Re: US Science Education Sucks

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Fri Aug 24 2001 - 16:04:05 MDT

"J. R. Molloy" wrote:
> From: "Mike Lorrey" <>
> > Because of specialization, of course. You don't train people to be
> > chemists when they are going to pound nails all their lives.
> So it's genetic? Some people are natural born chemists and others are
> congenitally predisposed to pound nails all their lives? Or does the quality
> of education have something to do with the proportion of people who become
> chemists, etc.?

Most of the countries that score higher than US kids on tests do so
specifically because they have a multi-tiered school system that weeds
kids out around the 6th or 7th grade, sending the achievers to
university prep high schools, and those that don't to vocational high
schools. The kids that take these comparison tests are only from the
university prep high schools, not the vocational ones, which is why they
score so high.

NOTE: Just because a kid goes to a vocational school doesn't mean they
don't take courses in subjects that would be considered part of a
'classical liberal' education. They take core competency courses just as
prep school kids do, they just take vocational classes as well, instead
of taking four years of science and four years of math, they take a
couple years of each and the rest in vocational classes to learn
marketable skills.

This is one of the big problems. Teachers work to eliminate vocational
training because of career elitism, they don't want to be seen as
'vo-tech' teachers. No teacher is less respected than the shop teacher.
He is usually seen as a bumbling hick who spends his off hours coaching
the football team.

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