What would it take to make school interesting?

Methods and means of supporting critical thinking in education
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Matthew Ellard » Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:38 am

resumedocket wrote:School topics and progress requires gradual exposure to new material and making the students successful early on to peak their interest.


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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by zorba » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:11 am

I taught math and computer science classes in high school. A lot of students said that I was the best math teacher in school and that my class was fun. Yet when I would look around during my presentation, I often noticed that no more than 5 or 6 students out of 32 seemed to be paying attention. In my computer classes I taught students how to create their own computer games by programming the computers. I had to physically pry them out of the classroom to get them to leave at the end of the day.

I don't know what it would take to make it interesting. One thing we tried was letting the students wear whatever they wanted to school, no matter how short, how transparent, how dirty, or what body parts showed. That didn't work either, so we decided to keep on doing it.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Chachacha » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:14 am

Zorba the Creep.






When I get to know you better, I'll decide if that's a joke or not. ;)

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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Gord » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:50 am

Public executions might work.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by vanderpoel » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:17 am

For whom? Students or teachers?
For me, I'd like to bring back miniskirts and uniforms, so I can tell which ones are the Catholic girls.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Major Malfunction » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:35 am

Bring back? You just need to emigrate!
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by vanderpoel » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:10 pm

Where would I go, France?
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by OlegTheBatty » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:18 pm

vanderpoel wrote:Where would I go, France?

Japan
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by vanderpoel » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:22 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:
vanderpoel wrote:Where would I go, France?

Japan

I always appreciate your posts, Oleg. This morning is no exception.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Gord » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:08 am

vanderpoel wrote:For whom? Students or teachers?

Sure, them too.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by zorba » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:32 pm

Hey ChaCha,

If you are going to start off negative, it makes it more difficult for me to want to get to know you. How about we erase the slate and we start over from the beginning? You could ask me to explain what I meant by my post, I could reply, and then you could decide how you want to react.

I was trying to make a joke about the fact that our high school has an extremely lenient (almost no limits) dress code and an admin who won't even enforce the lenient code. The code is so lenient that the only way a student can violate it is by wearing something extremely gross, raunchy, racist, gang related, or illegal because of indecent exposure. But our admin is afraid to even enforce against this really extreme stuff. The kids have really taken advantage and pushed the limit. There have been some fairly serious incidents. But any kind of dress code is so unpopular with the students, that the admin is afraid to introduce a stricter code. It got so bad that some of our teachers asked some of the concerned parents to pressure the supt of the district to order the principal to introduce a strict code.

It would have been pretty gross if I or any teacher were joking about how much I enjoyed leering at scantily dressed students. In that case, you would have been justified in making a much more negative comment. Sorry I was not more clear in explaining the situation. My intent was to poke fun at admin and educators who keep doing the same dumb things, even when it is clearly not working. I see I didn't communicate that very well.

By the way, I went ahead and answered before you asked because even without knowing you, I'm going to assume that you are a fair minded person who would want to take the opportunity to clear up any possible misunderstandings. If you will permit me to put my teacher hat on for a moment, I would like to make a suggestion. Keep speaking up when you think someone is acting in an unprofessional way towards a student or is not treating you or others fairly. But if you can find a way to confront them without name calling and in a way that doesn't immediately prompt them to stop listening, you will be more effective. Many times, shooting first and asking questions later is not the best approach.

When I or someone else says something that sounds negative or like a putdown, would you please ask me what I meant or what I had in mind before passing judgement? Echo back to them what you thought they said and what you thought it meant. Ask if you have understood them correctly. When they answer yes , that's what I was saying, then respond. Please don't presume to tell me how I feel or assume what my attitudes, motives, or intentions are. Please don't try to read my mind. Thank you. Teacher hat off. Have a great weekend.


