I got a message from someone saying that schools are unreliable in terms of the facts they give. Do you believe this? Personally, I don't because most of the things I was taught in school are generally true. Sure there are some slip ups in the details but overall I still get the general picture of things. Maybe its because I went to a school overseas and are better funded or allowed a little more freedom in what they teach. :uhm:
I have to say yes they are. Not in a necessarily bad way, but what they present as fact sometimes isn't. But to be honest most (of what I've seen) is only on the "verge" of being untrue (so to speak).
I wouldn't say unreliable in the typical context, but maybe... incomplete?
For example, all the schools around here typically teach Christianity over any other Religion. Actually, I don't think there are any local schools that do teach anything but Christianity. For a subject titled 'Religious Studies' you expect it to cover a vast majority of them. It doesn't.
Obviously some topics are going to be hard to create. Maths and English simply needs to be taught in a specific way. If teachers started telling kids that 5 + 7 - 23, then I think parents would notice, same as if children were told to spell various words a certain (incorrect) way. People would soon pick up on it.
Same goes for Science really, at least for the most part. You can't go telling someone that item A is save with item C, when in actual fact, put them together, and they'll go bang.
I think, for the most part, the only subject that may include some fiction, is History. Other than that, there aren't a whole load of other subjects that you can make stuff up about.
Mister Angry Rules Guy
1st February 2010
What I have really noticed recently is how much more children are being taught these days. In addition, they are being taught these things at a much younger age than we did when we were in school. Of course, that may just be because there is a lot more history and science TO teach than there was when we were children. Most of us grew up in much simpler lives.
Well, I'd say yes.
Like Aerilon said, you can create some fiction is history. Or you can keep the "bad" history of your country out of the education.
Here, in Belgium, I've been taught many beautiful things about Belgium, like the rebellion with Ambiorix against the Latin invaders, 1302 "Guldensporenslag", where the Flemish have made a rebellion against the French possessors and such. These things were good. I've also been taught how the Belgians have been able to withstand the Germans during WW I and more
BUT, I've never heard stories about the occupation of Congo, which is a big part in their history. Why they've never told that is obvious: too much cruelty, violence was used against the people of Congo to take their minerals, diamonds and such. All I had heard about the topic was this sentence that our History teacher gave us:
King Leopold II had taken Congo as a colony
Now, it's not only Belgium, but most other countries aswell. You'll manipulate or squeeze the stuff to suit the "system". You're not going to teach them how ugly, violent or dark the history of your country was. That's just stupidity.
I've got a question for the Americans: How do your teachers tell you how you've come here, and the "war" with the Native Americans ? I'm really curious =p
Embee;5378387I've got a question for the Americans: How do your teachers tell you how you've come here, and the "war" with the Native Americans ? I'm really curious =p
They mostly refer to "resettlements" and "misunderstandings" that led to brush wars, but come out and say it on the bigger points - ie the Trail of Tears, the Seminole Rebellion in Florida. I think for the most part they do a fair job of covering the Native Americans. But the Philippines - it's not even mentioned at all. Just that Spain gave us the colony, and there was a little fighting against some holdouts who wanted to be independent from both.
School isn't too bad. I notice they tend to leave a lot out for the sake of simplicity, and that can really hamper students' understanding of a subject, especially when the bit that's left out could actually make the whole thing easier to understand, like mechanisms for chemical reactions. I've also noticed that secondary school textbooks are quite unreliable; they omit stuff as well, but a lot of them phrase the remaining content in a way that I assume only the author understands clearly, and misrepresents the situation for everyone else.
I remember, though, our Chemistry teacher used to be a marker for our national qualifications, Bursary. One year he was marking the 'scholarship' or extension exams, and he was reading through one, thinking that the guy had no idea of how chemistry really worked; he had it all the wrong way round, missing things out, etc. He thought it was quite strange, until he came upon another one like that. And then another, and another; it turned out that they had all come from the same school and the Chemistry teacher there was basically teaching them absolute bull.
What I've come to find out is that the majority of things being taught in political classes are flat out lies.
As far as other things go, there are slip-ups but nothing major.
Voice of joy and sunshine
26th May 2003
I think I'd be more likely to say they engage in rather partisan representations of the truth than that they're significantly unreliable as to what the facts are.
Heaven's gonna burn your eyes
16th April 2005
Mr. Pedantic;5378521School isn't too bad. I notice they tend to leave a lot out for the sake of simplicity, and that can really hamper students' understanding of a subject, especially when the bit that's left out could actually make the whole thing easier to understand, like mechanisms for chemical reactions. I've also noticed that secondary school textbooks are quite unreliable; they omit stuff as well, but a lot of them phrase the remaining content in a way that I assume only the author understands clearly, and misrepresents the situation for everyone else.
Did you ever use those overview pamphlets for NCEA? They were worth a lot more than the textbooks.
I went through the final years of high school just after the qualifications system had been changed (we were the second year), and there was very little in the way of resources tailored for the new system.
Individual teachers have the biggest impact however. I've had some brilliant teachers (and university lecturers), and also some rubbish ones. I had a P.E./Health teacher who was too embarrassed to teach sex ed, and so got another teacher to cover all those classes for her. I've also had teachers that not only knew their topics well, but could teach them in an involving and engaging way.
I think the best outcomes come from teachers who are given a lot more flexibility in how they teach, and that can understand how their students learn. It's up to schools and education ministries to train and hire good teachers and not just fact-spewing robots.