Author Topic: 'An Appalling Report'  (Read 41959 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline c#minor

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 320
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #420 on: May 28, 2009, 07:58:25 AM »
I am going to have to agree with Eric. The benefits of determining deficiencies in learning and social aptitude is more important than the "innocence of childhood". The effect of deficiencies will affect the subject throughout their life, whereas the "innocence of childhood" will be far less important. I actually took one of these exams when I was 9. I was diagnosed with ADD but more importantly recommended to see a psychiatrist for depression. My parents did not heed the doctors warning. I was finally diagnosed with severe depression at the age of 18. For at least 9 years my depression went untreated and in that time it developed into other problems such as social anxiety and non-psychotic schizophrenia. With early treatment i could have taken care of the depression, or at least kept it at bay and prevented the other problems. So now that i have grown up to think of depression as normal, i also have problems adjusting to medication because being happy feels abnormal.

So to sum it all up. I had some tests that indicated some of these "problems" and there was no action taken. I didn't lose the "innocence of childhood" any more than I had already not had it. As well not doing anything about the results caused problems that i have to deal with today.

I say risk the "innocence" to be able to help then, because it is far easier to mold a child than it is to change an adult.

Homo Aestheticus

  • Guest
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #421 on: May 28, 2009, 09:27:09 AM »
Well said, c-minor.....and my sympathies.

Offline PSmith08

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1231
  • Some guy on the internet.
  • Location: Indiana
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #422 on: May 28, 2009, 11:50:45 AM »
I limited my point to testing for non-pathological conditions -- a limitation I continue to accept. I would, I think with some justification, call depression a pathology, and thus outside the scope of my point. The fact that a child, otherwise pathology-free, does not conform to synthetic norms of aptitude or ability is another matter entirely. Conflating a real condition like depression or dyslexia or (to a certain extent) autism with something like not getting long division (which can be a real pain) serves no real purpose and is, to my mind, a false combination.

Offline c#minor

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 320
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #423 on: May 28, 2009, 12:37:31 PM »
I limited my point to testing for non-pathological conditions -- a limitation I continue to accept. I would, I think with some justification, call depression a pathology, and thus outside the scope of my point. The fact that a child, otherwise pathology-free, does not conform to synthetic norms of aptitude or ability is another matter entirely. Conflating a real condition like depression or dyslexia or (to a certain extent) autism with something like not getting long division (which can be a real pain) serves no real purpose and is, to my mind, a false combination.

Unfortunately there is a social norm that people must conform to. If a child is showing non-conformist tendencies, those tendencies are more likely than not to manifest into adult non-conformist attitude. Our world, as much as we would not like to think, ostracizes those who are different. Those who conform are more likely to be successful. Anything to help a child grow up into a "normal" adult I think is worth the risks.

I do however think there is a problem with false diagnosis. Bipolar disorder in children is vastly over-diagnosed by primary care physicians who do not particularly know what they are doing in the world of psychological ailments.

Offline PSmith08

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1231
  • Some guy on the internet.
  • Location: Indiana
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #424 on: May 28, 2009, 01:54:12 PM »
All of what you say could be true, but it also depends on who defines the social norms and who defines success. While pretty much everyone can agree on what constitutes social behavior, I daresay that the proper norms for behavior, while sharing some common elements, will vary from social group to social group. There is a lot of cultural baggage attached to any social group's definition of the norms to which it expects its offspring to conform. I would also warrant that social norms vary from economic group to economic group. The same undoubtedly goes with a definition of success. So, when you say that children deserve all the help they can get in conforming to social norms so they'll be successful, that really doesn't say much to me.

In any event, I find the notion that children be pressed into some hypothetical, synthetic mold "for their own good" specious. Indeed, it says more than I think we'd like about modern society when the idea that children are non-conformist to norms of cognition, aptitude, and behavior is so odious to parents and educators that a cottage industry of experts and pharmaceuticals has sprung up with the idea of correcting the deviations from tolerances.

karlhenning

  • Guest
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #425 on: May 28, 2009, 03:10:24 PM »
Unfortunately there is a social norm that people must conform to. If a child is showing non-conformist tendencies, those tendencies are more likely than not to manifest into adult non-conformist attitude. Our world, as much as we would not like to think, ostracizes those who are different. Those who conform are more likely to be successful. Anything to help a child grow up into a "normal" adult I think is worth the risks.

