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View Full Version : Anyways, is this normal?



Turtleflipper
June 8th, 2007, 04:04 PM
I'm in advanced english. We had a book project for some novels we've been reading. Anyways, it seems normal, only the projects are stupid. Bland, obviously copied descriptions, no thought, no analysis. Each group's entire presentation goes on like a drawn-out summary, one of them going so far as to read a 1000 word synopsis in it's entirety. To cap it off, they brought in cookies, made us play scavanger hunts, do crossword puzzles, and play "arrange the words".
No one else seems to think this abnormal for a high school class. An ADVANCED class no less. The teacher went so far as to berate me for not "respecting the presentation enough to do the game (the parking lot scavanger hunt)". Don't count on swift grading obliteration either. Each of those people got between 40 and 48 out of 50.

Oh, ODN. Is it like these everywhere? Are we really this stupid?

*Honest to god, they had the entire class out the woods around the parking lot searching for stuff they'd hid

catch22
June 8th, 2007, 04:06 PM
Sadly yes...

We read "Into Thin Air", and one project was to make Tibetan prayer flags...

Squatch347
June 8th, 2007, 04:07 PM
Yeah, I took advanced (college credit) enlish in high school too, it was pretty lame. Don't worry, it will get better in college (though its still lame). Best to just bring your own book.

Turtleflipper
June 8th, 2007, 04:10 PM
I know, it all can't be great. But F*CKING COOKIES!?! PARTY GAMES!?! I've never seen such blithering idiocy. Let alone seen it supported by a faculity member.

Squatch347
June 8th, 2007, 04:13 PM
Ah public education, I remember thee.

Castle
June 8th, 2007, 05:56 PM
I'm in advanced english. We had a book project for some novels we've been reading. Anyways, it seems normal, only the projects are stupid. Bland, obviously copied descriptions, no thought, no analysis. Each group's entire presentation goes on like a drawn-out summary, one of them going so far as to read a 1000 word synopsis in it's entirety. To cap it off, they brought in cookies, made us play scavanger hunts, do crossword puzzles, and play "arrange the words".
Oh, yes it is. And I can relate. Right now, for instance, for our honors 10 English FINAL (yes, a final), we're doing an "ad presentation for our favorite book this year". So far this has consisted of primarily of movies produced for laugh value, food, and arts and crafts. No analysis whatsoever. This is supported by my teacher; one of the main goals of the project was to be "entertaining".

My group (did I mention it was a group final) is playing the same game. In fact, they're eager about it. I'm resigned to this miserable fate. My group members apparently get the "fun presentation" deal; I don't. And I really don't want to. So I'm pretty much just going along with their idea, trying to throw a little bit of something that might demonstrate thought where I can.

Very progressive attitude in our schools these days. After all, learning should be about fun. And it's really about how hard you work, after all, not about what you learn; making food is hard, even if it's not literary analysis. And really, learning how to print stickers is a skill truly important to the core English curriculum:idiot2:

Sorry for the rant. This was bugging me, and then you had this perfect topic...

Squatch347
June 8th, 2007, 05:58 PM
Wait, how many of you are in High School? Where was this kind of stuff when I was in HS? Awesome!

Castle
June 8th, 2007, 06:01 PM
Wait, how many of you are in High School?
Everyone who's posted as of yet save you. You're outnumbered.



Where was this kind of stuff when I was in HS? Awesome!
:hmm:

I didn't hear that...

Squatch347
June 8th, 2007, 06:04 PM
I know, its kinda wierd, if more of you were girls, I might feel a little wierd ;-)

And I just meant that its awesome you guys have this access. When I was in HS, all we had was debate club, and being it was a public school, no real controversy was tolerated. I would have loved this kind of thing.

Turtleflipper
June 8th, 2007, 06:07 PM
for our honors 10 English FINAL

It kinda makes you both interested and frightened to learn what normal english is like don't it?


Very progressive attitude in our schools these days. After all, learning should be about fun.

I honestly don't even think they understand the word learning anymore. After Grade 10 science, I have not learned a damn thing from that school.
And, strangely, it's mandatory.
I can honestly say I've had to cut class occasionally because I couldn't stand to see one more roughly-related movie.
I took Design to learn programs, not watch "A Beautiful Mind" god-damn it!


And it's really about how hard you work, after all, not about what you learn; making food is hard, even if it's not literary analysis. And really, learning how to print stickers is a skill truly important to the core English curriculum:idiot2:


Oh, one of the groups made a movie. No, two did. And you can sure BET they got extra points for that!

