Monday, June 5, 2023

They taught their kids properly back then


A friend sent me a link to an article titled "Return of the One Room Schoolhouse".  I found it very interesting, particularly because it gave examples of eighth grade final examinations from 1895.  I doubt most of our modern schoolchildren could pass them - in fact, I think most of us adults would have a hard time with them too!

Here, for example, is the Geography exam.

Geography (Time, one hour)

1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?

2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?

3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?

4. Describe the mountains of N.A.

5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.

6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.

7. Name all the republics of Europe and give capital of each.

8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?

9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.

10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give inclination of the earth.

All that in one hour?  I'd be very hard pressed to answer that many questions, concisely enough, in that time limit.

Click over to the article to look at the examinations for English, arithmetic and other subjects.  They're interesting and thought-provoking.  Why are modern children taught so much less factually, and so much more about irrelevant, touchy-feely subjects that will do nothing to help them as adults?



Anonymous said...

In fairness, some of these questions would have been much easier in 1895. Forex, I think the only two "republics" in Europe at the time were France and Switzerland.

Old NFO said...

Yep, they learned 'real' things that would help them in life.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

My father, born in 1921, had to drop out after the 8th grade due to his father's death. He was still better educated than my sister and I when we graduated high school (1961, 1971).

Anonymous said...

They will mostly never be adults, and not by accident.

Isaiah 3:12
As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

Stefan v.

Steve Sky said...

Because the idea is to so fill their minds up with disjointed facts, that they can feel/claim they are "educated", but are unable to combine the facts to form a conclusion. They therefore lack the tools to be able to think. Since they are unable to think, they rely on "experts" to provide their "thinking" for them.

The "math problem" meme thru the decades is a perfect illustration of this.

RHT447 said...

Why? "Just smart enough to run the machines".

Aesop said...

It's amazing how much time teachers had in their days back when they weren't busy teaching communist revisionist nonsense, and grooming children for their pedophilia racket, from first bell to dismissal for the day.

Mad Jack said...

My mother taught high school. She taught business subjects, such as typing, shorthand, and business math. She was teaching during the school integration crises of the 1960s and 70s. Kids would get into fights in the hallways, and one day a fight developed between two girls. Mom waded in and separated them, but one girl would not stop fighting. So my dear old mother somewhat nonchalantly tossed the teenager to the floor and pinned her, then sat on her until she settled down. Mom never had any trouble with the problem students they gave her; she treated them with respect, and the kids responded well to that.

My maternal grandmother taught grade school. The kids loved her, and in a career of thirty years she only had to paddle three boys. Everyone else behaved themselves. I was just a tad, but I got to sit in her class and watch her teach school, and she worked hard at it.

My maternal great-grandmother taught in a one room school house. She had eleven students ranging from age five to seventeen. She allowed the older students to help the younger ones, and she had peer pressure working for her. The younger students wanted to do what the older ones were doing, so they learned as the older ones taught them - and as their instructor taught them.

My grandfather had Latin in grade school, and graduating high school meant something. Also, students were better behaved.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that it was what the students learned OUTSIDE of class that was even more important:

A trade, how to garden, keep livestock, build and use tools, cook, sew, play music, etc. Then add morality, values, self-discipline, and religion.

Knowing Latin or the climate in Manitoba is ok, but folks back then learned enough to have a well-rounded life.

I wish we still did...

Dan said...

What's happening is the deliberate, willful dumbing down of America.
Intelligent, educated, knowledgeable people ask questions and realize
when the answers they get are lies. Keep people stupid and ignorant
and control is very very easy.

Sentenza said...

Child of the 1980s here.

I'd be able to make a decent shot at answering most of those questions.

Anonymous said...

I got all of them ... but I have some advantages. In the 8th grade? I'd probably have done OK on nine of the questions, but I was self-taught and family-taught in geology and climatology, so that might not count.


Unclezip said...

One-room schools are successful in that the older students help pass along knowledge to the youngsters. I went through several years of that in 50s rural Florida.