The Mental Militia Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: What They Donít Know  (Read 5965 times)

Moonbeam

  • Faith Hope Love
  • Moderator Group
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3804
  • I am blessed!
What They Donít Know
« on: April 17, 2014, 03:37:22 pm »

I have been taking a look at the Charlotte Mason Method (I will post more about that later) with quite an interest. This lady [Shafer] writes splendidly, and is always encouraging. Thought I would share one of her recent articles about schooling (which I think doesn't just apply to homeschooling).

What They Donít Know
by Sonya Shafer on April 16, 2014

http://simplycharlottemason.com/2014/04/16/dont-know/

I remember pulling some all-nighters during my high school and college years. A test was scheduled for the next day, and there were so many random facts and pieces of information to be recalled for it that every moment counted. Another hour and another memory trick might just secure a few more bits of information until the test. And the more I could stuff into my head, the better my chance at receiving a good grade.
 
Itís funny, but I donít recall a single one of those facts now. Those cramming sessions had one goal in mind: to remember until the test. Once the test was over, my memory no longer needed to entertain those facts, and they were dismissed.

So the good grade, which was supposed to represent how much I knew about the subject, was only a testament to how much I could cram for the short term. I didnít really know.
 
Cramming does not equal knowing.

In fact, the more information we throw at our students, the more they have to resort to cramming methods just to keep up. Once the test or assignment is over, their minds jettison most of those facts to make room for the next batch. How can we call this futile process ďeducationĒ?
 
Itís no wonder students who go through a perpetual cycle of cramming, testing, emptying, and cramming again lose their natural desire for knowledge. They have been schooled in a shallow counterfeit and develop an aversion to anything remotely like it. Thus, we end up with adults who stop reading; who stop wanting to know; who stop asking questions to satisfy their curiosity about things; indeed, who stop being curious at all; and as a result, who stop growing. </snip>

<snip>We must make choices. We must select where our focus will be. If we have the courage, we can give our children a deeply meaningful educationóone that esteems how well they know more than how much. And in doing so, we will also preserve for them the love of learning that will guarantee their continuing to learn all throughout their lives.</snip>

Logged
I'm not where I want to be, but I'm better than where I was!

Freedom is not being able to do what you want to do; freedom is being able to NOT do what you don't want to do.

"We must not amuse ourselves with the notion that we have done something when we have only formed a good resolution. Power comes by doing and not by resolving." Charlotte Mason

"Don't hurt people and don't take their stuff." Courtesy of FreedomWorks

Bill St. Clair

  • Techie
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6828
    • End the War on Freedom
Re: What They Donít Know
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2014, 04:45:33 pm »

Haven't read the whole piece, but I love that excerpt. Real education is supposed to teach you how to find facts you need and how to reason with what you know. The Prussian government schools prepare you for a life as a factory drone, stressing unquestioning obedience to imposed authority. Which is why you should home-school your kids, or send them to a private school you've carefully vetted.
Logged
"The state can only survive as long as a majority is programmed to believe that theft isn't wrong if it's called taxation or asset forfeiture or eminent domain, that assault and kidnapping isn't wrong if it's called arrest, that mass murder isn't wrong if it's called war." -- Bill St. Clair

"Separation of Earth and state!" -- Bill St. Clair

Silver

  • thrivalist
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3687
Re: What They Donít Know
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2014, 05:09:09 pm »

I never crammed for exams.  It just didn't work for me, and made no sense to me.

If I paid attention in class, did the homework, I generally learned the material.  I was a pretty good student; award winner in 1-12, then I went to a place where I was strictly middle of the pack, but it was a damn fast pack.  I was OK with that.

In both places I met crammers, but never took up the habit.  While I certainly don't remember everything I was taught (looking at some of my college science tests can be pretty humbling) in many areas I actually retained the material, and use it to this day.

Not too long ago an employee came to me and said "I love my job!  I get to use calculus!"  Yeah, we're all nerds.

Peace,

Silver
Logged

DiabloLoco

  • Guest
Re: What They Donít Know
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2014, 05:32:47 pm »

I never crammed for exams.  It just didn't work for me, and made no sense to me.

If I paid attention in class, did the homework, I generally learned the material.
Same for me. I never once studied for a test. I think that my lowest grade on a "Final" for any class in any grade level was 94. Where we differ is, I didn't do much homework. I received quite a few zeros on homework assignments. Many times, I NEEDED an "A" on the final just to pass the class! :laugh: It drove my teachers insane. There was a time when I was failing every single class (Except for gym). At the same time, I was in a special "gifted" program for being in the top 1% in the country-wide standardized tests. Go figure, right? :rolleyes: I guess that my non-conformity started pretty early. :laugh: I bet that others here had similar experiences.

