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Yet another innovative defiance of common sense

Education Honor Rolls Underachiever Embarrassment

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#21 ArmourMe

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 06:45 PM

LOL.... um dudes, I went to a State College in which we recieved no grades and created our own majors.  We evaluated ourselves and were evaluated by our faculty.  The college had no team sports and no competitive academic environment.

The school kicked major arse - students there WANTED TO LEARN and PUSHED THE TEACHERS to give us more to do.  My ex's classmates in computer science (no soft program) were so highly regarded that they were often recruited before they finished the degree.

I've been homeschooling my sons with a very similar ethic - co-operation and empathy over competition, student led learning and student evaluation of progress rather than grades.  My 6yo is way above grade level in most areas of learning BECAUSE he wants to learn AND he's not a brat who teases younger or less smart kids.  His social skills are that of a 12yo and adults boggle at his ability to get along with EVERYONE (not merely the other kids just like him).  We've even found a local elementary that uses the same ethics for him to attend part time - and they OUTSCORE the other elementaries on standardized testing.

Most employers want self motivated employees who can work smoothly with others......that's what this kind of education gives you!

Competition can motivate a certian personality type to excell.....but SUPPORT is a MUCH more universal motivator!

#22 Chipper

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 08:08 PM

Because you know the students really even read the honor roll?  It's a way of recognizing achievement, so I don't think that students who didn't perform as well should be put on the same level as those that did.

Rhys hit it on the head, methingks...
"Courtesy is how we got civilized. The blind assertion of rights is what threatens to decivilize us. Everybody's got lots of rights that are set out legally. Responsibilities are not enumerated, for good reason, but they are set into the social fabric. Is it such a sacrifice to not be an a**hole?"

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#23 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 11:49 PM

[Sarcasim]You know, I think this principle is onto something. I mean, who needs competition anyway, really. So, let's get rid of sports...That's way too much competition. Professional as well as amatuer sports. (I'll let someone else figure out how many people that'll put on unemployment)

Now that we've gotten rid of sports, let's move on to the more subtle forms of competition...Banks. Yep, no more checking account. Afterall, that could be considered a form of competition, a keeping up with the Jones's if you will. (Add the number of bank employees, managers, to the list of athletes now unemployed)

Oh and TV...that's definately got to go...So many channels trying to get ratings...Too much competition. (Add all the news reporters, actors, producers, and everyone else involved with this media outlet to the list. How many does that make now unemployed?)

And jobs, of course. We can't have people competiting over jobs now can we...(Add everyone else to the list, Government employees as well)

Congratulations Baum, you've just made the entire country unemployed, underachieved, uneducated, and USELESS![/Sarcasim]  :sarcasm:
"Sometimes you get the point of the sword, sometimes the edge, sometimes the flat of the blade (even if you're the Lord of the Sword) and sometimes you're the guy wielding it. But any day without the Sword or its Lord is one that could've been better  " ~Orpheus.

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Looks like the Liberal Elite of Exisle have finally managed to silence the last remaining Conservative voice on the board.

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#24 sierraleone

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Posted 27 January 2004 - 04:22 AM

ArmourMe, on Jan 26 2004, 03:43 PM, said:

LOL.... um dudes, I went to a State College in which we recieved no grades and created our own majors.  We evaluated ourselves and were evaluated by our faculty.  The college had no team sports and no competitive academic environment.

The school kicked major arse - students there WANTED TO LEARN and PUSHED THE TEACHERS to give us more to do.  My ex's classmates in computer science (no soft program) were so highly regarded that they were often recruited before they finished the degree.

I've been homeschooling my sons with a very similar ethic - co-operation and empathy over competition, student led learning and student evaluation of progress rather than grades.  My 6yo is way above grade level in most areas of learning BECAUSE he wants to learn AND he's not a brat who teases younger or less smart kids.  His social skills are that of a 12yo and adults boggle at his ability to get along with EVERYONE (not merely the other kids just like him).  We've even found a local elementary that uses the same ethics for him to attend part time - and they OUTSCORE the other elementaries on standardized testing.

Most employers want self motivated employees who can work smoothly with others......that's what this kind of education gives you!

