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  1. #1
    Regular Coder Rappa's Avatar
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    Theres an elephant in the way

    im sorry lol, this made me laugh uncontrolably and i thought you guys may get a kick out of it also:
    (actuall exam answer btw)


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    When i was a physics teacher, there was a girl who desperately needed some points to get to the next year in school. She wasn't taking physics anymore but she needed some grade to pass the year. I made a test for her. She tried to make it, but she couldn't give any answer. Instead of answering the questions, she wrote down the recipe for a chocolate cake (a rather good one too). I gave her the grade she needed. She went on with the next year and is studying now (very succesfull). We were both happy, she could move on in school and i did not have to try to teach her physics another year. Some students will never get it, even after trying for another year. So i decided to do that.
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    Regular Coder Armondo's Avatar
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    lol your good a physics.

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    hmmm wonder why the teacher took the time to underline the word elephant

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roelf View Post
    When i was a physics teacher, there was a girl who desperately needed some points to get to the next year in school. She wasn't taking physics anymore but she needed some grade to pass the year. I made a test for her. She tried to make it, but she couldn't give any answer. Instead of answering the questions, she wrote down the recipe for a chocolate cake (a rather good one too). I gave her the grade she needed. She went on with the next year and is studying now (very succesfull). We were both happy, she could move on in school and i did not have to try to teach her physics another year. Some students will never get it, even after trying for another year. So i decided to do that.
    WTF??? That seems to me to be slightly unethical. Makes me wonder if "chocolate cake" is a euphamism for something ... else. And if that's why she's still "successful."
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    The fat guy next door VIPStephan's Avatar
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    Why is that unethical? Does it hurt anybody? OK, it's not usual practice (and shouldn't be) but unethical?
    What's the point of restraining someone's potential career in a business where this knowledge will be absolutely not needed just because of a physics test? I mean OK, not everybody should get spoon-fed but if you, as teacher, know that a student has real potential somewhere else and would be better off by achieving class goal instead of repeating another year just because physics ain't her forte then for me such an exception (and that should still be an exception) is certainly justifiable.

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    Supreme Master coder! _Aerospace_Eng_'s Avatar
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    BTW the student in the above image was close to the answer all they had to do was solve for x. With no friction mechanical energy is conserved.
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  • #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIPStephan View Post
    Why is that unethical? Does it hurt anybody? OK, it's not usual practice (and shouldn't be) but unethical?
    What's the point of restraining someone's potential career in a business where this knowledge will be absolutely not needed just because of a physics test? I mean OK, not everybody should get spoon-fed but if you, as teacher, know that a student has real potential somewhere else and would be better off by achieving class goal instead of repeating another year just because physics ain't her forte then for me such an exception (and that should still be an exception) is certainly justifiable.
    If it "ain't her forte" then she should be encouraged to find what is her forte (perhaps culinary arts?), not just passed on because she has potential somewhere else. Stuff like this is why you have no guarantee that someone actually has an aptitude just because they hold a degree, and the American educational system produces lots of these graduates.
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenixshade View Post
    WTF??? That seems to me to be slightly unethical. Makes me wonder if "chocolate cake" is a euphamism for something ... else. And if that's why she's still "successful."
    No, chocolate cake was not a euphemism for something else. A colleague had the offer of sending all the other students away, lock the classroom door and then he was allowed to do everything he wished to do with a (female) student (these were her own words, literally), in exchange for a better grade. But this was different.
    This girl did not get a grip on physics, she was doing fine in other classes, she would drop the physics in her next year. So she should never be bothered with physics again, probably in her whole life. Taking the class another year would not improve her skills (my professional understanding), but would probably remove her motivation for all other classes she would have to take again for another year, which might lead to a decrease in performance. So i decided it was in everyones best interest to let her pass, move on with her education without physics and live happily ever after.

    I did that sort of thing twice in my career as a teacher. I have absolutely no regret about it at all, i still think i was a good teacher, even with these events happening.
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    Regular Coder KevinG's Avatar
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    i'd have thought taking a cookery class would have been more appropiate for her. still, i think it was a decent thing to do (as long as your not a 400Ib cake eating behemouth!).

    chocolate anything usually paves the way for me at home.

