WHY ASIAN PARENTS HAVE THEIR KIDS’ BACKS IN SCHOOL

Why do students of East Asian descent do so well in school? Because parents are the primary educators.
So concludes Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Her column on the subject was published July 31, 2017.
While American parents are concerned with how engaging their child’s teacher is, how much homework their child will have and whether their child will be able to balance school and other activities, such as band or soccer, in East Asian countries, parents are worried about one thing: whether their child will learn, Downey writes.
The Asian children’s success will depend not only on their own effort, but that of their parents, she writes.
That difference may explain the performance gap between American students and those from East Asian countries, Downey writes.
According to a research scholar on East Asian education, this lagging performance by American students will not change unless we upend two beliefs: teachers are responsible for student achievement and parents play a supportive, rather than primary, role in their child’s education, Downey writes.
Cornelius N. Grove, author and researcher on East Asian education, has challenged the assumption that school performance is determined by innate aptitude, Downey writes. He says children bring – or don’t bring, in the case of some U.S. students – a receptiveness to learning and a moral and cultural imperative to excel, Downey writes.
Students who fail an algebra test here might say, “I’m just not good at math,” Downey quotes Grove. East Asian students use failure to figure out what they don’t know and redirect their study plan, Downey quotes Grove.
One could argue that while education is important, so are other things in life. The balance American parents look for in their children is a worthy endeavor. We want children to have a life, to do things that kids do, to enjoy growing up and not be put in a pressure cooker.
On the other hand, some parents can be too loosey-goosey, fret about the child’s self-esteem, etc.
Those old enough may remember when parents sent kids to school, let them figure out what to do, perhaps had one or two conferences a year with teachers and that was it. Some parents were disinclined, or perhaps even incapable, of helping with homework.
Still, “we have masses of young people (In the U.S) who aren’t able to do simple math, who have trouble reading a sentence,” Downey quotes Grove.
Yet, she quotes him, “we are not short of entrepreneurs in this country.” If your child is an entrepreneur, and is looking for something to apply that trait that could earn him potentially a lot of money, there are many vehicles out there that may fit him or her. To check out one of the best, message me.
The bottom line is that parents have to find the happy medium in which their child can excel in school, and still be a kid. The parents have to devote a higher priority on education, and not leave everything up to teachers and schools.
The children have to want to learn. A parent who cultivates a child’s desire to learn is parenting at its best. So let your kids be kids, let them do what they enjoy, yet still have focus on education. Perhaps the parents can take a leading role in increasing school performance of American children.
Peter

DO SCHOOLS REALLY HAVE TO BE BORING?

#BoringSchools #education #HappyStudents
A graduate from an affluent New York high school told a panel of education experts that school was like a prison.
“The only difference,” said Nikhil Goyal, “is that in schools, students are paroled at the same time every day. Does school really have to be this horrible, this boring and monotonous thing that you have to wake up every day at 7 a.m. and go to?” he asked.
Goyal was quoted in a June 13, 2016, column by Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Goyal, now 21, has written a book titled, “Schools on Trial: How Freedom and Creativity Can Fix Our Educational Malpractice,” Downey writes.
Schools should bend to accommodate students rather than forcing children to learn in lockstep and labeling them as failures if they fall out of step, Downey writes, attributing the statement to Goyal.
Why can’t we design schools “where kids are happy and excited to be there?” Downey quotes Goyal.
As we’ve learned, particularly in recent years, it’s difficult to absolutely quantify learning.
Couple that with the advancing technology, in which information is readily available, and we begin to wonder what we are teaching kids, and whether those things are going to actually help them.
The best way we know to quantify learning is through test scores, term papers and the like. In many instances, the students are merely spitting back information they might not ever use – not to mention how easy it will be to find if they do use it.
Employers may not be looking for what a person knows, but how he thinks and whether his way of thinking will mesh with what the company wants to accomplish.
We want to teach kids how to think, but exactly how to do that, in a way that is quantifiable, is a real challenge for educators.
Perhaps, as the educators perfect that, students will feel more excited in school.
Downey says Goyal told her that students measured their self-worth by the number of Advanced Placement classes they took and the academic honors they received. Most were sleep-deprived and some depended on prescription drugs, like Adder-all and Ritalin, to survive, Downey writes.
Certainly, some independent schools, with less emphasis on quantifying learning, let students rely on their own innate curiosity and creativity to lead them to what they should learn, Downey writes. That, she attributes to Goyal, will allow students to learn with enthusiasm and joy.
As the debate continues on how best to educate children, and how much that education should cost, it’s important for children to know that education of any type is valuable, though not all education will make one a living.
There are many ways out there to earn money, regardless of education. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau.
Meanwhile, as a society, we need to find the best way to educate children for today’s world. We also know that education that creates enthusiasm among students can only benefit them in the long run.
Peter

