Elementary schools now and elementary schools in the past

@Porcospino (17867)
Denmark
March 29, 2012 4:09pm CST
Have the elementary schools in your country changed if you compare your school to the schools that your parents or your grandparents went to? Which things have changed? When my parents and my grandparents went to school they had to use the teacher's last name when they talked to him or her. They had to memorize the facts from history etc, but they never analysed they things that they learned and they never had any group assignments. The teachers were allowed to hit the students and they often did that. When I went to elementary school our teachers asked us to use their first names. We had to analyse the things that we learned instead of just memorizing the facts and we often worked in groups. Instead of reading stories from the textbooks our teacher asked us to write our own stories. Since 1967 the teachers have not been allowed to hit the students. When our teacher wanted to punish a student they asked him or her to leave the classroom and wait outside the door or go to the principal's office.
3 people like this
10 responses
@gunagohan (3415)
• India
30 Mar 12
When my elders went to school, they have to call their teachers Madam/Sir. It is still a worrying factor that we are following Memorizing the subjects rather applying it in our life. Anyhow the teachers will give a proper explanation, but at the end we have to read the entire subject and give a test. Theory is given more importance than practical knowledge. Teachers beating the students were stopped a couple of years ago, other than that everything remains the same. Cheers
2 people like this
@Porcospino (17867)
• Denmark
31 Mar 12
In my country the students used the teachers' last names in the past. At that time it would have been impossible to use their first names like the students do today. The society has changed since my parents and my grandparents went to school, and the atmosphere at the schools in my country is more informal today. We don't have to memorize much, in the past it was big part of the lessons to memorize the facts, but today they ask us to analyse the facts instead and our own opinion about the things that we read is important. In the past the students' own opinion didn't matter matter at all, they only had to memorize the facts from the books. In the past the teacher hit the students, but that is illegal today.
1 person likes this
@gunagohan (3415)
• India
3 Apr 12
adding to the fact, in present situation too we have to call Madam/Sir in schools and in colleges.. Even a parent of a child should address the child's teacher as Sir/Madam. Education is never going to improve unless or until people realize that knowledge is more than marks and grades and i don't see that happening anytime soon at least for the next 200 years.. Cheers
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Mar 12
Different. I know that when I was a kid, elementary school wasn't that bad, but some of the things I hear about schools nowadays makes me not want to send my children to school, and just have them home schooled, or go to private school.
2 people like this
@Porcospino (17867)
• Denmark
30 Mar 12
My parents sent my brother and me to private school, because they had some of the same thoughts as you. I don't have any children, but if I did I would also consider a private school, because some of the public schools in my country have a very bad reputation. I don't think that I have the qualifications to home school children, so I don't think that I would choose that.
@sishy7 (27647)
• Australia
30 Mar 12
At my time, I did have to memorize a lot and do lots of home work. Now (some 40yrs later ), I've seen elementary kids doing school works using iPad and do not seem to have any homework especially on weekends or holidays.
2 people like this
@Porcospino (17867)
• Denmark
30 Mar 12
We never had to memorize much when I went to elementary school about 25 years ago, but my parents and my grandparents had to memorize a lot of facts for instanse a lot of poems and the names and the years of the all of the kings in my country. I am not sure exactly which subjects they have in elementary school today and how much homework they have today, but I am sure that some things have changed since the time when I went to elementary school.
1 person likes this
• Waltham, Massachusetts
31 Mar 12
I don't know a lot about how elementary school was when my parents went since they either haven't spoken about it or kept it private but I'm sure things have changed since they always do in life. My dad is haitian and I wouldn't be surprised if they hit their kids there. I don't know about my mom since she's always been more private about her life before kids. When I was in elementary school, I remember learning about a basic computer program and memorizing some things while analyzing others. I walked to school by myself and had to go to a university for gym. My son goes to a newer school that has a gym and kids learn about fancier computer systems now. There is memorization and analyzing and I'm not sure if there's more or less homework now. My son takes a school bus. Kids grow up faster now.
