[First Post] 27
Louisiana, United States
Education, Health, and Mental Stability
I started this thread because of the question posed by Brad of mathematics.
Yet because I am not a mathematician, I don’t want to dwell in an area where I’m not finely-tuned to give logical answers. But I have worked in the social work field dealing with people of all types including hearing and speech impaired, and subsequently have embarked on some of the educational needs of our children as well as adults. Therefore this thread is not to disrespect Brad’s question of mathematics, but to broaden the question of all educational subjects in and of the student as well as adults and educators.
I think our critical problem lies in the continuing change that started with trying to keep up with Asian students by introducing child-like behaviors to computer and calculation technologies before they have learned simple arithmetic problems; and of course the lack of measurable experience and the inability to comprehend beyond their years. And it seems no one in the educational field is speaking on behalf of our children poor performances in a way that conquers the ever-evolving problem of our educational, health, and mental stability of our children.
My son for instance, was an excellent reader even in his earliest days of school, always being pushed beyond his years. Yet, while in third grade, he is pushed into fifth and sixth grade reading classes. The main two problems these educators never considered were the fact that older kids, regardless to how smart they were, did not take well to a younger kid showing them up. The other problem was that my son lack the measurable experience of life to measure against what he was reading, therefore, he showed an inability to comprehend the subject read on relative economics and societal matters.
Other problems existed as well. Such as educators trying to make him into a teachers’ pet, as if he was something on display, or a grown-up and not a child. Then there were the feelings of inadequacies and belonging... Moreover, periods isolation. What I got back from that schoolhouse was one close to being screwed-up child, until I stepped in and cut it off. Fortunately, being a single parent at the time, my decision alone was final, but it took some doing and the help of a lot of professionals outside the school system, and he is now grown and in the military and I believe will do well in life.
To give you other instance. I once was an assistant to an employment counselor at a rehab institution. One day we received a communication via the Mid-American Institute on Poverty. They wanted various citywide programs to participate in a collaboration effort of tracking and evaluating the progress identifiable clients beyond rehabilitation.
One of the programs this rehab offered their clients was a landscaping program aimed at putting people back to work, along with a few others. However, the main problem there is there were no “realistic” educational components attached to the programs.
For instance, to be a successful landscaper, should one know some geometry? To be a successful floor care specialist, should one know some chemistry? But how do you learn geometry and chemistry without knowing or learning basic arithmetic and science? Then on to mathematics and chemistry, and maybe even the matrix system and biology on the way.
The problem is that we have pushed our children through these accelerated learning programs trying to keep up with Asian students of the world that we have forgotten about basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills. To sit three, four and five year old children in front of computers are the cause and effect result that we have today in internet predators. To allow a child to use a calculator throughout the school year destroys the psyche in failure of test scoring without one.
I remember most all of my math teachers not accepting math lessons where the problems were not worked-out in the space between the problem and answer. They would give the paper back to you and say, “show where you worked the problem out.” And you had to do it, or you could be failed, because it was a sign of coping or using a calculator! I remember my writing teachers saying, “write a book report, not type one, or print one from information found on the internet.” And of course, “reading out-loud during class.”
Now granted that we have initiated reading programs in the past few years, and of course, there are educational institutions that never got away from the basics, but overall, we have lost millions of children trying to keep up with nations in regards to how educated their children are.
I don’t know what person, or person’s, or government, or educators, or systems came up with the ideal that we needed to be competitive with nations whose people are so poor; and over-populated that whole generations live in one and two bed room apartments; where you can’t have more that one child, and need written approval to have two; and fined for having three; and maybe even jailed for having four! Where with all these educated people, the walk of life is still so dismal there, they struggle to get over here to live.
Is this really, what we are trying to keep up with? While our inner cities look more and more like their providences on the banks of the Yantze river; or to be so conformed by a crooked or dictate-able government that the divide between the rich and the poor is as wide as the Grand Canyon? Looks familiar? We’ve been heading down “their road” to chaos and our last thirty years of our children is proof of it.
We have got to get back to basic educational teachings by restoring writing and arithmetic along with reading. And take away the computers and calculators until a child has shown a proficiency in the “book learning of basic reading, writing, arithmetic, health, history, science, economics, shop, gym, etc...” I mean… what’s wrong with kids climbing the ropes in gym to stay in shape, or running, or exercising, we did it and weren’t a bunch of over-weight kids whose parents were trying to blame and sue restaurants, because their kids don’t get exercise. They sit in school on the computer and then they come home, or go to libraries and sit in front of one. And at the same time, how can you learn computer science when you don’t know the above basics?
Reading, writing, arithmetic, health, history, science, economics, shop and gym were the basic subjects taught thirty years plus-ago when kids came out of school with basic knowledge of self, country and world - even if they didn‘t go on into higher fields of applied mathematics, computer science, chemistry, physics, medical, journalism, technologies, business, etc...
I think it’s the shame of our educators, government and nation as a whole that some high school graduates can’t even read the newspaper to look for a job. Or a college student can heck into someone’s computer but can’t write the formula he used to do it. Or a high school’er can make a bomb and learn of weaponry on the internet to kill his class mates but can‘t pass a simple chemistry exam. And our kids can’t estimate pricing and averages, divide and subtract. The biggest shame I’ve seen was the Chicago Bulls player/college graduate from years ago whom had to start over in a third grade reading class because he couldn’t read his own contract - not understand it, but read it!
I don’t care that the world has grown smaller through technologies in computer science… it doesn’t mean that we have to continue to grow dumber with it! This is what has happened to our children! But all these educators say they can’t figure it out!
Let’s start here; “You can’t start five year olds off in eight grade! In my day school-kids earned their way out of school, not just passed along and given a diploma because they got too old to be there - if they failed, they went away with nothing!
Now you don‘t get young adults in college that can‘t read, write and add! Now you lessen the need of a sizable portion of children to be on prosaic; you lessen the child-obesity problem; and at the same time you help lessen illiteracy in the most powerful country in the world!”