Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Diminishing returns (Score 3, Interesting) 478

However, if we didn't have security measures, or some 'whistle-blower' leaked all of them, do you think that the people who don't like us wouldn't have continued to blow up or hijack plane after plane...

I believe the only worthwhile and moral safety measure that has been added since 9/11 is that cockpit doors are now reinforced; that's pretty much it. Everything else they've done violates people's fundamental liberties, and since I'm someone who cares far more about freedom than safety, I'd rather go without such security theater (the TSA is garbage and most likely doesn't do anything).

Comment Re:for math? (Score 1) 440

I don't know what you're talking about. You seem to be assuming that I am opposed to all forms of memorizing, but that is not the case. What I'm opposed to is handing out tests that only test for memorization. If you understand the material, I believe there is a very likely chance that you'll have retained facts surrounding it to begin with.

Comment Re:Focusing on the wrong things. (Score 1) 440

Well, a great deal about surviving as an adult is having the right answers and having a job.

But it's not what education is about.

A large majority of students produced by an education system will not only remember facts taught, but at least be able to regurgitate the official explanation as to why these facts occurre

Will they, now? Is that actually true? Is knowing certain material unrelated to your job without understanding it beneficial? What of the fact that they likely won't be able to do anything innovative with the knowledge, or even know how to use it in complicated situations where not everything is given to them on a piece of paper?

Your 'reasoning' was hardly reasonable.

My reasoning?

is a poorly researched opinion.

Is it? They don't seem to be doing a very good job of measuring understanding of the material.

The fact is that book learning is very well correlated to the performance on a test, and if nationally or at least within a school district, we agree on a curriculum to teach, then a paper test that is standardized properly should work very well for that curriculum.


Comment Re:for math? (Score 1) 440

If you're just memorizing patterns and "understanding," then chances are, you don't understand anything. These tests do not test for an understanding of the material, and I view that as a problem. I never said that no one should ever memorize anything, just that I believe people should... actually understand the material.

Comment Re:for math? (Score 1) 440

I believe getting the right answer is important, but getting the right answer is not all that is important. What's puzzling to me is that I actually said something to that effect in the first place, and yet your reply makes it seem as if I didn't.

I firmly believe that having an actual understanding of a subject allows you to be more innovative and precise than a rote memorization drone.

Comment Re:Moral of the story.... (Score 1) 440

Yes, if you want your kids to be both ignorant and socially retarded, then please homeschool them.

Ignorant? Many of them seem more competent than a grand majority of the products of the public education system. Socially retarded? Locking people up in an obviously artificial environment with others their own age isn't the only way to get kids to socialize, you know. This is a non-problem.

And yes, social interaction is a lot more important in the long run than IQ.


Comment Re:Focusing on the wrong things. (Score 1) 440

Because a large part of professional success

Not everything is about jobs or getting the right answer.

and one only has to change a few things to apply known methods to the 'new' problem.

A grand majority of students produced by the education system will emerge from it and will not have any sort of understanding of any of the material, which is, I think, a problem. As you say, they might be able to get the right answers (but only for a short time, because it's likely that they'll forget all the patterns and facts they memorized), but doing anything innovative will be beyond most of them because they have no grasp on the logic behind any of it.

You need rote memorization to remember previous problems and their associated methods, you need pattern recognition to see that different problems may actually have a similar structure.

The ability to memorize facts and recognize patterns is useful (although, in many cases, memorizing facts seems to be useless), but I don't think those skills are even nearly as important as understanding the material. Besides, I've found that if you have a good understanding of the logic behind what you're working with, you'll be able to retain facts about it in memory more easily simply because it becomes more memorable.

why the resistance of standardized tests? It works well enough.

Because it doesn't work, for exactly the reasons mentioned. If your goal is to create an educated populace, relying so heavily on such tests probably isn't a very good idea.

Comment Re:Absolutely the case (Score 1) 369

I'm not really interested in left or right. I just find it sad that people like you can't distinguish the forest through the trees: ALL our politicians have contributed to this problem.

Just because Bush isn't in power anymore doesn't mean we should all forget about what he's done. Further, the guy never claimed that Obama had no hand in any of this.

Slashdot Top Deals

Just go with the flow control, roll with the crunches, and, when you get a prompt, type like hell.