What changes have you noticed in education during your lifetime?

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Ancient Hippy Profile
Ancient Hippy answered

In the US, we now have Pre-K, all day kindergarten, middle schools, mandatory government controlled programs (gotta get the grants), a ridiculous amount of placement testing, no peanut butter and jelly sandwiches served in the cafeteria, lack of history lessons, children graduating that can't write, do math and don't have a clue who was the first president of the US. Most districts are also top heavy in the administration department demanding mega salaries.

We tend to spend more on our sports arenas and participants than we do on the arts. In my area of the country, many older retired citizens are losing their homes due to the horrendous increases in school taxes.

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Fortis Paradise
Fortis Paradise commented
In this way it seems like people are paying too much for taxes.
Ancient Hippy
Ancient Hippy commented
For some, it's overwhelming.
Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
We get property taxes but they're sent (usually inefficiently) on local infrastructure and services. Schools aren't include in that budget, in Oz.
PJ Stein Profile
PJ Stein answered

I don't know about other countries, but in the US they have cut back on the arts, physical education, and recess. The result is children who are overweight and have poor imaginations. They have trouble with problem solving because everything is book learned instead hands on learning. My brother and sister-in-laws are teachers and some of the things I feel are basic reasoning their high school students can't figure out.

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Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
Interesting comments. Those things aren't missing on this side of the pond. Over here the emphasis is sometimes too far the other way, yet obesity continues to be a problem.
Fortis Paradise Profile
Fortis Paradise answered

I went to a private high school,it was affordable, but in the last 4 years the tuition for private schools has gone up by 1600%, without counting the many books they're supposed to buy(it's basically a business to get parents go broke because public schools don't have capacity for all students), and the system has also changed,that includes the material, parts of history that are not in favor of the government have been omitted and a third language has been added to the curriculum.(I'm not from the US)

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Fortis Paradise
Fortis Paradise commented
That's a lot of money, high school costs more than college where I live, on the plus side religious schools and colleges are free, more than free actually, THEY pay the students to attend, to encourage people.
Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
What part of the world is that, FP?
Fortis Paradise
Fortis Paradise commented
Iran.
and an interesting thing I heard yesterday, that Qatar sends their natives (if they want to) to Europe or US to study and pay for All of their expenses!
DDX Project Profile
DDX Project answered

Less reliance on brawn, and more reliance on brain. My relatives who are coal miners and oil riggers are usually the ones who grew up with little education. They follow the booms, making decent amounts of money but spending every single dime they make like most of their peers. Most manual labor industries come and go on a whim, leaving these workers with non-transferable skills and bad spending habits out in the cold.


My relatives who spent their time working hard in areas that are worth working hard in, such as their studies, have attained various amount of success in the past decades. Company lay-off?  A dozen job offers in your email inbox the next day. Bored of your current role? Take on a different route. Jobs with yearly cash bonuses, stock options, 401k matches, etc. That's why one of the top priorities for the middle class when buying a home is the quality of schools for their children, and they'll pay top money for their children to attend the best.

Maurice Korvo Profile
Maurice Korvo answered

When I went to school, you could FAIL!! (Had to redo the year) Now you cannot fail, fail is a dirty word. Students now get their high school diploma, even if they know nothing.  (in my humble opinion, this is evident in society today... Did you notice how many people were upset with the US election, because their candidate did not get elected? Is this a result of going through a system where no one loses?)

Students today can get the answer as fast as I can, if they use their calculators/computers, but I don't really think they understand mathematics (other than the people who specialize in a math based field)

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Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
You're right about the inability to fail. It makes any qualification worthless if it applies equally to successful and failed students. If we didn't pass in one year we were held back to do it all again.

I've got a different slant on calculators. While it's true that kids are being robbed of their ability to do fast calculations in their heads, or even with pencil and paper, they're able to do things with a calculator that would have mystified me at school. Whether they understand them, of course, is another matter.
Water Nebula Profile
Water Nebula answered

It got more and more boring and/or irritating

Don Barzini Profile
Don Barzini answered

A broad question. The biggest change I've seen is even more parents are openly derelict in ensuring their offspring are properly prepared for adulthood. Even if a school curriculum provides meaningful teaching (not so much a fact as we'd like it to be) students are not motivated to become learned, to do hard academic work. They have Google now, why do they need to learn?