Not that you are necessarily saying this, but I don't see it as a clean "conformist/non-conformist" divide.  As a composer, statistically I am "different";  but I do not have great difficulty flourishing in social situations.

Offline Florestan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 22705
  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #426 on: May 28, 2009, 11:31:42 PM »
I limited my point to testing for non-pathological conditions -- a limitation I continue to accept. I would, I think with some justification, call depression a pathology, and thus outside the scope of my point. The fact that a child, otherwise pathology-free, does not conform to synthetic norms of aptitude or ability is another matter entirely. Conflating a real condition like depression or dyslexia or (to a certain extent) autism with something like not getting long division (which can be a real pain) serves no real purpose and is, to my mind, a false combination.

Agreed.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline Florestan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 22705
  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #427 on: May 28, 2009, 11:32:21 PM »
All of what you say could be true, but it also depends on who defines the social norms and who defines success. While pretty much everyone can agree on what constitutes social behavior, I daresay that the proper norms for behavior, while sharing some common elements, will vary from social group to social group. There is a lot of cultural baggage attached to any social group's definition of the norms to which it expects its offspring to conform. I would also warrant that social norms vary from economic group to economic group. The same undoubtedly goes with a definition of success. So, when you say that children deserve all the help they can get in conforming to social norms so they'll be successful, that really doesn't say much to me.

In any event, I find the notion that children be pressed into some hypothetical, synthetic mold "for their own good" specious. Indeed, it says more than I think we'd like about modern society when the idea that children are non-conformist to norms of cognition, aptitude, and behavior is so odious to parents and educators that a cottage industry of experts and pharmaceuticals has sprung up with the idea of correcting the deviations from tolerances.

And agreed again.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline Florestan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 22705
  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #428 on: May 28, 2009, 11:45:29 PM »
I do however think there is a problem with false diagnosis. Bipolar disorder in children is vastly over-diagnosed by primary care physicians who do not particularly know what they are doing in the world of psychological ailments.

Precisely. Bipolar disorder in a six-year-old child? Let them give us a break form their nonsense.

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Homo Aestheticus

  • Guest
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #429 on: May 29, 2009, 05:57:36 AM »
Andrei, 

Quote
How do you know

How ?

Because as far back as kindergarten I sensed my slowness.

Honestly, I cannot recall a single time when I didn't have serious difficulties in school. Only spelling (a relatively unimportant part of the language arts) came very easily to me.

At 25 I saw a career counselor who recommended that I take a very thorough and sophisticated battery of aptitude tests which lasted 9 hours. Like I said, I scored in the 'very low' range in most areas: convergent and divergent reasoning, analytical, numerical facility, silograms, observation and memory, spatial, rhythm/tonal memory, structural visualization, etc... Basically everything that correlates with academic success. Remember, they were 'very low', not just 'low'. There is a big difference there in terms of potential.

I came out 'average low' in visual perception and scored extremely high in one type of manual dexterity.

My counselor's exact words after review:

"Under the system in this country this is considered learning disabled... The amazing thing is that you are still here, that you managed to get through the system without having sabotaged your life in a serious way. You have a lot of resilience"

Offline Florestan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 22705
  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #430 on: May 29, 2009, 06:01:55 AM »
"Under the system in this country this is considered learning disabled... The amazing thing is that you are still here, that you managed to get through the system without having sabotaged your life in a serious way. You have a lot of resilience"

The crux of the matter: it's not you who had problems, but the system itself.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Homo Aestheticus

  • Guest
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #431 on: May 29, 2009, 08:14:37 AM »
The crux of the matter: it's not you who had problems, but the system itself.

But you acknowledged that academic ability is something real, yes ?

Offline Florestan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 22705
  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #432 on: May 29, 2009, 10:04:11 AM »
But you acknowledged that academic ability is something real, yes ?

Yes.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Homo Aestheticus

  • Guest
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #433 on: May 29, 2009, 10:22:41 AM »
How would you define it ?

Homo Aestheticus

  • Guest
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #434 on: May 30, 2009, 03:31:44 AM »
Andrei,

Yes.

