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How Do You Fix Education?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the wtb-better-schooling-pst dept.

Education 949

TaeKwonDood writes "Carl Wieman is the 2001 Nobel Prize winner in Physics but what he cares most about is fixing science education. The real issue is, can someone who went through 20 years of science education as a student, lived his life in academia since then and even got a Nobel prize get a fair shake from bureaucrats who like education the way it is — flawed and therefore always needing more money?"

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Fix it at home (4, Insightful)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375719)

Get the parents more involved. For kids, school should be akin to their 9-5 job. In order to excel they need to put the time in at home, and the only people that can help instill that discipline are the parents.

Re:Fix it at home (5, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375767)

Get the parents more involved. For kids, school should be akin to their 9-5 job. In order to excel they need to put the time in at home, and the only people that can help instill that discipline are the parents.

If it's a 9 to 5 job, then why do they need to do anything at home? There was a recent article in the Wall Street Journal about how Finland's education system is remarkably efficient considering that kids have a much smaller homework burden than in the U.S. Do things right at school, and perhaps there won't be any need to get the parents involved.

Re:Fix it at home (5, Insightful)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375857)

Actually, most of those type of articles [wsj.com] point to the fact that Finish kids are not treated like babies as to why they can do so well. Most have to get to school themselves, and have a decent amount of responsibility. It seems actually teaching your kids how to take care of themselves makes them more likely to succeed. Shocking, I know...

Re:Fix it at home (5, Interesting)

Narpak (961733) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375945)

I fully agree that parents need to take more responsibility for their children; not just in relations to education. However, as you say, improving the actual organization and methods of the educational system is something that should be forever ongoing.

Seems to me that "parents need to take responsibility" is all to easy to use as an excuse for the flaws in the system. At least, easier than actually trying to fix the flaws. Further more it seems to me that the reforms the do try to push through are often based upon a perception of reality not fully bases in fact and research. There are brilliant people studying the ups and downs of various educational methods; but politicians and bureaucrats seem more interested in enforcing their party's, or their own, agenda.

Friend of mine is a teacher, 10-15ish age group; and he is very into reading up on the latest articles, papers, research, studies, etc, regarding all aspects of education. One of his greatest frustrations is the institutionalized stupidity of the system. Methods that have been proven to work are showed aside because they are in conflict with current dogma.

Re:Fix it at home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24376229)

You missed that "excel" part.

If you work a normal job, and you're really excelling, then you probably do more than straight 8s or put in some kind of effort at home. There is a big difference here between tech workers and like factory workers in Detroit; brand new computers, languages, programming technologies, chips come out all of the time and somehow tech workers manage to adapt, why can't Detroit?

What it means to excel sort of differs from family to family also. One thing I've noticed in life is that the folks who value hard work, the ones that have real work ethic seem to excel and get ahead. Not the ones that talk about work or simply quantify it in hours while they jerk around a lot. The ones that value work and can adapt and don't get any crazy ideas in their heads about what is "their work" vs. "someone else's work" and just sort of focus on getting mission at hand done all seem to do well. Our culture by in large doesn't value that, it's almost competitive in the desire to not work.

Re:Fix it at home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24375809)

Get the parents more involved. For kids, school should be akin to their 9-5 job. In order to excel they need to put the time in at home, and the only people that can help instill that discipline are the parents.

Could be more than that. Parents become the thing to rebel against at some point in most of our lives. I think if you look at cultures that are doing better than the United States, you'll see something that's just difficult to inject.

It's the common culture. Something you don't go against. There's weird practices like I've heard that in Sweden & Finland it is a social norm to show kids Sesame Street with subtitles. They learn how to speak English and knowing a second language is quite beneficial.

Or like in South Korea ... from what I've read, they seem to have an insane cultural ethic towards education. And they are immersed in technology. I read an article about a site where people get points based on answering questions ... it drives discourse and leads to interesting reading.

Re:Fix it at home (1)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375937)

"For kids, school should be akin to their 9-5 job."

And what a horrible job it is. Would any rational person go to school as a job?

http://blog.shlang.com/post/38977434/would-you-work-with-micromanaging-boss-no-salary-and

Re:Fix it at home (5, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375951)

"Get the parents involved" is nice, but it's also passing the buck. Plenty of parents saw no value in education in their own lives, and discourage their kids from wasting their time. That's going to take generations to fix.

Meanwhile, we can still do a better job of teaching science (mostly in making kids interested in science). Perhaps the only way to get the parents involved is to teach this generation that science isn't jsut a waste of time, so that they encourage thier kids in turn.

The simple fact is, our school system was designed originally to produce good manufacturing workers, but there's no future in manufacturing. While people have long been whining about manufacturing jobs going overseas, the truth is more jobs are lost to automation than to cheap labor pools.

We need to be training designers and engineers with the talent to compete in the world market, but our pre-college (and increasingly our undergraduate) school system still de-emphasises critical thinking and abstract problem solving. We need to recognize that these abstract skills are quite practical: they are the jobs that will exist when everything else is automated!

Re:Fix it at home (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376197)

Meanwhile, we can still do a better job of teaching science (mostly in making kids interested in science). Perhaps the only way to get the parents involved is to teach this generation that science isn't jsut a waste of time, so that they encourage thier kids in turn.

Replace science with english/history/math/social studies/foreign languages/etc etc etc and you still have the same problem.

If you don't take a holistic approach to 'fixing' education, you're just going to end up with more failure all around. To make a car analogy: you can upgrade a part (science) but when the whole car (the public education system) is beat up, you're just going to have some other part fail you.

Insightfull, and besides the point ... (5, Informative)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376015)

The fucking article is about college level education.

Re:Insightfull, and besides the point ... (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376031)

Subtract one l ... damn.

Re:Fix it at home (2, Insightful)

El Cubano (631386) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376139)

How Do You Fix Education?

