What are our schools up to?

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 19:48
ThreadID: 58485 Views:3268 Replies:15 FollowUps:39
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Before I start I just wish to clarify I am NOT having a go at any teachers or any education staff in any way. This is a question with hopefully some enlightening answers. I am in no way having a go at my sister or her family either, they are much wiser than me and my kids in many different aspects of life.

I was at my sister's place today and we got around to the subject of travel (which always gets me talking) and my upcoming trip to Innaminka was one of the subjects. My sister and her four boys (16, 14, almost 10 and 8) all piped up and said "where's Innaminka?" no problem in that at all, but when I said "you know where the Burke and Wills deaths occured?" and they all said "who the heck are Burke and Wills?" I went "you're joking, none of you know who Burke and Wills are?" Seems it is not a taught (possibly not learned by my sister and nephews????) subject as they had no idea of many of our early explorers. Now I am only 2 years older than my sister and went to the same public schools as she and I do remember "learning" about many of our famous explorers. By no means do I know much about each of them but bloody hell...Burke and Wills c'mon!!!.

Is this just my sister's family or is this for real in many families out there?

Anyway after about 1.5 mins of trying to explain the tragedy and how close it was for Burke and Wills, the boys dissapeared not really interested, I did not pursue this as I beleive it is not my place to, but in my family I absolutely want it learnt by my children.

Thanks for any replies.
Trevor.

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Reply By: Member - RFLundgren (WA) - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:07

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:07
Trevor

It seems that in many schools the kids are not taught things like this anymore. I think that the school my kids go to does teach something of the history and geography of Australia as my 12 year old daughter has come home on occasions saying that the teacher talked about such and such a place and Shai would pipe up with "I've been there", then another place with the same response and another and another, until the teacher would mention another place and add on "I suppose you have been there also". Even with some of the earlier explorers if they are mentioned, Shai will generally know something about it, not because she is overly smart, but because we have tried to teach and educate them on every trip we have done, as we do generally research the history and facts about a place prior to going there.

Obviously they must also have an interest in learning about these things or it just wouldn't stick.

I feel that it is important for us as parents to teach our kids facts and history about Australia, particularly as the teachers keep telling us off for pulling the kids out of school to travel.

We are heading out late July for about 6 weeks, outside of school holidays and the teachers keep on telling us it is not a good idea to have the kids out of school for that long, to which we usually reply that they will get a better education and better life skills by spending 6 weeks out in the bush as opposed to sitting in a classroom for that period of time.

Not to denigrate teachers in any way, but lets face it school can really become totally boring for them sometimes.

JMHO

Cheers

Richard

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Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:26

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:26
Thanks Richard,

"they must also have an interest in learning about these things or it just wouldn't stick"

I think this is probably more to the point as to why some of us remember certain school based stuff and some don't.

At least Aussie history and Geography are still being taught at your daughters school, from what my nephews were trying to tell me it is not even a subject at their schools both private and public junior and senoir schools round northern region of Brisbane. I can't be certain if this is true or not as it come from the kids mouths.

Absolutely agree your daughter will learn plenty whilst on your upcoming trip. Safe and happy travels.
Trevor.
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Reply By: Col_and_Jan - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:11

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:11
"Anyway after about 1.5 mins of trying to explain...the boys disappeared not really interested"

Try teaching science and maths - unless it is blowing things up, they lose interest after a couple of minutes, and certainly aren't interested in the "how or why". Bring out chemicals that have to be measured and added in certain order, and turn your back only to find they have dumped it all in one beaker and then complain it is all too boring. They would much rather take out their phones or MP3 players (don't get me started on that!).

Col
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Follow Up By: Member - Footloose - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:37

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:37
The only thing worse than a teenager at High School......is two or more of them.
At the very time when they are prisoners of raging hormones and peer group pressures, and busy trying to find their own identity, what do we do?
We stick them in a room with a teacher and a strict set of guidelines of behaviour. Then we bombard them with the most important information and experiences that adults can inflict upon children, and expect them to learn, en masse.
We reward them for any or lack of attempt, hopefully suffer them until they are 17 or 18, and then kick them out just when the occasional one is just learning what they were there for in the first place.
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Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:39

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:39
No rubbish Col, Maths and Chem were two of my favourite subjects in school along with physics. Buggered if I remember much from those days now though, may come back to me if I really tried hard, as I did enjoy them.

