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 8th Grade Education

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alj
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 6:30 am

Abe F. March wrote:
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.

Abe, I agree with everything you've said in this post, and most of what Dick said. What I don't agree with is the comment that today's schools and teachers are not doing their job. Yes, I've seen some "letters, diaries, [and] examination papers" like those Dick spoke of. No, there is not so much emphasis on the basics as there was then. But I've seen some brilliant papers, as well, and not all of them from privileged students. I haven't taught that many privileged kids, because I chose (and I did have the options) to teach students who were considered "at risk." Not all of my students made "A's", but I would, and occasionally did put the work of my students up against any from students who had more advantages. Many of my students not only went on to college, but excelled there as well, and I wasn't some super teacher. My colleagues used the same methods, the same curriculum, and we all had a number of students who excelled, and went on to profitable careers. We didn't succeed with all of them, and those who had more difficulties are often today the ones who are singled out to "prove" that the system is failing.

The fact is that it would be impossible for schools today to teach the way they did in 1895. For one thing, the size of an average classroom is much larger. Sometimes public school teachers have as many as thirty-five students in one room, and more than a few of those thirty-five have been "mainstreamed." In other words, they are known to be below level learners, and the teachers have a legal obligation to set up, and be able to prove through extensive documentation, that they have set up, individualized programs for those special students. Students need to know more today than they did then. The passage of that, as I said earlier, rigorous, exam would still not qualify those who passed it to find jobs that would allow them to support their families in any substantial way in today's world.

Most of our young people today are good, intelligent, and capable individuals. Most of our teachers are doing an incredible job under vastly different circumstances than the teachers in 1895 had to deal with.

Ann
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alj
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alj

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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 6:44 am

Abe, I can't go back to 1895, the year my grandmother was born, and about the time my grandfather, her husband, finished his schooling, but I can supply this paper from 1915, my grandfather's teaching contract for that school year. Note that the "year" consisted of 7 1/2 months, and that his salary was $40 per term.8th Grade Education - Page 2 Hinton%27s%20teaching%20certificate
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Carol Troestler
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 6:48 am

I always want to know more like:

What was a passing grade?

Did the classes before taking the test work on the specific answers?

I agree with Ann. I've been extremely impressed with my grandchildren's knowledge. I know. Those are my grandchildren, amazing people in general.

The subjects they take are quite interesting. One time my grandson was going to take "Hans Christian Andersen" for his English requirement. I thought that would have been quite an exciting class I would have really enjoyed.

Carol
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 7:58 am

Ann,
that contract of your grandfather is a treasure and it says that you came from a line of teachers. You appear to be one of those teachers who care about teaching and the kids you teach. Too bad that can't be said of all teachers.
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 8:00 am

Let's disagree agreeably, Abe. In 22 years of teaching, most of the teachers I worked with were doing a great job. The bad ones just get more attention.

Ann
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 8:13 am

Ann. Let's continue to disagree, agreeably. You did say that most of the teachers you worked with did a good job, but do they represent teachers all across the country?
It's sad that the bad ones get the publicity, but it does make a point.
Yes, there are other factors. Overcrowded classrooms. Busing kids out of their home area. Building super schools with swimming pools, sports fields and other trimmings that are not part of the education basics. Who suffers?
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 8:32 am

Culture impacts education. Our school district just had a big flap over the superintendent sending 12 reading teachers to Japan to learn how to match their reading accomplishments. Does anyone not in a bubble need to travel to Japan to learn how they do it? One culture, one mind at home, one mind at school and historical value for education. Those 12 teachers will have a great experience at the public's expense; but they will not be able to turn their classrooms into 50 students from the same heritage all experiencing life from the same point of view.

The U.S. universal education provides more opportunity for learning than ever before in its history to a larger and more diverse group of students than ever before. The challenges of this diversity and the opinions that determine the educational systems, it is amazing to me that anyone gets where they are headed. The average and above average student will learn what they need without a system. The scores of those below average, however, are part of the measurement. These student needs are forever in debate and impact funding decisions.

Education funding is spread in buckets, each with their own different measurements. Therefore, it's like designer clothes. Each year, the runway brings out the new designs. It takes all year to put them in place and then the funding is gone, and it's time for a new design.

Children are curious. Curiosity is in the nature of the human species. Capturing that curiostity and channeling it toward knowledge that helps them be their own instructors was always my goal as an educator. All the talents that go untapped because children must be categorized and boxed for grades and promotions and forced to remain through twelve years to make sure the district gets paid for seat time wastes precious creative energy.

My two cents......
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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 8:53 am

I commend you, Ann, for teaching kids who need it the most. I spent my formative years with kids like that. In 6th, 7th and 8th grade there were 44 kids in my class. Half, 22, lived at the Children's Home. Our 6th grade teacher was great. The 7th was a washout. The 8th had given up and just went through the motions. Every kid turned out fine in the end - teachers, cops, rubber workers, store clerks, electronic technicians, city employees - and one newspaper reporter.

You might keep in mind that the pupils in 1895 and the years a little before and a little after invented the great things kids use today. They did some pretty good upper level thinking.

I agree that many kids today are brilliant but I don't agree that they have more to learn than those of previous generations. On the lighter side, you might enjoy these rules for female teachers at an Ohio school in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I tried to cut and paste from a book I did on high school football but it wouldn't work. I'll just type them instead:
1) You will not marry during the term of your contract.
2) You are not to keep company with men.
3) You must be home between the hours of 8 p.m.-6 a.m.
4) You may not loiter downtown in ice cream stores.
5) You may not travel beyond the city limits unless you have permission of the chairman of the board.
6) You may not ride in a carriage or automobile with any man unless he is your father or brother.
7) You may not smoke cigarettes.
Cool You may under no cicumstances dye your hair.
9) You must wear at least two petticoats.
10) Your dresses must not be any shorter than 2 inches above the ankle.
11) To keep the schoolroom neat and clean you must: Sweep the floor at least once daily; scrub the floor at least once a week with hot soapy water; clean the blackboards at least once a day, and start the fire at 7 a.m. so the room will be warm by 8 a.m.

