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Thread: And the World’s Most Educated Country Is…

  1. #16
    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterslide View Post
    Now I'm genuinely wondering, is that what American curricula is really like? Repeats of American history? I was always encouraged to stay on top of current events and learn about other cultures in school, but maybe that's not the norm anymore?
    In high school we took US History once a year but we also took World History where we discussed WWII ad naseum. Science included discoveries or inventions from around the world and therefore included brief histories of those places at the time. Literature was heavily American but a lot of British and some Russian as well. Oh, Greek Mythology was one of my favs. We learned evolution, too.

    College was even broader and less US focused. Again, there was US history but in the World History class that I took, we studied The middle ages to about 1200 A.D. In other words, we didn't discuss America at all. Literature was still kind of stuck in America or Europe. We read the Greeks, learned about the Antiquities, the Enlightment, the Renaissance, etc.

    I suppose what's woefully missing from my education was any real learning about the middle and far east. There were some things of course, but our education system focused on ourselves and Europe.

  2. #17
    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CornFlakegrl View Post
    In high school we took US History once a year but we also took World History where we discussed WWII ad naseum. Science included discoveries or inventions from around the world and therefore included brief histories of those places at the time. Literature was heavily American but a lot of British and some Russian as well. Oh, Greek Mythology was one of my favs. We learned evolution, too.

    College was even broader and less US focused. Again, there was US history but in the World History class that I took, we studied The middle ages to about 1200 A.D. In other words, we didn't discuss America at all. Literature was still kind of stuck in America or Europe. We read the Greeks, learned about the Antiquities, the Enlightment, the Renaissance, etc.

    I suppose what's woefully missing from my education was any real learning about the middle and far east. There were some things of course, but our education system focused on ourselves and Europe.
    This sounds exactly like my education. In high school, we were required to take two semesters of American history, which was mostly focused on the Constitution and post-Civil War America (but not too much emphasis on WWII that I remember). In college, I remember a focus on South American literature and history, but do remember reading some Chinese and Indian works. I also thought there was a lack of Middle Eastern studies at the time.
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    Elite Member SuriCruise's Avatar
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    My bad, shouldn't have skimmed the article! We learnt some American history I guess, but most people seem pretty unaware of any except for their own country (if that!) and maybe a bit of American history.
    And so, I will keep fighting to make the US a more progressive, multi-cultural country, and my fight starts on GossipRocks - mikesandy

  4. #19
    A*O
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    The article's flawed premise is that the more college degrees per capita the better educated the country is. I contend that a degree does not automatically equal a good education overall. Most education systems tend to be very parochial and while it's important for kids to learn about their country's history they often don't learn how to put that in the bigger context of world history or events.

    As for the Irish system, it's still based on good old basics like the 3 Rs along with plenty of Catholic rigour, discipline, terror, guilt, passing and *shock* failing so maybe that's the secret. No "I Did My Best" certificates there. A couple of Irish graduates I recruited many years ago were VERY impressive. They just knew a lot about a lot of stuff across a wide range of topics which they obviously hadn't just learned for the interviews.

    The Aussue system does involve some "old fashioned" methods but is also rather narrowly focused in some respects. The Japanese bombing of Darwin in WW2 has been kept firmly under wraps until very recently. Not sure why.
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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    The article's flawed premise is that the more college degrees per capita the better educated the country is. I contend that a degree does not automatically equal a good education overall. Most education systems tend to be very parochial and while it's important for kids to learn about their country's history they often don't learn how to put that in the bigger context of world history or events.

    As for the Irish system, it's still based on good old basics like the 3 Rs along with plenty of Catholic rigour, discipline, terror, guilt, passing and *shock* failing so maybe that's the secret. No "I Did My Best" certificates there. A couple of Irish graduates I recruited many years ago were VERY impressive. They just knew a lot about a lot of stuff across a wide range of topics which they obviously hadn't just learned for the interviews.

    The Aussue system does involve some "old fashioned" methods but is also rather narrowly focused in some respects. The Japanese bombing of Darwin in WW2 has been kept firmly under wraps until very recently. Not sure why.
    I absolutely agree that more college does not mean more education. I also agree the article is flawed because you can get a degree in advanced nose picking if you find a school that offers the courses, so the amount of degrees in a country matters little.

    I think an educational system should be a little bit rote and a little bit learning outside the box. I think there should be consequences to bad grades and rewards for doing well. I went to Catholic school for a while, so maybe that's why my education doesn't seem that much different from Ireland in that respect. In all my schooling, I never got one of those pansy "I did my best" certificates, but then my education might have been slightly off from the American norm in some ways, but I'm not sure.

    From what little I know about Ireland's school programs, I thought that university was free. That would also throw the numbers off in the article, especially in comparison to any other country where it costs a lot of money to go to college.