No brainiac by any stretch but better with numbers than words.

Thanks for the reply.
Trevor.
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Follow Up By: Bware (Tweed Valley) - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 22:53

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 22:53
Col,

I can only agree and only by being a student. I was smart at school but not interested; I didn't have to study to get good marks, At 15/16 being on a surfboard was a lot more attractive. I loved learning later.

Footie, I think you are on the money; why don't we let them be kids longer and develop, before inflicting surds, calculus, table of elements etc. I'm a strong advocate for teaching kids basics (including that you are part of the natural world) and subjects that prepare you for the real world. Perhaps after that an interim schooling for preparation for Uni. Bridging subjects to qualify for degree subjects.
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Reply By: Member - Footloose - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:22

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:22
Trevor, Australian Explorers is no longer taught as a component of Social Studies. If you want your kids to know, then make a point of teaching it to them yourself.
Modern kids in growing up in a world far removed from that in which I grew up in. The curriculum is so crowded that they'd need to be at school 365 days a year just to get through that lot. And you can imagine how much they actually learn...only the "fun" stuff. They know more about Paris H and Bollywood than Australian History...which until recently wasn't really taught very well if at all. Kids were amazed when I taught them that compared to the American "Outlaws", our early women settlers were far more lethal in terms of fire-power. (maybe they still are:)
I I still think that people will learn what they want/have to learn sooner or later, and my job was to give them the tools to empower them to do just that...and to set their interest on fire.
In our overcrowded under funded classrooms with all of it's disruptive elements, it's difficult to be able to capture children's imagination...especially if it's a brief mention of some long dead guys who went out into the outback.
The problem isn't really new...my wife knows more about English History than Australian History...and she's a First Fleet descendant !
I am just the opposite...but I had a 6th Grade teacher who wasn't a very good teacher. He spent too much time talking about his trips into the bush, and making us watch his slides.
I'm sure he would have trembled at the very thought of "outcomes based education" or "performance assessment" or any of the other must have's in the schools these days.

AnswerID: 308410

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:46

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:46
At 5 yrs old and in prep my son was able, for show and tell, to explain where he got a big flat stone from (the Birdsville track) and how he painted it like the Aborigines do and what he saw at Birdsville.

Sounds like he probably had the teacher scratching her head and saying to herself "where the heck is Birdsville?"

Rest assured I will ensure a bit of explorer exploits be in my son and daughter's education.

Thanks for the reply Footy.
Trevor.
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Reply By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:23

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:23
Hi Trevor

If you asked them about Daniel Boone or Jessie James ect, they
would tell you, a little bit about the subject, because of TV, and
comming from the USA, I remember at school, we used to be taught
Social Studies, and part of this subject was about Aussie Explorers,
such as Burke & Wills also European Explorers, like Marco Polo, ect.
even English History, we would trace maps of Australia, and all the
States, even the story of Jacky Jacky at the Cape who tried to help
the explorer Kennedy, I think times have changed, dont know for the
better or worse, at least we know about them, because we used to
read books in stead of relying on the T V for fictional stories.

Cheers
Daza
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Follow Up By: Member - Footloose - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:40

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:40
I can still trace a map of Australia onto graph paper :))
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Reply By: Top End Explorer Tours - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:39

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:39
Well I am glad I took Philip to Innaminka, and showed him the Dig tree and Burk and Wills grave, then Kings tree.

He can tell you the whole story as we spent days travelling through in January.

He is 5 1/2 and he loved it!


Dig Tree


Burke's Grave


Wills' Grave


King's Tree

Cheers Steve
AnswerID: 308417

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:50

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:50
Steve,

Sounds like Phillip and my son Thomas (also 5) are having similar parental education even though we are miles apart geographically.

Good on you for that trip with your boy, I thought at the time it was a great effort but no doubt a great reward for you too.

Regards, Trevor.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 12:20

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 12:20
Gday Steve,
At 5 years of age, they listen, and take it in. Like you we took our kids to those iconic places at an early age, and we are so happy we did - they like recalling it all, and watching the old videos.