WHAT WE LEARN IN HIGH SCHOOL

“When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all.”
Paul Simon lyric from “Kodachrome”

#HighSchool #learning #education
What did you learn in high school that you use today?
Perhaps you use some household math. Perhaps, if you took vocational courses, you use what you learned in auto mechanics, machine shop etc.
Most of us, though, would be hard pressed to think of much that we use today from our high school learning.
As it turns out, high schools were designed more than a century ago to produce efficient workers who could follow instructions, according to Ted Dintersmith, venture-capitalist-turned reformer.
“Henry Ford did not need creative, bold innovative assembly-line workers,” Dintersmith said.
Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, took on the topic of high schools in a January 2016 column. She interviewed Dintersmith as part of it.
Now that the U.S. economy has changed from manufacturing to innovation, have high schools changed with it? Downey asks.
Downey points out that most of us believed that basic jobs, such as truck driving and delivery services, were immune to change as technology advanced. But Google’s self-driving car and Amazon Prime Air delivery drones are changing that.
So that begs the question: will high schools change the way they educate to conform to the changing economy, and the changing technological requirements?
Today, a high school education is not good enough, in many cases, to land a good-paying job. Even some who graduate college are finding they cannot parlay their brainpower into an economically exhilarating career.
So will high schools become irrelevant? Will some college curriculums become an expensive luxury?
Let’s break down the concept of education. Throughout most of our years in school, we learn “things.” We were expected to spit back those “things” on tests, to get our grades. Now, with technology, the “things” we were taught are available at our fingertips. What we really need to know is how to take those “things,” turn them first into ideas and then into action. In other words, gather your “things,” go forth and innovate.
It’s tough to put a finger on those jobs that will never go away. Perhaps some of you have had jobs you thought would never go away, but have. Were you replaced by a machine? Did what you do become irrelevant to the company as technology changed? Or, more likely, did the company just find it too expensive to keep you, so it figured out a way to do without you?
All those “things” you learned help you in trivia games, but they don’t move you forward in a changing world.
Let’s look further into colleges. We are starting to hear that the liberal arts is virtually useless in terms of finding one a job. We are hearing that the STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and math) are the only really employable fields to get into. But we all know that not everyone is cut out for those fields. So what is a person who wants to study the arts to do?
There are many ways to earn money while one pursues his artistic passion. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You may find a way to work full time on your passion, and part time on your fortune.
We will always need people to do basic jobs. But those jobs hardly create lucrative careers. Are you learning to think the way innovators do? Or, are you just learning “things,” or how to follow orders?
Schools will eventually have to catch up with the rest of the world. In the meantime, if your school isn’t doing what you think is right for you, use your time outside of school to make things right by you.
Peter

