A little challenge question...

Discussion in 'Education' started by btthegreat, Sep 6, 2021.

  1. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

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    I was in 10th grade in a Salem Oregon High School in 1977 about 40 years ago. The city sits in the Willamette Valley 45 miles from Portland, along the river of the same name and the estimated population was 88,000 back then. It had one college - Willamette University/ Liberal arts/ Business Administration/ Law School and a lot of rural farmland encircling it. It was almost entirely white, and protestant,

    That year they did some polling of the student body to see where to put the emphasis in hiring new staff, where to cut staffing in order to accomodate student preferences in classes for elective courses for the upcoming year.

    Care to guess what subject most students who answered the survey wanted more elective classes? This really isn't impossible if you have a sense of the educational priorities and fashions that were funding in public education during the the previous decade all over the country. This isn't about what kids felt they wanted to learn. Its about what they felt they needed to learn, that wasn't available
     
  2. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Pottery? I really have no clue.

    ...but as a former 10th grader, I can attest to the fact that what I thought I wanted and what I thought I needed at that age were not only difficult to distinguish between, but ended up having very little to do with what actually helped me later in life.
     
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  3. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

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    It wasn't pottery, or jazz choir, or weight training, or a cooking class, or sex ed. The students rose up and wanted - I know you are guessed - World Geography and World history class!

    The Social Studies Dept had been completely gutted as budgets kept being cut and the priorities of the 60's generation framed the electives offered, so that the only classes available were those required by the state of Oregon for a diploma. Those being an American Civics Class, and an American History I and 20th century American History Class. The college bound students were desperate because the universities they were applying to, saw no sign that they had learned even the basics of anything outside the border.

    And most of them had not heard of the French Revolution, or word one about European colonialism, and did not have a clue that Queen Victoria existed. and a boy from that school could not have found Japan on a map if he was offered a cheerleader and a dark closet when he found it.

    So that was where the budget was spent. On three classes: World History, World Geography and Advanced Placement European History. The brainiacs rebeled and became the squeaky wheel that got WD40.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2021
  4. MJ Davies

    MJ Davies Well-Known Member

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    That actually made me smile! I saw a comedian from TN say he didn't learn about other countries in school. He just learned about the states that were touching his state in case of a civil war. ;-)

    I think we really should push for more people to learn history. We keep making the same darn mistakes!

    So, how many kids went on to become historians in your area? I'm really impressed by this revelation. It gives me a bit more hope for our future. ;-)
     
  5. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

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    It does until you realize that all those educators and guidance counselors with all their diplomas in that high school, could not figure out that if colleges demand something of an applicant like say - basic history and geography, they had better be providing it to their graduates without being told to, by the kids who have not finished their junior year of high school!.

    Thats not the way this is supposed to go down!
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2021
  6. MJ Davies

    MJ Davies Well-Known Member

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    OMG. Please say that slower. (lol) What?
     
  7. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

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    The kiddies had to tell the guidance counselors and educators what they needed to get into good colleges, not the other way around! They should not have to tell them that there isn't even a basic world history and geography class offered.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2021
  8. MJ Davies

    MJ Davies Well-Known Member

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    Oh! OK. I understand now. I've never held a high opinion of school guidance counselors. They just don't seem all that effective across the board. I'm sure there are some that take a real interest in their student's development but not for the most part. Not from what I've seen anyway.

    Good for these students!

    So, are you going to tell us what you majored in in college?
     
  9. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

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    Political science and English studies, but I never got my degree.
     

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