DailyDirt: Educational Materials

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The education industry is experiencing some disruptive events — with public school budgets getting huge cuts and all sorts of new initiatives to try to identify why some schools are better than others (attempting to replicate the successes). There aren’t any magic-bullet solutions, but there are a lot of things that haven’t worked so far. Here are just a few more educational tidbits that could help some teachers out there.

By the way, StumbleUpon can recommend some good Techdirt articles, too.

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Comments on “DailyDirt: Educational Materials”

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Anonymous Coward says:

just remember: teachers are only paid for the time they actually work!

I don’t know how it’s handled where you live, but here the teachers receive a yearly salary. If they take too much time off work they may have something docked, and if they are only working part time the standard salary will be adjusted accordingly(part-time teachers may actually have a valid complaint here). That salary, divided into equal portions and paid out over the course of the school year, is more than sufficient to pay for the entire year’s expenses. In other words, they receive more than enough money over the course of the year to compensate for the lack of cheques during the summer vacation. According to statistics. the average teacher’s wage around here is well over sixty thousand dollars so it isn’t as if they get paid six dollars an hour and have to live on the dole all summer. On the other hand I do agree it would be much easier if the salaries were split up and paid out evenly across the entire fiscal year rather then just during the school year.

I would also like to add that ain’t is not a word, and the fact they neglected to teach you this shows that whoever provided your education was being overpaid. A problem I see far too often these days.

Anonymous Coward says:


I disagree. Recess and lunch breaks are not a part of the school curriculum. They are intended simply as breaks in the day’s routine, just as coffee breaks and lunch breaks are used to break up an adults work day. In the case of children these breaks are even more important – and the children certainly do make use of them to expand their skills – but that still does not make them a part of the curriculum. Any skills gained through them remain coincidental and secondary to the actual intended purpose of the breaks.

Also, the so called ‘Physical Education’ classes were really only meant to provide exercise, not education. They were originally brought into the schools because society started to become overly sedentary and this was considered an effective way to ensure that the children became more active. Given the apparent increase in childhood obesity it seems that effort was insufficient. I grant that along the way it has evolved to provide some educational value, but that still does not make it a primary purpose of the school system.

The fact remains that schools have always been intended as a place were children can learn the academic and industrial skills needed to enter the adult work force, not a place for ‘kids to be kids’ or to learn social skills. This doesn’t mean those aren’t important parts of our children’s childhood experiences (indeed they are extremely important), merely that parents should not expect the schools to provide them. Parents need to stop pushing all the responsibility onto the teachers’ shoulders and start getting more involved in their own children’s development.

DinDaddy (profile) says:


The school is still responsible for the child’s welfare during those breaks however.

That said, I do agre with you to a point, to wit:

“But how do schools enforce various zero-tolerance policies for touching/bullying and still allow kids to be kids?”

They should not be enforcing zero tolerance anything. School boards need to stop abdicating their responsibility for their own and the schools staffs’ actions by using zero tolerance, and return to having to use their own judgement to decide when and how severely these actions require intervention and/or punishment.

This whole trend of “suspend anyone for any infraction” so that no one can blame the school is gutless. And parents are partly to blame. If teachers and administrators had allies amongst the parents against the types who caused this reaction, there might be a chance to reverse the trend.

My kid was not allowed to run on the playground in his elementary. Under threat of suspension for repeat offenses. Seriously.

Cody Jackson (profile) says:

Math and science dropouts

Reading the article, it is surprising that educators are so dim when it comes to education.

I’m working on a Ph.D. in IS/IT Management and have read many studies that talk about getting people more involved in “stuff” (whatever the study is concerned with) inevitably leads to better results. Whether it is a company that gets employees involved in rolling out a new computer system or a classroom that has more student participation an fewer lectures, the more involved people are the more likely they are to succeed.

Empowering people and giving them a stake in an outcome encourages them invest more in a situation. Traditional classroom teaching has been shown to be ineffective in the vast majority of situations, whether it is in a school or a business training session.

Killercool (profile) says:


I disagree with your disagreement. Physical and social development activities (exercise, sports, simple games, dances) have a long history of being included in schooling. While the class period known as “P.E.” may not have existed for very long, it doesn’t change the fact that it has long been accepted that schools are responsible, IN PART (as I said before), for the physical and social development of their students. What else are playgrounds for?

Anonymous Coward says:


lol, my wife expects the same thing. 😀

Okay, I accept your amendment. As I was trying to say earlier, I agree that these things can be a meaningful part of the curriculum.

My real issue with is with the idea that the school – and by extension the academic teachers – should be held responsible for the children’s moral and social development. I feel that teachers should be responsible for imparting academic skills and knowledge, not for babysitting.

These new zero-tolerance rules are an effort to make the teachers lives easier, and I honestly can’t blame them even if I don’t agree. If more parents took the time to apply discipline at home (and I don’t necessarily mean horse-whipping) then the children would be more respectful at the schools and the need for such draconian rules would be reduced.

Likewise if parents were encouraged and allowed to volunteer and/or otherwise participate in the schools then there would also be less of these issues. When I was a kid my mother actually quit her job so she could spend time helping out at the school, which welcomed her support. Recently a friend tried to volunteer at her daughters school and was told her presence was not allowed – this despite the schools claims that parents were welcome (apparently that only applies on a short term temporary basis).

My point – I seem to have been wandering – is that I don’t believe schools should bear the onus of teaching morality or social behaviour. They have enough on their shoulders imparting the ever-increasing load of academic skills.

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