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

  1. #31
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    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.
    But look what happened when we elected educated, undersexed guys - we got Jimmy Carter and George Bush 1.

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    Elite Member louiswinthorpe111's Avatar
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    For what I remember, history in US schools suck. Never goes past WWII, and doesn't spend a whole lot of time on that. Thanks for making me memorize who invented the cotton gin, but I have no idea what Vietnam was about.

    College history was more widespead, and religion class was eye opening for me, as I realized that most of the traditions were completely made up during the crusades.

    There is a large spectrum of the US that is uneducated, and doesn't really care, as long as their taxes don't go up to pay for the other ne'er do wells (Republicans).
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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    I think it is pretty obvious that Canada is more advanced than the US overall. Not sure about some of the others mentioned for various reasons.

    The US is burdened with several negatives that some of these other nations may not have as it seems:

    -a large underclass (due in part to our greater disparity in wealth-richer rich and poorer poor) that eschews education and has pretty much resigned itself to crowded urban or isolated rural poverty and neglect.

    -large entire regions that are still 'backwards', a main example being Appalachia.

    -Damn religious fanaticism among a large sector of society here where again, willful ignorance is cherished and science is denied and people with advanced degrees (in science!) still believe that the Earth was created in six days. In certain ways religious fanaticism is bound hand in hand with lower levels of education-and among the major western nations I think we are among the most religious.

    *not attacking any religious people on here-I know I am making a sweeping generalization about religion in general, but you know the type of 'religion' and 'religious people' that I am talking about, and you are not that type or you would not be on this forum, mmkay? lol

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    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    I also wonder about the cost of an education in other countries. Ever since I can remember, a college education has been out of reach for a lot of families, especially if you have more than one child. I think it was about $10k a year back in the 80's when I was going to college. Now, my friends that are sending their kids into the UC system are looking at $25 - 30K per year, per child.

    I consider myself lucky because I went to excellent schools for elementary school and high school. I also came from a family that had a great love of learning. Reading, history, art, music and current events. I don't really remember sitting around discussing math, but I'm allergic to math, so.... Plus, I was really lucky to live in an area where you can practically get a free education just by visiting the museums that are part of the Smithsonian. It's wonderful.

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    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    But look what happened when we elected educated, undersexed guys - we got Jimmy Carter and George Bush 1.
    I'll just not comment on George I (since he was still a republican IIRC), except to say that a friend of mine who came from a life-long repub family refused to vote for him....
    Quote Originally Posted by KrisNine View Post
    I also wonder about the cost of an education in other countries. Ever since I can remember, a college education has been out of reach for a lot of families, especially if you have more than one child. I think it was about $10k a year back in the 80's when I was going to college. Now, my friends that are sending their kids into the UC system are looking at $25 - 30K per year, per child.

    I consider myself lucky because I went to excellent schools for elementary school and high school. I also came from a family that had a great love of learning. Reading, history, art, music and current events. I don't really remember sitting around discussing math, but I'm allergic to math, so.... Plus, I was really lucky to live in an area where you can practically get a free education just by visiting the museums that are part of the Smithsonian. It's wonderful.
    Well in the UK its about to go through the roof, so if we check the figures in 3 yrs time the UK will be 459049567 on the list.
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    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novice View Post
    I'll just not comment on George I (since he was still a republican IIRC), except to say that a friend of mine who came from a life-long repub family refused to vote for him....


    Well in the UK its about to go through the roof, so if we check the figures in 3 yrs time the UK will be 459049567 on the list.
    Yeah, it's gone up quite a bit here as well. I did the calculator for my daughter (22 months old) and to send her to a University of California school, when she's 18, for four years will cost over $300K!! Pretty much made us decide to only have the one

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    The US is a large, diverse country and education is mostly controlled and funded at the state and district level. States vary in their standards, resources, and beliefs about education and its value. The best of US education is good to excellent, and the worst is pretty shoddy. Note that there are may Republicans who would like to abolish the federal department of education so there is even less standardization.

