> > >On Fri, 9 Jun 2000, Leonard Thomas wrote: > >> >> 100% of course, EVERYBODY, it is the law. For me, on job >> applications where they ask "Did you graduate high school", it is >> ridiculous. EVERYONE graduates high school in my country. AND they >> cannot graduate without passing tests in all subjects, most >> important are tests in literature (writting) and Mathematics which are >> supplied on the day of testing by the Department of Education. Not >> even the teachers know the questions untill 30 minutes before the exam. >> There are no multiple choice questions. Mathematics includes >> theoretical questions requiring proofs. EVERY student is taught to >> answer these questions. >> >> Olga Miller >> > Well, it looks all nice and pretty on paper (or on a computer >screen :-), but in real life it isn't that rosy over there either. >While the textbooks are much better, the good mathematics teachers >are rare,
I am not agree that the good mathematics teachers are rare. I do not know where you lived, Michael, when, how old are you. But I graduated from high school in Lviv, West Ukraine, and I had excellent teachers (1945-57). At lviv State University I had also great professors, like Lopatinskiy, his lectures (differential equations) were so excellent that all student felt in love. In Moscow, I attended lectures of professor Havinson (functional analysis and complex functions theory, 1983). It was outstanding. Naturaly, in our country we have some weak students, and not every teacher is excellent teacher. Average level of teaching and knowledge of students in Ukraine is far above the US. The US has many good teachers, but the educational systems doesn't provide the possibility to teach on a level like is taught in our schools.
>the teachers in general are overworked and underpaid, the >students in the teachers colleges are rather weak,
Yes, you are correct. Our teachers are overworked and underpaid, and now they even do not receive their salary on time (it is shame for our government), and despite that they work like mules. They try to teach excellent. And most of them do it. They are very proud to be teachers. And they are respected by students.
>the HS students are not that keen on math either,
I can agree that some students in Ukraine are like American students. But most of them know mathematics much better.
>cheating and corruption are common.
This is Leonard Thomas, Olga's husband. I wanted to pass along a new report I heard on NPR concerning cheating in our nation's capitol. Elementary school teachers were reported by the students for assisting them in answering questions on evaluation testing. Two possible reasons are jobs for the teachers and money for the schools. Teachers may be being pressured into cheating by administrators who want better results than can be attained honestly. After citing some other examples of cheating by teachers, an interviewie expressed opinions as to these pressures on teachers.
>How do I know? I lived there for 25 years, my father taught math at >HS and at a teachers college. >And these exam problems? Some of the >math teachers can't solve them, go figure. >
Many of the students can solve these problems. Go figure.
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