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Glåss
DIAMOND Member since Nov 2001

Glåss

The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

Total posts: 2523
Posted:Reposted from http://www.thememoryhole.org/edu/school-mission.htm
br>Its the last paragraph thats got to sound familiar to some of us lot!
_________________________________________________________________________________
The Educational System Was Designed to Keep Us Uneducated and Docile

It's no secret that the US educational system doesn't do a very good job. Like clockwork, studies show that America's schoolkids lag behind their peers in pretty much every industrialized nation. We hear shocking statistics about the percentage of high-school seniors who can't find the US on an unmarked map of the world or who don't know who Abraham Lincoln was.

Fingers are pointed at various aspects of the schooling systemovercrowded classrooms, lack of funding, teachers who can't pass competency exams in their fields, etc. But these are just secondary problems. Even if they were cleared up, schools would still suck. Why? Because they were designed to.

How can I make such a bold statement? How do I know why America's public school system was designed the way it was (age-segregated, six to eight 50-minute classes in a row announced by Pavlovian bells, emphasis on rote memorization, lorded over by unquestionable authority figures, etc.)? Because the men who designed, funded, and implemented America's formal educational system in the late 1800s and early 1900s wrote about what they were doing.

Almost all of these books, articles, and reports are out of print and hard to obtain. Luckily for us, John Taylor Gatto tracked them down. Gatto was voted the New York City Teacher of the Year three times and the New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991. But he became disillusioned with schoolsthe way they enforce conformity, the way they kill the natural creativity, inquisitiveness, and love of learning that every little child has at the beginning. So he began to dig into terra incognita, the roots of America's educational system.

In 1888, the Senate Committee on Education was getting jittery about the localized, non-standardized, non-mandatory form of education that was actually teaching children to read at advanced levels, to comprehend history, and, egads, to think for themselves. The committee's report stated, "We believe that education is one of the principal causes of discontent of late years manifesting itself among the laboring classes."

By the turn of the century, America's new educrats were pushing a new form of schooling with a new mission (and it wasn't to teach). The famous philosopher and educator John Dewey wrote in 1897:

Every teacher should realize he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of the proper social order and the securing of the right social growth.

In his 1905 dissertation for Columbia Teachers College, Elwood Cubberlythe future Dean of Education at Stanfordwrote that schools should be factories "in which raw products, children, are to be shaped and formed into finished products...manufactured like nails, and the specifications for manufacturing will come from government and industry."

The next year, the Rockefeller Education Boardwhich funded the creation of numerous public schoolsissued a statement which read in part:

In our dreams...people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions [intellectual and character education] fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple...we will organize children...and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.

At the same time, William Torrey Harris, US Commissioner of Education from 1889 to 1906, wrote:

Ninety-nine [students] out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual.

In that same book, The Philosophy of Education, Harris also revealed:

The great purpose of school can be realized better in dark, airless, ugly places.... It is to master the physical self, to transcend the beauty of nature. School should develop the power to withdraw from the external world.

Several years later, President Woodrow Wilson would echo these sentiments in a speech to businessmen:

We want one class to have a liberal education. We want another class, a very much larger class of necessity, to forego the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.

Writes Gatto: "Another major architect of standardized testing, H.H. Goddard, said in his book Human Efficiency (1920) that government schooling was about 'the perfect organization of the hive.'"

While President of Harvard from 1933 to 1953, James Bryant Conant wrote that the change to a forced, rigid, potential-destroying educational system had been demanded by "certain industrialists and the innovative who were altering the nature of the industrial process."

In other words, the captains of industry and government explicitly wanted an educational system that would maintain social order by teaching us just enough to get by but not enough so that we could think for ourselves, question the sociopolitical order, or communicate articulately. We were to become good worker-drones, with a razor-thin slice of the populationmainly the children of the captains of industry and governmentto rise to the level where they could continue running things.

This was the openly admitted blueprint for the public schooling system, a blueprint which remains unchanged to this day. Although the true reasons behind it aren't often publicly expressed, they're apparently still known within education circles. Clinical psychologist Bruce E. Levine wrote in 2001:

I once consulted with a teacher of an extremely bright eight-year-old boy labeled with oppositional defiant disorder. I suggested that perhaps the boy didn't have a disease, but was just bored. His teacher, a pleasant woman, agreed with me. However, she added, "They told us at the state conference that our job is to get them ready for the work worldthat the children have to get used to not being stimulated all the time or they will lose their jobs in the real world."
_________________________________________________________________________________________
John Taylor Gatto's book, The Underground History of American Education: An Intimate Investigation into the Problem of Modern Schooling (New York: Oxford Village Press, 2001), is the source for all of the above historical quotes. It is a profoundly important, unnerving book, which I recommend most highly. You can order it from Gatto's Website, which now contains the entire book online for free.

