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Casey, making hot chocolate
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Hmmm... *ponders*

First off, I'd go after the cell phones. Nothing more distracting.

Next, I'd start tossing people. If they don't want to be there, then oblige them.

Those two would be an excellent start to getting control and moving in the right direction.

TGirl, I had a teacher in HS like your OChem prof. Mine packed a yardstick, and was pretty darn good at laying that thing right on the corner of a desk. Never hit anyone, but woke them up!

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"To be or not to be! That is the question! Now, will you answer, dare, double dare, or take the Physical Challenge?" --Mark Summers as Hamlet
Countdown: 177 days and counting... or less. My blog. 14 keyboards owed.

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I don't think taking away cell phones or kicking out disruptive students moves in the direction of them wanting to learn, which it seems to me is the goal here. I don't know what can be done to fix that because it requires finding something inside of them to start the fire.

One thing that motivates my mom's low 4th graders is asking them point blank if they are proud of their work. I don't know if that would work with 19yos though.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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Spamamander in a pear tree
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Just kind of sighs.

This, folks, is one of the biggest things wrong with the educational system in the United States. Since everyone is "expected" to have a degree, colleges become dumping grounds for students who aren't ready to be responsible adults and hope to have a playground for another four years.

Instead of colleges teaching advanced subjects, they become a haven for adolescence- particularly for young adults whose mommies and daddies can buy them everything, including an "education". There should be a lot more focus on vocational training for the people who aren't cut out for book-work, as the skilled trades are screaming for apprentices, yet they are looked down upon as somehow lesser occupations than anything requiring a degree. (Looked at the wages for plumbers, electricians, carpenters lately? There's good money there, because of supply and demand.) Make higher education more available to those who have that particular aptitude, and make a degree MEAN something.

Um, I probably sounded a wee bit bitter there. Honestly, though, I worked with a lot of "college graduates" at Red Lobster, and I knew a lot of kids in my graduating class back there in the stone age that weren't in the top echelons academically but went to college because it was "expected" and their folks had the money to back it up.

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"There is a race between mankind and the universe. Mankind is trying to build bigger, better, faster, and more foolproof machines. The universe is trying to build bigger, better, and faster fools. So far the universe is winning." -Albert Einstein

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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Filet o' Spamamander:
This, folks, is one of the biggest things wrong with the educational system in the United States. Since everyone is "expected" to have a degree, colleges become dumping grounds for students who aren't ready to be responsible adults and hope to have a playground for another four years.

[snip]

Um, I probably sounded a wee bit bitter there. Honestly, though, I worked with a lot of "college graduates" at Red Lobster, and I knew a lot of kids in my graduating class back there in the stone age that weren't in the top echelons academically but went to college because it was "expected" and their folks had the money to back it up.

It's also people like the students in the OP who make my Bachelor's degree worth less every year. Several generations ago, a high school diploma meant something important. Then a Bachelor's degree meant something significant. Now a Bachelor's isn't much more notable than a high school diploma, at least in my field. You now need at least a Master's degree for any hope of a moderately paying mid-level job. [Mad]

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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Logoboros
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I think it's absolutely true that a substantial number of Americans (I'd presume most, but maybe not) do see higher education as, basically, white collar vocational training.

The problem is that the university system that we have is not designed for vocational training. It's still fundamentally designed for a liberal arts education. Real vocational schools approach coursework and evaluation differently. Their educational goals are different.

But the old business schools and polytechnics have lost their social status -- people still want that basic job-training, but they want it wrapped up in a university degree.

Which, as Cervus notes, results in the status of the university degree itself degrading.

I know educators are famous for scapegoating each other, but I'd place the blame on high schools. Colleges shouldn't have to teach the kinds of basic critical thinking skills that they do now -- you should arrive at college ready for advanced critical thinking. But critical thinking is almost completely absent from our high schools now (and standarized testing has done nothing to help this situation). So, in a way, it is necessary for people to go to college if they just want to be capable citizens of a democracy. But not because that's what colleges are supposed to do; it's because the education a high school degree represents has become so mediocre.