Get the parents more involved. For kids, school should be akin to their 9-5 job. In order to excel they need to put the time in at home, and the only people that can help instill that discipline are the parents.

I still think that the best way to "fix" education is to get the government out of it. The chief problem with education as it stands today is that it is nothing more than government provided day care to most people.

Re:Fix it at home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24376151)

You think a kid's education should be akin to work? Jesus fucking christ.

Re:Fix it at home (0, Flamebait)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376245)

Get the parents more involved. For kids, school should be akin to their 9-5 job. In order to excel they need to put the time in at home, and the only people that can help instill that discipline are the parents.

Careful what you ask for.

My kid's schools already dump a lot of tutor work on us parents. I already have a job, I don't want to be a tutor/teacher also. Sure, occasional questions are perfectly fine, but the schools overdue it sometimes, making the parents take up their slack.

Plus, I cannot answer some of the more advanced questions; they are about stuff that I either forgot, or use per-textbook vocab that is unfamiliar to me. I'd have to read the kid's own textbook to figure it out, making us both students.
     

War on science (5, Insightful)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375727)

How can education be fixed when their is a war on critical thinking? Its better for those in power to rule by sound bites, innuendos, and accusations that appear credible enough to be believed.

Re:War on science (3, Funny)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375867)

I didn't know we were at war with the country Critical Thinking. Are we winning?

Re:War on science (5, Funny)

treeves (963993) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375895)

No, and this is just more evidence that the real problem is that people just don't have enough maps.

Re:War on science (3, Funny)

Romancer (19668) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376235)

And such.

Re:War on science (1)

Pictish Prince (988570) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376249)

We've ALWAYS been at war with Critical Thinking. Anyone who says otherwise is a Thought Criminal.

Re:War on science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24375897)

How can education be fixed when their is a war on critical thinking?

You managed to hit 1) snobbishness that makes otherwise-poor-form spelling flames acceptable and 2) an embarrassing spelling error in just one sentence!

Re:War on science (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376343)

You managed to hit 1) snobbishness that makes otherwise-poor-form spelling flames acceptable and 2) an embarrassing spelling error in just one sentence!

I think the spelling error may have been intentional; i.e. to distinguish the critical thinking people from those who are merely critical.

- RG>

Re:War on science (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376339)

We must nuke our imagination!

how about we get rid of public education (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24375729)

Ron Paul 2008

Re:how about we get rid of public education (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24376095)

How about you shut the fuck up about Ron Paul already.

Re:how about we get rid of public education (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24376265)

How about you make me, bitch?

Didn't you get the memo? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24375747)

Education was fixed with the no child left behind act.

No, you can't fix it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24375755)

Becuase to fix education is to admit that some kids are either smarter or work harder than others. Some are going to be left behind, and others will go on and learn to their full potential, but law makers can't tell that to parents. My mother has taught for about 30 years, and in her words, the problem is almost never the students, it's the parents.

Re:No, you can't fix it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24376005)

My mother has taught for about 30 years, and in her words, the problem is almost never the students, it's the parents.

How often is the problem the unions?

The parents are a problem, our culture is a problem, the schools themselves are a problem, the unions are also a huge problem. There is no single problem and solution.

Re:No, you can't fix it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24376127)

Well thank you for adding nothing to the discussion. I realize there are in fact multiple problems, but in the experience of the teachers I know, the parents are usually the biggest. They're the ones that threaten to sue the school, or back their kids over ridiculous things, or do the work for their children. Of course in some school systems the weight of different problems shift, but I was speaking in general from my experience.

Also, in my experience unions are never that big of a problem. It's usually affirmative action that causes really bad teachers to be there. Maybe it's different in other sections of the country though.

Vouchers (5, Insightful)

footNipple (541325) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375761)

A US$3,000.00 per student/per year federal voucher will fix education very quickly.

Re:Vouchers (5, Interesting)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376039)

I don't think a voucher system will improve education on its' own... I do feel the to some extent it would be a very good thing, as it could/would increase competition in education, and raise standards dramatically in urban areas, where the number of students available are larger, and systems of scale become more reasonable.

On the flip side, I don't think it will help near as much in more rural communities. Also, many students don't work well in online/homeschool environments. I think having the option is a good thing overall though.

My son was home-schooled last year via an online charter school, and did very well, much better than the local school district (in a fairly rural community). However of my friends/family with children of school age, I don't think most of the children would respond nearly as well to that environment.

I think the biggest problem is too much funding is lost in bureaucracy instead of higher salaries for teachers... to be honest, I think a lot of teachers today probably don't deserve more pay, but more money needs to be offered to bring in those that may not have otherwise considered teaching. As a senior programmer, I make about 3-4x what the average the average teacher in my state makes. I honestly don't think that this is right. I feel that probably 1/5 of our teachers should be rotated out annually... have "teaching" programs for professionals, you spend 2 years as a T/A (all classes should have two instructors, one main, one TA, and a parent in daily, imho). After that year, the TA would take primary on a class, then after a couple years as the main instructor, go back into the private sector. There are some good instances of lifetime teachers... but imho these are too far and few between, and I'd rather see "fresh" teachers come in, and out in a relatively short period. And it should be an honor, to have served as an instructor for said 4 year engagement.

The problem seems to be, that the various educational systems seem to be dedicated to hiring trained "teachers" who don't have much, if any specialty, instead of people who are good at their professions who want to spend a few years teaching.

Re:Vouchers (1)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376099)

Wow, I was about to write just that, but no need to now. I'll just elaborate on what I think. :-)

In my mind the education voucher system was one of Friedman's finest points. Not only would it promote competition among schools, harboring excellence. It would get the parents involved in choosing the best school for their kids, and would be a huge cut in government spending, since they probably spend MUCH MORE than 3k per student today.

