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  1. #1
    Sinner's Swing! Jesus H Christ's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 09:58 PM
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    Default This is funny. No wait...it's not funny.

    I weep for the future.


    Teaching 'Taco Bell's Canon'
    Today's students don't read. As a result, they have sometimes hilarious notions of how the written language represents what they hear.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...googlenews_wsj

    By JAMES E. COURTER

    Is it true that college students today are unprepared and unmotivated? That generalization does injustice to the numerous bright exceptions I saw in my 25 years of teaching composition to university freshmen. But in other cases the characterization is all too accurate.

    One big problem is that so few students are readers. As an unfortunate result, they have erroneous, and sometimes hilarious, notions of how the written language represents what they hear. What emerged in their papers and emails was a sort of literary subgenre that I've come to think of as stream of unconsciousness.

    Some of their most creative thinking was devoted to fashioning excuses for tardiness, skipping class entirely, and failure to complete assignments. One guy admitted that he had trouble getting into "the proper frame of mime" for an 8 a.m. class.

    Then there were the two young men who missed class for having gotten on the wrong side of the law. They both emailed me, one to say that he had been charged with a "mister meaner," the other with a "misdeminor."

    Another student blamed "inclimate weather" for his failure to come to class, admitting that it was a "poultry excuse." A male student who habitually came late and couldn't punctuate correctly had a double-duty excuse: "I don't worry about my punctual errors."

    To their credit, students are often frank when it comes to admitting their shortcomings and attitude problems. Like the guy who owned up to doing "halfhazard work." Or the one who admitted that he wasn't smart enough to go to an "Ivory League school." Another lamented not being astute enough to follow the lecture on "Taco Bell's Canon" in music-appreciation class.

    Many students have difficulty adjusting to life in dormitories. One complained that his roommate was "from another dementian." Another was irritated by a roommate's habit of using his "toilet trees" without asking. A female student, in describing an argument over her roommate's smelling up their room with cheap perfume, referred to getting in her "two scents' worth."

    Some find you can't go home again. After several weeks at school, one coed returned to her childhood house only to find life there "homedrum."

    To be fair, many of the young men and women I encountered over the years are capable of serious thinking on social issues and international affairs. The Iraq War, in what one student called "nomad's land," was very much on their minds. Some were for it, some against it. The most ardent supporter was the guy who described his attitude as "gun-ho." One student lamented that we're becoming a society that "creates its individuals in a lavatory." Another worried that education reform might result in school being in "secession" year round.

    When it comes to relationships, it is, in the words of more than one undergraduate, "a doggy-dog world." But I'm sure most of us could sympathize with the girl who said she resented being "taken for granite" by her boyfriend. Some learn the price of intimacy the hard way, like the coed who referred to becoming pregnant on "that fetal night." She might have been better off with the young gentleman who spoke of his policy of keeping relationships "strictly plutonic."

    One struggling freshman summed it up for all of us when he wrote, "Life has too much realism." Maybe so, but I don't recommend coping like the guy who referred to getting away from it all by spending the day "sitting on a peer."

    Among students' biggest complaints is that they have to write so much in college. In his end-of-semester evaluation, one honest soul complained that "writhing gives me fits." Sad to say, it's not uncommon to hear students remark on how much they look forward to being done with English.

    Who knows what language they'll use then?

    Mr. Courter recently retired from teaching at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill
    http://www.bostonherald.com/news/opi...53&format=text


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


    Textbook case of inefficiency
    Can’t buy a quality education
    By Michael Graham | Wednesday, July 11, 2012 | http://www.bostonherald.com | Op-Ed

    Dateline America, 2012: College Students Complain “We’re Taken For Granite,” Face A “Doggy-Dog World.”

    Those expressions were actually used in papers submitted to freshman comp professor James Courter. Other students wrote they found the college experience “homedrum” or had trouble getting into “the proper frame of mime.”

    Courter quotes them in a Wall Street Journal column bemoaning the poor reading skills of incoming students.

