Are schools too easy?

A recent survey in the US shows that a high percentage of school kids complain that school is too easy, and therefore boring. At the same time, a high percentage of kids have trouble at school. I don’t know if it is the same kids or not. I suspect that the same number kids would have trouble even if the course of study were made more demanding. 

I can only speak about what I see with my grandchildren who are in French immersion. I find the courses far too easy, and poorly organized. If I look at their homework, a lot of it looks like make work tasks created by teachers, often on poorly presented photocopied hand outs. 

In language instruction, as I have said, there should be far greater emphasis on increasing the passive skills, the vocabulary and the comprehension skills, rather than worrying about teaching correct grammar. Because the kids, other than those in French immersion, are graduating after 10 years of regular French, unable to string a proper sentence together.

5 thoughts on “Are schools too easy?

  1. I didn’t like school when I was a kid. Now that I have kids, I hate it. However, I understand that most teachers are doing their best with what they have. Nothing is perfect.

  2. I don’t think that it’s that they’re too hard or easy, but that they’re just not run properly. The teaching simply isn’t very <i>good</i>, it’s not "hard" or "easy", it’s just plain poor. I thought most of my classes in highschool were fairly hard, especially math and sciences, but I certainly didn’t learn much from them in my opinion.What do I think should be done? Let’s look at the most successful example in history, Finland. There was an excellent documentary done on their education system, here are an article about it:http://www.thedailyriff.com/articles/the-finland-phenomenon-inside-the-worlds-most-surprising-school-system-588.phpAnd here’s the documentary, you can watch it online (whole thing): http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMjY5NTQwMDUy.htmlCheers,Andrew

  3. Every child is unique, but every school program decides what everyone should learn. It also tells you when and how. Character or personality is not something you can get at school. "If you guide a child on his own path, even when he grows old, he will not go astray" (prov. 22:6, my own translation). This is a biblical verse that religious jews often quote. It seems to me that this is just what you’re trying to do at linkq (to provide a learning environment where each individual can find what he needs).

  4. Countries that do well in international comparisons of school outcomes, (assuming they are valid) including Finland, tend to be quite culturally homogeneous, with common values, and common family upbringing. This presents a greater challenge in countries like Canada or the US. However, I find teachers in Canada and the US far too interested in ideology, in activism of various kinds, in the latest pedagogical fad, and in protecting their professional entitlements. They seem to have an exaggerate sense of their own importance, when it comes to the education of other people, and other people’s children . Far too many of them are ineffective, and there is little the parents or school administrators seem able to do about it.I would like to see more people from different walks of life in classrooms, not necessarily people with teaching credentials, but people who have enthusiasm, empathy and skills,

  5. While I cannot comment on the status of U.S. high schools, as I was home-schooled, I am a freshman at Wake Forest University, ranked #27 among American universities, and thus far I have found it inexplicably easy — so easy that I feel I might be forgetting to something that I haven’t discovered yet.While taking six courses each with an A average, I’m teaching myself Swedish on the side and reading through the "Great Books of The Western World" series. I don’t have to do the homework because the teachers teach the test AND inform us about that. Besides, my classes are uninteresting (I was not allowed to pick them myself), and the one potentially interesting class, Greek mythology, covers topics most students should have known long before college.If I did do the homework, I’d have to sacrifice about two more hours of my time per day, which is easily manageable, considering that I talk to my girlfriend for roughly that amount of time each night, read for two or more hours outside of class, spend an hour per day on Swedish, and exercise or screw around for an hour or more when the tedium that is college life becomes too much to handle.And I don’t say that to brag. It’s highly annoying. Tuition costs $58,500 a year, yet I could do better for myself at a public library in my poverty-stricken Appalachian home town. Thank God for financial aid, or I would have left after week two.

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