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  #101  
Old 07-10-2010, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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That's not really true. There are private schools of all kinds of religious denominations and philosophical leanings. It is just that there is a curriculum to follow. They can add to that.
Sorry if I misunderstood. Do the private schools follow a state mandated scope and sequence, or even specific curriculum, or do they have autonomy to teach differently than the public schools?
As far as I know they need to follow the standard curriculum but they can add specific things that they feel are important. I am not completely sure. But the state does inspect the schools and sometimes they will withhold money if they feel standards are not upheld, which happened to an Islamic school in Amsterdam recently.


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some kind of cool trip.
Solo circumnavigation is a bit more than a cool trip in my view. It's not like flying on a plane somewhere and staying in hotels. It's like climbing Everest, or competing in the Olympics. The skill and preparation required is staggering.

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I don't see why that should trump everything else.
Why should a state mandated curriculum trump her attaining a lofty goal that requires dedication, skill, and maturity?
It doesn't. She can do it when school is finished. The point is they insist on doing it now, so they can set a new record for youngest person to do this.
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  #102  
Old 07-10-2010, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Yes, her being the youngest is the "lofty goal" I mentioned.

Let's look at it another way. The two previous record holders that were homeschooled, do you feel they were harmed or otherwise disadvantaged by trying for the record rather than attending traditional schools until age 17 or whatever?

ETA: My main question is, why is state mandated schooling more important than her trying to break a record?
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  #103  
Old 07-10-2010, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Oh. I guess we have very different ideas about what constitutes a lofty goal then...

I doubt that the kid would be harmed or disadvantaged. The court decided the goal wasn't lofty enough to change the rules for her I guess. I can't really blame them for that. Whether the rules should be changed in general is another matter.
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  #104  
Old 07-10-2010, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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I guess we have very different ideas about what constitutes a lofty goal then
Being the youngest person to do something that's difficult or impossible for 99% of the world's population isn't a lofty goal in your opinion?
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The court decided the goal wasn't lofty enough to change the rules for her I guess. I can't really blame them for that. Whether the rules should be changed in general is another matter.
That's what I am trying to figure out with this thread, people's opinions on educational priorities.

Do you think the rules should be changed? Or do you think the rules are good enough that exceptions shouldn't be made? If alternatives should be available, what would you consider valid reasons, or lofty enough goals, to be allowed an exception?
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  #105  
Old 07-10-2010, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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I guess we have very different ideas about what constitutes a lofty goal then
Being the youngest person to do something that's difficult or impossible for 99% of the world's population isn't a lofty goal in your opinion?
No. It's a freak show.

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The court decided the goal wasn't lofty enough to change the rules for her I guess. I can't really blame them for that. Whether the rules should be changed in general is another matter.
That's what I am trying to figure out with this thread, people's opinions on educational priorities.

Do you think the rules should be changed? Or do you think the rules are good enough that exceptions shouldn't be made? If alternatives should be available, what would you consider valid reasons, or lofty enough goals, to be allowed an exception?
I think exceptions can be made. For instance if she were to do something where it was crucial that she be a certain age, not just going for a record.
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  #106  
Old 07-10-2010, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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Being the youngest person to do something that's difficult or impossible for 99% of the world's population isn't a lofty goal in your opinion?
If it's truly that difficult (and I have no idea as I know nothing about sailing) then it sounds like a plenty lofty goal whether they make the record for youngest or not. I think I'm leaning with Adam and Watser? here, that she doesn't get to break the record for youngest person isn't breaking my heart. I do think it's an awesome goal, but I don't see that it matters whether she does it now or when she's 40. It would still be an awesome goal.

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Do you think the rules should be changed? Or do you think the rules are good enough that exceptions shouldn't be made? If alternatives should be available, what would you consider valid reasons, or lofty enough goals, to be allowed an exception?
I do have trouble thinking of something that would be so important, and so importantly done right now, that a kid should skip or postpone their education for. The circumstances that would necessitate such immediacy elude me, though there's probably an instance or two I just can't think of where I would agree.

Why would circumnavigating the globe solo be so much less impressive, or less important to her growth and development if she did it after school?
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  #107  
Old 07-10-2010, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

It's not that the trades are necessarily less-good than other lines of work -- it's that people who don't have a broader educational background do stupid shit like listening to Jenny McCarthy going on about vaccines, because they know all about how to build a house and jack shit about science and technology.

