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Old 12-11-2008, 10:00 PM   #9
Avalon Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ireland
Posts: 289
Default Re: Stupid "Teachers"

Originally Posted by Jeremiad View Post
I have to jump in here real quick, because I've seen this 1800's "test" pop up a few times on the internet, and while I agree with most of what is being said here, such as teachers and students and pretty much everyone in the educational system being brainwashed, this little piece of gold just bugs me like no tomorrow.

Firstly, as an English major, I actually love the challenge of answering many of those linguistics questions, but you must also realize that this is because I spent time "specializing," as one poster put it, in my language. Did four years of college guarantee me a job? Psh, not as an English major, but I did it for love of what I was studying.

Secondly, this test was taken from the 1800s. The things on this test are relevant to the society that children were brought up in during that time. They are not relevant today. Sure, I can tell you what a diphthong is, but I've gone out for editing jobs, and the bosses really don't give a **** about that.

Yes, most kids today could not complete this test, hell, most adults couldn't for that matter. However, I'd challenge you to go back in time, plop a computer in front of an 1800's student, and ask him to effectively operate Microsoft Word (not to plug Microsoft here or anything, I agree they're a horrible evil... but I digress).

Simply put, education is meant to prepare kids for the world in which they are about to inhabit. I also strongly believe it is about teaching kids how to think, and not what to think. I dislike tests, and I often tell my students they are arbitrary systems of measurement.

I also, on many occasions, bring up classroom discussion on how the government and powers that be control people. My students now know why McDonald's, KFC, Burger King, Wendy's etc, use red and yellow in all their advertising. They understand that they are constantly being lied to, and I try my best to make sure they think for themselves.

That being said, I'm also a teacher at a private institution in South Korea. I have not gone through the "education" major in college, nor have I received any "teaching certificates." I imagine some of the things I talk about here could get me in major trouble were I at a public institution, especially in the States, but my position here allows me the unique opportunity to reach those few I can.

In any case, that test is bumkiss. Whoever taught that course, taught that subject matter during the course of the year, and that subject matter is generally irrelevant to what kids need to know today. The information is certainly interesting, and would be wonderfully useful at cocktail parties, but it will not help anyone get a job in today's society. Tests are tests, and they are generally all arbitrary forms of measurement. Instead, we should focus on teaching kids the ability to use abstract thought to solve problems, not to simply regurgitate information tossed at them last week.

That's why I was an English major. I think tests are lame. Give me a paper over a test any day.

- Jeremy
I could agree that the English used is perhaps not as relevant today...but what of the rest? The geography for example? Do kids nowadays know what a republic actually is? There's even an interesting couple of questions there about climate and the water cycle. I daresay if people nowadays had that level of knowledge now, they'd be laughing their socks off at Al Gore.

The arithmetic there for example is testing the childrens ability to remember values for a bushel and a rod.
On a modern GCSE exam paper in the UK, the formulas are given on the back of the exam sheet!!
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