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Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by windcatcher, Nov 23, 2008.
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The current situation in history and civics is very bad. As a college history instructor I could give you more than a few examples of college students displaying amazing historical ignorance. Two weeks ago, during my introduction lecture to the American Revolution, I had a student inform me (and the class) that in 1776 America declared independence from Spain. I don't know why but that seems to be a common mistake people make.
I think the major problem is that many public schools have dropped history in favor of social studies. While social studies is fine and good, it does not give students the real meat of history. It does not prepare students to walk into my American History I or Western Civilization I college level courses. Therefore I, and other history instructors, have to spend too much time teaching material the students should already know (ie...that America declared independence from Great Britain in 1776).
Why are public schools no longer teaching history?
Well, in North Carolina it is because of the end of grade exams (EOG) that students are required to pass. Teachers are now forced to "teach to the test" instead of educating their students. Thus they focus on math and science more than history. Until this odd obsession with exams ends we are going to continue to see horrible levels of ignorance when it comes to things like history and civics.
Then maybe the testing is not the problem but the questions that are lacking on the tests.
==The eog tests do not focus on history/social studies. The exams mainly focus on things like math and science. So, in a way, your right. The problem is the questions that are lacking on the tests. But it goes deeper than that.
Most of those exams are multiple choice which, according to Bloom's Taxonomy, is "the lowest level of learning outcomes in the cognitive domain". Add to that the stresses of taking a standardized exam and what you have is a fancy guessing game. The end of grade tests prove nothing. All those tests do is prove how hard teachers can drill certain points and how good students are a recalling those points. The tests do not look for a students comprehension of the subject or their ability to evaluate what they have learned (etc). The tests certainly do not prepare students for college.
IMO, public schools should return to allowing the classroom teacher to teach their students the different subjects (not tests) and to test her/his own students. Of course that would mean that the "powers from on high" would not get to make those fancy tests. End of grade tests are for the birds.
I have a huge problem with this. It sets no standards for the teachers and keeps them accountable to no one. I trust teachers only so far as they are willing to be accountable.
I've heard my Sunday School teacher advocate that the Revolution was anarchy against the lawful government and sovereignty of England. If that were the case then there would have been no uprising..... that is if England's monarchy and parliment and courts had dealt justly with the colonies.... which was not the case.
The Declaration of Independance sets forth the crimes of a government against its people which led to the revolt. It declared as a statement of fact..... not conjecture...... not a political philosphy...... that mankind is endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights.... not rights given by governments... but rights given us by God.
Education in this country has gone downhill ever since the Federal Government got involved.
How about if we subistue United States for England. Was that incendent in 1861 anarchy?
Depends on what viewpoint you teach it.
More than that the Teachers Union
==Well, it worked before all the testing was thrown in. The decline in educational standards goes almost hand in hand with the rise of the standardized eog tests. Most teachers desire to educate their students.
You are right. Also setting standards for teachers does nothing about parents who could care less if their kids learn or not. A teacher cannot effectigvely teach kids who receive no guidance or motivation from home. Many people lay all the blame on the teacher ... and there are some bad teachers ... but also there are bad parents and they also are responisble for their kids irresponsibility and lack of desire to learn.
What point are you trying to make?
Or are you like making a statement also..... to the effect that your education left you lacking the information whereof you speak ....or rather question?
This is just in complete error. Prior to these tests kids were graduating not able to read two sentences. Teachers are government employees and responsible tot he tax payers. They need accountability. Especially with the extreme left wing teachers Union involved.
Hmmmm, I graduated and was able to read, able to go to college and then to graduate school. Wonder how that happened as I was long before the current system?
Parents bear much of the responsiblity of their kids doing poorly!
Obviously you know very little about what happens in a public school classroom. Currently, the teachers teach children how to take and pass the standardized test, and very little else. The reason for this is that the administration puts pressure on the teachers to have a high percentage of their students do well on the tests. This is how the teachers are evaluated. In this scenario the learning of the students is not a concern for the administration, only the percentage of students who are able to pass the standardized test. This is one of the main reasons our graduates do so poorly in everyday situations and have almost no concept of what real learning is all about.
If we want to have civil discussions around here the first sentence is not helpful. After that your argument fails to acknowledge a few things. Mainly it does not recognize that what is on these tests should be what the children should know to graduate. It is a false argument that the tests are only about the teachers. They are in fact about the knowledge of the students as well. If the students cannot pass then their knowledge is lacking. There may be a legitimate argument as to what is on the tests. But the testing itself is not the problem.
I think what is on the test should be the determination of the effectiveness of the test.
Teaching to the test does not give a good education. Kids learning only facts, but not being taught any analytical skills or thinking skills produce ignorant kids. The system as it is now really produces poor students. Standardized tests and the No Child Left Behind need to be sent back to Texas.
Unless the test targets those areas.
==I'm not really sure how to respond to that since all indications are that students are getting worse. The eog tests are not solving any problem. If you think teachers "teaching to the test" is a good thing then I don't know what to say. I know very good elementary school teachers who have had their lessons destroyed over the past dozen or so years by being forced to "teach to the test". Standardized tests are the single worst way to judge a students knowledge and performance (in any subject at any level).
Btw, I teach undergraduate students. Allow me to assure you that they still can't "read two sentences" much less write a meaningful paper. But should we be surprised? After all standardized tests don't test a student's ability to write a meaningful paper or think logically. The eog multiple choice tests are a joke.