Re:Vouchers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24376109)

A US$3,000.00 per student/per year federal voucher will fix education very quickly.

I think you are confusing parent-pleasing education with quality education. After all, McDonald's is not the most popular restaurant for families with children because of the nutritional value of its food.

Re:Vouchers (1)

El Cubano (631386) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376165)

A US$3,000.00 per student/per year federal voucher will fix education very quickly.

Actually, a US$3,000.00 federal voucher will have many strings attached. A US$3,000.00 federal tax credit will, on the other hand, be way more effective.

Re:Vouchers (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376289)

A US$3,000.00 per student/per year federal voucher will fix education very quickly.

Do you mean essentially a cash-equivalent, or do you mean with some use conditions. Once you've answered that, please explain the reasoning and/or evidence which supports that the form of voucher you are proposing would, in fact, "fix education very quickly".

How can a culture that celebrates ignorance (5, Insightful)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375783)

ever truly fix education?

Re:How can a culture that celebrates ignorance (2, Insightful)

DeadManCoding (961283) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375977)

And me without mod points... I don't think it's ignorance necessarily, but I would say that we are a culture that celebrates mediocrity than anything else. Too much coddling, not enough discipline. Those who have the ability to excel are left behind for those that can't keep up, and those that can't keep up aren't given enough of an incentive to go further.

Huh? (0, Troll)

stuntmanmike (1289094) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376173)

I don't think it's ignorance necessarily, but I would say that we are a culture that celebrates mediocrity than anything else.

You talk like a fag, and your shit's all retarded.

with focus (1)

m0llusk (789903) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376069)

Optimizing return on investment may be enough to do the job.

Re:How can a culture that celebrates ignorance (5, Interesting)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376179)

This is about as worthy of a "+5: Insightful" as a post can be.

In the 1960s, we used to have parades that celebrated astronauts. Let me say this again - we had PARADES... for... ROCKET SCIENTISTS... To become one was something that was considered the height of a child's aspirations. No wonder we were sending people to the moon with a pocket calculator and a roll of duct tape.

And what are we left with now - an utter disdain for anyone and anything that displays the traits of having even a shade of reason. Even more importantly, we've managed to "democratize" science. The "intelligent design", "vaccines and autism", and "global warming is a myth" campaigns are only the tip of the iceberg of targeted ignorance, that aims to teach the public, and especially the younger generation, that on one hand science is a mysterious black art, to be feared and distrusted, and on the other, it's little more than a game of weak, impotent men and women, that can be played by anyone... a medium where all voices are equal.

As a result, we have a number of situations, where people's beliefs are shaped not by scientific fact, but by whoever screams the loudest. Add to that an overall atmosphere of distrust of "the system", and you have a society where scientific "rogues" that spout senile and frequently openly fallacious concepts, are treated as heroes by much of the population.

How can we hope to fix education in such circumstances?!

Not to rant further, but the other major problem we've run into, that must be resolved if our educational system is to be salvaged, is one of unrealistic expectations. When kids dreamed of being "rocket scientists" in the 60s, it was understood that not everyone was going to achieve this dream. Which was more of a reason to pursue it! Instead, we now say that everyone must go to college, and everyone must achieve an X level of educations, which is... let's face it... unrealistic. But what these expectations HAVE done, is devalue higher learning, by trying to push everyone into the same bracket. And since you certainly can't raise the expectations for people who simply cannot meet them, we just lowered the bar for everyone, most likely leading many talented kids off the right path. In terms of primary education, there have probably been few policies as harmful as "no child left behind".

If we didn't acquire this dream of equality of mental condition, and didn't fight so hard to accomplish it, perhaps we would have less problems with education, and less 2 (and even 4-) year colleges with a level of education that does not even meet high school requirements.

Reform No Child Left Behind Act (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375797)

The standardized testing needs to go.

And the school need more funding as well as Health care for all kids some don't have any and then they get to sick to go to school.

Re:Reform No Child Left Behind Act (1)

tulmad (25666) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375829)

The school district I live in actually just removed nurses from schools as a cost-cutting measure.

Re:Reform No Child Left Behind Act (1)

GBC (981160) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375987)

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that most of us were/are good at exams (hey, we're nerds aren't we?). But can anyone here say that exams are worthwhile?

I would go one step further than what you propose and get rid of testing completely, thereby making assessment involve class participation, assignments, pracs etc. It would mean no teaching to exams, no more short-term learning by students and hopefully increases engagement in the underlying subject. I think if you have students who are engaged in the subject then you don't need to fix anything - they will want to learn.

Re:Reform No Child Left Behind Act (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376119)

Almost all first-world nations use standardized testing. And many of them are light-years beyond the U.S. I don't think doing away with them entirely is the solution.

Re:Reform No Child Left Behind Act (2, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376135)

Anybody who says "more funding" without saying what it would be spent on is part of the problem.

Want to fix education? Budget administration and recreation separately from the educational costs. Have the Education budget pay for teachers, facilities and supplies. Have the administration budget pay for principals, school boards, and secretaries. Have the recreation budget pay for athletics. Then people will know where the money is going.

Hopefully that leads to more centralization. Localities don't need control. Curriculum doesn't need to be micromanaged. Just because busybody parents want to have a huge say doesn't mean they should have it. Making those decisions thousands of times instead of 50 times, or even once is massively, massively wasteful.

Lastly, stop building new schools to replace perfectly functional old buildings. Yes, procuring federal funding for a new school building will win you votes in a US House election, but it's still stupid. The building doesn't teach your child anything. Unless it's a health hazard, suck it up and live with your 25 year old building. Do a little remodeling during the summer months.

There is no Cure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24375801)

in a capitalist society. The allure of grant money will always overcome any other extrinsic motivations. Intrinsic motivation cannot simply be fixed, it is a symptom of society at large.

