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Rhodric
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:41 pm
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It think its easy to do and erroneous to make blanket statements about the way Americans, or any another nationality raises their kids, behaves, or this that and the other. Over all though, I'd tend to agree with Dudde's last post. I've noticed a growing sense of entitlement, apathy, and laziness. Buy me that Playstation 3 or this $200 dress, this that and the other. They expect things, don't work for them, and generally have a skewed view of the world. There are some good schools systems and Universities out there, but you get pretty much what you put into it. If you show up, put in the world at a school with a mediocre curriculum, you can still get a lot out of it. I can't speak much for the high school level in the 10 years since i graduated, but I've seen some elementary and middle school course work, and it was pretty damn easy, but when you refuse to do the homework because you think its beneath you, well, you'd be hard pressed to pass anything.
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Patrick
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:52 pm
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I'm forced to agree with the last two posts...some families here may be strict, and that may be the image that's seen internationally, but from my seat (as a college student who's eight years older than most of his classmates), what I see is a pervasive culture of entitlement and sloth among young people today. I'm not saying that everyone is like that; far from it. But, I've watched way too many college students over the past four years skip class (and even exams) constantly for no good reason, and then expect their instructors to let them make everything up. I've seen too many kids give the barest effort in class and then whine (and bring their parents in!) when they are given bad grades as a result, saying "it's not fair."

The really sad thing? Most of the kids who act like this are getting a more or less free ride to college. Maybe it's natural that they don't seem to appreciate it as much as those of us who've had to fight to get where we are.
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Dudde
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Joined: 26 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:49 pm
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That's true though, I grew up in an economically horrible situation, but my parents gave their best effort, taught me how to make the most of what I had, and that I can be happy without a lot of junk laying around =D I used to really hate it that everybody else got stuff that I didn't just because we had no money, pretty much thought that because everybody else had it, I deserved it.

I think that's where most parents break down, kids throwing tantrums or running away, that's ridiculous. Kids are beating or killing their parents nowadays - PSH! I think the government should either get out of raising children, or put forth a significantly better effort to controlling the kids, and not just the parents. All these light punishments, I learned the golden way - if I hit my sister, my dad or step dad (both) would hold me down and let my sister hit me back! It was awesome, really showed me how unfair it feels to be hit by someone when you can't do anything about it (she was smaller...)

anyway, suffice to say, I hate lazy parents who can't seem to figure out how to set an example
/rant

Patrick and Rhodric are right though, it's dangerous to generalize in terms of countries or nationalities, because you're never more than half-right =O
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Ra'ena



Joined: 26 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:09 pm
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I have to agree with the last post, and I do apoligize for any hurt feelings. Personally I think there is nothing wrong with a little stereotyping as long as you know that you're doing it. I know that there everyone, and every American is different. I do believe there are great people living there, and making the best of things.
But what makes the news is more often then not the opinion opf the ruling class. And I have to admit Bush annoyed the hell out of me (no offense meant to the Republicans). It seems (looking to my TV that is) that most Americans think differently then the Dutch, of maybe even the Europeans. (Again I know it's a stereotype). But the different approaches of for example the war in Iraq seem to make that point. I'm not saying I disagree or agree with any of the approaches, just that I noticed the diffrences.
Tv off course only shows the "interesting" people like Bush, like the Mormons, or the neo-Nazi racists (and off course on our side: Geert Wilders and Fitna, marihuana etc). But is shapes the opionion of the people watching.
Now I did visit the USA once, for three weeks. And the people were very friendly, very open. But I felt like I was walkin through a movie. People seem so much more extravert, ethousiast and maybe even more agressive. Not in aggresive in a negativeway, but more like with passion, fire. (sorry can't find the right words).

So if you didn't read the entire post: I know not all Americns are like a described, probably a lot more aren't that way. But the sometimes do seem that way to outsiders.

O and about the strict raising of children. I wasn't really talking about the school system. We have the same lazy people over here. I was more thinking along the line of drugs and alcohol and sex. But that's probably a whole different subject.

By the way, sorry for the horrible english
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Rhodric
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Joined: 19 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:49 pm
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Your English is great. In fact, I'm reminded of a funny story. Back in high school, 12th grade British Literature. The top four people in the class grade point average wise were these two super duper honors kids, Josh and Kara, the German exchange student, Felix, and I. I don't remember the exact order, but it was probably Kara, Josh, Felix, Rhodric. I really wasn't trying at all so I think I only had a 95. It was funny though, the German student having the highest grades in most of his classes. Man that class was great though. We read the Scarlet letter By Nate Hawthorne and then had to write a paper on it. Most of the class got the cliff notes and studied like hell. Most of them failed. All i did was read the book in class. When they asked me what I got I had to sigh and say "only 95." Pretty sure I was hated at that point. Maybe americans really are dumb.

