Students who can't/won't learn

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Students who can't/won't learn

Postby The Sleeping Tyrant » Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:41 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno in Teachers thread wrote:We should have a thread for students who can't learn :)

Don't mind if I do!

This year, in Ontario, they implemented two new grade 12 university prep math courses as part of a plan to revise the math curriculum. They took the old calculus and geometry/algebra courses and split them into Advanced Functions and Vectors & Calculus. These tales come from AF.

The course is pretty easy. The idea behind it was that it'd be an easy U course to increase university averages for people going into a math/science oriented program. So, naturally, the course if full of people who think they're destined for university. I say think, but that's a misnomer as many don't do just that. There is an entire section of the class that insists on talking as he takes up the homework (homework that they asked to be shown) and teaches the lesson, then they piss and moan that they don't understand what he taught. The fact that they don't do the work and don't listen shows on the tests.

These people are so aggravating; it's as if every single bit of math they've learned in the last 4 years has seeped out of their heads. They've had trouble with things like graphing lines and solving simple quadratic equations.


So, have stories? Know some particularly dense people? Share! Cthulhu knows I could use a good laugh.

Edit to reflect the Serious nature the discussion has turned into:
Students who can't learn: is the education system merely failing them or are they genuinely unable? Is it best to give up on those who aren't "meant" to go into academia, or instead use high school as a way to gear them towards trade skills or other such paths?

Is it feasible to segregate classes into those who will learn and those who refuse? Is it justifiable?

And for those who are only taking the class because it's needed to get into college: should they be forced to take a course they don't care for because the college wants it, even if it is unrelated to their choice of area of study, or should students be allowed (or forced) to specialize, and thus eliminating some of those who would disrupt the class because they view it as useless?

I think there are a lot of different aspects to this topic, so excuse me if I neglected a few (hundred?).
Last edited by The Sleeping Tyrant on Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:09 am UTC, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby Amicitia » Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:42 pm UTC

It's the teacher's fault for not teaching lucidly. Also, GSIs have been known for been really shitty.
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby thefiddler » Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:46 pm UTC

Amicitia wrote:It's the teacher's fault for not teaching lucidly. Also, GSIs have been known for been really shitty.

Of course. It is always the teacher's fault for students not comprehending the material.

Ever think that maybe, just maybe the student just is not able to grasp the concept? Maybe the teacher has tried explaining and demonstrating said concept in many ways, but the student doesn't grasp it?

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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby Amicitia » Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:51 pm UTC

thefiddler wrote:
Amicitia wrote:It's the teacher's fault for not teaching lucidly. Also, GSIs have been known for been really shitty.

Of course. It is always the teacher's fault for students not comprehending the material.

Ever think that maybe, just maybe the student just is not able to grasp the concept? Maybe the teacher has tried explaining and demonstrating said concept in many ways, but the student doesn't grasp it?

I am sure sarcasm adds much to your case.

Students have to learn things which they have no interest in, and which they really don't need to know. This is an administrative concern.

If one's students aren't learning anything, then why should one be paid?
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby Alpha Omicron » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:01 am UTC

The Sleeping Tyrant wrote:story

I'm in that class right now too. Although it's not very difficult for you or I, or other math-brained individuals, it probably is for others who genuinely have to try to get their math marks. It's assholes like those you speak of that ruin things for them.
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby Amicitia » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:04 am UTC

Also, not listening in class can often increase your grade.
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby The Sleeping Tyrant » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:12 am UTC

Alpha Omicron wrote:I'm in that class right now too. Although it's not very difficult for you or I, or other math-brained individuals, it probably is for others who genuinely have to try to get their math marks. It's assholes like those you speak of that ruin things for them.


I've actually already been through the class (took the old calculus class two years ago) so my mathiness doesn't really come into play. I'm more of an observer in the class than a participant. I've noticed that the people who aren't talking all the time actually understand the stuff a lot better. Mostly the talkers are quiet, so the only people they're disrupting is each other. I just find it irritating that they ask all these questions that paying attention/remembering stuff from years gone by would solve.

@Amicitia: How is it the teacher's fault if the class refuses to listen or work? He has to teach regardless. Specifically, in a university preparation course the onus should be on the student to begin with. If they refuse to listen and don't even try to understand the material, how is it the teacher's fault? The teacher's done his job, it's up to them to understand what was presented.