To avoid hijacking a thread and to continue my response, I am going to start a new one on sexual harassment and equality. You are invited to read some true stories about some brave young women at my school.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by kowalskil » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:37 am

rrichar911 wrote:You don't have to make children want to learn. They are born wanting to learn. The question should be what should we do to stop killing that desire.


I agree with this. The answer is far from being obvious. Should the agenda be driven by children?
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:39 am

I used to love school. It got me out of the house. And that was a very good thing.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Gord » Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:40 am

Gawdzilla wrote:I used to love school. It got me out of the house. And that was a very good thing.

I used to love injuries, illnesses and exposure to contagions. They got me out of school.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Matthew Ellard » Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:17 pm

kowalskil wrote:The answer is far from being obvious. Should the agenda be driven by children?

That's an interesting question. I guess that children may be more attentive to a curriculum set out by other children however that curriculum may not be a suitable education for adulthood occupations. Therefore it is a "trade off" with no clear answer.

I do not know much about the Rudolf Steiner schools. My weak understanding is that they let a child learn at the child's own pace but the curriculum is still set by adults. Therefore we cannot gain anything by looking at this model.

I guess we should try to think of any scenarios where children "set the pace" for other children to do particular activities and then try observe if there is any unique benefit. I'm having a hard time thinking of such scenarios. There may be children internet forums with only children posting ( I haven't got a clue). I grew up in an "english" schoolboy playground where "play-lunch" and "lunch break" games were set by other children my own age. (That might be a model to look at).

This is a really hard question and really one for the experts.

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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:43 am

Gord wrote:
Gawdzilla wrote:I used to love school. It got me out of the house. And that was a very good thing.

I used to love injuries, illnesses and exposure to contagions. They got me out of school.

I went to school to avoid injuries. In the summer I'd work 40-60 hours a week at stoop labor.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by bigtim » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:25 pm

The best way to "fix" schools is to have smaller class sizes (hell of a lot smaller) and more recess.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:30 pm

bigtim wrote:The best way to "fix" schools is to have smaller class sizes (hell of a lot smaller) and more recess.

We don't have enough teachers because we don't pay them enough.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by brauneyz » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:36 pm

bigtim wrote:The best way to "fix" schools is to have smaller class sizes (hell of a lot smaller) and more recess.


Seriously, what do you base the first part on? I'll pull the Grandpa defense on you and claim that when I was a student (a few unenumerated decades ago) in a classroom of 30 students, an old spinster teacher ran it seamlessly. She said "do your times tables" and we did. She said "stand in the corner, or go see the principal" and we did. She called the parent and said "Johnny's acting up" and Mom & Dad took over, never questioning her.

I think you are spouting modern liberal dogma, my friend. Classroom size is a myth. Not much difference between 15 kids and 30. You want virtual one-on-one - homeschool your rambunctious little rugrat! (Not you personally, of course ...)

And recess in grade school was cool, but HS PE for girls was a joke. :mrgreen:
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by rickoshay85 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:45 pm

tkrawforQ3Kn4 wrote:Some hard choices about swallowing political pride in lieu of wallowing in the inescapable reality of dwindling resources means, according to my theory of logical analysis the following course of action:

1) Speech Teachers everywhere should teach a very basic form of Socratic, itinerant logic before teaching the various forms of communication

2) Curricula everywhere should integrate that subsystem of analysis, inquiry and deliberation into the nature of all required and General Studies courses by allowing students and their parents greater flexibility in the design, personalization and Goal Projection of specific programs administered according to all current general benchmarks.

3) Bring the professional world such as Google, George Lucas LTD as well as current Local, State and Federal atmospheres of Government closer to the classroom for the specific purposes of : a) observation b) education and c) informal consultation on current real world issues regarding millage, public derivatives and state deficits, climate change, Afghanistan and health care insurance reform.

Make school much more important by increasing the stakes for involvement and back that choice with whatever change in the law is necessary and I guarantee the cost of education will lessen and both the value and productivity will increase ten maybe twenty times fold.