Simply put, policy change won't fix the issue.

Re:There is no Cure (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375887)

Perhaps the questions would best be answered by folks with varying credentials(A.S., B.S., M.S., PhD) who chose not to remain in acadamia after finishing their studies. If they are objective about how the system worked for them and how the system failed them, then they will be good indicators.

A fair shake? (3, Insightful)

TornCityVenz (1123185) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375837)

"from bureaucrats who like education the way it is ".. really? do they? I have yet to meet one that does. However there seems to be a lot of argueing going on about what paperwork needs to be filed to get it changed, how that will documented, judged and administrated. Seriously one of the first things that needs to be done is to pay teachers a living wage so we can attract better talent to change the way the teaching is done. Don't get me wrong there are some GREAT teachers out there, who god bless them manage to hang in there despite everything. But take a look at the budget someday and ask yourself if schools are really getting a fair shake. You can change anything you want but unless teachers can be paid competative wages with other avenues they could take their talents to are our kids getting the best?

Re:A fair shake? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376001)

Seriously one of the first things that needs to be done is to pay teachers a living wage

Already done. Next?
 

You can change anything you want but unless teachers can be paid competative wages

Competitive with what exactly?

Re:A fair shake? (1)

TornCityVenz (1123185) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376161)

I'm not sure this has been done, Perhaps in some regions pay scales may be closer to fair, but for instance here in the silicon valley I doubt very much it has. Competitive wiht what exactly? Good question off the top of my head I would say take the median income for the parents of the studants of the richest say...25% of the distict. And pay the teachers around that much. Personally I would rather see students taught by teachers who love what they do and can afford to do it, than by teachers who love what they do, but have to treat it as almost a part time gig because in order to make their mortgage payments they need to take a second job stocking isles at Walmart at night.

Re:A fair shake? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376215)

Competitive with what exactly?

Any one of the other fields that you can obtain employment in for many times more the salary of the typical public school teacher? Particularly in states like New York that require a Masters Degree to obtain/keep a teaching license?

Unschooling (2, Insightful)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375845)

Look it up if you have to. Failing that, how about some sort of cost-benefit analysis of the time spent in yr average public school (hint: most ppl I know agree that over 2/3 of school time is wasted.)

You dont. (2, Informative)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375849)

Unfortunately, the only real answer is home schooling and DIY.

I have real chemistry sets, physics toys, bio lab instructables, legos for prototype construction, Linux for software devel, PIC set for embedded work, and much more.

SciAm back in the day had a build-yourself bubble chamber and linear accelerator, and it worked. Boys Life, the boy scouting magazine, back in the day had instructions how to build your own fireworks including colors and shaping of charge.

When it comes down to it, we have gotten afraid to do anything because of "DANGER". That includes teaching. Anyways, what real criterion are required to really teach someone? If we look at the ancient Greeks, it was the motivation of the learner and not of a forced teaching.

John Taylor Gatto has a book about this very topic. Go look it up on Google.

Re:You dont. (2, Insightful)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376025)

Have you actually spoken to the people in the lower 50% of our population? And you want those people to home school their kids? I'm not saying it can't work for a lot of people, but smart people usually hang around other smart people, it's easy to forget that many people exist that do not car about education in the least, and that probably could not divide two numbers without a calculator.

Not to mention the people who turn home schooling into bible schooling. Not that it's bad unless they crack down on critical thinking or don't teach evolution at all or something, but you know some people will do that.

Our education system does homogenize our society, but for the poor/unfortunate that is usually a good thing.

Re:You dont. (2, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376283)

---Have you actually spoken to the people in the lower 50% of our population? And you want those people to home school their kids? I'm not saying it can't work for a lot of people, but smart people usually hang around other smart people, it's easy to forget that many people exist that do not car about education in the least, and that probably could not divide two numbers without a calculator.

I actually have faith in the "lower 50%" only because many of them have not been blessed with decent high schooling, or have little to no options. Moreso now than ever information and knowledge is easy to obtain, but the real art is finding it.

And I remind myself when I think I'm smarter than them: I may know physics of motion and can do the math required, but people who play sports know that exact same formulas intuitively. People who are not scientifically inclined are almost always artistically inclined, something I will not be.

And after looking at the real skills these lesser 50% have, there's a few rotten eggs. They're there in all societies.

---Not to mention the people who turn home schooling into bible schooling. Not that it's bad unless they crack down on critical thinking or don't teach evolution at all or something, but you know some people will do that.

I was Catholic. I studied the Bible from Genesis to Revelations (well, skipping over begats and much Revelations).

I'm no longer Catholic.

Re:You dont. (3, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376337)

There was a period in American education, particularly after Sputnik kicked the US government into the realization that those crazy goddamn Commies could scoop them on a major technological advancement, where a good deal of effort was put into finding and training scientists, mathematicians, technicians and so forth. Kids wanted to be rocket scientists, astronauts and atom splitters. Home chemistry and rocket kits, as well as toys like Mechanos and Legos, were seen as important ways to produce what the US needed to get ahead of the curve and stay there. But, sadly, within a relatively short period of time, the educational edifice took over, with it's unions, bureaucracies, mindless testing, endless tinkering and the new "next big thing", and now the US is faced with the reality that while domestic talent may just as often be wasted, it has to import talent from abroad.

Part of it is, I think, a consequence of the rugged individualism of America. In places like Japan and Germany, there's a pretty fiercing weeding process going on to find the best and brightest, and to some extent that sort of defies the American Dream that anyone has a chance to be the next guy on the Moon or the next President or the next Bill Gates or whatever. But the fact is that the one-size-fits-all education system favored in North America has become nothing more than a recipe for mediocrity. Coupled with ludicrous laws like No Child Left Behind, which should be restated as No Child Ever Pulls Ahead, and it's a wonder that education isn't worse off than it is.