The final quote above is from page 74 of Bruce E. Levine's excellent book Commonsense Rebellion: Debunking Psychiatry, Confronting Society (New York: Continuum Publishing Group, 2001).


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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow., United Kingdom

Total posts: 5276
Posted:The entire book, online, for free.

"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear,...

Total posts: 4693
Posted:i wonder what the basis for the Australian Education system is, although i believe its controlled individually by each state.

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost, Canada

Total posts: 1247
Posted:Ya know, it is strange reading that. Kind of sinister to be sure.

Both my parents were at one time educators in the canadian school system. Yet they had radically different perspectives on education. My dad thought I should get the highest grades possible, and conform, so I could move ahead in the world. He thought I should infiltrate the system, and use it to my advantage. Approval, grading and judging things was important to him. But I distinctly recall my mom informing me that failing in the educational system was practically a requirement for being an artist, to celebrate my eccentricity, and not to worry if I did not receive my teachers stamp of approval- that in fact it was a good sign. She always fought against grading systems, particularly for children. She perceived education as a means of helping people formulate questions that interested them, and learning methods of investigating for answers. Much more fun that way!

So I sort of attempted both- academic excellence, accompanied by social and structural defiance. Took on curiousity as my primary motivating force. Made for interesting days, and a well rounded education.However, it made me a completely unsuitable candidate for standard employment -- I had to make my own business-es!

The Canadian system has gone wholely over to job training as opposed to education. Social control may have been the underlying agenda before- but it was at least masked with a veneer of stated intent to create an informed,educated society. Now the mask has slipped,been tossed altogether, really, and the primary interest of our " educational system" is revealed as purely sociio-economic.Slot people into the right jobs, stream them into the orderly positions in society that will allow the capitalist agenda to function without the disruption created by free thinkers.

The influence of this system may change soon though, as in Canada the higher levels of " education" are becoming prohibitively expensive, and thus inaccessible to many. Guess TV will have to completely take over the role of indoctrinating force in our society. Sigh.


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow., United Kingdom

Total posts: 5276
Posted:quoted from the book:

The second document, the gigantic Behavioral Science Teacher Education Project, outlined teaching reforms to be forced on the country after 1967. If you ever want to hunt this thing down, it bears the U.S. Office of Education Contract Number OEC-0-9-320424-4042 (B10). The document sets out clearly the intentions of its creatorsnothing less than "impersonal manipulation" through schooling of a future America in which "few will be able to maintain control over their opinions," an America in which "each individual receives at birth a multi-purpose identification number" which enables employers and other controllers to keep track of underlings and to expose them to direct or subliminal influence when necessary. Readers learned that "chemical experimentation" on minors would be normal procedure in this post-1967 world, a pointed foreshadowing of the massive Ritalin interventions which now accompany the practice of forced schooling.

just one of many eek


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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Spanner
BRONZE Member since Feb 2003

Spanner

remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere..., ...

Total posts: 2790
Posted:This is particularly interesting to me as a mother of an intelligent yet possibly autistic 5 year old boy. Today was the last day of his reception year and I do wonder/worry about what will be in store for him in the next 11.



I'd also be interested to read NYC's thoughts about this article and/or the book, which I'll also be reading tonight smile


"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"

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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost, Canada

Total posts: 1247
Posted:Spanner, a friend of mine has been doing great work with autistic younguns- she teaches in the Waldorf style, based on Steiners techniques .Are you familiar with this educational approach? It has been soooo fabulous for the childs development . I have watched him go from a kid who could not even meet my eyes, to one who actually will come up to me in town and say hello. It is pretty amazing. Maybe the mainstream route should be avoided?

"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Total posts: 607
Posted:I agree. One of the best things my parents did was to keep me and my siblings out of governments schools. I plan to homeschool my own children.

Government schools are the ultimate form of social engineering. If we turn over our children to be raised by government agents, with government approved messages, we can expect them to turn out citizens that will stand in line, do as they are told, and try to be like everyone else.

Those that won't fit in will be labelled as defective. Children like Thomas Edison were complete failures in the regular school system. It was only when his mother decided to take him out of that system and start raising him herself that he was discovered to be a genius.

Just the other day, I heard about how the Japenese are starting to turn to homeschooling in droves. The business community there doesn't want worker drones, they want individualistic innovators and artists.

The traditional schoolroom lecture format works for a very limitted range of topics. Most of the folks in my community only send their children to a "schoolroom" for a few hours a week to hear lectures. The rest of the learning is done in the real world.