--Logoboros

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"If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the Freest Government is compelld to be a Tyranny."

--William Blake

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Legion600
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Green Kangaroo:
Control the class? Really? I mean, the students in the class are adults (whether they act like it or not). Why should adults, in an organized setting, need to be controlled by a professor? What about their peers?

Maybe I'm just sensitive to the issue but I'm certainly not ready to lay the blame on BW not having the right "set of skills." At some point the students need to grow up and take responsibility for their success or failure -- Might as well be at college.

I'm not talking about the skills to control the class. Im talking about the skills to teach a remedial composition class.
I wouldn't expect someone with a degree in early childhood education to be able to jump right into teaching high school. I wouldn't expect someone who doesn't have a degree in Special Education to be able to jump right into teaching a class of developmentaly disabled students. I wouldn't expect someone who has no experience in it to be able to jump right into teaching a remedial college composition class.
It's great that you lead your class, however in leading them you control what they learn and how they act.

BeowulfGirl said
quote:
I don't have a problem with controlling the class, my problem is getting them to care about learning and education. Also, I did not "offer" to teach the remedial classes, I was told to do so by my department chair. And unless you've actually seen me in the classroom, I would refrain from making any judgment about my "skills"--I have been a professor for twelve years and have been told many times that I am an excellent instructor and dynamic educator.

If your students are texting on their phones, bringing food in, and sleeping in class then you don't appear to have any control over them.

I'm sorry but when you said
quote:
the only reason I agreed to teach developmental classes this term is because the professor that was originally scheduled to do so had some sort of "breakdown" and my department chair told me I would be paid extra. Generally I only teach advanced English classes and electives, but visions of dollar signs danced in my head and I gave in to my inner capitalist.

I assumed that meant you did have a choice about teaching the class.

It's great that you have been told you are an excellent instructor and a dynamic educator. That still doesn't mean you are good at teaching a remedial composition class.

You've said that you usually teach advanced english classes and electives. That means you deal with students who want to be there. Now you are dealing with students who don't want to be there. You have to engage them in a totally different way. I don't think that it's a matter of them not caring. I think it's a matter of you not being able to get them to care.

And just for the record before anybody asks. I spent a year as a college TA, I've had to teach classes to students who didn't want to be there. It's not fun, it's not easy, and not everyone can do it. I much preferred dealing with the advanced classes.

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Yes. I'm Evil. What's your point?

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Arrow-Tech IV
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My own experience when working with students who did not want to be in class was to be very numbers-oriented with them.

I printed up grade reports, was very clear about both my expectations and where they currently stood. Then I was very specific about ways they could improve their grades, and I emphasized that being courteous and respectful in class obviously translated directly into participation points.

I told them that if they had no interest in passing, they should probably not bother attending, but if they were interested, they just needed to follow the formula and show proficiency in the areas I'd identified.

For some reason, being able to directly translate what they did each day into a number really appealed to those students. Since they didn't care about the material, I had to do something.

You should have seen those smug 19-year-old males turn into "Yes, ma'm" boys after that. It was truly great.

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Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by BeowulfGirl:
I know there are several teachers and professors on this board, and I'm just curious if I'm the only one who has to deal with this crap. Despite my bitterness, I love being a college professor, I just...I just can't stand these particular students.

[lol] My goodness, could I or my wife give you "stories". Actually, I should have my wife talk to you. You two could go on for HOURS trying to top each other on "I have this student who..." type stores. In fact, she is cussing right now as she grades papers. What part of, "Use APA format" do these kids not understand?

Hang in there!

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And now for something completely different...

