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Thread: Add Grade 13 for English Comprehension

  1. #1
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    Default What are you looking at?

    Last edited by BitterTruth; 15-03-2016 at 06:24 PM.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by BitterTruth View Post

    Our we all so ignorant ?
    Yes, we iz!

  3. #3

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    I don't think we have the memory of goldfish, I think that some studies have shown we have the attention spans of goldfish. http://time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/

    I don't think more public education / lowest common denominator education is really the solution. Personally, I would be more in favor to restrict all phones from schools, limit computer usage, and curb back all the digital distractions. Encourage earlier internships and earlier career exposure.

    Grade school was so incredibly useless and slow paced. We covered more material in my first year of university than from grades 9 - 12.

  4. #4
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    The learning to read part wasn't useless, but you're right about the slow pace. Apparently back in the 50s they streamed the classes so that the faster learners could move ahead. I don't see why they couldn't do that now.

  5. #5

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    ^ Yes, I think reading is great! I didn't realize they did that in the 1950's. Have you heard many stories of being held back grades as well?

    I am all for improving literacy, but having a university degree doesn't elevate you above someone who went into the trades or another service industry who ended up excelling in what they do.

    Book learning isn't for everyone. Thank God for that too.

    Some expectations for students have become so low. For goodness sakes, fail students. Hold them back.

    Our public education has become so fat. We have teachers earning $100k after 10 years, 20% more than teachers in any other province. The idea of entitlement in education at all levels has become so outsized. Education is so much more than pedagogical test taking. It is a commitment to do better in whatever your profession ends up doing.

    In my mind, we need to move away from gross over-funding of academic learning and transition towards more internship focused learning. Instead of entitling university students to 50% cost of education, charge 100% of education (with larger provincial loans) and a tax break upon completion. Go for the 7 year feminist or home economics degree. Great. But understand that you are spending public dollars and as an investment we want a return as a society. Didn't finish your degree, well, no tax break for you.

    Education has far too much hand-holding in my personal opinion.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    The learning to read part wasn't useless, but you're right about the slow pace. Apparently back in the 50s they streamed the classes so that the faster learners could move ahead. I don't see why they couldn't do that now.
    They still do that in other countries. I was always streamed into academic classes, and I was also pushed up a year in my first year or two at school (started university at 17). There are pros and cons. I do like the European system of trade schools for kids who aren't academic. What's more important, perfect spelling, Shakespeare, things a lot of kids simply won't concentrate on because they don't care about, or maybe doing something interesting, like learning a trade (try out being chief, or a plumber, or whatever), which will support them for their life? Like it or not, we have academically trained teachers, who don't relate to those kids who are more practically minded. In Europe (e.g. Denmark), they get tradespeople to teach them in trade schools right in the school system from a younger age, and IMO it works much better.
    Last edited by moahunter; 15-03-2016 at 10:57 AM.

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    I don't think we need "grade 13", but we absolutely need an overhaul of our poorly designed and executed "social studies" program.

    We have a real issue in Alberta in that we teach students that their opinions are sacred. In science and mathematics, we teach facts. In "social studies" we tell them that everyone has a different opinion in politics, and those opinions are all ok.

    However, as most adults realize, not all opinions make any sense. Many of them are founded on emotion and irrationality rather than evidence and reason. Instead of teaching students that whatever they believe is A-OK, we should teach them to back up their ideas with research and evidence.

    There is also the issue of knowledge gaps. "Social studies" is not a thing. They are attempting to fit everything from geography, to the study of how governments work, to research skills, to history in a single class. That doesn't work. These are all different things, and students are graduating with a lack of knowledge in ALL of them.

    What we need is to rework curricula into the following classes:

    - Government studies. This includes an analysis of our political system and the decisions that our leaders make.

    - "Social studies". A pared-down version of the current class structure would provide every student with basic knowledge in economics, political thought, and sociological theory. No student should ever graduate without understanding the basic laws of supply and demand, just like no student should graduate without learning algebra.

    - History. Self-explanatory. Within this we need more emphasis on Indigenous peoples, and not the sad-sack version we have now. "Name the 99 uses of the Buffalo" lessons offer zero understanding of historical or current issues.

    - Geography. Both the human and environmental side.

    Alongside social studies, we are also missing a very fundamental core skill in philosophy. Every student should participate in philosophical thinking from a young age. There is no reason we cannot teach children about the basis of our ethical, political, social, scientific and economic systems. This basis lies entirely within philosophy.

    Before the inevitable anti-philosophy reply, take in the benefits:

    - Philosophy is the most effective field to improve critical thinking, reading comprehension, and written communication.

    - A core skill in philosophy is logic. I frankly find it embarrassing how many adults don't understand why using an ad hominem attack doesn't make them right. Lets fix this. It is a simple theory.

    - Reasoning. Philosophy not only teaches deductive and inductive reasoning skills, but teaches students to analyze what type of reasoning they are using, and whether or not it is appropriate for the situation.

    The benefits of learning philosophy are obvious. It makes you smarter, better at communicating ideas, and aware of your own fallacious thinking. The evidence is plain, as well. Students that study philosophy perform better on nearly every standardized test out there.

