikipedia. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽

School districts have developed entrenched multiple layers of administration (bureaucracy) that contribute only minimally to actual education. These layers protect the actual educators from intrusion from other parts of government. Unfortunately, this often makes the schools less responsive to parents' and childrens' needs.

Again. These claims are probably unsubstantiable as fact; if we can attribute them accurately as views to which some particular group subscribe, we can incorporate them in that way. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽
There are articles in reason.com; see the one about the reporter who called the new york school office (sorry I forget the borough) and asked how many employees there were, and got the comment "Who wants to know?", then called New York's Catholic Diocese School Office, and got "12". In my area, Orange County CA, the county school administrators have a 22 million dollar building (that was the renovation, not the construction costs), a multimillion dollar budget, and no students at that facility. The parking lot holds almost a hundred cars, so the budget is at least several million dollars a year.
Well, these are basically anecdotal accounts from individuals. (I could add similar accounts, too) They do not, however, support sweeping claims about the systemic realities of education on the national level; nor do they constitute education reforms. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽

Teachers' unions have grown in power, budgets and activism. They normally oppose both accountability for teaching personnel, and effective community involvement, because both are inconvenient or uncomfortable for working teachers.

This is both unsubstantiated and wrong; teachers' unions oppose some forms of accountability, but the issue more complex than this para suggests. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽
Naw, it's very clear. The teachers' unions have overtly supported school board incumbents in California with substantial donations, at times as high as 75% of the cost of campaigns for local school board seats. In some instances we have not just members, but local union officials running for office. CTA (california teachers assoc.) also sponsors bills against homeschooling almost every legislative session; five in the last year, and opposed constitutional voucher proposals with 20 million dollar campaigns.
Well, I don't really think incumbency is all that pertinent (the devil we don't know is not intrinsicalliy less corrupt than the one we do); homeschooling is only tangentially a question of accountability--it is much more an issue of choice; ditto vouchers. Also, my point is not that teachers unions have never opposed accountability reforms proper, but rather that it is almost certainly inaccurate to say that they invariably oppose them, when I'm pretty sure they would argue they're open to some kinds of accountability reform and closed to others. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽

Ethnic and nontraditional families often do not support childrens' education as much as white anglo-saxon protestant nuclear families with two parents. The differences can be cultural values (viewing education as irrelevant or entertainment), poverty, or a lack of parental time. To achieve historic levels of performance, schools and children have to overcome these difficulties, which are perceived as new.

(implicit expletive deleted)Beg pardon? Also, we have again strayed far from the field of accountability. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽
Stipulated. However, this is a standard excuse of school administrators in California for poor performance. In CA they're used to jsutify poor performace in the STAR tests.


One widely-accepted reform has been to use standardized testing to compare schools. SOmetimes the results are used to llocate and reform particular schools. A notable disadvatage is that many teachers complain of "teaching to the test." That is, curriculkum choices are being made in a covertly centralized way.

This section can be expanded; it's the first useful thing we've seen so far.
Thanks.

Charter schools are another attempt to make government schools more responsive to community needs. The major problem with these is that established legal requirements for public schools are often applied to them, despite their charter. This limits the reform.

School choice is another reform advocated by libertarian theorists to increase accountability. In this, public vouchers help students attend private schools. Voucher systems have a long, respectable history in both college education and a number of small communities in New England. The areas that most need reform (such as inner cities) sometimes have large numbers of passive parents that do not make the best use of an available voucher system.

Home education is attracting increasing numbers of disaffected active parents. Although home-schooled children definitely score better on standardized tests, and meet every U.S. legal test for schooling, many authorities say that home schools are even less accountable to the needs of social policy than the existing public education system.

These sections don't belong in accountability, but elsewhere. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽
Since they are overt attempts by concerned citizens to resolve the accountablility problems, they do belong. Maybe the dots need more connecting. I think I'm going to restore the text, with more facts attached.
By the way, it would be less rude to adopt an English-spelled tag in an English encyclopedia, and to avoid profanity, even by implication (i.e. "WTF", above) in an encyclopedia that my kids use.
I don't think they are accurately treated as subsets of accountability, though they are often (but not always) related. They deserve their own section, and it can be mentioned that one of the reasons people advocate them is the perceived lack of accountability in traditional public schools.
Now, I don't think there's any rudeness associated with using a non-English/non-Roman-character set username, as English is chock full of loan words and in any case it's perfectly normal for Wikipedia, whose user base is really quite multilingual. Your point about implicit profanity is, however, perfectly well taken, and I apologize for any offense. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽