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Green Kangaroo
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Legion600:
I'm not talking about the skills to control the class. Im talking about the skills to teach a remedial composition class.
I wouldn't expect someone with a degree in early childhood education to be able to jump right into teaching high school. I wouldn't expect someone who doesn't have a degree in Special Education to be able to jump right into teaching a class of developmentaly disabled students. I wouldn't expect someone who has no experience in it to be able to jump right into teaching a remedial college composition class.
It's great that you lead your class, however in leading them you control what they learn and how they act.

[NITPICK] Really, I only control what they are exposed to in my classroom. If I controlled what they learned then no one would ever fail my class [Wink] [/NITPICK]

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I don't know if I'd survive without a friend like you in my life. Brett Dennen

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Legion600
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True. Very, very true.

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Yes. I'm Evil. What's your point?

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Gibbie
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Arrow Tech writes:
quote:
For some reason, being able to directly translate what they did each day into a number really appealed to those students. Since they didn't care about the material, I had to do something.
I think it's because for these students they don't really know how to make that leap anyother way, they can't think in the abstract that way they need it stepped out. Some students need to have a very specific list of expectations. Often they don't even know how to take notes or to study. They get overwhelmed with the task because they don't know where to start. WHen overwhelmed, they just blow it off. Somewhere along the line, their secondary education failed them and let them get through without being taught the basic learning and study skills needed to suceed.

Legion600 is right, if harsh, these students cannot be taught in the same manner an advanced class is. It requires an entirely different approach and skill set. Beowulf Girl, can you look into special education resources for ideas and help? It may be a good place to start.

Gibbie

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If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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LyndaD
Jingle Bell Hock


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"I know educators are famous for scapegoating each other, but I'd place the blame on high schools. Colleges shouldn't have to teach the kinds of basic critical thinking skills that they do now -- you should arrive at college ready for advanced critical thinking. But critical thinking is almost completely absent from our high schools now (and standarized testing has done nothing to help this situation). So, in a way, it is necessary for people to go to college if they just want to be capable citizens of a democracy. But not because that's what colleges are supposed to do; it's because the education a high school degree represents has become so mediocre."

--Logoboros


I teach junior high, so I prepare the kids for the high school that is not preparing them for university. Let's go back to the beginnig -- kindergarten. When the kid brings home homework, does the parent make sure they do it? First grade -- same thing. And so on, all the way up. The parents enable the kids from a young age, set them up for failure and then expect the school to remediate.
The sense of entitlement sickens me. I have parents who expect me to provide their child with paper, pencil and pens, not charge them for lost or damaged books, and understand that going shopping or to the movies is more important than doing homework (try assigning a 5 paragraph essay and having 32 out of 150 students turn it in on time). Yes educators pass the buck right down the line, but the buck should stop with the parent who is creating the situation. Like one of my coworkers said today, "If they want me to be responsible for them, then let me adopt them ad be responsible for them!"
I work my behind off trying to motivate, bribe and cajole my students into doing assignments so they can learn. The high school teachers I send them to do the same. We can provide the experience, knowledge and support the process, but unless the student is ACTIVELY involved, learning does not take place.

You say colleges shouldn't have to remediate. I shouldn't have to teach basic reading skills to my 8th graders, but I do. The average reading level for my students is thrid grade, 8th month.
No, I'm not passing the blame on to the elementary teachers, I know they are begging, bribing and cajoling just like I am, because those are the only tools we have anymore. Students are rarely, if ever, retained (I've seen students go on to high school after failing 10 out of 14 semester courses), the worst thing I can do to them is keep them in at lunch or break. The worst thing the office can do is give them a free vacation from school (they call it suspension). The parents are as likely to take their kid's side against the teacher, even if the kid's story makes absolutely no sense.

Every year, I seriously consider finding another profession, every year, there's a handful of students that make teaching worthwhile. I do it for them.

Sorry for the rant, but its too easy to pass the blame off to the lower grades. If you're going to blame somebody, put the blame on the people who are responsible for the kids -- their parents.

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I'll drive it ugly. You can't see the paint job when you're behind the wheel, anyway.