    Coincidentally (or something more?) that same issue of the WSJ also featured a piece entitled “America Has Too Many Teachers.” In it, Andrew Coulson of the Cato Institute points out that while the number of public school students has grown a mere 8.5 percent since 1970, “the public school work force has roughly doubled — to 6.4 million from 3.3 million — and two-thirds of those new hires are teachers or teachers’ aides.”

    That helps explain part of the reason why since 1980 spending on public school education in the U.S. has doubled in inflation-adjusted dollars.

    Twice as many teachers. Twice as much money. But does anybody believe that a high school graduate today is (as a college student might actually say) “twice as much smart?”

    We know they’re not.

    We test students all the time, tests like the National Assessment Of Educational Progress (NAEP). And since 1970, these results in math and reading have essentially been flat.

    For example, the average 17-year-old’s NAEP score in reading back in 1971 was 285. In 2008 it was 286.

    That’s what we got for doubling our education spending.

    When you compare the U.S. to countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the results are even worse. Education reform activist Bill Costello points out that our annual “per-pupil spending in 2006 was 41 percent higher than the OECD average of $7,283, and yet American students still placed in the bottom quarter in math and in the bottom third in science among OECD countries.”

    Or as they say down at offices of the teachers union, “money well spent!”

    And that’s the problem. Despite the deluge of tax dollars, despite having a ridiculously high number of teachers vs. students, and despite the dismal results, the teachers unions and their allies always demand more.

    And, unfortunately they often get it because the public has such a skewed view of what’s really happening in our schools.

    Ask the average American and they’ll tell you our teachers are woefully underpaid, our schools are crumbling death traps and our nation is neglecting its children.

    When I tell people that, just as an example, the average Boston teacher’s salary is around $82,000, they refuse to believe me.

    When I tell them that the teacher-student ratio is lower than it’s ever been in the modern era, they can’t accept it.

    The average person believes the “poor me” propaganda in part because the unions spend so much promoting it. Since 2005, the MTA has spent $4 million on lobbying and political activism in Massachusetts alone. People fall for it, politicians react and the cost of mediocre education continues to rise.

    You want to know who does know the truth? The students.

    USA Today reports that “millions of kids simply don’t find school very challenging,” based on analysis of federal data. More than half of eighth-graders say their history homework is too easy and 40 percent of seniors say they almost never write about what they read in class.

    Students who care know how crummy many of our schools are. They’re just trying to find someone else who cares, too.

    Until then, just expect more “poultry excuses” (as one college freshman wrote) for our school systems’ poor performance.
    "The less I needed, the better I felt." ~ Charles Bukowski.

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 10:51 PM
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    Ten years ago, my buddy gave his first test in a remedial high school class.

    Question one: Who was the first President of the United States?

    One answer? presend lelekin

    Took us forever to realize he was trying to write President Lincoln.

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 02:48 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus H Christ View Post
    I weep for the future.
    One student lamented that we're becoming a society that "creates its individuals in a lavatory."
    I actually can't argue with this one.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk
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    06.25.15 @ 09:06 AM
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    "Mr. Courter recently retired from teaching at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill."

    That explains a lot in and of itself
    "I respect that youre passionate about this but what your saying is complete idiocy..." - MF5150 on McDonald's "preying" on young kids.

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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 05:27 PM
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    As a society, we embrace stupidity and chastise intelligence.

    Should we expect any different?

    This is 100% truth, I had an argument with a college graduate about how the Germans did NOT bomb Pearl Harbor. At first I thought she was kidding because of Animal House, but came to realize that she actually thought Bluto was right!
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

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  6. #6
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 02:48 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave's Dreidel View Post
    As a society, we embrace stupidity and chastise intelligence.

    Should we expect any different?

    This is 100% truth, I had an argument with a college graduate about how the Germans did NOT bomb Pearl Harbor. At first I thought she was kidding because of Animal House, but came to realize that she actually thought Bluto was right!
    That makes me want to give up on life. It's bad enough that people don't know how to read and get into college, but this is somehow worse. This means she never even watched anything in school, or discussed more than in passing, the biggest attack by another nation on the US in over 100 years. That's just sad. What in the hell are they teaching in history classes?
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

  7. #7
    Good Enough
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    Now I know why so many of my prof's find my papers "an absolute delight" to read.

