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Glåss
DIAMOND Member since Nov 2001

Glåss

The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol

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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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polarity
SILVER Member since May 2005

polarity

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Posted: Written by: Robert A. Heinlein

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.





For a species that is supposedly so highly developed, civilised human society is the perfect model of an ant colony.


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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polarity
SILVER Member since May 2005

polarity

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Posted:Security = Ostrich syndrome. If you've got a job to focus on you have less time to worry about anything else.



"War in Iraq? No time to think about that. I've got work tommorow."



Probably losing objectivity, by being part of the system you don't get to step outside of it and see the whole thing from another angle (you don't see other people's point of view).



Of course having a lot of time on your hands to research things, dropping out of the system so that it doesn't hold you back, and learning at your full potential doesn't mean a thing. You have to have a highly paid job and a lot of qualifications for your opinion to mean anything, so I may as well just shut up.


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

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Posted: Written by: ado-p


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.





YAY! Fight Fight Fight!

Oh wait, I'm in it. Darn... um... quick... lemme think...

OK Doop, as you're an expert on the US Educational system despite the fact that I've spent 10 years teaching, 3 years getting a masters from one of the best Educational institutions in the country, and 22 years IN the US Educational system and you've ... what... been to the US twice? You go ahead and tell us what's wrong with it.

[Please note, I don't actually believe the above words but as they are being unfairly put into my mouth I figured it'd just be more fun to say them as it makes this thread more inflamatory. And Doop, I think you've misread the intent of most of what I've written. If you reread them with the voice that Drew uses in his head maybe they will seem less inflamatory and elitist. hug ]


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ado-p
GOLD Member since May 2004

ado-p

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Posted:NYC.

I know nothing about the US educational system. Nothing.

Nor do I have any idea what the intent of your initial post was.

I stand by what I said.

a


Love is the law.

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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

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Posted:ooh!! its the "putting words in nyc's mouth game" again - i love this game! biggrin

 Written by: nyc


i have read the article and i am disappointed by it.
i do not have the inclination to read the one book on the wider subject that is linked to here as i have read countless others and formed my opinions from those and my direct experiences formed over the past decade and a half of operating within the very system being discussed here.
i have stated my opinions on the article and i believe that there are many great things about the education system and many problems within it too.




wink

can i do meg too please?

 Written by: meg


i don't care what you think about the article at all - i'm going to centre my debate around the book that the article was a bad reference to.
i have read the first three chapters of that one book on the subject of the corruption of the educational system in the u.s. and from that vast bank of knowledge, i can safely conclude that you are being over cynical and unfairly dismissive nyc.
until you read this one specific book i linked to you must accept that you don't have a rounded enough view of the subject and thus accept that your opinions equate to dirt.
my arguments are indisputable.
i have spoken.
bow before me.




wink

there's lot of ways to read what you two wrote.
ado's interpretation is different to mine.
i would guess that neither of us are particularly correct.


so, onto the actual topic then...

drew mentioned the sense of security provided by working on a permanent contract with regular hours (paraphrased as the ever-so-slightly biased "9-5 * 365 * 45").

speaking as someone that currently works in an office for a company i don't have a stake in, i think the sense of security comes from the financial security provided by this kind of employment - a comparatively guaranteed steady income compared to the variable income/cash flow associated with contract or seasonal work.

a major downside is definitely that i have less time that is my own - but the way i see it, the time that i do have is never spent worrying about where my next meal/rent payment/gig/contract will come from.

and i may be deluding myself but i'm pretty sure my job has absolutely nothing to do with trying to isolate myself from the global problems we discuss here and see in the news every day - i would absolutely without a doubt be less connected to global events and issues if i were a travelling fire performer or were out on a snowbaord season for example.


lastly, a comment on the last paragraph of the original article:

i'm apologise now if i'm being unfair but i think that teacher was talking a load of crap: "its our job to teach kids to get used to being bored in order to better prepare them for their inevitably monotonous jobs in later life"?!??!

if she was told that at a teaching convention she should have stood up there and then and objected to it - if i knew a teacher of mine held that view, i would get me a different teacher.

i find it very hard to believe that a majority of teachers think that "intentionally keeping the children bored" is truly a primary goal of education.

all of the teachers that i know seem to spend large amounts of their time on developing methods to better engage their students and ways that they can inspire them with the material they have to teach.

the quote from the teacher sounds like a poorly veiled excuse to me - someone asks "don't you think your student's bahaviour is due in some part to their boredom?" and the teacher answers "yes, ermmm... actually, i was intentionally aiming to bore them so that they won't lose their jobs when they grow up. yes, that's it".

its a complete crock of you know what.


cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

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Posted: Written by: coleman


words in my mouth!
 Written by: meg


i don't care what you think about the article at all - i'm going to centre my debate around the book that the article was a bad reference to.
i have read the first three chapters of that one book on the subject of the corruption of the educational system in the u.s. and from that vast bank of knowledge, i can safely conclude that you are being over cynical and unfairly dismissive nyc.
until you read this one specific book i linked to you must accept that you don't have a rounded enough view of the subject and thus accept that your opinions equate to dirt.
my arguments are indisputable.
i have spoken.
bow before me.






ubblove ubblove

I don't need the first three chapters of the book to conclude: "i can safely conclude that you are being over cynical and unfairly dismissive nyc." anybody can conclude that when somebody says they aren't going to read something for reason <x>.

"and thus accept that your opinions equate to dirt.
my arguments are indisputable.
i have spoken.
bow before me."

everybody should accept this as their primary belief system. biggrin

and I might add Mr Cole: go read the book. Then you can decide if he's playing in turn on everybodies negative feelings of school, like horoscopes play on the vagueness of their answers, or if he getting at something that is actually there.

I don't feel like I can read the later chapters actually. I feel terrorised enough by the information in it already.


"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

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Posted:"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?"



Meg, ubblove you nailed it. That is essentially my response to Drews question .



To elaborate:



I think it is fine to train people for jobs. But then call it Job Training. If that is what people want, I have no problem with that.



