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is4fun
24-06-2009, 20:41
This was sent to me in an e-mail. Thought I might consider going back to school after reading it... :)



What it took to get an 8th grade education in 1895...

Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had an 8th grade education? Well, check this out. Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895?

This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina , Kansas , USA . It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina , and reprinted by the Salina Journal.
8th Grade Final Exam: Salina , KS - 1895

Grammar (Time, one hour)

1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph
4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of 'lie,''play,' and 'run.'
5. Define case; illustrate each case.
6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)

1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. Wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs. For tare?
4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft.. Long at $20 per metre?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)

1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.

Orthography (Time, one hour)

1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u.'
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis-mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

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 North America
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. Name all the republics of Europe and give the 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 the inclination of the earth.


Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete.

Gives the saying 'he only had an 8th grade education' a whole new meaning, doesn't it?

kapione
25-06-2009, 13:49
nice glimpse of a old test

GaNozri
25-06-2009, 20:30
Was it the degradation of the US educational system that brought America to where it is now, or the other way around?

DDT
25-06-2009, 21:06
I read somewhere that George Washington started his schooling at about age 12 and was learning calculus within a year or two.

GaNozri
25-06-2009, 21:13
I read somewhere that George Washington started his schooling at about age 12 and was learning calculus within a year or two.

Was he learning it on his own, or did he have a couple of black slaves do it for him?

DDT
25-06-2009, 21:27
Was he learning it on his own, or did he have a couple of black slaves do it for him?
Blacks were at that time uneducated as there was no education system in Africa at all, other than how to build a grass hut! So, I doubt that any Blacks, slave or otherwise had anything to offer in the way of education to anyone.

Benjamin Franklin attended grammar school from age 8 to 10 and had some private writing and arithmetic lessons. At age 13 he was finished school but educated himself throughout his life.
By age 15, he was busy delivering newspapers by day and composing articles at night for the New England Courant newspaper.

You guys would have liked this:
http://www.nd.edu/~rbarger/www7/masslaws.html

rusmeister
25-06-2009, 23:17
Jokes aside, the evidence is overwhelming that our ancestors were better educated than we are - despite a snobbish and unchallenged attitude that we know more than any people in history. We may have more information available to us - but it is certain that we do less with what we have. The expansion of the modern public school system has everything to do with this. The question becomes, 'who benefits from a dumbed-down society?' and 'where did that system come from?'

I'll also add that this dumbing-down lead, among other things, to the gradual loss of dominance of the Christian faith in what was once called "Christendom", but I'll let that devolve to another thread.

kanga
25-06-2009, 23:30
You'll find that this is false. . .

DDT
25-06-2009, 23:46
What? I thought that Snopes said that it was true!

I think you'll find that what Snopes says is that only the premise that education was better in 1895 is false, not the actual exam.

I think Snopes is letting their personal prejudices show here, as that is simply their opinion!

robertmf
26-06-2009, 00:00
Yadayadayada
U.S. Seniors 'Smarter' Than English Seniors

ScienceDaily (June 25, 2009) Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School, the University of Cambridge and the University of Michigan have carried out the first international comparison of cognitive function in nationally representative samples of older adults in the US and England and discovered that US seniors performed significantly better that their English counterparts.

The finding is surprising because older people in the US are known to suffer more from cardiovascular risk factors and diseases, which are generally associated with more cognitive decline and poorer mental function.

The study compared 8,299 Americans with 5,276 British seniors aged 65 and older. The same cognitive tests were administered to the two groups in the same year. The US advantage in 'brain health' was greatest for those aged 85 and older. On a population level, the overall difference in cognitive performance between the two countries was quite large and amounted to a decade of ageing the cognitive performance of 75-year-olds in the US was as good, on average, as that of 65-year-olds in England.

Data from the US population came from the Health and Retirement Study, conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research and funded by the National Institute on Aging. Data on the UK study were from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Both are nationally representative, population-based studies designed to facilitate direct comparisons of health, wealth and well-being among older men and women.

Participating individuals in both countries took tests of immediate and delayed recall of 10 common nouns including hotel, river, tree, skin, gold, village, baby and table. They heard the words spoken and were asked to repeat as many as possible immediately. Then they completed other survey questions and five minutes later, were asked to repeat as many of the words as possible. During the interview participants were also asked what day, date, month and year it was. Taken together, their answers (10 points for immediate recall, 10 for delayed recall and four for orientation) made up a 24-point scale of cognitive function.

The researchers compared scores stratified by age, gender, and education as well as country. The mean score for the combined cognitive scale was 12.5 (out of 24) for the youngest group of English adults (ages 65-74) and 8.3 for the oldest group (age 85 and older). The mean scores for the youngest and oldest groups in the U.S. were 13.8 and 10.1, respectively.