It is very, very, expensive to us as a society to have so many people who didn't learn stuff that wasn't directly part of their jobs. Fundamentally, your job is not your whole life. If you only learn what you need to know to do your job, that leaves you pretty dangerously ignorant.
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  #108  
Old 07-11-2010, 03:54 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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It's not that the trades are necessarily less-good than other lines of work -- it's that people who don't have a broader educational background do stupid shit like listening to Jenny McCarthy going on about vaccines, because they know all about how to build a house and jack shit about science and technology.
I do administrative and customer service work, that certainly doesn't prevent me learning about all manner of things.

People do stupid shit because a lot of people are stupid. Educated people believe a bunch of stupid shit too.

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It is very, very, expensive to us as a society to have so many people who didn't learn stuff that wasn't directly part of their jobs.
Basically everyone had a public education, and mostly those courses had 0 to do with their subsequent jobs.
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Fundamentally, your job is not your whole life.
Of course not

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If you only learn what you need to know to do your job, that leaves you pretty dangerously ignorant.
Do you feel I have supported such a position as "people should only learn what they need to know to do their job"?

Last edited by LadyShea; 07-11-2010 at 03:11 PM.
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  #109  
Old 07-11-2010, 03:57 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Does it matter then whether she finishes school now, or when she's twenty?

ETA: At the people saying she should wait to sail around the world.
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  #110  
Old 07-11-2010, 04:23 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Well, I'm in the "She should be in school camp" but the truth is I don't really care all that much.

But if I were a Greek God, say, Poseidon, I would say to drown her for her hubris.
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  #111  
Old 07-11-2010, 05:02 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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If it's truly that difficult
It requires mastery of a number of skills, and knowledge of factors like wind and water and navigation...it's not like a car where you can operate it without ever seeing the engine.

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Why would circumnavigating the globe solo be so much less impressive
Depends on who is or isn't impressed I guess. The youngest, first, best, fastest, least likely due to obstacles, or oldest to succeed at any kind of difficult undertaking do seem to impress, motivate, or otherwise move people, and therefore get the most notice so as to be inspiring to more people.

How many people were impressed at the 94 year old lady who finally got her degree (then died a week later)? Did that maybe inspire some adults to go to college rather than think themselves too old? How many kids maybe took up competitive swimming after watching Micheal Phelps beat the record? How many women were inspired to greater dreams by Amelia Earhart? What about the youngest person to reach some academic feat, like I dunno graduate MIT or something? Is that more or less impressive than the other MIT grads, or neither? Youngest chess champion? Youngest gold medalist? Youngest Heisman Trophy winner (Tim Tebow, Homeschooled. Anti-choice shithead but still a good player)?

What impresses or inspires you?

Watser thinks these kids are a freakshow, but I am comparing them to the masses of useless little shits who are going for the world texting record and can't be bothered to get a summer job, or the bullies who have no goals or dreams let alone any dedication to mastering something as difficult as sailing, or the disaffected kids who can't seem to find anything to aspire to or hope for.

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less important to her growth and development if she did it after school?
Importance to growth is a very subjective thing. I can't measure it because it's not my growth.

Last edited by LadyShea; 07-11-2010 at 03:12 PM. Reason: Corrected attribution
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  #112  
Old 07-11-2010, 07:33 AM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Actually, it was Watser? that called it a freak show, though if I understood him correctly he was referring primarily to the importance being placed on her being Teh Youngest EVAR to accomplish the feat. In that I agree.

There are lots of different kinds of people in the world, and hence lots of different kinds of kids. Some have great opportunities but never excel. Some would excel if they had those same opportunities, but don't get them. Most are somewhere in between.

I would hesitate to expand my opinions on this specific case into any kind of general ruling about what does and doesn't qualify as a good reason to postpone a formal education. In this instance I am of the opinion that, though sailing solo around the world is an amazing opportunity and I wish her the best, trying to be the youngest to do so is not a good enough reason to make an exception to her country's educational policies. I am, of course, open to those policies being re-examined or changed, perhaps with cases like this in mind when new policies are discussed and formed.

As far as education in general:
Quote:
I do administrative and customer service work, that certainly doesn't prevent me learning about all manner of things.
Very few people are prevented from learning things outside their paying jobs. Most people don't, though I was and still am personally astonished by this simple fact.

