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Tollorin
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02 Feb 2015, 6:39 pm

What don't work for atypical peoples is what working for typical peoples and what turn out to be used.
http://lesswrong.com/lw/dr/generalizing_from_one_example/

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I only really discovered this in my last job as a school teacher. There's a lot of data on teaching methods that students enjoy and learn from. I had some of these methods...inflicted...on me during my school days, and I had no intention of abusing my own students in the same way. And when I tried the sorts of really creative stuff I would have loved as a student...it fell completely flat. What ended up working? Something pretty close to the teaching methods I'd hated as a kid. Oh. Well. Now I know why people use them so much. And here I'd gone through life thinking my teachers were just inexplicably bad at what they did, never figuring out that I was just the odd outlier who couldn't be reached by this sort of stuff.


He elaborate on the methods used in the commentaries.
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Keeping in mind that I taught English as a second language to older elementary school children:

Ordinary teaching methods: constant repetition of unconnected topics followed by endless vapid games. For example, a game of bingo with vocabulary words in each square. Attempts to trick children into thinking something was interesting; for example, calling vocabulary "word baseball" or something like that and dressing up in a baseball cap while teaching it.

Things I predicted would work better: attempts to make material genuinely interesting, have each lesson build on the previous, and create links between different concepts. For example, a lesson on the days of the week including a mini-presentation on the Norse gods after whom they were named, references to previous lessons when we had learned "sun" and "moon" for Sunday and Monday. Attempt to teach how to apply general principles instead of doing everything ad hoc.



xenocity
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03 Feb 2015, 9:10 pm

Actually in most countries K-12 education is based around the industrial economy.
This means the way 6th grade and up are centered around preparing you for industrial work.

The current educational system is outdated.


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Fnord
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03 Feb 2015, 9:49 pm

The current educational system may be outdated, but it works ... for the majority ... until something better comes along ...

And therein lies the rub; nothing better has been produced that has not met considerable opposition from politicians, parents, and the teachers' unions.

The unions don't want change, and they certainly don't want any method that could be used to determine that even one of their precious members is unfit to teach.

So we have a system that works to the lowest common ability to learn - "The fat cat sat on a flat mat" in third grade, for example. We have teachers that really could not care less about any student who needs an alternative teaching style. We have unions that keep their membership rolls padded to keep those Union dues rolling in. And we have a system that maintains a curriculum that was en vogue 30 years ago.

I stuck it out until graduation, and learned most of what I needed at uni.


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xenocity
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03 Feb 2015, 10:45 pm

Fnord wrote:
The current educational system may be outdated, but it works ... for the majority ... until something better comes along ...

And therein lies the rub; nothing better has been produced that has not met considerable opposition from politicians, parents, and the teachers' unions.

The unions don't want change, and they certainly don't want any method that could be used to determine that even one of their precious members is unfit to teach.

So we have a system that works to the lowest common ability to learn - "The fat cat sat on a flat mat" in third grade, for example. We have teachers that really could not care less about any student who needs an alternative teaching style. We have unions that keep their membership rolls padded to keep those Union dues rolling in. And we have a system that maintains a curriculum that was en vogue 30 years ago.

I stuck it out until graduation, and learned most of what I needed at uni.


In many countries, especially here in the U.S., the main reason why the system is falling apart, is due to the Federal Government defunding education while the voters refuse to approve the necessary millage to fund the school districts.
Many states are also defunding education at all levels due it seen as the parents jobs to pay for it.

The U.S. curriculum is partially dictated by the U.S. government, while the majority of it is left to state legislatures.

The northern states typically have better education, while the south is worlds behind.
That is the case in nearly every area outside of education.

With that said, most teachers can be fired just as easy as most employees here in the U.S.
Though to be fair most American teachers are woefully underpaid and overworked.
Many states now have school districts that have after school programs that run to 7pm, while even feeding the kids dinner.
This is not included in the pay for teachers.

In U.S. most teachers make between $20,000 - $50,0000 depending on your state and school district, after 10 years of experience.
You many not get benefits either.

Teachers are overworked and unpaid for all the stuff they have to do these days.
They do more than just teach, while having to put up with today's awful parents.

It doesn't help that teachers in the U.S. must teach to the test.
Said standardized test scores determines how much money the school district gets.
After the test are administered in Spring, teachers only have two or three months to teach!


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CreativeUsername
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06 Feb 2015, 4:43 pm

Here, in Belgium, there are schools just for people with autism, although the government is looking for ways to shut them. :(



Pitabread123
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07 Feb 2015, 4:21 am

Well of course it's made for NTs, everything is made for people of the dominant neurological configuration.



WAautisticguy
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08 Feb 2015, 5:15 pm

School is a little bit on industrial work - still. But mostly on passing standardized testing.
46 states have allowed their students to take the Smarter Balanced assessments this spring, and in my opinion, it's going to likely be a disaster.
http://www.smarterbalanced.org/

