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While getting my daily dose of Internet humor from Cracked.com, I was reading through an article about things we hated in school but were right to hate. Now, Cracked isn't exactly a trusted news source (so I'm not all that familiar with the "facts" the author used in this particular section) but an interesting point was brought up and I thought I'd bring it over here, since I rather enjoy the discussions we have on tBB about stuff like this. I'm namely referring to this:
"For those of us who weren't big into organized sports, being graded and getting scored on standardized tests were our first experiences with the stress of competition. The only students who enjoy being ranked are those at the top, and the valedictorian is the only student not imagining a swarm of flying ***** choking him to death on graduation day.
But competition clearly works in the real world, so most likely all of us non-valedictorians are just sore losers. After all, the modern world runs on competition. It's what made America great. The free market is all about pitting worker vs. worker, company vs. company, and idea vs. idea. The best comes out on top, and everyone pushes themselves harder out of fear of falling behind. Kids just need to man up and see how the grown-ups do things.
But You Were Right ...
Every three years, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development conducts a survey of the world's educational systems, called PISA. 2001 was the first year they managed to pry Finland away from playing air guitar long enough to be included in the study, and they absolutely crushed it, scoring at or near top marks in every category. No one was more surprised by this than the Finns themselves, since academic excellence isn't something they give one steaming sh!t about.
Finland has no standardized tests. They don't rank their students, select valedictorians, or even care all that much about grades. Teachers give individualized grades to each student and develop their own tests for their specific classrooms without any input from some central authority. There's no competition in Finnish education, and no private university scholarships to compete for. It sounds like the BSiest hippie wet dream ever conceived ... and it works better than any other educational system in the Western World.
How is that possible? Well, competition may make perfect sense when it comes to grown-ass men fighting over a leather ball, but in the classroom, it appears to just distract kids from the important business of learning. Denise Clark Pope, a lecturer at Stanford's School of Education, followed five high school students around for a year, and while a stunt like that would have landed us in a very special sort of prison, her outcome was much more productive: She found that high achievers spent more time "finangling the system" than they spent gaining knowledge. Meanwhile, students in Finland don't worry about maximizing their GPA or collecting enough extra credit hours to impress [College X], and as a result they end up actually learning stuff.
And don't just take Finland's word for it. Professor Hall Beck of Appalachian State University found that students who focused mainly on their grades tended to have lower GPAs and shittier mental health than the kids who focused on learning. So what should replace grading? "Nonthreatening, task-related evaluation," otherwise known as correcting kids when they mess up without penalizing them for it.
Again, it sounds like a load of rancid hippie crap, but it gets results.
Although to be fair, grades get results, too -- results that equate to kryptonite for our kids' brains. The mere knowledge that their work is being graded is even more effective than track day in PE at making them avoid school."
Source of the article aside, thoughts?
competition isn't nearly as perfect as we amerikans like to think.
sort of like that rational maximizing behavior assumption
www.yohoodent.com ... errybawdee awn ignorle
Teachings like this have a place. Often in sports actually when you are working to change an ingrained technique. Don't judge on the result, but the process. I try to use this process in the winter months when there is snow outside. Ill have a student hit into a net and focus on a process oriented goal. The net keeps the student from focusing on the immediate result and, assuming we've been working on the right concept/technique, the student will see a huge improvemt when they take it to the course in the spring.
Not to crazy. But it doesn't wok for everything.
Teein' Off on Links
I mean, he makes a solid point on being so GPA focused actually deterring learning. I know I'm not the only one who crammed for tests and cheated on occasion because all I wanted was to get the A. Learning the material long term wasn't a priority all that often. And I did well in school, so I obviously learned my fair share, but I don't think the school had as much to do with that as it should have, considering that's supposed to be the point of going to school.
In my personal experience that has always worked well. I've never given two shits about any grade I've received. Since maybe 7th grade, I always just went into every class wanting to learn more about that subject. The grades took care of themselves, I got into college easily and graduated in 3.5 years.
It could work IMO.
Democrats don't like competition....give everyone A's.
