President Obama, will your extended school year teach my kid his granddad's culture too?
Edited on Wed Sep-30-09 09:48 AM by lostnfound
You've talked about how your mother taught you English at 5:30 in the morning and read to you about the American civil rights movement in the evening. If the Indonesian schools had an extended school day, would you still have had time to learn English and hear your mother's stories? You lost her at a young age, but at least you were an adult. What about kids who lose a parent when they are still young -- do you know how precious, how irreplaceable that time with family can often be?
Will your extended school year give my son time to learn his grandad's culture? Or his dad's second language?
Didn't you learn anything in the evenings from the kids in the neighborhood? Wasn't it inherently different from the learning experiences you had in the classroom? What about time with brothers and sisters?
What about kids whose parents come from complicated cultural backgrounds, like your own? Might those parents want to have time to teach their children how to prepare their own native food or language or family history?
If my kid's school refuses to play a speech given by the President of the United States AGAIN next year, will I be able to find time to let him sit in my lap and watch it if he has a longer school day?
When "Great-Aunt Josephine" visits our town for what turns out to be the last time in her life, will we regret that he wasn't around to bake cookies with her or hear her stories about his dead grandfather?
If he spends a summer month with his aunt in Florida, will we not have time for a family vacation as well? What about a retreat, or a scout camping trip?
We live in Texas. Who is going to teach him about evolution, or Howard Zinn?
We have 'fuzzy math' -- can I still have time to teach him good old fashioned multiplication and division, or does he have to continue to be bored with busy work and no real sense of advancement?
I teach him quite a bit in the time I have with him. Like tennis (at a public court) and chess. Sure, your schools could teach him that, but they won't give him a memory of playing it with his mom. These are MY gifts to him, not gifts from a stranger. Does that matter?
I like to take him to the woods too..have you ever read "Last Child in the Woods"? It's about "nature deficit disorder" and how the absence of raw nature in children's lives contributes to all sorts of problems. I can't count on the schools to fix that deficit either, can I?
The government says, 'Make sure they get enough sleep.' The government says, 'Take your child on walks or throw a ball around with him -- it's good for your health and your relationship.' A daily walk in the evenings keeps a lot of families together. Parenting experts suggest that kids should all get chores, too. Add in one organized sport or one extracurricular activity and what's left over?
Somebody I know gives her granddaughters piano lessons every week. Sure, the school could take that up -- and should, in my opinion, for those who don't have that luxury -- but don't force those girls to get lessons from a stranger when they are lucky enough to have a living, loving grandmother.
If I had two kids at two different schools and have to pick them up at 5 oclock or so, I likely won't get home until 6:30, and he needs to go to bed at 8 pm at his age. In that 90 minutes, there's dinner, bath, and homework.
My boy doesn't talk to me enough. Young boys are like that. So how do I know how he is behaving when he is away? In order to be a parent to him, I have to actually get to spend time with him. He talks a lot better after a good game of tennis.
The school gets them for about 40 hours a week already, plus homework time which can easily run another 10 hours a week. When they are young they need at least 10 hours of sleep. I The Parent often feel like nothing but a feeding station and a homework drill sergeant. If you extend the school day, it's the limited quality time you'll be taking away, right -- because I'll still need to feed them and they still need to sleep.
There are those of us who believe that EDUCATION -- "educing", or bringing out what is on the inside -- is largely what you obtain outside of school; SCHOOLING -- becoming predictable, swimming in the same direction -- is what you get inside of school. EDUCATION comes in part from the school of hard knocks, and it brings us the unique giants among us. It's no accident that people like Einstein and Thomas Jefferson didn't have years of formal schooling. SCHOOLING can add to your knowledge but not necessarily to one's wisdom or one's courage. Schooling produces a convenient supply of standardized widget-workers for the multi-nationals. EDUCATION is a process of learning to write your own script in life, and produces wise leaders and free thinkers.
Some of us actually LIKE to spend time with our children. I can tell that you do too, from those beautiful pictures of you with the angels in your life. Don't force us all to hand them over for still more hours every week, and expect us to make up for all the things that are broken, in the ever dwindling periods of time that we are allotted.
I live in a place where school is taken much more seriously (though even here, some complain that they're being passed up by the likes of Korea and Vietnam in terms of scholastic achievement), and I watch the kids go to school on SATURDAYS, and after school programs run until late in the evening even as the kids get up and leave the house before the suits do.
Does America want to compete in a global world where we're getting smoked in terms of scholastic achievement by so many other countries?
We aren't using their math curriculums either; we are using dumbed down textbooks in the US for the most part. I try to give him more challenging work, but the time gets pretty crowded what with school days and busy work home work and one sport and piano lessons.
He's half-Asian. I want him to learn his dad's culture, which he certainly won't learn be learning at school.
His dad is a product of the very schools you are talking about. He views his own homeland as rigid and uncreative. He often says 'the popped-up nail gets hammered down.' That's why he left.
