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Tue Nov 1, 2022, 08:40 AM

All the crazy MAGA QANON hate points to a failure of our public education

Do public high schools still teach civics classes? Is there a focus on critical thinking? Do they offer debate clubs that foster civility and reasoned argument. Do they teach and foster self-discipline over anger and frustration? Do all the sports programs strongly emphasize honor, non-cheating, and good sportsmanship for winners and losers alike? I'm 75, and these were values that were taught when I was in high school. My Dad was a Dallas cop, and no way would he have condoned breaking into someone's house and whacking an old man in the head with a hammer.

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Reply All the crazy MAGA QANON hate points to a failure of our public education (Original post)
vlyons Nov 1 OP
Diamond_Dog Nov 1 #1
Initech Nov 1 #7
Genki Hikari Nov 1 #40
Chainfire Nov 1 #2
Kaleva Nov 1 #12
Sympthsical Nov 1 #37
ColinC Nov 1 #3
vlyons Nov 1 #4
ColinC Nov 1 #13
Xoan Nov 1 #6
ColinC Nov 1 #10
lindysalsagal Nov 1 #38
Genki Hikari Nov 1 #41
ColinC Nov 1 #47
Cartoonist Nov 1 #5
FakeNoose Nov 1 #11
Cartoonist Nov 1 #25
Whiskeytide Nov 1 #8
Kaleva Nov 1 #9
RobinA Nov 1 #15
leftyladyfrommo Nov 1 #21
Kaleva Nov 1 #26
Genki Hikari Nov 1 #42
leftyladyfrommo Nov 1 #50
WhiskeyGrinder Nov 1 #14
Genki Hikari Nov 1 #43
treestar Nov 1 #16
Hekate Nov 1 #17
Genki Hikari Nov 1 #44
vlyons Nov 1 #18
Zorro Nov 1 #19
vlyons Nov 1 #22
Genki Hikari Nov 1 #45
Mysterian Nov 1 #20
vlyons Nov 1 #23
leftyladyfrommo Nov 1 #24
Kaleva Nov 1 #28
leftyladyfrommo Nov 1 #29
Kaleva Nov 1 #30
Genki Hikari Nov 1 #49
Kaleva Nov 1 #27
leftyladyfrommo Nov 1 #31
Kaleva Nov 1 #33
leftyladyfrommo Nov 1 #35
Genki Hikari Nov 1 #51
KentuckyWoman Nov 1 #32
Kaleva Nov 1 #34
leftyladyfrommo Nov 1 #36
Genki Hikari Nov 1 #39
Jedi Guy Nov 1 #46
Genki Hikari Nov 1 #52
Jedi Guy Nov 1 #53
GenThePerservering Nov 1 #48

Response to vlyons (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 08:57 AM

1. What kind of an education do kids get

When school boards are full of crazy MAGATs who ban books, micro manage what teachers can and cannot say, and cut things like civics classes/debate clubs/field trips…

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Response to Diamond_Dog (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 10:33 AM

7. It's all part of Rupert Murdoch's master plan to destroy public education.

He wants an ill-informed populace that is incapable of critical thinking. The religious fundie nutcase conspiracy theory MAGAs infiltrating school boards? That's intentionally the product of his design. Fox News is fucking evil and it's destroying everything it touches around the world.

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Response to Diamond_Dog (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 02:54 PM

40. Civics classes are not cut

 

41 of 50 states mandate it by state law.

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Response to vlyons (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 09:04 AM

2. The failure in public education was illustrated in a lecture that I attended many years ago.

Dr. Carl Sagen was the speaker. He said that the most important tool that the education system could provide a student was a "functioning bullshit meter."

Today, a significant number of Americans are lemmings who will blindly follow their crazy leaders. Their bullshit meters are broken. Today, the lie has equal footing with the truth, science is no more important than mythology, hate has become a Christian value, and sportsmanship is for losers . It is the product of decades of hateful propaganda; it was not an accident.

Where is all will lead will probably be clear in the next few months for we are at a fork in the road. We will take the long, hard path towards recovery, or we will take the path that leads to the abyss. We will become healers or destroyers. I have studied history so I am not optimistic.

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Response to Chainfire (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 10:56 AM

12. Some here believe what they read on Twitter

Confirmation bias affects everyone. Some are better at guarding against it then others

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Response to Chainfire (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 01:14 PM

37. If you can wrap something in confirmation of what someone wants to hear

You're pretty much 90% there. Doesn't matter what it is. Just twist and frame it so that it confirms what a person already believes. Doesn't matter how obviously untrue it is. If you can do that, you can go very, very far before anyone notices. In fact, if it is brought to someone's attention, they will defend you on the BS you sold them. Because you being wrong means they were wrong, and that's just not a thing allowable.