In conclusion, I encourage you to restore sections with more dependance on facts, and I'll try to add some of it back myself, with whatever elaborations I can put together. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 23:22, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Removed paragraph[edit]

I'm pulling this: "In California's STAR testing, for example, in L.A. high schools less than 10% of students score at the nationally-normed 50% level for English studies (mostly testing Literacy), and tests of math (numeracy) are worse," because while it has an admirably factual character, in context it was a rather strong case of post hoc error; there is no necessary correlation between the level of governance dominating education in America and the outcome of teaching reading in Los Angelas, and I don't think it's at all clear that any substantial number of critiques of local control are based on reading scores in LA either. -- कुक&#2381;कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 21:15, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Also, Ivan Illich and John Gatto is not really good enough for a list of education reformers; they're more in the nature of critics of education, anyway. We should put together an expanded list with dilineated categories. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 21:20, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Wow. I don't have many answers, but maybe I can help clarify the questions[edit]

Well, I was gonna give a section-by-section or line by line analysis of why I altered what I altered, but that was just too much. So I'm just gonna raise questions on stuff I left in there (with one major exception)

Introduction through Motivations for reform -- edited for clarity, simplicity, eliminate redundancy and jargon

  • " whose book The Republic was essentially a thought experiment on education reform. "-- source??
  • I, personally, would like to see a source directly cited for the "India" and "Iran" examples in this section.

Modern reforms --- this whole section needs some major expansion and clarification, especially since the classical education article seems to concentrate on very classical education: i.e. the teachings of Ancient Greece. How, exactly, does neo-classical differ from classical? Did "classical" education exist from umpty-ump B.C. to 1800's United States unchanged?? I doubt it. We don't need a history of education, but some info on the existing system that the reformers were trying to reform is necessary.

Educational progressivism ---I can't figure where to go with this one. . . . . "there are a number of kinds of educational progressive" is so ungrammatical that it makes no sense, and "historically significant kinds peaking" means. . . . . . what? Peaking of the acid trip? Peak of the mountain? "Peaking" how, exactly??

child-study---What is the child-study movement??

Created a new section Transcendentalist education since this seems to be an entirely different subject than "child-study" but. . . . what are the Transcendentalist theories of education??????

Critiques of progressive reforms--- Ummmmm. . . . I think the "non-transferrability of learned skills" refers to the growing evidence and belief that genetics plays a greater role in child development than developmental psychology espoused, but dammit, the books I could have used to source this went back to the library a week ago! Also, the Piaget link (and other links in that article) don't help to explain "higher-order thinking skills are inaccessible to most people". Did Piaget believe this or refute it? And what are "higher-order thinking skills"? And is this the only critique of these reforms?

Reforms in the 1980's---Ok, since there's no link to it, what's "A Nation at Risk"???? I doubt it's an "efforts." I'm guessing it's a report. I'm also guessing it's primary purpose was to reform education, not eliminate the D.o.E.

National Identity--- deleted, non-NPOV. In short, it said "Immigrant children "could have been" taught English (national language), but they weren't, so now our test scores suck, and we got a buncha people around who talk funny." racist b.s.

State, local. . . control of education . . --- From "In such a heavily-regulated. . ." to the end of the section smacks of POV, but I can't put my finger on why or how to increase the neutrality.

Standardized testing--- "as a way to hold schools accountable." Accountable for what? Accountable to whom?

Charter schools---The external link to a C.E.R. document still doesn't help make this section intelligible.

Notable reforms--- gone, gone, gone, gone for so many reasons; tons of POV, assertions without explanations or justifications; these are not notable reforms, these are suggestions for how things "should" be. And I strongly suspect that these statements were copied directly from a published book (possibly a textbook) and are therefore copyright violations.

Whew! I'm gonna go lie down now. . . . . . hope this helps some others at least work on the editing a small piece at a time Soundguy99 09:52, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Comments on Recent Survey[edit]

December 23, 2005

Recently, I read a news article (USA TODAY.com article, “ Survey finds 1 in 20 lack basic English Skills”, By: Greg Toppo, 12/16/05) on English Skills among the population of the United States; I would like to take the opportunity to express my comments on how our nation can improve English skills among its population.