TECHNOLOGY AND EDUCATION: PART 2

Imagine going to school, and not having to lug a lot of books home with you.
Sure, we want students to be more physical, but carrying books, backpacks laden with “stuff” for school, is probably not the best way to be active.
Cheryl Atkinson, superintendent of schools for DeKalb County, Ga., recently announced that by August 2014, every middle school and high school student in DeKalb will have HIS own device, with all his textbooks on it. Every teacher will have a laptop. Every school will be wireless.
Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, discussed this in her Dec. 10,2012, column. Atkinson spoke at a DeKalb Chamber of Commerce luncheon about this topic. “The fact is … (students) can’t wait for us to catch up to their style of learning, nor should they have to,” Downey quoted Atkinson.
Technology is eventually going to change education in more ways than one. School districts are scrounging for resources. Their governmental benefactors want to give them as few resources as possible. Many see public education as a costly burden, that wastes much of what is given to it.
Technology can solve a good bit of that problem. Technology is making books – one of education’s biggest costs – obsolete. One day, we could see many classes taught by interactive videos. Imagine having one teacher who teaches a certain subject well, simultaneously broadcast to multiple schools. How many fewer teachers might we need in the future? How many students might get the best education the school district can offer, vs. multiple teachers of various experience and abilities making learning in one school better than learning in another school in the same district?
EVERYTHING A STUDENT NEEDS IS IN HIS POCKET?
Imagine a student carrying everything he needs to learn with in a device. As innovations progress, devices shrink. Someday, everything students need will be in their pockets. Just think: no books, no pencils, no pads of paper. All those supplies that cost money will be totally unnecessary. If you buy each student a device, it will seem like a bargain, compared to all those other supplies.
Education will be like other industries, using technology to do more, and better, with less. These advances may not go over well with teachers and other employees, who will see job opportunities decrease. On the other hand, technology can help the really good teachers get in front of more students. That can only improve education.
Because of the Internet, information is readily available to students. Teachers can spend less and less time imparting information, and more and more time teaching students the best way to use information. Teachers can be more creative with student interaction, and less structured in the classroom.
Education is slow to use technology to increase productivity and improve quality. The education systems have to overcome old barriers to innovation, so that students can learn in their own style, as Atkinson put it.
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We’ve seen many young people so immersed in their gadgets doing insignificant things for hours on end. We’ve seen gadgets keep kids stationary, when they should be moving more. We’ve seen students lugging backpacks full of books and supplies to and from school.
When the school requires them to use their gadgets for educational purposes, they’ll still spend hours with their gadgets, but doing more fruitful tasks. They won’t be lugging books and supplies to and from school, so maybe they’ll want to get out and move more.
Technology may be a curse as well as a blessing, but it is reality. Let’s hope our educational system catches up with reality sooner rather than later.
Peter

TECHNOLOGY AND EDUCATION: PART 1

“If I had only an hour to live, I would spend it in this class because it feels like an eternity.”
That was one student’s comment to Jason B. Huett, a technology guru and University of West Georgia professor, when evaluating one of his courses.
Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, quoted Huett for the Dec. 10, 2012, edition. Huett was making the point that education is slow to change the way students are taught, despite the technological advances.
But a larger point might be: must students be bored in school?
As Downey paraphrases Huett, a frontier teacher from a century ago would be agape at the changes in the world, but the classroom would still largely look the same.
That teacher probably was taught that school needs to feel like work to a student. School should be the student’s job. When the student finishes school, he would go to a job that would be tedious and hard, so they had to learn to endure that in school.
If you read a typical textbook of yore, it’s hardly something you’d take to the beach to read – unless, of course you were cramming for an exam in the sun.
TEDIUM AND DUPLICATION
But what if teachers concentrated on ways to make learning more fun, or at least enjoyable? Sure, learning IS work, but a century ago, it seemed we taught students how to be good employees – how to duplicate repetitive tasks that they would do in the workplace when they graduated. We taught routine. We taught doing what you are told, and only asking questions if there was something you didn’t know.
In yesteryears, we gave students information in the only way we knew how. Today, however, students can get their own information through technology, faster than a teacher can convey it. The jobs of the future are going to require more innovation, because machines will handle the repetitive and tedious tasks.
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But, if we want kids to be more innovative, the education system has to be more innovative. If we want kids to be more collaborative – employers are looking for good, team players – we have to teach them that collaboration trumps competition with those on the same team. Sure, we have to evaluate students in terms of what they’ve learned, but what if the grading system were less about beating the person next to you, and more about the student’s and the person next to him’s mutual achievement?
Technology is changing our workplaces, but it is changing our education system at a much slower pace, Downey paraphrases Huett. Huett refers to the education system as a factory model that puts students on a conveyor belt at medium speed.
The workplaces of yesteryear had few innovators. To compete globally as a nation, innovation has to be encouraged at the earliest stage of life possible. Technology can make education more productive, and, perhaps, more interesting to students.
How refreshing it would be for educators to have more students in their classroom who WANT to be there? The jobs of the future will be less repetitive, less duplicative and more innovative – no matter the level a person works in an organization. Workers will relish the mutual success with those around them. It will be work, but it will seem less like WORK. Why can’t school be work, but seem less like SCHOOL?
Peter