I would still like to have the option of Education available though. As in exposure to a wide variety of concepts ,skills,history and information. Learning about ways to think, reflect,experiment and adapt, how to question and discover answers, how to investigate the path you are on as well as divergent ones... to me, that is useful education.



It is simply more interesting. Certainly a society that is educated in that manner would be a hell of a lot more interesting than one trained to perform given tasks.



I think education is more likely to give real security- as in a sufficient degree of competance and comfort in your real responsibilities as a human - meaning your ability to respond . Your ability to handle ,enjoy and understand the things you may encounter in your life and the world.To find a sense of who you are, where you fit, and explore the intricate ways you connect and flow with your community and your planet.



The more I understand these things, the more real security I have in the world, where ever I am, whether at a hippy firespinning festival or attending business meeting with a multi millionare client.



Job training may give people that " sense" Meg talks about- but I would doubt how deep it goes towards actual security. The sense of security job training offers seems an artificial construct, rigid and limited, unsuited to function within what I see as the constantly changing environment that is the nature of life. After having seen what happens when the local mill shuts down and everyone is unemployed, with no other skills- including the skill of adaptation- I dont think I would choose that kind of security. Its roots are too shallow to provide connection and sustenance,balance and stability. Easily toppled every time your employer or some distant CEO rearranges their financial priorities- and then communities fall apart, people break down. Hell, never mind that, I have seen the misery of people who shut themselves off in soul destroying 9-5 work... eek



Yes, some people thrive in it, and that is great. Sometimes we do it do it for a finite time, for a specific purpose. Yet, most job training and its surrounding structures teach forms of dependancy. It is very capitalist in nature, with most of your "sense" of security based on your productivity and ability to consume, not respond. To me that is ass backwards.



ubbideaMaybe there is a way to do both? Not ass backward?;) I mean I have a specific skill set that relates to each of my proffesions, as a jeweller and a herbalist.So somewhere along the lines I received a form of job training. But I am also pretty well educated- I think, still working on it wink - in a whole lot of other life expanding areas. Some of that actually happenned during school, too!

peace

EDITED_BY: andrealee (1153943077)


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

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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

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Posted:andrea - i completely agree that a good education comes with a sense of security.

it is my opinion that the knowlegde we accumulate over our major period of education (i.e. what we learn at school, college and university) takes years to build.
but i think that with a broad base of an education like this, we can learn the skills necessary to do most jobs well in a year or two.


a resounding memory from one of the schools i went to was the attitude "why should we have to learn this, when are we ever going to use it?".

not every child has an overriding want to learn.

in fact, many of the kids i went to school with were the opposite and seemed to have an overriding want *not* to learn - maybe they just wanted to be kids and mess around rather then spend 6 hours a day learning stuff in school.

some were not even interested in learning the fundamental subjects of languages, mathematics, the sciences and religious education (which is as close as we get to philosophy classes in english schools).

watching teachers trying to impress upon these kids that an education is a valuable thing, no matter what you decide to do with it when you grow up, was frustrating to say the least.

a good way to instill the importance of education to children averse to learning was to say something like "if you don't learn good english, you'll never get a decent job".

its not nearly the best reason to learn while you are at school, but using this argument to get a child to listen and appreciate the value of what they were being taught - even if the convincing argument comes from a purely mecenary/capitalist standpoint - it is at least better than giving up on the kid.

i'm sure that not nearly all the teachers who say "sit down and listen or you'll grow up and have crap job" believe that this is the primary reason for them to do their jobs.

but after reading bits of that book, maybe some really do... frown


for those that got 'job training' in school, could you please describe it for us since here in the u.k., our curriculum is not really that geared toward the vocational side of the spectrum.


cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

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Posted:we don't get job training maybe, but we have to choose a 'specialisation' at 16, into 4/5 areas. Kinda weird. Obviously at that point we're years older than what was considered an 'adult' in earlier times.

"a good way to instill the importance of education to children averse to learning was to say something like "if you don't learn good english, you'll never get a decent job"."

His view: Children are adverse to learning because school makes it pointless. That threat just makes the world seem a harsher place, destroying the kids further. What they're really saying is: You'll need to have a job when you're older. You're parents will abandon you, society won't care for you, your friends don't matter, without a decent job you can't survive on your own in a decent way. If you don't learn english, you'll have a crappy job and spend your days slaving for other people. And suddenly school becomes a pressure cooker again. That's not what I want kids to be put through. I suppose people think kids are too stupid to go through that sort of reasoning. I don't think so. And I think that's the least of the pressures they face at school.

quoted:

Bianca, You Animal, Shut Up!

Our problem in understanding forced schooling stems from an inconvenient fact: that the wrong it does from a human perspective is right from a systems perspective. You can see this in the case of six-year-old Bianca, who came to my attention because an assistant principal screamed at her in front of an assembly, "BIANCA, YOU ANIMAL, SHUT UP!" Like the wail of a banshee, this sang the school doom of Bianca. Even though her body continued to shuffle around, the voodoo had poisoned her.

Do I make too much of this simple act of putting a little girl in her place? It must happen thousands of times every day in schools all over. Ive seen it many times, and if I were painfully honest Id admit to doing it many times. Schools are supposed to teach kids their place. Thats why we have age-graded classes. In any case, it wasnt your own little Janey or mine.

Most of us tacitly accept the pragmatic terms of public school which allow every kind of psychic violence to be inflicted on Bianca in order to fulfill the prime directive of the system: putting children in their place. Its called "social efficiency." But I get this precognition, this flash-forward to a moment far in the future when your little girl Jane, having left her comfortable home, wakes up to a world where Bianca is her enraged meter maid, or the passport clerk Jane counts on for her emergency ticket out of the country, or the strange lady who lives next door.

I picture this animal Bianca grown large and mean, the same Bianca who didnt go to school for a month after her little friends took to whispering, "Bianca is an animal, Bianca is an animal," while Bianca, only seconds earlier a human being like themselves, sat choking back tears, struggling her way through a reading selection by guessing what the words meant.