But try doing the same when they're 13.....we gave up bush travel and camping for about 5 years .... too much other stuff that they want to do - overseas travel, visit friends, sport etc etc . Anyway, its nice with the kids now in their 20's - they look after things when we go away now!
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Reply By: chris_s - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:54

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 20:54
The kids are taught about Australia's history (explorer's too) but with so much info out there (the crowded curriculum), it is little wonder that few can recall all (or even some) of it. I know when I study some of our unique flora, then don't look at a text book for a couple of years, the stuff I learnt is soon forgotten. The best learning takes place when you have a need or a want for it. I love to research and learn more about our explorer's (some are little known) and our past, but this has come about by bushwalking and travelling across our great country.
I'm a teacher, and wish my parents well when they take their children out to explore (what better way than real life studies) our land and communities. School excursions and camps do just this but only tackle one aspect and normally for a day.
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Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:02

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:02
Hi chris_s,

Thanks for confirmation on something I would hope be taught to my kids at school. Mine are only young at 5 and not quite 1, so it is not something I have come across yet through the school system with my kids.

regards,
Trevor.
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Follow Up By: Member - RFLundgren (WA) - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:08

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:08
Chris

Nice to see a teacher who supports parents taking their kids on trips such as we are going to be doing. Its funny, but when we lived in NSW the teachers supported us totally in what we were doing, but now in WA they do not share the same view.

Still our belief that our kids are getting an experience that many kids will never get, so definitely worth it from our perspective.

We did it with out 2 oldest (who dont come camping anymore) and now with our 2 youngest, who definitely look forward to the trips and the things that they will see and learn.

Our youngest is a boy who finds it hard to sit still in a classroom and concentrate, but out in the bush is totally attentive to everything around him and seems to take it all in. The change in them once out of the confines of the classroom is amazing....

Cheers

Richard

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Reply By: Best Off Road - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:01

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:01
Trev,

They simply do not have the time.

It is a very demanding life.

Get to work at 8.30 and leave at 4.00

12, TWELVE weeks annual leave per year, get it, 3 times what the rest of us get.

3 months long servicel leave after just 10 years service when the rest of have to do 15.

It's the best paid part time job in the world.

Jim.
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Follow Up By: Member - Footloose - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:04

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:04
What a load of bull ! If it's such a great job, what aren't you one ?
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Follow Up By: Member - Footloose - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:06

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:06
why
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Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:09

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:09
You forgot to mention having crap thrown at you, kids not big enough to tie their shoelaces tell you to f..... off or their dad's gunna beat the #@@% out of you....ect ect...

I reckon it sounds ok on paper but would be a whole different ballgame in reality. Not something I would be game to do, even with my usually placid temper.

Cheers Jim.
Trevor.
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Follow Up By: Member - RFLundgren (WA) - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:10

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:10
Jim

Bit of an unfair comment dont you think. With all of the extra curricular activities that the teachers are expected to perform along with the marking of work etc, I dont think its as easy as you make out.

In every profession you get the good and the bas, and I have experienced both in regards to teachers and my kids, but to generalise as you have is a biut below the belt.

Cheers

Richard

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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:14

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:14
My wife's cousin is a teacher. She is exhausted by the week's end because of all the extra work required in the evenings.

My daughter has just started her teaching career. Every second word from the students, in the classroom, starts with F.

I would not be a teacher for quids.

They deserve all the holidays they get.
I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
- Augustus McCrae (Lonesome Dove)

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Follow Up By: Member - Footloose - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:19

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:19
Mate if you don't get sworn at once a day at least then you're not doing your job !
I was there for 40 years and was a square peg in a round hole.
Perhaps the fact that I thought we were trying to prepare the kids for the 21st century wiith 19th century schooling might not have helped :)
Hated the system, loved 80% of the kids...
My wife still teaches. We were a Departmental family...too busy for our own kids at times. Both of who saw the lifestyle, the work and the pay and refused to even consider it as their vocation.
It's a bit like being anything, from the outside it looks cushy but......
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Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:20

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:20
GB,

"They deserve all the holidays they get."

They also deserve and need our support as parents if the kids are any chance of getting an education and making something of their lives.

Cheers, Trevor.
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Follow Up By: Member - Footloose - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:22

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:22
I might also add that my wife will be doing reports all this long weekend while others are having a holiday. Most nights she works at home till around 10.
Years ago I went to a BBQ and thought , "ahhh...so this is what normal people do on a Sunday !"
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:26

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:26
Trevor R, I think we might have to have a drink at Innamincka.