I have 7 brothers and sisters. We were not meant to take the same paths in learning. I can blow away standardized tests, for example, while my sister has never done well with them. I took the path of higher education to become a lawyer, where I can sit around reading and writing arguments all day. My sister choreographs opera dances.

In the regular school system, I would finish the work in half the time of other students and sit around being bored. My sister was never as fast as those in her age group, and kept being held back.

One we were taken out of the system and given individualized learning opportunities, our lives started working. I was given challenging work that kept me from becoming intellectually lazy (as I had become by fourth grade), and my sister was allowed to go through her difficult subjects at a slow pace, while racing ahead with things she was good at (like art, poetry, and writing).

What good does it do to give me and her the same test, giving me a higher grade and her a lower one. The purpose of raising a child is not to test them so you can label them smart or dumb. The purpose is to find out what they need to excell in life, and give it to them.

In the regular system, if you don't understand a subject you are given a bad grade and moved on to the next level, only to be given a bad grade again. In our system, we stayed with each concept until we had mastered it.

Yes, I think the mainstream route should be avoided for most people. There are much better alternatives out there. For example, try unschooling:

http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/earl_stevens.html


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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:We were actually taught about this at my first high school. One of many things I found interesting is at that high school they tried to keep us abrest of our rights and options to a certain extent, not that a lot of people took to it but they at least pointed out things like "no one can make you stand for the pledge of allegiance." (In fact, we didn't even recite it after primary, something i didn't bless enough till I left). But there were still a lot of problems like the quthors describe, for the obvious reasons...

and then I wound up at a tiny tiny high school in CT, with some dedicated teachers in the higher levels trying to break down everything that had been done to their students for 12 years and give them a spark of thinking. Mostly they were very unsuccessful, but by the same mark they also found me too much to deal with... because I took advantage of their format and some of my previous knowledge and was just my own thing entirely. Which confused the hell out of the other students, but was probably good for them to the extent they didn't just reject me as deficient wink

This does raise a question of why I'm going to uni in britain, but thats another story, and perhaps means they did a halfway ok job of getting me to be like everyone else, if not to "their" liking...


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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tim_marston


addict


Total posts: 614
Posted:not very good at academic stuff..................
john lennon says in working class hero

"keep you doped with religion and sex and tv
you think your so clever and classles and free
but your still f***************ing peasants as far as i can see"

however it seems like you lot have benefited well from education cos you certainly aint blind so all is not lost i hope


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Groovy_Dream
SILVER Member since May 2005

Groovy_Dream

addict
Location: , Australia

Total posts: 449
Posted: Written by: Glss


Reposted from http://www.thememoryhole.org/edu/school-mission.htm
br>Its the last paragraph thats got to sound familiar to some of us lot!
_________________________________________________________________________________
The Educational System Was Designed to Keep Us Uneducated and Docile

It's no secret that the US educational system doesn't do a very good job. Like clockwork, studies show that America's schoolkids lag behind their peers in pretty much every industrialized nation. We hear shocking statistics about the percentage of high-school seniors who can't find the US on an unmarked map of the world or who don't know who Abraham Lincoln was.

Fingers are pointed at various aspects of the schooling system—overcrowded classrooms, lack of funding, teachers who can't pass competency exams in their fields, etc. But these are just secondary problems. Even if they were cleared up, schools would still suck. Why? Because they were designed to.

How can I make such a bold statement? How do I know why America's public school system was designed the way it was (age-segregated, six to eight 50-minute classes in a row announced by Pavlovian bells, emphasis on rote memorization, lorded over by unquestionable authority figures, etc.)? Because the men who designed, funded, and implemented America's formal educational system in the late 1800s and early 1900s wrote about what they were doing.

Almost all of these books, articles, and reports are out of print and hard to obtain. Luckily for us, John Taylor Gatto tracked them down. Gatto was voted the New York City Teacher of the Year three times and the New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991. But he became disillusioned with schools—the way they enforce conformity, the way they kill the natural creativity, inquisitiveness, and love of learning that every little child has at the beginning. So he began to dig into terra incognita, the roots of America's educational system.

In 1888, the Senate Committee on Education was getting jittery about the localized, non-standardized, non-mandatory form of education that was actually teaching children to read at advanced levels, to comprehend history, and, egads, to think for themselves. The committee's report stated, "We believe that education is one of the principal causes of discontent of late years manifesting itself among the laboring classes."

By the turn of the century, America's new educrats were pushing a new form of schooling with a new mission (and it wasn't to teach). The famous philosopher and educator John Dewey wrote in 1897:

Every teacher should realize he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of the proper social order and the securing of the right social growth.