To my mind, education should be more focuesed. By thirteen or fourteen the kids, parents and teachers ought to have some idea where the kids' talents lie. From there it should be an encouragement to go where those talents lead. Rather than basically delaying all of this until the kid is going off to college and then saying "Okay, waddya when a be when you grow up, which is about 9am this morning" start that process earlier.

The reality is, no matter how optimistic laws like No Child Left Behind are, some children will be left behind, for any number of reasons; socio-economic status, health, intelligence, disability and so forth. No system is going to catch every would-be neurologist and physicist, but at least we can try to better the odds.

As a home schooler, I must agree with most of that (2, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376163)

We unschool our kids. They are encouraged to think critically; look things up in many places and realise that there are many contradictions and try to figure out the truth from the mess.

Learning, of any kind, needs to be a life long passion or it won't be successful. That won't happen if kids are forced to learn stuff when they don't want to. Forcing kids to learn to read too early and you teach them that reading is a drag. My one son was self motivated to learn to read at age 5 and the other at age 9. Both are now avid readers, reading far more than the average school kid.

Science is all about hypothesizing and critical thinking: something that is severely lacking in society in general and is definitely missing in schools. Instead the kids are encouraged to just "get with the program", be politically correct and make the least work for the teachers.

My kids love to experiment with stuff. Experiments often don't work which triggers thinking and learning. School "science" experiments on the other hand are canned activities which are generally guaranteed to work with no thinking required. Where's the science in that?

Re:You dont. (2, Insightful)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376219)

True, but this doesn't work too well, if the child doesn't enjoy the same things as the parent. I think a more formal education system isn't a bad thing, but the bureaucracy of the federal system has munged things up. For more urban areas, charter school systems are working out rather well... I think that at some point a more divisive school system will come into place... not everyone benefits from a "classic" education. Some people would be better in an apprenticeship or a trade program...

Others would do better from education geared more towards arts, language, or math/sciences. I think that the "well-rounded" requirements of x-years language, x-years math, x-years science is wasted on many people. Some would have done better to have x+1 years language, and no math beyond basic math and science. Not everyone is meant to be shaped from the same mold... I think we need to stop forcing people into them.

I feel that once you hit high school in this country, you should be able to have a primary, secondary, and elective track... the primary being math-science, culture-language, culture-art and the secondary being a trade skill, and elective being one's personal choice... This way more time can be spent into the areas of interest, and less on getting every student through more english, or chemistry when there is no interest, and little chance of it's expanded use in their lives.

For a smart man, he certainly does miss the point (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24375879)

Public education is not about educating children to produce independent-minded thoughtful leaders, it is about teaching children to conform and be nice little sheeple.

Science classes (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375891)

FIRST physics,
THEN chemistry,
THEN biology

Not the other way around just because it's in alphabetical order.

Re:Science classes (1)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376123)

Good idea. I'd add math before physics and concurrently with the other three getting progressively more advanced, and maybe, optional, since, not everyone need to be an integration wiz.

Re:Science classes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24376207)

order of difficulty

hmm (4, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375901)

get a fair shake from bureaucrats who like education the way it is -- flawed and therefore always needing more money?

I know I'll be in the minority here on slashdot for saying this, but society isn't divided into us (virtuous, intelligent, benevolent, and wise) and them (stupid, malicious, dishonest, and greedy). I think there are very few bureaucrats twirling their moustaches and gleefully chortling over the failures of the modern educational system. One of the symptoms of the failure of education is lack of critical thinking and objective reasoning, and one of the hallmarks of that is the kneejerk reaction that every bureaucrat is by nature evil and dishonest.

Re:hmm (2)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376105)

This is standard for any large group though. Most people at Microsoft don't want to write a bad operating system. Even the higher level managers all the way up. The problem comes not in the bureaucrats, but in the bureaucracy. The old saying being, "The path to hell is lined with good intentions."

The honorable Snidely Whiplash (R-Montana) (5, Interesting)

Krishnoid (984597) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376199)

one of the hallmarks of that is the kneejerk reaction that every bureaucrat is by nature evil and dishonest.

I had a conversation with an insurance lobbyist on a flight to Boston a couple years ago. She has a lot of dealings with state and federal senators and congresscritters, so I asked her what were the things she discovered in her interactions with them that came as a surprise. Three of them were:

  • Most of the time, the sens/reps really actually want to do the right thing, the same way you do.
  • She did have influence over them as a lobbyist, but when they already had an reason to vote one way or another on a bill -- whether they make it clear overtly or not -- there wasn't anything she could do to change their minds, and with experience, she could kind of tell.
  • For bills that a sen/rep could go one way or another on, as few as three handwritten letters could cause them to revisit the issue.

The first one is relevant here, but the last one has been on my mind since then. Slashpac, anyone?

Re:hmm (1)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376263)

I don't think every bureaucrat is by nature evil and dishonest. They are well-intentioned but misguided, in my view.

They do have a vested interest in the status quo because of their own self-interest, after all public service IS a very stable job, and I don't think them greedy or parasites for it, the system is built that way. Can't blame a guy for wanting to keep a job.

You can't fix what is already broken. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24375919)

The Department of Education, back in 1964, released a mission statement which I quote of theirs is "to limit knowledge to prepare the student for factory labor."

Thereby, it is conclusive that any derivation from this mission statement, even though it's draconian perjorative is for a country to be independent of the foreign industries of neighboring states, would lead to a failed Education.

I see that the leading career paths in the institutions FORMERLY known for EDUCATION purposes are not Productive in terms of factory labor: the leading careers are in-fact oriented to a service without any material production.

I rest this case, that education does replace knowledge. High School never was a traditional school in that sense; as knowledge degraded, the last nationality of people once known as Amish; next to the native Indians on the continent have succumbed to ignorance to pledge their children to a debt of entry to the commercially-sanctioned corporations that have the illusion of "School" in their legal name yet provide no function of a school for knowledge other than that which was allowed by their hosting franchise to sponser the monopolised curriculum.

