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 8th Grade Education

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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 5:12 am

This was education BEFORE the Fed. Gov. stepped in and told us the state didn't know how to do it right!!!


8th Grade Final Exam: Salina , KS - 1895

This is interesting...


What it took to get an 8th grade education in 1895...

Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that
they only had an 8th grade education? Well, check this out. Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895?


This is the eighth-gradefinal exam from 1895 in Salina , Kansas , USA . It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina , and reprinted by the Salina Journal.
8th Grade Final Exam: Salina , KS - 1895
Grammar (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no
modifications.
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph
4.
What are the principal parts of a
verb? Give principal parts of 'lie,''play,' and 'run.'
5. Define case; illustrate each case.
6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.



Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)

1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. Wide. How many
bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel,
deducting 1,050 lbs. For tare?
4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7
percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft.. Long at $20 per metre?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt


U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)

1 Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849,1865.



Orthography (Time, one hour)

[Do we even know what this is??]

1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography,
etymology, syllabication
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u.' (HUH?)
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions
under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi,
dis-mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the
sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise,
blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain,
feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.



Geography (Time, one hour)

1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver , Manitoba ,
Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. Name all the
republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same
latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the
sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the
earth.

Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete.

Gives the saying 'he only had an 8th grade education' a whole new meaning, doesn't it?!


Also shows you how poor our education system has become and, NO, I don't have the answers


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alj
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 5:32 am

Abe, as a teacher, I would like to play the devil's advocate for just a bit. If you look at those questions, they all call for facts. Students who were good at memorizing would do well on the test, rigorous though it was. There are no questions, including the essay, as it it described, that call for any kind of higher level thinking. The directions call for students to name, describe, define, etc. None of them ask students to compare, contrast, apply, analyze, or evaluate. It's interesting, I think, that the arithmetic "problems" come closest. In the real world, people need to be able to do those things, and there is no evidence that simply remembering lots of facts helps one to use them.

Back in the early 90's, I attended a workshop on the importance of teaching the higher level skills. We were given statistics showing that in the recent past, 80% of available jobs could be done by those whose thinking ability was limited to being able to remember facts. By 1980, the percentage had dropped to 20. By then, 80% of available jobs required one to be able to think and perform at those higher levels. The schools and teachers today have a very hard job. I feel they deserve a bit of credit.

JMO,

Ann
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 5:51 am

Ann,
I didn't create this post, I'm just sharing it, however with all due respect, there's much to be said for using the mind even for memorization. Today it is recommended by doctors to keep the mind sharp.
I am constantly amazed at the older people I'm surrounded with who still do math in their heads. It was drilled into them when they were in school. My wife knows the exact amount of her grocery bill before it is rung up. She occasionally will tell the clerk that their calculations are wrong. The scan picks up what is on the label and what is posted on the price shelf was not changed in the system, and often people pay more than they should.
Kids today have much technology to do their thinking for them. And, technology is good. I can't imagine the slow process of doing it manually, however the ability to do it is important. What happens when the machines break down? Does business come to a halt?
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 5:55 am

Me again. I googled this article, "Examsmanship and the Liberal Arts: A Study in Educational Epistemology,"which was in the college freshman composition text I used in my AP classes. The first assignment each year was to read and discuss, verbally and in writing, the importance and validity of its contents and premise.

http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~lipoff/miscellaneous/exams.html


It was written by William G. Perry, a Harvard professor, as a means of convincing the university that it was more important to teach students to think than it was to load them down with facts. Here is a sample:
Quote :
It is a curious fact that there is no academic slang for the presentation of evidence of diligence alone. "Parroting" won't do; it is possible to "par-rot" bull. I must beg the reader's pardon, and, for reasons almost too obvious to bear, suggest "cow."

Stated as nouns, the concepts look simple
enough:
cow (pure): data, however relevant, without relevancies.
bull (pure): relevancies, however relevant, without data.

Frequently in those classes, when I answered their questions with an opinion, I would tell them that I was only giving them "...the gospel according to Ms. Joiner."

