10
   

If you passed a subject without learning anything valuable about it, did that subject help you?

 
 
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 07:14 am
Let’s say you’re a history major, and you’re not interested in or good at anything beyond basic algebra. You only attended math classes because it’s a requirement. In short, the only thing you did great in your math class was being there on time and appearing interested in whatever your teacher was saying. You failed most of your math exams, but still passed the course because of the partial credit you earned. If this is how you got through your math classes, can you say that taking up math has helped you develop as a student or a future professional?
 
View best answer, chosen by tamara123454
saab
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 07:58 am
@tamara123454,
Honestly what I was not good at at school I have not later developed any greater interest in. I think that it is like that for most of us with ceertain exceptions.
These excemptions could also be partly the fault of school or a certain teacher.
There are authors who did not get good grades in their native language. Probably because a teacher and a student do not always see things the same way.
0 Replies
 
DarkCrow
 
  3  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 09:48 am
@tamara123454,
Short answer, no. This demonstrates two things, (1) The educator failed you by allowing you to pass, (2) You failed yourself for not putting in the effort to pass. I did not succeed in Algebra nor Geometry without doing extra work. I found a tutor and put in long hours. I have used my math skills all my life even though I was not a math/science major. Even Calculus has application in daily life. I would think that a History or social science major would get great benefit understanding math since Statistics is part of most curricula.
manored
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 09:56 am
@tamara123454,
Nope, it has not.

People don't retain what they aren't interested in. Its a basic fact of life, which educational institutions sadly appear to be ignorant of. All that time children, teens and young adults spend being forced to attend to classes they don't give a damn about is just a waste of everyone's time and money, plain and simple.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 10:07 am
@DarkCrow,
Quote:
I have used my math skills all my life even though I was not a math/science major


I don't believe this. What math skills have you ever needed in your life that you weren't taught by the time you were 14 years old?

maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 10:15 am
@tamara123454,
The goal of school is to get good grades so you can graduate and have a record that can be used to get a good job. Learning is something you do on your own initiative... it is perfectly possible to get a good grade on a class while retaining nothing... we have all done this.

There is no need for anything beyond basic algebra to live a good fulfilling life. Most people do exactly that. Those of us who are in science or Engineering need to understand math. But most people don't.

When you were 15 or 16 you spent several weeks learning how to factor a polynomial. If you passed Algebra, you took a test where you were asked to find the factors of a polynomial such as

2x^2 + 4x - 6

So, I ask anyone who tells me that Algebra helps their life to factor this polynomial. Most people can't do it, nor can they tell me why they would ever want to do this. Yet when I ask them if they are living a good fulfilling life, they always assure me they are.


DarkCrow
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2015 10:59 am
@maxdancona,
It's fine if you disagree with my opinions. They are just opinions.
Advanced Algebra, Trig and Calculus when I was 15/16/17 yrs old. In my Air Force flying career, I applied all of those skills working in SAC Planning. As a Business Analyst/Program Manager I use statistics everyday. I learned that in my undergrad studies. I learned advanced statistics for forecasting and scheduling in my graduate studies. Using software to do math is fine, but unless I understand the math behind the software, I cannot explain the graphed results to my business partners or customers.
Roberta
 
  2  
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2015 03:46 pm
@DarkCrow,
Although I was a good student (mostly), I struggled with math (except for geometry).

At least fifteen years after I graduated from college, I was confronted with a problem at work. I couldn't figure out how to solve it. I asked a coworker. Part way through her explanation, I said, "Wait a minute. This is algebra. I know this." I did what needed to be done, and the problem was gone.

This was a practical issue, and my education kicked in. However, I think that all learning has value. I think that the more we know, the more we are regardless of practicality.


Tes yeux noirs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2015 04:19 pm
@DarkCrow,
Quote:
I have used my math skills all my life even though I was not a math/science major. Even Calculus has application in daily life. I would think that a History or social science major would get great benefit understanding math since Statistics is part of most curricula.

I absolutely agree. I was very poor at mathematics in school, yet in my late 20s I realised it was possibly the most interesting of the sciences, and I have privately studied number theory and calculus, and am now an accountant, even though my degree was an arts subject.

0 Replies
 
manored
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2015 09:06 pm
@Roberta,
Roberta wrote:

However, I think that all learning has value. I think that the more we know, the more we are regardless of practicality.
A valid viewpoint, but also sadly one that is often used to justify the continuous pushing of unnecessary subjects into hapless youths. Beyond what is strictly necessary for life, people should be free to choose what they want to learn. And we also need the understanding of that formal learning done in a school chair isn't the only one that counts.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2015 09:36 pm
@Roberta,
I so agree, Robbie.
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  2  
Reply Sat 19 Dec, 2015 11:08 pm
@manored,
manored wrote:

Roberta wrote:

However, I think that all learning has value. I think that the more we know, the more we are regardless of practicality.
A valid viewpoint, but also sadly one that is often used to justify the continuous pushing of unnecessary subjects into hapless youths. Beyond what is strictly necessary for life, people should be free to choose what they want to learn. And we also need the understanding of that formal learning done in a school chair isn't the only one that counts.


The problem with this approach is that students are usually very young. They might not know what they need. And how can they possibly decide to study something if they don't know what it is or anything about it.

Yes, it's likely that subjects are foisted on people without much thought. But I'd hate to think what my own life would have been like--what my formal education would have been like--if the choices of subject had been left up to me. My first two years of college were filled with required courses. Then I was on my own.