A lot of the basic curriculum taught to students in secondary education, and even in college, is not retained by many people, simply because they don't care. They're not curious, don't find it interesting, or what have you. Observing that some number of high school graduates couldn't pass a GED test even a handful of years later does not seem to indicate to me that we should stop trying to teach these things in high school. Yes, even educated people can fall prey to poor judgment and poor thinking, and wind up believing things they really shouldn't. I personally know someone with a college education who believes in the healing power of various semi-precious stones when worn as pendants or bracelets. The thing is, among the general population those sorts of beliefs aren't so uncommon. Among the educated population it is the exception. Education is not 100% proof aganst poor thinking. Lack of education, however, leaves even intelligent and curious people with little defense against manipulation and misinformation.

As we push the boundaries of what we know further and further, the importance of at least trying to educate the general populace only increases. Though most of us will never be at the cutting edge of any field, from physics and math to anthropology and sociology, the more we all know about those fields, and everything in between, the better off we will all be. Even if that means having kids sit through biology classes when they're not interested in biology.
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  #113  
Old 07-11-2010, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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Observing that some number of high school graduates couldn't pass a GED test even a handful of years later does not seem to indicate to me that we should stop trying to teach these things in high school.
Do you think someone here has supported the position to stop trying to teach these things to kids?

With the vocational education stuff, I was advocating allowing it to be a focus in high school, along with the basics of science, math, etc. That's how it worked in my high school and apparently in Wildernesse's too.

Hell for that matter allow a focus on math or science or music for those who plan to further their studies in those areas after high school. Kind of like college...everyone gets the core, then have a focus or "major" if they want. IIRC, and I can look it up if needed, several of the top 10 high schools in the country are focus type magnets (a math and science magnet was number 1 I am pretty sure).

With Laura Dekker, I am more troubled by the lack of alternatives in their school system than anything. No homeschooling, no distance learning, no CLEP type thing to allow her to test out. If she was some kind of athletic prodigy training for the Olympics, would they allow a leave of absence or distance learning of some type if she needed a few years of intensity, for one example of a reason some kids choose against traditional classroom educations? Does her country have touring singers or working actors who are minors? Do they get educated some alternative way? These young sailors are getting media attention, but are far from the only kids going for dreams that put them at odds with the brick and mortar, grade level public school system. The others had alternatives and she does not.

In general I have questioned the scope and sequence, the segregation by age rather than self paced learning nature, which I think fails to challenge those with greater ability leading to boredom and cessation of giving a shit as well as fails those that need more time leading to "fuck it, I won't even bother trying", the failure of US schools to adapt to or even consider learning style differences and the ideas coming from science on how the brain learns best.

I have not advocated for allowing kids to remain uneducated, and if I have appeared to be saying that, then my apologies for lack of clarity.
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  #114  
Old 07-11-2010, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

I posted that while I was very tired, so it's certainly possible I was addressing points you never made.

FWIW I do agree that a system in which a student can opt into a vocation-focused curriculum at some later point in their education would be a good idea, so long as the student had final say and so long as basics of other subjects were not neglected.
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  #115  
Old 07-11-2010, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

LS: I guess I'm confused, then. I got the impression you were opposed to the idea that everyone ought to get education which covers the sorts of things that are in a liberal arts degree. IMHO, we would be a much more successful society if everyone got that education, not just the "learn to sit still" that dominates the public schools.
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  #116  
Old 07-12-2010, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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LS: I guess I'm confused, then. I got the impression you were opposed to the idea that everyone ought to get education which covers the sorts of things that are in a liberal arts degree.
Again if anything I said led to that impressions, I apologize. If you can re-read whatever made you think that, and quote me, I'd appreciate it so I can clarify.

That being said, what I think people ought to learn, does not really translate to my thinking the government should mandate it. Learning is done by the student, you can't force someone to learn X, no matter how hard you teach them, no matter how draconian the attendance laws, not matter how often you test them or threaten them etc.

I am advocating for a more flexible system that considers the individual a priority and allows for multiple paths. You could say I am an educational libertarian.