OH back to the post at hand. No I wasn't offended nor were my feelings hurt, I just wanted to get in on the discussion. I do think the whole drugs , alcohol, sex thing. Well the 21 drinking age is fairly laughable, but other than that I think its not a bad think to be strict about it. Can't really stop kids from having sex but I don't think you should leave them to their own devices or not talk to them about it either. /shrug
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Dudde
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Joined: 26 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:25 pm
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Hey Ra'ena!

I didn't mean to insinuate any offense, and by all means - please offend the republicans all you want! With the exception of the ones around here, I do it too =D

I merely wanted to throw that out there - don't get me wrong, I know a majority of Americans are completely and utterly lazy, fiscally irresponsible, and unbelievably st00pid. I just wanted to bring to attention that there are quite a number of legitamitely intelligent people who like doing things for the sheer joy of doing things, as opposed to the benefits involved. I myself have actually been recently apalled (today) at how closed minded my fellow techs are, they don't even make an attempt to learn the stuff placed in front of them.

We should totally get together and party one day, all this talk of intellectuallism makes me want to go somewhere !!!
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Rhodric
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:56 pm
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Appalled Dudde.

I'm a registered republican. I can pretend to be offended if you want. *grin*

Burn me though, flaming politics don't bloody concern me much right now. I'm a lot more concerned about Tarmon Gai'don these days.
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Dudde
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Joined: 26 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:09 pm
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Hey I am missing a letter, a ha ha!

I agree, I usually fight both parties, if I didn't, where would politics be =D
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GanZ



Joined: 15 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:28 am
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Right I have read about 50% of this thread and I have a question regarding what Americans are taught in schools and this question comes purely from me not being knowledgeable on the matter:

In regards to religion are you taught only about Christianity?
In regards to history, is the curriculum more orientated around just America?
Are any foreign languages taught?
What about geography?

I ask because I saw a comedy which was either aired in Britain or was on YouTube (cannot remember) and I was so surprised by the answers that were received. One off the top of my head was, point to Australia or how many Eiffel towers are there? Obviously I know they would have picked the worst people they came across but Jesus wept. My six year old nephew knows where the Eiffel tower is and that there is just one!

Just to make it clear I am not taking the piss out of America in anyway, so don’t flame me. I am just curious as to the state of a normal everyday Americans education.
G :D
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Dudde
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Joined: 26 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:44 am
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I'm more than happy to make fun of my less-intelligent country when I can, but I also know where sarcasm and playing with video footage came in - that video ticked me off for being stupid and inaccurate (and it was funny to see some of the parodies of the video some other people made on Youtube)

Anyway, I'll be happy to fill in some of the blanks:
In regards to religion are you taught only about Christianity? :

I was taught several times about most of the major religions and philosophies in the world by a few different teachers. Luckily, my teachers were very passionate about teaching, so they made the experience fun and more interesting, and brought a few people to class who practiced the religions. I don't think everyone is as lucky as I was, but I know most schools teach ABOUT most religions.

In regards to history, is the curriculum more orientated around just America? :

Unfortunately, I think the answer to this is kind of yes. There is a lot of world history and they do cover a wide range of topics, but if I hadn't studied on my own about other cultures, I wouldn't know nearly as much as I do. Sadly, I find the history teachings highly lacking and unmotivating to other students to find out more on their own.

Are any foreign languages taught?:
yes, as electives though, not mandatorily. English is the one they push pretty much every year, which...doesn't seem to be working. I really wanted to learn Japanese, but they stopped teaching it the year I was going to take it!

What about geography?:
Kind of like history. They cover a lot and they do a good job, but they focus more on the U.S and the empires/continents leading up toward it than they do on others. this might have been just me too, geography was never that interesting to me, I was always wanting to go outside to go mountain climbing, rather than sitting and reading about mountains.
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Xinpheld
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Joined: 24 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:02 pm
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I think the curriculum varies from state to state. Like in Ohio, there is a 3-year English requirement, a 2-year foreign language requirement, and a year of world history (along with a year of American history and a year of American government courses). That being said, I still learned more about other cultures from reading and from public broadcasting than I ever learned in school. Thank goodness I had to take trigonometry, though. That's been serving me a lot better in life. *shrug*

I don't know where they find all these people in the U.S. who can't even point out Canada on a map. I know I live in a cultural bubble that is mainly based on my not getting out much. Mainly I think a lot of ignorance here is based on learn-and-forget, rather than not getting the information at all. Once that test is done, there's no reason to hold on to that info, right? Why should I care where Europe is, or why some foreign country is supposedly threatening some other foreign country? As long as it don't git in the way of me gettin' to the bar at 5pm on Friday, then whatever. Yee haw!

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Patrick
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:11 pm
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I can only speak as a former public school pupil in Wichita, Kansas schools.

Religion: we learned about all of the world's major religions, particularly in geography and world history classes. In fact, I think we learned more about Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism than we did about Christianity.