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geminilee
The First USA Noel


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I would make a horrible teacher. If I had 32 out of 150 students who were doing the work, I would have only 32 out of 150 passing my classes. I would flunk all of the others.
As it stands, I am absolutely thrilled to be getting out of the required "Gordon rule" classes in college, so that I do not have to deal with as many of this type of students. Since the classes now more or less directly relate to chosen professions, the people around me are at least somewhat interested in learning and doing the work.
(Sligtly ranty recount of one of the worst examples, or at least the one that has bugged me the most) In one of my early math classes, a girly/princess type girl complains: I asked my boyfreind for help, and he kept trying to explain the problems to me. I finally told him 'Don't explain it, just give me the answers!'
(rant over)
Ok, that was a lie. (Or is this rant #2?) Also, in that same math class (math, mind you) homework was graded on completion! And this is a college class (community college, but still.) I shudder to think what math classes are like in high schools now.

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"Accompanied by the ghosts of dolphins, the ghost of a ship sailed on..." Terry Pratchett

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Logoboros
We Three Blings


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I agree, although I think moreso than even just the failures of specific parenting skills, the problem does lie in the way society as a whole conceives of the function of secondary (and even primary) education. So, really, I don't fault the teachers of high school or grade school; it's the system that has fallen down. It's also not the primary responsibility of the teachers to repair the system -- that's the parents' and voters' task.

It becomes expected (and necessary) for colleges to remediate when college is conceived of as an extension of high school. My belief is that this -- culturally dominant though such an attitude may be -- is wrong and bad for society.

I think it would be great if more American students took time off between graduating from high school and entering college (I was once told that this was semi-traditional in Europe, though I'm not sure how accurate that still is). But this raises one of the other themes of this discussion, which is that besides laziness, many of these students don't really seem to have any solid sense of ambition. For many (not all -- the pre-professional students [law, medicine, journalism] can be pretty focused -- but enough of the big mushy "middle-class" of students) seem to have this problem. They know that they want to make money. They know what kinds of luxuries and hobbies and entertainments they want to spend that money on. But they don't really care how they make that money -- or, more accurately, they haven't really thought about it very much. They don't really see themselves -- and more importantly, can't clearly imagine themselves in the future -- as part of a larger, significant world.

So, if we pretend that suddenly the year off became mandatory, while some students would make great use of it, for many it would be a waste of their time. It would be completely unproductive, because they wouldn't even know what they could do in that time.

So instead, the "year off" in fact occurs during the first year or two of college, where many students can't think of having any greater purpose than trying to have the most fun they can, since they're young and usually on their own for the first time.

But I'd better cut this rant off. No doubt others could continue it if they wanted...

--Logoboros

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"If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the Freest Government is compelld to be a Tyranny."

--William Blake

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LyndaD
Jingle Bell Hock


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Geminilee writes:
I would make a horrible teacher. If I had 32 out of 150 students who were doing the work, I would have only 32 out of 150 passing my classes. I would flunk all of the others.

Unfortunately, we are actively discouraged from failing kids. If we fail a student and cannot prove that we have repeatedly notified the parent regarding the child's lack of work, the admin will change the grade to a D-.
Last year a parent spent 4 hours in the principal's office begging for her son to go through the graduation ceremony despite having 4 semester F's. The boy went through the ceremony. Teachers I know in other districts tell the same kind of stories. Note the issue was not going on to high school, merely participating in the ceremony.

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I'll drive it ugly. You can't see the paint job when you're behind the wheel, anyway.

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Archie2K
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
I don't think taking away cell phones or kicking out disruptive students moves in the direction of them wanting to learn, which it seems to me is the goal here. I don't know what can be done to fix that because it requires finding something inside of them to start the fire.

Certainly not, but speaking as a student who is at college because I actually want to learn, it will certainly go some way to creating a decent learning environment for the few who actually want to be there.

I hope Beowulf Girl does not have any restrictions on her decisions to teach. I hope that she can take control of the class and fail the students who aren't interested in learning. Not doing so only prolongs the period in which their actions have no consequences.

