Now and again a survey report is published in the newspaper that makes my head spin, particularly when I read it late at night and I'm trying to read fast. There was an excellent one a couple of days ago. It would probably make perfect sense if I read it slowly, but on my first, fast reading, it was gobbledegook. By the third paragraph my head was revolving slowly:
"While 61 percent of the elementary school teachers said they believed students understood more than 80 percent of the content covered in textbooks, only 18.6 percent of students said they picked up that much. The percentage of teachers who believed their students understood around 60 to 70 percent of what they were taught was close to that of students, at 36.3 percent and 34.6 percent respectively. Meanwhile, only 2.7 percent of teachers were under the impression that students had an understanding of approximately 40 to 50 percent of their textbooks, but 41.4 percent of students responded that that was how much they'd comprehended."
And the revolutions became a lot faster as I read the paragraph after that:
"Such gaps in the understanding of student comprehension were evident at the junior and senior high school level as well. While 64.8 percent of junior high school teachers trusted that students grasped about 60 to 70 percent of textbook content, only 34.5 percent of students said they'd understood that much, and while 16.1 percent of teachers said they believed students had around 40 to 50 percent comprehension of their textbooks, 36.5 percent of students said they did."
By the time I got to the end I was feeling quite dizzy.
Incidentally, on that same page there is a link to another story, which I'm sure is a tragedy, but it's a great headline. I probably shouldn't have laughed:
"Student drowns while testing concrete canoe."
That must have been one of the students who only understood 40 percent of his textbooks.