History: There is an emphasis on American history, but why should that be surprising? I would expect that British schools would emphasize British history, etc. However, we had a required world history class in high school. A lot of world history was also covered in the geography classes (see below).

Foreign Languages: When I was a student they were not required in middle or high school, but they were an option. We had the choice of taking French, German, or Spanish in my middle and high schools; I ended up taking five years of German and a single semester of French. Nowadays Spanish is very heavily stressed (to the detriment of other languages, in my opinion) and students are required to study a foreign language for at least two years. In my university, all students in my college (liberal arts and sciences) are required to take three semesters worth of a foreign language. I am taking Italian.

Geography: In my middle school we had two required geography classes: Western Hemisphere in sixth grade and Eastern Hemisphere in seventh grade.
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Caleyna
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Joined: 04 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:44 pm
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I had the same basic experiences as the other Americans. Lots of religion is taught as a "this is how some people believe" but there was actually very little information about Christianity, though Christianity informs many aspects of American culture even for those who aren't Christians.

Two years of foreign language were required to get into most colleges, but not required to graduate.

The focus is on American history and government, but there was also a Global Studies requirement. Hard to cover all that stuff in the time allotted, you know? We have fifty very unique states that we have to learn all about, not to mention all the other countries in the world.

I wanted to piggy-back on what Xinpheld said about the knowledge not being retained. I was a high school teacher for a few years and I can guarantee you that many things are taught that the majority of students never learn. They just don't give a rat's ass and there is very little we can do to make them give a rat's ass. So don't take a dumb person, question them on academics, and then extrapolate that the education system isn't teaching them anything. It is that the dumb person isn't learning. :-)
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Xinpheld
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:00 am
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Caleyna wrote:
but there was actually very little information about Christianity, though Christianity informs many aspects of American culture even for those who aren't Christians.


I think that's because, outside the walls of the school, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting something Christian. It would be nice if Christianity was given the same academic scrutiny. I'm all for separation of church and state, but apparently it only applies to Judeo-Christian religions. It's interesting that Hinduism, for instance, is treated like a historical relic rather than an active religion practiced by 900 million people. Maybe it's our educational system's way of giving other religions 'equal time'.
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Caleyna
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:48 am
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That's what I think. It's easy to say "I was just teaching them about Hinduism, not converting them" when very few people are actually Hindu (not true where I am living now) and it is obvious the teacher does not practice it. Not at all so for Christianity. Teachers are terrified of being sued over it. The first two years I taught our principle was Jewish and would not let the kids do any sort of Christmas decorations or anything. He was even getting blustery over snowmen and icecicles. Our next principle encouraged Christmas decorations (Santa and non-religious ones) and even set up a Christmas tree in the office. It's a very delicate balance in the schools.
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GanZ



Joined: 15 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:57 pm
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I find it sad that we now live in a culture were suing is the norm and that institutions such as schools are sued over little matters. For instance in England a school now makes pupils wear goggles if they want to play conkers, in case they are sued. (The game is played by two players, each with a conker threaded onto a piece of string: they take turns to strike each other's conker until one breaks, they use the nuts of horse-chestnut trees.) It’s Ridiculous.

Does the British curriculum in regards to history cover mainly Britain? To a degree I suppose, especially through Primary school when I was aged between 8-12 we did only look at British history, such as our Monarchs and what they did but after that we only really looked at the agricultural revolution that occurred here, before going on to more diverse areas such as America. (Mainly the native Indians though.)

I don’t know about America but it seems that the British youth of today are starting to regard learning as being un-cool and if you want your children to get a decent education you have to be in a good schools catchment area, which means you need to live in a nice area, usually more rural than urban.

What is Americas take on Darwinism now? There was a British programme mocking in a sophisticated manner the way that the church over here, has took Darwinism and attempted to show through long winded words that his ideas do coexist with theirs. It also went on to tell that in America the schools are attempting to discredit him? Or perhaps just push Darwinism to one side. Is this true? (This show was on at the start of this university year and I think that’s about the gist of it.)

Ganz
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Caleyna
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:10 pm
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There are certainly pockets of areas where people try to discredit evolution. I believe Kansas even said that creationism had to be taught along side it in science class. It is hard to say "this is true in America" because every state has different standards and every school district has a lot of leeway within those standards. I believe most states are required to teach evolution as a scientific theory that is almost surely fact. The fundies are always up in arms about that, but they are always up in arms about everything.

Learning is also viewed as un-cool among a majority of young people and where you live certainly makes a difference in the type of schooling you receive. Here the best public schools are generally in the affluent suburbs.


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Patrick
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:34 am
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Have to go to bed now, but expect comments from a front-line Culture War trooper in Kansas tomorrow. :P
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Xinpheld
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:01 am
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Patrick wrote:
expect comments from a front-line Culture War trooper in Kansas tomorrow. :P


Gosh, what kind of creationist/evolution controversy could there possibly be in the oh-so-liberal state of Kansas?! *snicker*
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