TEACHING GRIT

Sometimes it’s not how good you are at something. Many times people succeed just because they persevere.
Maureen Downey, the education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, spoke to journalist Paul Tough, author of “How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character.” He says that that characteristics of persistence, self-control, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence may contribute more to a child’s success – no matter the background – than just learning words and numbers.
Downey goes on to describe research done on kids who graduated from the KIPP program in The Bronx, N.Y. Many of the kids in that program graduated middle school, high school and went off to college. They’d earned the highest test scores of any Bronx students and the fifth-highest scores in New York City in 2003. Downey quotes Tough, who cites KIPP co-founder David Levin.
Yet, only 21 percent of those young achievers earned a college degree. What happened? It appears, Downey quotes Tough, that the students who succeeded showed the greatest optimism, were able to recover from setbacks, didn’t let a bad grade destroy them and would seek extra help from professors. They would turn down going to a movie to spend the time studying.
Many educators have said that it’s the parents’ job to instill character in a student. Educators in the past have focused heavily on making students feel good about themselves (self-esteem), and some students have learned that just showing up deserves reward. As an aside, showing up on time is a big part of a success routine, but it should be expected.
Some parents have been overly concerned about protecting students from harm, and bailing them out when they get in trouble. We’ve seen that attitude follow them into adulthood. Do you know a 30-year-old who still leans on his parents to survive? Is that behavior natural, or was it carefully taught?
FEELING GOOD IS OK, BUT …
Tough seems to want to get kids away from the feel-good attitudes. He believes they should experience adversity, and learn to find ways out of it. They should learn gratitude, generosity and social agility. Do you know someone who won’t go to something that could benefit them, because they have a negative opinion of the people who might be there?
Do you know someone who will never turn down a chance to have a good time, even though their time could be better spent at more constructive activities? Do you know someone who won’t look at something that could really benefit them, because they are not the least bit curious?
Sometimes resiliency is more valuable to a student than self-esteem. Most resilient students already feel good about themselves, and know that success is up to them. Combine that with generosity, gratitude and the desire to help others succeed and you’ll have someone who WILL succeed as an adult.
So, it may not be just math and reading that students need to learn. They must combine what they learn with character attributes that will maximize what they’ve learned. To paraphrase Wendy Kinney, director of Power Core, a close-contact business networking organization, each business person can identify a person in his field to whose skills they aspire, but has a less successful business. At the same time, each business person can identify a person in his field who should never get referrals, but has a bigger business. How one markets himself makes the difference.
Related to that, most people can identify a person who started what should have been a great business, but didn’t have the grit to stay with it long enough to make it succeed. Perhaps, had they been taught the virtues of character in school, the result may have been different.
Do you have grit? Can you take a punch, get up and keep fighting? Are you looking for the best way to apply that grit to be the most successful? Do you want to help others succeed with you? If so, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. It’s one vehicle that can help the gritty person become successful, no matter the education.
The more resilient, gritty, optimistic and generous people we have in this world, the better our world will be. Do you want to be part of the gritty solution, or be the grit that clogs the works? If you don’t see yourself as gritty, but wish you were, you can learn to change.
Peter