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Fahrenheit 451, anyone?
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kame



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm always thankful that my mom taught me to read before I started school, being three or four years ahead as far as comprehension went allowed me to do zero work in english and still pass. Very Happy

The process of getting good at getting books was much more organic, and didn't really occur until after I flunked out of University.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rm wrote:
the goddamn problem is that no one teaches people how to think. if you can describe how the book made you feel and summerize a plot then you pass, and that's bullshit. and I'm talking about in early grade school. it has to start there. they test kids all the time to see where their reading and comprehension levels are but they don't do anything to raise those levels. if you score high you get to read more complex books, or go into a gifted program. but scoring high is like, being normal, in my opinion. I was put at a 12+ grade reading level in third fucking grade. so, what did I do? I tried to read the sound and the fury. needless to say I didn't understand it. I needed someone to help me, but there wasn't anyone. I realize now that none of my teachers, probably through highschool, had ever read faulkner. I don't even know why it was in the library. the system is fucked from the very center out. if you're lucky, if you are the rare individual who sees the inherent value of knowledge, then you don't give up and can maybe teach yourself some things. I don't mean to bash teachers. I know there are many fine ones out there, but I never met one until college. it also helps to have involved and intelligent parents. anyway, it boils down to teaching. everyone's happy if you can read at all. who needs all that literature? it doesn't get you a job at verizon.


SO well put. In sixth grade I realized that the special education c is even more fucked than the general educational curriculum; quite simply I realized it made the 'smart' kids smarter and the 'dumb' kids dumber. My 7 year old autistic nephew has made MORE progress in 3 weeks of being in a regular class than he did all of last semester, something I think of as a an idicator of how the lower end holds the special needs children back.

Starting in Junior high and progressing to rediculous degrees by senior year, I started a willful boycott of a good portion of my homework. My reasoning being that I saw homework as a tool designed for reinforcing the lessons learned in class and through the text as well as, and this is what pissed me off, a compensation tool that would allow teachers to raise the grades of those unable to preform in testing situations. I could not bring myself to do something that I saw as so rediculously unecessary WHEN applicable; doing homework for algebra seemed fine since it helped me but why was reinforcement necessary in subjects I could get A's in w/o even EVER opening the text book? It never ceased to amaze me though that despite getting steady C's and D's in many of my classes that I kept getting pushed into Honors and later AP level classes due to my stardardized test scores consistently being in the top 1% in the state. I spent so much of my high school academic career frustrated and angry it's not even funny.

Also I think Celaeno was on the right track. Why would a computer science major or a technical school student worry about reading tens of thousands of pages of fiction when they have tens of thousands of of pages of programming and technical manuals to learn? I don't think one can expect them all to be renaissance men like our own belove Usagi. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but it seems to me to almost be inevitable. This leads me to another beef with the article, the fact that it says "college" graduates and not "four-year university" graduates. College graduate is far to broad of a classification considering the rise in graduates from technical schools and other instituions, that while they may be called colleges, are not equivalent to most four years Universities in terms of
providing a well rounded education.

blah I'm done here...now my stomach hurts.
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Amilam



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AfyonBlade:

I was talking about a specific teacher, or perhaps teachers within a specific field. For example mathematics utilizes different thinking skills than literature so obviously the two teachers are going to have different emphasis, methods, and results dictated by the material. Unless you're a literature or creative writing major and are exposed to a lot of combined hours of similar material I don't think education alone can solve the deficiency. If you think about your brain as a multifaceted muscle you should get my drift. One literature class isn't going to be any more effective than one P.E. course will cure obesity. It's about a change in lifestyle.

As far as the second point about teaching approaches goes, I have my doubts. People are reading less and the corresponding mental abilities with it are declining. Is this because education has gotten worse over the past 10, 20, 30 years? Or, in my opinion, because reading occupies an increasingly small percentage of our free time due to crowding from mass media (tv, movies, and video games)?

Darqcyde:

The study wasn’t asking for people to apply Derrida to Joyce. It was asking for basic reading extrapolation. This lack is disturbing because it demonstrates a lack of reasoning abilities that are required for this task. I may not be a Rhetoric major and have time to work on the subtleties of applied logic, but that doesn’t excuse me from not being able to understand and expand on simple logical problems. As a democracy we lose these abilities at our own peril.
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PeteMoss
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My parents taught me to read at a young age. I had a pretty good head start when it came to school.

In the 5th and 6th grades I read several Jules Verne books. My teachers were amazed that I could read comprehend and discuss the book. I had to keep a dictionary and encyclopedia close by so I could look up words while reading 20000 leagues under the sea.
I spent my summers at the library. I read 15-20 during the summer.