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Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
That's an angle I hadn't considered.. Reminds me of a comment from a BBC TV drama in which a lecturer pointed out that her students often copies things straight from Wikipedia. She commented that "the smarter ones delete the buttons that say, 'click her fur further information'".
Zack -  Mr. GenXer Profile

Children having smartphones and tablets. I didn't get my first one until I was well into my 30's. The fact that children get a lot more bold while at the same time, sensitive and thin skinned.

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Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
Sensitivity and thin skins were handled very effectively by the teachers in my day. They came armed with canes and wielded them enthusiastically. As discipline went out the door, in many cases, the foxes took over the hen house.

I'd have liked to see somebody try to get a phone into the classroom past our eagle-eyed teachers. :)
Bikergirl Anonymous Profile

Back in my day ... You were taught how to commit to memory. If you graduated high school there  as a pretty good chance you could both spell properly and do basic math in your head., now days kids graduate and are a high percentage is still  pretty much completely illiterate  because of their dependence on computers and calculators. 

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Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
They make things easier, they even make learning easier, but there's a price to pay. You're dead right about the effectiveness of memory.
Yin And Yang Profile
Yin And Yang answered

The thing that blew me away was when I saw child care in my daughters high school. They offer an elective in child care for "early childhood development" where the students take care of the kids (with a teacher of course) but the babies/children come from the teens on campus!

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Yin And Yang
Yin And Yang commented
When I was in high school it was only me and another girl pregnant. She was further along. There was no child care on campus. I finished that year then did my seinor year in home studies but I finished and graduated with my class. I got the same graduation everyone else did cuz I put in the work. Now a days it seems like pregnancy is a trend. 😔
Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
Not only a trend but a highly contagious one. I wonder if anybody will come up with a cure?
Yin And Yang
Yin And Yang commented
My cure for not getting pregnant was to BE pregnant! Lol!
Leesa Johnson Profile
Leesa Johnson answered

I noticed that day by day the education level is improving through digitalization technology.

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Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
The digital revolution has certainly transformed the way we approach education. Thanks for the answer.

And good luck with that Ph.D. When do you hope to complete it?
Janis Haskell Profile
Janis Haskell answered

More technology and fewer writing, spelling, and conversational skills.  The electronic devices are great, but I hate to see so much dependence on them.  My goddaughter is in the honors program, but she's more comfortable texting than actually talking to a friend.

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Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
Conversation was always a problem for some kids but with texting it seems that many have given up the struggle to learn how to communicate with each other. The questions we get here about texting etiquette are symptomatic of that. Good points, Janis.
Cookie Roma Profile
Cookie Roma answered

As a parent of 5, and someone who graduated from her ghschool in 1970, iv noticed a huge difference.  The United States used to rank at or very near the top (In the developed world) in quality of education.  Now we are VERY, VERY far down the ranking.  We do rate as high or higher than other countries in one thing.  That would be self esteem. 

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Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
That last comment got a chuckle. And yet, self-esteem is not a bad thing unless it's misplaced.

I also noticed the US slipping down the international lists. You're not alone, of course. We don't do so wlel in Oz, either. Thanks for answering.
DDX Project
DDX Project commented
You are correct in stating that we rank pretty low in terms of education. Much like how our most recent election was determined by the educational divide. But in terms of production and technological advances we are on the very forefront. We set the trends and lead the to the destinations. Our universities are also the most rigorous and carries prestige in the world.

If you go to regions in the US where the majority of educated people live and modern industries are located. the education provided tends to be the best in the world.

The problem here is that it's very concentrated. And any attempts to standardize to help those students whose parents aren't so educated have been called things such as "liberal indoctrination". Common core math, which I consider brilliant, has been associated to communism by the typical Trump voter.
Tom  Jackson Profile
Tom Jackson answered

More students, but overall, less knowledge acquired.

I have noticed that with the the presence of calculators, some students seem to think that there is no longer a need to learn how to actually perform some types of calculations.

The problem with that is that learning how to perform such calculations is important to learning how to think and how to come to meaningful conclusions with minimum error.

I fear that if machines with the ability to "think" ever become ubiquitous, some of those human beings will have made themselves superfluous to life on earth.

(I used to think that grocery store checkers and toll road attendants would be around forever---apparently not.)