You arent compelled to loan your car to anyone who wants it, but you are compelled to surrender your school-age child to strangers who process children for a livelihood, even though one in every nine schoolchildren is terrified of physical harm happening to them in school, terrified with good cause; about thirty-three are murdered there every year. From 1992 through 1999, 262 children were murdered in school in the United States. Your great-great-grandmother didnt have to surrender her children. What happened?

If I demanded you give up your television to an anonymous, itinerant repairman who needed work youd think I was crazy; if I came with a policeman who forced you to pay that repairman even after he broke your set, you would be outraged. Why are you so docile when you give up your child to a government agent called a schoolteacher?


"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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=Flashpoint=
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=Flashpoint=

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Posted:Although I don't subscribe to the "Worship Meg" cult, I have to agree.

Too many times as a Drama teacher (granted, only on saturdays for three hours) have I seen regular children who come to my class, quiet, behaved and docile. I cant do anything with these children.

Mind you, for one the children have to want to be there, as it is not in the "system" so to speak, and for the most part, they're interested in what I have to teach, so I have a head start.

However I teach them to think freely about their emotions and their reactions to events, in order for them to learn a little more about themselves. I get chaos, from children who no longer apply the "lessons" of socialogical behaviour to my classes. I then have to teach them that mutual respect for each other.
I never tell a child to shut up (unless they already know better, like side of stage) I demonstrate to them and help them understand how selfish behaviour affects their environment. I have to sometimes send a child out, but then I ask them why they were sent out. They dont usually do it again. The slight humiliation combined with understanding helps them think about how they affect other people.

Just my little way.

Cheers smile


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NYC


NYC

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Posted: Written by: mcp



I don't need the first three chapters of the book to conclude: "i can safely conclude that you are being over cynical and unfairly dismissive nyc." anybody can conclude that when somebody says they aren't going to read something for reason <x>.

..

I don't feel like I can read the later chapters actually. I feel terrorised enough by the information in it already.



It's nice when you keep your hypocracy in the same post, it makes it easier to quote.

ubblol

OK, Kids, everybody chill. I was responding to only a few things:
1) Glass' initial, out of context, article. My main critiques were that it was out of context.
2) The concept of heterogenous grouping. I accepted that my views may be ideally incorrect but better suited for the current non-ideal situation I currently find myself.
3) The fact that many people use their own singular experiences to generalize an entire educational system. Which I find flawed, mainly as a scientist.

Now, if you're going to get all cranky with me, please indicate what number arguement you're disagreeing with.

If you're going to talk about a book that I haven't read, then I have no comment. If you're going to talk about topics raisd in a book that I haven't read, then please explain the topics fully so that I may understand them.

Now, I am not going to read the book because A) I don't really want to but mostly B) I am on Molly's dialup and it's not particularly slick.

As for Doop, sorry you missed my joke. I'm sure if we were sitting under a gazebo discussing this it would have been a pleasant conversation. Please understand that as a public school teacher I am constantly bombarded by crazy or stupid or annoying people with crazy or stupid or annoying comments. Why? Because most normal people see what's up and leave me alone. I'd never lump you into the crazy/stupid/annoying category. If you could check my school phone answering machine messages (not just for my, but for all the teachers in my department) I'm sure you'd see why I see most people in a negative light when, in reality, it is only 'most people who actually go through the trouble to vocally disagree'.

If you came and saw what I actually do in my classroom you'd think I was the calmest, most modest, optimistic person in the world. Actually, It'd probably freak most of you out. smile


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Yes, let's go.
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NYC


NYC

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Posted: Written by: mcp


Why are you so docile when you give up your child to a government agent called a schoolteacher?



Keep in mind that I've never met a teacher who doesn't want a higher percentage of their parents to be less docile. We beg, scream, and cry to get parents more active but it just doesn't work.

And then we're left with the 2% of absolutely crazy parents who we'd give anything to make more docile. smile


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Yes, let's go.
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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

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Posted:"Children are adverse to learning because school makes it pointless"

i don't quite get that...

is a child that is disruptive to a class because they are averse to learning really entitled to such behaviour because of the supposedly inherent faults in the system?

do the other kids in the class deserve to have their opportunity to learn removed by a kid who doesn't value (or doesn't have the foresight to appreciate the value of) what is being taught

what would be an alternative argument to encourage a child to learn be when that child doesn't see any value in what the teachers are teaching...?


"Why are you so docile when you give up your child to a government agent called a schoolteacher?"

this sentence makes me a little angry - he's starting to sound like a conspiracy theorist, labelling all schoolteachers as faceless government agents working to turn your kid into a quivering automaton?

please, does he really believe there are no good teachers?
or that the system is so restrictive that it turns even a teacher with the best intentions into another cog in the government's suppression machine?


moving on, the quote above from the book gives an example of direct agressive supression of unruly behaviour.

there are indeed many more polite ways of asking bianca to be quiet: "Bianca. Please stop being rude and pipe down."

however, i get the feeling that the author would still view such a polite request as another example of a teacher carrying out "the prime directive of the system: putting children in their place." shrug


one of the major things that children turning into adults need to learn is that they are not the most important person in the world to anyone but themselves.

tempering the imposition of that view by kids that hold it on other kids (or a group of kids as a whole) is a tough job imho.


if i were bianca's parent for example, i'd be pleased to hear that if she were being disruptive in an assembly, she would have her lack of respect pointed out to her.

in my book, talking over people who are already talking is rude - if bianca ignores this, she needs to be taught that her actions are impolite, no?

the only alternative seems to be allowing that behaviour to continue - one would very quickly end up with a school full of kids that believe they can do and say whatever they like, whenever they like.

apart from the fact that a teacher should be polite enough to ask bianca to be quiet without directly insulting her i.e. do it respectfully, this kind of behaviour adjustment is a positive thing imo.