The article mentioned that English skills among adults living in the U.S. population are poor (eleven million- about one in 20 adults); I wasn’t totally surprise by these statistics. Why? One reason might be that the entire U.S. educational system is created around the theory of a “Renaissance Man” or what a Wikipedia article defines as a “Polymath” (Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, “Polymath”);“Renaissance Man” or “Polymath” means someone who is educated in an array of multiple educational subjects. In the U.S. educational system this means a student is taught a little about a wide range of subject areas including academic subjects like English skills (which is necessary) and unnecessary subjects like physical education, sports, and certain social interaction activities like school dances (e.g. proms and etc.). I understand that some believe that a “Renaissance Man” education is the best education that can be offered in a industrialized nation like the U.S.; however because the U.S. educational system focus’s on unnecessary subjects there mayn’t be enough focus on necessary academic subjects like English skills. As a result, the U.S. educational system must ask itself this question: is it worth spending educational funding on more academic learning or is it worth spending funding on unnecessary learning like school dances? Lastly, another reason for poor English skills in the U.S. might be is poor parenting skills. American society has always been attracted strongly to a “ Machismo” culture than an intellectual culture. This social trend might have led to poor generational parenting skills in American society like for example, when parents let their children be exposed to harmful distractions like violent mediums (e.g. certain video games and certain television programming). I understand that being a parent in American society can be tough. However, parents in the U.S. must ask themselves this question: is it worth raising my children as followers of “Machismo” culture or is worth raising them as followers of” intellectual” culture?

Our nation has an opportunity to be a leader in our world, when it comes to educating our population in necessary academic skills like English skills. Here are some improvements I would like to see our nation make on this issue. 1. More emphasis on basic academic subjects in public school and adult education curriculums 2. A greater emphasis on discovering what a student’s natural talents are and fostering that student’s talents so they have a chance to be successful in life at something they can and like to do 3. At least two years of free college or other preferred learning avenues for every resident regardless of age and income 4. For those who want to be perspective parents, greater Governmental support for parental educational training programs.

Anon User.

If teachers can't do math[edit]

Some pundit wrote:

How to close the education gaps? The teacher's unions have their answers: simply spend more money and hire more teachers for smaller classroom size. But the data show that those are not the answers at all. Massachusetts tests our kids regularly; when student proficiency is matched with classroom size and per-pupil spending, there is absolutely no relationship. In fact, the district with the highest per-pupil spending in our state -- almost $19,000 per student -- is in the bottom 10 percent of our state in student proficiency.

To me this shows a basic, fundamental failure to apply math and logic to a real-world problem.

If lowering classroom size or increasing per-pupil spending has no effect on student proficiency, then only someone who has no grasp of science, math or logic could tout such measures. The irony (or lunacy) is that it is the teachers themselves who are promoting an idea which, if your kid argued for it in class, would get him a grade of F.

America's teachers don't understand statistics, graphs or even simple cause-and-effect reasoning. That's why they can't teach our kids.

I say, fire them all, and hire a few unemployed parents as babysitters while the kids do self-paced homestudy courses. At least have some school districts (say, up to 10 or 20% of them) try this as an experiment. --Uncle Ed 19:35, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Or, the teachers know that statistics requires more than one data point! 9/4/2012 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.136.13.242 (talk) 21:41, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Just a minor point: the pundit you quote only cites one piece of evidence, and that only eliminates the correlation between per-pupil spending and test scores. Doesn't cover class sizes, and test scores are not quite synonymous with student proficiency. --Rainrunner87 19:41, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

US has best tertery education?[edit]

I think this is very bias, maybe it has around 100 really top elite universities, but I would say that the average in the US is below the world average, based on my experience. does the beggining of the article even need to mention the US university Education standards? it seems out of place


203.87.41.252 09:55, 17 May 2007 (UTC) anon says : err, why the huge focus on the US? This is the "world wide web" - two references to the US in the opening para seems parochial to me.

Section not Written in Encyclopedic Voice[edit]


"African Americans and all minorities including the poor are getting the shaft when it comes to public education. One of the reasons that this is happening is due to funding allocation. The public education system in America is maintained by the ruling class. They decide where the money goes.... Every school should have access to the same educational materials and recourses."....from the White Teachers in Multiracial Communities section.

I am not a regular wikipedian, but I feel this section, while certainly one worth covering, is not written in a neutral, encyclopedia style voice. Also, there should be some sort of statistics or a concrete example to hold up the assertions of the writer (see the bolded last sentence). I'm not sure if wikipedia should be an op-ed forum.

Can someone with more knowledge of the subject revise this section, please?

Thanks

Ericcjensen 23:00, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

quality of sources[edit]

This page needs a lot of work to clean up poor or biased sources, and the assertions that are attributed to them.

Reference 21 links to a racist extremist website. This should not be considered a trusted source Reference 22 links to a political blog pushing a one sided agenda.

Considering these, someone should read through all the references to check for quality sources or bias, and remove sections of the main article that are only supported by biased sources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 137.229.30.115 (talk) 17:27, 2 May 2014 (UTC)