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Our education system is less about learning than it is about superficially showing that we've learned something. Standardized tests are proof of this. You get shoved a whole textbook of factoids,and then you regurgitate it all in a three hour test at the end of the year. Rarely are we taught the significance and purpose of what we learn; we learn just to show that we've learned. Our educational system goes for the cheap-shot quicky: here's a fact. Memorize it. Repeat it. This is education. amirite?

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My biology teacher makes us show we understand it with lots of application questions on tests and he always asks us why this matters and when we'll use it in real life.

KirstenAnns avatar KirstenAnn Yeah You Are +32Reply
@KirstenAnn My biology teacher makes us show we understand it with lots of application questions on tests and he always asks us...

that sounds like the "shut up and do your job, I don't pay you to think" mentality. That's what oppresses masses, when people stop thinking.

yesnomaybes avatar yesnomaybe Yeah You Are +10Reply
@KirstenAnn My biology teacher makes us show we understand it with lots of application questions on tests and he always asks us...

"The time that teacher used....could have been used to teach you even more raw information."

I feel like teaching someone the concepts and application of a specific subject not only sticks it in their memory better (for future use in a career), but it also allows them to attack unfamiliar problems. Basically it gives humans the ability to teach themselves -- the ultimate time-saver for teachers, in my opinion.

Anonymous +3Reply
@KirstenAnn My biology teacher makes us show we understand it with lots of application questions on tests and he always asks us...

I can't stand learning stuff if I don't know why it's important.. I've had a few great teachers who actually make the class think, and I end up remembering the information better than when the teacher just tells you to memorize the textbook so you can pass tests and "be successful" in life.

@KirstenAnn My biology teacher makes us show we understand it with lots of application questions on tests and he always asks us...

Basically if you just tell me to memorize, and thinking is almost frowned upon, then it leaves that mentality that you should just show up, do your job, and leave. No thinking required. If jobs are like that, then why on earth would we need intellectuals or human progress? Oh that right we don't, we're just keeping someone rich while we struggle.

I think I rambled again, sorry I'm tired.

yesnomaybes avatar yesnomaybe Yeah You Are +1Reply
@KirstenAnn My biology teacher makes us show we understand it with lots of application questions on tests and he always asks us...

Sure that seems nice, but it's not really necessary. You don't need to understand why what you learn is important or how you will use it: you just have to trust that it is important and you will use it. At least, if you go into a relevant career field. Once you get into that career, then your employer will tell you what you need to know and how to apply it.The time that teacher used to teaching you the importance of the information could have been used to teach you even more raw information.

Favvkess avatar Favvkes Yeah You Are -20Reply

Someone asked my math teacher when we would use what she was teaching and she was like never but I have to teach it for the test

@saxybandgeek Someone asked my math teacher when we would use what she was teaching and she was like never but I have to teach it...

I asked my french teacher the same thing and she was like, "Oh, I don't know! What you're asking is a Ph.D level question! I'll look into it and get back to you on that."

To this day, she still hasn't gotten back to me on that.

fj95s avatar fj95 Yeah You Are +12Reply
@saxybandgeek Someone asked my math teacher when we would use what she was teaching and she was like never but I have to teach it...

But a lot of it has to do with just being an informed person. History, Literature, and Science are all classes like that.

As for other subjects: if you learn a foreign language, it makes it easier to get a job, and travel the world (to a certain extent)
for math, it really only helps if you go into certain fields (as dzmax said) but there are actually A LOT of in demand jobs that involve being good with numbers i.e. engineers, actuaries, accountants, etc

@yay_im_wrong But a lot of it has to do with just being an informed person. History, Literature, and Science are all classes like...

And a it's also just learning simple logic. You may beer use your skills to find what kind of graph a polynomial makes, but how you got there may be applied to other areas.

@saxybandgeek Someone asked my math teacher when we would use what she was teaching and she was like never but I have to teach it...

A lot of the stuff people are taught is important for if they want to go to university and do a technical subject such as engineering or physics, but I guess a lot of people aren't really interested in these things and they'd rather be out on the streets making their own money.

@saxybandgeek Someone asked my math teacher when we would use what she was teaching and she was like never but I have to teach it...

One of my classmates asked my geometry teacher that. He said, "You'll use it if you become an architecture...or...a geometry teacher."

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@1723554

A factoid isn't necessarily untrue, just unverified. On the grand scheme of things, aren't all "facts" unverified?