I don't read as much now and when I do they are mostly technical books.
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AfyonBlade



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I, too, spend most of my time reading textbooks and trying to comprehend the language there. I read maybe one book every month, maybe.
Which brings another thought to me: if university students are spending so much time only reading textbooks(or reading other's homework to copy it, whichever), by the time they graduate they probably HAVE lost the skill to read a book and analyze it. My brain has become geared to looking at three lines of equations, with roughly half the greek alphabet in them, and figuring out what the hell is going on.
Like Amilam said, if you gear toward math analysis instead of english analysis, you lose the enlglish analysis.
So, maybe this study is just showing that graduates are out of practice, not 'stupid'.
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Major Tom



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i disagree.

i can perform prose analysis or parse the spoken or written word for hidden meaning and implication and am equally capable of in-depth statistical analysis.

plus, i can make the summary report almost palatable to read.
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Marik



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:32 pm    Post subject: and in the end we get what we want Reply with quote

Quote:
Managers, in turn, have learned to use audio or video messaging as much as possible with workers, and to make sure that no text message ever contains more than one idea.


Politicians, as well, have learned to use audio and video messaging almost exclusively, and to make sure that no campaign really stretches too far beyond one single semi-cogent point, whittled down to a talking point.
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Desire



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Major Tom wrote:
i disagree.

i can perform prose analysis or parse the spoken or written word for hidden meaning and implication and am equally capable of in-depth statistical analysis.

plus, i can make the summary report almost palatable to read.


yeah, but you're you. No fair trying to measure everyone else up to you. Razz
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Lasairfiona



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paring a message down to one idea isn't a bad thing and it is darn useful in the business world. When you have only one idea, you can focus on that idea much better than focusing on five ideas. Conveying multiple important topics in one message doesn't get as much done. This isn't because people can't figure out the ideas but because not everyone can multitask on that level. It is a matter of focus, not a matter of stupidity.

Politicians have every right to use the same psychological tricks that managers use to focus people. The problem is that people don't go any further than that one idea when it comes to politics (or anything else really).

I would also be curious as to exactly how this test worked not because I don't believe them, but because I want to know what level of extrapolation they were measuring.

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AfyonBlade



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely. If I'm given a list of more than 4 things, I can't accurately carry those things out, unless they're written down. Once I know generally what do, though, I can carry out all of the small things that need to be done to carry out the large task.

Yes, some people can do both english and math analysis very well from the get-go, but what if you didn't do any english analysis since Freshman year, and in your 2nd year of Masters work you're given this test? Statistical anomalies aside, I bet the results would get close to this.

Quote:
I would also be curious as to exactly how this test worked not because I don't believe them, but because I want to know what level of extrapolation they were measuring.


That's also a big point. If they're extrapolating things from Hemingway compared to Kafka's Metamorphosis, the results will be very different.
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rm



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

me, I find life rather boring unless I'm parsing something. I can't read the back of a shampoo bottle without analysing the text and comparing it to the toothpaste bullet points. I waste a lot of time in the bathroom this way.

... I'm sure I had some larger point to make. sorry.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amilam wrote:

Darqcyde:

The study wasn’t asking for people to apply Derrida to Joyce. It was asking for basic reading extrapolation. This lack is disturbing because it demonstrates a lack of reasoning abilities that are required for this task. I may not be a Rhetoric major and have time to work on the subtleties of applied logic, but that doesn’t excuse me from not being able to understand and expand on simple logical problems. As a democracy we lose these abilities at our own peril.


Are you so sure? I was under the impression that "complex" books would require more than just basic reading comprehension. According to Flynn peoples IQ's world wide are increasing yearly, but people are not necessarily getting smarter, so your comment that it demonstrates a loack of reasoning skills is erronious; it's not that people are losing them so much as it would seem they are being applied more elsewhere and/or in non-traditional manners.

*edit I will be very suprised if further study reveals that this study along with the Flynn effect reveals that they are NOT different aspects of the same phenomenon.
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Last edited by Darqcyde on Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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kame



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rm wrote:
me, I find life rather boring unless I'm parsing something. I can't read the back of a shampoo bottle without analysing the text and comparing it to the toothpaste bullet points. I waste a lot of time in the bathroom this way.

... I'm sure I had some larger point to make. sorry.


That dissembling bullshit and critical thinking are important? I can't see the larger point either. Razz
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rm



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I was trying to point out that, for me, this is a life skill and a nearly constant process which can be exercised from the mundane to the sublime and yeah, I think it is very important because otherwise you just end up taking everything at face value.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

which actually goes a long way to explain the politicians we are saddled with. people judge the surface appearance, and can't put together all the subtleties.
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