So the New York Times editorial board wrote an opinion piece on math &
science education and somehow this is news? What makes the New York Times
editorial board an expert on math & science education? In other words, what
makes a bunch of people with journalism degrees who haven't seen the inside
of a math classroom since 11th grade the subject matter experts on math?Seriously, if we want to place credence on the opinions of those who
have zero qualifications to judge the matter, let's just ask a bunch of
Hollywood celebrities who we should vote for.
I remember all through school that the kids that offered the excuse of doing
poorly because it's 'boring' were almost invariably
'lazy' or simply unmotivated. They were the class troublemakers. The
worst thing was when someone bought that excuse. That just empowered the excuse.
Math or Science or Physics or whatever is boring and something we don't
want to be involved with at all because we see no value in it. Smart people are
stereotyped with disdain in our culture.Our kids are growing up in homes where
bookshelves are full of weepy eyed porcelain figurines, not books. I think
there's a danger in teaching to the lowest common denominator because that
figure just keeps getting lower.
Math and science are the same all over the world.I guess that the
Chinese, and just about every country in the world, most of whom score far
better than U.S. students have either figured out a way to make the curriculum
not boring" or have convinced their kids that they need to study
boring stuff to succeed in life, not just watch MTV and know all the latest
Miley Cyrus gossip.But, if you don't want to be bored by all
that math and science stuff, no problem. Your wants and needs will be met by
government handouts as long as you remain a low information voter happily living
on the liberal welfare plantation. At least as long as all those who DID study
math and science and work hard to earn a good income continue to pay their taxes
to support you.
Heaven forbid we expect students and parents be responsible for students
Is this just one more example of the Great American Entertainment Addiction?Maybe we should teach math with loud flashing screens and hyperactive
teachers.Maybe we need to have a few explosions every little while in
science classes.Or perhaps we could do it all by sending lessons to
apps on the kids' cell phones.
To get kids interested in math, you need inspiring teaching, positive
reinforcement and parents and educators who teach children to work hard (e.g.
for more than 5-10 minutes on a problem before giving up and "just asking
the teacher the next day").Education takes diligence and hard
work. We expect too little from our schools and from our children. We also are
not willing to pay for a good education. We are o.k. with mediocrity (Utah
schools are below mediocre when adjusted for our demographic advantages).
Brave Sir Robin,You ask what makes the editors at the New York Times
experts on math and science curriculum? The same thing that makes our state
legislators experts, power. The editors have the power of the press, and
lawmakers have the power to make hundreds of new laws related to education each
year. DN Subscriber 2,Math and Science may be the same
all over the world, but most of the countries that are "ahead" of us
don't bother to teach it to all their students. Only the most gifted
students are still in a high school like the ones we place all students in. The
other students have been placed into vocational programs and are not tested. It
should be no surprise that other countries outperform the US, the surprise
should be that we are even close, to other countries since we test ALL students.
Personally, I think if secondary schools got rid of the block schedule, this
would help many subjects including math. Teaching math every other day is
difficult. When students miss class they are missing two classes and teachers
might only see students twice a week. Plus 90 minutes is long and let's
face it math for most kids isn't that stimulating.
Citizens need to visit a third, or fourth grade classroom, and observe how
basic math is being taught. It's very confusing, and difficult for most
people to understand. Much different, than how it was taught a few decades
ago.Also, students are bored of test preparations. Standardized
tests do little for enhancing education. Students are in school to learn,--not
being accountable to test scores.
Howard, I would just have to say that I went to a school without a block
schedule and one with one and I don't agree. While those are good points
my school without a block schedule meant that each class was 45 minutes long
leaving little time to get through all of the lesson and to get the class under
control. The classes were less productive and each night you had to do all your
homework for tomorrow rather than like a block schedule you can get two days if
something like sports comes up.
At this rate, my new country is going to overtake the Americans on education.You guys should see what the Asians are doing, as well as the
Europeans.Mexico has been faltering because they have been falling
for a failing system.That is the American system, once the best in
the world, now floundering in mediocrity.