Why or children can't learn in public schools

@bobmnu (8160)
United States
July 12, 2011 1:50am CST
My daughter is working on a Masters Degree in School Administration and today was her first day of a class on writing a Graduate Research Paper. The class is made up of teachers and school counselors. My daughter was shocked when most of the class did not know how to write a paper and they were even more shocked that the Professor was going to grade on spelling, grammar, and mechanics of the paper in addition to the content. Most of the students did not know that for a college paper you needed a title page and they did not know what the Bibliography was or how to set one up. My daughter became the heroin when she explained how you could look up the American Psychological Association (APA) publishing guidelines to find out how to set up and cite in the paper. She also told them that there were web sites that could help them set up the APA bibliography page. Is it any wonder that our children can't learn when the teachers and leaders of education don't know how to do present their ideas in a way that others can understand and use. Some of these students had to be spoon fed on how to write a paper. The Professor showed them examples from previous years of bad papers and my daughter said that the writers could not even cut and paste correctly to make the paper understandable. Over the years I have worked with teacher who graduated from college who never had to write a major paper or ever give an oral presentation to a class. They were able to meet the Public Speaking Requirements by talking one on one with different students.
5 responses
@asyria51 (2870)
• United States
12 Jul 11
I went to a private catholic college prep high school. I learned both MLA and APA starting my freshmen year. We wrote all the time and not just for our English/Lit classes. We wrote in science, we wrote in social studies, we even had to write a paper per semester in PE. I am starting my master program next summer, and I hope that I do not encounter the same level of incompetence in that program that your daughter is encountering in her classes right now. As for public speaking, I had to do several presentation in college including taking a public speaking class for my education major (it was a new requirement the year i entered into the program). I still hate giving presentations in front of my school board, but can handle colleagues pretty well.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
12 Jul 11
As a School Administrator I was required to make written reports to the school board as well as make presentations to varrious groups. We never know where our careers will take us. Leaders need to be able to communicate both written and verbal.
@asyria51 (2870)
• United States
13 Jul 11
my masters is in going to be in literacy and reading methods. I have the scores to be in the program but i want to do the in person, not the online version so I have to wait until this time next year to really get going. i can take my two "elective" classes over the next two semesters. one of those is going to be pre-adolescent lit, the other will depend on what is being offered in the spring semester. I am getting better at going in front of people to speak, but I would still rather write a paper.
• United States
12 Jul 11
I think I'm still in shock after reading that... Let me get this strait, she's in graduate school... her classmates don't know APA format, don't know to make a title page, a stretch but possible... don't know how to write a paper, a bibliography, cite work... That second part is just hard to believe. Is this a nationally accredited school, did they other students go to accredited universities? Perhaps it's a class with a mix of graduates and undergraduates? I could understand it in like a class with first year students since a lot of high schools don't really prepare students for college and even their best and brightest struggle or fail. The internet doesn't help, since it has no format with no citations. But really, I had to write so many papers in APA format for my last 2 years of undergraduate. Jeeze even wikipedia which wasn't even allowed as a source still basically has a bibliography and cites sources in most instances. It's a sad sad day. I guess I underestimated the magnitude of a professors complaints when he told me the students coming into his university were getting dumber. On the up side, I need not fret of over things like medi-care, by the time I'm eligible there won't be a doctor left competent enough to treat me.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
12 Jul 11
This course is designed to be taken by those students who have started their Masters Program and will be completing the final step, the Research Paper, in the next semester. Several years ago my other daughter, who is an avid reader, told me that in High School she learned from the teacher the role women and Blacks played in the Revolution and Civil war. They did not learn the underlining causes of the wars other than we wanted our independence and slavery. History has become a study of isolated acts done by people, other than white males, that may or may not have a bearing on the outcome of an event. I was surprised but not shocked when my daughter told me this. I have worked in schools where the Principal has to have the agreement of the teacher to make any changes in what is being taught. All States have standards and requirements for graduation but for the most part teachers have control over what is taught in their classrooms. There is a standard clause in most contracts that allows for "Academic Freedom" for the teacher. This means that a teacher can teach history and never mention the causes of a war but only the effect on a group of people. In effect the teacher has almost total control over what goes on in the classroom.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