Teachers were boarded with families and each had to have her in their home for a while. It wasn't easy for the kids with grades 1 though 8 in the same room. When reciting, a kid had to "toe the mark" by having their toes on a certain crack in the floor boards and could not move while reciting their lesson. If a kid played hooky he was chained to his desk and had to spend the night alone in the empy schoolhouse.

No mention was made of the outhouse.
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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 10:06 am

It is, isn't it? And I'll bet some even ordered ice cream sodas on Sunday, which was against the law.
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JoElle
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 2:56 pm

The debates on Education ....

Abe, I looked up this exam and here's what snopes says:

http://www.snopes.com/language/document/1895exam.asp
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 5:39 pm

I need to add here that any and all teachers who were problematc to me, were in the private sector.

All public school teachers that I have dealt with have been exemplery.


Last edited by Alice on Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 5:54 pm

Part of my little youth was educated by the Nuns in rural towns because there were no real schools, just the Catholic church schools that were run by a few humble Nuns. They were more into perdition than education.

It was a good case for the separation between church and the rest of the people.

Alice,
You would have been a wonderful teacher.

Love,
Betty
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 7:09 pm

Thank you, Betty, You would have been a much better one.
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zadaconnaway
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 11:14 pm

My Great-grandmother taught school. It was circa 1890 to her retirement in 1955. Her early years were in one room schoolhouses.

Of great interest to me, she was a divorced woman who was regarded highly and well recommended. I have seen her letters of recommendation, but sincerely believe she would not have passed all the criteria you posted, Dick.
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zadaconnaway
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 11:18 pm

Jo Elle, I like Snopes, and that was a pretty good article you linked to. I sometimes forget that they have just about everything on there.
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JoElle
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptyMon Jun 15, 2009 6:14 am

zadaconnaway wrote:
Jo Elle, I like Snopes, and that was a pretty good article you linked to. I sometimes forget that they have just about everything on there.

I've just learned that while the internet can be an excellent source of information ... it can also be a source if misinformation. I always question the source of information I 'come across'. And when I search for information with Google, I make sure that source is legitimate. Wikipedia can be great ... but it can also be unreliable. Snopes is very good.

It's interesting but at some rest areas across the path of the "Lewis & Clark" trail have historical information on this pair. One of them has notes from Lewis' diary. He had some pretty bad spelling.
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Carol Troestler
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptyMon Jun 15, 2009 6:53 am

I had a friend who kept sending all dire warnings of disaster. I have so many dire things to worry about I need no more. So I checked them all out on snopes, found them all false and told her. She no longer sends me warnings.

I think spelling in the early 1800s was very erratic.

Carol
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptyMon Jun 15, 2009 7:11 am

Carol wrote:

Quote :
I think spelling in the early 1800s was very erratic.

I think you are right. I remember learning that spelling was not even beginning to be defined until the 19th century. I googled Websters to check my memory and found that their first dictionary, from 1828, has been chosen by fundamentalist parents as the spelling closest to God's word since it follows the spelling patterns in the King James Bible. Apparently our accepted ways of spelling have changed considerably in the years since. The English language is constantly changing and growing.

Another related fact I recall from my Shakespeare classes is that what we call Standard American English is based on Old London "street language," since it was from this group that the middle classes formed, and was the dialect brought to the northern colonies. The southern colonies slow speech pattern was more typical of the British nobility, I was told, and that if you read Shakespeare with a southern drawl, it becomes easier to understand. (Try it; it works!)

Ann
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Carol Troestler
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptyMon Jun 15, 2009 7:32 am

The following is a article about the "millionth word."

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/06/09/million.words/index.html
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptyMon Jun 15, 2009 12:11 pm

...He speaks English, of course.

Ann,

The Pilgrim Fathers were Quakers from the Plymouth area. So the Northern accent would be closer to SW English. In the South, many slave owners were from Wales, so the accent would have a Welsh slant.

As for Shakespeare, he added hundreds of new words to the English language in his works. We owe Shakespeare far more than just his phenomenal plays.

_________________
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptyMon Jun 15, 2009 12:46 pm

Shelagh, good points, thanks.

There is a cool book called Albion's Seed by David Hackett Fischer that discusses the origins of American folkways based on migration patterns from England. There is an excellent website that focuses on one of those folkways, the back country, which is where most of my maternal ancestors, including my Ailcy, the source for my current WIP came from:

http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ug97/albion/albion3.html

And, I learned as I googled this page, that there are numerous sites on the other three folkways as described in this book as well that have cropped up since my last search, including some on the Quakers. Just google "Albion's Seed."

Ann
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptyMon Jun 15, 2009 2:11 pm

God knows.

_________________
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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Re: 8th Grade Education   8th Grade Education - Page 2 EmptyMon Jun 15, 2009 2:53 pm

For no sensible reason this reminds me of a film where a stuffy old Englishman made a lengthy, unintelligible statement. Someone else said, "If he was any more English, he couldn't talk at all."
Sorry, Shelagh, I didn't mean you. But I have met a couple like that. If I remember correctly, both gave me directions and ended by saying, "You simply cawn't miss it, mate." I missed it.
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