Our school system sucks. In Florida with no child left behind they make classes for the least intelligent kids so everyone can succeed. I was in top 3% of a 500 student graduating class, 97% for SAT etc. I was never challenged, I never did homework or studied. Hell tons of tests were open book and there were no late deductions. Only AP classes were moderately challenging.
TBH I like college a lot more, the competition is fierce but as long as it isn't a bell curve class it is friendly and helps people learn. What the hell do you want to happen, every person that goes to college has the choice of being a doctor with out weeding out the incapable?
^ Didn't read a word of the OP.
How is that what you gathered from this?
I think the thing with sports and competition is that you learn , hopefully, that if you don't give up and work to get better and are SELF MOTIVATED to be better, you can make it. You may not win the game or competition, but you will better off because of the effort given and have a chance to win. Same in life. You can be what you want in this country if YOU are willing to work for it and try to be the best you can possibly be at it. Not a Bama fan but I've heard Saban talk about this a lot and it makes perfect sense. A lot of this is cliche stuff, but it holds true I think.
On the grades thing. I think there are certain professions where they are important such as a doctor. I don't want them letting the guy who slept thru class cut me open.
I think the point was is the current competition method in schools simply focusing on grades and not learning? Hence all of the cramming, cheating, etc. While good for grades, is it a road block to actual learning?
If you cram you are lazy and will lack success no matter what your job is. Cheating is only cheating on your own knowledge, you will never pass a proctored test or interview by cheating through class.
People who do those two things get weeded out; deservedly so. Please don't be one of those people who makes excuses for everyone no matter what they do and point fingers at everyone but themselves.
Don't turn this into a political debate. I know that may be tough for you but politics needs to stay out of education...plain and simple.
Unless it involves republicans siphoning public education money to subsidize sending their kids to private school.
Pertaining to the OP, I remember sitting in HS classes and we would learn a chapter in class and HW would be to learn the next chapter on your own. They'd have to get so much "covered" because of the laws that if a kid isn't capable of absorbing things on the fly they're basically screwed.
Who cares what Europe is doing when here in the states we can just throw another $1T at the problem.
I'm all for personal responsibility, but you're still ignoring the issue of is this what the modern education system pushes for? High test scores, standardized tests, the whole slate. If you're told as a teenager that "good grades" are what leads to success but not necessarily learning, what're you going to focus on? That's the point.
How else would you determine someone's knowledge on a subject if you didn't test them and grade them. I don't have an answer , just curious as to how you could find out if someone learned anything
If the argument is that you shouldn't have to get a good score or grade then I don't get it I guess. I realize tests are mostly memorization and recall and you may not actually "learn" the information. I think the individual has to have the desire to learn about the subject and motivating people who don't care to be doesn't seem to be the strong point of the US. I don't think grading creates a road block. I think the road block to learning comes from lots of areas but focusing on grades doesn't seem to be one of them. Maybe I missed the point again, which is completely possible.
On this board if the topic is best tomatoes to plant this spring, it will turn into a political debate.
I see my sarcasm went over your head rather easily.
Even when education had large sums of money being thrown at it, it wasn't helping. There is no amount of money in the world that can fix a system that rewards tenure over results or having absentee parents that are not involved in their child's education.
Damn farmers with their subsidies
Pretty damn good.
Later on in that "article" they discuss how final exams are not a good thing either. Not that testing to see what you've learned is bad, but that some massive comprehensive final simply contributes to this cram cram cram, grade only oriented mind set. They talk about how comprehensive tests given regularly throughout the year (like weekly) seem to support a better system of actually learning material.
No one is saying let's ditch responsibility or stop finding a way to figure out who is best suited for things based on education, but personally I think it's very evident we have a system that focuses solely on "good grades" regardless of learning (the standardized test effect) and that we simply punish those who aren't "learning as quickly" rather than taking steps to help those slower students succeed. And I don't mean doing the latter at the expanse of allowing smart students to excel. This article is focused solely on high school and lower, not college on. They're kids for God's sake. Responsibility is all well and good, but it's the SAT and ACT we've told them is important, not actually being smart.
This post was edited by sf2k4 13 months ago
STOP TRYING TO TURN US INTO EUROPE
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