@1723554

It depends on what you consider verification. On that whole "nothing is certain, I think therefore I am" level, either everything is verified, or nothing is.

@1723554

That sentence is a factoid. Definitions change, and factoid is used so much that they added onto the definition. It also means a small, trivial fact (google it, reference.com it, etc)

names avatar name Yeah You Are 0Reply

I know that even though the AP world history course teaches to the test, it doesn't try to teach you what the correct answer to every question is, it teaches you patterns in world history that you can use to choose the best answer to a question.

A teacher can't stop a kid from memorizing, it's the students responsibility to try to understand what is being learnt, no one makes you memorize. At least not where i'm from they don't.

Saigots avatar Saigot No Way +10Reply
@Saigot A teacher can't stop a kid from memorizing, it's the students responsibility to try to understand what is being...

but it's the teachers and the nature of the system that put emphasis on it. If you don't memorize random facts, you fail and get reprimanded.

Favvkess avatar Favvkes Yeah You Are +10Reply
@Saigot A teacher can't stop a kid from memorizing, it's the students responsibility to try to understand what is being...

Think of it this way.
Our current system is: "2 x 2 = 4. 2 x 3 = 6. 2 x 4 = 8. Memorize that, it'll be on the test. Take notes."
It does not tell you why 2 x 2 = 4, or why 2 x 4 = 8. It tells you what to remember, but when it comes to something a little larger such as 20 x 7, you have no idea what to do.

The system SHOULD be: "2 x 2 = 4. 2 x 3 = 6. 2 x 4 =8. This is because 2 x 3 is basically easier addition. Imagine three 2s. 2, 2, 2. The equation is technically 2 + 2 + 2, but to make it more easy to read, it's written as 2 x 3. So, 2 + 2 + 2 is 6. 2 x 3 is 6. Know this method, and it'll make the test much easier."

I was never taught the latter. I was taught to memorize my multiplication tables and had to figure out the latter for myself. The sad thing is, half the students in my honors geometry class have trouble multiplying without a calculator.

It is a terrible way of learning. You don't even learn, you memorize, without getting the simple reasons as to why which, in case you can't remember, you instead look back on the tactic. "I can't remember what 20 x 7 is!" versus "20 x 7...well, I know if I write 20 + 20 + 20 + 20 + 20 + 20 + 20, then add it together..."

Much better.

AdonisBatheuss avatar AdonisBatheus Yeah You Are +9Reply
@Saigot A teacher can't stop a kid from memorizing, it's the students responsibility to try to understand what is being...

Hmm, that's exactly how I learned multiplication, though. My elementary school teachers taught me that it's basically advanced addition, in a way.

Stepharoos avatar Stepharoo Yeah You Are +6Reply
@Saigot A teacher can't stop a kid from memorizing, it's the students responsibility to try to understand what is being...

Well i'm from Canada so maybe there is a difference in the system, but there is nothing we learn that cannot be understood as opposed to memorized, at least not in the highschool level, in the university level sure but then those factoids generally serve a useful purpose.

Saigots avatar Saigot No Way -1Reply
@Saigot A teacher can't stop a kid from memorizing, it's the students responsibility to try to understand what is being...

I've defiantly never been able to properly learn in a "just give me the facts and I'll memorize them" sort of way. Yet, I have to learn my way around because that's really the only way our "system" works. Apparently, the faster you learn, the smarter you are.
I just think it's the teachers responsibility (as the teacher) to approach the class in a way where everyone will see the "big picture" and actually be excited about what's next.

iceeselenawizs avatar iceeselenawiz Yeah You Are -1Reply

This post is really ironic cause this was the topic of one the passages I had to read for the SAT's on Saturday... It's like they know, yet they do it anyway..

Chewbanshees avatar Chewbanshee Yeah You Are +10Reply

this is why classes like math, physics and some chemistry are important, they're not just memorization, they require actual thought.

@flynSpaghettiMonster this is why classes like math, physics and some chemistry are important, they're not just memorization, they...

Just like English, History, Geography, Foreign languages and the vast majority of other school subjects.

@flynSpaghettiMonster this is why classes like math, physics and some chemistry are important, they're not just memorization, they...

Actually Math, Physics and Chemistry are sometimes worse than English, History, foreign languages.. etc.

