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  #51  
Old 07-01-2010, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post
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until I started looking into college
At what age?
17, I think? Whatever the end of my junior year, beginning of my senior year of high school was.
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  #52  
Old 07-02-2010, 05:19 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

I think that's a fair point for nanny stating, if the parents don't know enough to push the children to study something the child has possibly arbitrarily decided they didn't like (calculus for example) when they do discover, later, that it's a necessary pre-requisite for something they are interested, they are out of luck.

I didn't look into college until about 3 months before I graduated from high school. My parents had no idea which classes I was taking or had taken. I got no advice about taking classes that would help me in college, with a career or anything else until I specifically asked for it. My parents at least were able to help a bit when I decided. My husband's parents gave him luggage and suggested he enter the military, despite a total lack of aptitude for such a career.
I can only imagine a child born of generational poverty having to navigate through academia with a family that says either covertly or overtly "school is useless" faces when trying to navigate through school.
Education is traditionally how the working class gets ahead. Much of the backlash against it, is much like the backlash against anything that the working class needs in order to serve it's own interests. I'd also rather see the state keep kids in school (and out of mines, for example) rather than keep a girl from sailing around the world.

Sailing is also a dying industry. Not that's on point or anything.
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  #53  
Old 07-02-2010, 05:24 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

I think that there needs to be a standard of what we learn, and I think there is one--it's just WAY lower than what most people here seem to be talking about. The baseline standard can't be just for students who will end up being college-ready, but for the large number of students who will not be college-ready and will never be.

When the standard is as low as that, then questions about whether a child should go on a sailing trip instead of school begin to look stupid. When a student has not only been exposed to the baseline education standards, but has mastered them, why shouldn't they be allowed to pursue advanced, independent study? Does it matter if that study is in the library at the school, at the local college, or on a sailboat around the world?

I think we can throw out questions about calculus when we talk about baseline education. But, counting, basic arithmetic, fractions--that would be considered baseline education, imo.
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  #54  
Old 07-02-2010, 05:57 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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Originally Posted by Qingdai View Post
I think that's a fair point for nanny stating, if the parents don't know enough to push the children to study something the child has possibly arbitrarily decided they didn't like (calculus for example) when they do discover, later, that it's a necessary pre-requisite for something they are interested, they are out of luck.
Not really though. There is no law that says calculus cannot be learned after age 16 or anything.

Heck, I took high school Algebra 1 at a CC when I was 26 (personal goal of mine, actually understanding Algebra) and the class was full of recent high school grads....they graduated HS, then had to go back to 9th grade math right away?

Anyway point being if anyone, regardless of age, wants to do something that requires X, they can find a way to learn X.

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I didn't look into college until about 3 months before I graduated from high school. My parents had no idea which classes I was taking or had taken. I got no advice about taking classes that would help me in college, with a career or anything else until I specifically asked for it.
I decided not to go to college at the beginning of my senior year, even though I had done everything to prepare for it and had very supportive and informed parents.

I could have gone in a year, or 2, I can go now at age 40.

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Education is traditionally how the working class gets ahead. Much of the backlash against it, is much like the backlash against anything that the working class needs in order to serve it's own interests. I'd also rather see the state keep kids in school (and out of mines, for example) rather than keep a girl from sailing around the world.
I would like to see kids have choices; such as apprenticing and vocational training (Trades are pretty stable and one of the best paths towards business ownership), dual enrollment with partner colleges for those on a specific academic track, as well as better educational/curricular choices for those on either side of "average".

Also, as we've seen in this economy, even advanced degrees are no guarantee of "success", and I think we as a society do a disservice by telling kids that more and more education is some kind of golden ticket. I recently read a story about a woman with like 100k in student loans for NYU that she cannot hope to pay back anytime soon as interest is adding to it all the time...her degree was in religious and women's studies. Where did she get the notion that she would have the earning potential, with that degree, to pay back that kind of money?

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Sailing is also a dying industry. Not that's on point or anything.
You think it's dying as a sport?
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  #55  
Old 07-02-2010, 06:05 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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Originally Posted by wildernesse View Post
When the standard is as low as that, then questions about whether a child should go on a sailing trip instead of school begin to look stupid. When a student has not only been exposed to the baseline education standards, but has mastered them, why shouldn't they be allowed to pursue advanced, independent study? Does it matter if that study is in the library at the school, at the local college, or on a sailboat around the world?
Agreed wholeheartedly.

