Will the U.S. ever be tops in math and science?
Having lived in Southeast Asia I've seen how non-American youth essentially enter the world being prepped for college; and from a very young age they learn and study intensely, even controversially. But it seems to pay off for them, often right here in America. Will the U.S. ever top this educational work ethic?
Our education system needs to be overhauled for the US to ever be tops. Plus, our educational standards aren't measured on an equal playing field with the rest of the world because we believe in educating everyone.
The teachers in this nation are highly under appreciated and underpaid. Once the pay scales are increased and benefits improved, you'll get teachers (GOOD teachers) to stay on. Logic and critical thinking are a big part of math and science, and that is also lacking in the today's school system.
The curriculum needs to be less strict and more open to free thought and theories and the like; with this type of thought, you will get the important and groundbreaking breakthroughs that change the world.
It's possible, but not until the nation changes its mind about what constitutes an education.
Well...half of the parents in the US do not even believe in science and won't allow schools to teach it to their children. So forget about that.
No, the U.S. has become fat and lazy thinking that we can hire others to do the heavy lifting when need. Other country's want it more. Politicians would rather spend money on the military then education, parents would rather have their kids participated in zillions of sports than hit the books, and a large portion of the country is focused on silly things like trying to push creationism into public school rather than teaching kids how to think logically.
The U.S. shines in the area of imaginative thinking that other countries who focus on just learning facts and figures. As others point out the evangelist religious types are against free thought and logical thinking.
Education is pretty much left solely to each individual state. The states are allowed to accept or reject any type of unified change (for example, some states are adopting and trying to implement a standard in assessment that is more detailed with about seven different types of assessment categories instead of about four). The Federal Government only has ways to suggest certain changes in education by dangling money and having states agree to it (such as the No Child Left Behind Act).
Because of the inconsistencies between the Federal, State, District, and Individual schools are so large, it will take a lot of effort to even get the the math and science scores to be higher. Besides, America does not put much stock in studying and instead, is worried about test scores (and thus teaches test-taking strategies. To be honest, I can sit down to take a general test on Physics right now, which I never studied in high school, and score at least a C- because I know how to take tests).
Getting good teachers into school systems are difficult as well. Those good teachers mostly want to go to school that have students from high socio-economic backgrounds and living in good neighborhoods. Those good teachers do not really want to teach inner-city schools where there are high amounts of non-English speaking students (which gets pushed to the side WAY too often), free or reduced lunch students, and students with a lot of behavioral problems.
Honestly, I do not think that the United States will ever get good math and science scores. And it's not just because there are many people who disagree with the Theory of Evolution.
Only if our people start valuing education. We have plenty of talent in this country, but abuses of our educational system and lack of funding keep us from developing it properly.
America will never catch up academically. We live in a society where mediocrity reigns supreme and the capable and gifted aren't recognized for their talents and aren't properly challenged. I understand the need for "equality" among our children growing up, but does it really make sense that the children with the higher IQ's are learning the same material at the same pace as the less gifted children? Shouldn't we challenge our youth?
I think you answered your own question. Unfortunately, youth today are prepped for sitting in front of a tv while watching teen moms get famous for having their train wrecked lives aired for all to see. Ergo, why focus on academics in a country where there is no guarantee for job security/profitability, or ability to keep up with rising inflation when one can dress in sweats all day and make money exemplifying the lowest common denominator. When we (U.S.) start treating academic success like athletic success, stop being polarized over politics and educational agenda, and deep six the "pop culture" obsessiveness, then maybe we can start a real discussion. In the mean time, when the Asians take over...maybe we'll make great pets!
No, Students in the UNited States work ethics is awful. Other countries focus so much on education, and in the United States kids tend to hate it so much.
Most likely no, sense Americans value mediocrity and the idiot box more than they do education and academic excellence. We focus more on sports, television, and mindless politics than we do what really matters: a proper development for the youth.
And an education for the adults won't hurt either.
-Yellow minded, Pikachusif
I highly doubt it. The education system doesn't get supported enough so they end up having to tailor everything to every Tom, Dick, and Harry. Hell, I just found out about a kid I know that graduated from high school with an actual diploma, yet he functions at the 5th grade level academically. Give me a break. These kids should have certificates of attendance, not diplomas. We need to be much more intentional about the education of our children and SUPPORT schools so they can properly teach. (Oh...and enough of this crap of teaching to the test...these state and national tests are a crock).
I think that your subtext is more insightful than the question itself. Asians are happily training their children that they need to grind away at math and hard sciences in order to get into a good college, get a good job, have a good life. This is mainstream American thinking as well.
It's not really the DOMINANT thinking here though. Americans consider other things more important than grinding out math and science in their scheme of perceived self-worth.
I feel that people need to back away from this techno-minded, madness. I've got a degree in Psychology and a minor in Biology and I can honestly say that this doesn't change who I am or how I see life. In fact, I really would like more to slow things down.
My hope is to buy a farm and raise grass-fed beef and poultry. Get back to the land and all that. Maybe have 50% of my income come from Hubpages or other online income streams and 50% from the farm. And ENJOY life.
These kids who are getting "groomed" to dominate math and science test...what's their life going to be like? Sitting in a cubicle as an engineer earning high dollars while they lie to themselves and say that everything is all right...when they know it's not. Then, of course, because it's all they know, they'll repeat the cycle with their own kids. After all, failure to train your child in the same vein as your were brought up in is a rather obvious condemnation of your upbringing and who would want to implicitly admit that they feel that the way they were brought up sucked?
Not sure if the US will be tops in these areas in school. However, in the professional world, the US has many people who are at the top in these areas.
I feel as if the gap is spreading way too widely for us to recap that top spot. I wish it were so. The learning styles in places such as Southeast Asia are different from those of American soil. Fundamentals and teamwork are firmly expressed. A strong emphasis is placed on mathematics. It is unfortunate and sad to see. However, the US educational system is partly to blame because of low standards and misuse of talent, time, and opportunity.
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