May. 8th, 2009

jame_alec: A stick figure typing rapidly on a keyboard (TAKATAKATAKA)
Sometimes I really despair at the quality of K-12 education in my neck of the woods. My sisters are frequently taught things that are flat out wrong because the science books they're using haven't been updated for at least 5 years. Usually more. When I went to school, the newest books were at least 8 years old. Some were as old as 20 years old.

It kills me because there are so many opportunities in science and math-oriented fields. When I ask my middle sister (14 in a week) why she doesn't like science, she either says she doesn't get it or it's boring. She's certainly not unteachable, so I have to wonder if it's a case of bad teacher or bad teaching environment.

When I was in my senior year of high school, the classes had way too many students. More than was legally allowed. They couldn't do anything about it, though. The population in my area has only continued to grow as more and more families have moved to rural areas to get away from the "hustle and bustle" of the city. Between that and education cuts, it wouldn't surprise me at all if class sizes are still way too big, even if they are within the legal limits. You just can't teach a classroom of 30 thirteen year olds and address all the different needs.

Right after I graduated, gang-related fights began erupting in the school system to the point that the schools had to call in police officers to walk the halls and monitor the cafeteria. It got so bad that students weren't allowed to talk during lunch and had to raise their hand and be escorted to the trash can to put up their trays.

It's relaxed more now, but it's still hardly a good learning environment. I'm sure this is old news to people elsewhere, but this is a rural area and it's just started becoming like this here and it's all rather shocking to me. And it totally makes me understand why some people want to homeschool their kids (even if they can't teach for shit).

In lieu of busting down the doors of the education department and doing a hostile takeover, does anyone have any advice on how to inspire at least understanding of, if not interest in, science/math for a 14 year old and/or a 6 year old?


jame_alec: A young Magneto and Professor X looking at each other. Magneto has a snazzy hat on (Default)

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