In my system of logical analysis, this is THE main thing that absolutely needs to happen across the board. And yes: all of these things will make school much more fun. Indeed.

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Good stuff, well thought out, but it's all for naught is you can't get and keep their interest
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Chachacha » Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:10 am

Gawdzilla wrote:I used to love school. It got me out of the house. And that was a very good thing.


I know you're not joking, Gawd, and it is true for untold millions of children, School is the safest place for them to be, it's the place where they know they'll get a meal, it's the place where they can feel safe, and it's the place where they can act like normal kids: all of which make it the best part of their day.

(I know bullying is a problem, but for a lot of kids, bullying is nothing compared to what they get at home.)

And if they didn't go to school, they wouldn't have anyone to tell what's happening at home, and would have no hope of ever getting out.

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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by bigtim » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:27 pm

brauneyz wrote:
bigtim wrote:The best way to "fix" schools is to have smaller class sizes (hell of a lot smaller) and more recess.


Seriously, what do you base the first part on? I'll pull the Grandpa defense on you and claim that when I was a student (a few unenumerated decades ago) in a classroom of 30 students, an old spinster teacher ran it seamlessly. She said "do your times tables" and we did. She said "stand in the corner, or go see the principal" and we did. She called the parent and said "Johnny's acting up" and Mom & Dad took over, never questioning her.

I think you are spouting modern liberal dogma, my friend. Classroom size is a myth. Not much difference between 15 kids and 30. You want virtual one-on-one - homeschool your rambunctious little rugrat! (Not you personally, of course ...)

And recess in grade school was cool, but HS PE for girls was a joke. :mrgreen:


nnnnOOOO!!!! I think “spouting modern liberal dogma” is probably the worst insult I’ve received on this forum :-P

Actually I need to add a 3rd to that list (which I stated in the thread earlier), parent involvement.

But, I base my 1st statement (class room size) from personal experience with kids. A class of 30 kids can work just fine *if* the kid learns that way. If they don’t then they’re lost. You can watch it happen from grade school to middle school to high school.

It’s also easy to be overlooked and hide in a large class. The teacher doesn’t always catch that the kid isn’t getting it. Smaller class sized, more teacher attention, more one-on-one time.

Our daughter did GREAT in elementary school. My oldest son not so great. But when she started in middle school and then high school she was done. Her charisma and socialization hid that she wasn’t getting it. She was able to “hide” in plain sight. My wife and I weren’t even aware of how bad it was because she lied to us about school projects and assignments. By the time we were aware it was too late. She skipped school so much we actually had to go to court for it. The second she was old enough she dropped out.

My oldest son never did that well in school. He has a reading tracking problem. When he reads his eye “skips” and he’ll be on another line and not be aware. So reading always frustrated the hell out of him. He’s smart as hell, but learns from doing and watching (I’m a documentary junkie and so are they).

My wife and I were, and still are VERY involved in our kid’s education. We did EVERYTHING right and yet crap still blew up. Do I blame the school system? A bit yeah, can’t tell you how often I had to “de-program” the kids when they came home with some crap thing they learned – oh and the ARGUMENTS “Dad, but the teacher said.” “Teacher is wrong.” “No, the teacher can’t be wrong.” So I meet with the teacher and tell them “you realize this was wrong.”

So yeah, if there was 1 teacher per 10 kids the slip of my daughter may have been caught a hell of lot earlier and maybe we could have stemmed the train wreck that her life has turned into.

Sorry, no, there is no liberal dogma here. Just real world experience.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by The Sea is Mine » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:17 am

The purpose of school is not to be interesting and fun. The purpose of school is to prepare people for the skills they will need in the adult world. Education is largely going downhill because we forget this point. One of the problems is culture. In America, the purpose of childhood is supposed to be enjoyment, in Asian cultures it is preparation.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by bigtim » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:23 am

The Sea is Mine wrote:The purpose of school is not to be interesting and fun. The purpose of school is to prepare people for the skills they will need in the adult world. Education is largely going downhill because we forget this point. One of the problems is culture. In America, the purpose of childhood is supposed to be enjoyment, in Asian cultures it is preparation.


