forum: Gardening / Growing

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#11 Fri 05 Nov 10 5:26am

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: seed saving illegal

cengland wrote:

Have you learnt how to seek out multiple sources from different perspectives, to read them critically, and to form careful conclusions?

I only wish all university students were like that...would have saved me a few grey hairs.

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#12 Fri 05 Nov 10 6:33am

falconcy

Forum champ
Occupation Project Manager
From Limassol, Cyprus
Member since Tue 19 Dec 06

Re: seed saving illegal

Is it just me, or has education been dumbed down somewhat? I've seen graduates who can barely string a sentence together, even with a spell and grammar checker.

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#13 Fri 05 Nov 10 7:58am

cengland

Forum champ
Occupation teacher
From Darwin, Australia
Member since Wed 08 Sep 10

Re: seed saving illegal

I don't think it's just you.  Language standards across the board have dropped.  Universities prefer to pass as many students as they can.  If students don't pass, they don't come back next year, so their fees are lost to the university.   If universities failed students for poor grammar, punctuation and spelling, large numbers of students would fail.

The problem begins at schools, with clear written communication not being taught adequately there.  When I was a History or Theology or Religious Studies lecturer at a university, it was not really my job to teach students grammar, punctuation and spelling (although I did spend a lot of time, and go through many pencils, pointing out grammar, punctuation and spelling errors on students' papers).

I think that poor written communication is not just a problem for getting through school or graduating from university.  We use written communication a great deal in our personal and work daily lives, especially with the advent of the net.  Poor written communication means lost productivity, as a lot of time has to be spent on clarifying the meaning of what a writer has written, when it cannot be understood. 

I think the problem is also there, although to a lesser extent, in oral communication, with people not being able to articulate what they are thinking clearly.

Last edited by cengland (Fri 05 Nov 10 8:00am)

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#14 Fri 05 Nov 10 8:25am

falconcy

Forum champ
Occupation Project Manager
From Limassol, Cyprus
Member since Tue 19 Dec 06

Re: seed saving illegal

What really pisses me off is the fact that I barely scraped through O level English Language. Then I end up having to deal with graduates who even fail to use the spell and grammar checker on a word processing program.

Had I been able to use a computer and the Internet in my day, with ongoing assessment, I would have gotten far better grades. I had to put up with a sudden death exam which put those who could cram at a distinct advantage.

I'm also pissed at having to compete against "graduates" who in reality have zero ability. The whole system is biased in their favor.

During my military service you more often than not didn't get civvy qualifications. Nowadays they give you a Batchelors degree, so I guess that taking into account the general dumbing down, my course is in reality worth a Masters degree.  mrgreen

Last edited by falconcy (Fri 05 Nov 10 8:27am)

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#15 Fri 05 Nov 10 8:30am

Ashen

Forum champ
Occupation Why is the Rum always gone???!
From out to lunch
Member since Sat 07 Jan 06

Re: seed saving illegal

I have a simple question, which canadian law makes it illegal?  The bill number for that law and a direct quote of the appropriate passage would be appreciated.   whistle








wink  I actually know the bill number most often quoted for these statements  and have read the thing in its entirety. I have no concerns about it. Past problems   like fen-Phen, or hydroxycut which were touted as Natural Supplements but had severe health side effects, make me  quite happy to see some regulatory controls being installed by bill C-51 .     wink   Told ya I knew which one.  big_smile

Last edited by Ashen (Fri 05 Nov 10 8:33am)


Only a fool argues with a skunk, a mule or a cook.  { cowboy saying}
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#16 Fri 05 Nov 10 8:55am

cengland

Forum champ
Occupation teacher
From Darwin, Australia
Member since Wed 08 Sep 10

Re: seed saving illegal

falconcy wrote:

What really pisses me off is the fact that I barely scraped through O level English Language. Then I end up having to deal with graduates who even fail to use the spell and grammar checker on a word processing program.

Had I been able to use a computer and the Internet in my day, with ongoing assessment, I would have gotten far better grades. I had to put up with a sudden death exam which put those who could cram at a distinct advantage.

I'm also pissed at having to compete against "graduates" who in reality have zero ability. The whole system is biased in their favor.