Maybe until education is removed from the public to be returned to the elective Statutes they are originally allowed, then we can work on Slashdot implementing a proper
403 error code. [beatgamez.com]

First things first (1)

the4thdimension (1151939) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375959)

Fix government first. The summary already alludes to the problem being beyond education itself:

...get a fair shake from bureaucrats who like education the way it is...

It's worse (1, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375965)

> bureaucrats who like education the way it is â" flawed and
> therefore always needing more money?

It's even worse. To the bureaucrats, liberals and other enemies of civilization the government schools aren't broken, they are working exactly as they designed them.

Like socialism, our government schools are relics of the Industrial Revolution and the assumptions and thinking of that era. All 'right thinking people' of the period believed Socialism was the future. And the other major thing they believed was that the purpose of mandatory public education was social engineering, to remake the unruly free peoples of the civilizations engendered by the Enlightenment into docile worker bees fit to work long mind numbing hours in factories. Leader types (the ones making these policies) would, of course, continue sending their own children to elite academies to be taught how to be doers, thinkers, leaders.

It's Complicated; No, Really Complicated (1, Informative)

foo fighter (151863) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375979)

The easy answer is get rid of teachers' unions and make education for-profit.

The best and brightest don't teach for a number of reasons, but I say the primary reason is the shitty base pay (though the healthcare and pension should make up the difference).

Administrations are unable to cull the heard of weak teachers and are unable to reward the strongest because of the ridiculous power of the unions.

But for-profit education leads down the same path as for-profit health care in the US. No one wants that. Well, doctors and teachers do, bit patients and students don't.

Beauracracies have a terrible track record of treating their employees with dignity and respect such that unions become a practica

As is typical, our current reality is the result of a long, human history full of compromises and mistakes.

But don't let me stop the ivory tower, arm-chair analysis we all come to slashdot for.

Re:It's Complicated; No, Really Complicated (1)

foo fighter (151863) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376053)

Should say:

"...such that unions become a practical necessity."

Damn iPod Touch 2.0 and damn Steve Jobs.

Re:It's Complicated; No, Really Complicated (1)

seanalltogether (1071602) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376277)

"But for-profit education leads down the same path as for-profit health care in the US. No one wants that. Well, doctors and teachers do, bit patients and students don't." I don't entirely agree with that just because health care is such a high risk environment with enormous expenses. I think we could do pretty well with a voucher system mixed in with public schools. There's such a high barrier to entry for starting a private school these days and vouchers could really help mix it up. Of course the state should still subsidize public school facilities to ensure all regions have a public school option, but the salaries and operations of a school should be placed on the burden of competing for voucher dollars.

first: override the teacher's unions (0, Troll)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375985)

As badly as teachers are treated, you can't even get rid of the bad teachers until you can override the teacher's union. They don't want merit-based pay or any of that kind of thing because it means that teachers have to perform, rather than just stay in their job and get tenure. One of the downsides of unions, sadly. I'm not anti-union, but there ARE downsides to be aware of.

I think the best option would be to fund all schools first (rather than other things), rather like the investment people say, "pay yourself first" - fully fund the schools first, then worry about new parks, etc. When you have the schools properly funded, then you can go after the other problems. Otherwise, it'd like worry about the aerodynamics of the bad paint job on your car when the larger problem of a leaking fueltank goes unchecked.

And as the poster above mentioned, there is a war on critical thinking. This doesn't apply to the current education system because critical thinking isn't being taught in schools except in certain college courses (Intro to Logic should be a required course for all humans. In your first year of high school!). The memorization of facts and certain base reading and math ability are all that seems to found in modern education (in the U.S., anyway; I have no experience in the education systems of other countries). But without critical thinking, you're certainly not going to be able to fix the education system here, either.

Summary says everything (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375989)

The bureaucrats like things the way they are because it leaves things in a crisis mode that they benefit from. The solution is to break apart the government's de facto monopoly on education K-12 so that there is a competitive marketplace for education.

Academic surveys have shown time and again that the majority of the people who are drawn to education are the bottom of the barrel of college students. Most of them are education majors, and they consistently tend to score in the bottom 5 of all majors with SAT and GPA scores from their high schools. If you want to fix that, and get higher quality educators, you are going to have to allow the market to create the incentives needed to make people of that level of intellect and talent desired to go into this profession.

School vouchers ... (1, Troll)

Syncerus (213609) | more than 6 years ago | (#24375997)

The problem is easily solvable; it's just the NEA in California bought an election to kill it. Break the monopoly of the public school system and give parents real choice in education and values.

Make it optional (1)

pla (258480) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376007)

How Do You Fix Education?

Simple - Let people drop out after learning the absolute basic literacy and math skills required to use a cash register at McDonalds (sixth grade, perhaps), and allocate the "real" educational resources to those who will actually benefit from it.

And don't come crying about NCLB, the biggest line of "cripple the strong to make the weak feel better" bullshit to come along since FDR (yeah, nice touch of irony there, eh?)


I did fairly well in school - At least, as far as getting a real education goes. My grades sucked for the most part because I loathed school until the wonderful world of college. I can't help wondering, though, how much more I could have done if schools functioned more as a supportive healthy learning environment rather than as a form of institutionalized baby-sitting complete with a daily gauntlet of physical and emotional torment by our "peers".

(And no, I don't feel particularly bitter about it - But I will call a spade a spade, and our current education system quite simply sucks).

we need to start Big (1)

nx6310 (1150553) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376011)

Then work our way down to G W Bush.
The world might have hope if idiots don't reach power.
Science might even have a chance too.