  8. #8
    highlander
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetZone View Post
    ^ Yes, I think reading is great! I didn't realize they did that in the 1950's. Have you heard many stories of being held back grades as well?

    I am all for improving literacy, but having a university degree doesn't elevate you above someone who went into the trades or another service industry who ended up excelling in what they do.

    Book learning isn't for everyone. Thank God for that too.

    Some expectations for students have become so low. For goodness sakes, fail students. Hold them back.

    Our public education has become so fat. We have teachers earning $100k after 10 years, 20% more than teachers in any other province. The idea of entitlement in education at all levels has become so outsized. Education is so much more than pedagogical test taking. It is a commitment to do better in whatever your profession ends up doing.

    In my mind, we need to move away from gross over-funding of academic learning and transition towards more internship focused learning. Instead of entitling university students to 50% cost of education, charge 100% of education (with larger provincial loans) and a tax break upon completion. Go for the 7 year feminist or home economics degree. Great. But understand that you are spending public dollars and as an investment we want a return as a society. Didn't finish your degree, well, no tax break for you.

    Education has far too much hand-holding in my personal opinion.
    There was much more skipping grades and holding back in the olden days, which is probably a good thing, and I think it would work better in a school with streamed classrooms. That way the kid who moves ahead can be in the academic class where he would more likely fit in. Idont' know how it was done then, but tracked classes would allow the A class to cover the material more in-depth than the less academically inclined, rather than covering the same stuff but getting bored.

    I don't know how you can assess the cost of university education when so much of the academic staff's time is research, not teaching. Surely it's not up to undergrad students to fund research.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    The learning to read part wasn't useless, but you're right about the slow pace. Apparently back in the 50s they streamed the classes so that the faster learners could move ahead. I don't see why they couldn't do that now.
    Wasn't the 50s, went well through the 60s and wasn't abolished until the early 70s.

    How do I know...I lived it, skipped grades 4 and 6.

    Our family has always valued education, formal and informal, as well as being huge readers of all subjects including many of those listed by Jaerdo.

    In addition debate and discussion have always been a big part of our family.

    Being reasonably bright and with the above advantages allowed me to accelerate in the school system. It had its pros and cons.

    On one hand it was very satisfying academically for me and I worked well in the system.

    The cons were social, in school I was generally alienated as from being 2 years (min) younger than my peers in class an alienated from those of my age from being in higher grades than they were.

    Tough on someone that was an introvert

    Fortuntately I had extremely supportive parents, an active out of school life socially, academically and culturally...being put into theater to overcome my introvert nature, worked well btw, in part because my father was a teacher after he retired from flying.

    My children have also been advanced academically as we have passed decent genes and the same culture of reading, discussion, debate and curiosity to them...but it has been hard on them as they have been or were stalled academically and feel/felt held back and bored.

    Having lived through the old system and been a parent in the current system I believe children should be allowed to advance at whatever rate they achieve at so long as they have adequate support at home to balance things.

    I also think children must be allowed to fail and be held back if needed. The current system, in my opinion rewards mediocrity when it is supposed to help with self esteem. It is not working IMO.

    T

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    ^

    Yup, Top_Dawg concurs.

    Best education any parent can give their children is to sit with them and get them to read, write, and do arithmetic at home. And teach a little bit of world history.

    Should start as early as 4-5 years old and continue until about age 10.

    If you can do it in more than one language - bonus !

    Leaving it to teachers and the education system is rolling the dice. Kid is most likely condemned to being a dummy.

    And it doesn't take a big commitment.

    Maybe 45 minutes a day. Per kid.

    Problem is that most parents are as big dogbreeders as their kids. Usually bigger.

    And from what Top_Dawg remembers, social studies as taught in school, was an absolutely useless subject.

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    45 minutes per day each is a lot when you've got a puppy mill going on.

    Just sayin'.

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    Good one.

    But really it isn't.

    When Top_Dawg was a li'l fella Ma_Dawg would do the three Rs with him daily.

    And then he would practice a musical instrument for 30 - 45 minutes each day.

    When he got a bit older, organized sport was added to the regiment.

    And Top_Dawg did very well in everything - academics, arts, and sports.

    After a while Top_Dawg did it all himself.

    Didn't take up very much of Ma_Dawg's time at all.

  13. #13

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    Let's face it, what worked 10,20,30 even 50 years ago does not fit the bill today. Teaching kids to read, write and comprehend is an uphill battle. What with social media you can text a message in one letter syllables. Spell check takes care of most spelling errors, auto fill does the same. Social Studies is full of short sound bites and everyone wanting their 15 minutes of fame no matter how trivial the circumstances. We no longer need to actually physically meet each other as we can converse through Skype etc. I think sometime down the road there will be a revolution in the way the English language is written. The older generations will be saying WTF.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

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    Well Top_Dawg doesn't agree with that.

    Learning to read and write ( or language arts as was the cornholio term back in the day - obviously dreamed up by some career pedagogue ) is most certainly about spelling, grammar, and usage.

    However, just as importantly, it's equally as much about acquiring soft skills.