Also, the teacher can only try so hard to get the class to understand. They have a set curriculum to teach; if they don't get through a sizable portion of it, they catch shit. This is true for any class. If the student isn't going to make an effort to learn, it's not the teacher's fault if they fail.

Amicitia wrote:Also, not listening in class can often increase your grade.


For who exactly? Please, I'd like you to give an example of this.

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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:14 am UTC

Amicitia wrote:It's the teacher's fault for not teaching lucidly. Also, GSIs have been known for been really shitty.

Grammar is speshull! Roffles!

Amicitia can't give any reasons to back up his / her / whatever posts, because that would require some sort of rational thought. Read her sig, then read any of his posts. I was inspired to make (or at least prompt!) this thread by her example.

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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby no-genius » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:16 am UTC

Amicitia wrote:I am sure sarcasm adds much to your case.

Does it? I should try it more often
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby Amicitia » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:19 am UTC

The Sleeping Tyrant wrote:
Amicitia wrote:Also, not listening in class can often increase your grade.


For who exactly? Please, I'd like you to give an example of this.


English, political science, economics, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus and linear algebra for a start. I can't stand the cookbook methods teachers use.

Good textbooks are written by people far more qualified to present material, so it is the job of the teacher to make students understand.

And I congratulate MJ for finding an error in my posts, I'm sure it really made his day. Since making a grammatical error really demonstrates a lack of logic.
Last edited by Amicitia on Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:23 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby Khonsu » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:22 am UTC

I remember my Gender Studies 101 course had only two men in it. I was really nice to them, and I enjoyed chatting with them before class started. I gave them the benefit of the doubt, because I thought it was really cool they were taking that class because it showed that they were interested in the sociological aspects of our world. Then I heard them make fun of my friend I often took classes with my freshman and sophomore years, who is a dwarf and has a rather high, nasally voice through no fault of her own. I was miffed and turned around and told them off, and they just laughed.

Class began, and it only got worse.

They talked to each other the whole time, insulted our prof (who just happened to be a lesbian this quarter, the quarter before and after her was a young black, male professor) behind her back, didn't read the material or take notes, and then made faces and laughed when any of the rest of us would talk about, say, sexual abuse or sexual dysfunction in our personal relationships. Their whole reason for being in the class? Guy 1: "I wanted to meet girls but none of you are hot or smart." Guy 2: "I want to go into business and be a CEO and I have to take this course because I think maybe I'll have women in the office sometimes, like the coffee girl, and I don't want her to get pissed at me for being male."

They said this in class right in front of our teacher during that "getting to know you" thing. Guy 2 admitted he didn't care if his FIANCE orgasmed, ever, and said he encouraged her to not orgasm because "they only do that when they get pregnant, right? I don't want kids yet." Luckily, we quickly righted his worldview, and that guy actually got better once he realized women cum all the time, just like men, and that an orgasming woman is more fun to have sex with and will, you know, actually want to have sex a lot. Of course, he's interested for his own pleasure, but I hope that guy will, someday, pull his head from his ass. Guy 1 is just a lost cause, because he said that only sluts get raped, and that they should "know better."

Guess what grade they got halfway into the course?

Now guess how they reacted? Yeah. They absolutely balked and threatened to tell Administration that they were "discriminated against based on their birth sex." Of course it wasn't because they were rude, unmotivated, cruel, and childish, right? They were lucky--I was considering filing for harrassment and other nasty things with OU because they honestly made the class hellish until they both just stopped showing up.

That was the only time I saw anything that blatantly ridiculous, though I remember many times students have seemed to have no interest in bettering themselves whatsoever and then complain when people expect them to not be a waste of molecules.
Last edited by Khonsu on Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:32 am UTC, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby yy2bggggs » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:26 am UTC

Amicitia wrote:Students have to learn things which they have no interest in, and which they really don't need to know. This is an administrative concern.

I agree. We should just teach students enough to make change for bread, and to drive to circuses.
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby Bakemaster » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:28 am UTC

Amicitia wrote:Textbooks are written by people far more qualified to present material, so it is the job of the teacher to make students understand.

HA HA HA HA HA
People who write textbooks very often have that job because they can't present material well in a classroom situation. While any textbook will facilitate memorization, they are often detrimental to comprehension. A good textbook can be hard to find in a public school, and bad ones can be truly abysmal. Oh how I've laughed at some of the textbooks I had in high school... Good times.

