"Average" students and education

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"Average" students and education

Postby BadgerJelly on December 28th, 2016, 1:47 am 

Put this here because of "anthropology" ... move if you think it fits better elsewhere.

This is a Tedtalk about how treating education as a "one size fits all" actually makes education a one size that fits nobody.


What do you think we need to do to make education "adjustable"?

I did notice that the talk tended to focus on the students. I would also ask questions about how "teachers" come to be teachers. In my experience most teachers understand that there is no correct method of teaching, and what works for some teachers doesn't work for others. Does the education system also "average out" the kind of teachers that may have been helpful?
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Re: "Average" students and education

Postby Natural ChemE on December 28th, 2016, 2:38 am 


Hah as an "ADHD" fellow, I can definitely appreciate this guy's message. I found school to be painfully boring for most of my academic career, and continually struggled to tolerate it.

On the recommended video list on the side, there's ADHD As A Difference In Cognition, Not A Disorder: Stephen Tonti at TEDxCMU:
As that speaker describes ADHD:
Stephen Tonti wrote:It's not a lack of focus, period. It's that I have a hard time selecting something and giving it my full attention. Something has to grab my attention, pique my curiosity, and then I can hyper-focus.
He goes on to talk about how it's hard to focus on simple things, but how it's easy to pull 15-hour work days on good challenges. I can completely relate.

Anyway, point's that I definitely agree that classes designed for the "average" student fail a lot of us. They definitely failed me, and had I relied on the current educational system to be the primary source of my education, I'd have been in big trouble.
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Re: "Average" students and education

Postby BadgerJelly on December 28th, 2016, 3:23 am 

I had my own experiences at secondary school. I was a good kid, I listened, I paid attention and I tried. I was a shy kid though and when I started to get more confident and ask questions that is when the proboems began. The thing is I was VERY shy and what I think stopped this was my curiosity and opposition to some things I was being told and the way they were telling me.

To this day I still hear "You don't need to know that." That reverberates in my head from French teacher. In hindsight I don't entirely blame her, I blame that system put in place that dictated what was important for the "average student" to learn and how to learn language. I find in so strange to be expected to say five words and not be told what all the words means literally? Why not simply tell me and allow me to use my curiosity about the structure of the language to bring me to learn about how to speak and understand the langauge?? I did actually voice this protest a little at the time, but was quickly shut down.

It seems fairly obvious to me now that if a student hates language and loves mathematics. You do the obvious. You look at the language as a mathematical problem, you apply their minds to studying linguistics and from there it may spark an interest in the student to actually practice the language in written or verbal forms.

I am also tird of hearing about the old excuse of how do we then grade ability and how do employers come to judge people if the system is not set to some specific "standard". My answer would be to simply interview people properly and set trial periods. With application of mathematics it is much easier to assess by test than it is comprehension and how to apply math to everyday situations and how this combines with scientific investigation and general statistics.

Art class was another problem for me. After finally ignoring everything the teacher told me to do I produced a piece that I was later told (bybthe same teacher), if I had done more like that I would've achieved the top grade. Consider the piece I produced was made after I ignored all instruction and guidance from the teacher and just picked up some materials and produced something.

And in math class being told to do 100 questions that were essentially the same was merely a task of repetition not learning. I do understand thhe importance of taking care when performing calculations and I did often make mistakes. I would argue that my mistakes were not due to lack of understanding but due to lack of concentration brought on by the boredom of being told to do 100 questions whilst the teacher did some paperwork. I did jump to the last 10 questions, which were the hardest, and completed them correctly. Maybe this makes me sound like a disruptive student. I was a shy kid though. I was not confrontational and rarely if ever got into mischief.

Just to repeat. I do not blame the teachers. I blame the poor system they habe to work with and the poor wages they had. Now businesses have moved into education more and more I don't see this problem getting any better. I find it deeply disturbing.

All this said I understand that structure is useful in facilitating sometimes. I remember reading about a study in the US about competition. The study generally showed that competition did not mean progress at all. It showed that some students did flourish under competitive conditions where others fell behind.
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