1 person likes this
@sishy7 (27647)
• Australia
31 Mar 12
I also walked to school either by myself or with few friends who happened to be on the same way home while my kids took school buses. Sometimes that make me feel I was more independent than my kids at that age. I was able to figure out different routes home and choose which one we were going to take for shortest walk or for fun. But then, my parents let me did that feeling that it was safe for me to do so; while at my kids time, I'd rather have them take the school bus than worrying about their safety if they walk all the way home by themselves. Surely things have changed...
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (17867)
• Denmark
31 Mar 12
Hi melindataylor! You mentinoned the basic computer prgramme that you learned about. I had a similar experience when I went to school. Our school did own a few computers, but they were extremly simple compared to the computers that we have today. There was no internet at that time and all of my assignments were handwritten. I am 35 years and a lot of things have changed since that time. Today many students have their own laptops. Hi Sishy! My father drove me to school, because he worked close to the school, but I always walked home. My parents weren't afraid to let me walk home by myself, and most of my classmates did the same thing. Today the situation is different and many parents don't let their children walk home alone.
• Waltham, Massachusetts
1 Apr 12
It's sad in some ways that things have changed in terms of parents not feeling safe having their kids walk to and from school on their own but I love the internet and couldn't picture my life without it though I didn't have it when I was a kid. I wish I could remember the name of the computer program we used and I am 32 so I'm close to your age porcospino. So we went to school around the same time. I couldn't imagine my son walking to school alone though he lives further away so he has to take the bus anyway. There's always good and bad with everything in life.
2 people like this
@bhanusb (5709)
• India
30 Mar 12
In our time we had to learn only the basic subjects. But now in the elementary schools pupils have to learn lots of subjects. These are extra burden for the children. Yes then the teachers were allowed to hit the students. Parents took this behavior of the teachers normally. I think the old time was better.
@Porcospino (17867)
• Denmark
31 Mar 12
I have noticed the same things about the subjects in my country. If I look the subjects that the children in my country learn today and the subjects that students learned in the past, there is a big difference. In the past the timetables were very simple, and the students had to learn the basic things like reading, writing and math. Today they have lots of other subjects as well. You wrote that you think that the old time was better, in what way do you think that it was better? Personally I think that a mix of the old times and the present would be good. In some ways I think that schools in my country are better today, but there are also some bad things about the school of today like the students who are very disrespectful towards the teachers.
@bhanusb (5709)
• India
31 Mar 12
I agree with you in this point that mix of the old times and the present would be good. But I observe in those days there were understanding between teachers, parents and students. Now pupils are imposed heavy home tasks and they get no time to play. They are cased in schools and homes. It happens in our country.
1 person likes this
@youless (91498)
• Guangzhou, China
30 Mar 12
I think the elementary schools just give pupils heavier pressure as time goes by. There are more books and exams for little children. And you have to start to learn a lot when you are very little. Everybody doesn't want to "lose" at the beginning. This is how I feel now. This afternoon I will go to school to have the parents' conference and I feel nervous to it. The teachers not only give pressure to the pupils but also their parents. I love China
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (17867)
• Denmark
30 Mar 12
I have noticed the same change in my country. The children have to learn a lot today, it is very important to get good grades, because there aren't room for all of the students who wants to study at university. Only the best students get admitted to university. It is important to do well in elementary school so that you can get into a high school and your high school grades decide if you can get into university or not, so the pressure to do well starts very early. I hope that your parents' conference goes well, how old is your child?
1 person likes this
@youless (91498)
• Guangzhou, China
30 Mar 12
Fortunately nothing bad happened in the parents' conference My son will be 8 years old in August.