i would agree with the author that aggressive supression by teachers is very likely a catalyst for bullying - we've all heard of the abuse cycle and how it works.
but i don't understand why he assumes the abuse cycle takes so long to manifest in bianca - why after so many years does she feel resentment to that day when her teacher called her a nasty name?

i'd say it would be far more likely to show itself sooner, while she was still at school.
the strict hierarchy found at school even encourages it: bianca insulted/aggressively supressed by her superior leads to bianca insulting/aggressively supressing her inferiors (younger kids).

the assumption that the standard reaction of a child to an agressive telling off by a teacher is to recede, fall behind in studies and internalise huge amounts of anger that will inevitably be released at some point in adulthood - it is a laughable generalisation.

i think it is just as likely that agressive supression/insults from an authority figure teaches bianca that rather than using reason to allow someone to see your view, aggression is an acceptable form of imposing your will upon others - i think this would manifest with bianca becoming aggressive and attempting to imposing her will upon the kids around her using the same techniques.


cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: coleman



"Why are you so docile when you give up your child to a government agent called a schoolteacher?"

this sentence makes me a little angry - he's starting to sound like a conspiracy theorist, labelling all schoolteachers as faceless government agents working to turn your kid into a quivering automaton?

please, does he really believe there are no good teachers?
or that the system is so restrictive that it turns even a teacher with the best intentions into another cog in the government's suppression machine?





Damn, good call. If I'm a govenment agent I definitely need a cooler suit.

[And Cole, you forget, we're ALL cogs of the American Government. wink ]


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.

Total posts: 5276
Posted: Written by: NYC


If you came and saw what I actually do in my classroom you'd think I was the calmest, most modest, optimistic person in the world. Actually, It'd probably freak most of you out. smile



because we can't deal with somebody having a work persona? Because you act so wild and crazy on hop? Oh right, sorry.

Yeah, well at least I tried to read the book. Sorry if not getting though all of it when I hadn't asked myself as a non-schoolteacher to give a critique of it without unfairly dismissing it was hypocritical.

Faithinfire: There is no worship meg cult. It's more of a secret society.

"is a child that is disruptive to a class because they are averse to learning really entitled to such behaviour because of the supposedly inherent faults in the system?"

who cares what the child does in a flawed system? I don't. I'd rather fix the system. Or destroy it, whatever has a better outcome for the children.

"what would be an alternative argument to encourage a child to learn be when that child doesn't see any value in what the teachers are teaching...?"

teach them something they do see value in. Or change society to reflect better values onto the kids. Whichever will take longer. wink

You can't teach somebody who doesn't want to learn. Why bother?

"or that the system is so restrictive that it turns even a teacher with the best intentions into another cog in the government's suppression machine?"

Does anybody believe in absolutes apart from mathematicians? If most teachers were poor and even with good intentions limited by the school system, wouldn't that be bad enough?

"one of the major things that children turning into adults need to learn is that they are not the most important person in the world to anyone but themselves."

that's pretty sad cole. a) why? b) are you a child psychologist? c) do you not think they would learn that in our society anyway? Without having it hammered into them?

If I were bianca's parents, I wouldn't have known it had happened probably, since I wouldn't have questioned bianca about school that deeply. That's the point at which bianca would begin to feel divorced from her family. And if she became a bully, and if I found out, I wouldn't know why or how I had raised my child to do that. I would be responsible for correcting her behaviour, which would be probably unsuccessful, since bianca is still angry with me for not discovering the truth in the first place, thou she doesn't know all this, having internalised it, plus being a bully is a far easier role to take at school than a victim. Plus I feel useless and impotent as a parent, contributing to my lessening interest in school matters out of embarrassment at my lack of ability. Let them take care of bianca, that's their job right? She should come home from school better and more intelligent than before.

but that's all conjecture, I'm not a parent / school teacher / child psychologist. nor can I spell the last one.

"i'd say it would be far more likely to show itself sooner, while she was still at school."

great. So instead of later in life it's even sooner. The results are still the same. What are you arguing? It still wasn't good for bianca.


Things I think are the same for most kids:

Not answering the teachers questions. It's like playing chicken with the rest of your classmates. Who can hold out the longest without asnwering? Or who can give the 'smart alek' answer. Or just plain waiting for the teacher to answer it themselves. I've done when I liked the teacher and when I knew the answer. I couldn't really tell you why.

Beautiful sunny day: Can we have our lessons outside? No.

Everybody has a special teacher maybe. A 'nice' one, that they connected with.

Utter boredom and extreme desire for the bell to ring. So you can leave and do what you want to do.


But this is all just bullshit picking holes in arguments crap. All I really wanted was somebody to unblinker my eyes and show me the massive flaw in the guys reasoning, so I can dismiss the book fairly, and go back to my normal life. But nobody seems to be bothered so I have to go on living with the idea of millions of children being battered into a different mental shape for a monstrous worldwide institution intent on making a working class, with the byproduct of destroying our culture a little at a time.

Happily thou, that sort of thing only happens in fantasy novels, so I don't have to worry about it. I'll just put it down to an overabundant imagination and a paranoids ability to connect unrelated information.

It seems all I can really rely on is myself, after all, I'm not the center of the universe in everybodies elses eyes, so I guess I'll have to go finish reading the book now won't I?


"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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Neon_Shaolin
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

Neon_Shaolin

hehe, 'Member' huhuh
Location: Behind you. With Jam

Total posts: 6120
Posted: Written by: mcp



I'm not the center of the universe in everybodies elses eyes,





There will be a few people (yourself included) who would argue your hair has enough of a gravitational pull to declare itself as such... biggrin



(Not even gonna compete with what you've just said either...! Will contribute something when I have time to put all my thoughts down into a cohesive, coherent diatribe)


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: mcp



"one of the major things that children turning into adults need to learn is that they are not the most important person in the world to anyone but themselves."

that's pretty sad cole. a) why? b) are you a child psychologist? c) do you not think they would learn that in our society anyway? Without having it hammered into them?



