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 Post subject: It's a sad state of affairs ...............
PostPosted: July 31st, 2014, 7:25 am 
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Joined: April 12th, 2010, 7:29 am
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....... when it takes a visiting teacher to bring up a subject, and explain it well, that should have been obvious to any conscientious educator. That's the harmful effects of the current practice of 'social promotion' - the passing of students into the next grade who haven't mastered the current grade's skills.

He gave a great interview on the CBC morning show today. Catch it if you can.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-ed ... -1.2723499

Where are our Island teachers on this?

Ed

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Searching for truth with an open mind is more rewarding than belief, which by definition is unquestioning.


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 Post subject: Re: It's a sad state of affairs ...............
PostPosted: July 31st, 2014, 10:03 am 
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Joined: July 30th, 2007, 10:01 pm
Posts: 636
I am not a teacher, just a parent with a kid in the system.

I agree with guy's basic premise, I also agree that you need to decide on a case-by-case basis, because I think the issue is complicated and different for each kid.

I do not think being behind is as important as understanding why the kid is behind. Is it a home problem? Parent problem? Teacher problem? School problem? Does the kid learn differently? Is the kid a slow learner? Some of these things benefit from repeating a grade, but most do not.

As an adult I recognize that we all learn differently. I am a learn while doing person, my co-worker loves structured classes, my boss is a reader, my other co-worker draws everything out on paper. I also know that teachers themselves resonate different with different people. How much I learn in a class with a teacher I enjoy and one I dislike is very different.

Yet we put 25 kids through the exact same learning system with the same teacher... the fact that some kids struggle should not be a surprise, nor is it their fault.


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 Post subject: Re: It's a sad state of affairs ...............
PostPosted: July 31st, 2014, 10:43 am 
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Almost an Islander

Joined: February 1st, 2014, 2:15 pm
Posts: 353
i don't know, perhaps it depends on the child, their age (rebellious stage), friends, learning disabilities (and ways to work around them/adapt studies to). i know when i was in Jr. High i rebelled, friends were quitting, etc. i went to summer school in grade 7, failed (repeated) grade 8 then pushed to grade 9, then pushed to grade 10, passed every course and grade in sr. high (even getting mostly final exam exemptions), and went on to graduate from a 2 year tech course at Holland College. sometimes its just the environment at the school, or one good teacher who takes an interest can make the difference to motivate.


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 Post subject: Re: It's a sad state of affairs ...............
PostPosted: July 31st, 2014, 11:57 am 
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I agree. People, including children, learn at different rates, and in different ways. Putting 20+ kids in the same room and expecting them to all progress at the same rate is very inefficient.

Public schools are still invested in an obsolete, 200 yr. old system devised when the main sources of information were the teacher and scarce, expensive textbooks.

Much of what goes on in the average lock-step, lowest-common-denominator classroom does little to assist or to motivate the learners.

It's long past time that we had an individualized, go-at-your-own-pace, learning environment. With the kind of access to information and delivery technology we have today, the 'classroom', lecture should be only one of many learning activities.

Grades, fixed schedules, and everyone 'graduating' on the same date are anachronisms that need to be phased out.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

We had this discussion back in 2010 after the last round of test results came out, and I posted this :-

"When I become Minister of Education - - - 8) :lol:

If I were given the job of moving our ‘comatose’ education system into the 21st century, I’d start with a pilot project in one subject area, probably math or science, at the high school level.

These changes are based on the premise that the ‘mainstream’ learning environment should serve those who are (a) able to learn, and (b) willing to learn. Those who can’t or won’t learn require other strategies, which should be addressed by their parents. Trying to incorporate them into the mainstream system reduces it’s efficiency and increases the cost.

So, we’ll assume that we’re serving Junior High graduates who can read, and that the vast majority of them are comfortable with electronic information-access media, and let’s say our pilot project is the high school science program.

Keep in mind that the ‘corner-stone’ of this program will be the learner’s freedom to progress at the pace that best suits their ability."


The rest of it is here - viewtopic.php?f=14&t=27641

------------------------------------------------------------------------

And then in 2011, we had this discussion:- viewtopic.php?f=26&t=28134&hilit=individualized+learning

Ed

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Searching for truth with an open mind is more rewarding than belief, which by definition is unquestioning.


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 Post subject: Re: It's a sad state of affairs ...............
PostPosted: July 31st, 2014, 1:09 pm 
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Joined: November 1st, 2003, 7:55 am
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Location: Brackley Beach PE / Lake Wales FL
Back in my day (sorry to sound like ex-racer :lol: ) ... and even back in the day that my kids went to school ... each subject in each grade had differing levels, at a minimum there was a class for the "struggling" learner, one for the "average" learner and one for the "advanced" learner (based on demonstrated aptitudes from previous grades). It wasn't unusual for a kid to be in the "struggling" math class while also in the "advanced" English class and in the "average" whatever course.

Some kids take to, say, math like a duck to water while some can barely cope with mathematical concepts while many are somewhere in between. Same for a variety of subjects.

The "struggling" class had smaller class sizes so that the teacher could spend more time with each student, and the curriculum was slower paced. This kept those students from feeling overwhelmed and wanting to give up.

The "advanced" class was able to continue to challenge the minds of the students who easily grasped new concepts in the area of study, and kept them from getting bored and into trouble.

The "average" class was, well, average. Average size, average pace, average expectations. Didn't bore the "average" kid while keeping them sufficiently challenged and interested.

And that was just within the "academic" curriculum. A "practical" curriculum was also offered ... when the "academic" kids were learning the principals of algebra, the "practical" kids were learning how to put basic math skills to work in woodworking shops.

Has all that changed? Is it now a one-size-fits-all system with the whole spectrum between the slowest and the brightest all the same classroom with the same teacher using the same textbooks in the same curriculum and expectations?


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 Post subject: Re: It's a sad state of affairs ...............
PostPosted: July 31st, 2014, 3:19 pm 
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Joined: April 10th, 2006, 12:57 pm
Posts: 14266
Location: Charlottetown
I am the product of a "learn at your own pace" environment.

Back in the mid 70's, the then Unit 3 school board experimented with the IMS math system, if memory serves correctly, it stood for "individualized mathmatics system".

Basically, ( again from memory), the students were assigned a number . 30 kids in the class, , numbers 1- 30. I was number 29.Still remember it to this day. The teacher referred to us by our numbers. When math class rolled around, you were told to "go at your own pace". In other words, you had to work along at what ever pace worked for you. so, some kids who were adept to math, flew right thru the program. Some went along at average, and others well, they didnt fair so well. Perhaps math wasnt a strong point, and they struggled with it, or maybe it was more enticeing to watch the clouds through the window. Regardless, with no teacher bringing the class along at the same speed, those in the latter category didnt get things done, or didnt learn, and the "required" amount of curriculum to be taught wasnt acheived.

IMO, worst thing that could be done is allowing kids to "go at there own pace".

Some will say the more adept kids suffer, I say baloney. move them to another class with more adept kids.but, worst thing that can happen is allowing kids to "do what they want" if you will.


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 Post subject: Re: It's a sad state of affairs ...............
PostPosted: July 31st, 2014, 8:54 pm 
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Joined: November 26th, 2006, 12:15 am
Posts: 3248
Hackschooling makes me happy: Logan LaPlante at TEDxUniversityofNevada
When 13 year-old Logan LaPlante grows up, he wants to be happy and healthy. He discusses how hacking his education is helping him achieve this goal.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h11u3vtcpaY

A bit of what you were talking about Ex.

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“Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking...” Leo Tolstoy


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