Do you like a good Margaret River red?

If so I'll get some on Monday from Woolies Liqour. They have a promotion at the moment that if you buy 6 bottles of wine you get a voucher for 20 cents a litre off your fuel. I will buy about 18 bottles in 3 separate transactions and use one before we leave next week, one in SA and one in Vic. Save $30 a fill (max 150 litres).

Sorry if this hijacks the thread.
I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
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Follow Up By: Member - Footloose - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:27

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:27
Trevor, "They also deserve and need our support as parents ".
I remember some people I knew telling me with great glee how they'd gone to their kids school and "sorted that teacher out". Both of their children had learning difficulties and I remember thinking "You idiots. You have no idea of what you've just done for your children !"
The results were predictable.
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Follow Up By: Member - barbara M (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:35

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:35
Dear Best Off Road,
I completed my degree to teach at the ripe old age of 47 and commenced teaching the day after I was able to and I can assure you that I received the shock of my life as I assumed all students were raised with the same expectations of behaviour as ours, was I in for rude shock. I have never been sworn at, abused and had furniture thrown at me as much in all my life. My husband asked me at the end of the first term was I always going to do as much work as this. I have now understood why my son lasted 2 terms teaching before electing on another career choice as he felt he didnt have to put up with that sort of abuse for the rest of his working life. Not many teachers do the job for the money they just want to make a difference in one childs life. Many of these children will never experience what the children of members of this forum do instead they as one told me yesterday "mum's enemy torched her car yesterday and stalked our house last night and Miss I am really scared"
So the next time you give a teacher a bad time think about what they may be helping a child deal with instead of automatically thinking they are in the staff room having a cup of tea.
barb
sorry for reacting but it really upsets me that people dont understand what so many children are going through these days
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Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:39

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:39
GB,

Count me in on any drinking activities out at Innaminka hehehe. Not so much a wine person myself (Bourbon's my poison) but still partial to the odd drop that I can swipe from the missus as she returns from her annual June long weekend in the Hunter Valley. She is down there at present.

I have been looking forward to seeing your Cruiser and van in the flesh for some time. We have a cheaper version of your complete camp with our Supreme and Nissan LOL!!

Look forward to seeing you out there.
Trevor.
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Follow Up By: Member - Footloose - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:45

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 21:45
Barbara, spot on.
But it isn't a new thing. I once found the school girl captain (a kid who was so nice that even all the boys liked her...always had time for other kids, always cheerful and smiling) sobbing her heart out in a corner. Her father had died of a herion overdose the night before.
I once taught in a place where people actually wanted to learn, and there were no discipline problems...TAFE. But even that has changed now :((
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Follow Up By: Col_and_Jan - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 22:04

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 22:04
And dont you like the response when a student throws their half eaten lunch on the ground and you ask them to put it into a bin "....Off, thats the cleaners job!"
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Follow Up By: OzTroopy - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 23:27

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 23:27
Totally agree with you Jim.

The problem is that the teachers who want to make a difference are let down by those who dont. Both groups get the same benefits and thats what needs to be addressed.

They are also let down by successive governments who introduce " can't fail " testing, useless curriculums, over the top rights and issue booklets telling school kids what not to tell the Police.

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Follow Up By: Best Off Road - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 09:11

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 09:11
So I'm hearing teachers have to work hard and are under pressure.

News Flash.

So does everyone else who chooses to take on a well paid job with responsibilty.

Teachers take work at home of a night. Well what do you think that bloke in a suit getting off the train at 7pm has got in his briefcase? I'll guarantee there's a little more than his empty lunchbox.

The mathematical facts are that teachers are required to be working in the workplace 1300 hours per year. Others are required 1920 hours.

I never said they don't work hard, they just don't work as much as the community at large. Hence I find the complaining somewhat tiresome.

Jim.

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Follow Up By: Member - Footloose - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 11:51

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 11:51
I've been both.
And I can tell you which one is easier.
Well paid eh? Now there's a Friday funny.
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 12:23

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 12:23
Aaaaah, the world according to Jim.

