Educating the Class of 2030                                                                         antonw@ix.netcom.com
Part 1 Time-tested Principles Lead to Year Round School, a Shorter School Day, Economic Efficiency, More Learning, Happier Students, Satisfied Teachers    Part 2   Part 3   Part 4

Change 1 Base Primary Education on Determining a Student's Special Intelligence.
1) Special Intelligence is above average ability a person has in one or more areas of the multiple intelligences which include Mathematical, Spatial, Bodily Movement, Musical, Verbal, Interpersonal, and Intrapersonal. Curriculum should maximize special intelligence.
2
) Core Intelligence centers on mathematical-logical intelligence and verbal intelligence.
Skills related to core intelligence are emphasized by traditional curriculums.              

3)
Economic rewards await people who develop skills associated with their special  intelligence provided they have the minimum core intelligence skills required for their career. In the words of John Dewey, ..."to prepare him for the future life means to give him command of himself; it means so to train him that he will have the full and ready use of all his capacities"   (My pedagogic creed, Dewey, 1897 Wiki).

Change 2 A year-round school calendar of four twelve-week terms with 4 plus 2 hour days for Secondary Education will improve learning and decrease cost. The U.S. has the best universities in the world and students only have 15-20 fifty minute periods of class per week. Our most successful students also have structured unstructured time which when they take labs to apply knowledge or get involved with extracurricular activities necessary to improve skills. Germany schools produce the world's most productive workers and more than half her students
finishes at 1 PM. A 4 plus 2 day has four 50 minutes traditional structured classes in a row and two hours of structured unstructured time when a student's individualized curriculum determines what they do. The can work, take more academic classes, volunteer, create a group to compete for academic prizes, play sports or let American ingenuity provide relevant learning experiences.

Reasons for change.
1)Studies show student forget more than 10% (Appendix 2)
of their learning during the summer.             2)
"lower-class students" lose the most according to
Summer Setback: Race, Poverty ...Achievement in the First 2 Years ..
3) A more manageable system results with enhanced career benefits for students.
4) Financial benefits for teachers result as they could teach overload courses in their off  session.
If a system's average teacher earns  $50,000/year for sixteen courses or $3,125 per class for a year round morning assignment they could could earn say $2000 per course for additional afternoon overload courses.
Sixteen overloads cost $32,000 saving $18,000 or 36% of a salary.
5) Economic use of facilities would solve housing problems. The potential cost saving for large school systems making maximum use of their facilities are unlimited.
6) Structured Unstructured Time benefits the community. It occurs before or after a session and is used by interested students at school and local facilities to enhance their Special Intelligence and to maximize desired results. It would also provide paid/voluntary experiences for students and  teachers. John Dewey "...advocated for an educational structure that strikes a balance between delivering knowledge while also taking into account the interests and experiences of the student." wiki  In addition, academics will not suffer as time spent trying to enhance intelligence with additional memory training is not well spent as there is no  "evidence of intelligence improvement after working memory training: A randomized, placebo-controlled study. source
7)
Education's Bottom Line indicates we have little time to waste.
 

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Change 3  " Individualized Curriculums" help students discover and enhance their "Special Intelligence."                    
A.
Grades one to eight should concentrate on determine and exploring a student's special intelligence while bringing their core intelligence up to an acceptable minimum.   Note: This should be a fun time and not the rigor of some Asian countries and tiger mothers of the United States. Such activities just causes anxious unhappy students!  If you must test, comparison to those in the student's school and state would limit the negative effects on self-esteem. See No Grades/Homework
B) Career availability information should helps students with their curriculum choices.

Since 66% of our future jobs require no additional formal education beyond high school, curriculum for many should be made more life/career skills oriented. For example, studies show that those people with self-control do better in many aspects of life and it is something that can be taught. RSA Animate – Empathic Civilization is just one example of the new areas that limiting concentration to one's special intelligence will allow.