Amicitia wrote:If one's students aren't learning anything, then why should one be paid?

Genius! If only we could set that precedent, we could stop paying members of our armed forces when they don't win any wars! We could stop paying to see movies when it turned out the movie sucked!
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby The Sleeping Tyrant » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:29 am UTC

Amicitia wrote:
The Sleeping Tyrant wrote:
Amicitia wrote:Also, not listening in class can often increase your grade.


For who exactly? Please, I'd like you to give an example of this.


English, political science, economics, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus and linear algebra for a start. I can't stand the cookbook methods teachers use.


Are those the classes where not listening increased your grade? Because I really doubt you're qualified to make those kinds of sweeping generalizations about every single student who has or is taken/taking those courses or every single teacher who teaches them.

And not every school gets good textbooks. Case in point: my school turned down a set of fantastic history books to save something like $20 per book. Teachers make due with what they have. Sometimes the course doesn't even have a damn textbook.

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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby Amicitia » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:33 am UTC

yy2bggggs wrote:
Amicitia wrote:Students have to learn things which they have no interest in, and which they really don't need to know. This is an administrative concern.

I agree. We should just teach students enough to make change for bread, and to drive to circuses.

They're taught to ingest and regurgitate facts, I don't see the harm of letting students choose a field of interest early on. I definitely would have wanted to go to that economics HS in NY, but don't live there. I did get admission into the nearby high school that had an awesome policy team, but my family moved to California. =\
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby yy2bggggs » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:36 am UTC

Amicitia wrote:They're taught to ingest and regurgitate facts

Sure, English, maybe History, possibly science classes depending on how they are taught.

But algebra, geometry, calculus?

You have no argument.
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:38 am UTC

Amicitia wrote:Good textbooks are written by people far more qualified to present material, so it is the job of the teacher to make students understand.

If I'd ever seen a particularly good textbook, I might be able to agree with you here. Unfortunately, most textbooks I've ever seen, especially those used in high schools, are utter shit. Luckily, there are lots of good teachers who know this and teach things outside of the textbook. (I've heard stories from schools with a particularly bad one required for a course. The teacher had the book in the classroom, because that was policy, but basically used it to show students how *not* to write a science textbook, by pointing out just how many errors were in the official one.)

I don't see the harm of letting students choose a field of interest early on.

Yes, well, maybe that's just because you're a boring person who's only interested in one or two things and you've always known about that.

But yeah, most of your words here are indeed pretty needless. Maybe that should be your title as well as your sig, to let the rest of the readers here know to just skip your posts...

Khonsu wrote:stuff about asshole guys in a class

Wow, it sucks that they were the only two guys in the class. I've taken a couple heavily female-dominated classes, in which all the guys, though few, were pretty cool about such things. I'd like to think that if I or any of them were in this class with you, we'd have provided a good contrast to prove just how useless those two were (as though it weren't already obvious...).
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby Amicitia » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:41 am UTC

yy2bggggs wrote:
Amicitia wrote:They're taught to ingest and regurgitate facts

Sure, English, maybe History, possibly science classes depending on how they are taught.

But algebra, geometry, calculus?

You have no argument.

I don't consider giving a student a table of integrals and telling them to memorize it proper coverage of calculus.
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby Bakemaster » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:42 am UTC

Title proposal for Amicitia:
/FOE
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby Amicitia » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:44 am UTC

Bakemaster wrote:Title proposal for Amicitia:
/FOE

Topicality?
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:44 am UTC

Amicitia wrote:
yy2bggggs wrote:
Amicitia wrote:They're taught to ingest and regurgitate facts

Sure, English, maybe History, possibly science classes depending on how they are taught.

But algebra, geometry, calculus?

You have no argument.

I don't consider giving a student a table of integrals and telling them to memorize it proper coverage of calculus.

Except, that's all most students want. As someone who's taught and helped with math, I love when a student actually likes to *think*, and wants to know why integrals are the way they are. But the fact is, most of them just want something they can go home and memorize, precisely so that they don't need to think.

As you obviously know, thinking can be really damn hard sometimes.
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby hermaj » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:47 am UTC

Amicitia wrote:
Bakemaster wrote:Title proposal for Amicitia:
/FOE

Topicality?