Very anal-centric.
I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
- Augustus McCrae (Lonesome Dove)

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Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 13:38

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 13:38
Jim.... my wife as been teaching for 40 years, I now stay at home and do all the house work etc eetc so we have a sane and friendly home.
Now if you have the guts to talk face to face with me in person I am sure I will change your mind....one way or another.
Cheers Bruce
D.Max and Jayco Outback

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Follow Up By: Best Off Road - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:16

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 18:16
Suzy,

What is this guts to talk face to face thing. "One way or another". Are you threatening to shoot me because we have a differing opinion?

You have my address, I don't have your's. Pop in for a chat sometime, but leave the childish keyboard threats alone.

In Australia we respect the right to differing opinions. It is called democracy.

Jim.

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Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 20:56

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 20:56
Jim....so how do I MM you chit I just deleted about ten lines but I do not think I have to bring my self down to your standards.
Cheers Bruce
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Reply By: OzTroopy - Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 23:33

Saturday, Jun 07, 2008 at 23:33
The state of our education system can easily be seen just by a trip down to the supermarket.

1/...Collect 5 items,
2/...Go to the checkout,
3/...Add up the total price in your head,
4/...Tell the checkout operater the amount while they try to get the barcode reader to work,
5/...Smile at the stunned look on their face.

If your feeling really antsy - tell them the change amount too.
AnswerID: 308449

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 08:21

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 08:21
As a child growing up in a busy country town my folks had pie vans delivering smoko to the construction camps. During school holidays I would "help" the pie ladies and the number of times (even at 10 or 11 yrs old) I would correct the totals of the smoko bills that these women got wrong was crazy. No calculators no cash registers only your brain but as the saying goes you can't have brains and beauty applied to many of these pretty pie ladies. (I know this saying is not always true, just represents my story)

Maths is however only one side to education and one needs to look at so many other areas before a judgement on a childs education level can be made (IMO).

Thanks for the reply OzTroopy.
Regards, Trevor.
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Reply By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 05:59

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 05:59
I think it would help a lot if all children were taught AT HOME to respect other people and their property ! Nothing worse the kids who show no respect at all. I worked for three years in a school assisting in the metal and woodwork shops, gave it away because of the vandalism and abuse. School authorities did not help either, kids were allowed to misbehave with impunity.



AnswerID: 308462

Follow Up By: Holden4th - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 08:01

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 08:01
Yes, home is where it all starts and finishes.

The morality and values that you carry through the rest of your life are firmly cemented in your psyche by the time you are 7 or 8 years old! You get those values from your parents and extended family and obviously some kids are behind the 8 ball before they've even started life because their parents values and family structure are dysfunctional.

The sad thing is that schools are nowadays expected to pick up where parents have failed to instil those values and they get castigated for their efforts.

At our school we ask only one thing from our parents - that they support our ethos and culture! We are an independent school and parents enrolling their children are asked to sign a contract affirming their intention to support us. In turn, we agree to support them and their children through the educational process. It's two way street and it works very well.

This doesn't happen in the public sector yet it used to and I believe it could happen again. However, in an increasingly litigious society where people's 'rights' run rough shod over people's responsibilties we are now reaping what we have unintentionally sown. A society that values 'me' over everything else.

That said, I also believe that the majority of parents today are under enormous pressure and are doing the best that they can. It's that minority that has created the problems we have.
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Reply By: Col_and_Jan - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 07:56

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 07:56
I came from a time when most left school after Junior (or after 15 years of age), and went to a job. You gained work experience and developed responsibility quickly, otherwise you were shown the door. If you wanted to improve yourself later, there was, and is, ample opportunity to do this.

With unemployment running at the same level as it was in those days, I think it is more appropriate for those students who find school unsuitable (I was one of them), to move on. The trouble is that the government is forcing them to stay at school longer. This system is destroying the state school system, as well as TAFE because of people who don't want to be there.

We now have a skills shortage, so why is the government forcing students to stay at school, with the inevitable disruption to both classrooms and to individual students who want to do well, and there are many who want to do well.

I agree, life experiences, whether it be an extended vacation touring our great land in school time, or having a part time job, is invaluable, and should be encouraged.

Col
AnswerID: 308464

Reply By: Member - Steve (Townsville) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 08:46

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 08:46
Firstly this is Sandy, Steve's other half

When I was in 4th grade I had a teacher Mr Nutt, and he used to play these social science tapes, they weren't the best quality but they were like a narrated book on tape thing. We used to groan when he'd bring out the tape recorder and we new we had an afternoon of listening to the story of the Eureka Stockade, or the landing of Captain Cook etc. Now I'm glad I had a teacher with a love of Australian history (however correct) and that when we travel and my kids ask questions I can answer them,

I also remember throughout school doing projects on the same topics, once a diorama of a gold mine, many sheets of cardboard covered in information about early Australia, but now I spend evenings helping my children do projects about other countries.

