Monday, December 17, 2012

Question, Oh Questions (& Answers)

1. Is there a country with more freedom than of the U.S?

Since our country never fails to mention our numerous freedoms and how grateful our citizens should be to have them compared to other countries, I was wondering, is there countries with more freedoms then the U.S? With a quick google search I found my answer. The answer isn't as simple as I thought it would be due to the fact that we can't exactly measure freedoms. But,(there's always a but) I did find that 18 countries have more economic freedom than America. How is that so?

Well, first let me tell you what the countries are.
 The list of 18 countries that rank higher than the U.S. are:
  1. Hong Kong,
  2. Singapore,
  3. New Zealand,
  4. Australia,
  5. Canada,
  6. Switzerland,
  7. Oman,
  8. Ireland,
  9. Mauritius,
  10. Bahrain,
  11. Finland,
  12. United Kingdom,
  13. Chile,
  14. Zambia,
  15. Taiwan,
  16. Denmark, 
  17. Estonia and 
  18. Kuwait
You've probably never heard of some of these countries. It's okay, I haven't either. I did some extra research to see if these countries have always had these freedoms and how well there economy was. I had to make sure that the freedoms didn't leave a negative effect on the country or what would be the point. Unlike Greece, who's freedoms were blown out of proportion  Hong Kong's economy is doing very well as well as the other countries.  But Greece has a lot of other problems that I'll research on a different lame Saturday night. Anyway, as far as how long the countries had the freedoms, based on my research most of the countries got the freedoms after America did. 

So the answer to my question is yes. There are countries with more freedoms then of the U.S but there are limits to them and they vary. To read more about this topic  check out the link below!

2. Is the freedom of speech really the primary freedom?
What are the limits on other freedoms without the freedom of speech?

From lots of research I have concluded the freedom of speech is a human need while the other freedoms are not as much. Yeah, we need to express our feeling in some kind of manner, do we really need to  be restricted on that?Other freedoms still exist without the freedom of speech but they are very limited and do not have as much impact as usual. The freedom of speech allows us to express the other freedoms through media and without it we really wouldn't know as much as we do about all the other freedoms. 

For example the freedom of assembly would barely exist without freedom of speech. How are we going to get people to assemble without some sort of media letting people everywhere know about it? Its the same for freedom of press. Without actual ideas from speech would the press have any value? What can they publish and what can't they?  For freedom of petition, we can't protest for anything if the freedom of speech is taken away. Freedom of petition is nearly nonexistent without the freedom of speech. To protest you need protesters, and for protesters you need the media.  Freedom of religion is probably the most least impacted from freedom of speech since the media doesn't mention religion too often.

So from all the information above I conclude that freedom of speech is not the primary freedom, but without the other freedom would not have as much impact. The other freedoms would still exist without the freedom of speech which is why freedom of speech is not the primary freedom. 

Until my next post!

-Nandhini Ravichandran

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Grades- What is the true meaning of them?


What do grades really represent? Our knowledge? Our just how we memorize information? Maybe even both. I believe grades simply reflect on how we take the information given to us and use it on work. Grades show what skills we have mastered and how well we use them. It also provides teachers information on where we should work harder and gives them a sort of guide on what to teach us next.  It also shows the student what they may want to practice a bit more on.

 Our current grading system is on a 100 point scale with letters to represent a standard form of our knowledge. My opinions on this is negative. This system of grading does not accurately show where we are in education. Many kids can get the same grade but it doesn't necessarily mean that they are all in the same level of knowledge. If our world was perfect every student would have a their own personal teacher but that's not the case. A teacher has to judge many students at once on there academical abilities. An easier and more accurate way of doing this could be first off removing the letter grade system. From personal experience I hated letter grades. In elementary school a 92 or under was a B. I would feel horrible when I would get a 92, 91, or 90. But once I entered middle school where 90-100 was an A I didn't feel as bad when getting a 90-92. But in general getting a 90-92 in either middle school or elementary school was the same. Letter grading to me is almost the same as stereo typing in my opinion. As for the 100 point system, I am okay with it. 

The current grading system does not accurately represent our skills or knowledge. But like I said before, in a perfect world every student would have their own personal teacher. The current grading system I feel is not as accurate as it could be. By labeling all our work with a letter and a number does not pinpoint where we really are in our learning progress. For example I may guess on a lot of  questions and by luck get a good grade, but that does not truly show that I understood the content. 

I want our grading system to transfer to a combination of both the current based grading system and a standards based system. This way we would have a way of knowing where we went wrong and an excellent way in resolving it!

