View Full Version : Toxic Culture of Education

05-14-2014, 01:29 PM
Got this link thru my local HS group list:

Thought-provoking Ted talk on problem with current PS / education policy:


Accidental Homeschooler
05-14-2014, 06:05 PM
Thanks for that.

05-14-2014, 09:13 PM
Yep, I think this is spot on - thank you for sharing.

05-14-2014, 10:07 PM
That was really interesting. I especially agree with his remarks about "those students" and math. Everything he said was spot on.

05-14-2014, 10:38 PM
That was great. And rang true. In my state, Harrisburg and Philly both have teachers and administrators being charged with fraud for cheating on standardized testing. I can look around and see many kids who have bigger issues in their lives (and homes) than whether or not they pass a math test. And THAT is where education usually will start to fail. At home. The kid who makes it out of those situations through education is the rare exception.

05-16-2014, 10:14 AM
Hard to imagine PS going in the direction he suggests...kinda funny to me to start HS'ing b/c DS couldn't do school - only to realize all the side benefits. I still get bothered, though, by the thought that withdrawing from it does nothing to help fix it and by the knowledge that there are so many people/kids who really don't have the HS option available.

05-26-2014, 08:21 AM
Thanks for sharing this. I've always been of the opinion to "follow the money", and education in this country is no different. If schools would spend less on materials and more on teachers, maybe more teachers would have more time to actually help more students. This nonsense of standardized testing has gone too far. Third graders with test anxiety? Egads. Hey, I'm sure the pharmaceutical companies would love to help out on THAT problem. As pdpele says, despite his message being spot on, it is hard to imagine enough people in power getting enlightened enough to do something about it. Sad.

05-26-2014, 09:22 AM
Interesting TED Talk (love TED, btw).

The only part of his talk with which I disagree is that there has to be less focus on bad teachers and bad schools. It was almost as if he was saying there really is no such thing AS bad teachers or bad schools. Now, I agree that a school, in itself, cannot be "bad" per se. But absolutely, there are bad teachers - however, it's this system we currently have (in many other countries as well, not just America) that allows people who are not effective teachers and really should not BE teachers be educating our children. I have worked with, when I was teaching, far too many people who clearly hated their teaching job, and didn't really care about their students, to say that you cannot look at the teachers in some situations. For example, my son was not doing well in Social Studies nor English, then in 8th grade had BRILLIANT, PASSIONATE and DEDICATED Social Studies and English teachers, and suddenly they were two of his favourite subjects. Fast-forward to 9th grade, and he's back to teachers who clearly have no idea how to teach these subjects (or teach properly at all), and they are his least favourite classes.

However, the majority of the things in this Talk were very interesting and thought-provoking. The idea of taking kids away from an academic path and putting them on a more vocational one if they are better-suited for such a thing is an excellent idea. This was commonly done in most western nations before standardised testing took over, and the acquisition of a five-figure debt, otherwise known as a "Bachelor of Arts that gets me a job looking for minimal-wage work for the next year", became all-important.


Accidental Homeschooler
05-26-2014, 11:01 AM
I think part of the problem is that teachers are paid low salaries but good retirement benefits. So a teacher that hates it but has ten years left to retirement is going to have a really hard time leaving. They have already invested a lot of years at a lowish salary and if they quit are going to lose most or all of their retirement package. I think if the wages were made to be much higher and the retirement package was just the same type of IRA equivalent that private companies pay into, people wouldn't be stuck in jobs they hate. This doesn't explain all bad teaching, but burnout is high I think.

05-26-2014, 12:58 PM
Look at Finland - they pay teachers very high salaries, but they are highly, highly trained and you can't BE a teacher unless you have at least a Master's in Education. If a student is failing, there is immediate investigation into what is going wrong WITH THE TEACHING METHODS that the child is not learning, and different methods of instruction are used until one is found that works for that child. They take educating their children very seriously, and believe that it is their duty, as teachers, to do what they can to ensure their students feel acknowledged and cared for. Even standardised testing is not a thing there, really, as studies have shown that such testing does not help children, nor the education system.

If only, huh? Then homeschooling would be rare, as the only people using it would be doing so because they simply don't like institutionalised education. If American schools were like Finnish ones, I most certainly wouldn't be homeschooling DS.