See Cole, you didn't use the correct educational buzzwords. Just restate what you said using words like:

"Social Responsibility"
"Thinking Globally"
"Expanding Egocentric Motivations"
"Community Relevance"

And if you use "alternative assessment" to figure out if the kid has learned it then they give you a Masters Degree. wink


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

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Posted:what am i arguing meg?



i'll tell you:



i'm arguing against the assertion that the 'story' you quoted is a good example of the system being flawed.



i'm arguing that giving an example of a teacher using an inappropriate method to admonish a child then following up with some pure conjecture to claim that it will destroy the child's chances of being a decent person in later life and THEN claiming that the original actions of the teacher are the result of a corrupt system rather than the teacher's individual choice is bullsh!t.



i was arguiug against sensationalism and am arguing for a balanced view of what is going on in u.s. schools.





"You can't teach somebody who doesn't want to learn. Why bother?"



and that's why you're not a teacher smile



children are not adults and as such do not have the capcity to make adult decisions - that's what makes them kids.



they do not have fully developed reason centres and are a sea of swirling hormones which doesn't help matters at all - they are not yet capable of making fully informed decisions about something as huge as whether or not they wish to be educated.



when a child says "i don't want to learn", apart from actually meaning it literally there are lots of other things they may be trying to express - for example, if they decide that they do not like a particular teacher (and you don't have to be a child psych to know that there are a million reasons a teenager might come to dislike an adult - especially an authority figure) it may well manifest as "i'm not going to let you teach me."



cutting nose, spiting face - kids are great at it and they often don't pay heed to the damage they are doing to themselves in such an interaction.





 Written by: meg

teach them something they do see value in. Or change society to reflect better values onto the kids. Whichever will take longer.





bearing the above example in mind, its clear that it is nowhere near as simple as you wish to make it seem.





 Written by: meg

"one of the major things that children turning into adults need to learn is that they are not the most important person in the world to anyone but themselves."



that's pretty sad cole. a) why? b) are you a child psychologist? c) do you not think they would learn that in our society anyway? Without having it hammered into them?





i don't think its sad at all.



a) because its the truth - here's a layperson-level look at some basic child behavioural patterns: http://www.dltk-kids.com/articles/behaviour.htm
br>
b) no, but i don't need to be a professional to have an opinion on a subject meg - i admit that i have a pretty limited knowledge of child psychology, but it doesn't mean i can't talk about what i do know.

c) possibly, but only to an extent and only if they are exposed to a society that holds such values. if children learnt the rules of compassion and considerate social interaction through osmosis by simply existing in a society, then all kids would be perfectly polite, well-mannered and the problem wouldn't arise in the first place. besides, if you think the american school system is corrupt beyond redemption, i don't even want to think about your opinion on american society at large...



the fact that i have heard young kids come back from school having learnt phrases such as 'caring and sharing' and hearing them tell me about why these are good things, shows me that they do not just 'learn that in our society'.

maybe they would eventually, but then again, maybe they wouldn't and the world would be filled with selfish, socially inept idiots shrug





 Written by: meg



who cares what the child does in a flawed system? I don't. I'd rather fix the system. Or destroy it, whatever has a better outcome for the children.





care to offer us some clues as to how you might do either of those things then?

do you have a better system in mind for example?



denouncing an education system is fine if you have some idea of a better solution.

just saying "it does no good - destroy it" is a reactionary/knee-jerk 'solution' that would do more harm than good - a complete lack of an education system would be infintely more detrimental to children.



the system may be flawed and there may have been some questionable aims and methods suggested at times in its history but american schools are not a complete failure by any means.





cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.

Total posts: 5276
Posted: Written by: coleman


i'm arguing against the assertion that the 'story' you quoted is a good example of the system being flawed.

i'm arguing that giving an example of a teacher using an inappropriate method to admonish a child then following up with some pure conjecture to claim that it will destroy the child's chances of being a decent person in later life and THEN claiming that the original actions of the teacher are the result of a corrupt system rather than the teacher's individual choice is bullsh!t.

i was arguiug against sensationalism and am arguing for a balanced view of what is going on in u.s. schools.




I know it's hopeless. But I don't care about a balanced view. I care about each child that goes through the system. And if there was even one like bianca, I would be furious. Just like if only one kid got shot at dunblain, I would be furious.

Plus it's not just us schools he's talking about. Every other sentence in the early part of the book is about copying the school system in britain germany france japan or india. So it's not just them, it's everybody.

 Written by: coleman


"You can't teach somebody who doesn't want to learn. Why bother?"

and that's why you're not a teacher smile




still doesn't make it any less true.

 Written by: coleman


children are not adults and as such do not have the capcity to make adult decisions - that's what makes them kids.

they do not have fully developed reason centres and are a sea of swirling hormones which doesn't help matters at all - they are not yet capable of making fully informed decisions about something as huge as whether or not they wish to be educated.




thou adults are most certainly able to make a fully informed decision about forcing them to be educated. Well apart from me, cos I don't have any say in it, and nobody in the world is fully informed.

Yes indeed that is what makes them kids. Except childhood used to finish around 14 before schools were invented. But of course, everybody wants to have a longer childhood right? So they can spend more time stuck in a educational prison. I remember first going to school, and after a while wondering when i would get to play outside in the daytime again? Well apart from the school holidays, it was when I decided that durham wasn't the university for me and prematurely left. Though of course I learned so much more about the world than just a-level maths, which I could have taught myself in a month, not two years. I learned all about the real world, oh no wait, I wasn't allowed in that world.

so when you say they can't make informed decisions, yeah they can't until about 8-10 maybe. After that they're kept uninformed. but that was partially a diatribe against other stuff, I could go into.

 Written by: coleman


cutting nose, spiting face - kids are great at it and they often don't pay heed to the damage they are doing to themselves in such an interaction.




yup, and putting them in random age based groupings really helps that behaviour magnify.

 Written by: coleman


 Written by: meg

teach them something they do see value in. Or change society to reflect better values onto the kids. Whichever will take longer.



bearing the above example in mind, its clear that it is nowhere near as simple as you wish to make it seem.




of course not. I really think you need to change the roots of our society. And I think those roots are created by the 'education' we recieve at school. Or at the very least moulded.