Yes, life learning counts for a helluva lot. However, I'd be amazed if teenagers would agree with you. Let's face it. They know everything. Well, I certainly did.
manored
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2015 10:41 am
@Roberta,
Roberta wrote:

manored wrote:

Roberta wrote:

However, I think that all learning has value. I think that the more we know, the more we are regardless of practicality.
A valid viewpoint, but also sadly one that is often used to justify the continuous pushing of unnecessary subjects into hapless youths. Beyond what is strictly necessary for life, people should be free to choose what they want to learn. And we also need the understanding of that formal learning done in a school chair isn't the only one that counts.


The problem with this approach is that students are usually very young. They might not know what they need. And how can they possibly decide to study something if they don't know what it is or anything about it.

Yes, it's likely that subjects are foisted on people without much thought. But I'd hate to think what my own life would have been like--what my formal education would have been like--if the choices of subject had been left up to me. My first two years of college were filled with required courses. Then I was on my own.

Its true that you can't leave it *entirely* to the children/teenagers due to their lack of life experience, but why don't leave it up to their parents, them? The're in a far better position to know what is or isn't best for their child than a fixed curriculum.

Additionally, courses could be redesigned to better support choice in the first place. Its true that youths would be likely to reject subjects that they would need or like based on first impressions, but we could have early subjects be based entirely around explaining exactly what the courses subjects are used for in life, and giving a sample of them, and so on. The ability to choose is something that can, itself, be taught.

Miller
 
  2  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2015 10:58 am
@manored,
As an undergraduate, Chemistry major, I had to take a 2 semester course in calculus-based Physics. I took the course during the summer, so that I could devote myself to the subject.

To put it mildly, I hated Physics, especially mechanics. I did love electricity.
I received a B both semesters . Much later in life, I took another course in basic Physics in a college near my house. Again, I took it in the summer. The second time around, I earned a B in the course, and I still hated the subject.

The only part of Physics, I truly liked was the section ( a new one) on tidal energy.

I have to admit, that my courses in Physics did help me when I took PhysicalChemistry and Physiology. The latter course involved a major section on transmission of nerve impulses, so my interest in electricity ( Physics ) did pay off.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2015 11:25 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
The goal of school is to get good grades so you can graduate


I don't agree. The goal of school is learn as much as you can.

To receive a PhD in Biochemistry, I went 4 years to Undergraduate school and then 5 more uears to Graduate School. During the total of 9 years, I can say that of all the Professors I had, only 2 knew how to teach and they both taught subjects, I loved and which had absolutely nothing to do with Chemistry.

One Professor taught a course called "Philosophy of Education" and the other Professor taight a course in "Scientific German".

Believe it or not, during my Scientific German class, I also was introduced to German poetry ( in German), which I truly loved.

As far as my other courses, I've always loved Chemistry and especially the lab.

To put it mildly, the Chemistry and Physics Professors were terrible teachers.

When the teachers are poor at their jobs, the students are left to study and think on their own. Some kids can do it, others cannot and either do very poorly or just plain flunk out.


Roberta
 
  2  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2015 05:45 pm
@manored,
manored wrote:



Its true that you can't leave it *entirely* to the children/teenagers due to their lack of life experience, but why don't leave it up to their parents, them? The're in a far better position to know what is or isn't best for their child than a fixed curriculum.

[/quote]

Neither of my parents graduated from high school. Many of the subjects I studied in college were alien to them. Also my mother wanted me to be a teacher. I did NOT want to be a teacher. If something was going to be foisted on me, I would have preferred that it come from the system and not my mother.
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2015 06:44 pm
@Miller,
Quote:
The goal of school is learn as much as you can.


The goal of life is to learn as much as you can. Sometimes school is helpful with this, sometimes not.

The goal of school is to get good grades.

Let's be honest. If a student learns a lot, but ends up with bad grades, everyone considers that a failure. And if a student gets good grades it is celebrated. No one even asks if she has learned anything.

Right now, my daughter is mindlessly memorizing state capitals. I am in my late forties and don't know half of the state capitals... and I can tell you from experience that this is completely useless knowledge. I have never once need it. There is no benefit to having state capitals memorized.

Why is she doing this? Because she has to do this to get good grades. School is full of examples of this.




0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2015 07:08 pm
@Roberta,
I so get you on that. Full stars, *****.

Not that I didn't love my mother (born in 1901) but we developed over time to be different people. I have her hair, more or less, though mine is still not all grey at nearing 75. I had her shyness, way back then. I had her interest in others (my parents had diverse friends, mostly via their jobs in life). Yes, my mother had jobs, one for an interior decorator whose name I can almost remember, Mister Something, and one as a secretary at RKO in the thirties, and later, when we were in buckets of trouble, at UCLA as an employee at the Extension facility.

I have my father's lack of sense of smell.
I also bat as a leftie, but I am righthanded, just like he was.

I was mildly interested in Physics, but it wasn't taught in my high school. I took it late at my university. A class of 250, I think. The professor asked who had not take physics before, and I and one other person raised our hands. I hung in, not easy, but interesting. My lab partner that first day was Jan, of Jan and Dean. The next class, and then the rest of the semester, I had no lab partner.

Our lab instructor was from eastern europe, not sure now which country, but that added language onto physics, so I was always in a mess. There was the time we had to set up some balancing act of components, mine fell down, my contanct lens, left eye already, got hit by the falling stuff and split

I got a D, for being there and whatever reports I worked up.

Many years later, I'm sort of interested in physics, but am a little tired.
0 Replies
 
manored
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2015 08:25 pm
@Roberta,
Roberta wrote:

Neither of my parents graduated from high school. Many of the subjects I studied in college were alien to them. Also my mother wanted me to be a teacher. I did NOT want to be a teacher. If something was going to be foisted on me, I would have preferred that it come from the system and not my mother.
I'm aware that such situations will occur sometimes, but still, parents in general are less likely to make bad, arbitrary choices than the system.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2015 08:34 pm
@manored,
really?
 

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