    I remember when my son asked me to proof a paper he'd written for Social Studies. It had tons of spelling and grammatical errors. When I gave it back to him to edit, he replied "Mom, this is Social Studies, not English. They don't take marks off for grammar and spelling".

    I was appalled to learn that he was right!!!

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 05:40 PM
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    We need to get back to basics in this country. We have essentially turned into automatons who press buttons and have no common sense. I work at a small business and walk and talk to fellow employees in close proximity all day but get emails asking for things only seconds after passing in the hall or the work area. Try and find a youngster who can multiply or divide without the use of a calculator.Long division anyone? OK back to surfing the net and reading about Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black LOL
    EVH 1979: Well, actually it's not much of a vacation, because we run everything ourselves. We design our own album cover, we have to be in the office every day to sign checks - the whole corporation revolves around us. Nothing can be done without our approval. We even have photo approval.

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk
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    Take it from a college student. It's not what they're being taught, or even how they're taught.

    There's something horribly wrong with the interest level (which was pretty much implied in the article), and what would be the best way to fix it? I personally don't have the problem but I see it all the time. How is the general lackadaisical nature of students repaired?

    I don't know the answer.
    "I respect that youre passionate about this but what your saying is complete idiocy..." - MF5150 on McDonald's "preying" on young kids.

    "He was born a human, he's a horse's ass by proxy." - It's Mike on Eddymon.

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk
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    05.31.14 @ 08:17 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZachenFoot View Post
    Take it from a college student. It's not what they're being taught, or even how they're taught.

    There's something horribly wrong with the interest level (which was pretty much implied in the article), and what would be the best way to fix it? I personally don't have the problem but I see it all the time. How is the general lackadaisical nature of students repaired?

    I don't know the answer.
    Yup.

    I see this every day.

    Granted my writing, punctuation, and spelling are not all that hot yet I'm Wordsworth compared to the average 19-year old.

    I've discussed this with my teachers and it boils down to this (at least in California): To be a teacher one only needs a degree in education. You do not need a degree in science to teach science to children, nor do you need to know English to teach English, and so on and so on.

    This is where the system fails.

    It has gone on for a long time. In junior high school my science teacher was also my math teacher, and as it turned out his specialty was typing. So I lost a semester of math I was never able to catch up on.

    I joke that all my generation has to do is turn off the electricity and we will rule the 20-somethings as gods.

    Sad...
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, a lot (not all), but a lot of the teacher's in this country aren't the sharpest knife in the drawer. You have to really love it if you are a person of above average intelligence, as there a million ways to make more money than teaching.

    My mom and dad took special interest in my education, I can remember taking the SAT when I was twelve years old, my dad had me take speed reading courses, etc.

    Not in an over bearing way, they just wanted to make sure I knew what was needed to get ahead in the world. And growing up on a farm, I knew I didn't want to do that for the rest of my life, it was too hard! Made school work seem like great fun!

    Not to get too political, but I think the fact that a larger and larger percentage of our homes have one parent has a lot to do with it. One person can only do so much. I don't know how single parents do it and keep their sanity.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

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  12. #12
    Atomic Punk
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    12.04.17 @ 04:15 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
    Yup.

    I see this every day.

    Granted my writing, punctuation, and spelling are not all that hot yet I'm Wordsworth compared to the average 19-year old.

    I've discussed this with my teachers and it boils down to this (at least in California): To be a teacher one only needs a degree in education. You do not need a degree in science to teach science to children, nor do you need to know English to teach English, and so on and so on.
    This is where the system fails.

    It has gone on for a long time. In junior high school my science teacher was also my math teacher, and as it turned out his specialty was typing. So I lost a semester of math I was never able to catch up on.

    I joke that all my generation has to do is turn off the electricity and we will rule the 20-somethings as gods.

    Sad...
    Gosh...Really? Certainly, in this country, there is such a degree as a BEd (Bachelor's In Education) but this isn't at all popular as an option. The majority of teachers in the UK do a BA in their specialist subject, followed by a year studying for what is known as a PGCE (Post-Graduate Certificate in Education) - certainly, if you plan on teaching older students (ie, those aged between 11 and 18), this is the bare minimum, in terms of qualifications.