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Change 4
Schools should be academically demanding
for those with high math/verbal      intelligence and who may fill bachelor's degree or higher jobs which represent only 22% of future job openings.
Elementary and secondary school curriculums shoul not so demanding that a substantial number of students drop out or lose confidence. Pre-algebra should only be in the curriculum of student possessing high mathematics intelligence. A nursing student should not have to take statistics (a course I taught for 35 years) because they might someday go on for a master's degree. Nursing isn't about mathematics, little mathematics is required.  Nothing is gained and the terror it creates in the non-mathematical.
See German Education System
Change 5 Maslow's hierarchy of needs should be enhanced by education.
 A) Esteem is a requirement for self-actualization which is an important goal of human development. It must not be compromised as the collaterial danmage is immeasurable.  Testing should be changed from being a limiting factor to a career determination  factor. The result should be expressed as a student being above, at or below grade level for their school.
B) Students, especially in the Primary Grades, should advance at their own pace. 
Change 6 Tech-based Education  should spread to college education immediately but hopefully to secondary education. This does not mean investing in computers.
Sources Education Week: Reading, Math Software Found to Have Little Effect on Scores


 

Please   

Summary: We must maximize the minimum for students with average special intelligence
while maximizing the maximum for students with really high specially intelligence while
minimizing the maximum regret which our current system does not do as demonstrated
by drop outs who don't think of education as the gift of opportunity. See
Education's Bottom Line

Please   

  author's bio

Part 2 How Germany, Our Chief Competitor, Educates Toward Student Employability and Self-Esteem

Part 3  The World Changed Causing Good Jobs to Disappear

Part 4 Economist Lower Wage Predictions Came True

Sources: Global Economic Intersection, The Economist, Seeking Alpha
Businessweek, The Week , USA Today  Business Insider
 ...        

Appendix 1 Advantages of Proposed Change

Ambitious Students could take courses in both session or use the time to participate in projects like First Robotics Competition, First Tech Challenge, FPSPIspi and First Lego League P-Tech uses the extra time to help students earn an associate's degree while earning a U.S.. diploma, all in four years.

This system would be advantageous for vocational HS as it provides time for students to work. Two talented students might even combine for a full time job. A lower minimum wage for part time students not requiring payroll taxes would help.

Sports would benefit as one sport might go in the morning and practice in the afternoon and a second sport would do the opposite  thus making much better use of facilities. Two varsity sports might constitute a course. My friend Paul is happy.

School systems could retire older facilities and free rooms could be rented to people wanting to run morning and afternoon day care for working parents.

Teachers and HS students could work in day care programs for a reasonable fee.  Students wishing to graduate early could take extra courses during a different session for a fee. 1/30/13

Appendix 3 Fix public education immediately.

      1. Treat academic all stars like sports stars, see
          
vanderbilt.edu/peabody/smpy/WaiJEP2005

      2. Stress  the economic and personal skills enhancement of those in the middle

      3. Follow the lead of the cities like Baltimore in keeping kids from dropping out
  
 
     
4. Require the library of every school receiving federal funds keep a copy of
          Educational Outlook Quarterly on reserve and another copy with current
          periodicals. 
Edited 1/22/13 

Appendix 2 The Effects of Summer Vacation on Achievement Test Scores:
 A Narrative and Meta-Analytic Review
Source

  1. Harris Cooper    University of Missouri–Columbia   Barbara Nye   Tennessee State University
  1. Kelly Charlton   James Lindsay   Scott Greathouse   University of Missouri–Columbia

Abstract

"A review of 39 studies indicated that achievement test scores decline over summer vacation. The results of the 13 most recent studies were combined using meta-analytic procedures. The meta-analysis indicated that the summer loss equaled about one month on a grade-level equivalent scale, or one tenth of a standard deviation relative to spring test scores. The effect of summer break was more detrimental for math than for reading and most detrimental for math computation and spelling. Also, middle-class students appeared to gain on grade-level equivalent reading recognition tests over summer while lower-class students lost on them. There were no moderating effects for student gender or race, but the negative effect of summer did increase with increases in students’ grade levels. Suggested explanations for the findings include the differential availability of opportunities to practice different academic material over summer (with reading practice more available than math practice) and differences in the material’s susceptibility to memory decay (with fact- and procedure-based knowledge more easily forgotten than conceptual knowledge). The income differences also may be related to differences in opportunities to practice and learn. The results are examined for implications concerning summer school programs and proposals concerning school calendar changes."

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Staying Current

1) John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy  covers post-secondary issues.