In his 1905 dissertation for Columbia Teachers College, Elwood Cubberly—the future Dean of Education at Stanford—wrote that schools should be factories "in which raw products, children, are to be shaped and formed into finished products...manufactured like nails, and the specifications for manufacturing will come from government and industry."

The next year, the Rockefeller Education Board—which funded the creation of numerous public schools—issued a statement which read in part:

In our dreams...people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions [intellectual and character education] fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple...we will organize children...and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.

At the same time, William Torrey Harris, US Commissioner of Education from 1889 to 1906, wrote:

Ninety-nine [students] out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual.

In that same book, The Philosophy of Education, Harris also revealed:

The great purpose of school can be realized better in dark, airless, ugly places.... It is to master the physical self, to transcend the beauty of nature. School should develop the power to withdraw from the external world.

Several years later, President Woodrow Wilson would echo these sentiments in a speech to businessmen:

We want one class to have a liberal education. We want another class, a very much larger class of necessity, to forego the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.

Writes Gatto: "Another major architect of standardized testing, H.H. Goddard, said in his book Human Efficiency (1920) that government schooling was about 'the perfect organization of the hive.'"

While President of Harvard from 1933 to 1953, James Bryant Conant wrote that the change to a forced, rigid, potential-destroying educational system had been demanded by "certain industrialists and the innovative who were altering the nature of the industrial process."

In other words, the captains of industry and government explicitly wanted an educational system that would maintain social order by teaching us just enough to get by but not enough so that we could think for ourselves, question the sociopolitical order, or communicate articulately. We were to become good worker-drones, with a razor-thin slice of the population—mainly the children of the captains of industry and government—to rise to the level where they could continue running things.

This was the openly admitted blueprint for the public schooling system, a blueprint which remains unchanged to this day. Although the true reasons behind it aren't often publicly expressed, they're apparently still known within education circles. Clinical psychologist Bruce E. Levine wrote in 2001:

I once consulted with a teacher of an extremely bright eight-year-old boy labeled with oppositional defiant disorder. I suggested that perhaps the boy didn't have a disease, but was just bored. His teacher, a pleasant woman, agreed with me. However, she added, "They told us at the state conference that our job is to get them ready for the work world…that the children have to get used to not being stimulated all the time or they will lose their jobs in the real world."
_________________________________________________________________________________________
John Taylor Gatto's book, The Underground History of American Education: An Intimate Investigation into the Problem of Modern Schooling (New York: Oxford Village Press, 2001), is the source for all of the above historical quotes. It is a profoundly important, unnerving book, which I recommend most highly. You can order it from Gatto's Website, which now contains the entire book online for free.

The final quote above is from page 74 of Bruce E. Levine's excellent book Commonsense Rebellion: Debunking Psychiatry, Confronting Society (New York: Continuum Publishing Group, 2001).



Yes but he's ignoring that fact that a lot of people, given the choice, prefer to be docile and uneducated. How often do you hear people say "I don't know why we're learning this, we're never going to use it in the workforce."


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Spanner
BRONZE Member since Feb 2003

Spanner

remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere..., ...

Total posts: 2790
Posted: Written by: andrealee


Spanner, a friend of mine has been doing great work with autistic younguns- she teaches in the Waldorf style, based on Steiners techniques .Are you familiar with this educational approach? It has been soooo fabulous for the childs development . I have watched him go from a kid who could not even meet my eyes, to one who actually will come up to me in town and say hello. It is pretty amazing. Maybe the mainstream route should be avoided?



Aha - difficult one. The short answer is that, possibly surprisingly, I think that a mainstream school caters for him better than the local special educational needs provision could. He's made progress in school, but in turn, I don't necessarily think that a mainstream school will cater for him as well as alternative education could. However, as he is currently happy to attend school, I think I may follow his cue on whether he wants to remain on that path.

(I may elaborate on all of that later - as my reasons stretch far back into my own education - because I'm still reading this book in between attempts by aforementioned son to hijack the PC biggrin )

I'm not familiar with Waldorf/Steiner techniques but I'll certainly familiarise myself with them. Ta hug

I think that part of the problem is that because a school does act in loco parentis while a child is at it, many parents don't believe their child's education requires any more contribution than the school asks of them, despite most - including many disadvantaged families - being able to facilitate such opportunities.


"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"

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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost, Canada

Total posts: 1247
Posted:Spanner, one of the aspects of the Waldorf kindergarten that worked best for him was high degree of one on one attention/interaction from the teacher- the classes are very small and individualized- and also the estabilishment of rhythmic routines. What I mean is that within the day and the week, everything has its place and time, part of a gentle flow, and that makes autistic children more secure, apparently.