    It's probably one of the reasons people outside the US may have very different perceptions based on the Americans they meet.

    One way we do differ from other first-world countries is that our curricula tend to be US-centric--not just in terms of we we're taught history, geography, but in the idea that foreign languages are not important and that we can make everyone speak English. The best US schools correct for this tendency. My daughters went to good public schools in Massachusetts and they learned more world history and affairs than I ever did, thank God. In my day, schools just swept the nastier parts of US history under the rug, but my kids learned about Hiroshima and Nagasaki when they were in 4th grade.

    So the best of US education is great, but most kids don't get the best. I think it's pretty sad that idiots like Sarah Palin tout American exceptionalism but don't see the irony that we are not consistently at the top in basic things like education and healthcare.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novice View Post
    I'll just not comment on George I (since he was still a republican IIRC), except to say that a friend of mine who came from a life-long repub family refused to vote for him....
    He broke with orthodoxy when he ran against Reagan in the Republican primary. He referred to Reaganomics as "voodoo economics". But somehow, he was still added to Reagan's ticket when Reagan won the nomination. A large number of Republicans were always suspicious of him because he wasn't exactly arch conservative, and as a result, a pretty good number of Republican votes were diverted to Ross Perot when he ran for reelection in 1992 - which, of course, he lost.

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    Elite Member Karistiona's Avatar
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    Well good on Canada for having the most graduates, I had expected it to be Finland or maybe somewhere Scandinavian.

    I did quite a bit of research on what graduates contribute to a country, it was for a project over the summer. The various reports and journals I read all agreed that graduates are beneficial in lots of different ways, so I'd say a college or university education definitely has merit. Obviously the quality of further or higher education varies by area or region even, but its not gonna harm anyone to spend a few years being educated.

    The cost of education now is exorbitant, I'll leave uni in four years with about 20 grand in debt, which is far lower than many other countries so I feel really fortunate. In Scotland tuition is free for people who are resident here, it makes such a difference to finances.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    He broke with orthodoxy when he ran against Reagan in the Republican primary. He referred to Reaganomics as "voodoo economics". But somehow, he was still added to Reagan's ticket when Reagan won the nomination. A large number of Republicans were always suspicious of him because he wasn't exactly arch conservative, and as a result, a pretty good number of Republican votes were diverted to Ross Perot when he ran for reelection in 1992 - which, of course, he lost.
    She voted democrat from then on, didn't agree with (any) repub politics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBDSP View Post

    One way we do differ from other first-world countries is that our curricula tend to be US-centric--not just in terms of we we're taught history, geography, but in the idea that foreign languages are not important and that we can make everyone speak English.
    Amen! Are foreign languages, especially Spanish, even offered in most US schools? We had compulsory French, Spanish or German plus some Latin at my UK state high school. It's amazing how useful knowing even the basics of these languages is and studying them also introduces our old friends intellectual discipline and rigour to education in general.

    Because of geography and trade Aussie schools teach Chinese, Japanese and sometimes Indonesian as well as the more "traditional" European languages.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novice View Post
    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...
    That would be about the time O/A levels was replaced with GCSE's right? . When I did O/A levels getting a grade B was an achievement and an A was exceptional. GCSE kids seem to get A++++ in 10 subjects so don't tell me things haven't dumbed down over the years.


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    We had to take a foreign language in high school here in dum-dum ahmurrica. We could choose between Spanish, French, Latin and maybe some others, I can't remember.

    My daughter had to take Spanish starting in the 4th grade. I think once she gets to high school she can choose, but for now, she is starting her 3rd year in Spanish.

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    i took latin in junior high & high school, german in high school and greek in college. there is a language requirement to graduate college (at least there was at mine).
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    We took a foreign language from grade school through high school. You could choose the language. French, Spanish, Italian, German. Latin came later, in HS. I'm sure it's different choices now. We all were taught Esperanto in grade school- hippie idealism at it's peak in my school distict.
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