2) The Rising Value of a Science Degree
College Degree Value: 
3) P-Tech Early College High Schools are vocationally oriented.
4) Why Motivation Beats Raw Intelligence 'Almost Every Time'

5) Race Against the Machines states that total good jobs requiring an education are losing out to machines. Editor's Note:  This is good news as machines don't eat and standards of living will rise dramatically and education has new, important issues to deal with that requiring well educated human development specialists. We do have a GDP distribution problem.
6) Oversupply of Teachers means systems can choose the best.

7) Head Start Doesn't Work

A recent Opinion article in the Villages retirement paper picked up an editorial featuring the reported 2010 Head Start Impact Study that stated three and four year olds participants in Head Start were no better prepared for first grade than non-participants. This is the nth such article/report I've read in thirty years. There have been many studies and none have shown Head Start improves academic performance. The normal curve rules and those who think it can be changes will have to wait for generic engineering. But the normal curve applies to other important characteristics and it is these our education system must foster.
See Head Start leads to nonacademic value
that will lead to economic and social success.

Popular but Incorrect Neuromyths' from online.wsj.com/
    MYth 1 We use only 10% of our brains.
    Myth 2 A high stimulus environment improves the brain of preschool children.
    Myth 3 Using a student's preferred learning style improves learning.

The Thousands of Californians Who Failed The Bar Are Going To Hate This Guy is an example of how college can teach them but can't learn them. I wonder if college law schools are required to publish Bar Exams pass rates

Data from Iceland indicates that younger students in a class do poorer in standardized test through seven grades and other studies have shown that only 10% of younger HS graduates go to college. The Economist, 12/7/12, p21

Watch Videos and Understand
Formula for changing math education
Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity
Elizabeth Gilbert On Genius

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E-mail or antonw@ix.netcom.com the retired teacher/editor/author  Walter

edited and written by Walter Antoniotticopyright 21st Century Learning Products  All Rights Reserved 

 

Sundry Items of Interest

1) Non-academics students possess characteristics of success
2) School Reform Stay Focused s a book review of
How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. by Paul Tough from The Economist Magazine 1/19/13

 

3) The Wage Affect of Offshoring examines data from Denmark that looks at the connection between globalization, inequality and the value of a college degree. “With stagnating wages and lingering unemployment, income inequality is back in the headlines. Is globalization to blame for this inequality? Is more education a solution? This column argues that focusing on university education misses important effects. It presents evidence that wage effects vary markedly among those with degrees depending on their specific skill sets, and that globalization can often benefit workers without degrees.
For an economic analysis see Pure Competition Edited 1/30/13

4) Tradable goods are producing high paying jobs that require more education. Germany does best at manufacturing tradable goods. She is avoiding high unemployment with job sharing, called disguised unemployment. I'm betting the recovery in Germany will bring back slightly higher wages but hours work will stayed reduced as robots and computers do the work.   Return to Class of Educating 2030

 

Appendix 4

The Story of Joan

An attempt to learn about the real estate business brought me in contact with Joan, a middle aged women who had been a million dollar salesperson in her first year. She was well dressed, attractive, very ambition and had a talent for selling. Joan was famous for her answer to a question from  prospective buyers who were aghast when they saw a foot of water in the basement of a home they might buy. “Well, think how lucky you are to know about the water. Now you can bid $3,000 lower and fix the problem for $1,000. Joan was correct; they bought and were very happy with the property. This was the middle 1970's when new starter homes were small, about 10,000 square feet, had one bathroom, three bedrooms, and cost about $40,000.
A larger home was one of the items the middle class purchased with productivity gains made over the last fifty years.

Joan wanted to be a real estate broker, but fail the test because of her poor mathematical skills. Math required for the license was using formulas, a little geometry, and multi-step word problems. Some of this was necessary for commercial developers but for what Joan wanted to do, little math was needed. But testing is a way to limit supply of brokers thus keeping broker/manager salaries high.  As her tuitor, much of what I did was build her confidence that if she did the easy questions, a missed the few difficult questions, she would still pass. Needless to say, she passed the exam.

Joan was one of the most confident people I've encountered in many years of education. She went to school before testing sapped the vitality out of people who were not above average in both mathematic analysis and verbal understanding.  Interpersonal intelligence, easily the most important in the real world kind of useful intelligence, isn't considered important by our academic educators. 