Little details, like instead of being simply ordered to get yer muddy boots off before you come inside kids, they have a specific little song to sing about removing your boots, and the teacher starts singing it as they approach the door, the kids join in, and off come the boots, like a natural process.I am told each of these rituals also came from a developmental purpose, and is used with intent-- much of which is too complicated to elaborate on from me!

Dont think it necessarily matters if you chose Waldorf or not, but perhaps any school system where they show that kind of level of care for the development of the individual, and have small enough class sizes to do it? I am sure lots of alternative approaches could be helpful. But the Canadian mainstream for young kids is more like a big babysiting zoo- at least initially, with far too many kids , too few resources, and no accomodation/recognition of individual stages of development. The children are taught to obediently fit in the mold the teacher needs for a structured day, not necessarily what they need to grow. I dont know if England is like this?

At any rate, good luck. I am sure he will do well where you place him, simply because you are paying attnetion to his needs and responses, so you can adapt to his growth rather than forcing him to conform . He is fortunate to have a parent that is not leaving it all to the schools...

smiles
a


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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milka


journeyman
Location: Limoges (France)

Total posts: 89
Posted:Very interesting, I've already read a book called "la fabrique du Crtin" (: the factory of the Jackass) that deals with the same issue in the French context and tries to answer the following question : why is the general level in the French educational system getting weaker year after year ? It's sad but it sounds logical : the more you know, the more likely you will be able to ask questions. Looks like some people do not agree :/

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polarity
SILVER Member since May 2005

polarity

veteran
Location: on the wrong planet, United Ki...

Total posts: 1228
Posted:Too true. Some teachers will actually punish bright students for asking questions to which they don't know the answers.

I think a huge problem at the moment is parents who take the view that they have no responsibility in teaching their children values, or assisting them academically outside of school. Their children become unable to keep up, get bored and cause trouble, and then when the school is forced to provide discipline in the form of expulsion, it gets overuled at appeal, and disruptive pupils end up back in school knowing they can get away with it. This view pervades the entire school, and the whole student population slips.


I guess I'm lucky that I've got 2 aunts trained as teachers, and pre-school there were always bedtime stories or just afternoon stories when visiting (because you only got about 2 programmes on the TV in the after school slot that were age appropriate and interesting). Of course constantly being read to encouraged us to learn to read too.

I just ended up being held back by underqualified and resentful teachers, and by being stuck in the same classes as disruptive morons who make Beavis and Butthead look tame.

My parents spent a lot of money moving to a small village where the school had only 30 pupils. But the local council decided to expand catchment areas and close the smaller schools before I was old enough to enrole.

There may be some intent to create a dumbed down populace among some of the people in power, but a lot of the work is done by the 'one size fits all'/'lowest common denominator' effect of doing anything on a large scale.


Computer networks make excellent metaphorical examples of how efficient systems should be put together in social networks. In computer networks each individual computer performs a set of basic fundamental tasks, like networking and input/output, and is manufactured to have certain expansion and upgrade options. Some will also be assembled to have a specialised function, where they support the rest of the network in their own unique way.

Huge groups of computers are rare, as they are always organised into smaller groups, and almost everyting is made interdependant and redundant.

Programs do not run one at a time, but run simultaneously, interacting and sharing resources to make best use of the hardware.

In terms of education this translates to small schools, with a basic foundation taught, so that everyone can make progress.

There wouldn't be classes in subjects, at least not at the beginning, a topic would be selected, and every facet of that would be taught, in whatever deapth appears necessary given the aptitude of the students, so that the interrelations between subjects would become apparent, and methods from one field could be applied to others, increasing the childrens capacity to apply knowledge and skills, to gain further knowledge and skills.

Everyone would be encouraged and assited in gaining their full potential, as that is what best serves society, and any weaknesses would be handled by encouraging the students to acknowledge each others differing abilities, and getting them to help one another to overcome the difficulties some may have in some fields, by relying on the aptitudes of others. Very rarely is a child completely deficient, so everyone has talents to be shared, and weaknesses to be assisted with.


This is pretty much along the lines of how things are done at a Waldorf school, and from what I've seen their students are exactly the kind of productive, co-operative person you'd want in a society. I've yet to hear of a state school that uses these methods though, as they seem to value efficiency, and cut every corner. Thing is you can't build much out of spheres.


You aren't thinking or really existing unless you're willing to risk even your own sanity in the judgment of your existence.

Green peppers, lime pickle and whole-grain mustard = best sandwich filling.

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:*Yawn*

Oh yay. Another "There is only one problem in the US educational system and I'll explain it to you in one sentence" article.

Let's see if the above article meets the requirement of every other hollow article written on this subject.

