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Can someone explain to me why we aren’t just moving to a school system where 1 teacher can zoom class to 200-300 students like a college lecture hall? Why are we bothering with stuffing kids into classrooms

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Because teaching in k-12 environments isn't about throwing "content" at children but about ensuring that all participants are engaged with the material, have the ability to ask questions, and build the necessary skills provided by these fundamental classes.

College students don't require the same level of engagement because they're (mostly) a self-selected group of people who have shown that they have an interest in the topic and because the topics themselves are rarely as fundamental as (most) of those in K-12 environments.


To add to this, the BEST use case of virtual instructions isn't around scale of education delivery but optimizing access to instruction so that kids in areas with fewer teachers can access the same variety and quality of content as kids in areas with more teachers and more resources.

The biggest hurdle to this change aren't the teachers' unions. Its the fundamental framework of local property tax driven distribution of educational dollars and the unwillingness of rich school districts to move away from their incredibly lopsided resource advantage for fear of impacting *gasp* property values.


Education professor here exploring transition to consulting. This might sound preposterous but is a really great question. Four thoughts:

1. We've tried this before in a sense. Lancastrian monitor schools were designed to teach ~500-600 kids according to a tiered instruction system in a large warehouse. Early national period. The idea was about efficiency and instruction according to common standards. It was popular at the time, but as many folks have noted, questions about social-emotional learning as well as the move to education as a political/public enterprise doomed the system.

2. The 2-sigma problem. Education folks have been trying to solve this for decades. Basically a lot of research shows that 1-1 tutoring gives kids a 2 standard deviation advantage over a classroom setting. The challenge is how do we get academic gains close to this level within a traditional classroom. A Zoom class would throw kids farther down this scale, at least if we take the research as relevant to this arrangement.

3. As Deloitte 5 mentioned, mass education is simply not about learning. It's a custodial institution. We need to put kids somewhere during the working day. This is one reason why high school enrollment exploded during the Great Depression. We needed to take teens out of the labor market and keep them off the streets.

4. Agreed that higher and even secondary edu is ripe for disruption. I'm witnessing this in my own experience as I try to upskill to exit academia and enter industry. Techne - or skill-based - learning is in many ways much easier with a stand-alone module. The biggest challenge will be to scale direct, individual feedback. AI may be an answer to a certain point, but perhaps gig labor is going to be the ultimate solution at higher cognitive complexity. Would anyone in the bowl spend 5 hours a week giving feedback to people taking a Udemy course, for example?

Great question.

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Because kids need real human connection. Its difficult to stay interested in a 200 person lecture hall. Now imagine how that would go with 5th graders....


Yes also interested to hear more on what country you’re from OP and what brings you to this line of thinking. Absolutely staggering you believe this churn and burn approach is appropriate for kids at these critical stages of social and intellectual development. I hesitate to ask if you’re a parent yourself to even suggest this.


Love waking up to see Data Scientist posting his ice cold takes once again


Yes, we’re all frost bitten


This is a joke, right?


I sincerely hope that it’s a joke😂😂

Kids need the physical interactions they get in the classroom. "COVID kids" are very much behind on their social development, ask any teacher


OP, Your teacher friends are horrible people. Small children who are acting out are not "chuff" to be tossed aside. They may have learning differences, dealing with stress/abuse at home, etc. that are contributing to the behavior (also -shock- short attention spans are developmentally appropriate for younger students). Even the "bad" kids want attention and to learn. I remember a friend who Senior year found out he was dyslexic - I ran into him right after he received the information and he was ecstatic. He told me that he always just thought he was stupid and was so relieved to find out it was a learning difference. It makes me unbelievably sad and angry when I think about how he was treated by the (typically really good) school system and how much time he lost by not getting the help he needed. Distance learning would exacerbate that issue for so many people and we would lose the benefit of many great minds because they did not get the support they needed during their developmental years.

Data scientist you legit need therapy and/or to be medicated


Less post makey, more meds takey


Kids need socialization as part of their development. Period. There's no valid argument against this, it has been proven over and over.

Why would it even make sense to switch to remote anyway? So, parents have to fully rearrange or leave their careers to be able to supervise children all day long, while still paying for the technology (and just the education tax itself) to get said kid educated? What about that makes anything easier for anyone? The teacher isn't happy, the parent isn't happy, and the kid is the least happy. Who benefits in your scenario?


