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  1. #1
    breaking out of my cocoon SearchingforPeace's Avatar
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    Default Mystery of underachieving

    Fascinating article on education and efforts to push people out of the underclass in the Atlantic: The Goal of College Acceptance Motivates Underachievement - The Atlantic

    I highly suggest reading the whole thing. It really illustrates why current educational goals and programs are ultimately failures, especially the emphasis on being college ready.

    A few quotes:

    ....
    Every year, nearly 60 percent of first-year college students nationally discover that “they are not academically ready for postsecondary studies.” These students are required to take remedial courses in English or mathematics, which do not count for college credit. The problem is most severe at community colleges, where 75 percent of entering freshmen require remediation. At less-selective four-year colleges, which theoretically require prospective students to complete a college-prep curriculum, achieve competitive grade point averages, and perform well on admissions tests, nearly 50 percent of students still arrive underprepared.

    .....

    The primary reason Travis said he spent minimal effort in her class was that graduating from Hyde and enrolling in college—two objectively measurable goals—could be achieved via the low levels of performance that she and her colleagues were enabling. Defining success in terms of “attainment” measures like credit accumulation, high-school graduation, and college-enrollment rates can set up a cascade of unintended consequences that can systematically encourage students to underachieve in school. The purpose of learning—to spark student curiosity, empower young people to take creative control over their lives, and develop subject and skills mastery—becomes inverted. Grades are the stick, make-up work the carrot, and true achievement falls by the wayside.
    ...
    Again, the entire article is worth reading, even though it mostly is presenting a problem rather than providing a solution.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Smilephantomhive's Avatar
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    I think student's not doing well if a very complex issue, and imo the best people to change it are the students themselves. But of course for some that is simply not going to happen. Self motivated learning is the best way to understand things, but can teachers do anything about that?
    "Avoid getting too preoccupied thinking about what you’re going to do, to actually do it."
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  3. #3
    Senior Member agentwashington's Avatar
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    They made it so that it's highly competitive back at home, academically speaking.

    I'm sure there are be better ways.
    “[Capitalism] as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of evils. I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals.”
    ― Albert Einstein, Why Socialism?

    “The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and evils of racism.”
    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

  4. #4
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smilephantomhive View Post
    I think student's not doing well if a very complex issue, and imo the best people to change it are the students themselves. But of course for some that is simply not going to happen. Self motivated learning is the best way to understand things, but can teachers do anything about that?
    Teachers cannot do much when they have large classes, must emphasize preparation for standardized tests, and work within a system that is process driven rather than results driven. These conditions also frustrate those students who already are self-motivated.

    School systems judge success by things that are relatively easy to measure: scores on standardized tests, graduation rates, and admission to higher education. To quote from the article, this says little about "whether students are growing intellectually and becoming prepared for success in college-level coursework." I would be interested in seeing how many of a school system's graduates actually graduate from college, or demonstrate measureable success in other pursuits like the military or a skilled trade. I would be interested in knowing, say 10 years after graduation, how many have criminal convictions, excessive debt, difficulty keeping a job, etc. Obviously the educational system isn't responsible for all these problems, but it certainly helps if your education actually prepared you to succeed in the job market.

    Both schools (K-12) and colleges need to be more demanding, and focus on real substance rather than simply a list of checked boxes. If poor and/or minority students can't meet these demands, the answer isn't to shut them out, but to address their shortcomings as early as possible, whether that is lack of support at home, fear of "trying to be white", medical or nutritional problems, whatever. This is where "affirmative action" really belongs, at the very beginning of the pipeline, where disadvantages will have effects that last a lifetime.

    Being more selective should help colleges and universities, too. It takes alot of money to educate these vast hordes of students propelled toward college by eager guidance counselors and families. Historically, college education has been rationed as much by ability to pay as by merit, resulting, among other things, in the significant amount of student loan debt in play today. If colleges admit only those truly able to benefit from what they offer, those who don't make the cut will either have to improve their background, or rethink their strategy and choose another path in life. They can always try again later, when their greater maturity and life experiences may indeed make them prepared to benefit.
    Last edited by Coriolis; 05-29-2017 at 01:42 AM. Reason: fixed misplaced word
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  5. #5
    Sweet Summer Child yama's Avatar
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    I could never have been college ready in my entire life if I wasn't allowed to take one remedial math class.
    26 weeks

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    I'm just happy I'm not studying anymore. I learned all my necessary skills in my job, not at school

  7. #7
    SpaceCadetGoldStarBrigade Population: 1's Avatar
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    Public school rates intelligence through the equation parroting=academic success. It in no way encourages the students to think, only to remember. When a student arrives at college they're usually expected to learn and know the subject and in edition in say history or politics, to have opinions. Opinions that are logical and defendable. It sets a completely different standard for the processing and dissemination of knowledge. Regurgitation of names and dates doesn't prepare students to use the information they've retained in a practical manner. It seems insane that most of the time that you're rising through twelve grades of schooling a lot of teachers and parents push higher education but the system doesn't accommodate the higher education standard in the curriculum! Mind blowing. If you're a knowledge hungry child you'll find ways to work around this through independent study but the kids who don't are wholly unprepared.
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