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Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
Your answer has been the subject of more than one sci-fi story. Writers have looked at the future and deplored the dependence because, if the technology is suddenly taken away, its users will be left floundering.
Tom  Jackson
Tom Jackson commented
Economy 101 says that technological innovation will produce more jobs than it eliminates.

I would also fear employed but totally uninteresting people---even if they are not an economic burden on society.
Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
That may not be so, Tom. I know lots of jobs that have gone under just due to technology -- everything from telecommunications, to sign writing, to journalism, to, well, heaps.
I'd like to think that an equal or greater number will be created but perhaps those jobs can't be filled by the people who lose their livelihood.
Tris Fray Potter Profile

I'm still in high school, but even I've noticed some drastic changes in the curriculum.  Firstly, we switched from a state curriculum where schools have more freedom in what they teach, to the national curriculum, where schools are more rigid and everyone has to learn the same thing, no matter how relevant or irrelevant it is.  All in all though, the national curriculum is better as there are a wider range of subjects in the in lower grades.

I started preschool when the year I turned 5 (I was 4 for the majority of the year).  It was all focused on play time and arts and crafts and imagination, and I could only count up to 10, write my name and read basic sentences.  The year I started year 1, it was Prep instead.  They could read and write and do sums by the end of the year.  They also started a year older than me.  By the time they were in grade 3, they could do exactly the same things as I could when I was in grade 3, although, I think it would be beneficial to be a year older in later grades.

My cousin just finished grade 2 on the national curriculum.  She was in a pilot program where instead of books, they learn fully on iPads.  Her handwriting isn't as good as most kids her age, and she is iPad-obsessed (though not as much as other kids I know...).  They are learning coding, which, is an increasingly important skill (I can only set up a basic HTML file), but it would be just as easy to have an hour-long IT class each week.  I think that it's all right to use computers for assignments, but not much else, from about grade 6 or 7 just to practice handwriting and spelling and whatever else one may learn from writing by hand.

I think that education is changing with the times, the curriculum is getting better, the Prep grade could just as easily be play time, and computers are used way too much.

Australia focuses on the Arts and Sports sides as well as the academic side, and, for as long as I remember, it's always been like that.

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Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
Thanks for taking so much trouble, Tris. It's interesting to hear it from somebody who is still in the system and observant enough to be able to comment on it. This is a good answer.
Danae Hitch Profile
Danae Hitch answered

What has really changed is that the teachers are no longer have authority in the classroom, so it's the animals that are running the zoo. Here in Omaha, there is one school where they cannot keep experienced teachers because the kids are so out of control. Kicking, stomping, disrupting the classroom, defying the teacher's requests, etc., etc.

The Omaha World Herald put this story in the paper a few days ago and the school is wondering what to do about this issue - how they can "help" the students behave better.

OMG.

What about kicking the students out? No, sorry. They will just go to an alternative school and wreak havoc there. What about yoga? It's supposed to have a calming effect on people.

What about HOLDING THE PARENTS accountable for these kids? Um, no, because that would hurt their feelings. What about flunking the students? Um, no, because that would hurt the children's future. They wouldn't be able to find a job because they flunked out of school.

The blatant disrespect for authority is ruining this country. Teachers can only do so much and without the school administration backing them up, they are doomed for failure.

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Danae Hitch
Danae Hitch commented
You're welcome. If I even THOUGHT about misbehaving in school, the knowledge that I would have to explain to my parents what happened was enough of a deterrent to make me stop and think twice.

Until the parents take back their power, instead of giving it to their precious snowflakes, I fear this trend will continue. Once the parents are back in control, they will understand that this is normal and will start backing up the other adults the child comes in contact with.
Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
The do-gooders will never let it happen. We have to protect our little snowflakes from the need to take responsibility.
Danae Hitch
Danae Hitch commented
O !! So glad I swallowed my mouthful of hot chocolate!! Thanks for the laugh. I would laugh louder and longer but tis so true, so I cannot.
Jyotsna Sonavane Profile

In India, education in earlier decades was only books oriented but today it is more advanced with the help of technology like Internet, online tutors, National Goegraphic Channels, Discovery channels where young students are often updated with new discoveries related to new topics in various sectors..which younsters love to do so..also education has become digital oriented..

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Didge Doo
Didge Doo commented
Many thanks, Jyotsna. It's good to get the picture from India. Interesting comments about changes that are probably mirrored in other countries. Must make it easier -- and more interesting -- to learn.

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