OP, you seem to keep focusing just on streamlining what is topically being taught, completely ignoring the VITAL aspect of human relationship development, which requires REAL human interaction to be effective. Oh, and the fact that people have different learning styles as well.

I'm curious, are you an Introverted Introvert who prefers to work head down, no conversation, and on individual contributor efforts more than collaborative team (or cross-team) efforts???


We send kids to school so they learn interacting with other human and don’t turn out to be Data Scientists some day 😜


My SO has been teaching for over 20 years and her first priority has always been establishing a respect based relationship with the children before getting into subjects. Any time she’s had a rookie partner who wanted to get to curriculum from day 1 that teacher had problems all year long. Doesn’t work unless the true empathy and care is there.

Why even have teachers? Why not just send the kids a bunch of links to Khan academy on YouTube?


Which is not remotely the same thing as a classroom full of 1st graders.


Op, just go ahead and change your title to Pedagogy Expert.


My SO teaches 1st graders, and at the beginning of this school year she noticed more kids have a tendency to play rough or ignore teachers than other years, and she believes it's due to their kindergarten year was remote.

Granted this is a sample size of kids from 1 school year at 1 school, she does believe face-to-face interaction is useful for kids to learn appropriate social behavior and interaction. For younger kids anyway.


My SO noticed the exact same. The kids don't understand how to properly interact with each other physically. One boy accidently dislocated another kids shoulder. They weren't fighting, they just all roughhouse way too much and don't understand social norms as well as other grades do


At that point why not just put everything on YouTube and have Q&A in live chat? Lol


Trying to hold back so many comments about OP


You need to look up the definition of “ad hominem”. My response was not one.


Tell me you don’t have kids without telling me you don’t have kids


This is why MBAs should be outlawed


And data scientists 😜


Someone is missing the necessary critical thinking skills needed for consulting…


That would work much better for some classes and levels than others. Might be fine for calculus 101, would be quite bad for an upper level elective especially in the humanities.

People don’t want to spend a bunch of money on college and be herded around like cattle.


Schools like Harvard and Penn are selling the name and the connections more than the course, so it doesn’t matter if it’s online or not. I can tell you my spouse is going to school not as fancy as that and they charge the same for in person before COVID and now despite going full remote, yes I’m saving on gas and lunches, but there’s a reason why so many schools are getting sued class action due to same tuition charge but online


Standard data scientist post


During the industrial revolution, people need someplace to send your kids while they go to work. When kids get older, they need to send them away for learning to stand on their feet or might be just an excuse to get rid of the financial pressure of keep carrying all kids’ expenditures.

The system is pretty old tbh. Now, if everything changes suddenly & quickly, what will teachers do? How about the heavily investment on properties/projects to expand the schools/uni? How about losing tons of money from the education sector because no more international students? Virtual study /life isn’t the future, it’s happening. But there’re too much things to be done, especially, when we still have lot of bummers around who don’t understand how’s everything going with the internet.


We can google/YouTube almost everything nowadays. If kids have any questions, they can zoom their teachers/tutors or put their questions into the room chat. For people living faraway from school, no need to commute hours to school. Parents don’t need to spend extra money to settle in the expensive areas but can move a bit far away, saving + better house. The benefits are clear but the cons are just still there. It might take a bit more time to overcome those barriers

This whole post disregards the facts the children vs college age adults (18+) have very different learning patterns and without a strong base which happens predominantly with in-person learning the all online generation will be I’ll equipped to take on the challenges presented by society….we have the research from the Covid lockdowns and school going kids suffered the most where they are 6-8months behind their peers who were in the same grade pre Covid. Online for children was a stop gap solution not a permanent one.


Agreed, however this model doesn’t work for the formative years of education where you’re trying to build a good foundation. It’s impossible to ask questions in a class of 200 virtual participants and no instructor no matter how good can identify or pay extra attention to kids struggling with concepts. This works in college cause we assume everyone has the same foundation which is not the case in early education. Perhaps this can work as a supplementary tool etc but not the primary learning avenue. And if you want to bring in the aspect of alleviating kids from poverty etc sure this can be a means of providing education to the masses but it will not compare to in person education and the opportunities it opens for students. Not to mention issues with tech adoption, access to the internet, electricity in these rural areas


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