12 Jul 11
News Flash. On Fox News they were talking about a college that was offering a $30,000 scholarship to students who could tweet a response to a question using 140 characters or less. Can you see a person tweeting a proposal to a client for a multi million dollar deal? Our citizens have to be able to explain themselves and express their Ideas to others not just shoot one little thought to many people. http://www.myfoxny.com/dpps/news/offbeat/university-of-iowa-offers-scholarship-for-best-application-tweet-dpgonc-20110712-fc_14086974 http://articles.cnn.com/2010-11-18/tech/kfc.twitter.campaign_1_tweet-college-scholarship-kfc?_s=PM:TECH
@jazel_juan (15767)
• Philippines
12 Jul 11
That situation is also common here bobmnu, it happens here and most college graduate are even bad in spelling, grammar and mechanics of writing a paper....some does not even have even a slightest idea what a term paper or a thesis is. It is not because they are in a public school... but because the teachers there are not encouraging students to learn, to be challenged. That is one reason why i am very picky with my children's school. I would rather spend a fortune on private schools rather that be sorry later. Students also nowadays got fond of doing copy and paste in papers! Their minds are also not challenged. It is a sorry situation here already.. The teachers here also though not all have become lazy. I could remember one situation with my child's pre-school teacher, that was last year. I enrolled my son in this school its a private one, which i also regret why i enrolled him there. Well, i was talking to the teacher and she was asking me questions on where i was working and she also asked of my hubby's and i told her my hubby is working in the HR department in a known university here..and i was soooo surprised when she asked me, what is HR?!?!?! i could not help but smile..because for a teacher, she does not know what HR is!! After the school year i did not enrol my child again.. i mean, teachers should be equipped with knowledge!
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
12 Jul 11
I am glad that you are taking responsiblity for your childs education. At leastr you will know that they are being educated and challenged. keep up the good fight.
@jazel_juan (15767)
• Philippines
13 Jul 11
i always make sure my children are learning right.
@RJlady1 (144)
• United States
12 Jul 11
I think it depends on where you live. My children learned those things in public school, as did I. Believe me, they've had to use those skills plenty, both in high school and college. I definitely think it's dependent on the school system in your locale.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
12 Jul 11
My daughter learned it in her public school but it was the teacher who set the standard. He has since retired and the new teacher does not beleive in writing and does not emphasise as much. I have taught for her and she requires one paper a semester, and she gives class time of a week or more for a two page minimum paper, as to the old teacher who required a written paper of some sort once a week and a major paper due each quarter. Some public schools are very good while others are not. It would be nice if parents had a choice where their child attended school.
@epicure35 (2822)
• United States
17 Jul 11
Please note that the "public school system" is a pathetic wasteland and moral and academic sewer. It is a dreadful "first arm of the government" and is INTENDED to dumb-down otherwise reasonably intelligent students and to ENSURE THAT THEY CANNOT THINK FOR THEMSELVES. I say this as a teacher (NON-UNION OF COURSE), who has had to make my living therein and, by the grace of God, will not set foot inside one such ever again. The following are just the tip of the iceberg: http://daytonos.com/?p=6836 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwxiRXqH_hQ http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/wisconsin-teachers-take-students-class-protest_550230.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6nAMCTxNnE&feature=related http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/articles/052800.htm http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/john_gatto.html http://slotvent.com/john-taylor-gatto-schooling-is-not-education-part-1/ http://home.earthlink.net/~jamiranda/gatto.html http://freerangelearning.com/index.php/john-taylor-gatto/the-tyranny-of-compulsory-schooling http://www.youthrights.net/index.php?title=John_Taylor_Gatto While there is a plethora of information from Gatto and others, I must admit that I, after some 40 years in "education" as a student, parent, teacher, grandmother, have come to the same conclusion. Gatto's statement that he "didn't want to hurt children anymore" is spot on. What goes on in the wasteland of the "school system" is horrific. I would warn every parent not to send their children there.