Having never been outside of Australia, I'd be interested to know when this has happened in other countries, or are we the only ones.

Sandy

ps I have just realised that I am lacking in books on our shelves about the history of Australia, anyone else have some they would recommend!!
AnswerID: 308473

Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 09:08

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 09:08
I agree that the demise of Australian history and geography in the curriculum is sad. I believe it it also is duty for Australians to know about Australia.

I often wonder whether most adults that go the DIG tree really appreciate the event. I believe Wills was the navigator.

They left a single tree (among other trees) in the middle of Australia then went 2000kms north and came back and found the same tree without a map.

This is a navigational feat most would be proud of with a vehicle and GPS without being half dead from starvation. I still cannot think about the DIG tree without profound respect for the navigation feat involved.

Fortunately I am old enough that I was taught geography and history. ( A small test - where does the Bulloo river flow to?)

Alan
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Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 13:11

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 13:11
Hi Alan,

Agree with the navigational feats accomplished by so many of our early pioneers. It really does bely belief for us modern day "adventurer's".

The Bulloo.....is this the one that Cubby Station pumps from, if so I reckon it stops there LOL!!! No that's the Paroo isn't it? Bulloo is out round Quilpie?

I reckon you have hit upon a great topic that could be followed up every week "where's this geographical/historic place and what happened there?"

Thanks Alan,
Regards, Trevor.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 13:22

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 13:22
Alan I commented the exact same point when I visited the dig tree.
An incredible bit of navigation skill sadly that seems missed by most.
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Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 23:48

Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 23:48
Alan,

Milparinka or thereabouts.

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Follow Up By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 07:49

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008 at 07:49
Quite correct Gramps

Most do not realize that it is river which does not flow into the sea or into a lake it just runs out and is absorbed into the ground.

Alan
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Reply By: Ray - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 09:28

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 09:28
Perhaps it is not now politically correct to teach Australian history.
It may offend our indigenous population
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Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 13:20

Sunday, Jun 08, 2008 at 13:20
why when so much of it involved the aboriginals. After all it was they that helped keep King alive after Burke and Wills perished, it was Jacky Jacky that was so heavily involed in the Kennedy Cape efforts ect ect...

Tell it like it is or was I reckon. After all it is history and not necessarilly how it should be done today but still it is what brought us to where we are today.

Regards, Trevor.
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Reply By: Member - Cash (WA) - Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 23:26

Monday, Jun 09, 2008 at 23:26
Trevor,
I am a teacher. As many have said, 'enjoy the kids, often confused by the system.' In primary schools we still teach Australian history under different names like, 'time, continuity and change' and amongst this is content like 'Early Australian Exploration'. Early 'Dutch' maritime history on the Western Australian coastline is my passion and not surprisingly often becomes that of the students I teach. I hope that most teachers who are left in system are passionate and have interests they are willing to share. Afterall, it's great to be an Australian.

The teacher who drops the blackline master worksheet in front of a kid and says, do this! - needs to move on. It's the teacher that makes the difference. The kids haven't changed, the world has. Teachers have to face this change, like everyone else who works for a living today. Teachers, unfortunately, have to compete for a child's attention in a world where they have entertainment technology, with all the 'bells and whistles' so freely available.

Long story short, 'My best teaching resource has and will always be an interested 'family' who work together to teach and support their children as they grow.'

Trevor,the interest you show in your family will pay dividends in the end. Have another go at reviving 'Burke and Wills' in their informational 'book', the internet.
Cheers,
Al.
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Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 14:48

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 14:48
Al,

Thank you very much for your positive input. I can only hope my children have open minded and enthusiastic teachers such as yourself throughout their lives.

Best regards, and enjoy all that "time off" you guys have ;-)) (having a dig at some of the responders above LOL)
Trevor.
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Reply By: The Landy - Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 15:05

Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008 at 15:05
Reading through this post reinforces my view that teaching and learning begins at home and is supplemented elsewhere (and that is said with due respect to our learning institutions).
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