This thread was in General. Therefore, Baemaster is perfectly allowed to make that statement.

However. Given how this discussion has turned, I'm going to whack it into Serious Business and see how it runs there.

SB Rules start now.

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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby parkaboy » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:48 am UTC

*slightly off topic* funny about text books and cook books... my favorite textbook ever WAS a cookbook. it was for intro to baking. it had FREAKING AWESOME recipes and SCIENCE! because until you get to decorating, baking is very science. very tasty science.
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby yy2bggggs » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:49 am UTC

Amicitia wrote:I don't consider giving a student a table of integrals and telling them to memorize it proper coverage of calculus.

Are you in the same class class as The Sleeping Tyrant?
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby The Sleeping Tyrant » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:53 am UTC

yy2bggggs wrote:
Amicitia wrote:I don't consider giving a student a table of integrals and telling them to memorize it proper coverage of calculus.

Are you in the same class as The Sleeping Tyrant?

He/she/it most certainly is not. Integration isn't covered at the high school level in Ontario.

Amicitia, if you've had teachers who've done, that's your problem. It does not necessarily reflect on the whole of the profession and I see no reason as to why you believe it does.

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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby Amicitia » Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:54 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Amicitia wrote:
yy2bggggs wrote:
Amicitia wrote:They're taught to ingest and regurgitate facts

Sure, English, maybe History, possibly science classes depending on how they are taught.

But algebra, geometry, calculus?

You have no argument.

I don't consider giving a student a table of integrals and telling them to memorize it proper coverage of calculus.

Except, that's all most students want. As someone who's taught and helped with math, I love when a student actually likes to *think*, and wants to know why integrals are the way they are. But the fact is, most of them just want something they can go home and memorize, precisely so that they don't need to think.

As you obviously know, thinking can be really damn hard sometimes.

Memorization boasts a low retention rate, and can't really be considered in many ways useful to a student. The type of student who wants to memorize tables for calculus would be the same type that doesn't want to take the class, and whose intellectual capital therefore being poorly allocated into skills they do not have an aptitude for. While it's great that students are reading Conrad, it's ridiculous if they're mostly using SparkNotes and can't get through the text otherwise.

The Sleeping Tyrant wrote:
yy2bggggs wrote:
Amicitia wrote:I don't consider giving a student a table of integrals and telling them to memorize it proper coverage of calculus.

Are you in the same class as The Sleeping Tyrant?

He/she/it most certainly is not. Integration isn't covered at the high school level in Ontario.

Amicitia, if you've had teachers who've done, that's your problem. It does not necessarily reflect on the whole of the profession and I see no reason as to why you believe it does.

Most calculus books used in schools aren't very proof-heavy, and their examples demonstrate this. Your claim that most teachers go above and beyond seems more questionable.
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby BVD » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:05 am UTC

So we aren't really looking at students that can't learn, rather the ones that choose not to? I feel sorry for students that can't learn, and I've worked as a summer ed tech. I feel sorry for those who choose not to learn, too, but for much different reasons.
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby Amicitia » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:08 am UTC

I find it rather presumptuous to assume the existence of "students who cannot learn," as there's nothing supporting such an assertion. I'd propose that there are students who, in such an environment as they currently reside in, under-preform.
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby yy2bggggs » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:13 am UTC

Amicitia wrote:I find it rather presumptuous to assume the existence of "students who cannot learn," as there's not much backing it. Perhaps there are students who cannot learn in such an environment as they currently reside in.

I think this statement rebuts itself.

Anyway, as for the topic at hand, there needs to be a cultural shift towards valuing intellectualism, and I'm wondering if this is already happening (though I've heard some ill about the current educational system in the states as well).
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby Matthias » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:13 am UTC

Amicitia wrote:The type of student who wants to memorize tables for calculus would be the same type that doesn't want to take the class, and whose intellectual capital therefore being poorly allocated into skills they do not have an aptitude for.


I'm sorry, what? You're saying that someone who actually takes time to memorize tables is the type of person who doesn't want to learn the material? Look, like it or not, you're just wrong on every level conceivable. Even for someone who understands how integration and differentiation works, and can do any equation the long and hard way, sometimes it's just easier to memorize shortcuts for certain types of formulas.