The research team also examined data on participant health conditions, risk factors, and treatments for stroke, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, lung disease, and cancer. They also collected data on recent symptoms of depression, and on smoking status, alcohol consumption, and limitations in performing common activities of daily living, including dressing, bathing, taking medications, and managing money.

U.S. adults reported significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms than English adults, and this may have accounted for some of the U.S. advantage in 'brain health' since depression is linked with worse cognitive function. The research team also found significant differences in alcohol consumption between the U.S. and English seniors. More than 50 percent of U.S. seniors reported no alcohol use, compared to only 15.5 percent of English seniors. Previous research has shown that moderate alcohol consumption, compared to abstinence, is linked with better cognition among those aged 50 and over.

U.S. adults reported a higher prevalence of hypertension, yet they also were more likely to be taking medications to treat the condition. A number of studies have shown a link between untreated hypertension and an increased risk for cognitive impairment.

Two researchers from the Peninsula Medical School worked on the study, Dr Iain Lang and Dr David Llewellyn. Dr Iain Lang commented: "While we in England may not like the results of this study, there are important lessons to be gleaned regarding the differences in lifestyle and the treatment of cardiovascular diseases between the US and England. Given the good results achieved by the American oldest-old, we can hypothesise that the more aggressive diagnosis and treatment of hypertension and possibly other cardiovascular risks that occurs in the US, may lead to less cognitive decline. US citizens tend to retire later than those in England, and this too can have an effect on cognitive performance there may be a connection between early retirement and the early onset of cognitive decline."

Dr David Llewellyn added: "It is possible that the results of this study could lead to other research designed to improve cognitive performance for older people in England. Certainly, with the population of the world ageing at a rapid rate future cross-national studies regarding medical and social factors and ageing can only make significant contributions to the quality and delivery of public health not least in providing possible savings for health and social care providers such as the NHS."

rusmeister
26-06-2009, 20:15
You'll find that this is false. . .
Even if the specific example is false, it is not so far from the truth - one need only compare standards like "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McGuffy_Reader" of the 19th century with the far more retarded "Dick and Jane - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Dick_and_Jane.jpg" class="image"><img alt="" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2c/Dick_and_Jane.jpg"@@AMEPARAM@@en/2/2c/Dick_and_Jane.jpg" readers that later followed.
Any serious examination of actual results - what educated people wrote and thought in the 19th century and what they write and think today - reveals a serious drop in terms of both depth of knowledge and general standards.
How many high school seniors could write "The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass" or anything else written then today? How many could even read it?

We begin to learn history, what people actually knew, etc, when we read primary sources - things written at the time. usually, most people with modern educations walk around with the vague idea that we are much wiser, more intelligent and better-educated than our ancestors. Any reading of literature from given time periods, generally speaking, reveals the opposite.

XxL0sTxX
09-07-2009, 21:17
It is a matter of our nation's commitment to democracy, to our belief that those who choose our leaders should be well-informed and active citizens, which would therefore be reflected on the countries educational system. The basis of our democracy rests on our belief that the public will be educated to read, think, discuss, evaluate, and participate in decision-making for themselves and our society.

But seriously guyz i think i got 2 right :1306:

Wodin
09-07-2009, 21:33
Jokes aside, the evidence is overwhelming that our ancestors were better educated than we are - despite a snobbish and unchallenged attitude that we know more than any people in history. We may have more information available to us - but it is certain that we do less with what we have. The expansion of the modern public school system has everything to do with this. The question becomes, 'who benefits from a dumbed-down society?' and 'where did that system come from?'

I'll also add that this dumbing-down lead, among other things, to the gradual loss of dominance of the Christian faith in what was once called "Christendom", but I'll let that devolve to another thread.

Russmeister, whiel I fully agree with you in that modern society has dumbed down, "we" do know a lot more about a lot more things, than our ancestores in my view. "we" as humanity that is. I also doubt that the average individual today is less knowledgeable than the average individual 100 years ago.

But where I really disagree with you strongly is your assertion that this is due to the gradual loss of dominance of the christian faith. Permit me to remind you, if I may, that Christianity has a long and illuminating history of supressing the diffusion of knowledge and scholarship. Christianity has sought, for reasons of control, to monopolise learning. Christianity has such achievements as the Galileo and Darwin occurences. Christianity still attempts to prevent further learning till this day, as evidenced by the objections to research into the building blocks of life...stem cell research for instance. I therefore put it to you that, for all the fine sounding exhortations to the faithfull to learn and think for themselves (Islam and Protestantism...forget about catholicisism and orthodoxy), religions are faith based and will always, when the faith comes up short against science, seek to bury learning. I would describe the loss of religious domination as having been the catalyst for the knowledge we have gained since the 1800s.