My final exam for that course was one essay assignment: In your best "adulterated bull,"* relate "The Gospel According to Ms. Joiner" as you have come to know it.

*adulterated bull: "bull that has been contaminated with cow"


Abe, you replied as I was entering this follow-up. During that same workshop someone offered another statistic: In the near future there will be two kinds of jobs, operating computers and sweeping under them. Memorization is an important skill, but knowing how to apply the facts is also necessary in today's world. Not either/or, just both/and.Very Happy

Ann


Last edited by alj on Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Carol Troestler
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 6:06 am

I am in the middle here. Being older, my elementary school education had some of the elements of that test, as well as thinking and problem solving skills. This school district turned out people like Hillary Clinton, and whatever you think of her for her political views, she is one well educated and thinking woman. These were excellent schools and I feel very fortunate knowing they made a difference in my life.

I think kids do need to learn the facts, study the maps, do the story problems, learn the parts of speech. I thought the test fascinating and found myself wanting to look up some of the answers.

Another thought is that they had less to learn: less history, less geography, less science. Now kids need to learn computers, DNA, and there are over a hundred more years of history, and a few more countries in the world.

Carol
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alj
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alj

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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 6:28 am

Carol, I had such an education in elementary and middle school myself. I'm not arguing with it, I'm just saying it's not enough in today's world, and I'm saying that the schools have a tougher job preparing students than they did then, as you noted.

Teachers and the system take a lot of flack, and not all of it is deserved. It's not an easy job.

Ann
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Carol Troestler
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 7:00 am

In the 1960s I went to a liberal arts college. There was a great deal of criticism of "what will you do with a liberal arts education," or "that's kind of an expensive way to find a husband." And they told us at orientation, "on graduation you will have more questions than answers."

It was a fantastic education for life, for problem solving, for being creative.

And it showed me the value of life-long learning that everyone can accomplish.

Carol
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 7:06 am

8th Grade Education 892798 Carol, didn't you know that going to college, for women in those days, was simply about finding a husband who could support us properly? And that meant business colleges or professional colleges. My mother-in-law told my daughters that they should first decide whether they wanted to marry a doctor, lawyer, or business executive, and then go to the college where they would have the most candidates to choose from. (tongue-in-cheek emoticon inserted here.)

Ann
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Carol Troestler
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 7:40 am

Ann,

Our town newspaper's article regarded my graduation was titled, "Earns Two Degrees BA and Mrs." I was furious. Certainly getting married, going back to school afterwards for a month, and then graduating were different for those days, but putting them together in a headline infuriated me. I did keep the article.

Maybe it was a "tongue in cheek" for the newspaper, but at the time I didn't see it that way.

Carol
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 11:01 am

Marie, yes, being able to remember and knowing the structures of writing are important. You are also adept at handling higher levels of thinking, which you display here on a regular basis, as do most of the regulars here.

Ann
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Carol Troestler
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 11:16 am

I have a son who learns differently than most people. He did not talk until he was four and his first words were, "See Daddy building a fire outside." Within days we were having discussions. He said he could not memorize but would read things over and then the whole concept would pop into his head and he would never forget what he had learned. He is a fascinating person, calls often for discussions on current events, politics and economics. He is a machinist and loves his job.

Carol
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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 11:23 am

I wrote a profound reply - of course it was profound, I wrote it - and just as I hit "send" my totally unreliable Roadrunner Internet provider decided to take a nap.
The gist of it was I agree with the 1895 test. If I hadn't had to memorize a zillion things in grade school I would have been a washout as a newspaper reporter It's amazing how often things come up that you must know and don't have time to look up. Where is Iowa located in relationship to Illinois, what year did Lindbergh fly the Atlantic, what years were the Civil War and the (first) World War fought, what is the capital of Montana - the list goes on and on. Memorizing is a vital necessity in many fields.
When you read that a lot of kids in Dallas couldn't name the country located south of the U.S., it's sad. When a clerk can't make change without the aid of a machine, it's sad. When a person enters college and can't write a coherent sentence, it's sad. When someone talks about Iraq or Afghanistan but can't locate either on a map, it's sad. Saying all those things can be found on the Internet or a Blackberry is sad because they sometimes fail.
I don't buy the idea that there is more to learn today than in the 1930s so it's tougher for the kids and teachers. Sure, things have happened, but not that many in relationship to all of history. Writing is the same, numbers are the same, the states and the major nations are still in the same place. The electronics should have made many things easier, not more difficult. Aside, of course, from television, video games, cell phones and a few other things that are more appealing than studying and learning something useful.
Parents and lack of parenting have indeed made it more difficult, on that I agree.
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Carol Troestler
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 11:30 am