- Assumes that every school in America is exactly the same with the same funding, administration, teachers, parents, and students who all have exactly the same problem: [Check]

- Provides one or two examples of students that have failed and suggests a SINGLE excuse for their failure: [Check]

- Compares American schools to schools from other countries with COMPLETELY different demographic of students and socioeconomic background: [Check]

- Uses a seemingly inflamatory title to bait readers who already have negative feelings about the educational system: [Check]

- Completely out of context 'historical facts': [Check]

- Completely out of context quotations: [Check]

- Absolutely no suggestion of a SOLUTION to the problem is offered: [Check]

Yup, same as every other article written. The fun part is how easy you can change this article to blame something else. Change the quotes and a few buzzwords and the above could easily become "The educational system was designed to exclude minorities" or "keep the poor poor" or "opress women" or whatever...

Like I said: *Yawn*

Read 1000 more articles just like this, write your own response that agrees with the articles and they'll give you a Master's degree in education.

***

And then there's the worst worst worst worst thing that everybody does when discussing education (yes you too)...

They take their own individual experiences in School and assume that everyone else in the planet has the exact same experience.

Funny how nobody every talks about "how the post office tracking routes are inefficient" or "how the fire department could be restructured to save time and money" but since everybody's been to school they all think they're experts.

And don't even get me started on how almost NOBODY who uses the name of a learning disorder has any idea of what it actually means but certainly has an opinion about it.

***

So um, yeah, I'm not reading that book unless I'm getting university credit for it. But having read other books I can say without question that the entire fault of the US educational system is (and I've read a book/article blaming each of these):
-Lack of students eating breakfast
-Banning corporal punishment
-Banning teachers from hugging students
-Soda
-The feminist movement
-Television
-Black people (Ok, technically the end of 'separate but equal')
-Funding Girls Sports Teams
-Rap Music
-Kids having Jobs (Kids in Japan work less that kids in the US and that's why they're doing better... bet you didn't know that wink )
-Too much testing
-Too little testing
-Too much pressure
-Too little pressure
-The time at which the school day starts
-Co Ed classes
-George Bush
-Artificial sweeteners and preservatives

hrmm... there are more but I need a shower.

But it wouldn't be fair for me not to give my own opinion on the subject.

I am from the radical perspective that every child in America is different and has different educational needs. I belive that anybody who believes that there is A problem with American education is utterly ignorant of all of the issues facing todays students and the fact that America is one of the most diverse countries in the world. I believe that ANYBODY who says they have a magic bullet to save education is an idiot.

In an ideal world every child would recieve an education custom tailored for them. Ideally, educational systems should be working towards individualized education. It absolutely is possible to work towards that ideal as a teacher and I try to. In reality, people don't support spending large amounts of money on education so we can only do the best we can with what we have.

The irony is that all of this discussion does absolutely nothing to actually affect what's going on in the classroom. Parents would rather BS online about "What's wrong with Schools" than actually show up to a Parent Teacher meeting.

If anybody actually wants to improve a child's education there are countless ways you can actually do that.


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Domino
SILVER Member since May 2004

UnNatural Scientist - Currently working on a Breville-legged monkey
Location: Bath Uni or Shrewsbury, UK

Total posts: 757
Posted:http://hewasmymathteacher.ytmnd.com/


Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I can beat the world into submission.

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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction, Aus...

Total posts: 13215
Posted:NYC, Its interesting you mention about teachers not being able to hug students. I would be interested in what you have to add on that topic (even though it's a tad off topic) as it's something that often crosses my mind as I work with kids and used to teach in a country where hugging kids was ok (so was corporal punishment as well, but that was another matter).
Perhaps its a topic for another thread. or is there one in existance? About how society is becoming increasinly paranoid and therefore making it worse for itself and downward spiralling.


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:As I'm a male high school teachers I don't ever hug. Even at graduation. In fact, if a kid ever touches me (even putting a hand on my shoulder) I'm sure to say something and keep my distance.

As for little ones, it's a case of 'better safe than sorry' for a 'no hugging' rule. That is, if we restrict the 99.99% of honest teachers from hugging then students are protected from the very rare perv. It's actually for the protection of the teachers as well against accusation.

But again, as a high school teacher, I say let the kid cry. wink


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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow., United Kingdom

Total posts: 5276
Posted: Written by: NYC


I am from the radical perspective that every child in America is different and has different educational needs.

...

In an ideal world every child would recieve an education custom tailored for them. Ideally, educational systems should be working towards individualized education. It absolutely is possible to work towards that ideal as a teacher and I try to.



I've only read the first three chapters of the book, but the author has similar views to you NYC.

Though I'm pretty bored of cynicism myself, I hope it's still working for you.

or try this by the author of the book (not the original article posted here) http://www.cantrip.org/gatto.html
br>
it's quite fun.