These are my thought on grades!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Based on Sir Ken Robinson speech and I completely agree. School are killing creativity. I have many reasons to why I believe this. First, schools have a very controlled environment where usually the is only one correct answer. I feel this does not let kids discover new ways and ideas to things and are destructing the creative ability. As a student myself I can say that I could probably come up with 10 different ways to use a pencil then i could now. I feel the basic rule to stay in the lines of a drawing is destructing creativity itself. Why not color outside the lines? It may become worth something one day rather than a plain drawing where anyone or anybody could replica. There should be many more learning strategies out there beside the basic math, language, and science.

I say we should take our learning environments to the next level. For example maybe instead of answer a plain multiplication problem we could see different strategies to solve it then the traditional steps. We must take baby steps to rediscover the creativity that is blessed in humans but in order to that schools will have to change the their teaching strategies. Have you ever had a child ask you why? to everything sometimes you just dont have an answer.  I think this is the small hint of creativity in a child. Those questions that they ask dont need to have an answer. But a child should not let go of it quickly but embrace it and embrace the creativity in themselves. So instead of answering with a "just because" or "because I said so" why not ask "what to do you think"?

With such a lack of creativity in schools we may not have many inventors or new products in the future. Im not talking about an iphone 9 or a new laptop. Im talking new original products like maybe smellivision or time travel. Things that don't even exist in an original. I hope schools bring in creativity to brighten our future and theirs.

                                                                                                                                  Thats all for now!            
                                                                                                                                      - Nandhini

Monday, September 24, 2012

Recently I took and Anthony Gregorc Learning Styles Test and a Gardner Multiple Intelligences Test  sand according to them I am musical and abstract and random!
I think the results do fit me because even though i do not sing I still learn best from music! I also am abstract random which would be sensitive, personal, and imaginative! Something that I would take away is that I am musical. I dont really play many instruments or sing. Although I would love to, I never seemed to put fort the effort or time to learn.

3 people I admire is Michelangelo, Albert Einstein and my own cousin! I admire Michelangelo for his creativity! He created so many world wonders of art! I think his learning style is spatial because he seems to be visualizing a lot, and designing. I also think he was abstract random. He was imaginative  and colorful and his painting show an array of emotion and sensitivity.Albert Einstein is extremely creative! He created such complex formulas that have never been invented or been relative to!  Due to that i think he was logical-mathematical thinker. Its obvious he experimented and loved figuring out puzzles leading him to his world famous math terms! I also think he was abstract sequential. This means he was academic and intellectual My own cousin her self I admire very much! She is only 4 but her achievements I honestly do admire. She is very intelligent and has skipped a grade and aslo will be on a tv show based on a singing competition.  I think she is musical because I constantly either hear her humming or singing or whistling. I think he is a concrete random learner. She is very independent and rarely asks anyone for help and is a risk-taker. She is always taking an alternative choice for all her decisions and is very open to many ideas rather being set on one choice. This is why I admire her.

What about everybody else?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Being gifted comes with pro's and cons as well as truths and myths. 1 pro of being gifted is that your GPA is higher, this means your college applications are alot better! Another pro is that certain subjects are much easier, and your able to understand it easier as well. Parents is another pro! I feel that my parents are more proud of me then usual because I am gifted therefor can get great grades in specific classes. Just like there are pro's there is cons as well. An example of a con is the expectations you have to exceed. Parents and teachers, have higher expectations and want you to reach your full potential. A personal experience is when my the grade math teacher was disappointed in me for getting a B but was proud another student for getting the  same grade. I felt a lot of pressure and did not like it.  But this can be very stressful and alot of pressure.Social problems is also another painful con. At times gifted students can be awkward toward others due to asynchronous development where your social, emotional, physical, and intellectual maturities are developing at different paces.  Teasing is involved to! When being yourself, you may come off as know-it-all or dork. These comments hurt but its best to look past it and always be your self. There is a lot of myths that are spread about being gifted. A couple are being super smart, or being anti-social! But the truth is most of us are normal people. Were not much different than everyone else most of the time. We also don't excel at everything like stereotypes say. We can make just as many mistakes as anyone else. I still get bad grades once in a while and make the same mistakes. Gifted comes with a price but we must enjoy the gift!

My resources are listed below!
                                                                                                         - Nandhini Ravichandran

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hi! I'm Nandhini! Im in 8th grade. My favorite subjects in school are science and art! My favorite topics to learn is biology, basketball, and art! In my free time I swim, paint, and play basketball. When I grow up I want to be a doctor! My friends and family keep me happy!