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Old 08-06-2012, 11:40 AM   #856
glatt
 
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Originally Posted by tw View Post
Currently, only something like 25% of all teachers in middle school math and science have math and science training. That's correct. Most teachers were first learning that math or science from the text book. Even worse, the 25% that do have math and science training come from the lowest rated schools.
What does "training" mean?

If my kid is in middle school and is being taught algebra, I want the teacher to understand algebra really well. I don't care much if the teacher has a detailed understanding of calculus. The teacher doesn't need a doctorate in mathematics to teach algebra. In fact, if a teacher has an advanced degree in mathematics, I'd be worried that they would have their head in the clouds and would have a hard time getting down on the same level as the kids to really get them excited about algebra.

If you're saying that middle school math teachers don't even know algebra, then I would share your horror of the situation, but if a middle school teacher doesn't know calculus, then I don't really care.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:32 PM   #857
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So what chanaged? The same thing that changed even in the Bell Labs. For example, why do we have communication satellites (ie Telstar), transistors, fiber optics, lasers, digital communication, mobile phones, the C programming language and its many variants, talking machines, fundamental knowledge of the entire universe, and Unix (now called Linux)? In every case, nobody in the Labs was concerned with results. Therefore the results were massive.
You are hitting a different point than what I was getting at but I agree.

American schools need to dump the idea that standardized tests mean anything. We should still take them, to see what schools are failing at teaching basic skills, but realize that good test scores don't have any applicability to the working world.

The US economy is moving away from menial tasks so therefore it is even more important to produce confident, innovative students. Teaching to standardized tests does the opposite. That is why many companies don't want to hire the 4.0 Chinese student (to be stereotypical). They are insanely good at problems they have been taught to solve but tend to choke up on problems that don't have a right or wrong answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanaC
That may be a factor in their success. Also a factor is, I think, the level of respect and cultural capital held by teachers in those countries. Teachers in our two cultures are not respected. They are paid very low when the level of education and qualification are taken into account. They appear in popular culture on a demonised and scapegoated manner and are the butt of derisive humour and mistrust.

We don't actually value schooling in its own right and teaching at anything below degree level is denigrated as crowd control or babysitting.
Did I miss your point?
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:37 PM   #858
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I don't know...did you?
:p

Not quite sure what you mean Pierce.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:10 PM   #859
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You re-posted your initial post in response to my response to your post. I assumed you did it because I missed something.

Is that bad grammar?
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:21 PM   #860
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I didn't even notice that. I have no idea how that happened. I have absolutely no recollection of reposting that. I can only assume it was inadvertent.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:13 AM   #861
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Originally Posted by glatt View Post
If my kid is in middle school and is being taught algebra, I want the teacher to understand algebra really well.
If a teacher has no training in basic calculus or linear algebra, then he has no concept of why anything in algebra is important. Cannot stress what is significant. And probably has so little algebra experience as to not solve many of those algebra problems without the answer book. I could not think of a teacher most likely to make math boring, rote, and unnecessary. That is potentially about 75% of middle school math teachers.

The same teacher who hated math as a kid will inspire his student to excel in math? Hardly. I know almost no kids today taking math or science in college.

But again, curious are better science and math results from students in MA and MN.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:13 AM   #862
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Speaking of MA...
Quote:
Being an underclassman will be a bit cooler this year at Sandwich High School, where all freshmen and sophomores will be issued iPads
~snip~
The school district has purchased 450 iPad 3s at $550 apiece for all the freshmen and sophomores and several staff members, Sandwich Superintendent Richard Canfield said.
~snip~
"This is the technology generation," Canfield said. "And their world of work will be driven so much by technology. So we saw this an opportunity."

Nationally, schools are swooping in to buy iPads because of the technological exposure it gives students, but also because buying a single textbook costs close to $100, Canfield said
A hundred dollars? I hope that's for the whole class.

more
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:25 AM   #863
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unlikely.

I've read stories about our local public library which I love that is spending much money on electronic books. part of the high expense is because they're limited by the publishers to the number of times the e-book can be "checked out". now... you and I being reasonable and intelligent people understand that there's no wear and tear on an e-book. it's a copy. but the publishing / licensing agreements are written so that the e-books have approximately the same turnover as the hardcover books. that is, a limited number of checkouts before the library would have to replace the book due to wear and tear.

I understand the need for publishers to make money too. but this seems ridiculous.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:32 AM   #864
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Yeah, all kinds of horror stories online about e-books being yanked from people who bought them from Amazon and other sellers, thinking they owned them outright. The library thing is crazy too.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:10 PM   #865
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A hundred dollars? I hope that's for the whole class.
I had one of my flickr photos used in a textbook, and asked for a copy of the book as payment. I got paid well!


I graduated college almost 15 years ago. Back then I had one or two textbooks that broke the $100 mark. That's probably more common now.

Though I wouldn't think that middle/high school texts would be that expensive, even now.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:51 PM   #866
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...this seems ridiculous.
Not seems, is.
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:25 PM   #867
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The last semester I bought textbooks, all of them were well over $100. But it's true that science themed books have always been more expensive than other subjects.

Edit: I'm on my phone so pasting links is a pain in the ass, but you can search current textbook prices on Amazon. As far as I can tell, the ones aimed at younger kids are no cheaper than those for college students.
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:54 PM   #868
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Frequent updating + multiple authors/editors + full colour diagrams + small print runs + you really need it = $$$$$$!!!!

Quite a few universities are exploring giving tablets* of some form or another to all first years, and going fully-electronic.


*sad sign of the times that this means computers and not drugs.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:57 PM   #869
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Wait a minute. Since when do high school students need to buy textbooks?

Maybe it's still the cost of the textbook but the district is paying for the book. I sure hope so.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:40 PM   #870
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The thing they don't mention is the ebook versions of the textbooks still cost something, on top of the cost of the iPads...
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