I kinda figure that if a person can read well, and do basic math (emphasis on consumer math), and has a solid basis in the scientific method and critical thinking, then they can learn anything, at any time. There is no moratorium or time limit. This is what I am concentrating on for the next few years with Kiddo. Once this baseline is reached, we will prolly be much more unschooly.
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Old 07-02-2010, 06:19 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Trades are also not a golden ticket, but unskilled labor is definitely a ticket to poverty.

The number of unemployed people in this recession is heavily represented by those in the construction trades, also significant competition from unskilled and frequently illegal labor. So I don't think trades are necessarily guarantee of success. All the dads picking up their kids from school were talking about how they lost their various construction and contracting jobs as no one was building much of anything.

Part of my rant has to do with little or incompetent career counseling. Yes, at any time one can go back and learn X if one has the ability to learn and the self confidence to do so. I think a fair amount of cultural baggage we have devalues education in general.
I'd like to see a high school diploma mean something, along the lines of "I can read, do some basic math and know how to learn."

Many younger students are eligible for scholarships and grants older students generally have to rely more on savings and loans, in my unscientific observation of students.
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  #57  
Old 07-02-2010, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Just for the record, calculus was probably a bad example - I don't think that's inflicted on any students who didn't choose to take mathematics at A-level in the UK (further education beyond high school). It just struck me as something ludicrously important to a huge array of subjects, and I had no idea it would be at the time I studied it.
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  #58  
Old 07-02-2010, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Sorry I bailed out on this conversation right in the middle, but I suddenly got called into a meeting that lasted until quittin' time, and I don't usually log in from home unless I'm rly rly bored. :wink:

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Originally Posted by Adamus Prime View Post
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Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post

So again, who should decide?
Appropriate experts. :tmhappy:

I know it sounds sort of flip but, seriously, I think the decision as to what classes to offer should be made by professional educators who know more than I do about the subject.
At this time, though, look what those appropriate experts are doing in Texas. The school board members are either elected or appointed by elected people, so if a majority of the people decide that it is appropriate to teach that Thomas Jefferson was a crazy liberal or that creationism should be taught alongside evolution (assuming evolution is taught at all), then we are failing the hell out of our kids. Especially if we limit parents' and kids' choices to opt out of the curriculum chosen for them by the appropriate experts.

It would be ideal to say, "No, not those idiots. Real experts in education and science and history, people who are interested in education, not indoctrination, facts not fantasy, etc. etc. etc." But this is damn america and facts and history and science are decided by popular vote instead of, you know, actual facts. You don't want the village raising your child when more than half the villagers are gunning for the idiot position. Maybe we're headed toward another Age of Enlightenment (please please please!), but in the meantime, what is a parent to do?

A wise man once said:

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My guess is that it has a lot to do with surgical intervention being something we are capable of doing, while mass social engineering really isn't.
I think the same could be said for educating an individual child vs. trying to adjust the entire state's curriculum to fit the family's individual values of what they want to educate their child in.
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  #59  
Old 07-02-2010, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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Trades are also not a golden ticket, but unskilled labor is definitely a ticket to poverty.
That's why I suggested offering vocational training/apprenticeship as one possible education path, so kids that can't or won't go to college have an opportunity to gain some skills. So that instead of a single fork with college being one and poverty being the other there (or a third being military service perhaps) are several paths for young people to choose.

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The number of unemployed people in this recession is heavily represented by those in the construction trades, also significant competition from unskilled and frequently illegal labor. So I don't think trades are necessarily guarantee of success. All the dads picking up their kids from school were talking about how they lost their various construction and contracting jobs as no one was building much of anything.
New construction is riskier, yes, because it is cyclical with the booms and busts. But in a bad economy, people are more apt to repair and maintain rather than replace and upgrade, so there is work for mechanics of all kinds, electricians, plumbers, HVAC techs, pest control, electronics repair/refurbish, servicing industrial electronics/robotics (this is my dad's field and he has more work than he can possibly do, but there are few qualified people to hire). These trades require training and skills that we could be offering, but aren't for the most part.

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Part of my rant has to do with little or incompetent career counseling.
Agreed 100%. In my high school we took a career survey in I think 10th grade, that said I should work in a card and gift shop. Until I scored high on the ACT, then won a national award, my counselor had never even met me...and this was a tiny school. I had simply been overlooked.

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Yes, at any time one can go back and learn X if one has the ability to learn and the self confidence to do so. I think a fair amount of cultural baggage we have devalues education in general.
Hmm. I disagree in that tend to think our society overvalues it, or at least overvalues our current model of education. That current model doesn't work for too large a percentage of our kids. It's very difficult to stop the huge machine that is our education industry to reload and try something else, so I don't know what the solutions are.