 Written by: coleman


 Written by: meg

"one of the major things that children turning into adults need to learn is that they are not the most important person in the world to anyone but themselves."

that's pretty sad cole. a) why? b) are you a child psychologist? c) do you not think they would learn that in our society anyway? Without having it hammered into them?



i don't think its sad at all.

a) because its the truth - here's a layperson-level look at some basic child behavioural patterns: http://www.dltk-kids.com/articles/behaviour.htm
br>b) no, but i don't need to be a professional to have an opinion on a subject meg - i admit that i have a pretty limited knowledge of child psychology, but it doesn't mean i can't talk about what i do know.
c) possibly, but only to an extent and only if they are exposed to a society that holds such values. if children learnt the rules of compassion and considerate social interaction through osmosis by simply existing in a society, then all kids would be perfectly polite, well-mannered and the problem wouldn't arise in the first place. besides, if you think the american school system is corrupt beyond redemption, i don't even want to think about your opinion on american society at large...




a) that link is about 6 year olds cole. After another 12 years of life I think they might 'get' it. Plus it seems to have been a study based on kids in school or at least referencing their behaviour while there. I though we were talking about actual child psychology, not child psycholody in a prison.
b) Yeah I was doing an NYC.
c) Yeah, until it did once, and then society would get worse and worse, just like it is doing. But oh wait, it didn't start out perfect anyway, oh well!

I thought about american society at large and then it struck me: I probably have better literacy and maths skills than the president of america.

 Written by: coleman


the fact that i have heard young kids come back from school having learnt phrases such as 'caring and sharing' and hearing them tell me about why these are good things, shows me that they do not just 'learn that in our society'.
maybe they would eventually, but then again, maybe they wouldn't and the world would be filled with selfish, socially inept idiots shrug




really they learned that? They came back having learned a catchphrase and then parroted some blurb the teacher told them? sounds brilliant cole. Maybe after another 10 years of that they won't be able to think original thoughts and be dependent on heat magazine for their opinions. [super harsh I know, and I apologise] It just came across as a nightmare senario out of 1984.

 Written by: coleman


 Written by: meg


who cares what the child does in a flawed system? I don't. I'd rather fix the system. Or destroy it, whatever has a better outcome for the children.



care to offer us some clues as to how you might do either of those things then?
do you have a better system in mind for example?

denouncing an education system is fine if you have some idea of a better solution.




Yeah I'm sure. Destroying something bad is much much worse than letting something bad continue on, since we don't have a better solution. I'm sure all those kids are thanking you for that attitude right now. No please don't destroy our crap education system! We don't want to go play outside and learn about things that interest us! We really want to continue the system and get a-levels and go to university just like our older brothers and sisters who have to go in order to get high paid jobs that aren't secure for the rest of their lifes. I'm sure the crisis of no more school won't provoke a sudden glut of solutions or at least force us to life in interesting times. After all, we wouldn't want any change to happen in our society, and certianly not sudden change, that's the worst kind.

 Written by: coleman


just saying "it does no good - destroy it" is a reactionary/knee-jerk 'solution' that would do more harm than good - a complete lack of an education system would be infintely more detrimental to children.




Because the only way to get an education is to go to school. You can't learn anything outside of it, especially if you're a child. THE ONLY WAY. There is no education outside of school. NONE. In fact not only is there no outside of school, but if you didn't go to a school you would be unable to learn and be totally ignorant, you wouldn't know ANYTHING.

is that what your saying cole? Cos that's what I'm hearing.

And why would it be detrimental? I could have learnt all I learnt at school in about a year at the age of 18. If I hadn't just have been through 14 years of learning and utter boredom becoming associated in my mind.

Well maybe not reading and writing, but y'know some people come out of schools nowadays not being able to do that.


 Written by: coleman


the system may be flawed and there may have been some questionable aims and methods suggested at times in its history but american schools are not a complete failure by any means.




america used to not have schools. And they still managed fine. HOW CAN THAT BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE??? and they had greater literacy rates than they do now. "and you don't want to know what literacy meant back then, you really don't."

But y'know the past is no guide for the future. I mean if we looked to the past to guide us, we'd gooooo alll oooover the place!

So why are schools alloted into age groups? Will kids of different ages learning the same thing destroy their tribal peer bonding?

Do kids have to learn things at a certain age or the world will crumble?

Do classes have to exist? Do you have to learn just one subject for one class?

Can kids learn just one subject till they feel they've learned enough of that subject?

Can they learn till they're done, and not till the bell rings?

Can they learn outside?

Can they just spend they're time reading? Will they learnt things from books without being forced to skim it by writing a report on it?

will the world come up with a solution to the PROBLEM of grading students in a heirachy so that they can decide which ones to let into university without a bunch of capital letters to tell them their QUALITY?

OH MY GOD HOW WILL WE SURVIVE THESE TURMOILS?!?!?!?!?!?


"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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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

Total posts: 7330
Posted: Written by: mcp


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



for someone who's bored of cynicism, you're doing a damn good job of presenting a totally cynical take on the wider issue meg tongue

so, you think then that the school system is some evil machine that does more bad than good and deserves to be destroyed?

i strongly disagree.

you have provided little or no rational arguments - you have simply stated outrageous and polarised claims of the state of the system - and repeatedly quoting or paraphrasing the one book on the subject that you have read just half of, that is in essence one man's opinion, is not a substitute for good debate.


do you really believe that abolishing schools and relying on parents and society at large to educate children will work?

i live in a country where there have been over 7000 anti social behaviour orders issued in the last 6 years - 43% of which were issued to minors.

"close all the schools and let the children entertain themselves and roam free!"

cor, what a great plan rolleyes


cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.

Total posts: 5276
Posted: Written by: coleman



 Written by: mcp



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





for someone who's bored of cynicism, you're doing a damn good job of presenting a totally cynical take on the wider issue meg tongue







oh it's cynicism when you think things are censored and want them to be better? Instead of just sitting on your ass and accepting it? Oh well.