It's really kind of interesting in a psychological "We're doomed" sort of way.

Bullshit meters aren't really a thing, and that's why the internet and social media has been able to denature critical thinking in the way they have.

Fun to observe though. "People really will believe anything so that what they believe remains true" goes through my head every ten minutes or so while online. It's why I take long breaks during the day. Cynicism has to have its limits, otherwise it all becomes a psychological neutronic core collapse straight down into cynical nothingness and you just turn into Comic Book Guy.

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Response to vlyons (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 09:06 AM

3. I don't think our public education is amazing, but I disagree

I think more blame should go towards the lack of regulation of the media and the ability to press false narratives without resistance. People can no longer differentiate between tabloids and actual news….

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Response to ColinC (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 09:21 AM

4. I have a TV and a radio in my car

but I don't listen to hate crap and obvious BS lies. I change the channel, or turn it off. If more folks were taught critical thinking and democratic values in high school, maybe we wouldn't be plagued with so many lemmings. I also blame the Christian Church for not standing up to the close minded evangelicals, who would burn us at the stake in a heartbeat if they could.

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Response to vlyons (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 11:00 AM

13. All of these things are major factors of course

But I feel the implementation of a modern fairness doctrine would also go a long ways

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Response to ColinC (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 10:24 AM

6. Why is it that ...

People can no longer differentiate between tabloids and actual news….?

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Response to Xoan (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 10:54 AM

10. Because fake news may fit a preferred narrative

And sounds reasonable enough. There’s also an unconscious assumption that because something has spreading this information has lots of resources behind it, it must be credible.

Folks really need to rediscover a newspaper subscription again.

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Response to ColinC (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 01:59 PM

38. Thankyou. We allow money in elections, and the media get rich on the big lies.

No school can directly undermine that without parents calling principals and screaming bloody murder.

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Response to ColinC (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 03:00 PM

41. The media goes where the audience is

 

If you have stupid, gullible people, then the media will go where they are, metaphorically speaking.

We have people who choose their media not for the truth, but because it confirms their biases.

They also don't think education exists to enlighten, but also to confirm and validate their biases. So all the education in the world won't change these people because they have been indoctrinated since birth to think their ignorance is equal to expertise, and that faith is more important than reason, and if you say or do anything that challenges that faith, then you're persecuting them and must be annihilated for it.

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Response to Genki Hikari (Reply #41)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 03:33 PM

47. Unfortunately newspapers are few and far between

And credible media is just becoming enveloped by lies and disinformation. It seems to be becoming an institutional problem in which credible information is simply harder to find, and little effort is being done on an institutional level to redirect people to good information. The internet age has simply made this far worse…


It’s started with the weird emails and conspiracy theories right wing relatives would send and has spread to legitimate looking websites and billion dollar media outlets that broadcast to millions of people. Without a real change in how we regulate the media, we will become inundated with political propaganda and credible news will cease to exist.

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Response to vlyons (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 10:02 AM

5. No, there is something else going on

I don't blame the schools. My brother and I went to the same school. Until Trump, he was a liberal just like me. Now he's a flat earther.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 10:55 AM

11. This is a good example - the difference between you and your brother

It's not the education, not the family upbringing - assuming that both of you received equal caring and nurturing.

I believe some people are more susceptible to being influenced by their friends' opinions (IOW peer group pressure) than others. Some of us trust our own opinions rather than allow ourselves to be led by bullshitters - or possible bullshitters. Another aspect is that some people have a higher degree of empathy, and that seems to be in-borne rather than a result of training or education.

I come from a family of 9 siblings (baby boomers) and most of us are liberal Dems. However a couple of my siblings are oblivious to the massive political rift that's happening in this country, which I find inexplicable.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #11)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 12:25 PM

25. My question is why all of a sudden.

He was almost 60 when he flipped. How does a lifetime of liberalism disappear practically overnight? How does a career in the Navy, sailing AROUND the Globe result in flat eartherism?

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Response to vlyons (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 10:40 AM

8. A literate, educated and critically thinking populace is ...

… critical to a functioning democracy. What does it tell you that republicans want to dismantle the public education system?