Our school district is doing this in May, and we juniors are supposed to take the Language Arts online test in our history classes (?) That I don't understand. 5 days in a row! There are probably 275-300 juniors at my school, and EVERY person has to have a computer, PC, laptop or iPad provided by the school to do this test. Not going to turn out well. First of all, there's 4 computer labs (~120 people there), then a couple of laptop carts (another 50), and 1 or 2 iPad carts (another 40-50). That's 80% of the kids...what happens to the other 20% who can't use one because all the others are being used? Makes absolutely no sense. Either provide a computer to every student, or pay extra for paper and pencil. YES, I think it's $6 extra for every student who gets a paper/pencil copy of the test. 8O
The school also has to provide a whopping 300 pairs of headphones for every student. There's probably 70-80 pairs if that in the school. Students need them to hear the passages on the test...and that's what the booklet excerpt below says. (They'll probably say "bring your own", but you never know.)
"The English-language arts assessments contain audio (recorded and/or computer-based read-aloud), and students must be provided with headphones so they have the option to clearly listen to the audio in these tests. Similarly, some students may need the support of text read-aloud by the computer as part of the mathematics assessment. In these cases, students should be provided headphones as well. Districts are encouraged to test the quality of the headphones in advance, as many districts and schools opt to purchase fairly inexpensive, bulk-type units when it comes to headphones for general
student use." (Must be provided probably means the school needs to have pairs for every student.)
On top of that, you have juniors that failed the WA state HSPE exam (reading/writing) that have to retake it. That is a potential 23 DAYS of testing in the spring! That's what one of my teachers told me. She's not a fan of this assessment, and I don't blame her.
Plus, Smarter Balanced will not work with Windows XP after the 2015-2016 school year. Probably 50% of our computers are still on XP. The other 50% are on Windows 7 and it isn't until 2019-2020 that schools have to worry.
Not only that, but Smarter Balanced will be tested on grades 3-8, just like the old MSP and WASL tests. All of that is on computer as well, so there's potentially "not enough computers" problems for the elementaries, middle and junior high school here in this district. :( I volunteer at an elementary school where the four classroom computers in one of the 3rd grade rooms take 3 minutes to load the internet. Those need to go if they want to be used for the exam. Kindergarten and 1st grade classes have done more testing and lessons "to the test"...teachers are preparing 5 year olds for the third grade exam! I also work with 2nd graders during their computer lab time...2 weeks in a row I saw them take computer tests, a STAR reading test and some math exam.
There are stories all over of parents pulling their kids out of the new state exams...mainly because of the high-stress environment and because the parents can't figure out Common Core math problems. That's a warning right there if parents cannot figure out the new curriculum. It's going to screw up the classroom material for several days this spring. :x

Agreed with the southern education. Texas is so bad it's not even funny. There must be uniform policies in 3/4ths of the ISDs. A lot more problems down there with student and teacher discipline. Glad I don't do school in Texas or Louisiana.



guzzle
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08 Feb 2015, 5:41 pm

CreativeUsername wrote:
Here, in Belgium, there are schools just for people with autism, although the government is looking for ways to shut them. :(


Not sure where you get that from. This year they actually have split off autism from the type 7 it fell under and autism now has it's own segment in the form of type 9
Quote:
Types vanaf 1 september 2015[bewerken]

Omdat rond 2000 duidelijk werd dat de bestaande typologie minstens aan herziening toe was, werd onder de ministers van onderwijs Vanderpoorten, Vandenbroucke en Smet gewerkt aan een nieuwe structuur. Al deze voorstellen, zoals het leerzorgkader, bleken onhaalbaar voor het werkveld. Zo werd op 12 maart 2014 door het Vlaams Parlement in het M-decreet beslist een minimale wijziging aan te brengen aan deze type structuur vanaf het schooljaar 2015-2016[1]. Merk op dat de ingangsdatum van 1 september 2015 te maken heeft met het aanbod: de diagnostiek in deze nieuwe types zal dus voor een aantal leerlingen reeds voordien gebeuren, om vanaf 1 september 2015 in de nieuwe typologie in te stappen. Die nieuwe indeling ziet er dan als volgt uit:
type basisaanbod: dit groepeert ongeveer de bovenstaande types 1 en 8, die niet langer zullen bestaan. Elke leerling die het gewoon onderwijs niet kan meenemen in het gemeenschappelijk curriculum komt in aanmerking voor dit type, tenzij de leerling voor een ander type in aanmerking komt.
types 2 tot 7: zoals hierboven.
type 9: voor leerlingen met een autismespectrumstoornis.
http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buitengewo ... ember_2015


Within a 50km radius of me there is one regular mainstream school that offers secondary education specifically for those on the spectrum. Parents camp outside to register days before opening of registrations and even called in a notary to establish their place in the queue one year. The school might have changed their registration procedure since though.
And beyond that it's special education

DD is in primary type 9 at the moment. The one issue I have with school is that they don't accomodate her more creative sides. Not saying DD can't handle the academics but beyond the basics of maths and language she has little interest if it doesn't involve some creativity. She tried after school music theory lessons but it was too rigidly academic and the music teacher couldn't care less there is a difference between ADHD an AS :roll: She gets music now but like Fnord says "lowest common ability". It sucks for DD.



CreativeUsername
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09 Feb 2015, 2:12 am

@guzzle The current government never agreed to those measures. They are currently looking into partially undoing those changes. Also you loose the right of first 2 years of secondary in a specialised school. Such schools are also struggling financially.



guzzle
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09 Feb 2015, 3:22 am

CreativeUsername wrote:
@guzzle The current government never agreed to those measures. They are currently looking into partially undoing those changes. Also you loose the right of first 2 years of secondary in a specialised school. Such schools are also struggling financially.


Again, news to me as it was only last October they (the team at her MPI) had decided the best option for DD would be to streamed into specialized secondary in O.V.4. Long story short she is not and will be doing an extra year primary where she is at BuBaO is and then switching to a local mainstream middenschool that offers English at vocational level.