Logged

Who...me?

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2201
Re: What They Donít Know
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2014, 09:03:52 pm »

Once I reached high school it had become incredibly boring.  We would always spend the first half of the year going over the stuff from the last half of last year.  Then the second half of the year SLOWLY learning new material as we could only go as fast as the slowest student.  Yes I was in public schools.  I had read somewhere that they couldn't MAKE you say the pledge of allegiance so in my first homeroom in 10th I refused.  My homeroom teacher was a former marine and, as it turned out, my science teacher.

Oh well.

I figured out soon that they had this really neat tool I took great advantage of called "In school suspension".  Where they gave you a desk with sides on (no talking) and you did all the homework, quizzes and tests that you were behind on.  So my last 3 years were spent almost totally ignoring regular classes and rarely attending them.  Then I would get suspended for something or the other and spend a few days in suspension hall doing all the work I had previously blown off. Still got mostly A's.  So with the exception of gym...which you had to attend to earn a grade in, psychology, earth and space science and a few others...I just didn't participate.


But on the subject of cramming...no I didn't do that.  If I read it I knew it so that's what I did.
Logged
"If you are in a fair fight, Your tactics suck"

"The kind of man who demands that government enforce his ideas is always the kind whose ideas are idiotic." - H. L. Mencken

knobster

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4059
  • Come and take!
Re: What They Donít Know
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2014, 06:10:23 am »

Oh I crammed my freaking brains out.  I was not a gifted student.  Through sweat, blood and tears I made a solid 'B' in my engineering classes.  Still have the textbooks that are mostly mumbo jumbo to me now sadly.

I was, however, very excited to start drawing free body diagrams again and using trig to figure out bullet ballistics this past month though!
Logged
You will not rise to the occasion; you will default to your level of training.
In God we trust, everyone else bring data.

Rarick

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7795
  • Rarick in the Gulch-O-Dome did decree.......
Re: What They Donít Know
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2014, 09:16:30 am »

I never crammed for exams.  It just didn't work for me, and made no sense to me.

If I paid attention in class, did the homework, I generally learned the material.
Same for me. I never once studied for a test. I think that my lowest grade on a "Final" for any class in any grade level was 94. Where we differ is, I didn't do much homework. I received quite a few zeros on homework assignments. Many times, I NEEDED an "A" on the final just to pass the class! :laugh: It drove my teachers insane. There was a time when I was failing every single class (Except for gym). At the same time, I was in a special "gifted" program for being in the top 1% in the country-wide standardized tests. Go figure, right? :rolleyes: I guess that my non-conformity started pretty early. :laugh: I bet that others here had similar experiences.

You betcha.  I was a bit more disciplined.  Monday to see what the reading/ homework was, Friday to ace the quiz and turn in the home work.  IF I had a problem you would see me on Thursday.   The rest of the week I was banging nails into wood to earn money to support the car.........
Logged
........Duct tape is like the force, it has a light side, a darkside and holds the universe together.¬  It is theoretically reinforced with strings too.¬  (The dome has a darkside, lightside and strings of rebar for reinforcement too!)
-------------------------------------------
Most of the time news is about the same old violations of the first principles of consent and golden rule with a dash of force thrown in........ with just enough duct tape to be believable.

MamaLiberty

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 25985
  • Non aggression, self ownership
    • The Price of Liberty
Re: What They Donít Know
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2014, 10:29:14 am »

Re the "random facts" learned by rote.  Never did that. My mother taught me the basics of such things as outlining and organization. So, I would take all the random facts being presented and outline them, arrange them into rational groups and work to tie those together into larger, meaningful systems. "Facts" that did not fit anywhere were usually discarded and were seldom relevant later.

We did this on butcher paper spread out on the kitchen table, from the time I was little. We can do the same with computers now, of course, and save a lot of time, but the visual effect of the paper on the table remains with me and I still use it for complex problems once in a while.  Use a different color pencil for each group and system, drawing lines to indicate connections. It is an awesome organizational tool and the physical act of writing them and connecting them seems to help cement them into memory. I can STILL remember some of them in rather good detail. 

I did the required reading and "homework," using the above method. I attended classes when possible, though after my second year in high school, I always had a job. I was in trouble frequently at the university for missing classes, but I graduated 4th in my class, so they tended to overlook it mostly.