The Rest of the Story

Joan had a secret to her success. She belonged to the Friday 7:00 AM Howard Johnson Breakfast Club. Two or three plus salespeople from ten or so local real estate companies met, talked a little business, and created a network, a monopoly. If you needed something for sale at one of your competitors, you called your friend from Friday morning and they would call you. The more people you helped, the more people who would help you.

I once had the world's greatest house listing in A+ condition at a great location, and price correctly. Two or three sales were stopped by parents coming to visit their children who loved the house.  I had guaranteed the owner who was leaving for Venezuela that it would be sold and he was nervous, but not me. With two weeks to go I called Joan and agreed to split the listing commission and it was sold the next day. Some people think Joan should go to college, I think school should be designed to maximize special intelligence of people like Joan.

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Battlefield Reflections of a
Life-Long Statistic Teacher

The Normal Curve Rules

Teaching Statistics to Open Enrollment
Evening College Students by
 Walter

Introduction: After years of traditional teaching I switched to the programmed type text Quick Notes Statistics and its companion Excel Statistics Lab Manual which had all the problems and their data sets written in Excel so much of the calculation requirements were removed as an obstacle to learning. Many students were familiar with the text as they had used Quick Notes Financial Accounting and/or  Economics Interactive Class Notes with Links in previous courses. These books had concise two-page outlines per learning unit with practice problems and complete solutions.

Methodology: Class one began with a 30 minute summary of material covered on the first computerized take-home exam or in the lab test. We then adjourned to the lab with some of the better students leaving to do required work at their own convenience while the  others joined me in the lab learn to use Excel to calculate measures of central tendency. Lectures/lab sessions followed. The class before the computerized test using Excel was a comprehensive hour or so review where I again saw the better students and after the review a few students were off to the lab to finish their computerized  lab set due before the test. This procedure was followed for tests on probability and on hypothesis testing/correlation/regression.

Result: 1) Being an honor system take-home or in lab computer exam resulted in the same grade distribution as for a traditional in class test where students were allowed  a large note card/ cheat sheet.
 
2) Using computers, more material was easily covered with less work and anxiety.  3) But only the better students learned more, much more. Students over 35 years at four different average at best colleges divided themselves into four groups.

Group one completed the course requirements but never really learned to use Excel or to do much of anything . They assed with low grades because of easy grading procedures.

Group two calculated some statistics correctly but ran into trouble deciding which Excel menu procedure to use for each of the eight different problems on the take home final. I had warned them that over 35 years grades always went down with each tests and  many were disappointed. Some of these adults worked really hard but having to choose between finite and normal distributions, large and small samples and then between one sample and two samples eventually led to mistakes.

Group three often got the statistic correct but then had difficulty determining to accept or reject the no change null hypothesis.  All the studying in the world doesn't help because they had never really figured out what hypothesis testing was all about.

Group four had one final hurdle to explain what the answer meant. They had correctly accepted or rejected the null hypothesis but what did it mean? They needed to write in the analysis section that the new procedure was faster or had less defects or the new diet was better or else it was back to group three and a lower grade. Less than six from a class of twenty-five got almost everything correct and got a 4 points on almost every problem. A very few indeed got everything correct.

copyright 21st Century Learning Products  All Rights Reserved 

edited and written by Walter Antoniotti

 

Teach Students to Read
 Do a Little Basic Math and
Get Out of the Way

"Computerized work has also made knowledge more abstract and more reliant on data. In the late 1970s, Ford Motor Company began to use computer-controlled fuel injection systems in place of mechanical carburetors. Ford soon experienced heavy warranty expenditures because many technicians, not understanding fuel injection, would tackle a problem by "throwing parts at it"—replacing one component after another in the hope that something would work. Ford responded by requiring that warranty repairs could only be made by technicians who had passed a training course on repairing fuel injection systems. Half of the technicians who took the training course failed, many because they could not read well enough to understand the technical manuals. They knew how to repair mechanical carburetors because they had watched other mechanics do it. Watching other mechanics could not teach them to use computerized tools to test electronic components."

