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School too easy, say US students

| September 5, 2012 | 0 Comments

The think tank Centre of American Progress has released some disturbing results in a report entitled ‘Do schools challenge our students?’ Researchers Ulrich Boser and Lindsay Rosenthal analysed years of data collected by the US Education Department and found a disconnect between student results and attitudes.

Twenty one per cent of Grade 12 students, along with sizeable numbers of Grade 4 pupils, all from a range of different kinds of schools, complained that maths was “too easy”. Yet, point out Boser and Rosenthal, dismally low proportions of students from these grades are annually deemed to be proficient in the subject, according to the results of the National Assessment for Educational Progress – a low-stakes standardised test administered to public and private school students that provides the only opportunity for comparing states’ academic performance with each other.

The problem may well be that too many classrooms are still mired in static oldfashioned ways of learning, say the researchers, who argue for much more research that includes probes into student perceptions of learning experiences. Boser and Rosenthal also state that the common core standards in place in US states should not deter teachers from instilling a love of learning in their students.

Category: Spring 2012

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