Are have a very definite hatred of America. Sorry, but your overgeneralized pronouncement is wrong. There is a lot wrong with Asian culture – your love affair with it notwithstanding. You seem to be ignore the dark side and glamorizing this fictional ideal you are adhering to.

You don’t have kids do you?

Also, it’s pretty obvious you hate America –your overgeneralized comments are always wrong for both the cultures you admire and the ones you hate.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:37 pm

Chachacha wrote:
Gawdzilla wrote:I used to love school. It got me out of the house. And that was a very good thing.


I know you're not joking, Gawd, and it is true for untold millions of children, School is the safest place for them to be, it's the place where they know they'll get a meal, it's the place where they can feel safe, and it's the place where they can act like normal kids: all of which make it the best part of their day.

(I know bullying is a problem, but for a lot of kids, bullying is nothing compared to what they get at home.)

And if they didn't go to school, they wouldn't have anyone to tell what's happening at home, and would have no hope of ever getting out.

I fought fourth graders when I was in first grade rather than let them run me off, as I'd have to go home then. I starting making a project out of confronting bullies when I was in the third grade. My brother, 18 months older, was useful in that. We could show up when a bully was doing his thing and he'd immediately find something else to do. Henry never questioned the black eyes, I'm pretty sure he didn't remember if they were his doing or not.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Pyrrho » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:52 pm

My father had his own way of making school interesting.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:11 pm

Pyrrho wrote:My father had his own way of making school interesting.

Topless teaching assistants? :drool:
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by brauneyz » Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:10 pm

Lots of subtle father/son dynamics emerging in this thread.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:23 pm

brauneyz wrote:Lots of subtle father/son dynamics emerging in this thread.

I don't think my contribution was subtle. For me subtle would be to say that I refrained from defecating on his grave.


"...also defecating..." rather.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Pyrrho » Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:25 pm

Gawdzilla wrote:
Pyrrho wrote:My father had his own way of making school interesting.

Topless teaching assistants? :drool:

Nope. Just the typical "no BS" philosophy of his generation. He didn't care if it was interesting or boring. Entertainment wasn't what school was for.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by brauneyz » Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:32 pm

Gawdzilla wrote:
brauneyz wrote:Lots of subtle father/son dynamics emerging in this thread.

I don't think my contribution was subtle. For me subtle would be to say that I refrained from defecating on his grave.


"...also defecating..." rather.



OK, I was trying to be subtle. ;)
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:49 pm

brauneyz wrote:
Gawdzilla wrote:
brauneyz wrote:Lots of subtle father/son dynamics emerging in this thread.

I don't think my contribution was subtle. For me subtle would be to say that I refrained from defecating on his grave.


"...also defecating..." rather.



OK, I was trying to be subtle. ;)

Sorry, I don't do subtle. :shrug:
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Bunyip » Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:30 am

99% of people have to work hard to learn math.



You imply 'working hard' is a problem,or unnatural in learning,a notion I reject..

The claim is also facile and untrue. Just about anyone with an average IQ can learn maths to undergraduate level. Hard? Yes for many,but that is more to do with the way it taught,according to my logic professor at university

I was hopeless at maths, never passing once after year 9. I went to university as a 'mature rage student' at age 29.One of my first courses was described as simply 'logic'. Turned out to be a form of algebra,and I sank like a stone. In desperation, I went to my professor and told him I was lost. The dear man tutored me privately without charge.