Quote:
I'd like to see a high school diploma mean something, along the lines of "I can read, do some basic math and know how to learn."
Again I am right with you there. Especially with the "how to learn" part...that is one of the aspects I think our current educational model fails at. Critical thinking and resourcefulness and autonomous learning ability do not seem to be traits our kids are coming out of school with.

Quote:
Many younger students are eligible for scholarships and grants older students generally have to rely more on savings and loans, in my unscientific observation of students.
Yeah, this is probably true, but I never felt the need to get a degree so I don't know for sure. My niece is getting her core classes for less than 2000/year at the local CC, and there are online programs etc. so one could, conceivably, work and go to school. Also if it's a matter of filling gaps (like the surprise need for calculus we've discussed) a single class is 200.00 or so.

I have read about grants and scholarships for older students, as well as educational reimbursements in some industries, so it probably takes research and hard work to find the resources, but seems like younger students have to find their financing the same way.
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  #60  
Old 07-02-2010, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

I couldn't disagree more that the culture of the US over values education. We don't fund it adequately, and people with education or intellectuals are openly mocked in both political and popular culture.
The education system now is going to a two tier system with the more diverse education only being available to those who can pay for it.
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Okay, I see where there was a misunderstanding, I do not disagree with you.
There are many aspects to "education", sorry I was unspecific. I was thinking in different terms of demonstration of valuing.

In my mind, the "overvaluing" was demonstrated in how we tend to tell kids that their only choices are college or poverty. I think that leads to hopelessness for those that can't manage college, which leads to giving up and dropping out.

Quote:
people with education or intellectuals are openly mocked in both political and popular culture.
Yet many of those intellectuals and academics feel it is a waste of their time to focus any energy on pre-college education or helping educate the public, as we have discussed previously with textbook authoring and popular science writing, specifically.

Also publishing educational materials does not count towards tenure. So even the educated do not value education, to some degree.

And yes, the cost of an education is getting further out of reach for more and more people. I don't know a solution to that either.
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  #62  
Old 07-02-2010, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Double postie

Last edited by LadyShea; 07-02-2010 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Hey, sorry I'm not more prompt about responding to the good points people have raised in response to me. I'm trying to wrap up the last werk stuff I have to do before I can get on a plane, while simultaneous packing for my trip,and my :ff: priority was wrapping up the LotR game.
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  #64  
Old 07-02-2010, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Obviously. :unnod:
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  #65  
Old 07-03-2010, 03:40 PM
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I happen to think that the purpose of a good education is to expose the student to learning. Help then understand how they learn. Provide them with basic tools they will need to understand what can be known. Expose them to as much as possible of what can be learned and then hope they will understand the opportunities before them. It is a tall order.
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:27 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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Okay, the meme still works for me, so deal haters.

Anyhoo, this topic came up in this thread about world sailing kids, then again yesterday in chat when Adam started a war with me by saying school was more important than sailing for Laura Dekker specifically (but he means for everyone always probably :glare:).

Also, this comes up a lot when homeschooling is discussed or banned (as it has been in both Sweden and Germany).
Quote:
It’s a fear that [home schooling] doesn’t work appropriate[ly],”~ Swedish Educational Ministry press secretary Anna Neuman (though she admitted there was no report or evidence to back up the fear.) Source
Exactly what is taught and how it's taught and what's important are constantly discussed (and focuses changed) when comparing education in different countries, comparing private to public schools, school boards and states deciding curriculum, parents choosing magnet or charter schools. etc.

Some percentage of people seem to feel there some objective and easily identified "proper" education. Why? Who's to say that the scope and sequence found in X schools is better for any individual than some other type of education, like, say the things one can learn while sailing the world, or traveling in general, or through self led study as in unschooling? Where's the evidence that one type of education is superior to another, and how is superiority determined? What subjects are the most important for every kid to know? Why?
The American Education system is based on the Prussian Education system. The Prussian education system was intended to create "obedience" from it's citizens and to help breed and foster industrial workers who didn't make waves, but who blindly followed the rules regardless of the rightness or wrongness of the rules. I have always been curious as to why America chose to implement such a foundation for it's own public school system.

PS: In some schools right now, it is being mandated to cut out history classes and other subjects to allow for other ones. I'd have to go back and check which ones that they actually are, but history is important to me - and it should be for all Americans. Included in some of the classes that are being cut in some places is the classes in which children learn about our own government. To me, that is just absurd.