1 person likes this
@marguicha (94669)
• Chile
29 Mar 12
I´m old so I think the education I got was better. I think it is a good idea to leave physical and psychological punishment out of the classrooms. But I do wish there was a way that children treated their teaches with more respect. That can be done without beating them. I also wish that there was a mixture of what we learned then and how children learn now. When I was a professor at the University, the Dean told me once that students were "stressed" and "depressed" with so much studying. GOOD GRIEF!!! Those stressed students were the ones that had most bun, drank at parties, did not go to classes and got their degree in twice the time that a responsible student did. It is true that we memorized a lot then. But I´m happy to know until now some beautibul poems by heart.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (17867)
• Denmark
29 Mar 12
Some people from my country want more discipline in the schools, because they think that the students have no respect for the teachers today. Some of students use very bad language when they talk to the teachers and there have been cases where the students have attacked the teachers physically. Some teachers leave their jobs, because they can't stand the bullying from the students. I agree with you when you say that a mix of the old and new would be a good thing. I am not one of those people who think that the teachers should be allowed to hit the students again, I think it is good thing that it is no longer allowed, but I think that the students should be more respectful towards the teachers. It is sad to read the news about teachers who had a mental break-down because of the the way that the students treated them, and I think that more respect for the teachers would be a good thing.
@marguicha (94669)
• Chile
29 Mar 12
I´m sure that that could be accomplished if the teachers and parents helped each other. I remember that when I was a child, if we did not behave we had to stay at school doing homework for some time. It is a way of being grounded without abuse. But authorities, teachers and parents have to cooperate.
1 person likes this
• India
29 Mar 12
In our country, parents are still encouraging the teachers to beat up their children for the sake of studying only the sizes of the sticks used to beat us have changed(from normal to various varieties) eventhough the goverment took steps regarding beating up children I dont think anybody ever minds that, being the parents on their side Moreover, the books have grown heavier than ever before In India there are more deaths of students recorded due to pressure than accidents
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (17867)
• Denmark
29 Mar 12
In my country there are a few parents who agree with the Indian parents and they think that the teachers should be allowed to beat up the students again, but the vast majority of the parents are against it. In my country there have been cases when teachers got suspended because they hit a student. That wouldn't have happened in the past when it was normal to to beat up the students with sticks or beat them with the hands.
@sishy7 (27647)
• Australia
30 Mar 12
Wow, that was different... So you and your classmates must have been neighbors or at least lived close by to each other?
1 person likes this
• Calgary, Alberta
31 Mar 12
from what I heard, 5th grade elementary students have algebra now, 13 years ago which i guess is my time, Algebra is taught in freshman highschool. There is also some downgrade and upgrades inmy country's curriculum, downgrades are that these subjects are merged into 1, PE,Music, Health, Home economics,art and History. which cos a huge downgrade in the educational system. soem students have saturday classes now and before elementary is only 6 years in my country but its going to be 7 years. Highschool here is 4 years and Its going to be 5 years now. anyway I am jelous of the Country known as Finland, I wish I studied there as a kid, Their schools are not stress-fully crowded, curriculum is skill based, they teaching system is not strict and more relaxing yet they are the number 1 country in the world when it comes to education.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (17867)
• Denmark
31 Mar 12
In my country the students had classes on Saturday in the past, but that was abolished in 1969, and as I was born the 70's I have never tried that. 5 years in a high school that sounds like a long time to me, in my country a normal high school takes 3 years, but it is possible to finish high school in two years at some high schools. I was one of the students who finished high school in two years. Yes, I have heard about the educational system in Finland. Denmark and Finland are not far apart in kilometers, but there are several differences in between the education in Denmark and Finland.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
30 Mar 12
In most schools everywhere, there were a lot of changes from the previous kind of instruction and other things. In my personal observation, though a lot has been changed, the system before worked well to educate our older folks. During their time, when they are finished in elementary, they are very good conversationalist in their English grammar. In fact, they really are better than some of the college graduates today. What is different now are those technological advancement.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (17867)
• Denmark
31 Mar 12
In my country the newspapers have written about this topic. The students who go to school today are not as good at reading, writing, grammar etc as the students from the past. Today the students study a lot of different subjects, and there is less time for grammar and all those things compared to the past when the timetable consisted of a few basic subjects like reading, writing and math. As a result the older generation is better at the basic things. On the other hand some things are better today. In the past foreign languages like English were not a part of the timetable, and I think that it a very good thing that English is compulsory today.