    Like critical thinking, clear communication, understanding the tone of a message being relayed and received.

    Now Top_Dawg knows this all sounds like mamby pamby pap.

    But try living your life without these skills.

    And no personal communication device will teach you that.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    45 minutes per day each is a lot when you've got a puppy mill going on.

    Just sayin'.
    Put in context...my sister is a breeder of a high end pure breds, she spends more than 45 minutes with each dog.

    Might be lots for a dog, no where near enough for a kid.

    IMO

    T

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Dawg View Post
    Well Top_Dawg doesn't agree with that.

    Learning to read and write ( or language arts as was the cornholio term back in the day - obviously dreamed up by some career pedagogue ) is most certainly about spelling, grammar, and usage.

    However, just as importantly, it's equally as much about acquiring soft skills.

    Like critical thinking, clear communication, understanding the tone of a message being relayed and received.

    Now Top_Dawg knows this all sounds like mamby pamby pap.

    But try living your life without these skills.

    And no personal communication device will teach you that.
    I don't agree either but writing and speech evolves just like everything else. We don't talk like they did when Shakespeare was alive and I should imagine a few hundred years from now there will be words we use now that will no longer be used or the don't mean the same thing.
    If people evolve and the world speaks just one language, and that may well be English, I should imagine words that start or end with ph or gh will fall by the wayside, they may get rid of the C or the K as they sound the same. What letter could we get rid of in the word 'knife'. There's lots of examples where the written English language could evolve.
    As for comprehension, well 5 people could read the same paragraph and conceivably read something different. It happens all the time on this forum.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

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    ^ One day "kudetah" will be considered acceptable spelling.

    You heard it here first.

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    Classic.

    Trailer trash ebonics.

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    So, like 'physicality' being accepted as a word?

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    The word "physicality" entered the English language as a medical term in 1592 according to the Oxford Dictionary.

    However, the current usage by some media personalities in sports is just bizarre.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    ^ One day "kudetah" will be considered acceptable spelling.

    You heard it here first.
    Well actually you are spelling it wrong. It's 'kudatah'.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

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    ^ Well, highlander's spelling is closer to that of the 'original' bastardisation. I will never use that spelling.
    Nisi Dominus Frustra

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Dawg View Post
    Well Top_Dawg doesn't agree with that.

    Learning to read and write ( or language arts as was the cornholio term back in the day - obviously dreamed up by some career pedagogue ) is most certainly about spelling, grammar, and usage.

    However, just as importantly, it's equally as much about acquiring soft skills.

    Like critical thinking, clear communication, understanding the tone of a message being relayed and received.

    Now Top_Dawg knows this all sounds like mamby pamby pap.

    But try living your life without these skills.

    And no personal communication device will teach you that.
    I wish kids would be taught to recognize the subtle manipulative techniques that can be utilized by skilled speakers, news writers, politicians, salespeople, marketers, etc. Things as simple as saying "we" rather than "I", or gross generalizations, repetition, allusion, etc.



    Then there's this:

    Why Hitler was such a successful orator - Business Insider
    http://www.businessinsider.com/why-h...-orator-2015-5

    Last edited by KC; 17-03-2016 at 05:53 PM.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by howie View Post
    ^ Well, highlander's spelling is closer to that of the 'original' bastardisation. I will never use that spelling.
    Reminds me of the guy who got a tattoo saying "No Regrets" but the tattoo artist (I use that term loosely) transposed one word and wrote "No Regerts". I'm thinking there may have been a kudatah in the tattoo parlour that day.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Dawg View Post
    Well Top_Dawg doesn't agree with that.

    Learning to read and write ( or language arts as was the cornholio term back in the day - obviously dreamed up by some career pedagogue ) is most certainly about spelling, grammar, and usage.

    However, just as importantly, it's equally as much about acquiring soft skills.

    Like critical thinking, clear communication, understanding the tone of a message being relayed and received.

    Now Top_Dawg knows this all sounds like mamby pamby pap.

    But try living your life without these skills.

    And no personal communication device will teach you that.
    I wish kids would be taught to recognize the subtle manipulative techniques that can be utilized by skilled speakers, news writers, politicians, salespeople, marketers, etc. Things as simple as saying "we" rather than "I", or gross generalizations, repetition, allusion, etc.



    Then there's this:

    Why Hitler was such a successful orator - Business Insider
    http://www.businessinsider.com/why-h...-orator-2015-5

    I have to agree, language is an art form. I'm sure we all have favorite writers simply because we like what they write and the style in which they write it. Or writers who can successfully turn a book into a movie or a stage production. I've read plenty of novels (some of them best sellers) and if the style of writing does not grab me in the first 15-20 pages I'll give up on it. It does not matter what genre a person writes about they have to make it interesting.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  26. #26

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    We need teaching of both comprehension and recognition:


    Fallacies

    http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/

  27. #27

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    I think there needs to be 2 different kinds of English classes at the high school level - one for arts (focuses on poetry, literature, creative writing, etc.) and another on technical aspects (focuses on grammar, persuasive writing, business communication, technical writing, etc.)

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    Perhaps a class on using 'then' and 'than'.

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