We began from scratch.After about 15 minutes he said "Oh, I know what your problem is: you can't do it if you can't understand it. Yeah,I'm like that too" He explained that few people who do maths right through high school,.and pass well,actually understand maths.The result was that I passed the final exam,which was open book.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Gord » Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:51 am

My father was a teacher. Whenever I asked him for help, he'd tell me to look it up in the dictionary. If I pressed him for more information, he'd recommend the encyclopedia. I got just as much help by just giving up and not asking him anything in the first place.

Now he's 81 years old, and I make him mow his own lawn. 8-)
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by The Sea is Mine » Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:22 am

Pyrrho wrote:
Gawdzilla wrote:
Pyrrho wrote:My father had his own way of making school interesting.

Topless teaching assistants? :drool:

Nope. Just the typical "no BS" philosophy of his generation. He didn't care if it was interesting or boring. Entertainment wasn't what school was for.


Exactly. These days nobody is putting the brats in their place. Kindergarten is where learning is supposed to be fun and children eased into the school world. After that it's time for students to realize that learning is for preparing for the school house. I think the old days of small one room school house discipline worked. No other country has as much problems with student discipline than America. school is for learning. Liberals have made it so that teachers must teach as if they were afraid of the students.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Gord » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:34 am

The Sea is Mine wrote:Liberals have made it so that teachers must teach as if they were afraid of the students.

All of them, or do you have any particular Liberals in mind?
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:54 am

Gord wrote:
The Sea is Mine wrote:Liberals have made it so that teachers must teach as if they were afraid of the students.

All of them, or do you have any particular Liberals in mind?

EVERYBODY does sweeping generalizations.


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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Gord » Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:12 am

Gawdzilla wrote:
Gord wrote:
The Sea is Mine wrote:Liberals have made it so that teachers must teach as if they were afraid of the students.

All of them, or do you have any particular Liberals in mind?

EVERYBODY does sweeping generalizations.


:mrgreen:

Yeah, just look at these interfering Liberals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUq2d2OFRkk
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Pyrrho » Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:12 pm

The Sea is Mine wrote:
Pyrrho wrote:
Gawdzilla wrote:
Pyrrho wrote:My father had his own way of making school interesting.

Topless teaching assistants? :drool:

Nope. Just the typical "no BS" philosophy of his generation. He didn't care if it was interesting or boring. Entertainment wasn't what school was for.


Exactly. These days nobody is putting the brats in their place. Kindergarten is where learning is supposed to be fun and children eased into the school world. After that it's time for students to realize that learning is for preparing for the school house. I think the old days of small one room school house discipline worked. No other country has as much problems with student discipline than America. school is for learning. Liberals have made it so that teachers must teach as if they were afraid of the students.

A lot of teachers in inner cities probably are afraid of the students, for good reason.

My parents never abdicated their obligations or expected teachers to do their job for them. A teacher's job is to teach. They should not also have to raise the children they teach. If I screwed up at school, my parents knew about it long before I got home, and if I was punished at school I got punished at home. They supported the teachers and the school system with the expectation that I was going to work to get an education, not that the school was magically going to give me one.

The problem is not liberalism. The problem is the disintegration of family in the affluent suburbs where "want want want gimme gimme gimme" contributes to increasing debt and in the grinding poverty of the inner cities where desperation overshadows everything. Then there is the pervasive drug culture which affects all levels of the caste system we call "society." The drug culture is probably the biggest problem, contributing to a vicious cycle that chews moral values up like a meat grinder. But in the US people turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to this problem and like to pretend that it is a matter of personal choice.

Teachers should be able to teach and not have to be extensions or replacements for parenting and law enforcement. Got children in school? Get involved in their education. Don't lay around on your dead ass and bitch about the school system, because it does not exist to pick up your slack.
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Re: What would it take to make school interesting?

Post by Bunyip » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:46 am

Gord wrote:Public executions might work.



Indeed,and gladiatorial games,but why let the kids have all the fun? Have them at half time at high school football games,televised.Be a fabulous money earner and a splendid way of getting rid of recalcitrant students. :mrgreen: .



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