Oodles_O_Noodless avatar Oodles_O_Noodles Yeah You Are +11Reply
@Oodles_O_Noodles Actually Math, Physics and Chemistry are sometimes worse than English, History, foreign languages.. etc.

History is the worst in terms of memorization, unless you are looking at it in the perspective of philosophy.

@mchalla3 History is the worst in terms of memorization, unless you are looking at it in the perspective of philosophy.

If you got a job that would use history, the stuff you memorise at school is the kind of stuff that would actually help with your job.
And even so it isn't about memorising one or two things, it's about learning a bunch of things for each exam, and learning how to write about them.

Anonymous -1Reply

The school system attempts to teach you how to learn. Attitudes like this aren't helping anyone's cause!

@Shortstopmwd The school system attempts to teach you how to learn. Attitudes like this aren't helping anyone's cause!

While I agree with you, the post is essentially saying that they are teaching us to learn the wrong way. What kind of person would simply learn what works in an actual field of work without actually determining why it does so? So while schools do teach us how to learn, they also teach us in a manner that allows for reproduction of work, but not so much further innovation. I might be wrong but I think that's what OP was thinking

There's always the IB program!

@HappyAsASam There's always the IB program!

That's not true. Many schools don't have IB.

Anonymous +27Reply
@HappyAsASam There's always the IB program!

Yes but your statement that "There's -always- the IB program" is false.

Anonymous +19Reply
@HappyAsASam No it always exists, just not in some schools...

One day the sun will explode and kill us all in a firey explosion. Where'll the IB program be then?

@HappyAsASam There's always the IB program!

Ah, I meant that it's not always an option for students. Semantics.

Anonymous +9Reply
@HappyAsASam There's always the IB program!

UNDERGROUND IN THE SKY. Because that's what people expect our technology should be like millions of years from now.

OnePiecepkmns avatar OnePiecepkmn Yeah You Are +1Reply

Everybody is talking about how it's just memorizing and not learning, but have any of you tried memorizing something that barely has meaning? Like a page of numbers? It's possible, but extremely difficult and time consuming. If you can memorize something easily, that must mean that you understood it well, and therefore you did learn something. And if you look into it, you can probably tell what the importance and real world applications are of what you're learning. Sure, you can try to memorize something without understanding it, but that's really inefficient and that's your choice. It's up to the individual to take some initiative for their own learning.

For me, that's the way I like learning. Throw in an analytical essay on the topic, and I will show you that I actually learned something. Memorization is my thing, but I will say it does not help me at all with conceptual math where it might with formulaic math.

@_Jojo_ For me, that's the way I like learning. Throw in an analytical essay on the topic, and I will show you that I...

I don't think teaching to the test is good, hence my YYA, but some can still learn a lot this way, like in APs, which are classes created for a test. Classes set on memorization are not always bad.

Thank you for expressing my thoughts in perfect words.

Skr3wBalls avatar Skr3wBall Yeah You Are +3Reply

Personally, I think it's completely pointless to "learn" all the information taught if if will quickly be forgotten. The things I will remember from school are not necessarily random facts, equations, dates, etc., but the experiences I've had in school and perhaps even the mistakes and struggles I've endured. My English teacher completely agrees with the post and had us learn in a new way this year that just doesn't involve simply memorizing. We actually had opportunites to debate and discuss important topics, and watch videos that really just make you think about the purpose of life and living. Just stuff that makes you think. On the other hand, teachers don't get payed enough. Even if a lot of stuff students learn is memorized, we're still learning something in most cases. We still have an education, and most teachers work hard to help us get that. Our society wouldn't be the same without teachers, and they just deserve a lot more than they get in my opinion. Overall, the school system is completely fucked up though.

@actbadlookgood Personally, I think it's completely pointless to "learn" all the information taught if if will quickly be...

yeah, I agree, but that's english. Our AP English teacher is the only one that actually cares for education. She taught us how to analyze EVERYTHING, which is good for critical thinking. She could probably find the meaning of life through the description of a zit. for the ap test, the only practice for the multiple choice portion were 1-2 practice tests. that was all.

She also showed us a lot of Chris Hedges and interesting ideas.

It irriates me when I see people writing essays with a format. Other english teachers try to "teach" how to write an essay "clear thesis, state each paragraph with 'my first topic...my second topic...my third topic'. That's not learning, that's just conforming to a format.