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Little Pink Pill
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quote:
Originally posted by LyndaD:
Last year a parent spent 4 hours in the principal's office begging for her son to go through the graduation ceremony despite having 4 semester F's. The boy went through the ceremony. Teachers I know in other districts tell the same kind of stories. Note the issue was not going on to high school, merely participating in the ceremony.

And then, somehow, he got into and squeaked through high school and ended up in BW's class based on his capacity to walk upright and use every tool but a pen, apparently.

Now suddenly it's BW's fault that she cannot motivate him? I don't think so. It's mama's fault for never making him face the consequences of his laziness, and the fault of all the ridiculous administrations' rules that allowed him out--and into--their systems in the first place.

BW, I agree with T-Girl. The worst classes I taught were the required ones. My elective students were wonderful. They gave me candy. The rest just gave me a hard time, and that was in an MA program.

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The technical term is narcissism. You can't believe everything is your fault unless you also believe you're all powerful.--House

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ange84
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by LyndaD:
Last year a parent spent 4 hours in the principal's office begging for her son to go through the graduation ceremony despite having 4 semester F's. The boy went through the ceremony. Teachers I know in other districts tell the same kind of stories. Note the issue was not going on to high school, merely participating in the ceremony.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And then, somehow, he got into and squeaked through high school and ended up in BW's class based on his capacity to walk upright and use every tool but a pen, apparently.

Now suddenly it's BW's fault that she cannot motivate him? I don't think so. It's mama's fault for never making him face the consequences of his laziness, and the fault of all the ridiculous administrations' rules that allowed him out--and into--their systems in the first place

And then he went on to be the 4th year male education student from a couple of years ago, who although he was failed on his final prac, the pricipal who failed him was contacted by the higher ups in the education department to pass him with the highest rating. She refused, education department kept up appearances and "reinterviewed" him, gave him the highest rating and a job. Now he's out there teaching more kids for LyndaD and BW's classes.

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Love is a sudden revelation: a kiss is always a discovery

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
BeowulfGirl said:
Basically, to be admitted here, all you have to do is walk erect and know how to use stone tools.

Using stone tools is quite a skill, as I understand it, especially if you can make them too. Perhaps you could suggest a career in archaeology?

I think the US educational system is so different from that in the UK that it's hard to comment here. For example, two things jumped out from LyndaD's post:

quote:
LyndaD said:
I teach junior high, so I prepare the kids for the high school that is not preparing them for university. Let's go back to the beginnig -- kindergarten. When the kid brings home homework, does the parent make sure they do it?

You're set homework in kindergarten?

quote:
The sense of entitlement sickens me. I have parents who expect me to provide their child with paper, pencil and pens ...
Your schools don't provide paper, pencils and pens? (Actually, I think we had to bring our own pens and pencils at secondary school because we were supposed to write in fountain pen, but the teachers would have had a supply of crappy ones for people who forgot, whose pens broke or who couldn't afford them. We definitely didn't have to supply our own exercise books.)

quote:
geminilee said:
Also, in that same math class (math, mind you) homework was graded on completion!

What does that mean? I wouldn't expect it to be marked until it was complete. Do you mean they had as long as they liked to finish all the problems, rather than a set deadline? Or that they got marks just for handing it in and it didn't matter whether any of it was right?

Maybe those things have changed in British schools since I was there too, though.

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LyndaD
Jingle Bell Hock


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My children had homework in kindergarten. It consisted of little books we read together, letter/sound recognition cards, and letter/number writing practice. The parents are expected to help the child with the homework. In theory this is great, until you start thinking about parents who don't speak English or have poor reading skills themselves.

I expect my students to regularly bring a writing utensil and paper to school. I cannot, on my limited classroom budget, provide them with a new pencil everyday because they have lost/forgotten/ate theirs.