Castle
June 8th, 2007, 06:09 PM
And I just meant that its awesome you guys have this access. When I was in HS, all we had was debate club, and being it was a public school, no real controversy was tolerated. I would have loved this kind of thing.
Ah, OK. I think. I'm not quite sure what you mean, but it doesn't sound silly-non-English-project projects supporting, and that's a plus:grin:

Did you mean that it's good that we can/do complain about this sort of thing?

Turtleflipper
June 8th, 2007, 06:10 PM
And I just meant that its awesome you guys have this access. When I was in HS, all we had was debate club, and being it was a public school, no real controversy was tolerated. I would have loved this kind of thing.

What kind of thing? I have to sit for 6 hours by law to get a piece of paper that says I'm not stupid. Yet I feel dumber every time I leave that god-forsaken place.
I'm taking design, entreprenuership, art, and english. And I can honestly say if not for my own research, I'd not know a bit about these topics. I mean, the design teacher has YET to actually teach us something (I mean, anything. He has literally done nothing all year except carry on personnal conversations with people)

Castle
June 8th, 2007, 06:13 PM
It kinda makes you both interested and frightened to learn what normal english is like don't it?
*shudder*

Actually, to not totally bash the system, my English class this year (and most of my other classes) has been decent. Lots of discussion (lots of fun being controversial:grin:), lots of essays, good stuff all around. But the final is just...not a final, or even English. You'd think I'd be able to get at least one of the two.


I honestly don't even think they understand the word learning anymore. After Grade 10 science, I have not learned a damn thing from that school.
And, strangely, it's mandatory.
I can honestly say I've had to cut class occasionally because I couldn't stand to see one more roughly-related movie.
I took Design to learn programs, not watch "A Beautiful Mind" god-damnit!
Well, I sympathize, but I don't have it that bad. It's kinda a "4 hours of learning packed into a 7 hour school day" deal for me.


Oh, one of the groups made a movie. No, two did. And you can sure BET they got extra points for that!
Yep. Almost everyone in my class is doing so as well, including my group.

Squatch347
June 8th, 2007, 06:16 PM
No, no gentlemen, what I meant was that we had not forums for expression in highschool. We pretty much just had to sit and bare it, at least you guys can discuss issues that concern you.

catch22
June 8th, 2007, 06:17 PM
Oh, yes it is. And I can relate. Right now, for instance, for our honors 10 English FINAL (yes, a final), we're doing an "ad presentation for our favorite book this year". So far this has consisted of primarily of movies produced for laugh value, food, and arts and crafts. No analysis whatsoever. This is supported by my teacher; one of the main goals of the project was to be "entertaining".


Our English teacher didn't even give us a final, but I can really empathize with you on the ad presentation thing. When we read Romeo and Juliet, we had to draw movie posters for a Romeo and Juliet type story...


Wait, how many of you are in High School? Where was this kind of stuff when I was in HS? Awesome!

Yeeaaah for high school!

Turtleflipper
June 8th, 2007, 06:18 PM
At this point, I would like to thank everyone on ODN currently in high school for not being retarded. Apparently it's quite a feat.

catch22
June 8th, 2007, 06:20 PM
At this point, I would like to thank everyone on ODN currently in high school for not being retarded. Apparently it's quite a feat.

YES!!!!




(should I be proud about this?)

Turtleflipper
June 8th, 2007, 06:22 PM
Well, I sympathize, but I don't have it that bad. It's kinda a "4 hours of learning packed into a 7 hour school day" deal for me..

Lucky duck.
I lost a point for not citing a source for the word "multicellular". She'd thought it was a made-up word. I am not lying :(

Squatch347
June 8th, 2007, 06:22 PM
I didn't mean anything down on you guys, quite the opposite actually, we just didn't have the internet when I was younger :-(. Shouldn't it be multi-cellular? Just kidding, I'm so sorry you have to put up with that idiocy.

Trendem
June 8th, 2007, 08:06 PM
How old are the students in this "Advanced" English class, Turtle?

If they are all 17 and above yet still playing such games, I'm truly disgusted at America's education system. A-Level English Literature is so hard (either that or my teachers are too strict) that I am getting Cs and Ds for my assignments and tests (which are all essays written under timed conditions, not silly games or presentations). And that's not because I suck, because the best grade in the cohort is often a C or a D.

Turtleflipper
June 8th, 2007, 08:21 PM
How old are the students in this "Advanced" English class, Turtle?

That little interlude into my life didn't tell you?
Everyone is 17, and the vast majority can operate motor vehicles.
Also: the school's english is three-teired. "advanced" is at the top. Theoritically, it's supposed to be the best of the best in the school


If they are all 17 and above yet still playing such games, I'm truly disgusted at America's education system.