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  #67  
Old 07-04-2010, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Jamie, it appears you've read some of the rebels (Gatto maybe?).

You may be interested in some of our past discussions as this one developed over time from those, and we have hit on some pertinent educational issues, like zero tolerance, autodidactics, schools as discipline camps/industry training centers (ala Foucault and Gatto), John Holt style unschooling, The Core Standards initiative etc.

Most has taken place in these two threads, but there are others here in the "Study Hall" forum
Homeschooling - Freethought Forum
The Great Meep Controversy of 2009 - Freethought Forum
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  #68  
Old 07-04-2010, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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IMO, until we as a society can answer this question, the whole debate about public vs. private vs. charter vs. homeschool vs. unschool is secondary.

We're not able to articulate what a high school graduate should know, how can we possibly say that one institution of learning is more effective than another? What does a successfully executed secondary education look like?
Waluigi gave us this excellent hit and run post. Come back! I want to know YOUR ideas of what a successful education looks like.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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Waluigi gave us this excellent hit and run post. Come back! I want to know YOUR ideas of what a successful education looks like.
One which teaches people to hit and run, obviously.

A clear success of the US system, I'd say ...
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post
Waluigi gave us this excellent hit and run post. Come back! I want to know YOUR ideas of what a successful education looks like.
One which teaches people to hit and run, obviously.

A clear success of the US system, I'd say ...
If you are talking about drive-by shootings, then no, the system has failed miserably because those shitheads can't hit the broad side of a barn. If they do hit someone, it's in spite of their accuracy, not because of it.

If you're talking about auto accidents or military strategy, never mind.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:24 PM
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I think the issue is that kids who are home-schooled for religious reasons often end up reading from books that say stuff like "Electricity is a mystery. No one has ever seen or touched electricity." (Not making that one up, someone posted a sample page of a book from one of those companies.) This results in kids growing up to be just plain dysfunctional.
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  #72  
Old 07-06-2010, 02:50 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Stuff in books is so often wrong, and that's why they should just give up on book learnin' altogether. The best way to learn about electricity is to stick a fork in a socket.
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  #73  
Old 07-06-2010, 02:53 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Also, Miisa really needs to chime in here and explain what makes her country so awesome.
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  #74  
Old 07-06-2010, 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by One for Sorrow View Post
Also, Miisa really needs to chime in here and explain what makes her country so awesome.

It's the relaxed atmosphere, IMO (based on research on how kids learn best). Their schools sound as comfortable as home and it's probably very enjoyable.
They also value teachers and so both educate and pay them well. Free college, so the pressure to perform is off, purposefully downplayed competition.

If we had schools like this, fewer people would probably feel the need to homeschool.
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

I'm basically a facet of the Qingdai hivemind on this topic...she is very smart and I agree with everything she posted.

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Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post
I would like to see kids have choices; such as apprenticing and vocational training (Trades are pretty stable and one of the best paths towards business ownership), dual enrollment with partner colleges for those on a specific academic track, as well as better educational/curricular choices for those on either side of "average".
While I don't disagree that vocation training can be valuable, to a degree, I'm very leery of students at that level being segregated into "tracks"* that lead to demonstrably different social and economic classes. As I said earlier, I think one legitimate interest the state has is in offering all students an education that cuts across class divides. Deciding early on that, well, little Johnny isn't interested in Algebra or Literature, so off to trades for him seems to defeat that purpose.

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Originally Posted by Ensign Steve View Post
You don't want the village raising your child when more than half the villagers are gunning for the idiot position. Maybe we're headed toward another Age of Enlightenment (please please please!), but in the meantime, what is a parent to do?
Like I said earlier, that's a fair point, but I don't think that it invalidates the entire concept of having shared educational criteria. I mean, one of the problems addressed by the notion of a shared cirriculum is that of crackpots teaching their kids crazy shit and those kids having no recourse to a sane education. Scrapping the entire idea doesn't address that problem at all.

Quote:
I think the same could be said for educating an individual child vs. trying to adjust the entire state's curriculum to fit the family's individual values of what they want to educate their child in.
I wasn't really talking about adjusting the cirriculum to fit a family's values of what they want to educate their child in. To be perfectly honest, whatever an individual family would like to teach their kids is tertiary at best, IMO (behind making sure those kids get an equal opportunity at a sane education at all and making sure those kids know the things that we all need them to know).
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Qingdai (07-07-2010)
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