I can't count how many high school classes I got B's in instead of A's because I flat out refused to do most the homework. In general it's useless busy work that doesn't teach you anything not covered in the lecture, what's the point?

There is alot less lecturing in the High School classroom these days. Its more about discovery learning and higher level thinking skills. The home work is there to drill the basic skills.

Sounds like people are trying to blame poor teaching methods and abilities on S.E.C.

Are you suggesting that lecture is a better teaching method?

Having been forced to endure some of the teaching methods you speak of in Secondary School...I'd say that without the hint of hesitation or doubt. Nothing like taking a month to teach a subject that should take one lecture hour.

Look, lecture is for me the best method of learning. But I am a fairly intelligent person, as are you. However, for most students this method does not work as well. In fact, most research demonstrates that of all the teaching methods regurlarly used, lecture has the least positive effect. Sorry to say that this but for the masses, there is no evidence that lectures are effective.

I remember in high school that we spent probably a semester (between Pre-Calculus and Calculus I) teaching the concept of an integral. 'Exploring' this idea of area under the curve being approximated by rectangles, belabouring a concept as simple as the limit week after week, then doing it all again the following year. It's a VERY simple concept, one lecture to introduce the concept, one more to provide the theoretical background, two more to derive the 'rules' used for practical application...with class every day, that's LESS than ONE WEEK. If it would make people feel better, you could spend the last day of that week going over examples to make the concept obvious (as though it wouldn't be already), the next week you could move on to something else.

Lecture is a better approach for two reasons, first it gives you all the information in a logically ordered fashion making it much easier to grasp and internalize the subject than the shotgun approach of 'exploration'. Secondly, and most importantly, the lecture is MUCH more efficient, as I discussed above, you can do in a week what in some schools today will occupy a semester. Education takes long enough without slowing instruction down to a snail's pace, to do so wastes time that could be spent on other topics, DEPRIVING students of the education they deserve.

There's a place for 'exploration', we call it research. It's MUCH harder, not easier, than learning from a lecture. Giving the choice of 'exploring' the Riemann Hypothesis myself or sitting down and have someone lecture me on how it's proven, I certainly know what choice I'd take; unfortunately, we enjoy no such luxury on this matter. If someone thinks mathematical research is easier than a lecture on mathematics, they'd do much better to start publishing their own original proofs than sitting through a high school math class.