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Offline Wade  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, June 5, 2013 8:03:58 AM(UTC)
Wade

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As some of you know, I'm writing a book about the needs of higher education (and of higher education in economics in particular) in the 21st century. I really, really want to finish a draft of the thing before school starts in August. This means averaging about 5 pages a day, but I'm always an optimist in June.

As you all know, of course, I tend to wander off on tangents and asides. And so periodically, I need to re-ground myself and make sure I'm staying focused. The experience of the "quant poll thread" tells me I'm at one of those points where I need to "check with the world" and make sure I'm hitting what needs to be hit.

So I have four questions to ask of you (there will likely be more later, but just three for now):

1. What, of the things your teachers have asked you do (or are currently asking you to do), have been the big wasters of your time and attention?
2. What things that your teachers have asked you to do have been (or are) most valuable?
3. What things do you wish your teachers would have done more of?
4. How old are you?* [Decades (teens, twenties, thirties) or generation (boomers, gen X, gen Y) are sufficient here.]

*I'm asking the age question because part of my book's argument comes from my belief that the needs of education have changed between my generation (boomers) and those currently in school (Gen Y/millenials and whatever the next gen ends up being called). generations.

Please be your usual frank selves and as detailed/general as you wish.

Thanks.
Wade
None of the above. It wouldn't have been a wasted vote. Obama and Romney -- Those were the wasted votes.
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Offline wpr  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, June 5, 2013 9:24:57 AM(UTC)
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Quote:
So I have four questions to ask of you (there will likely be more later, but just three for now):



I struggled in Econ classes but I am glad you didn't teach me. I would have been lost in the woods with no hope of finding the bread crumb trail back out.
"You don't hurt 'em if you don't hit 'em." Chesty Puller



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DoddPower on 6/5/2013(UTC)
Offline wpr  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, June 5, 2013 9:48:59 AM(UTC)
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Wade in response to your questions above. I graduated in 1980 so I am a boomer. Nearly 90% of the things I learned in school were things that I have not had the need to apply in real life. I can not remember what they are. I am not sure what I do use.

It is my opinion that college does offer the chance to give people (kids mainly) a more well rounded outlook on life. So many kinds come from small towns and they think that they attended a big school only to discover what they know is a drop in the bucket. It applies to almost every aspect of their life. Their formal education, their social experiences and so on.

One of the things I remember from college was the time when I accidentally bumped in to a young man who attended Chicago Public school. He was a big strong kid who was very popular with everyone. I mumbled "Excuse me" as I kept on walking. (I think I was looking at some of my notes for class or something like that so I didn't walk in a straight line.) He called me back and proceeded to lecture me about how I did not hit him intentionally so it was no big deal. He told me how no one would survive a day in his neighborhood if they apologized like I just did. Culture shock set in. I told him ok I wouldn't do it again and walked away. I have never forgot it. I grew up in a home where you did say that you were sorry if you bumped someone. Of course I would say that to my younger brothers but I would certainly apologize to someone bigger than I was to save myself from a beating.

So my point is I learned as many or more life lessons outside the class room than in them.

Back on track- School definitely lays a foundation that we build off of. I frequently will cite something and then say I learned that in either high school or college I just can't remember which. Thing is that is how I recall it. That may not be what was taught to me.

The things that do stick in my mind often are not text book teaching. My German professor telling us about how he escaped from East Germany. Next semester a different German instructor (not a professor) showing the class the difference between the words "red" and "white" by holding one of his hands over his head and the other down by his side. The hand that was below his waste had turned red from the blood rush in and staying while the one over his head had lost some of its blood flow. My consumers ed class to a field trip to the Aurora, IL air traffic control center. It had nothing to do with our class. The instructor wanted to see the facility and could only do so if he made it a class trip. It was fascinating.

I sat in the kitchen of a house that a bunch of Dutch students were living in. We had tea. My host apologized and explained to me one of their conversations. Seems someone had mistakenly bought green tea because the package was a lot like the package of the best selling brand of black tea back home. Apparently when they put brown sugar into the tea it made it a funny color. I told them I wouldn't have noticed since I did not drink tea and I did not sweeten with brown sugar and I was color blind. I would have assumed that we were drinking tea the way they always did.

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Offline Zero2Cool  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, June 5, 2013 10:18:26 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Wade Go to Quoted Post
So I have four questions to ask of you (there will likely be more later, but just three for now):

1. What, of the things your teachers have asked you do (or are currently asking you to do), have been the big wasters of your time and attention?
2. What things that your teachers have asked you to do have been (or are) most valuable?
3. What things do you wish your teachers would have done more of?
4. How old are you?* [Decades (teens, twenties, thirties) or generation (boomers, gen X, gen Y) are sufficient here.]