During my military service you more often than not didn't get civvy qualifications. Nowadays they give you a Batchelors degree, so I guess that taking into account the general dumbing down, my course is in reality worth a Masters degree.  mrgreen

Mmm, better not get me started on needing bits of paper to get a job. wink  I have a BA, MA and PhD, and have taught in universities.  But I was not allowed to teach in schools without getting a Graduate Diploma in Education as well.

It's a good related point, though.  Universities used to be places specifically for training people for jobs that required skills and experience working with texts, high-level critical thinking, theoretical understanding, awareness of important literature and documents in the field, that kind of thing.  Now, there are degrees for things that really shouldn't need or require university education and degrees, for which on-the-job apprenticeships, training and experience would probably be better.

I think one good example in Australia is a degree in nursing.  Nurses used to learn on the job.  Now they go to university, study and get a degree.  But when they actually get on the job, the graduates frequently find they don't actually like or can't really do the real, physical side of nursing ... Wasted time and wasted taxpayer dollars.

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#17 Fri 05 Nov 10 9:23am

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: seed saving illegal

Ashen wrote:

I have a simple question, which canadian law makes it illegal?  The bill number for that law and a direct quote of the appropriate passage would be appreciated.   whistle








wink  I actually know the bill number most often quoted for these statements  and have read the thing in its entirety. I have no concerns about it. Past problems   like fen-Phen, or hydroxycut which were touted as Natural Supplements but had severe health side effects, make me  quite happy to see some regulatory controls being installed by bill C-51 .     wink   Told ya I knew which one.  big_smile

luv ya!

and yes schooling is getting dumbed down. the uni i was at had to start spending the whole of first year getting science grads up to speed recently.

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#18 Fri 05 Nov 10 10:14am

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: seed saving illegal

Ok it helps if you can 'string a sentence together' , punctuate and spell properly but it is not a sign of intelligence and many graduates can't spell. Spell checks although helpful are not always reliable .

There are many students at universities who have dyslexia , many of whom have got that far without an official diagnosis.
There are students who are from foreign countries who's first language is not that of the country they are studying in.
There are students who are 'under the umbrella' of autism and are at university dispute their problems and difficulties.

Just because a person has not got what others persons to be a required standard in education in a particular area ,does not mean they are less intelligent.

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#19 Fri 05 Nov 10 10:55am

cengland

Forum champ
Occupation teacher
From Darwin, Australia
Member since Wed 08 Sep 10

Re: seed saving illegal

Mummza, I wasn't saying anything about intelligence, or the right to be at university for that matter.  Please don't make such assumptions.  I was talking about certain skills.  Of course facility with language is not the marker of 'intelligence'; intelligence is a multi-faceted thing with many measures.  Language and communication skills can be learnt and improved by almost anyone, if they are taught well.

There are students with disabilities, and efforts are made to assist them as much as possible, with both personal attention and technology.  I have taught autistic, blind and dyslexic students, among others; they often do as well as or better than students without difficulties.  But students with disabilities do not account for the very great numbers of students with rather poor written communication skills, who can be helped greatly in their writing if they are just shown how to do it, and encouraged to take care and to proofread.

Meanwhile, I have often noticed that the English language skills of foreign students can be better than those of Australian-born students, because the foreign students have been taught, learnt and practiced their English in an organized, methodical way.  But we also allow for and give special assistance to students from LOTE backgrounds who are struggling.

I am therefore not saying that there are any groups of people who should be considered 'less intelligent', or excluded from university, or any such things.

I'm not a fan of computer spell checkers and grammar checkers myself.  They aren't much use if you can't understand why the computer is telling you to change something.  Moreover, as you note, they're not reliable.  A spellchecker will check if individual words are spellt correctly, but take no notice of the words in context.  Hence one cookbook recently said to add 'black people' instead of 'black pepper' to a dish; a spell checker also can't tell you when to use 'there' instead of 'their', 'pore' instead of 'poor' or 'pour', etc.

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#20 Fri 05 Nov 10 10:57am

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: seed saving illegal

I was not suggesting that I was making assumptions about your post cengland,
I was making a general comment after reading some of the previous posts.



But I would like to make 1 comment...yes you get extra help and technology ....as long as you have a diagnosis.
There are many students who have never been diagnosed and still have one of the conditions that I mentioned.

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