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost, Canada

Total posts: 1247
Posted:NYC, love your list of whats really wrong with the system. It made me laugh, cause my mom was also always listing lack of breakfast - followed by lack of sleep- as the first problem.A radical about blood sugar balance-when she could she would bring in food and fruit for the kids. But I think the things you list are certainly all big factors in education. One of the reasons I mentionned alternative systems is because they can pay attention to the individual students greatly varying needs in these areas more effectively.



You make a lot of assumptions though, out of your cynicism I guess.;) A few I would like to challenge- A lot of people that read think about and discuss these things *are* actually "doing" things to improve the situation for their children and schools, learning from the process of debate and discussion, then applying the knowledge. Reading discussing and doing are not mutually exclusive. Also, some people using terms for learning disabilities may actually know what they mean, and beyond that, have had some direct experience with them.... Indeed, some people are capable of discriminating for themselves what is propaganda, and yet still pulling out interesting bits of information , analysing and debating a piece of writing without swallowing it in its entirety. Could it be that some people discuss their personal experiences of education because that is what they understand and can communicate best, and what interests them most, not because they have a false belief they are experts or that their experience was universal?



I could go on, but I am getting bored. Just suggesting that assumptions make asses, you know the cute slogan, I am sure you do.



ubblove

peace

hug


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:My critique is not of the individual causes for a decrease in education. I do believe that many of the above 'jokes' I listed play a part in the decline of education. My critizm comes from those who suggest that ONE of those factors can single handedly destroy the entire US educational system. It does get tired when someone lists the classic, out of context critiques of the US educational system and then points to a SINGLE factor as the cause.

I do understand that there are many educated people having useful discussions (just as I clearly stated that some people who do know about learning disorders) but they seem to be in the great minority.

 Written by:

Could it be that some people discuss their personal experiences of education because that is what they understand and can communicate best, and what interests them most, not because they have a false belief they are experts or that their experience was universal?



OK, first, you're playing the classic internet game where I say:
'Most people...'
then you say:
'But some people...'
then I say:
'But most people...'
then you say:
'Not all people...'

And really, we're saying the same thing. smile

I believe that MOST parents would like to alter the Educational system to favor their children (parents of kids in special ed think there should be more special ed, parents of gifted kids think there should be more gifted programs, same for sports, arts... etc.)

I also believe that many people think that the Educational system should be altered to favor whatever they didn't get when they were being educated. Many people think that their own personal experiences happened to everyone and therefore are a problem with the system.

Rarely do you see clarifying arguments taking into account the demographics of the student population which I believe is one of the most important factors when judging or critiquing any educational system.

(to be continued...)


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:... and I must say that I am not critiquing the book at all... simply the out of context 'article' posted in the first post. If the author addresses my concerns in chapters that haven't been posted in this thread then great, we're in agreement.

As for my cynicism, I think it's part of my job to deflect many of the 'suggestions' and 'critiques' from the vast number of people who have uneducated opinions about what's right and wrong with 'The Educational System' simply because they 'went to school.' I often joke that you can always judge if you're giving the right amount of homework when the number of parents complaining that their child gets too much homework equals the number of complaints that their child gets too little homework. (A joke of course but with some truth.)

The funny part is that I think, actually, I'm an optimist. I think you have to be to be a teacher. It's one of the things that I love about my job. I get paid to show kids cool stuff. The rest is just details.

My cynicim also gives me thicker skin to deal with troublemakers like MCP. wink


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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow., United Kingdom

Total posts: 5276
Posted:I love being a troublemaker. ubblove

and I again strongly suggest you go and read the book. The article is nothing in comparison.

I can't find any negative reviews / critques of it online, apart from a couple of lines in positive reviews that say things like: "he didn't state his sources explicitly here, though it is true, and he mostly states his sources." If anybody finds any interesting ones, let me know. The one on kuro5hin.org is particularly interesting.

The gatto guy (author of the book) is great. He doesn't believe in special ed, or gifted kids, or demographics in general. I don't really want to paraphrase the book out of context and provide evidence for my last statement. but: He thinks everybody has a huge innate ability to learn, because humans learn hugely complicated things easily all the time, when they have the motivation to.


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: mcp




The gatto guy (author of the book) is great. He doesn't believe in special ed, or gifted kids, or demographics in general. I don't really want to paraphrase the book out of context and provide evidence for my last statement. but: He thinks everybody has a huge innate ability to learn, because humans learn hugely complicated things easily all the time, when they have the motivation to.



He's right. In an ideal world. Which it isn't. So he's not. IMHO. biggrin

I MIGHT agree to disagree with him about tracking honors kids BUT I completely disagree with diagnosing students with learning disabilities (if that's what he's saying.)