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Response to vlyons (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 10:54 AM

9. Doesn't explain why seniors tend to vote Republican

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #9)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 11:16 AM

15. The Seniors

I know who vote Republican do it because they cannot imagine being anything but Republicans. When I started to convince my mother that the modern Republican party is not her father's Republican party she didn't believe me. I have since made progress. My Aunt is the same way. No way does she approve of Trump, but she votes for him. She gets very upset when someone says something bad about Trump, but she KNOWS. Her from birth Republicanism is at war with her from birth sense of decency. She can't get her head around it so she kind of sleepwalks through voting as she was taught on her father's knee.

I have a friend whose parents were Repubs. Now, she believes some of the conspiracies, but mostly she fixates on what she can like about Trump and everything else it's LALALALALALA I DON'T HEAR ANYTHING! Again, she just IS a Republican. She doesn't see a choice.

And I'm not defending, I'm just saying. I was raised Republican, and the first and last Republican I voted for was Gerald Ford. It is possible to change, but people get hung up.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #9)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 12:15 PM

21. None of the seniors I know vote Republican. nt

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #21)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 12:28 PM

26. Reminds me of the " Everyone I know voted for Carter" arguement back in 1980

People tend to associate with others of similiar mind.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #21)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 03:03 PM

42. Anecdote isn't data.

 

You don't know all, or even the vast majority, of seniors.

Reality doesn't go by who you know, but how millions of seniors vote. The majority of them, the white ones, anyway, vote r.

The facts are what they are.

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Response to Genki Hikari (Reply #42)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 04:46 PM

50. It's a fact that the seniors I know are Democrats

And pretty radical Democrats.

I don't know about the seniors I don't know. Everybody is different.

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Response to vlyons (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 11:07 AM

14. There is no national curriculum.

I'm 75, and these were values that were taught when I was in high school.
Classes and extracurriculars vary by school district and state and always have.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #14)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 03:04 PM

43. They may not be national

 

But some educational requirements are made at a macro level. Requiring students to take civics to graduate is one of them in most states.

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Response to vlyons (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 11:18 AM

16. It's one thing to teach them, but watching

TFG and the Turtle, and the rest get away with things is likely teaching them a lot more than theoretical morals teaching.

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Response to vlyons (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 11:21 AM

17. It points to a failure of moronic parents who thought Civics classes were boring & demanded ...

… that their own kids not be made to suffer. Who are damn sure their kids shouldn’t be taught any furrin languages because English is the official language of Murka, and if it was good enough for Jesus…. Who are currently storming school board meetings with a long list of books they’d like to have banned.

Who are hauling their kids out of public school to be taught at home by mommy using a curriculum developed by theocrats.

Who have made teachers’ lives such hell they are now quitting in droves.

Who are demanding an end to Affirmative Action for colleges and are going to be awfully upset when they discover which immigrant groups are acing all the requirements, well ahead of native-born whites.

Okay, I’ll stop ranting.

I went to public school K-12 the same time you did. The changes are real since then — and as far as I can tell they’ve been driven by parents. But those parents have unknowingly been driven by the same 40-year plans that brought us the current SCOTUS, so go figure.

Okay, now I’ll really stop ranting.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #17)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 03:05 PM

44. Civics is taught in school

 

Really.

Few parents have demanded that it be removed. Most of them want it taught.

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Response to vlyons (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 11:32 AM

18. In Texas, ISDs are funded thru property taxes, which are very high

Texas has no state income tax, altho we do have a sales tax. The Tx legislature is stingy and hates paying for anything that helps people. But boy, do they roll out red carpet for corporations. I swear all the corrupt corp capitalism has driven me into the arms of socialism. Why isn't it enough for everyone to have a basically equal economic middle class life? How many billions and gazillions of $$$ does it take to make oligarchs feel safe?

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Response to vlyons (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 11:41 AM

19. It is the result of the 60 year war against public education

by the Christian Dominionists ever since the Supreme Court in 1962 ruled against mandatory school prayer.

Their cause was taken up by the Republican Party, which has led to underfunding public education, attacks on teachers unions, the rise of home schooling, the increase in charter schools, and government support for religious educational institutions.

People today wonder why kids today don't seem to be getting an education that teaches critical thinking skills -- and usually blame Democrats, believing their policies of tolerance and inclusion have created an undereducated and unskilled population.

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Response to Zorro (Reply #19)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 12:17 PM

22. Alas the established Christian Church is based on blind faith

in things that can't possibly be true. Like a male born of a virgin birth, a 3 day old mutilated corpse getting up and walking around, and an invisible sky god, who suspends the the laws of physics.

But the teachings of Jesus about peace, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, and non-judgement ---
ehhh so much these days. Critical thinking doesn't stand a chance with that crowd.