By making students read what the system wants and not what the student wants means too many students never really learn to read. Reading is key and what they read is irrelevant. The idea that you taking CIVICS or studying US History makes someone a good criticize is ridiculous. Taking General Science for students who don't like science was like me taking Gym; it was a waste of time. Let students study what they want to study and guide their studies. Can you imagine all the money we spent educating these mechanics and they couldn't read. Not doing algebra was not the problem. The term of a senator versus a house ,ember wasn't the problem. They couldn't read!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Epilogue: The Cost of a Misdirected Education

My Keene State College 1990 Economics 101 class was given data showing that average college graduates make much more than high school graduates. They had seen it before. That is why most of them were in college. Then I showed them median income of college graduates. They were disappointed with the lower number. I explained how some really high earners make the mean higher than the median. Then I showed them data indicating the bottom quarter of college graduates earned about the same income as high school's top-quarter. They became even more unsettled. Then I gave them the lowest income statistic of all,  median income for those with just a bachelor's degree. No professional degree and doctors in this group. From the back of the room I heard  "you mean they are ripping us off.  No I said: its selling something many incorrectly feel is best for everyone.

It took about twenty years but I pleased to report that because of the Great Recession mass media coverage of the decreasing economic return from a college education is no longer sporadic . But like any unwelcome news, parents, teachers, and politicians will be the last to react properly. The collateral damage has been immense. We've lost an entire generation of young American males. This will continue unless some responsible people in the mass/social media helps make an educational system that improves the well-being of all students . Here is the collateral damage of our love affair with college.

College graduates who can't find a job and college dropouts owe over one trillion dollars in outstand college loans and are finding they do not have the skills to earn a positive economic return from their investment.

Disgruntle U.S. graduates and dropouts got little from their investment of money and many years in school.

But some took the path less traveled. 

My fourteen year-old nephews announced he wanted to attend a neighboring carpentry high school. Four years of getting up early and getting a ride from his father to grandmother's house where he waited for the school bus to take him to a new, strange school. At fourteen! After school he walked home from grandma's. No one told him from what to do; he just didn't like academics and decided on a vocational education. Now a successful small contractor, his biggest problem is convincing his wife they don't need a new Volvo every two years.

His younger brother was much more academic but found school a waste of his lazy but conniving mind. He dropped out of school in the 9th grade anjd  eventually went in the military. Returning from Gulf War 1 he eventually found a good unionized job in the corrections industry working for Massachusetts.  That's BIG BUCKS MSSACHUSETTS!. No one had to tell him that investing in a 401K in addition to the state retirement plan was a good idea. He also bought car mortgage insurance a year before an illness made him unable to pay said liability.  

Epitaph: Many of our best and brightest did make a proper investment in college and there are enough of them to maintain our nation's well-being. Imagine a country where the school system maximizes all kinds of all Special Intelligence rather than trying to maximizing the math/verbal intelligence of everyone including those whose learning disabilities require special attention. See

Older Generations Accumulate, Younger Generations Stagnate
CHANGE IN AVERAGE NET WORTH BY AGE GROUP, 1983–2010
from http://www.businessinsider

 

More Interesting Thoughts

Quotes

" The mind is not a vessel to be filled , but a fire to be kindled." 
Plutarch from The Week Magazine 11/02/12 p199

 

 

Obama Wants to Enhance Early Years  Education The Economist Magazine 2/9/13
Here is some data.

"Finland on top (it scored direly in the OECD study). At least 98% of children aged five or six are in pre-school education there. Finland also dominates the overall league tables for education performance, so perhaps the scope for improvement is slight. Other enthusiastic providers of pre-school education like Sweden, Norway, France and Belgium and Denmark do not score particularly highly on attainment in later education, whereas Japan, which combines early-years provision with a fiercely competitive exam culture, excels. So too does South Korea, where the state until now has provided under half of pre-school places. So pre-school is no panacea, says Andreas Schleicher, who oversees the OECD’s big triennial PISA report on educational attainment. “Drilling children” in early years does not lead automatically to learning gains, he says."


Editor's Note: I'd trade two more years of early childhood education for two less years of high school education in a second. Academic kids not mature enough to leave home for college could so or go to a junior college or work for a while, maybe as workers in a vast public/private pre-school industry.