Tuesday, 17 July 2007

The Scary Reality About Schools and the Learning (or Lack Thereof) of Students

George Reisman got his last article in the Free Radical very scarily right, indeed. In it he talks about how education in most schools in the West are concentrating less on actual teaching and on getting the students to supposedly learn the facts themselves-only really teaching how to get those facts. Although some teachers can prove good exceptions, it is rather remarkable how little gets done on any subject in a good one hour.

A good example of this would be our last Social Studies lesson. All we did is draw pictures-literally! How this is supposed to help with our topic (Waka and Whaler-NZ's early history) I don't know, since was no actual knowledge being learnt through the process of repeated application. However, the incident that really put the icing on the cake happened today; my English teacher made a public declaration to the class that, in English, what you learn is not important; it's how you learn it.

But how many obnoxious teenagers are really interested in learning themselves? I'm in a streamed class, and I know only a few.

Another severe problem breeding irrationality-another point in George's article-is a lack of discipline, and teachers are only so effective at combating it. Instead, teachers teach facts (although only once most of the time-never enough to have actually learnt it) that should've been taught several years ago, and with little progress to speak of. There are only a few activities to actually stretch your mind.

Indeed, many of the "dumber" children get left behind, because, as George points out only too many times, there has been no repeated application of what they're learning. Therefore, the facts have to be taught again to them. And then, of course, there are the smarter students, who then get left behind because they've already learnt what's being taught.

The Government, parents and teachers need to realize that a serious overhaul is needed in the current learning process that is dumbing down our students. Learning, not some "fun" left-of-centre activities, should be the major factor in our classrooms.


PC said...

Glad that resonated with you, Callum, although I really wish you could have been able to post and say George was wrong. He really nails it, doesn't he.

Are you planning to post your "prize-winning" AoC essay? I'd be curious to see how the winners compared to yours.

Callum said...

It's here, PC:


The Perfect Man said...

Social Studies sucked 25yrs ago and still does by your account. No surprise. My SS teacher was a longtime member of the NZ communist party! Even back then I recognized much in the school curriculum as blatant leftisit social conditioning.
Decades of forced exposure to such crap have poisoned the minds of Kiwi's big time. They've believed the lie of all these so-called 'rights' we have and vote thinking only of their own 'rights' and not of anyone else's or the longterm good of society as a whole.

Home schooling is the way to go. I'm so jealous of kids who are so lucky to be HS'd.