The only test I ever "crammed" for, even a little, was the entry exam for the community college where I started. They had a little booklet of suggestions, and it had been ten years since I left high school, so I was a bit apprehensive.  I could have saved myself the time and effort because the "test" turned out to be about 9th grade level basics, if that. They only gave a "pass/fail" grade on it, but I had no worries by the time I got done.
Logged
The lust to control the lives and property of others is the root of all evil.

Moonbeam

  • Faith Hope Love
  • Moderator Group
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3804
  • I am blessed!
Re: What They Donít Know
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2014, 12:54:23 pm »

My mother taught me the basics of such things as outlining and organization. So, I would take all the random facts being presented and outline them, arrange them into rational groups and work to tie those together into larger, meaningful systems. "Facts" that did not fit anywhere were usually discarded and were seldom relevant later. We did this on butcher paper spread out on the kitchen table, from the time I was little. ...Use a different color pencil for each group and system, drawing lines to indicate connections. It is an awesome organizational tool and the physical act of writing them and connecting them seems to help cement them into memory. I can STILL remember some of them in rather good detail.

Would you be kind enough to share some examples? I'm intrigued!
Logged
I'm not where I want to be, but I'm better than where I was!

Freedom is not being able to do what you want to do; freedom is being able to NOT do what you don't want to do.

"We must not amuse ourselves with the notion that we have done something when we have only formed a good resolution. Power comes by doing and not by resolving." Charlotte Mason

"Don't hurt people and don't take their stuff." Courtesy of FreedomWorks

MamaLiberty

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 25985
  • Non aggression, self ownership
    • The Price of Liberty
Re: What They Donít Know
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2014, 03:06:20 pm »

Would you be kind enough to share some examples? I'm intrigued!

Sure!

I taught the same to my children. Our first project started with paper and sheets of stickers... animals, plants, lots of other things. First we divided the paper into major categories, like farm animals, pets, wild animals, fish, sport/working. Then the boys put the stickers that related into the squares: chickens, cows, etc. into farm, dogs, cats, tropical fish into pets, lions and tigers into wild, and so forth. We had a World book encyclopedia set, and access to a good library. We found as many animals as we could for each category. Not all had stickers, of course, but I wrote those in and at least tried to draw the picture we found in the books. Then we researched to learn what each of those animals needed for food and put the stickers under them, or the words and a drawing.  I can't remember now if we expanded this to climate needs or other things, but there is no reason why older children couldn't do that.

This took us months to complete, and the paper was tacked up on their bedroom wall in between sessions. They would talk about it and even argue about it, coming to me with those disagreements and we'd go looking in the books again.

Their father was a mechanic, but he was not happy to have the boys observe him much, so we did another project on mechanics and auto repair - which actually got their father involved when he was critical of some of our connections and conclusions!

The possibilities are almost endless.  There is an awful lot of information available on the internet these days, but in my research I find it sometimes difficult to pull things together to get a "big picture," so I often outline things (the adult version of the graphic paper with stickers) in order to better see the relationship between things.
Logged
The lust to control the lives and property of others is the root of all evil.

Rarick

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7795
  • Rarick in the Gulch-O-Dome did decree.......
Re: What They Donít Know
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2014, 04:19:42 am »

the Ceramet white board with magnets, pictures and dry erase markers..........  That might be something to include in the gulch, a "Classroom/Library" with a wall dedicated to puzzle piece sorting for the assembly of reality.........
Logged
........Duct tape is like the force, it has a light side, a darkside and holds the universe together.¬  It is theoretically reinforced with strings too.¬  (The dome has a darkside, lightside and strings of rebar for reinforcement too!)
-------------------------------------------
Most of the time news is about the same old violations of the first principles of consent and golden rule with a dash of force thrown in........ with just enough duct tape to be believable.

MamaLiberty

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 25985
  • Non aggression, self ownership
    • The Price of Liberty
Re: What They Donít Know
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2014, 07:19:07 am »

the Ceramet white board with magnets, pictures and dry erase markers..........  That might be something to include in the gulch, a "Classroom/Library" with a wall dedicated to puzzle piece sorting for the assembly of reality.........

Yes, one could use those things instead of paper and colored pencils, stickers. The object is to create a visual "map" of the subject. Works well for both visual and tactile learners. Discussion of it helps audio learners. Most children are some combination of those learning styles. Lots of reference books would be required absent the internet, of course.
Logged
The lust to control the lives and property of others is the root of all evil.

securitysix

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5859
  • Self Proclaimed Champion Thread Derailer
Re: What They Donít Know
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2014, 10:03:44 pm »

I never crammed for exams.  It just didn't work for me, and made no sense to me.