Graded on completion usually means you get credit for having done the assignment, regardless of how many problems you got right. This being opposed to recieving a point value based on how many problem you correctly solved of the total assigned.

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I'll drive it ugly. You can't see the paint job when you're behind the wheel, anyway.

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Maybe those things have changed in British schools since I was there too, though.
I think the fountain pen rule may well have [lol]

I remember my first British desk - it had an ink-well. Felt like Tom Brown's School Days [Wink]

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This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by LyndaD:
Graded on completion usually means you get credit for having done the assignment, regardless of how many problems you got right. This being opposed to recieving a point value based on how many problem you correctly solved of the total assigned.

Wow. That's how I'd originally read it, but I thought it was too stupid to be true, and that it must really be to do with deadlines. What on earth is the logic behind that? I can see it for early writing assignments, but for maths problems?
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LyndaD
Jingle Bell Hock


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Richard W, the theory behind it is that even if you get the problems wrong, by making the attempt, then participating in the correcting process, you learn something. It's useful for some types of assignments, because it encourages those students who are trying what for them is a difficult subject to put forth effort, and by going over the problems, figuring out how not to make the same mistakes next time (when it 'counts'). Unfortunately, lazy students just scribble down anything, then copy down the answers during the correction process, expecting to get full credit. I try to circumvent this by not going over every single problem. That way I can see what the student did before correcting as well as after.

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I'll drive it ugly. You can't see the paint job when you're behind the wheel, anyway.

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Hmm, I suppose this is because you get grades on classes and those count for something? I do see the point of discounting earlier marks when you're making a final assessment, because as you say, you've not had any time to get feedback or correction at the start of the term / semester / course.

So if the first lot of homework wasn't explained very well, and a lot of people got it wrong, but after corrections and a better explanation they did it correctly and consistently, then in the USA (if it was graded on "point value") the fact that people had initially got it wrong would actually impact their final grade in the subject?

In the UK it wouldn't make any difference unless it was specifically part of a piece of coursework or on the final exam, and for both of those things you're assumed to have already been taught the things you need to know to complete it.

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Archie2K
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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At my school we were provided with exercise books, but pens, pencils etc. were to be provided by the student. The teacher may have spares incase someone forgets one but they are usually loathe to give them out knowing that if they give out 20 pencils they'd be lucky to get 10 back in a working condition, all of which eats out of the school budget. Being a nerd I understood the idea of a school budget and as such provided my own equipment which was usually stolen or broken by a hilarious member of the class.

In college (for the USians, think last two years of high school) we are expected to provide all our own equipment. Pens, pencils, paper, folders, etc. Really when all's said and done, getting the necessary paper, folders and stattionary for two years might cost £50 (barring specialist equipment like a graphical calculator) and yet every teacher says that an organised student will do better on exams than a disorganised one. I really don't think it's too much to ask of supposed adults to provide their own things and bring them on the correct days.

I'm trying to start a business out of it. Forget your textbook? You can borrow mine for £1. For some reason, another person offers the book for free??!!? What are you doing, people? Make some money off the disorganised blowhards. [Big Grin]

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LyndaD
Jingle Bell Hock


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Archie, when one of my students agreeably 'loans' paper or pencils to other students, I always encourage them to charge the beggar for it. I also sell pencils a quarter, and other teachers sell paper, pens, binders and even rulers at cost.
I can understand providing primary students with basic supplies, but by 12-13 years old, a student should be responsible enough to get paper and pencil to class on a regular basis.

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I'll drive it ugly. You can't see the paint job when you're behind the wheel, anyway.

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Logoboros
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:

So if the first lot of homework wasn't explained very well, and a lot of people got it wrong, but after corrections and a better explanation they did it correctly and consistently, then in the USA (if it was graded on "point value") the fact that people had initially got it wrong would actually impact their final grade in the subject?