You can't (1)

maetenloch (181291) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376021)

As long as the NEA and Dept of Education have power, education will never be fixed. They're happy with the status quo, and many parents are as well. We've been talking about educational reform since the 1980's, but it hasn't happened. The teachers' unions aren't willing to give up anything, and many parents are all for standards in the abstract, but not so much when their precious little Johnny gets a C.

Apprenticeship (1)

m0llusk (789903) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376033)

Education should blend with practice and profitability instead of being separated from them. Learning should merge into doing, sooner rather than later. What we do now is like keeping potentially brilliant workers who could be leading the way in at least some respects in a kind of prison. Bringing education into work can also help pay the way.

This is kind of begging the question (1)

Ynsats (922697) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376041)

The question is not about a political slant concerning a broken education system. More money or less money is not going to solve the problem.

I don't see the problem with parents getting involved in schooling nor do I see the problem with course material. There is an issue with involved teachers and getting schools adequately staffed and class sizes more manageable. However, overall, I see the problem for sciences and maths and physics being application.

Students do not have the opportunities available to them to apply skills. We rarely hear of schooling problems in trade schools and uninvolved parents or lack of money for slow students,not picking up the material quickly enough. Why? Apprenticeships. The students often get jobs before they are even out of school and even then they are on a tiered level where they start out with little responsibility and are tied to a senior person. That senior person is a guide and mentor and helps the apprentice hone his/her skills and apply knowledge to form wisdom for the job they are doing.

Why are other disciplines any different? OK, we have a money problem. You know what? Start incentive programs with corporations looking for such people in their workforce. Give the company students on the cheap in return for sizable donations to keep the program afloat. Not only does the school get the needed money but the students get to apply the knowledge they spent hours, sometimes day, memorizing in class. When they apply it, they show much more retention than just reading a book, taking notes and memorizing vocabulary.

The biggest problem is uninterested students. Mainly because you get a guy with the personality of a wet pillow standing in front of class droning on and on about polynomials and complex circuit designs and they never even turn around from the chalkboard to see half the class walked out 15 minutes in to the lecture! Give a student a reason to bee interested. Show the student how what they are learning applies and how they will use it every day if they stick with it and go for a job in the market when they graduate. Best yet, give them a paycheck for it. Show them the value that good work has and give them the resources and opportunity to make a difference.

Don't tell me that politicians like it broken. Don't tell me that parents aren't involved. Don't tell me that the school is short on money. If anything those problems are caused by lazy people not willing to go the extra mile to make the needed difference. None of that controls what a kid lets sink into his/her head. Sure those things help with the program to better interest students and such but, if the student is fundamentally uninterested and is holding on to pie-in-the-sky ideals for their future in engineering then give them a glimpse of what their hard work will get them.

And before any old fart gets on here and spouts off about how they never worried about being interested, they just buckled down and did the work they knew they had to do, no matter how bored they were. Honestly, ask yourself a question. Did that REALLY benefit you learning like that? Did you REALLY get everything you needed or wanted to get out of lessons like that? Just because it was broken then doesn't mean it should stay broken now. If we can do better, damn it, we should be doing everything we can to make it better! The only way life gets better is if everybody works positive change instead of saying things like "My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead and that's the ways I likes it!".

where's the problem? (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376051)

Higher education is much more of an efficient, free market than other businesses: there is a lot of information about educational outcomes, and students and universities have a lot of information about each other, and there are a lot of different approaches being tried. If something improves education, it's already being tried, and if it works, other universities will adopt it.

Besides, there is no single way of "fixing" higher education: people, institutions, and fields are much too diverse.

Successful troll is successful (4, Funny)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376085)

Very nicely constructed post to show how no one reads the articles.

Re:Successful troll is successful (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376217)

This would be funny if it wasn't so damn insightful, mods!

Re:Successful troll is successful (1)

pxc (938367) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376271)

And that is a very nicely constructed sentence to trick some one into reading the article.

You got me, at least. But hey, it's probably 'cause I'm new around here.

Could they even pass 8th grade?? (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376137)

"The real issue is, can someone who went through 20 years of science education as a student, lived his life in academia since then and even got a Nobel prize get a fair shake from bureaucrats who like education the way it is -- flawed and therefore always needing more money?"

No the real issue is could someone who went through 20 years of science education as a student, lived his life in academia since then and even got a Nobel prize pass an
1895 eighth grade test?

http://www.rense.com/general68/8th.htm [rense.com]

While we're at it.. read John Gatto's book: The Underground History of American Education
http://johntaylorgatto.com/ [johntaylorgatto.com]

The people behind educatoin

For Starters... (1, Troll)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376141)

For starters abolish/disband or otherwise un-empower the NEA that makes it next to impossible to fire bad teachers and reward and retain the good ones. No amount of curricular advancement/improvement/modernization or money dumped into school districts' coffers will ever have a significant impact on the quality of education if the teachers are poor quality and/or uncaring. The NEA, IMO, has done more to hinder education than any other cause.

And before anyone starts with "But teachers are underpaid and *need* the unions!" I'd like to point out that the NEA has been around for a few decades now, and teachers are still underpaid.

Cheers!

Strat

Re:For Starters... (1, Troll)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376291)

I taught high school and belonged to the union. The union must save their magical powers for schools other than the one I taught at. The only thing the union ever did for me was take money out of my paycheck.

Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24376143)

Leave children behind.

Problem solved.

3 things to fix education (5, Insightful)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376149)

1:Smaller class sizes!

2:Less memorization, more critical thinking and analysis.

3:Less passive listening and watching, more discussion and experiment (think Socarates).

None of these need tons of computers or facilities or whatever. What they do need are more teachers, and less burnout.

Wrong (1)

No2Gates (239823) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376157)

I believe it's spelled edumacation.

