Oprah and Education?

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Registered: 03-25-2010
Oprah and Education?
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Fri, 09-24-2010 - 5:10pm

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Avatar for rollmops2009
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Registered: 02-24-2009
Fri, 10-01-2010 - 3:04am

Oh dear, that reminds me of a lady I once met. Her great-grandparents or grandparents had come from Germany, and settled somewhere with a bunch of other Germans. We were talking, and it was mostly about how upset she was about those horrible Mexicans and especially how terrible it is that they don't learn English etc. HER people spoke English even though they had an immigrant background and in her opinion immigrants had a duty to stop speaking their native languages. She was quite harsh and insistent.

Eventually I tried to lighten the mood a bit by asking her and her dh how they met. He told the story, which culminated in the description of how they got married in her home church, and how he was a bit put out that he did not understand a word of the service because it was all in German. So of course I congratulated her warmly on being from a community that maintained its native language so well for so many generations, lol.


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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
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Registered: 03-29-1999
Thu, 09-30-2010 - 8:54pm

My father says his German grandmother spoke German in the home and didn't speak English...That was close to 100 years ago.

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Registered: 04-22-2005
Thu, 09-30-2010 - 8:15pm

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I was thinking the same thing, lol.





















iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2009
Thu, 09-30-2010 - 5:08pm

that Americans have never learned grammar or a foreign language before attempting Greek. That is obviously both unfair and inaccurate, but a common perception all the same.



I don't know that I agree it's either unfair or inaccurate.

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Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Thu, 09-30-2010 - 12:54pm
That is true in Greece too, lol. Anglophones, especially Americans, are absolutely notorious for never managing to learn the local language. They do usually try, but give up easily. Most of the locals ascribe the failure to the shortcomings of the American school system, i.e. that Americans have never learned grammar or a foreign language before attempting Greek. That is obviously both unfair and inaccurate, but a common perception all the same.

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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
– George Orwell
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-29-2002
Thu, 09-30-2010 - 12:31pm

"What I have a problem with is people who come to this country, know they want to stay in this county, have kids in this country and NEVER bother to learn how to speak this language. "

Interestingly, this scenario is quite common in Scandinavia...and it's actually the native English speakers who are the least likely to learn the local language, even after 10 or 20 years. Most other immigrants make the effort, with more or less success. Ime, the older the immigrant the less likely the immigrant is to get fluent in another language, and some seem to lack the ability to learn regardless of how hard they try.

Nevertheless, native English speakers are famous in Scandinavia for just not bothering to even try. They can get away with it because most people are fluent in English. We were those parents who didn't speak the local language when ds started school. It was awkward, but we managed. I'm fluent now, and dh can read, write and understand Swedish well, but it took us quite a long time to get to that point.

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Registered: 01-15-2006
Thu, 09-30-2010 - 6:08am

but you LOVE teaching, and that's great, we certainly don't need a bunch of quitters.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2005
Wed, 09-29-2010 - 1:16pm
That was the situation when I was starting college as a special education major. It was definitely not being implementing in the best interests of the children--any of the children. Nobody was happy with it. Not the parents, not the teachers, not the administrators.
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Registered: 12-07-2003
Wed, 09-29-2010 - 11:58am

I think accommodating as many students in the regular classroom as possible is a good thing. Let's say of the 20 students, 15 of them can learn in a traditionally taught class. And let's say two of the remaining 5 students really learn better with more tactile learning opportunities and three others learn better with more listening to learn opportunities. A good teacher should be able to create activities that include some traditional, tactile, and listening skills. And I think all of the students benefit from those kinds of activities. Because even if the first fifteen can learn in the traditional manner, doesn't mean they won't learn better with additional learning styles incorporated into the curriculum.

While clearly there are some students who cannot be totally accommodated in the classroom and require pull out services, and some students who cannot be accommodated at all (I'm thinking of students who for example are 10 chronologically, but perform at the 2 year old level), I think that as much as possible mainstreaming students is a good thing.

What I object to is simply cutting a special ed teachers position, throwing kids into a classroom where the teacher has little or no experience with incorporating teaching to multiple learning styles. It compounds the problem when there are children with severe behavior problems, especially in a school where most of the students are low income and many of the kids have parents who are uninterested in making sure their children are learning. And on top of it, testing all of the kids and if too many are failing, blaming the teachers and cutting the school's funding.

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Registered: 07-12-2005
Wed, 09-29-2010 - 11:16am

I started college as a special education major and had such a hard time with a debate going on at that time regarding mainstreaming. On one hand, I saw children who were generally intelligent but had a learning disability thrive when mainstreamed and kind of shrivel when they were put into a separate program. On the other hand, I saw kids with more severe disabilities who did really well in a special education classroom but have difficulties in the regular classroom that outweighed any benefits. At the time I was in college, there was talk of making it a black and white issue--either mainstream everyone or put everyone with any type of disability into the same classroom. Seemed ludicrous to me. For starters, the argument for putting everyone into the special ed class was that having kids with learning disabilities in a regular classroom resulted in having to slow down the pace for all kids--but having a kid with a minor learning disability in a special education classroom with a huge range of abilities/disabilities would do the same thing to that kid, probably to a much larger extent. On the other hand, putting kids with severe disabilities into a regular classroom without the appropriate resources was equally problematic, if it meant that nobody in the classroom was getting the education and support they needed.

With that said, it would be nice if we could structure it in such a way that enables each child to perform to the best of their ability, to be in the least restrictive environment they can handle, and could provide the resources needed to allow them to excel there. I'm just not sure we have found that solution. When I was in school, the gifted students were trained to help students with disabilities, paired up with them in regular classrooms, and pulled out together to go to the gifted classes and learning resource classes at the same time and in the same part of the building. it worked well, I thought. Often, it took care of two problems: students who became bored and students who were falling behind. I think now there is more of an emphasis on wanting the gifted students to be overachievers (why help another student when they could be working ahead instead) but I don't have school-aged kids yet, so maybe I am reading too much into what I have heard secondhand from others.

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