The reason I'm asking is that earlier in this thread you said that intellectual ability could not be defined but now you've said that academic ability is something real.

Could you clarify this ?
« Last Edit: May 30, 2009, 03:52:27 AM by The Unrepentant Pelleastrian »

Offline Coopmv

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11738
  • Mein Freund ist mein
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #435 on: May 30, 2009, 03:58:58 AM »
ACDouglas  has an excellent comment today:

http://www.soundsandfury.com/soundsandfury/2008/10/gee-what-a-surprise.html

Unbelievable.

And did this whole trend really begin in the 1960's ? 

Does this raise the question why we need 3000+ colleges and universities in the US?  Perhaps admissions to college should be a more competitive process such as colleges and universities give their own entrance examinations instead of relying on standardized tests like the SAT ...

Offline Florestan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 22705
  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #436 on: May 30, 2009, 04:06:42 AM »
The reason I'm asking is that earlier in this thread you said that intellectual ability could not be defined but now you've said that academic ability is something real.

Could you clarify this ?

Sure. Academic ability is exactly what your counselor measured and found you to be lacking. Intellectual ability is different.

Take Einstein's case: he performed very poorly in high-school, to the point of being called a simpleton by his teachers. His academic ability was low.

He graduated from the Zurich Polytechnic Institute and worked as a clerk in the Patents Office, where he wrote the papers which made him famous. His intellectual ability was one of the highest in the world.

I hope you see now what I mean.

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Homo Aestheticus

  • Guest
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #437 on: May 30, 2009, 05:11:15 PM »
Andrei,

Sure. Academic ability is exactly what your counselor measured and found you to be lacking. Intellectual ability is different.

Take Einstein's case: he performed very poorly in high-school, to the point of being called a simpleton by his teachers. His academic ability was low.

He graduated from the Zurich Polytechnic Institute and worked as a clerk in the Patents Office, where he wrote the papers which made him famous. His intellectual ability was one of the highest in the world.

I hope you see now what I mean.

I thought they were synonymous but I see now.

Getting back to the Times of London article above, here is one of the letters:

Mixed ability teaching is the single most destructive set up ever.

There are four main reasons:

1. First, it is inefficient. The teacher needs to prepare for and teach three different abilities, the majority in the middle, extension work for the bright and something for the dim. Most do not manage this, especially if the range of ability is very wide.

2. Second, no child gets the optimum education for him/her. The teachers attention is dissipated throughout the class so any one groups' education is compromised.

3. Third, because the whole class must remain at a broadly similar level for the year, the teacher nor the school can have one part of it streaking ahead or another falling behind the average must be lower than it could be. This is the main reason for falling standards and for exams being simplified or else pass rates would have fallen, and that would not do.

4. Fourth, to spend one's education in a class where almost all can do everything better, faster and easier than you must be the most demoralising experience and the key reason why so many low ability children drop our and disrupt things.

Mixed ability teaching is the main reason why standards have fallen and exams to fall with them. Also the key advantage of independent schools over state schools. The independents do not do mixed ability. As in nature, independent schools have a few for the super bright, a few for the super dim and most in the middle where most of us are. That, to me is the ideal set up.

Selection works because then all children will get an education that is tailored for him or her which must be more efficient.

Mixed ability is premised on the dogma that all can be made the same, that ability differences are really class differences. This is nonsense. We are all born different in ability and character and for as long as people marry and raise children as they wish they will create different experiences for them so there is nothing that can be done about differences except for nature to take its course. The reality is that liberals in the 60s and 70s didn't like the idea that in life some people are just better than others. They saw streaming and setting as "elitist" and so tried to wipe it out with "mixed ability teaching".

Some people fail, some succeed. That's life. What a shock the real world must be to today's teenagers when they leave school.

*****

Do you agree ? And if not why is he wrong ?
« Last Edit: May 30, 2009, 05:26:15 PM by The Unrepentant Pelleastrian »

karlhenning

  • Guest
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #438 on: May 31, 2009, 01:50:17 AM »
Mixed ability teaching is the single most destructive set up ever.

(* yawn *)

Homo Aestheticus

  • Guest
Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #439 on: May 31, 2009, 06:13:57 AM »
(* yawn *)

Why not challenge one of the four points made instead of *yawning* ?