If I paid attention in class, did the homework, I generally learned the material.  I was a pretty good student; award winner in 1-12, then I went to a place where I was strictly middle of the pack, but it was a damn fast pack.  I was OK with that.

Same here, except I didn't go to college, so I can't claim anything for that part of school.  K-12, I paid attention in class...sometimes.  Sometimes I ignored the teacher and read the book.  Sometimes I took a nap.

I also got into it with a few teachers over whether or not I needed to take notes.  I took notes in my math classes.  That teacher was tough, but amazing, and he actually graded our notes, which were 10% of our grade and that made them worth doing.  Other than math, I didn't do notes and I proved with regularity that I didn't need them.

My high school history teacher (Oklahoma and American History, also the assistant football coach for high school and middle school, small school, a lot of teachers did double duty or more) was one of those "You will take notes in my class!" people who gave no incentive to actually take the notes.  He'd drone on and on for the first 3 days of the week about some crap he had looked up on the Encarta Encyclopedia CD-ROM (back when that was a really wiz-bang thing that not everybody had and the Internet was all dial-up and AOL was still a thing).  He'd give a quiz on that droning on Thursdays.  When he figured out I wasn't taking notes (and never had and never would), he got butt hurt over it and called my mom (mistake!).  She came to the school, listened to him whine about me not taking notes, asked "Is he passing the tests?", and when she was told I was, said "When he fails a test, I'll make him take notes."  So he thought he'd get one over on me by making me sit in the hall while he gave notes so I wouldn't be able to hear them.  Naturally, I failed that test and he proudly declared that I'd have to take notes now.  My response: "Wanna bet?"  "Well your mom said...", he says.  I pointed out that I'd tell her I failed the test and I'd tell her WHY I failed the test and we'd see about whether I'd take notes in his class.  He spent the next 6 years (my younger sister was 2 years behind me in school) terrified of my mother and I still never took notes in his class and passed with an A.
Logged
"That's what governments are for; get in a man's way." - Malcom Reynolds

"This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer." - Will Rogers

Rarick

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7795
  • Rarick in the Gulch-O-Dome did decree.......
Re: What They Donít Know
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2014, 09:19:31 am »

Like I have mentioned before, most of the teachers in my original school would pass out competencies required by the bureaucracy saying "Relax you already know this, and everyone will pass if they do a bit of thinking".  Everyone generally did and those questions/concepts everyone had problems with got covered afterward.  The subject was taught and that covered the competency 9 out of 10 times.  I went south and rapidly figured out that the teachers were teaching to the test, not the subject.  The 3 teachers that actually taught the subject were grey haired old timers that taught how they wanted because they had tenure and test scores to get away with it.  The younger teachers were programmed to teach to standard (The test) and not the subject and many times had NO interest in what they were teaching either.  That lack of competence in subject came across to students as well, and would stifle those students with genuine interest.........  I went from a 4,0 perfect little citizen to a Passing grades attendance problem in about 1 year......

I guess the gulch would have to include an old fashioned study with a good supply of old fashioned encyclopedias and trades manuals.  I guess some good fiction and adventure stories that taught a lot of libertarian morality by muted example would be appropriate too.
Logged
........Duct tape is like the force, it has a light side, a darkside and holds the universe together.¬  It is theoretically reinforced with strings too.¬  (The dome has a darkside, lightside and strings of rebar for reinforcement too!)
-------------------------------------------
Most of the time news is about the same old violations of the first principles of consent and golden rule with a dash of force thrown in........ with just enough duct tape to be believable.

Moonbeam

  • Faith Hope Love
  • Moderator Group
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3804
  • I am blessed!
Re: What They Donít Know
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2014, 12:09:01 pm »

Some of the homeschool curriculums recommend:

The complete 30,000 page 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica. The 1911 Britannica is generally acknowledged to have been the greatest encyclopedia ever written. Its depth of knowledge and the erudition of its text are remarkable. For the 98% of recorded history that occurred before 1911, this is the most definitive source.
Logged
I'm not where I want to be, but I'm better than where I was!

Freedom is not being able to do what you want to do; freedom is being able to NOT do what you don't want to do.

"We must not amuse ourselves with the notion that we have done something when we have only formed a good resolution. Power comes by doing and not by resolving." Charlotte Mason

"Don't hurt people and don't take their stuff." Courtesy of FreedomWorks
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up