  1. Everything encapsulated by the Strategies for the Technical Professional course.
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  3. Adapted what they were teaching us to more life like scenarios
  4. 11,944 days old


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Offline Pack93z  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, June 5, 2013 10:19:07 AM(UTC)
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I don't have a ton of time (been this way for a bit now) but I want to respond in a general nature.

To me, the best teachers were the ones that set a general direction in which the semester/year would go, but allowed the subject matter and details be a sort of living document so to speak.

Teachers that basically assigned tasks by chapter and dictated the in class teachings off a script so to speak were completely useless in my opinion in "teaching" the topics at hand. The teachers that actually allowed the students help drive the teachings in open dialog on top of the book work were much more effective in my opinion.

Of course some subject matter it truly didn't matter the style, but in most cases it did.

It is extremely boring and mundane to be presented text book material in class and then taking the standard concept retention tests each text book wants to present. I don't need to sit in class and absorb that.. hence why I usually (in college where I had a choice) attended the first couple of lectures of every class.. then weeded through Profs that were just puppets of the textbook and then either flipped out of the class or sat in the back of each lecture and bailed as soon as I got schedule information (and the profs that thought they would wait to end of class to layout the schedule, pop back in late in class to grab it.)

I seen no point to sit through the puppet show when I could cover the same material on my own.

So basically to answer your questions:

1. What, of the things your teachers have asked you do (or are currently asking you to do), have been the big wasters of your time and attention? Having the puppets cover the same material one was going to read and then taking the quiz at end of chapter with another test on top. If you can't effectively "teach" the information without gutting the textbook for your content, quit and change professions.
2. What things that your teachers have asked you to do have been (or are) most valuable? A teacher that actually knows the topic and introduces it in more of a tangible nature than an audible textbook format. Bring the teaching to life.. otherwise, just assign the chapter, allow us to read it in class and like a prison warden make sure we pay our penance via test/quiz, I need not hear you re-script the material.
3. What things do you wish your teachers would have done more of? See #2
4. How old are you?* [Decades (teens, twenties, thirties) or generation (boomers, gen X, gen Y) are sufficient here.] Graduated High School in 1990.. undergraduate in 1995 and continue to take select classes yet today. Today I just bail if the Prof is a puppet... I can buy the book and accomplish the same dam thing on my schedule, not wasting time to fit it in for a puppet.

Some of the best classes I remember (and still leverage today) were the ones where the material was not just presented.. but it was openly debated and torn apart. An example off the top of my head... the Gettysburg Address in high school, we covered it, but we covered not just the speech itself but the related tangents in detail. It probably chopped off another topic that may have been covered because we spent time here, but we effectively covered a much referenced moment in our history.. effectively and not just learning the words or having to recite it correctly. What made it that moment..
I think when there's enough will and aggression, there's no shortage of talent either.

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wpr on 6/5/2013(UTC)
Online texaspackerbacker  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, June 5, 2013 11:46:34 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Wade Go to Quoted Post
As some of you know, I'm writing a book about the needs of higher education (and of higher education in economics in particular) in the 21st century. I really, really want to finish a draft of the thing before school starts in August. This means averaging about 5 pages a day, but I'm always an optimist in June.

As you all know, of course, I tend to wander off on tangents and asides. And so periodically, I need to re-ground myself and make sure I'm staying focused. The experience of the "quant poll thread" tells me I'm at one of those points where I need to "check with the world" and make sure I'm hitting what needs to be hit.

So I have four questions to ask of you (there will likely be more later, but just three for now):

1. What, of the things your teachers have asked you do (or are currently asking you to do), have been the big wasters of your time and attention?
2. What things that your teachers have asked you to do have been (or are) most valuable?
3. What things do you wish your teachers would have done more of?
4. How old are you?* [Decades (teens, twenties, thirties) or generation (boomers, gen X, gen Y) are sufficient here.]

*I'm asking the age question because part of my book's argument comes from my belief that the needs of education have changed between my generation (boomers) and those currently in school (Gen Y/millenials and whatever the next gen ends up being called). generations.

Please be your usual frank selves and as detailed/general as you wish.

Thanks.
Wade


Wade, first and foremost, you (teachers in general, but YOU in particular) need to guard against being too DOGMATIC - assuming some particular concept is right or wrong. THAT is what you did in that poll you designed, and while it led to some great discussion, it was FLAWED because of your ASSUMPTION of what was right/wrong. That is even more of a factor in the field of Economics where basically everything is theories. What you - Econ teachers in general - should do is 1. give the students the tools - without bias - to make decisions, and 2. expose the students - again without bias to comparative theories - whatever you may think of those theories - then maybe right at the end of the course, inject your own views - well publicized as your views, and if there's time also allow students to make presentations supporting the theory they see as most valid. The last thing students and the country in general needs in the 21st century is propaganda - preaching that some certain way or practices is right or will result in disaster - or is a certainty in any way.