I live in Canada. We've got some of the worst electrical grid in the first world, and unionized teachers so we can't even begin to re-allocate funds toward much-needed resources or fire individual teachers for incompotence (education isn't even federal in the US or Canada)


A-Level English Literature is so hard (either that or my teachers are too strict) that I am getting Cs and Ds for my assignments and tests (which are all essays written under timed conditions, not silly games or presentations).


I'm getting a solid C because I am completely unwilling to do the other stuff that the class involves. I would rather get a C then bake god-damned cookies or watch a dozen more movies like Powder.

Oh, I don't know if you have the Apprentice, but in Entreprenuership, that's our primary study material (we did get about a dozen textbooks from another school half-way through the course but they supplemented the Apprentice rather then replaced it). One week he forgot the DVD so we watched Futarama episodes instead. He's even set up a pool to see who in the class can guess which person wins. Mind you, this is an academic course.


And that's not because I suck, because the best grade in the cohort is often a C or a D.


Yet we wonder why we are consistently being beaten out by foreigners? Perhpas because they are actually teaching advanced things to their advanced classes? Maybe? Sorta?

In defense: our school does occasionally teach stuff. Science and Math are quite difficult, and enjoyable, however, each really only has about a week of solid learning in it padded with what we call "filler" to spread over 6 months.
But for a liberal arts dude like myself? Absolute intellectual wasteland. It's become something of a running joke to me just how bad it is. I'm in a state of absolute disbelief at this point however.

catch22
June 8th, 2007, 08:30 PM
I start this International Bachalaureate program that my school has, and its supposed to be tough. It's based in Switzerland, so hopefully the curriculum will actually be somewhat difficult compared to American public school standards.


Trend- You should be disgusted, I know I certainly am.

starcreator
June 8th, 2007, 11:04 PM
My group (did I mention it was a group final) is playing the same game. In fact, they're eager about it. I'm resigned to this miserable fate. My group members apparently get the "fun presentation" deal; I don't. And I really don't want to. So I'm pretty much just going along with their idea, trying to throw a little bit of something that might demonstrate thought where I can.

I despise group work. Actually, I should rephrase that - I used to despise group work, when I was in normal classes with people I didn't know. But because most of my friends were in IB with me over the last couple of years, we were usually on the same wavelength given that sort of situation.

But for gr 10 and under, group work was a joke. I usually ended up going along with the consensus, usually some stupid, mundane idea that required little thought but entertained the rest of the class.


If they are all 17 and above yet still playing such games, I'm truly disgusted at America's education system.

Actually, TF is Canadian *cringe*. But if my experience is worth anything, let me establish that his experience is not representative whatsoever of our education system as a whole. Three years of IB English have been extremely analytical and intellectually intensive, and I can relate to your sentiment of receiving lower grades because of the complexity of the literature. In fact, it's rather annoying to participate in an English class, knowing you write better than 90% of English speaking adults and receiving mediocre marks.

Junior High English, however, was abysmal. One year we had a collage assignment (whose instructions were merely, "represent yourself") worth more than an honours project (a research project we conducted throughout the year) and our term examination. Totally incompetent teacher to boot.

Here's one of my real pet peeves about English, though: Teachers who cannot recognize that interpretations are, to a great deal, subjective. You know who I'm referring to - the ones who sit at the front of the class with their print-outs of Sparknotes and adopt a "my way or the highway" attitude to class "discussions". "I'll just cut you off there. You think that's what he meant, Bob? Well, you're wrong." What's more, they reflect it in their marking, regardless of how much substantiation you're willing to offer for your interpretation.


We've got some of the worst electrical grid in the first world,

Not sure what this has to do with teaching quality.


and unionized teachers so we can't even begin to re-allocate funds toward much-needed resources or fire individual teachers for incompotence (education isn't even federal in the US or Canada)

Unionized teachers can be fired where I live. They have been, many times, constantly, in fact. Maybe it's just a Nova Scotia thing?


I start this International Bachalaureate program that my school has, and its supposed to be tough. It's based in Switzerland, so hopefully the curriculum will actually be somewhat difficult compared to American public school standards.

Oh, an apprentice! I finished the program scarcely a month ago. Enjoy.

sylouette
June 9th, 2007, 12:28 PM
I know, it all can't be great. But F*CKING COOKIES!?! PARTY GAMES!?! I've never seen such blithering idiocy. Let alone seen it supported by a faculity member.

