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Longsigh 09-09-2020 03:56 PM

How did we get here?
We are currently doing elearning. I just had the following conversation.
Student- "I don't understand how to answer number 4. I looked up the yearly salary, but it does not give me the monthly salary"

Me- "How many month are in a year? If you know the number of months in a year, how would you find out the monthly salary if you know the yearly salary?"

Student- "I really have no idea"

Me= "How many months in a year?"

Student- "I don't know"

Me- " 12 months in a year. January, Feb., etc. So take the yearly salary and divide it by 12 to get the monthly salary"

Student-"That is so confusing."

Personal Finance class, 11th grade student. This should not be a conversation I should have had to have.

Sbkangas5 09-09-2020 05:12 PM

I thought you were talking about an elementary student. Yikes.

Singvogel 09-09-2020 05:21 PM

one idea
We got here by overemphasizing constructivist pedagogy, even in mathematics. Students shouldn't have to "memorize."

Well, if you have no background knowledge with which to think, how are you going to progress?

Song of Joy 09-09-2020 05:22 PM

Wow. Unless there's an underlying learning disability, that's real disheartening.

Longsigh 09-09-2020 05:29 PM

General Ed. student with no issues other than lack of foundation skills and lack of thinking/reasoning skills.

Fractured 09-09-2020 05:44 PM

Itís more common than you think. I was subbing at a high school last year for a senior U.S. government class. We were going over campaign literature for different parties, and most of the kids didnít know the difference between right wing and left wing. We were supposed to be having different groups debate and represent the Libertarian party and things like that.

Itís not like some of the kids werenít trying. I just kept thinking about how some kids totally slip through the cracks.

dutchgirl 09-09-2020 07:15 PM

Why? We’re educators. We see education is failing. Why? I feel like our hands have been tied and we have not been allowed to really teach. Every year seems to get worse. I feel like I am failing. Now it’s not just the students. Too many adults don’t know how to think, and they were ‘educated’. Our system has failed all of us. This is not well written, but I am tired. It’s scary.

klarabelle 09-09-2020 08:38 PM

So sad this student is 1 year away from graduation and could not figure out a basic question. This is why it is so important to teach girls the sciences and help them learn its okay to know the answers. Of course that might be the result of my 60's school experience.

mrsf70 09-09-2020 11:55 PM

Last year I had 8th graders who couldn't tell me how many days are in a year. It seems everyday knowledge is not a priority for many people.

msd2 09-10-2020 02:33 AM

Singvogel, I have been saying the same things for years. We swung too far away from learning facts and basic information. We push "critical thinking" but do not push having information to think with. Critical thinkers require a good foundation of knowledge, research skills to learn other information (which actually requires a good foundation of knowledge to start), logic (sadly missing from our educational system), and cognition skills.

Critical thinkers are built by learning how to make connections from basic information that they have learned and apply logic to it. If we don't have them learn basic information and have it available for later use, we can't expect them to critically think about larger topics.

Aillya 09-10-2020 01:38 PM

Last year I had seniors who couldn't do long division, couldn't tell time by reading a traditional clock, couldn't write a paragraph, etc.

I'm not sure if it's like this everywhere, but I recall hearing an administrator mention that we get more funding if our graduation rates are higher. If they were being honest with me, then it means there's a financial incentive to just push students along, even if they aren't ready.

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