    Speaking as a former English teacher myself, I loved my subject so much that I also did an MA and have embarked upon a Doctorate. For me, although as DD has said I could have made heaps more money pursuing another, more lucrative career, I just wanted to 'carry on reading' and try to share the joy I experience from doing that very thing. Sadly, that became very difficult to do - not least because of excessive government interference. Politicians, who have never taught in their lives, insist they know best about what to teach and how to teach it - they take very little notice of the professionals and our opinions. Then, when their hair-brained schemes (inevitably) fail, they spend millions more trying to figure out why and changing the goal-posts yet again. It's exhausting and demoralising.

    Another problem with teaching as a career and the calibre of many candidates is the low esteem in which it is held as a profession. Everybody and their dog thinks they can teach - and, as can be seen from increasingly poor results, this is very far from the case. As a consequence, the salaries are generally very low - especially when compared to other professions (medicine, law, etc) which are massively more lucrative. Sadly, pay and credibility seem to go hand-in-hand. How can it possibly compete with other graduate professions in terms of attractiveness when the pay is so poor? Yes, it's all well and good to say that teaching should be a 'vocation' - but, generally speaking, in practical terms that's just ludicrous.

    If you want the highest quality graduates to teach, you need to pay a salary equivalent to those other graduate professions. Whilst it continues to be a 'poor relation', in the main, it will only attract those people who see it as a last resort. This in turn affects the level of respect levelled at teachers by parents and their off-spring...If the powers-that-be don't respect teachers enough to make it financially attractive enough for academically high-achieving candidates, why would parents and kids respect those delivering the curriculum? And if there's no respect, there's little to no learning going on.

    Just my two-penneth!
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  13. #13
    Hang 'Em High
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    I have been a teacher's assistant at the University of New Brunswick for about 8 courses, and its amazing what I'm expected to mark sometimes. Spelling, grammer, you name it, it's butchered. The system here forces kids through, and if the kid fails its the teacher's fault because some braindead parents refuse to accept they failed to adequately raise their child.

    OR, the kid must have a learning disability and needs medication ASAP because he's ADD, or ADHD, or whatever the flavour is that month. Very worrisome trends these days.

  14. #14
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ain't Talkin' Bout' Love View Post
    I have been a teacher's assistant at the University of New Brunswick for about 8 courses, and its amazing what I'm expected to mark sometimes. Spelling, grammer, you name it, it's butchered. The system here forces kids through, and if the kid fails its the teacher's fault because some braindead parents refuse to accept they failed to adequately raise their child.

    OR, the kid must have a learning disability and needs medication ASAP because he's ADD, or ADHD, or whatever the flavour is that month. Very worrisome trends these days.
    Agree with all of this.

  15. #15
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    Default This is funny. No wait...it's not funny.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ain't Talkin' Bout' Love View Post
    I have been a teacher's assistant at the University of New Brunswick for about 8 courses, and its amazing what I'm expected to mark sometimes. Spelling, grammer, you name it, it's butchered. The system here forces kids through, and if the kid fails its the teacher's fault because some braindead parents refuse to accept they failed to adequately raise their child.



    OR, the kid must have a learning disability and needs medication ASAP because he's ADD, or ADHD, or whatever the flavour is that month. Very worrisome trends these days.

    Um, it's too bad you spelled grammar wrong in this post.

    I don't think anyone blames the teacher, they blame the system. I fought like hell to have my kid held back from high school. They insisted on pushing him through.

    3 months later I got a call from the superintendent saying I was right, he wasn't ready for high school and they wanted to put him back in elementary. Idiots. They wouldn't hold him back because of the "social stigma"...but they were willing to put him back in elementary almost halfway through the year. Oh yeah, there's no social stigma in that...

    When we moved we got him into an alternative school where we learned all those years he did so poorly in school it was because he wasn't being challenged enough. He has an almost photographic memory.

    The kids a flipping border-line genius and the teachers wanted him put on Ritalin because "he's attention deficit". No, he's not ADD, he's bored because what you're telling him is not new information.

 

 

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