Quote:
IMHO, we would be a much more successful society if everyone got that education, not just the "learn to sit still" that dominates the public schools.
Most high school curriculum are based on exactly that, as that is what colleges require. Pretty much all require English, a foreign language, Algebra and Geometry, Biology and Earth sciences and some level of chemistry, Civics, US History. Higher maths and sciences are elective.
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  #117  
Old 07-12-2010, 02:08 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

I'm loving the current attitude in this thread of, "I'm not going to lose any sleep if this kid I don't even know doesn't get to take her sailing trip." Yeah, neither am I, and the judge probably isn't either. But the kid and her parents definitely did. This thread was spawned by a conversation in chat about whether people are overly complacent about the amount of control the state has over individuals' personal choices regarding their children's educations, and I think this thread continues to be further evidence that yes, yes they are.
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  #118  
Old 07-12-2010, 02:17 PM
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Because they aren't stuck at the pace of "the rest of the class", limited to X number of days "counting", limited to specific textbooks, tests, and other benchmarks many homeschooled, tutored, or otherwise out of system educated kids finish up the basics well before their same age peers. I know of one 9 year old who is busy CLEPing her way toward a college degree.

It's possible that had they allowed Laura to be tested out, or taught at home, she already knows everything she needs to graduate or could get there in 6 months or whatever. I've no idea and neither does anyone else. It's hard to tell because the judge didn't consider alternatives.

I consider our school year to be 365 days long, so chances are my son may stay ahead of of the kids his age, which is the main reason I have chosen to homeschool. He has a 2 year head start because he was ready before the state would allow him into the system...where might he be when he is 14? No idea.
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  #119  
Old 07-12-2010, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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Fucking education! How does it work?
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  #120  
Old 07-12-2010, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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I'm loving the current attitude in this thread of, "I'm not going to lose any sleep if this kid I don't even know doesn't get to take her sailing trip." Yeah, neither am I, and the judge probably isn't either. But the kid and her parents definitely did. This thread was spawned by a conversation in chat about whether people are overly complacent about the amount of control the state has over individuals' personal choices regarding their children's educations, and I think this thread continues to be further evidence that yes, yes they are.
Since I was the one who first said I wouldn't lose any sleep over it, I guess I ought to say something. Caveat: The "...I don't even know..." part wasn't part of my original assertion, and my knowing her or not isn't really relevant to my opinion in this case.

The main question I have been addressing is whether the state's interest in ensuring that all children receive a particular sort of baseline education outweighs an individual's interest in doing something relatively frivolous, like setting a world record. My intent in saying that I wasn't going to be losing any sleep over her not getting to take her trip was to say that, by way of contrast, I would lose sleep over the state failing to ensure that baseline education or, in other words, I think that former interest outweighs the latter.
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  #121  
Old 07-12-2010, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

Okay, that's just where I disagree. I think that an individual's choice should trump the state curriculum. And if I'm wrong then that means that it is okay for the state to infringe on an individual choice in order to ensure what is best for the state as a whole. I don't think that's okay, I value individual choice in this matter over the state's right to take away that choice. That's all I am arguing.
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  #122  
Old 07-12-2010, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

A lot of individuals would choose not to go to school at all, and not because they're substituting something more valuable.

If a kid doesn't want to go to school, but would prefer to watch cartoons all day, and their parents are ok with this, should that trump the state curriculum?
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  #123  
Old 07-12-2010, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

I think the context for this is that in this country a lot of parents feel their vacation is more important than their kids education and they won't hesitate to make them miss a day or even a week or more if they feel like it. This may have been in part an overreaction to that problem.
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  #124  
Old 07-12-2010, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

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A lot of individuals would choose not to go to school at all, and not because they're substituting something more valuable.

If a kid doesn't want to go to school, but would prefer to watch cartoons all day, and their parents are ok with this, should that trump the state curriculum?
If you're asking me? Yes. That's all I'm saying. Really. And before anyone asks, yes I would also put fundamental religious homeschooling in there as well.

The one exception I would make would have to do with keeping kids out of child labor (which I believe was the reason behind compulsory education in the first place, not an actual desire to educate the populous), but we already have a separate set of laws that deal with child labor. And when you've got your child actors and athletes and farmers who manage to get themselves excused within the current system by using tutors or homeschooling, I think that shows that even the current system doesn't prevent child labor as well as it could or was probably meant to.
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  #125  
Old 07-12-2010, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: Fucking education! How does it work?

I'm more concerned with the fact that children don't really know what's in their best interests, and a parent who would let their kid watch cartoons all day rather than get an education is setting their kid up to be an ignorant failure. It's in the child's interest to get an education, not just the state's.

And no, I don't have any qualms about forcing parents to send their kid to school in that situation. Of course, it is also the case that many of the parents who would let their kid do that probably shouldn't have their kids in the first place (a heroin addict would probably be the type that wouldn't care about their kid watching TV rather than learning anything, for example).
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Stormlight (07-23-2010)
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