19 December 2013

The Real Reason American Kids Are Lousy At Math And Science? This NY Times Op Ed May Very Well Hit The Nail On The Head

Posted by Dan Satterfield

7day2I’ve written often here about Science and education and how poorly American kids do in Math and Science compared to many other countries. I spotted this Op Ed in the NY Times tonight, and it’s well worth a read. All the money in the world will not help if we continue to send the wrong message by our actions as parents and administrators, and the first two comments are also (IMHO) enlightening.

The bigger question is what we as a society do to change the culture. I am reminded of the quote (cannot remember from who) “Each year China graduates more really smart kids, than the U.S. graduates….

In Canada a few years ago, I was relaxing at a resort hotel in the hot tub when a group of young students got in and started talking. I listened to them for a while and was impressed by their vocabulary. I asked them if they were in college, and they laughed and said, “no we are still in high school”. American high school students would never have used that level of vocabulary, and that episode convinced me that there is definitely something to those studies that show Canadian students generally rank well above American students.

So, how do we fix it? I don’t know but I do know this:

While we should have an immense amount of empathy for those who have not had the opportunity to an education, we should have the utmost disdain for anyone who celebrates the lack of one as a cultural identity or lifestyle.