4. It's well known, I'm the youngest 66 year old you will ever encounter hahahaha.

3. In most fields - other than Economics, teaching facts, procedures, tools. That's more applicable to math, history, and even language skills, but as much as is feasible in Econ also.

2. Design a macroeconomic model for a fictitious country with varying assumptions about that country; Consider the effects of various facts, events, forces on that economic model.

1. By far, the big waster of time is what educators euphemistically call "classroom management" - discipline. The big difference between 4-6 decades ago when I was in school and now is the horrible waste of teachers taking time out of teaching to keep order. It was always that way, although not to the extent of now, in the lower levels of school - elementary, middle, but nowadays, even in the 80s and 90s when I was taking college courses, the attitudes and behavior problems have infested even college classes - where students pay to be there. I don't know what to recommend to deal with this - it is a parenting problem and a societal problem, and just something a teacher has to live with, I think. As for being "re-grounded" and staying focused or whatever, that is overrated. Some of the best learning and teaching happens when the discussion is "off on a tangent". That is NOT a waste of time.

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Offline DakotaT  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, June 5, 2013 2:30:35 PM(UTC)
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The only thing being "well rounded" gets you Wade is a lot of school debt. A lot of the curriculum forced on college graduates is ridiculous. Also, college is suppose to be an institution of higher learning, so why are people that got D's and F's in high school clogging up the halls and classroom space with their presence? College is no longer a privilege to those that have "earned" it. It is a place to go chill out, party, and get that precious piece of paper.

For me college was just a means to end. You had to have a degree to advance. Most of my professors were a joke - guys that couldn't cut it in the world, so they ended up professors. I was an OTA with life experience, so maybe I'm a bad person to comment on this. I probably would have a different outlook on college, had I gone directly out of high school.
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Offline Wade  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, June 5, 2013 5:03:35 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: wpr Go to Quoted Post
I struggled in Econ classes but I am glad you didn't teach me. I would have been lost in the woods with no hope of finding the bread crumb trail back out.


ROFL.

I'm always doing that sort of thing. I say something, then I edit above it and forget to track things through. Argh.

None of the above. It wouldn't have been a wasted vote. Obama and Romney -- Those were the wasted votes.
Offline Wade  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, June 5, 2013 5:09:00 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DakotaT Go to Quoted Post
The only thing being "well rounded" gets you Wade is a lot of school debt. A lot of the curriculum forced on college graduates is ridiculous. Also, college is suppose to be an institution of higher learning, so why are people that got D's and F's in high school clogging up the halls and classroom space with their presence? College is no longer a privilege to those that have "earned" it. It is a place to go chill out, party, and get that precious piece of paper.

For me college was just a means to end. You had to have a degree to advance. Most of my professors were a joke - guys that couldn't cut it in the world, so they ended up professors. I was an OTA with life experience, so maybe I'm a bad person to comment on this. I probably would have a different outlook on college, had I gone directly out of high school.


Er, what is an OTA?

None of the above. It wouldn't have been a wasted vote. Obama and Romney -- Those were the wasted votes.
Offline wpr  
#10 Posted : Wednesday, June 5, 2013 7:45:16 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Wade Go to Quoted Post
Er, what is an OTA?



this is a Packer site. It means Organic Trade Association I mean Orthopaedic Trauma Association. Wait how about Organized Team Activity. Yeah that's the ticket.
"You don't hurt 'em if you don't hit 'em." Chesty Puller



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Offline DakotaT  
#11 Posted : Thursday, June 6, 2013 6:46:59 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Wade Go to Quoted Post
Er, what is an OTA?



Older Than Average student. The young pups hated our guts because we wrecked the curve for them.
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Offline DakotaT  
#12 Posted : Thursday, June 6, 2013 6:49:57 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DakotaT Go to Quoted Post
Older Than Average student. The young pups hated our guts because we wrecked the curve for them. Well that and I was still young enough to get the girls they wanted. Thinking back, college wasn't so bad. You always have to extract how much snatch you got from the crappy equation of being forced to take material you already knew and pay for it to boot.


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Offline DakotaT  
#13 Posted : Thursday, June 6, 2013 6:52:46 AM(UTC)
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Well I just quoted myself. Must be time to go to bed. Those 12 hour night shifts are a bitch. But at least Formo and VR will be able to wipe their asses with lights on.
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Offline Zero2Cool  
#14 Posted : Thursday, June 6, 2013 6:58:08 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Wade Go to Quoted Post
Er, what is an OTA?



Over The Air.

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Offline Formo  
#15 Posted : Thursday, June 6, 2013 6:25:33 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DakotaT Go to Quoted Post
Well I just quoted myself. Must be time to go to bed. Those 12 hour night shifts are a bitch. But at least Formo and VR will be able to wipe their asses with lights on.


I pay my bills, bitch, don't worry about my damn lights.

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