Competition can motivate a certian personality type to excell.....but SUPPORT is a MUCH more universal motivator!
But are they actually going to give them real support, or be lazy and say they are supportive of them, because they aren't comparing kids? I support, er, support :D Its one of those things that can make or break a person. Especially those that either have difficulties or just don't do well in competetive enviroments. But thats not what I think they are trying to do here.

Edited by sierraleone, 27 January 2004 - 04:23 AM.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#25 StarDust

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Posted 27 January 2004 - 11:22 PM

I'm not sure I see the difference.  These kids are excelling.  Doing their best, that's competition. Competition doesn't have to be nasty, and usually isn't.

In life you loose some and you win some (hopefully).  No one always 'wins' or 'succeeds' and learning how to deal with that fact of life is part of growing up.

After I was out of grammar school (thankfully) they built one of those nice new modern experimental grammar schools which my brother went to. It was an utter failure. There was no structure, litterally no walls.  The kids were all distracted, had no goals to attain, etc.

After a couple of years it was converted to a 'normal' school.

And when I went to the High School it was highly ranked providing ease to get into college. From what I've heard it's gone down the tubes trying to be all touchy feelly, and it's ranking with it.

Competition is not a bad thing. Everyone should do their best, and the best at something should be rewarded. There is nothing wrong with that. It can, however, be done without belittling those that 'lose' or don't do so well. They can be encouraged to do better, if they've done better than they normally do, they can be congratulated for the improvement.  Just because they aren't number one doesn't mean they can't and shouldn't get postitive reinforcement. By the same token, kids that don't even bother shouldn't be told that's okay.

It just seems like everyone is all black and white about everything these days, all or nothing.  Talk about loss of common sense.

#26 sierraleone

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Posted 28 January 2004 - 02:09 AM

StarDust, on Jan 27 2004, 08:20 PM, said:

I'm not sure I see the difference.  These kids are excelling.  Doing their best, that's competition. Competition doesn't have to be nasty, and usually isn't.

In life you loose some and you win some (hopefully).  No one always 'wins' or 'succeeds' and learning how to deal with that fact of life is part of growing up.

After I was out of grammar school (thankfully) they built one of those nice new modern experimental grammar schools which my brother went to. It was an utter failure. There was no structure, litterally no walls.  The kids were all distracted, had no goals to attain, etc.

After a couple of years it was converted to a 'normal' school.

And when I went to the High School it was highly ranked providing ease to get into college. From what I've heard it's gone down the tubes trying to be all touchy feelly, and it's ranking with it.

Competition is not a bad thing. Everyone should do their best, and the best at something should be rewarded. There is nothing wrong with that. It can, however, be done without belittling those that 'lose' or don't do so well. They can be encouraged to do better, if they've done better than they normally do, they can be congratulated for the improvement.  Just because they aren't number one doesn't mean they can't and shouldn't get postitive reinforcement. By the same token, kids that don't even bother shouldn't be told that's okay.

It just seems like everyone is all black and white about everything these days, all or nothing.  Talk about loss of common sense.
Also, there is always trying to get kids to compete with themselves, as in always trying their best to improve. That is my motivation most of the time, not competeting with other people, but always striving to better myself. I didn't much care how I ranked with other students, but whether I felt I had did when against my average. And usually my average was OK too, because I was a good student anyways.
Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#27 AnneZo

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Posted 28 January 2004 - 03:29 PM

Cardie, on Jan 25 2004, 03:48 PM, said:

I'll believe that public competitiveness in academic matters should be outlawed the day that Principal Baum bans all public, competitive sports from the school system. I might have had straight As, but my ego was severely damaged by always being selected last for dodge ball teams.  ;)

Cardie
Those are the scars you carry for your entire life.

Fourth grade math grade?  Who knows?  Who cares?

Sixth grade - NEVER picked for baseball team, even under teacher's threat?  I've never recovered from the shame.

(And because I forgot the serious topic in favor of frivolity - let me say that if sports teams can exist with students 'celebrated' for their success in those fields, then 'academic' successes should be equally honored.  Even MORE honored because school should be more about academics than about 'beating' students from another school physically.)

Edited by AnneZo, 28 January 2004 - 03:31 PM.


#28 prolog

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Posted 28 January 2004 - 04:18 PM

Schools are about learning, not competition.  That's all I'm going to say.