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Response to vlyons (Reply #22)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 03:10 PM

45. Yeah--so much tolerance

 

taught by the guy who said follow me or I'll condemn you to an eternity of torture.

Or how about how he treated the foreign woman and her child in Matthew 15? Calling people dogs to their faces became tolerant...when? And he judged people plenty. How about those pits of vipers he railed against? Or the merchants he beat up because they were where he didn't want them to be?

Calling that guy compassionate and non-judgmental is the equivalent of calling Ted Bundy a feminist.

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Response to vlyons (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 11:49 AM

20. So true

It's not going to be a quick fix. We'll be fortunate if the U.S.A. doesn't slide into tyranny. The radical right imbeciles screeching about tyranny are the ones trying to install a tyrant. They think they would not suffer if their Glorious Leader gained total power. There is no patriotism among these radical right traitors. They would throw away our Constitution and trash every liberty promised by our Bill of Rights, and fought for by generations of Americans. .

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Response to vlyons (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 12:19 PM

23. How long before they enable themseles to steal all your assets

for not being Christian enough?

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Response to vlyons (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 12:22 PM

24. I was in school during '50s and '60s. It was different.

People were really patriotic. I don't remember any prayer in school but we said the Pledge of Allegiance every morning.

Everybody I knew went to church on Sunday.

Parents did not complain about curriculum. And kids were just expected to behave and be polite and they were. And most kids got a pretty good education.

Homecooked meals and Christ on Sunday. We didn't know to even question it.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #24)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 12:38 PM

28. One didn't dare question what was taught by the teachers

And church on Sunday was pretty much the norm

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #28)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 12:45 PM

29. We didn't dare question what our parents said, either.

It wasn't wonderful for everyone even though people tend to remember past fondly. But it was right after the war and everybody's dad had been in the war in some capacity. And grandfathers.

Times were just so different then.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #29)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 12:47 PM

30. Yes. I'd rather live today then go back to how it was.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #24)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 04:44 PM

49. I was in school during the 60s and 70s

 

People were patriotic.

We hardly ever said the Pledge. Waste of time when we had more important things to do. Like learn stuff we needed to know.

We didn't go to church, or at least not often. After my parents divorced, we lived with my grandparents for several years, and they were closet atheists who never set foot in a church the entire time I lived with them. My mother was a believer who was usually too tired from shift work as a nurse to have the energy for church. Not always. But usually. I hated going on the occasions when she bullied us into it. I was always wishing I was back on the farm, even doing my chores, rather than listening to some maniac screaming at me about the Devil coming to get us all. When my mom went off to get postgraduate skills in her field, it meant no more church, which meant no more screaming, no more hate and no more BS. I learned better values from being on that farm with my grandparents than I ever learned from any stupid church. Or ever would have learned.

My grandparents and mom never complained about the curriculum at school, really. And I got an education, but it could have been a better one if my stupid mother had listened to all the teachers who begged her to move me up, I was bored to death in the classes of my age peers, and they knew they were losing me to brilliant underachievement from my boredom with being stuck in a grade two or more years behind where my brain was.

We did have the loons who wanted religion back in public schools rising up like vomit after swallowing a bad plate of etouffe, but neither my family figures nor the majority of people we knew had any respect for that idea or the people peddling it. Church was about X (stupid) stuff to know, and school was about not X stuff (reality) to know. That's how it was.

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Response to vlyons (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 12:30 PM

27. Back in the day, teachers could use physical violence against students

Getting your head slammed against your desk was nothing to go home and complain about because you'd just end up getting whipped with a belt for causing trouble in school

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #27)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 12:50 PM

31. Our teachers weren't physucally violent.

The boys all bragged about getting paddled.

Kids got thrown out if they caused trouble. And they had to find another school to go to. Schools just didn't put up with stuff. And no one sued the school.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #31)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 12:54 PM

33. I had one teacher who'd grab us by the hair and lift us out of our seat.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #33)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 01:08 PM

35. Wow!. Most kids just didn't act up.

They were pretty strict about how we dressed. Girls wore skirts and they had to be below the knee. We did have some pretty strict rules.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #27)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 04:48 PM

51. Had a teacher who used to tap her very long nails

 

Into the heads of students misbehaving. I understand that it hurt from the way they yowled about it.

As with your experience, we didn't tell our parents stuff like that, unless we wanted a whooping.

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Response to vlyons (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 12:50 PM

32. Humans are mean. Period.



The fact people are willing to dehumanize others is old school. In my lifetime lynching is STILL problem. We put Japanese Americans in camps. We had major news broadcasting that the Vietcong were vermin and a few years later talking about nuking the whole middle east straight to hell.