TalkingRices avatar TalkingRice Yeah You Are 0Reply
@TalkingRice yeah, I agree, but that's english. Our AP English teacher is the only one that actually cares for education. She...

Unfortunately, my teacher still made us set up papers in a certain format. Which I guess made her somewhat hypocritical, but the topics that we wrote about were different than most usual topics you'd see. Papers that made you think and really showed your opinion, regardless of the way it was set up.

I was just talking to my friend about this not an hour ago.
She just took the chemistry SSATs, and one of the questions expected her to know which of two elements was higher on the activity series. There are two ways to be prepared for this sort of question: either memorize the entire activity series, or learn some trend among the elements that will allow you to guess which would be more reactive. Of course, our school, and the test, expected us to have memorized the activity series, since we learned no such trend.

ctiscoolers avatar ctiscooler Yeah You Are +3Reply

Thank you, another reason to hate my country.

yesnomaybes avatar yesnomaybe Yeah You Are +2Reply

This is very true. Traditional, public high schools have trained me well to memorize a ton of information for a test, and then immediately forget it, so I can memorize something else.

Gnomebodys avatar Gnomebody Yeah You Are +2Reply

School (more primary and secondary than college/uni) is so much more about learning to conform to social constructs and obeying a "higher" power, which has to be used later in life with businesses and all that shit. My dad always tells me "learn what the teachers want, that's how you pass," and that's terrible, if you think about it. It really has little to do with actual comprehension, and most schools could care less as long as you do well on tests. Of course this pertains to just US school systems since I don't have experience anywhere else.
Sorry for the rant. smile smilie
and I'm not saying kids/teachers can't or won't go the extra mile and actually understand the information, certainly via AP and IB courses you have a better chance at that, I'm just saying the school system doesn't give two shits if they do or don't.

DropXDeads avatar DropXDead Yeah You Are +2Reply

Op. are you Tyler durden?

Amen.

AllSmiiilesss avatar AllSmiiiless Yeah You Are +1Reply

It isn't so much WHAT you've learnt, it is the fact you can understand and use information in questions and situations, to then further you're knowledge.
My teachers reply to the question "when am i going to use this in real life.."
"you're life starts when you're born not when you graduate, so you will use this to pass tests to get grades that get you employed."

Which i suppose is true...

Mollieees avatar Mollieee Yeah You Are +1Reply

The system is terrible where I live. Teachers receive hell for failing a student. If a student slacks off in class and skips or simply doesn't try and the teacher has to fail them, the teacher has to go though paperwork to explain why they failed. Our board then goes through all marks in all the schools and asks "why is this school receiving these crappier marks compared to this school" then gives the crappier marked school hell for having crappier marks. When really all they are trying to do is teach properly and fail the students that deserve it. Its easier to just pass everyone with good grades. This happens all the time at my school. We have some really good teachers but a lot of them are giving up and making deals with students and parents.

Parents will also go and complain about a student not getting a mark they want and blame it on the teacher when the student simply doesn't try and expects the mark.

Anonymous 0Reply

This is education for people who just want a GED so they can get out of school and start working on street corners. For people who actually want a career, education actually means something and being able to understand the concepts is equally as important as being able to remember details from textbooks - for these people, the two things are actually one and the same. Those prospective street workers just don't see it like that, and so for them it is just a memory task with the end goal of regurgitating enough to get a decent-enough GPA for a dead-end job.

And this is why I like Montessori schooling better than regular

My classes are focus heavily thinking, debating, analyzing and talking about why it's important. Is it bad if I thought, until now, that all schools had classes like that?

@DragonTicklee My classes are focus heavily thinking, debating, analyzing and talking about why it's important. Is it bad if I...

I can almost guarantee it's a private school. I've been to both public and private and I would say that the two private schools were much more actual learning based while the public schools were based primarily on just getting kids to pass the classes.

@DragonTicklee My classes are focus heavily thinking, debating, analyzing and talking about why it's important. Is it bad if I...

Being in the gifted program definitely does. At my school, the honors classes are more about analyzing what happened and why it is important. However, when I was in regular, it was just about learning the facts. Especially in the history classes. I guess they figure at my school that those who actually care will try and figure out why something is important, and those who do not care will just go with what they learn. Being in smarter classes doesn't even count for anything until junior or senior year either. It is just part of the world. You must be motivated to figure out why something is important or else you might be missing out.