#29 the 'Hawk

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Posted 28 January 2004 - 04:24 PM

^ There are those who feel that students should be learning *to* compete....

And competition does have its place within the learning process. The manufactured crisis of a challenge of some kind or another can be the best motivational tool available with certain kids. Sometimes, the only way to make the content matter is to give them occasion to learn it faster for the purposes of winning. It's not the best possible educational outcome (in fact, except for the very rare time, it tends to suck, as the emphasis becomes upon the winning and not the learning), but in small doses.

Skills development can't happen in a vacuum. But there has to be that 'reasonable' component to the competition. It can't reach gladiatorial extremes. But it can't be to the point where there's just a numbing, fuzzy sort of "everyone is good!" mindset that takes its place.

:cool:
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#30 Consubstantial

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Posted 28 January 2004 - 04:31 PM

But learning what?  

People can learn competition; they can learn cooperation.  But what do we really learn in school?

According to John Gatto, 1990 NYC Teacher of the Year and author of Dumbing Us Down:  The Hidden Curriculum of Cumpulsory Schooling, he isn't paid to teach English.  He says, "these are the things I teach, these are the things you pay me to teach.  Make of them what you will."  The seven deadly lessons are:  confusion, class position, indifference, emotional dependency, intellectual dependency, provisional self-esteem and that one can't hide.

Gatto says, "Schools teach exactly what they are intended to teach and they do it well:  how to be a good Egyptian and remain in your place in the Pyramid."

So now I'm left to wonder how eliminating the honor roll impacts the "real" agenda of the educational system.
From the start, our terms jump to conclusions--Kenneth Burke

#31 Drew

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Posted 28 January 2004 - 04:59 PM

Cardie, on Jan 25 2004, 04:48 PM, said:

I'll believe that public competitiveness in academic matters should be outlawed the day that Principal Baum bans all public, competitive sports from the school system. I might have had straight As, but my ego was severely damaged by always being selected last for dodge ball teams.  ;)
You'll be happy to know, then, that Dodge Ball is outlawed at many schools, because Dodge Ball involves turning students into . . . TARGETS!  :eek2:  This, of course, is very bad for self-esteem.
"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#32 jon3831

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Posted 28 January 2004 - 05:07 PM

^Dodge ball was always my favorite PE sport.

Why?

I found it easier to just dive in front of the ball and getting tagged out in the first minute of play, that way I could sit out the rest of the match.

They didn't catch on, either...

Or if they did, no one said anything.
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#33 Drew

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Posted 28 January 2004 - 05:47 PM

jon3831, on Jan 28 2004, 04:05 PM, said:

^Dodge ball was always my favorite PE sport.

Why?

I found it easier to just dive in front of the ball and getting tagged out in the first minute of play, that way I could sit out the rest of the match.
Oh, the way we played, no one was ever completely out of the game. Those tagged moved around "behind enemy lines" and opened a second front inthe battle. I LOVED Dodge Ball.

Drew <-- Founding Member of the Society for the Preservation of Dodge Ball.  :cool:
"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#34 Cyncie

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Posted 28 January 2004 - 06:19 PM

Maybe its a difference between challenge and comparison, rather than competition. Healthy competition isn't bad, and in some cases can motivate. And, students should always be challenged to go father, reach higher, learn more. But, a traditional honor roll sets up comparison, and sometimes comparison by arbitrary standards isn't fair. All students are not the same. They learn differently and achieve at different rates, even if they're trying their hardest. The child with a significant learning disability may be doing his level best on his school work, but he will never be included in an honor roll based on a comparative grading system. This could shape his attitude about his potential and set him up for continued failure. The presence of the honor roll does, indeed, reward the achiever, but if it's overly emphasized, it can be detrimental to those who cannot "make the grade".

I think the school's job is to create self-motivated life long learners, not externally motivated grade earners. And, while competition is, indeed, a part of real life, more internal motivation could reduce the "what's in it for me" mentality so common in today's society.

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#35 Cardie

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Posted 28 January 2004 - 08:14 PM

Cyncie, on Jan 28 2004, 06:17 PM, said:

I think the school's job is to create self-motivated life long learners, not externally motivated grade earners.
That's an idealistic sentiment much treasured by colleges of Education, but I can tell you after a 30-year teaching career that the students you can make into self-motivated learners will be so whether or not there are grades or class rankings, but the rest of the students will do absolutely nothing without the grade hierarchy being held over their heads. I can't tell you the number of experiments I've had with learning-for-its-own-sake assignments, all of which the majority of students have completely blown off unless I threaten to fail them for not doing the work.