Something as small as a schoolyard fight the other kids pick sides and egg it on.

Humans are mean.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Reply #32)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 12:59 PM

34. I remember the older boys making us younger boys fight each other

Happened to me once. The older boys formed a ring so me and the other boy, a couple years older then me, couldn't escape and we had to fight a hard fight before we were allowed to leave .

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #34)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 01:10 PM

36. There was some pretty bad stuff that went on after school.

Kids that were different had a really hard time if it.

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Response to vlyons (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 02:54 PM

39. Yes they do teach civics.

 

41 of 50 states require all students to take at least a semester of it to graduate.

The other 9 have it folded into an over-arching social studies course. No, it's not only red states that do this. IIRC, Oregon is one such state, and they don't seem to suffer from lack of a dedicated civics class.

I never attended a school with a debate club, so I can't speak to that.

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Response to vlyons (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 03:24 PM

46. The issue isn't that it's not taught in school.

The issue is that many people think of politics as boring, stodgy, dorky stuff that doesn't really impact their daily lives in any meaningful way. The vast majority of high school graduates in this country learn civics for at least a semester. However, when I say "learn" what I mean is they retain the information long enough to pass the test (more on that below) and then the information dribbles out of their ears.

That lack of realization of the vital importance of politics is why so many Americans can't accurately describe what kind of government we have, let alone the minutiae of how it works and what it really does. Those of us here on DU are the exception, not the rule. Most of our fellow Americans follow politics in the run up to an election and ignore it most of the rest of the time.

As for critical thinking, honors and AP classes teach that sort of thing, yes. They also do the mock UN or other debate-focused activities that teach and encourage reasoned, logical argument. For the non-advanced classes, not so much. Their focus is on memorization and regurgitation. Cram the facts and dates and figures in there and forget them the instant the final exam is done.

I can't speak to what high school sports is up to since I was a dork all the way through school. Football was next door to religion where I grew up, and our football players strutted around the school like lords even though they didn't win a single game for my entire high school career. There were a few who were quite smart, but the rest were the stereotypical jocks with rocks between their ears.

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Response to Jedi Guy (Reply #46)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 05:00 PM

52. The AP kids aren't all that much better about retention

 

I've been in college with them recently. Given how much time we had to spend reviewing things they were supposed to have learned already (especially how recently they learned it compared to an old fogy like me), plenty of them also learned stuff long enough to pass their classes, then dump most of it when they no longer needed it.

None of the public schools I attended in the 70s had AP classes. I guess it was too expensive for them, given that we were in the boonies of the south. After learning of its existence, though, I expected the people who took AP to be intellectual powerhouses. I was shocked at how many of them knew so little. About anything. Don't even get me started on what their papers looked like. Yeah, they were better than the norm, overall, but not so much better that it made AP look like all that much of an advance in education.

Kids (and people in general) who want to learn...learn. AP or not. I hated school. Loved learning, which is why I excelled at college. Without AP behind me.

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Response to Genki Hikari (Reply #52)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 05:18 PM

53. I suppose I should've clarified that my school experience was more than 20 years ago.

I graduated in 1998. And though I also grew up in the south, I had the good fortune to go to one of the best schools in the state. When I was in high school, the honors and AP courses were very heavy on critical thinking and debate, much more so than rote memorization and regurgitation of facts. The AP US history exam, for instance, demanded that you have those facts memorized but also required you to understand/interpret what they meant and how they all worked together (i.e., the critical thinking bit).

I'm saddened but not surprised to hear that AP classes aren't turning out students that are better educated and prepared for university, though. I recall reading over the last several years that schools have drifted away from requiring students to write papers, which is putting their graduates at a huge disadvantage going into higher education. Essays and the like aren't required to hone critical thinking skills, I suppose, but they sure do help.

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Response to vlyons (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2022, 03:36 PM

48. All of this "In my day" yap

"In MY day" (I'm 69 years old), that stuff may have been taught, but it was not enforced or followed. I grew up in small towns.

Everybody went to church - meaningless, because it was lip service - outside of church they were still bigots

Teachers were never questioned, including when they levied both corporal and non-corporal punishment unevenly...depending on who your parents were.

Critical thinking? In my town, if you didn't support the Vietnam war (i.e., "hawk" you were vilified and might get a beat-down behind the school. The teachers would do nothing but say we asked for it.

If you were an adult and drove the wrong kind of car, you could get run off the road.

Yeah - sure. All those fools grew up and joined the GOP. They've always been with us.

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