This relates to a problem I've encountered at the college level, when I have tried to assign homework and exercises that I'm not going to grade. It doesn't matter if it's the basis for discussion the next class, many of them won't do it. They seem to think if they aren't earning "credit" -- a quantitative point value that counts towards the final grade -- then it's not worth doing. Which again indicates a high-school mindset: your purpose is to earn good grades; mastering the subject matter is only worthwhile inasmuch as it corresponds to improving that grade. They have almost no motivation for studying other than the threat of a test. I think it's certainly true that what our educational system does best right now is train people to take tests.

Of course, the fact that our resumes tend to be so GPA-centric just encourages this attitude.

--Logoboros

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"If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the Freest Government is compelld to be a Tyranny."

--William Blake

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DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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BGirl:
Try asking them some of These questions.

CLick on the various Curb Your Intelligence links.

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Leashes?! We don't need no stinking leashes!!

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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Archie2K:
In college (for the USians, think last two years of high school)

I found that really confusing, so goodness knows what real Americans are thinking. Do you mean that you went to a sixth-form college?

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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

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queen of the bah-caramels
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quote:
Originally posted by LyndaD:
My children had homework in kindergarten. It consisted of little books we read together, letter/sound recognition cards, and letter/number writing practice. The parents are expected to help the child with the homework. In theory this is great, until you start thinking about parents who don't speak English or have poor reading skills themselves.

In our case French but the school does have an after school study group, so that's no problem. But it was a shock to me to discover my 5 yo DD had homework.

I expect my students to regularly bring a writing utensil and paper to school. I cannot, on my limited classroom budget, provide them with a new pencil everyday because they have lost/forgotten/ate theirs.

I remember only having to provide pens and pencils in the comprehensive( think grades 6-12). Only once in 6th form(g11/12) did we have to provide our own paper and folders as well.


Graded on completion usually means you get credit for having done the assignment, regardless of how many problems you got right. This being opposed to recieving a point value based on how many problem you correctly solved of the total assigned.

Sound like a lot of the assessments we had for chemistry and biology . Thet showed where you needed a bit extra help.

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Focus On The Family- An opinion group who think more about Gay Sex than gay people do- Rick Mercer

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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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BWG,I had huge attendance problems in one comp. class, and accidentally fixed it in the following way. I wrote each student who wasn't attending well a formal letter explaining how many absences they had, and how this would affect their grade, and how, if they wanted to pass the class, they'd have to make sure they attended every single class from this point on. Much to my surprise, instead of shaping up, without exception they buggered off, thus making class a much more pleasant experience.

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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

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pob14
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by A Fish Called DawnStorm:
BGirl:
Try asking them some of These questions.

CLick on the various Curb Your Intelligence links.

That's the most wonderful thing I've ever heard. I now know that a chatroom is 4 by 4 feet, and that Barack Obama is still a threat to the US, although not as big a threat as Bush would have us believe. [lol]

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Patrick

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Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Many people are mentioning that the instructor "fails" students. No, the student fails the course, so the student fails the student.

I taught on an adjunct basis several classes at a small college. At the end of one semester, I got a call at home from the Dean. Seems a few students had complained that I was biased against them. I did not fail those students. They failed. I did, however, agree to meet with a few of those students in order to go over the final exam with them.

Another time, one of the students came in after he received his grade telling, not asking, me to change his grade from a C. I refused. He kept telling me he had to make all A's. Not my problem. About the fifth time he made his demand, I said, "Okay, if you tell me one more time to change your grade, I will be happy to do so. I will change it from a C to a D." He didn't bother me any more.

Then there was the time that several students all had the same wrong answers on a test. Wonder how that happened. Oh, wait. I know. Silly me let one student take the test a day early. I forgot to tell him that the other tests would be in a different order. The test consisted of some multiple choice, some fill in the blanks, and the writing in class of a very short computer program. I changed the specs for the program, too, but those students the next day had the same one, along with the same mistakes that the first test-taker's program had. I probably should have turned them in for cheating, but, believing that everyone deserves a second chance, I chose to have a talk with them to point out the error of their ways and to record the grade they had earned, not the one I had given to them. Yep, it was an F, which pulled the final grade for most of them down to a D. I had previously suspected cheating but had no way to prove it until then.

