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The Perfect World >> Family >> Educating our Children

Educating our Children

dirt track date -- Wednesday, July 24, 2002 -- 10:12:23 AM

Schools, homeschooling, homework, thinking, all things educational from preschool to high school.

This thread is tagged: education, kids, parenting
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PsychProf -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 12:55:32 PM -- 16615 of 17434
"troglodyte with odd notions of How Things Ought To Be"

Stum...Your wish has come true, at least for most USA students.

Marsie Dotes -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 01:05:02 PM -- 16616 of 17434

The only current reason for teaching it in such volume is to employ researchers.

And to determine top students for college. A physician friend of mine describes higher math classes as "window dressing" on the college/post grad application.

Harri P. -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 02:20:15 PM -- 16617 of 17434
such a fucking bitch about taupe and borders and fireplace mantles that aren't just so

I disagree. I've never "used" the Latin I've studied, but I think it was a very important part of my education, and I'm very pleased that my children are taking Latin. Higher level math teaches important logic skills.

Lizzie T. -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 03:19:00 PM -- 16618 of 17434
Oh, for crying out loud.

Latin taught me grammar more quickly and thoroughly than any English class I ever took. I was never clear on gerunds or the subjunctive until I took Latin. Although that certainly says a lot more about me than it does about my English teachers.

PsychProf -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 04:00:31 PM -- 16619 of 17434
"troglodyte with odd notions of How Things Ought To Be"

After advising my own sons and literally 100's of undergrad and graduate students, I confess I am the anti- stumbo...the more math, the better I say. Frankly, I can’t imagine an educator using his approach to advise students toward their future. IAC, his counsel falls on deaf ears here.

Of course, many agree with him at the undergrad level, avoiding any math for such gems as Local Town History 101 and the History of Beer, advanced level 210.

Stumbo -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 04:17:20 PM -- 16620 of 17434
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nLZ-OZnPpk

Your wish has come true, at least for most USA students.

Has it? Is math now optional for high-school and college kids? Have 95% of high-school math teachers, and 80% of college math profs, been laid off, and doing productive work elsewhere? I obviously haven't been in academia for many years, but I think I would've heard about it.

to determine top students for college.

Give them IQ tests. Cheap, quick, and reliable (not one test, but, say, one or two per year). We'll know by age 6, or at least by 10, certainly by 14.

I've never "used" the Latin I've studied, but I think it was a very important part of my education ... Higher level math teaches important logic skills.

I'm not against teaching math, Latin, or even music to those who like it -- whether they become professionals or not, it can just turn into a lifetime hobby, which is a good thing (it benefits nobody but the hobbyists, but it benefits them by making their lives more enjoyable).

But I seriously don't believe it improves anyone's logic skills much. Sure -- if someone innately has such skills and they are not exercised, they'll most likely atrophy; but if they're not there, which is the case for most people, no amount of math, Latin, etc. will create them ex nihilo, er, out of nothing (they might be able to dimly learn something, but will have forgotten it in a few years if not months). And while, on average, it may do some good, that good is nowhere near justified by the social costs of achieving it. (Just like, say, daily basketball practice with a coach watching your every move will improve your health and coordination -- but so would jogging and juggling, or jogging while juggling; and we can certainly tell by age 14 whether you have even the slightest chance of ever making it to the NBA, which for 99% of people would be a clear "no." And if you don't make it to the NBA, then basketball is only good for you as a hobby.)

For 99% of people, the benefits of studying formal math are no greater than those of solving Dudeney-type -- or, for most, much easier -- little puzzles, or for that matter cryptic crosswords. (And many people do, me included.) Voluntary fun for some at very little cost, as opposed to mandatory pain for almost all at the cost of having thousands and thousands of teachers and, worse, profs waste their time -- for the same gain. So why bother?

PsychProf -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 04:35:32 PM -- 16621 of 17434
"troglodyte with odd notions of How Things Ought To Be"

"to determine top students for college."

"Give them IQ tests. Cheap, quick, and reliable (not one test, but, say, one or two per year). We'll know by age 6, or at least by 10, certainly by 14."