I agree about the memorizing. I was a good counselor, not because I was a bleeding heart or wise, but I could remember. I'd see someone when they were seven and then at fifteen ask if they still had their cat named Sox. They were impressed.

I have so much useless info rolling around in my head. Thank goodness I write to get some of that stuff out of here.

Carol
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E. Don Harpe
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 12:19 pm

I think perhaps what the author of the original material was trying to convey is twofold.

1. That there was a time when someone with an eighth grade education knew quite a bit more than it implies today; and

2. That maybe our schools today are not teaching nearly as well as they should be.

Is there anyone who posts here that really believes that kids are better off today without learning many of the basics that the original post contained? Do any of you think it is simpy silly that a high school senior can't find New York or Washington State on a map? Don't you think that some knowledge of Latin might be helpful when kids today are trying to learn to write? Isn't it a bit crazy when an NBA star can make millions of dollars a year, and just barely be able to read?

I agree with Ann that the ability to be able to reason and think is very important, but I also think that today we have taken much of the education out of the educational system.
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E. Don Harpe
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 12:22 pm

In a really great but not very well known country song, Billy Joe Shaver has this to say.

I've been to Georgia on a fast train honey
I wasn't born no yesterday.
I've got a good Christian raising,
And an eighth grade education
Ain't no need in y'all treatin' me this way.
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 1:07 pm

That's another thing my ex used to say about me, that my brain was one of the biggest storehouses of useless trivia he knew of.

Ann
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Carol Troestler
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 1:18 pm

All my life, I have wanted people like Marie and Ann for friends!

We could talk into the wee hours of a morning.

Dick's all right as well as everyone else here.

Carol
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RunsWithScissors
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 1:36 pm

My useless trivia has come in handy on many occasions, but most often on Facebook trivia tests! ** giggling madly **
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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 2:49 pm

That's it? I'm just all right? Well there goes the old self esteem.
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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 3:30 pm

Boy, you can say that again.
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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 3:41 pm

You figured that out, did you?
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RunsWithScissors
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 5:15 pm

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
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W. Lane Rogers
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySat Jun 13, 2009 6:28 pm

alj wrote:
If you look at those questions, they all call for facts. Students who were good at memorizing would do well on the test, rigorous though it was. There are no questions, including the essay, as it it described, that call for any kind of higher level thinking. The directions call for students to name, describe, define, etc. None of them ask students to compare, contrast, apply, analyze, or evaluate.
Excellent points, Ann.
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 1:47 am

Could anyone on this forum have passed the test?
Who determines what is useless information?
Since the 1800's, so much has changed in our world that it is difficult to evaluate the relevance of the questions asked on that test. What it does say, in my view, is that the child was given a broad range of things to learn that was felt necessary at that time. No PC, no calculator and no large reference library to fall back on. College was not an option for most. An 8th grade education was their degree. They could even write coherent sentences and use mathematics to figure things out on their own.
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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 5:57 am

A good way to compare today's kids with those of 100 years ago in general knowledge and ability to express themselves in words is by reading letters, diaries or examination papers. I've had to do that at various times and the contrast is startling.
I don't believe it is possible to think on a higher level if the lower levels have not been mastered. You cannot compare, etc., if you have no basis of comparison.
Although American schools have fewer days of instruction each year than those in other industrialized countries, a recent poll in this area revealed that most people believe it should be shortened. When pupils were asked to comment, they agreed. A boy said he intends to spend his entire summer vacation playing video games.
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