Pascal Côté-Comeau

Quebec City, Canada

About Pascal

Languages

English, French

I'm passionate about

hum... everything?

Comments & conversations

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Pascal Côté-Comeau
Posted over 2 years ago
Tyler DeWitt: Hey science teachers -- make it fun
Jeff Liggon, Thanks for this detailed answer for this so simple problem. My view might be biased because I live in Canada and that the school system may be very different from those in the United States but I don't think that most schools can accommodate this, maybe some, especially if you come from a poor background. I strongly agree that ''the problem is the system itself'' and that ''The truth is that most of our primary education system is a big weeding out system not a educating system'' but this is exactly why levels don't work. Here's why. Let's say you have 100% on all exams in a year. What do you do ? You either ''move to the next level of education'' or, if your school can, you move to a group that goes faster. What's wrong then? If you go to the next level, you necessarily lose a lot of information that this level would have shown you and, since school is just regurgating information you're probably be able to keep going this way until, later, you notice there's a lot of thing you just never heard about. So, you say that ''The speed of a kids education should be irrelevant as long as they learn what they need.'' but it is not important if they skip informations ? The other alternative has less consequences in my opinion but still have problems. Let's say you have 160 students in a school at the same level and you decide to make a group that will go faster. So you put the 40 best students in a group and the other 120 in three different groups. Again, if you put 40 students in the same group and you teach harder stuff, the teacher still have to make the more students pass this level and must spend more time on those that have difficulty to grasp the concepts and less on those that doesn't. There is necessarily students losing there time and their potential as long as you put ''levels of education''. There's a lot of other problems that are consequences of the ''levels'' but it seems I don't have more space to discuss it. I could do it if you like.
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Pascal Côté-Comeau
Posted over 2 years ago
Colin Powell
I'd like to add, even though it gives no more credits to my point of view, that I am really impressed with the number of good non-emotional, rational comments that you put throughout TED (I couldn't help myself but to look at some of your other comments on other topics :s). Thanks for being so active ! Quite refreshing ;)
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Pascal Côté-Comeau
Posted over 2 years ago
Colin Powell
Hum... I'd like to discuss Powell's career with you. Joking ;) But you say that the topic of this speech is : Kids need structure. I strongly disagree with this narrowed view of the speech. Of course they need structure, everything need structure to grow, even plants. You say that structure ''can mean a foundation of love.....respect, compassion, empathy, kindness''. This is true. Although he mentions some of this features when he talks about a loving mom that take care of her children, this is not the kind of structure he described in school or in the army. He explicitly says that when they get them (in the army) they put them in ranks, make them all wear the same clothes, cut all their hair off so that they all looked alike, so they can obey instructions and know the consequences of not obeying instructions and force them to answer only by three possible answers. The result : after 18 weeks they do exactly as they’re told, and starts to love and respect the man that controlled their life for the last 4 months. Sounds like a brainwash to me. This is clearly not the kind of structure that would bring things like imagination, creativity, innovation, skepticism, critical thinking, which are the basis of our modern societies and, tell me if I’m mistaken, one of the goal of TED. I understand that this speech might raise question about kid's structure in general, but it is clearly not the goal of this speech. The topic is not within the title of the speech but within the speech. He tries to empower the blind confidence in USA's institution and encourage the submission of the kids, as early as possible, to their parents and the peoples within those institutions. Of course they need structure ! But not one that give them no space to make mistakes.
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Pascal Côté-Comeau
Posted over 2 years ago
Tyler DeWitt: Hey science teachers -- make it fun
I want to say first that it was a great video and all teachers should try to make school more interesting. Jeff, I am in accord with most of what you said. There is, however, something that seemed illogical in your comment. Maybe I did misinterpret it though. The system does not support all children equally, that's true. But, If they did it would have an even broader range of success rates. Teachers are bound to make the most students pass their classes. Which is a worthy goal, of course. But it also bounds them to spend more time on students that have difficulty to grasp the concepts they are teaching and less time on those that understand them quickly. On the long run, this is the students that have the most ease at school that are losing (and society too) because they won't be able to exploit their true potential. At least, not as quickly as they could. This results in a more averaged rate of success.