Stumbo...IQ tests have a validity coefficient of around .42 re: college performance criteria, so they they predict no more than around 18 percent of the variability within college success.

Stumbo -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 04:51:18 PM -- 16622 of 17434
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nLZ-OZnPpk

IQ tests ... predict no more than around 18 percent of the variability within college success.

That's because people adjust their choices based on their abilities and preferences. A outscored B on IQ tests; A took math at MIT, while B took engineering at Michigan State; both successfully graduated (and, by now, B is vastly out-earning A).

Of course, success doesn't just depend on intelligence; IQ tests won't reveal the ability/willingness to do hard work (me being a prime example). But that is something that can be taught, with a reasonable chance of reasonable improvement. Intelligence, sadly, cannot.

And of course you'll have lots of random variability on top of that: either A or B could get into a brain-damaging car accident, become terminally depressed after being dumped by a girlfriend, and/or become an alkie. Well, that's life.

PsychProf -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 04:53:41 PM -- 16623 of 17434
"troglodyte with odd notions of How Things Ought To Be"

It is .25 for GPA plus standardized achievement tests

PsychProf -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 04:56:06 PM -- 16624 of 17434
"troglodyte with odd notions of How Things Ought To Be"

Stumbo… IAC, thanks for getting me to question and discuss that which I most strongly believe in.

Stumbo -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 05:02:11 PM -- 16625 of 17434
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nLZ-OZnPpk

The best predictors for GPA were academic self-efficacy and achievement motivation

Yep, of course. And they do mention "institutional selectivity," though I don't know whether they mean a student's choice of where to apply or the institutions' own selectivity. I don't see them mentioning choice of major.

thanks for getting me to question and discuss that which I most strongly believe in.

That's what we're (mostly) all here for!

Harri P. -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 05:24:28 PM -- 16626 of 17434
such a fucking bitch about taupe and borders and fireplace mantles that aren't just so

After advising my own sons and literally 100's of undergrad and graduate students, I confess I am the anti- stumbo...the more math, the better I say.

Some grammar wouldn't kill you either.

Stumbo -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 05:26:28 PM -- 16627 of 17434
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nLZ-OZnPpk

Good point: there should be a comma after "better."

Tee hee hee.

Harri P. -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 05:30:49 PM -- 16628 of 17434
such a fucking bitch about taupe and borders and fireplace mantles that aren't just so

Dangling modifier, etc.

Harri P. -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 05:31:58 PM -- 16629 of 17434
such a fucking bitch about taupe and borders and fireplace mantles that aren't just so

As if the problem in USA High Schools

Everything he writes is barely literate, but he presumes to advise everyone else about education.

Stumbo -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 05:33:16 PM -- 16630 of 17434
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nLZ-OZnPpk

No: "after advising, I confess." Perfectly fine.

Stumbo -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 05:37:22 PM -- 16631 of 17434
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nLZ-OZnPpk

"USA" is acceptable, if slightly odd in this context, shorthand for "American." (Surely "USA-an" would be ridiculously odd in any context!) "The USA team beat the Canadian team in the final, 5-3, while the USSR team won the bronze medal, defeating the Finnish team 6-2."

Harri P. -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 05:39:48 PM -- 16632 of 17434
such a fucking bitch about taupe and borders and fireplace mantles that aren't just so

The initial caps, not so hot.

No: "after advising, I confess." Perfectly fine.

No, since it makes no sense as written.

Stumbo -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 05:45:02 PM -- 16633 of 17434
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nLZ-OZnPpk

"NATO tanks are superior in quality to Warsaw-Pact tanks." Would you expand "NATO"?

initial caps

Hey, this is the Internet; it's not like u haven't seen much worse b4. I haz, even from some highly-educated ppl.

(Perhaps this belongs in Word Surgeons. My entire rant probably belonged in some other thread, too, but I was responding to a specific remark.)

Harri P. -- Saturday, December 18, 2010 -- 05:56:11 PM -- 16634 of 17434
such a fucking bitch about taupe and borders and fireplace mantles that aren't just so

I'm talking about "High Schools," doofus. Not "USA." Each time you've managed to miss my point.

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The Perfect World >> Family >> Educating our Children