Quote: Originally Posted by Zipperfish
I agree that it's not what it's supposed to be, but that's what it is.
I'm overstating the case though--we do, for the most part, graduate people who can read, write and understand basic arithmetric (althuogh the jury is stil out on spleling).
We do and we don't. I know it's not absolutely dire, we're not looking at 50% or more but I've known quite a few people who were 'passed along' when their reading skills, in particular, were not up to snuff. That should never be acceptable, even in small numbers.
But kids don't spend much time on the Three Rs. Most of it is inculcation of important societal values. They spend a good chunk of the day learning about sharing and the environment. For instance, it's part of teh science curriculum in BC to "recognize the significance of celestial objects to First nations cultures."
And there is/can be value in social studies. Reading, writing, math are all very basic skills, important ones but basic none the less. It's the foundation and like all foundations, you build upon it to achieve greater heights and greater understanding. If you don't have that, if we are not providing that sufficiently, how well are kids going to be able to understand things beyond that? Not that I'm a "society is going to hell in a handbasket" kind of a person, far from it, but how many is an acceptable number to 'leave behind'? Is any number of children an acceptable number to leave behind? Should we be looking at even 4 or 5 percent (just a random number meant to convey a smaller proportion, I don't know the actual figures) that may be "passed along" without really learning the material and say that's too much?
I'm a scientist and my wife has a degree in math. So it's no surprise that my kids are good at math. My son just started Grade 5, but we work at home on basic algebra--Grade 7 or Grade 8 stuff. It would be nice if they challenged him at school but they are more interested in cultural diversity and punctuality.
I'd expect in your household that your kids would have their math and science skills augmented but not taught. We have to have standards and maintain those standards. Because the kids who don't have scientists and mathematicians for parents are really getting screwed out of the basics of their education aren't they?