It's not laziness, it's efficiency. And they're a hell of a lot better off than the people who just use their scientific calculators for everything.
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby theonemephisto » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:19 am UTC

yy2bggggs wrote:
Amicitia wrote:They're taught to ingest and regurgitate facts

Sure, English, maybe History, possibly science classes depending on how they are taught.

But algebra, geometry, calculus?

You have no argument.

I highly doubt that learning a formula and learning where to plug in numbers that the problem gives you counts as learning. I know so many people that all they can do is memorize formula's that the teachers give them and apply them over and over to formulaic problems where they constantly give you the same information. If they actually hit a calculus course where they have to think about what they're doing, they stop working and utterly fail. That's no better than regurgitating facts.

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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby Amicitia » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:21 am UTC

yy2bggggs wrote:
Amicitia wrote:I find it rather presumptuous to assume the existence of "students who cannot learn," as there's not much backing it. Perhaps there are students who cannot learn in such an environment as they currently reside in.

I think this statement rebuts itself.

It doesn't really. At worst, it's slightly redundant.
Anyway, as for the topic at hand, there needs to be a cultural shift towards valuing intellectualism, and I'm wondering if this is already happening (though I've heard some ill about the current educational system in the states as well).

Care to elaborate?
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby The Sleeping Tyrant » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:24 am UTC

Amicitia wrote:
The Sleeping Tyrant wrote:
yy2bggggs wrote:
Amicitia wrote:I don't consider giving a student a table of integrals and telling them to memorize it proper coverage of calculus.

Are you in the same class as The Sleeping Tyrant?

He/she/it most certainly is not. Integration isn't covered at the high school level in Ontario.

Amicitia, if you've had teachers who've done, that's your problem. It does not necessarily reflect on the whole of the profession and I see no reason as to why you believe it does.

Most calculus books used in schools aren't very proof-heavy, and their examples demonstrate this. Your claim that most teachers go above and beyond seems more questionable.


Since we're using calculus as an example: I've yet to see a teacher who doesn't prove the differentiation rules they teach. Neither of our experiences are indicative of the whole profession. In fact, it's more likely a near enough equal mixture of the two. My point was that the blame cannot be laid solely on the teachers, which is what you seem to be doing.

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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby Amicitia » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:26 am UTC

Students interested in the material will get more out of a class than students uninterested in the material.
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:30 am UTC

Amicitia wrote:The type of student who wants to memorize tables for calculus would be the same type that doesn't want to take the class, and whose intellectual capital therefore being poorly allocated into skills they do not have an aptitude for.

Amicitia wrote:Students interested in the material will get more out of a class than students uninterested in the material.

Statement A) Students who are interested in a subject won't take it.
Statement B) Students who are interested in a subject will take it.
Statement C) .... profit?
...

I see syllogistic reasoning wasn't taught at your school.

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Re: Students who can't/won't learn

Postby Amicitia » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:33 am UTC

In the U.S., a fixed curriculum is strictly enforced, and students who want to go to a university need to take specific courses--for the University of California, there's an a-g requirements that most students must fulfill. Additionally, most colleges enforce that students need to take calculus, and most students who aren't interested in that sort of stuff opt to take the AP class, since they'll have to take it sometime, and the AP test does not require a rigorous knowledge of calculus.
Last edited by Amicitia on Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:37 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Students who can't/won't learn

Postby Ian Ex Machina » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:35 am UTC

Ooh until I put a quote in my sig, I had a saying from a witty student who just would not learn at secondary school.
It was year 11 and I was doing food tech, but it seemed food tech was the dumping ground for troublesome students, one such student was generally just ignoring the teacher and enjoying pointing out he had no idea what was being talked about.

The teacher then proceeded to say "....you are just so ignorant!!"
To which the boy replied "Igno-what?"
Very witty (and he did mean to say it) but he just didn't want to learn.
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby Okita » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:35 am UTC

I went to one of those pretentious private schools in NYC. It was the kind of school that if it were a teen movie, we'd be the evil asshole rich kids that the main characters would end up defeating with the power of heart and/or street smarts. That said, the students tended to be either ridiculously smart, ruthless, or rich in order to study there (the school did have standards and those very nice financial aid packages).

The thing is, it was one of those schools where if you start doing really poorly they bounce your ass out of there. Yet you still have people who don't want to learn or can't learn.