    I do know that in America there are those people who only want to learn the bare minimum to get ahead in life, instead of being a well-rounded person. I've had to work with those kinds of people and I hated it, but I hope it's not becoming the norm.
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    Elite Member SuriCruise's Avatar
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    ^ There are people like that everywhere, not just America. I went to a private school so we had pressure to always do well. A lot of people I know who went to public school did just fine, but a lot also took advantage of the system and did the bare minimum knowing that they would be given a million second chances to re-sit tests etc (we never had that option, you got one go and if you did badly then too bad). In the long run, it holds them back because they didn't learn discipline. In the real world you don't get second chances if you stuff up at your job constantly so why do schools teach kids that it's okay to be a lazy ass mofo.
    And so, I will keep fighting to make the US a more progressive, multi-cultural country, and my fight starts on GossipRocks - mikesandy

  7. #22
    A*O
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    It's this whole No Fail educational philosophy that has ruined a whole generation of kids and doesn't prepare them at all for the work place or the big wide world generally. I come from the previous system where you had one chance to Pass or Fail, and it WAS Fail, not "deferred achievement" of whatever bullshit term they use. And don't get me started on the semi literate teachers we are now entrusting with our kids education. Teaching as a highly respected profession is being totally devalued by these morons. It's scary actually.
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    Having lived across the pond for years, now, I know the argument used most to prove the general stupidity of Americans was the fact that Chimpy McSmirkface a.k.a. George W. Bush was a two term president. Having to try to explain it (how the system works) as an American abroad, to me proved that stupidity exists on both sides of the pond, equally. The word education never came up in such discussions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HWBL View Post
    Having lived across the pond for years, now, I know the argument used most to prove the general stupidity of Americans was the fact that Chimpy McSmirkface a.k.a. George W. Bush was a two term president. Having to try to explain it (how the system works) as an American abroad, to me proved that stupidity exists on both sides of the pond, equally. The word education never came up in such discussions.
    Oh please. The EU perception of Americans being stupid did NOT start with Bush. There are plenty of stereotypes in common culture from the 70s. A lot of it probably started with the GIs when they were "Over-sexed, over-paid & over here", you've done nothing to change that stereotype with your election of actors (Reagan) liars (Clinton) and complete idiots (Bush Jnr) as presidents. It was a common joke with Bush that he would bomb Europe because he couldn't tell which way up the (world) map was during the main Iraqi pushes.
    And the American system is just a three-tier system, it's not rocket science.
    Quote Originally Posted by SuriCruise View Post
    ^ I believe Ireland has a very good education system. Someone was telling me about it a few days ago, I'm surprised it isn't listed ahead of most of these countries. I kind of agree with A*O, I've met many very intelligent Americans but it seems like your education system is a bit of a mixed bag and doesn't teach about much outside of America. A huge range of public and private schools, some great universities and so many to choose from. But don't many states not even teach evolution?? A place where religion is getting in the way of basic education like that shouldn't be #4 imo. I would definitely put New Zealand and Australia above the US in terms of education.

    It seems most countries don't teach much in the way of world history - you'll cover your own country's history over and over again, but most kids don't know about major events from overseas like the Cold War, hell most probably couldn't tell you who was in WWII ("uh... the world??"). That is sad and scary.
    For my generation, we lived with it, but since the wall came down in the 80s that's when some of these kids were born...
    Also I remember a USN pilot friend asking about WWII as my dad had firsthand memories of it. Very different when your relatives have lived through this stuff and its not just words in a book.


    It strikes me that Ireland Australia (still?) have a large rural population where it's maybe more difficult to get an university education due to lack of aspiration & initial qualifications.

    The UK statistics appall me, and its just going to get worse now that the Tories are pushing university education out of the reach of the poor & some if the middle-classes. Way to go in 50 years fuckheads. My dad only got to university because of the grant system introduced in the 1950s he was also one of the first kids to have antibiotics during the war (most were sent to the front) and was treated by the NHS. All of which are now systematically being dismantled.
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    A*O
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    Now that GCE-type exams at grade 10 and 12 are being re-introduced in the UK maybe at long last some rigour is going to be applied again.
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    Probably not. There was a complete outcry this summer when the failure rate was higher than it had been in 30 yrs so the QCA made the exam boards remark the exams...
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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HWBL View Post
    Having lived across the pond for years, now, I know the argument used most to prove the general stupidity of Americans was the fact that Chimpy McSmirkface a.k.a. George W. Bush was a two term president. Having to try to explain it (how the system works) as an American abroad, to me proved that stupidity exists on both sides of the pond, equally. The word education never came up in such discussions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Novice View Post
    Oh please. The EU perception of Americans being stupid did NOT start with Bush. There are plenty of stereotypes in common culture from the 70s. A lot of it probably started with the GIs when they were "Over-sexed, over-paid & over here", you've done nothing to change that stereotype with your election of actors (Reagan) liars (Clinton) and complete idiots (Bush Jnr) as presidents. It was a common joke with Bush that he would bomb Europe because he couldn't tell which way up the (world) map was during the main Iraqi pushes.
    And the American system is just a three-tier system, it's not rocket science.
    Hmmm, let me see where I stated that the perception of American stupidity started with Bush. Oh, yeah: nowhere in my post. Thanks and have a nice day.
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    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    Goodness me. What is your problem? I'm not the first person you've gone off at on the board recently.
    Maybe you'd like to spell your post out phonetically since I'm dyslexic and read what I thought you'd said. Maybe you'd like to be less aggressive about it in future?
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  14. #29
    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    "Oh please" I have no problem at all. And even at my alleged "meanest" I'm still a pussycat compared to many who post here.
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    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    *scours post for the words "I'm sorry Novice"*
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