Originally Posted by waiflywaif
It's not like things are theoretical and lecture-based for elementary school kids. When they learn a language, they use the language.
They don't use the language - they practice the language. I took languages from sixth grade on (French 6-12, and German 9-12). I pulled marks of at least 95% in both languages until 12th grade (long story, but all my grades tanked that year, even in the few classes - math and languages - that I liked). We never used
French and German. We said the words we were learning. We counted. We rehearsed practice dialogues. We had to - very
occasionally stumble through a brief, 3-4 sentence, "conversation". That's not using a language. There's no context for languages in a classroom, especially an elementary school classroom, because it is
a classroom. I have no objection to any of that, and it certainly can/does teach the basics, but it's not even remotely the same thing as learning a language by being surrounded by people who speak it fluently.
|When they learn a science concept, it's hands-on. Just because it takes place in a classroom and at a prescribed time doesn't mean it's not "in context."
Most classroom science definitely lacks context, simply from being in a classroom. I also have to say that, despite best efforts of my very
good elementary school science teacher (he had actually been a high school teacher before coming to our school), most of our elementary school science didn't involve much hands-on. It involved a lot of lectures and notes, and an occasional experiment. He tried (I still remember that one of the critera for life is reactivity, because he demonstrated by suddenly bringing a yardstick down on a counter and causing us all to jump!), but a classroom is a classroom. A study of plants, animals and paramecium, in an environment where there are no animals, paramecium or plants (well, maybe a few plants!) does not provide context.
|It may not happen "naturally" (meaning whenever) but it happens, and most kids learn great that way.
Do you have any
evidence for this? I'm not slamming school, and ds1 has actually done very well in public school, but I've never seen anything, as a student, or as a parent, to suggest that "most" kids learn "great" in a classroom. IME, a few learn "great", a few learn very little, and most