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    jkd
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenixshade View Post
    If it "ain't her forte" then she should be encouraged to find what is her forte (perhaps culinary arts?), not just passed on because she has potential somewhere else. Stuff like this is why you have no guarantee that someone actually has an aptitude just because they hold a degree, and the American educational system produces lots of these graduates.
    I would suggest working in a school before criticizing Roelf's techniques. Being a student means nothing, despite whatever you think your apprenticeship of observation brought you. In the very least, read some research and lose the assumption that your prototypical, ideal classroom experience is not actually the best thing for the students, as an ideal classroom requires ideal students, which you will never have. (What has been demonstrably good and bad can be surprising at times, and unlikely to be implemented in any public school.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinG View Post
    i'd have thought taking a cookery class would have been more appropiate for her. still, i think it was a decent thing to do (as long as your not a 400Ib cake eating behemouth!).

    chocolate anything usually paves the way for me at home.
    Yeah, but unfortunately, physics is mandatory in 2nd and 3rd grade in the dutch educational system, so taking another class instead of physics was not an option.
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  • #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkd View Post
    I would suggest working in a school before criticizing Roelf's techniques. Being a student means nothing, despite whatever you think your apprenticeship of observation brought you. In the very least, read some research and lose the assumption that your prototypical, ideal classroom experience is not actually the best thing for the students, as an ideal classroom requires ideal students, which you will never have. (What has been demonstrably good and bad can be surprising at times, and unlikely to be implemented in any public school.)
    ??

    Try English next tme, and maybe some concrete examples. And you can leave your presumptions at the door, please:

    Presumption #1: that I've never worked in a school. False. As a matter of fact, I have taught several classes as an adjunct at a local community college. I'm all in favor of alternative teaching methods, but I'm not in favor of passing students on anything other than demonstrable acquisition of the curriculum. In my experience, there are almost no students who can't be taught something that they really want to learn. And if they don't really want it, why give it to them for nothing?

    Presumption #2: that your personal return from your "apprenticeship of observation" has any bearing whatsoever on anyone else's. If a student has any passion at all for what they're studying, the return can be great. It was for me. If you aren't experiencing that, I'd have to assume that you're studying something that gives you no joy. Perhaps you should change majors.

    Presumption #3: that there is such a thing as a "prototypical" classroom situation. Mainstream teaching methods almost always rely on several methods in combination, such as lecture, demonstration, case study, simulation, discussion, group work, and individual instruction. Far too many teachers rely heavily on the first three (the lazy way). Since the students are involved only passively, the teacher needs to make the fewest adjustments and least preparation. On the other hand, a few teachers rely too much on the last three in which students participate actively, but factual information is harder to convey. A good balance between the two is needed to teach effectively.

    Some examples of techniques that are "demonstrably good and bad" (especially the surprising ones) might have supported your argument. As it stands now, it's one presumption after another.
    Last edited by phoenixshade; 03-12-2007 at 11:34 AM.
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  • #14
    Regular Coder Aradon's Avatar
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    Ha, I sent this picture to all my CS friends.
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  • #15
    jkd
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    I'm sorry for being argumentative, education is something I am passionate about and something far too many people get wrong, but I want to tackle the first two of my so-called presumptions:

    1. Working at a community college is not working in a high school; there is a drastic difference in student mindset when they want to be there versus forced to go there via compulsory attendance laws. Being a professor is a completely different experience than being a teacher.

    2. "Apprenticeship of Observation" is the idea that being a student for 12 years+ implies an intimate knowledge of the teaching profession. Politicians and people who have no actual clue about education implicitly assume apprenticeship of observation and use it to pass harmful educational policies.

    To touch on 3, it's well known that what works for one group can be detrimental for another. A quick example, authoritarian structures in Asian schools and families (which produce some of the world's best math students), compared to authoritarian structures in American schools (which statistically serve the African-American population very well, but are detrimental to European-American students, who do better with authoritative structures). I admit it is unrelated specifically to passing a student along, but it was probably the quickest example I could come up with.

    If a student honestly tries their best (really puts in the effort), and are still unable to do well, the need to punish (e.g. fail) isn't clear to me. There is also credence to the idea that grades create stress which detrimentally affect academic achievement (as it shifts priorities from learning to what Margaret Metzger called "playing school"), so the very concept of passing/failing may not even be important in the grand scheme of things.


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