Please note that for each of the classes I taught, I had a grade distribution that consisted of all five letter grades. I was willing to help any student outside of class. I even sent a letter to one student to try to get her to drop the class since she was not attending, so I wouldn't have to give her an F for her final grade. She ignored the problem, thus giving that class one more F than was necessary. Grrrrr!

Things may have changed since the early 1980's at that college, but I hope not when it comes to grading. I'd hate to think that an instructor there could be made to give a passing grade to a student who had, in fact, failed the course.

I think I had a point, but now I don't know what it was. [lol] Oh well, it felt good to blow off steam.

All that being said, I greatly admire those in the teaching profession at any school level. I could not do it as a full-time occupation and do not know how you manage to retain your sanity. Keep up the good work.

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"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

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DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Filet o' Spamamander:
Just kind of sighs.

This, folks, is one of the biggest things wrong with the educational system in the United States. Since everyone is "expected" to have a degree, colleges become dumping grounds for students who aren't ready to be responsible adults and hope to have a playground for another four years.

Instead of colleges teaching advanced subjects, they become a haven for adolescence- particularly for young adults whose mommies and daddies can buy them everything, including an "education". There should be a lot more focus on vocational training for the people who aren't cut out for book-work, as the skilled trades are screaming for apprentices, yet they are looked down upon as somehow lesser occupations than anything requiring a degree. (Looked at the wages for plumbers, electricians, carpenters lately? There's good money there, because of supply and demand.) Make higher education more available to those who have that particular aptitude, and make a degree MEAN something.


That's a peeve of mine as well. It's not a crime to not have a degree and Lord knows there will always be a need for mechanics, plumbers and the like. My brother doesn't have a degree and he thinks that he's somehow inferior, but I look at what he's done job-wise and it's not too shabby. I told him so. I have a degree; it's in journalism but quite frankly I didn't know what else to major in when I was in college. Who the hell knows what they want to do the rest of their lives when they're in their early 20s? When I was in my late 30s I went to a community college and got a paralegal certificate. I'm actually using it too! Well to some extent, but I like my job and and consider the certificate money well spent.
I cannot stand the attitude that some jobs are better than others and unfortunately that attitude lives on in the attitudes of a lot of the state politicos. [Mad]
I don't know what to say to all you teachers out there other than don't let the bastards grind you down. Y'all have more patience than I ever will.

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Leashes?! We don't need no stinking leashes!!

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Hero_Mike
Happy Holly Days


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Signora, there are so many rumours and urban legends about how much "freedom" there is on grades, bell curves, and so on, that many college students think that their grades are just taken randomly out of the air.

As a TA, we had a class of 60+. One person had failed the course - by a wide margin - and mostly from non-attendance. They didn't even write the final exam. However, most of the rest were clustered in the range from C+ to B. There were remarkably few D's, and just one A. The teaching prof asked me to rank everyone and spread their grades so that one-third each had A's, B's, and C's. The grading process for that course was, according to him, intended to determine who was first, and who was last - relative to each other. This is what prospective employers would use when comparing these graduates. In this case, it was easy to justify, because even the few who got C's were demonstrating effort, if not moderate understanding.

But students probably get the wrong idea when they believe that *everyone* got a C, because, well, they did, and it was hard for them. I had at least one course where nobody had more than 60% on their exam, and yet, some of us had A's in the course. The whole argument over "relative vs. absolute" grading can be made time and again, but it's hard to say that if everyone is lazy, doesn't study, and gets bad grades, then *nobody* deserves to fail. Students sometimes believe, falsely, that they can't all fail, because it then reflects poorly on the school and the instructor. But it happens.

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"The fate of *billions* depends on you! Hahahahaha....sorry." Lord Raiden - Mortal Kombat

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