There were kids who were claiming mental handicapped (or had a mental handicap) of some sort ranging from dyslexia to other mental problems that I wouldn't know about and frankly wouldn't want or be able to find out about. But the thing is, some of these kids were geniuses when it came to say... Writing but absolute rubbish everywhere else. But since the school had requirements (mostly mandated by the State), they found themselves in courses they didn't want to be in, couldn't care less about, and frankly just wanted to get out of the way as quickly as possible. Of course they didn't do well there. So I guess my point is that sometimes it may not be that they don't want to learn but they just have disdain for the class/ subject material itself.

Then again, I knew some kids who had got a doctor's note that claimed they had some sort of mental problem so that they could get extra time on tests (like an extra hour or so, split up) so that they could effectively get A's on the course but have no marks on their record due to non-disclosure requirements. Course I don't know for sure cuz I wasn't privy to that info either but with the person being a straight - A student competing in multiple science competitions, it was weird for the person to get extra time on physics exams.

But I think you'll always have students in your class who just refuse to learn because either they look down on the teacher, the textbook, the subject, or the classmates. For whatever reason, they think the class is a joke and thus don't give anyone respect. However, they do care about their own ass which is why they get ticked off or surprised when bad grades start rolling around and instead of blaming themselves, they blame anything else. I was like that at one point with an economics class in College until I got my head out of my ass and realized it was my fault for not doing the proper amount of work (although I still maintain that the professor was not a good teacher).

Senior slump in America is a great example of students choosing not to learn. Specifically, Senior slump (for non Americans) refers to when the students have already been accepted by certain colleges. At this point, there's no reason to study hard because as long as one doesn't screw up entirely, they can do whatever they want. As I recall, in my high school this amounted to kids not going to class (which was possible due to the school's different type of scheduling and location which I won't go into cuz it's not really relevant). Sometimes this was to go to a college orientation to be wooed by colleges and to party/ goof off. This was deemed "Okay" because they had earned the break (ignoring the Summer break of course) and so there was no incentive to learn in class.

End result was that the teachers couldn't really teach the Seniors anything because there were classes where attendance was 50% and a lot of students who showed up often didn't even bring pens/pencils or a notebook. Twas ridiculous really and it really bugged me a lot. Course not all students were like that but the concept stuck with me. Sure you can get teachers who are bad at teaching and teachers where its hard to get good grades or learn from and if most students are not learning then yes, perhaps the teacher is bad. But that sort of situation is really only applicable with someone who is new at teaching or a bad administration which can't identify poor teachers.

Peh, that's my mini-rant (I could go on a full one about my old high school but I'd rather not) and I've heard my High School is better about that kind of stuff. Sort of.

Edit: Oh and
Amicitia wrote:In the U.S., a fixed curriculum is strictly enforced, and students who want to go to a university need to take specific courses. Most colleges enforce that students need to take calculus, and most students who aren't interested in that sort of stuff opt to take the AP class, since they'll have to take it sometime, and the AP test does not require a rigorous knowledge of calculus.

I think I should clarify this statement for others (because I read it one way and then realized you meant another) in that Colleges in the US tend to have a core which requires courses such as Freshman Writing, History, Calculus, so on and so forth. Students in High School often take AP courses which, given high scores, may opt them out of the class depending on your major and how important that class is. Also in High School, most states mandate certain years of History, English, and Math taught although these can be circumvented to some degree and with some skill depending on your school, money, or effort. Finally, while AP courses such as the Calculus exam is quite easy to get a 4/5 in order to opt out of a College level course, in general, the amount of effort to get that sort of score is equivalent to showing up to class, paying relative attention, and (depending on your teacher's teaching level) gain grades ranging from B to A+.
Last edited by Okita on Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:42 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Students who can't/won't learn

Postby Amicitia » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:39 am UTC

Students respond to incentives, like anyone else. What do you expect? A body of students deeply interested in the course material?
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Re: Students who can't learn

Postby EvanED » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:42 am UTC

Okita wrote:Senior slump in America is a great example of students choosing not to learn. Specifically, Senior slump (for non Americans) refers to when the students have already been accepted by certain colleges. At this point, there's no reason to study hard if all you care about is grades so that you can get into college because as long as one doesn't screw up entirely, they can do whatever they want.

Fix'd.

BTW, I can't actually speak to this, but I have heard a number of people say that their AP calc classes are more rigorous than the college version.


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