 Written by: coleman



so, you think then that the school system is some evil machine that does more bad than good and deserves to be destroyed?



i strongly disagree.







yay an argument! Backed up by little or no... oh no wait, just no rational argument.



and I think you should take deserves to be destroyed off of that argument. Because if you can't agree that bad things deserve to be destroyed, why bother?



 Written by: coleman



you have provided little or no rational arguments - you have simply stated outrageous and polarised claims of the state of the system - and repeatedly quoting or paraphrasing the one book on the subject that you have read just half of, that is in essence one man's opinion, is not a substitute for good debate.







a substitute for good debate would be arguing over a source (like a book) that both of us have read. Unfortunately, nobody seemed to be be bothered to read the book so that's not going to happen. Hell, I would like to debate over the first three chapters (well four with prologue) but that doesn't look like it's going to happen either.



And if you expect me to be more knowledgable, I'll argue against that myself, as you did in your last post.



 Written by: coleman



do you really believe that abolishing schools and relying on parents and society at large to educate children will work?







so tell me why it won't. Do you not think that parents having sucessfully completed living might conceivable have something to teach kids about life? Oh, but they aren't teachers right? They haven't got masters degrees and such and haven't learned the skills required to teach their own kids. I admit, sending your kid to a teacher to learn to read and write when you can't yourself is a good idea. but why can't you read and write... oh I remember, because school failed to teach you it...



 Written by: coleman



i live in a country where there have been over 7000 anti social behaviour orders issued in the last 6 years - 43% of which were issued to minors.







these are minors that are in school are they? Learning to share and care? oh no wait, they're probably playing 'truant' from school right? Oh now I get it, you're saying that because kids run away from school and commit crimes, we should make sure they stay in those schools and get better at forcing them to be good. Education seems to create more crime, cos we have more schools now than before and more youth crime... Why aren't they doing their homework? Where do they get the time to commit all this crime?



So because schools and our culture keeps creating criminal youth, we should keep schools. That makes soooo much sense dude! You've really hit the nail on the head.



 Written by: coleman



"close all the schools and let the children entertain themselves and roam free!"







and yours is: keep going the way we are, cos nobody can think of anything better, and it's not the wrost it could possible be, just really bad.



What is soooo bad about children roaming free exactly? maybe they will go to work with their parents. Maybe they will form street gangs and destroy things. and live in tribal societies in abandoned buildings on the edge of town and make nuclear weapons out of old newspapers and support saddam hussain. Maybe they will hang out with their grandparents.



hell lets even ban any talk of a different approach by being overly negative to the very idea that something could be wrong with the system the way it is. Then we can use the "you don't have anything better argument" when they least expect it! Woooo!


"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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polarity
SILVER Member since May 2005

polarity

veteran
Location: on the wrong planet

Total posts: 1228
Posted: Written by: coleman


do you really believe that abolishing schools and relying on parents and society at large to educate children will work?

i live in a country where there have been over 7000 anti social behaviour orders issued in the last 6 years - 43% of which were issued to minors.

"close all the schools and let the children entertain themselves and roam free!"




If you've ever spent time around children between about 3 and 6, they're frequently eager to join in with adults and learn how to do the jobs that they're doing. They get great satisfaction from what they learn, and a sense of worth from being helpful.

However, most adults are simply too busy to take the time to show someone of that age how to help, even though it would benefit the child greatly, if that kind of education could continue until the child had gained sufficient skills to help support their family (something they could probably do at a much younger age too). Instead children are expected to spend several years of their life feeling that they are a burden to the adults around them. Is it any wonder that their behavior suffers and they resist education, when they feel unwanted?

I've spent time around traveller families whose children do not go to school, but are home educated. While they may have limited knowledge of mainstream culture, and lack some skills considered basic there, they maintain an interest in the jobs people do, are willing to learn new things, and are frequently extremely knowledgeable in several fields. They also have a much greater respect for the communities that they are in.


I'm not a teacher because the education system failed me completely (the problem with being an anomaly), and I didn't see it doing many of the people around me any good. However, in an ideal world it's the field I'd most like to work in, so a lot of my own studies have been in education methods and psychology (as well as the kind of things I'd like to be teaching). I'd say I'm a well read and a learned person, rather than educated.


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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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay

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Posted:*yawn* another post filled with sarcasm.



easier for you to write than an actual repost i guess meg shrug



 Written by: meg



 Written by: coleman

do you really believe that abolishing schools and relying on parents and society at large to educate children will work?





so tell me why it won't.





okay, these are just a few of the reasons i think that abolishing schools wouldn't work:



i don't believe that everyone is capable of imparting knowledge - i.e. not everyone is a good teacher. example: take an expert in say, a science - try and get them to explain something to you and they often find that they have little or no tools with which to impart their knowledge bar a direct statement of said knowledge - which for you is basically equivalent to reading it in a book.



home schooling as standard limits the knowledge of each child to that of the sum of the knowledge of the people that are willing to teach them. those with better educated families remain so and those with poorly educated families never get a chance to build on the knowledge their parents possess. this sets up a divide within society and creates an economy based on privilege.

direct example: how could i have learnt what i know about physics when my mother and father would have run out of stuff to teach me at around gcse level? and please don't say 'teach yourself by reading a book'. having teachers is one of the reasons we can study so many things all at once. not to mention that isolated study from a book is slow, laborious and extremely hard - impossible for some people. there are only a very, very tiny amount of people gifted enough to be able to learn something to say degree level solely from reading books.



another reason?

children that have parents that both need to work (or a single parent that works) to provide for their family - where does the time to teach the kids come from?





 Written by: meg



 Written by: coleman



"close all the schools and let the children entertain themselves and roam free!"







and yours is: keep going the way we are, cos nobody can think of anything better, and it's not the worst it could possible be, just really bad.





no, this argument is not black and white as you seem to want to make it.



my best way forward, if you want to act on the evidence presented in the book, would be to examine which areas of the system actually seem to have emerged out of, or are reliant upon, the supression of free thought and aim to change those areas for the better.