My experience as a student of Prof. Weiman (5, Interesting)

Scorpinox (479613) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376171)

I had the privilege of taking a quantum mechanics course from Carl Weiman 2 years ago while he was teaching at the University of Colorado. It was by far the best college course I've taken, he had the perfect mix of well versed lecturing with "clicker" quizzes throughout the class, homework that was appropriate for the material, and tests which rewarded understanding of the material and not memorization.

The best part really was that by the end of the course, he gave his lecture on Bose Einstein Condensate which he won the Nobel prize for, and all the students could understand what he was talking about from learning things throughout the semester, it was incredibly rewarding.

Compare that to my next physics courses which were basically applied calculus, except they left out the important part of what the **** any of it meant and how it applied to... anything really. His course overshadowed the rest of my physics courses and in the end, because of the huge disparity in teaching styles, made the rest of my studies quite grating and rather uninteresting.

Three things to start... (1)

FrankSchwab (675585) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376175)

1. Evaluation
Teachers have as much impact on the learning of their students as almost anything else, and we have never figured out how to evaluate and reward the great ones and fire the poor ones. Until we can do this, everything else is doomed.

2. Honesty.
The hardest thing in science is to teach the method, and not the dogma. A career scientist gets excited about a new discovery that upends everything they have believed true up to this point; it's an intellectually challenging and exciting time. The scientific method triumphs when a General Relativity or a Quantum Mechanics can completely change the basic beliefs of science in less than a generation. An honest recognition that much of (at least higher physical classes) is "According to current theory..." or "This is what we currently believe to be the truth" rather than "this is the way it is, has always been, and will always be..." would dispel much of the mystery and fear around the sciences. Physicists are human beings, struggling with frailties, foibles, superstitions, and much smaller brains than we believe to understand the workings of the universe.

3. Openness. The global warming debate is an example of the worst of science. Is the earth warming? Sure is.
Why is it warming? Answering this question has gotten so wrapped around the axle of political and religious pseudo-science that it's not clear when honest scholarship can begin again. Hands with hidden agendas have silenced scientists, have falsified basic data, and warped basic theory to try to get it to match observations, on both sides of the fence. When a scientist is afraid to stand and say "That's bullshit, and here's why", we have momentarily lost the method that has lead to the extraordinary scientific knowledge that we have today.

Wish List (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24376213)

1. Get rid of standardized tests. In an age where information is only a few clicks away we no longer need to focus on pure memorization.

2. Focus more on critical thinking and analysis. Again in an age with so much information it's important to be able to analyze and filter signal from noise.

3. No more grade levels. Allow students to learn and achieve at their own rate. In essence get rid of assembly line education and create individually driven education. No one is left behind or slowed down.

4. Add curriculum that focuses on financial literacy and responsibility.

Parents. Parents. Parents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24376237)

As someone who came from a uneducated household, it is all about the parents.

If the parents aren't involved, the students will not work as hard as they could unless the parents are pushing and encouraging.

Me, I'm 10 years behind where I should be if my parents sat down and answered a few of my questions as a kid or directed me in a positive way.

WSJ: What makes Finnish kids so smart? (1)

ThinkComp (514335) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376257)

There's obviously no short answer to this question, but this article from the Wall Street Journal [wsj.com] presents a really interesting alternative to the American educational system, which is a mess that's I've written about extensively [aarongreenspan.com] . Essentially, hours upon hours of homework followed by regular tests are not the answer. Allowing kids to have enough time to think for themselves would be a start.

The bureaucracy seems to hate good teaching (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24376293)

The beauty of teaching math is that the results are very easy to measure. If all your students do much better than anyone else's students on standard tests and in competitions, you must be doing something right.

Unfortunately, when the bureaucracy finds someone doing an excellent job of teaching math, they bend over backward to make sure it doesn't spread. I have three examples:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stand_and_Deliver [wikipedia.org] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaime_Escalante [wikipedia.org] Jaime Escalante was so good they made a movie about him.

Closer to my home:

http://www.spiritofmath.com/about3a.html [spiritofmath.com] Charles Ledger was amazing. He was willing to share his method/strategy with anybody. The bureaucrats ignored him and pushed him out of the system.

http://jumpmath.org/about/mighton [jumpmath.org] John Mighton has proved that any student can learn math. He's fighting an up-hill battle to get his materials and methods into the school system. Fortunately, he has lots of volunteers and many teachers and administrators have seen how well his method works. His program looks like it has legs.

IMHO, the problem is the system. The bureaucrats aren't rewarded when they nurture good teaching. Good teaching is a nuisance to them. They squish it whenever they find it.

You can't fix it; parents want no responsibility (1)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376323)

As long as parents refuse any responsibility for the education, upbringing and actions of their child there's nothing that can be done. We're entering a brief educational dark ages where for the next couple of decades our schools will be putting out irresponsible "lawsuit babies" who will be unable to deal with anything that does not go as they expect. Parents, churches and the government want to strip education down to the most elementary, non-controversial topics possible so no one has to think, there will be no conflict and no need to learn how to deal with friction.

Within another ten years or so we will start to see the effects of this as the U.S. falls behind in every measurable standard of education and knowledge. Then perhaps there will be a change of heart as we head down to our inevitable second-world status.

Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24376335)

From TFA: "The full use of the research on teaching and learning, particularly as implemented via modern IT [italics mine], can transform higher education, and allow it to do a far better job of meeting the higher education needs of a modern society."

Here comes the Carl Wiernan On-Line University!

John Locke on Education (1)

DerekSTheRed (1292084) | more than 6 years ago | (#24376349)

I find Locke's Some Thoughts Concerning Education [wikipedia.org] to contain the answers to a lot of what's wrong with kids. Teaching kids to rationalize their decision making so that they will grow up to make good choices is severely lacking in today's youth. Instead, they are turning into sensualists. Increasing the rational thinking in students will help increase their ability to learn science as well.
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