As far as I'm concerned, I personally read all of Dickens one summer at age 12 and taught myself geometry proofs in the summer as a kid, too. For the fun of it.
Create life-time learners. Don't suffocate it out of them to live lives of misery (quiet desparation) later on. The Japanese are very 'well-schooled'. It doesn't always serve them well. The whole culture encourages quiet suffering as a matter of good manners. Our U.S. tendency to speak up to superiors is seen as a strength among some Japanese businessmen because their company culture forbids it. Teaching of one's cultural roots is another question -- how do Korean immigrants feel about whether culture is taught in school? I wonder how that is handled.
They do read a lot, though. I am not sure that Manga counts, but they are far more literate than the US. The last time we had a nation of readers may well have been in the 1800s.
Philosophically, it is NOT all about 'competing in the world market'. It is about being able to imagine what isn't. How do the Japanese rate on world happiness scales, I wonder?
"We were surprised to see countries in Asia scoring so low, with China 82nd, Japan 90th and India 125th. These are countries that are thought as having a strong sense of collective identity which other researchers have associated with well-being."
A question I loved posing to people in the '80s when Japan was God of computers was, can you name a Japanese business computer? Keep in mind the PC is American in the two most important factors: operating system and central processing unit.
Richard Feynmann, head of the computer staff at Los Alamos during the development of the first atomic bomb, spent some time in Brazil where he was initially astonished to find college-level physics in the United States being taught in Brazilian high schools. And the Brazilian college physics majors were outscoring their American and European counterparts in the tests.
So why were there no great Brazilian physicists?
Feynmann then devised his own tests for a group of high-scoring students in Brazil, and a similar group in the US. Unlike the standard test, the specific problems in his test were not taught to either group of students. But if they learned the physics behind the problems they were taught, they should be able to use that to solve the problems Feynmann proposed.
All the Americans passed the new test. All the Brazilians failed. Apparently, the Brazilians were just remembering the problems. Feynmann spent the remainder of this time in Brazil trying to teach them the physics instead of teaching them the problems. But the students rebelled. That was not how they understood school to work. Feynmann concluded he would have to go all the way back to elementary school to correct the problem.
With the almost universal success by Rightist propaganda in convincing the American public that we are failing in education, to the point that even Liberal Democrats parrot this factoid, we should the next generation of Americans achieve greater test scores while failing to understand what the knowledge behind those tests.
While the pols point to better test results as evidence the new methodology is successful, the world will have to look elsewhere for new technologies.
John Taylor Gatto mentioned in one of his tapes that 'well-schooled people' can do very well, live comfortable lives with nice paying jobs..but they can't "write their own script". My Americanized Japanese friend complains about his homeland for its groupthink; in the corporate world, "the popped up nail gets hammered down". To write your own script, don't you need some practice at it when you are young, some time to spend left to your own unstructured devices? THe truly great are the ones who write their own script, and I suspect that most of the truly great grew up in less conforming environments.
we must get the children ready for the brave new world. 40 hours a week 50 weeks a year. if they fall behind mandatory over time after 8 or on saturdays. forget about excused time off because illness or having a vacation. children of the brave new world of the united states must conform to the neo-industrialization of america.
if i were raising my kids today my wife and i would home school.
12. While technology makes it easier for us to do more in less time.
During the recovery from the Great Depression we moved from the 60 hour work week to the 40 hour. Partly because technological advancments made it possible to get more work done in less time. But also because one way to create more jobs is to split a single job between more people. You want 60 hours of work? Then hire two people instead of one.
I'm not certain here, but I have a very strong suspicion there have been a few technological breakthroughs since 1938 that would make it possible for us to scale back even more. Assuming we had a reality-based economy.
13. Thank you, for understanding! I wish more people would recognize
that this is exactly what is happening, and what HAS happened, to our democracy.
I think I really need to read "The Parent, The Child, and The State" to see more of the roots of this situation. But I really wonder whether this will be just another means to crowd out whatever other non-corporate, community-oriented, independent ideas remain.
This is so much related to the passive state of the American public when it comes to politics. Whatever well-meaning content is being taught, the other thing that is being taught is to remain immobile and corralled.
students spend in class if they just quit having a 2 hour delay every time we get a dusting of snow. Then if we have any kind of accumulation school is canceled. Every morning I see parents sitting in the car with their kids at the end of a 100 foot driveway, the poor little darlings may get a chill. We are raising wimps today, when they get out into the real world they report off work when there is a dusting of snow. The first thing today's new hires want to know is how you get to the games and Internet on the computer they have no work ethic. One of our new hires was caught his first day spending 7 hours out of eight on the Internet. He was warned about it and was caught again a couple days latter visiting over 100 porn sites over an 8 hour period he got fired that time. Another one was fired that had over 80 no shows in about 9 months time. Only about 20% can pass a company drug screening in the first place. I work in a Union shop where you could practically get away with murder and these kids manage to get fired. One thing about here is we have been in a depression for several decades and most of the kids with any brains or ambition leave this area after high school so we do just get the left overs..
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