TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

High school students 9-12 are bored to tears. I was bored to tears in the 50's, ask a student today and they too are bored to tears.

Teenagers need a challenge! Todays schools offer boredom and repeat of lower class information for THREE years. What a waste of talent. Let each student chose if they want to be college material or craftsmen. Let them graduate from high school with an Associates degree or certification as journeyman in a trade field. Let them see and feel the goal they are setting for themselves from the eighth grade on. How many brilliant students are left behind because they are not exposed to a higher level of skills while just young teens. This would level the playing field between those that can afford private schooling and those who could not even dream of private schools. When a person is so bored without a learning challenge, they place their energies into other extremes, (drugs, sex, pills for everything, etc.). These kids are not dumb they are Uninspired by our ho-hum attitude about what they need to know for the future. I also am concerned with academic individuals who feel they are not contributing any longer to the mental growth of their students. Let's help them by initiating rewards for innovation in teaching. These SAT tests are ridiculous and accomplish a lot of useless data. Kids have been lying on them for years as to their backgrounds. A good example is the old school question, "What did you have for breakfast, Johnny?" I always answered "Orange juice, cereal and toast with jelly". This was in the 40's, I was lucky to have had a mashed potato sandwich. Let's quit pretending that teens are not bright enough to understand what is going on and give them a real challenge that will produce a great future for all.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Sep 25 2012: Vera, FYI it always heps to have the minimal info available to aid in composing a rational response. Since I(know nothing of you I will speak only of the United States. IMO schools at the K-12 are not about education or learning. They are about money. Schools are paid by seat time. One student is worth about $7,000 per year. Absences are subtracted from the money recieved. That is why perfect attendance is so honored. Colleges do not care if you attend or not. You pay for classes up front. Enough students select that class it is scheduled ... not enough not scheduled. Graduation requirements are set by state legislatures as recommended by the Superintendent of schools often not an educator (ours is a lawyer). Courses follow the guide of the bookmaker/text developer and tests are developed following what is available in the texts, again not educators.

    Begining this year teachers will have their evaluations based on the students grades, which almost guarentees cheating and teaching of the test.

    Do not blame the schools for the format, agenda, curriculum, or even your interest. Principals and teachers are left with few if any options.

    No one would argue that todays kids are not bright enough to do the work .... but if you were allowed to advance through the system rapidly then money would be lost ..... that, my friend, ain't gonna happen.

    All the best. Bob.
    • Sep 25 2012: You hit the nail on the head, Bob. The money issue is so true. How do we change our priorities to encompass greatness, learning, honesty and pride while feeding those at the trough? It is sad that the dedicated teachers cannot advance above the greed dictated by the establishment. Any suggestions? I appreciate your input.
      • thumb
        Sep 25 2012: Do away with text developers/test writers/educational unions/etc ... and cease using the Bismark system of education form the mid 1800's. Develop 21st century tools for education. Devise a map of all available subjects from K - 12. Each subject shall be comprised of modules that define a specific outcome and the total of the modules would define the goal. Each module would be tested out of on a competent / non-competent exam. No module could be entered until pre-requisites were met. Students would progress academically at their rate of learning and maintain their class position to develop socially. It is possible that a 10th grader could achieve enough credits for graduation. In that case the facality would be affiliated with the local university and the syllabus approved to enter college level studies and be granted full course credits.

        This system would allow self directed studies for the quick learner and the time for a instructor to assist those who need assistance. In this casee the teacher is more of a mentor / proctor.

        There would still be labs and classes for music, band, etc ...

        That in a nutshell would leap us into 21st century educational process and perhaps resolve the issue you have presented.

        Further I would devise a two tier curriculum: 1) college prep, and 2) manual trades but that is another story.

        All the best. Bob.
        • Sep 26 2012: Again I agree with the two tier circulum but taken one step futher. The student would graduate with an Associstes Degree and/or a trade certificatio, journeyman apprentice. Get the shops for trades back in the schools where young people can apply their skills as they learn. The crafts persons could assist in the maintenace of equipment and the building and repair of vehicles and all appliances. The monies received from these skills could help defray the costs of the overall changes. How do you motivate the establishment to initiate change?
      • thumb
        Sep 26 2012: I am working on the course map and modules. Also want the two tier in effect by next year ... almost had it this year. However, our teachers are certified by the local Community College and the credits are on their transcript. The weilding instructor is a union certified instructor and my son graduated high school as a union certified journeyman weilder and got college credits also. He entered the college with 90 college credits.

        The problem is to get the school to pay for the certification course with the college near you. For shop classes call the local union and see if they will cooperate.

        There are other problems like the teachers union and other considerations. Parents love it .... the administration likes it .... and the rest is about money and the union way.

        Good luck ... you are about to make a lot of enemies. But it will be worth it when you win.

        All the best. Bob.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.