Ebb0s avatar Ebb0 Yeah You Are +1Reply
@DragonTicklee My classes are focus heavily thinking, debating, analyzing and talking about why it's important. Is it bad if I...

In those classes, there will always be an assignment, a discussion or the teacher will straight out say why it's important. There isn't a lot of motivation required to know the importance in my case but we've already established how my educational experiences probably aren't the norm.

My university is very keen on the understanding not learning of the information, it was a difficult change to adapt to when I first started. I don't understand why if universities can do it, schools can't.

Cedzs avatar Cedz Yeah You Are -1Reply

Sounds like you failed a test and you're using amirite to vent. Seriously, how else are schools supposed to test kids? I hate fucking idiots like OP who, after spending 5 minutes thinking about it just because they got a shitty grade, think they can reform entire systems that are built on generation after generation.

Anonymous -2Reply
@Sounds like you failed a test and you're using amirite to vent. Seriously, how else are schools supposed to test...

This was discussed in our english class. Don't judge and bash on me with nothing but assumptions as proof.

Even if I did fail (I did not) why attack me? I'm just trying to say that schools seems more about memorizing than understanding, which is not real education at all. This is amirite, why am I not allowed to share any ideas I find interesting.

TalkingRices avatar TalkingRice Yeah You Are +2Reply
@Sounds like you failed a test and you're using amirite to vent. Seriously, how else are schools supposed to test...

Yea but if you're talking about the US school system, it really is pretty shitty that needs to be reformed.

DropXDeads avatar DropXDead Yeah You Are 0Reply

I think students should be allowed to opt out of memorizing information if they know for sure they won't be relevant in their future career. Right now if you did that, you'd fail the class and have to retake the entire school year. You should be allowed to choose to fail a class without such extreme repercussions, or even not take the class to begin with.

Favvkess avatar Favvkes Yeah You Are -5Reply
Anonymous +4Reply
@Favvkes I think students should be allowed to opt out of memorizing information if they know for sure they won't be...

Yeah, but many people change their minds many times before finally choosing their major.

@Favvkes I think students should be allowed to opt out of memorizing information if they know for sure they won't be...

But even in college you're required to take all these classes you don't even care about the first two years :/

Favvkess avatar Favvkes Yeah You Are -1Reply

Education should be privatized. Competition between schools would drive prices for schools down and completely rid of a large portion of our taxes. Teachers would be of a higher caliber as the private schools would be able to pick from teachers outside of the union based on prior credentials. Of course, what you pay for would be what you get and that is where the problem lies. Although I do think that it would be better than current school system.

Denizens avatar Denizen Yeah You Are -10Reply
@Denizen Education should be privatized. Competition between schools would drive prices for schools down and completely rid...

That would be terrible. As someone from a working-class family, we barely have enough to pay the rent and buy food. Jesus Christ, paying for school would mean that so many kids won't get to go to school. I wouldn't be able to, and I'm smart. That would be the perfect way to keep the poor and uneducated poor and uneducated and the rich and educated rich and educated.

Anonymous +32Reply
@Denizen Education should be privatized. Competition between schools would drive prices for schools down and completely rid...

Yeah, just like the colleges have competitively low prices, right? That would never happen.

@Denizen Education should be privatized. Competition between schools would drive prices for schools down and completely rid...

That's a good idea, but some people can barely afford food and rent for their kids, so paying for school would be out of the question.

LittleReds avatar LittleRed Yeah You Are +17Reply
@Denizen Education should be privatized. Competition between schools would drive prices for schools down and completely rid...

Derizion, I don't think you understand. No matter how low the prices are, they can still be too much for a lot of families. It would be like the college process but for ten year olds. So instead of people not going to college because they can't afford it, it would be 10 year olds not going to elementary school. Great.

Anonymous +13Reply
@Denizen Education should be privatized. Competition between schools would drive prices for schools down and completely rid...

That is true, but the sharply decreased taxes may compensate for the cost of the school. It's not a perfect system, nothing is.

Denizens avatar Denizen Yeah You Are -3Reply
@Denizen Education should be privatized. Competition between schools would drive prices for schools down and completely rid...

I don't think you understand. The need for education would create many schools, the schools would have to offer competitively low prices to make a profit.

In essence, you are already paying for school. By making school a private sector business taxes for education would be able to be completely removed from federal and state taxes.

Also, I would not be opposed to a subsidy to low income households.

Denizens avatar Denizen Yeah You Are -4Reply
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