I've seen heterogeneous grouping work wonderfully in environments that believed in it and fail horribly in environments that don't.

If you've got elitist parents raising elitist kids for 17 years it makes NO sense to all of a sudden change the system and say "guess what, we're all the same!" which is often what I see occur in these "anti-tracking" arguements.

Like I said, it really depends on the student. I think that some students benefit from being in a gifted or special ed class (and I can name them) and some students who would really benefit from being in a heterogeneous class.

You also have a reality in which some parents are extremely involved and some parents are never found. It's very difficult to advocate for a child who's parent is being difficult or absent. We try, but it's hard. Sadly, that affects the quality of the education and services a child will recieve.


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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow., United Kingdom

Total posts: 5276
Posted:When I said I don't want to paraphrase, I really meant, I don't want you to argue against my incomplete undefined and unbacked up arguments, I want you to go and read the book and argue or not against his arguments.

"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:I wasn't arguing against your undefined and unbacked up arguements.

I was using the word "you" to mean "one". Not Meg.

I was arguing against the long and documented history against tracking. Which I'm fairly certain I'm wrong in doing but sometimes it's fun to be wrong.

And I'm not going back and reading any MORE educational material especially after getting a Masters degree from a univeristy that thinks tracking is the worst thing since corporal punishment.

Which is interesting because I teach classes of students that are on the low end of the tracking scale and I find it more effective than having them grouped with the rest.

But that's just me which means nothing as I've said before. See, I'm only hypocritial when it suits me. wink


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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow., United Kingdom

Total posts: 5276
Posted:I mean, obviously you know everything about the subject after getting a MASTERS degree on it! God forbid that anybody comes up with some original research or some actual 'new' opinions on the matter. That would be impossible!

Well, little tidbits to leave you wondering about the book: He doesn't believe in certain learning disabilities, like dyslexia. (not quite accurate but close enough) Forest gump style ones are a different case though obviously.

I think it would be a fair paraphrase to say that he thinks corporal punishment was banned from schools in order to make them more chaotic, not better.

Though I can't be bothered to try 'that' hard to get the critique of somebody in a position to give a learned critique of the book. rolleyes

I personally think that education and school radically affects a person and influences the rest of their life, from healthy living to political apathy, to becoming parents and their influence on the kids that go to school nowadays. I think it's pointless to discuss parents as part of a school system, because the school system made those parents and their attitudes (which also affects culture at large,) so it's just a reflection of the school system.


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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ado-p
GOLD Member since May 2004

ado-p

Pirate Ninja
Location: Galway/Ireland

Total posts: 3882
Posted:Go meg!!!



You've convinced me to read the book!



I was going to write about what i read about this, and about my own personal experience with the educational system in Ireland and with my partner who is a french, french teacher with a masters in teaching methods and practises, But after the way NYC has jumped down the throat of just about everyone who doesnt have a 'Masters', I dont want to anymore. I imagine there are others who feel the same. Though I might be wrong.





Love is the law.

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Glåss
DIAMOND Member since Nov 2001

Glåss

The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

Total posts: 2523
Posted:That's interesting, I like to read what NYC's posted in this thread (NYC:you must be getting it just right, your got as many complaints as big ups.)

I like your first post which made me look at the article again from a different angle, and I like this:

 Written by: NYC


OK, first, you're playing the classic internet game where I say:
'Most people...'
then you say:
'But some people...'
then I say:
'But most people...'
then you say:
'Not all people...'
And really, we're saying the same thing. smile



But that said I also like meg's comments, and thanks for digging out the book link and thanks everyone for the general discussion and thoughts

Ado-p I'd like to hear you angle and perhaps about the Irish and French systems, I didn't quite read such a harsh tone into NYC's posts, and given the guy's career and education, it's fair to assume that theres a 99.9% chance that he knows a lot more about the current US education system than the rest of us here.

In reply to Andrealee hug
What's wrong with with an education system "slotting people into jobs?"
A complaint about aspects of my education was that it didn't prepare people for employment.
Not everyone wants to be a global travelling fire spinning hippie. (like us wink )
Many people surely gain a sense of security from a 9 to 5 * 365 * 45.

I haven't posted my opinion of the first article because I haven't made up my mind yet.

Who knows De Bono's 6 hats method?

Smiles
Drew


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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow., United Kingdom

Total posts: 5276
Posted: Written by: Glss


Not everyone wants to be a global travelling fire spinning hippie. (like us wink )
Many people surely gain a sense of security from a 9 to 5 * 365 * 45.




Why do they need a sense of security?
Why is it just a sense and not actual security?
They might gain that sense, but what are they losing?


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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