Teaching Smart vs. not LO13696

Richard C. Holloway (olypolys@nwrain.com)
Wed, 21 May 1997 21:26:40 -0700

Replying to LO13680 --

Bill Harris wrote:

> > Unfortunately saying that those exiting school don't have the basic skills
> > is the same "sayings" that have been used for over 100 years ago in both
> > UK and US, by each preceding generation. The truth is that our young
> > people have the equivalent of a BA or B.S. by the time they leave
> > secondary school (high school in the US) compared to just 25 years ago.
> > And they approach a graduate level compared to 50 years ago. They know
> > more, do more with their knowledge than ever before.
> Can you help me understand that statement a bit? By what criteria and
> evidence are you stating that?
> Both sides of this seem like simple arguments all of us tend to make based
> on our own situations and impressions. I'm not doubting that you have a
> reason for your claim; I'm trying to decide how to integrate your claim
> and my own impressions.
> Gosh, Bill, I'm with you.

My experience was with the German education system. For those students
who went the academic route (rather than the vocational or technical), by
the time they finished Hochschule, graduating from Oberprima, they had the
equivalent of an AA degree (though they were completing 12 academic years
of school). If children, today, in the US have the equivalent of a BS/BA
upon graduating from High School, then I presume that Deutsche kinder,
today, have the equivalent of a US graduate degree when they graduate from

Of course, perhaps the equivalency is based on acquired (or exposed to)
knowledge. My experience is that critical thinking skills are not
fundamental to today's teaching process--indeed many of the teachers did
not display them either. Fortunately, our technological world begets its
own technological wonders despite our school system. Unfortunately, the
ability to appreciate art (or a sunset), recite a poem from memory or read
something besides picture-dependent copy, are skills that become
increasingly rare.

'Nuff said by me--but I just wanted to second your impression, Bill.


Richard C. "Doc" Holloway, Limen Development Network - olypolys@nwrain.com

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