Teacher must have previously been a preschool teacher. :coolsmiley:

Squatch347
June 9th, 2007, 12:31 PM
Wait, is "anyways" a word? ;-)

HappyLady
June 11th, 2007, 06:36 AM
Well...let's see. Adding something creative can be a good learning experience. A part of advanced english classes should include creativity, no? The scavenger hunt sounds like it was creative.

There is more to English than literary analysis. Creativity is as big a part of it as critical thinking.

That being said, there does need to be a balance. If you have the scavenger hunt type of activities to keep it interesting for the creative people and literary analysis to keep it interesting for the critical thinking types, then you get a well-balanced class.

If you don't have a well-balanced class, you enter college with no clue. My BA is in English, I feel I had a good high school education, yet I was utterly unprepared for essay writing. I learned quick, though...lol.

When I was in high school, our English class had a good balance. Lots of creative writing, grammar, and literary analysis. No scavenger hunts, but there were some weird projects that kept things interesting. We had to act out a song to demonstrate our knowledge of poetry (alliteration, rhyme schemes, hyperbole, etc...) I did a puppet show. It served a purpose, IMO.

That all being said, don't forget that public schools are under a lot of pressure to look good. I have seen a trend in "dumbing down" the classes to produce higher grades and test scores. It makes the school look better if lots of students are getting A's. That is sad.

I noticed the last 3 newsletters sent out by our school district has a message from the superintendent discussing "technical" careers and "vocational" careers" and "farming" and their "special needs" classes. It seems they are really deterring kids from that college education these days.
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Wait, is "anyways" a word? ;-)

Hahaha...yeah, maybe the advanced English class needs to emphasize a little more grammar. See, all those scavenger hunts keeps the kid from book learnin'!

Mr. Hyde
June 11th, 2007, 07:50 AM
Oh, ODN. Is it like these everywhere? Are we really this stupid?

*Honest to god, they had the entire class out the woods around the parking lot searching for stuff they'd hid

In my 11th grade English class, we had to do video presentations, building projects, etc, for when we read "Of Mice and Men". NOTHING brainy involved there.

Thank GOD my senior year we just played Halo in English, and when I wasn't involved in the melee, I was reading Fight Club, the Story of B, Utopia, and a few other books.
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If they are all 17 and above yet still playing such games, I'm truly disgusted at America's education system.
Which is why we need to privatise education. Teachers would be...Intellectual Mercenaries.

catch22
June 11th, 2007, 08:35 AM
Which is why we need to privatise education. Teachers would be...Intellectual Mercenaries.

Now there is a premise for that inferno thing! Just imagine...

"The year is 2015, the world of education has just a emerged from a violent revolution-- It has become privatized! Step into a world of competition and learning as elite prep schools vie for the allegiance of roaming bands of Intellectual Mercenaries. Startup charters train the cast offs into a high powered teaching force...etc. etc."

:)

Turtleflipper
June 11th, 2007, 12:28 PM
When I was in high school, our English class had a good balance. Lots of creative writing, grammar, and literary analysis. No scavenger hunts, but there were some weird projects that kept things interesting. We had to act out a song to demonstrate our knowledge of poetry (alliteration, rhyme schemes, hyperbole, etc...) I did a puppet show. It served a purpose, IMO.
!
Oh come on!
It's a place I'm forced to go under the assumption I'll learn. Yet they aren't even teaching anything. Being "creative" has NOTHING to do with school. It shouldn't. I am there to learn. That's why I come, that's why I keep going, that's why I bought that little book full of paper. If I want to be creative, I'll play a game of Starcraft, or draw something. We shouldn't even have a "balance". It should be work, work, work, and then rather then an in-class fun activity, more breaks.



Not sure what this has to do with teaching quality.
.

As I wrote that we had just come out of another blackout for absolutely no reason whatsoever except disrepair.

Castle
June 11th, 2007, 03:16 PM
The scavenger hunt sounds like it was creative.
How so? 'Cause to me, it sounds like they hid some stuff in random places around the school and said "go find it". Fun (for some), I'll grant you. But creative?

Incidentally, if the goal is fun, Turtle's got the right idea: make school shorter, and let kids do what they actually find fun, rather than what teachers think they'll find fun.


There is more to English than literary analysis.
Yes. There's writing. Which, conveniently, fulfills your creativity requirement. Nifty, no?


If you don't have a well-balanced class, you enter college with no clue. My BA is in English, I feel I had a good high school education, yet I was utterly unprepared for essay writing. I learned quick, though...lol.
:grin: I rest my case. Writing=Creativity. Analysis=Critical thought.