I'd also like to say something about the equation of honor rolls with competition.  Unlike a spelling bee, there is no limited number of "winners" who can make the honor roll.  A standard of high achievement is set, and everyone who can match that standard gets to be on the honor roll.  Unless this school system has a draconian curve that says a certain percentage of students and no more can be given A's or that a certain percentage must be given F's, then honor rolls are not an example of competition.

Once again I'll say that I'll start to listen to these people when they also advocate that no school in their district shall competitively select student government representatives, cheerleaders, band members, or players on sports teams, but instead lets anyone play football who wants to, lets the klutziest kids wave pom-poms, never elects class presidents, or picks a homecoming queen.  Why should achievement in the central mission of schools--learning--be the only achievement that is never honored?

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#36 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 28 January 2004 - 09:22 PM

Drew, on Jan 28 2004, 04:57 PM, said:

You'll be happy to know, then, that Dodge Ball is outlawed at many schools, because Dodge Ball involves turning students into . . . TARGETS!  :eek2:  This, of course, is very bad for self-esteem.
I would think that given the rash of school shootings, that Dodge ball would be a required course...called surviving.  ;)

I know, it's lame but I couldn't resist.
"Sometimes you get the point of the sword, sometimes the edge, sometimes the flat of the blade (even if you're the Lord of the Sword) and sometimes you're the guy wielding it. But any day without the Sword or its Lord is one that could've been better  " ~Orpheus.

The Left is inclusive, and tolerant, unless you happen to think and believe different than they do~ Lord of the Sword

Looks like the Liberal Elite of Exisle have finally managed to silence the last remaining Conservative voice on the board.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.” ~Thomas Jefferson

#37 prolog

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Posted 28 January 2004 - 09:39 PM

Drew, on Jan 28 2004, 10:45 PM, said:

Oh, the way we played, no one was ever completely out of the game. Those tagged moved around "behind enemy lines" and opened a second front inthe battle. I LOVED Dodge Ball.

Drew <-- Founding Member of the Society for the Preservation of Dodge Ball.  :cool:
That's how we learned it.  Well, technically that was "double dodgeball", but it was the only dodgeball we ever played.  Real dodgeball is too tame.

I was the reigning dodgeball champ at Brunskill Elementary School.  Which was good, because I was terrible at every other athletic pursuit.

#38 Mikoto

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Posted 29 January 2004 - 09:01 AM

What is dodgeball exactly? It sounds awful.  :blink:


I was always chosen last in PE. For games like Hockey, Basketball, ect, ect. Well, normally it wasn't a case of being chosen at all. I was simply the last one sitting on the bench and I had to go to someone's team.

But then my secondary school was kind of odd. It wasn't "cool" to achieve, to study, to actually get good grades. Naturally I ignored that and was wildly unpopular.  ;)

*Shrug* It was only after a few months that they realised that I really did suck at those sports. I hated PE. I was much happier in a nice warm classroom.
Rejected and gone.

#39 QueenTiye

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Posted 29 January 2004 - 09:37 AM

THREE CHEERS FOR CARDIE!

You've said it ALL perfectly.  

My son looks forward, every quarter, to making Principal's list - and he's in elementary school.  It's a goal he sets for himself that I support.  What's WRONG with students having something worthwhile to work toward?  

Stuff like this is (IMNSHO) not defiance of commonsense - it's outright sabotage of kids.

Een Draght Mackt Maght


#40 QueenTiye

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Posted 29 January 2004 - 09:41 AM

Mikoto, on Jan 29 2004, 08:59 AM, said:

What is dodgeball exactly? It sounds awful.  :blink:
it is.  Dodgeball is a game where the goal is to take a huge scary looking ball and throw it at someone on the opposing team - if you hit them, they are out.  The team with the last player(s) standing wins.  Or - this version that is talked about here, which I never learned, where, instead of being out, you fall back to second ranks. (How does someone win that one? Points?)

QT (who was horrible at every sport, without exception)

Een Draght Mackt Maght




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