 Written by: meg



these are minors that are in school are they? Learning to share and care? oh no wait, they're probably playing 'truant' from school right? Oh now I get it, you're saying that because kids run away from school and commit crimes, we should make sure they stay in those schools and get better at forcing them to be good. Education seems to create more crime, cos we have more schools now than before and more youth crime... Why aren't they doing their homework? Where do they get the time to commit all this crime?





ubblol meg, i'm sorry but taking my arguments way beyond their context so that they become nonsensical doesn't negate them.



yes there are more schools.

yes there is higher crime rate.

there are also more children too.

fancy that eh?



"Education seems to create more crime, we have more schools and more youth crime"

a matching trend alone does not suggest a link i'm afraid.

its no different to saying "have you noticed that there are more supermarkets than before and the number of teenage pregnancies has also increased eek quick! shut all the tescos and watch the teenage pregnancy disappear!" rolleyes wink



i have been trying to assert that the school system is not solely at fault for everything bad that children/youths do which is what you have been either implying or directly stating.



i'm not saying the opposite of what you are arguing - i'm simply saying the education system is not a total failure and as such, there is a chance it can be improved rather than attempting to scrap the whole thing.



 Written by: meg



hell lets even ban any talk of a different approach by being overly negative to the very idea that something could be wrong with the system the way it is. Then we can use the "you don't have anything better argument" when they least expect it! Woooo!





like i said, i agree that there are problems inherent within the system.



i don't think that every example given in the book is a good indication of the problems caused by corruption of the system - hence why i challenged the 'bianca' story earlier when you presented it as such an indicator.



if you truly wanted to debate the relative merits of the book as you claim, you had a chance to when we started this debate earlier today shrug





i've asked you more than once to suggest a single improvement or even a brief outline of a different approach that you think might work but you don't and instead misrepresent what i am arguing for.



anyway, its way past home time now - i'm off wave





polarity - i totally agree with you that one-to-one teaching or home schooling is a good option for some children (but certainly not all).



unfortunately, for the vast majority of parents neither of those are viable options.



it is no coincidence that you have only seen this method of education operating today within self-contained communities.



what you describe is how it used to be - that's why family vocations were the norm a few centuries or so ago.



but like i said above, it also equates to a skew in society based on privilege - those that have parents with a better education get a better education themselves and so on.



i thought that the point of the national school system was education for all rather than just the rich...?





cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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polarity
SILVER Member since May 2005

polarity

veteran
Location: on the wrong planet

Total posts: 1228
Posted:I wouldn't so much call it home schooling as community schooling. Travellers usually stay together in groups, and move around to meet up with friends and family. All the kids are looked after by whoever is able at the time, be that older children or adults, and they have the freedom to learn from whoever is willing to teach.

The learning isn't really 1-to-1 either, as those learning may be in small groups, if they have been set a task seperate from any adults. For example the kids are often left doing food preparation together, as it's something that needs doing regularly.

Other than that, lack of structure is what allows anyone to develop at their own pace and in skills at which they are most proficient. There isn't any need for structure beyond what is seasonal, as that's how everyones life is.

No one really gets a better education, just different areas. There's plenty of older travellers who get their children to read for them, and because no-one is really earning that much (because you help everyone else when you have, incase you may not in future), there is no monetary advantage to education.

The idea that the national school system is fairer in that respect is a joke. The wealthier families have a huge advantage, as there is equipment you're expected to have for education, like a home computer. Wealthier families are also more likely to afford extra curricular activities, and have time to do them, seeing as being poor usually means working longer hours.


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:If meg is going to be critical, negative and sarcastic does that mean I need to start doing contact staff? Because I'm really not that flexible.

 Written by: mcp


 Written by: coleman


i'm arguing against the assertion that the 'story' you quoted is a good example of the system being flawed.

i'm arguing that giving an example of a teacher using an inappropriate method to admonish a child then following up with some pure conjecture to claim that it will destroy the child's chances of being a decent person in later life and THEN claiming that the original actions of the teacher are the result of a corrupt system rather than the teacher's individual choice is bullsh!t.

i was arguiug against sensationalism and am arguing for a balanced view of what is going on in u.s. schools.




I know it's hopeless. But I don't care about a balanced view. I care about each child that goes through the system. And if there was even one like bianca, I would be furious. Just like if only one kid got shot at dunblain, I would be furious.

Plus it's not just us schools he's talking about. Every other sentence in the early part of the book is about copying the school system in britain germany france japan or india. So it's not just them, it's everybody.

 Written by: coleman


"You can't teach somebody who doesn't want to learn. Why bother?"

and that's why you're not a teacher smile




still doesn't make it any less true.

 Written by: coleman


children are not adults and as such do not have the capcity to make adult decisions - that's what makes them kids.

they do not have fully developed reason centres and are a sea of swirling hormones which doesn't help matters at all - they are not yet capable of making fully informed decisions about something as huge as whether or not they wish to be educated.




thou adults are most certainly able to make a fully informed decision about forcing them to be educated. Well apart from me, cos I don't have any say in it, and nobody in the world is fully informed.

Yes indeed that is what makes them kids. Except childhood used to finish around 14 before schools were invented. But of course, everybody wants to have a longer childhood right? So they can spend more time stuck in a educational prison. I remember first going to school, and after a while wondering when i would get to play outside in the daytime again? Well apart from the school holidays, it was when I decided that durham wasn't the university for me and prematurely left. Though of course I learned so much more about the world than just a-level maths, which I could have taught myself in a month, not two years. I learned all about the real world, oh no wait, I wasn't allowed in that world.

so when you say they can't make informed decisions, yeah they can't until about 8-10 maybe. After that they're kept uninformed. but that was partially a diatribe against other stuff, I could go into.

 Written by: coleman


cutting nose, spiting face - kids are great at it and they often don't pay heed to the damage they are doing to themselves in such an interaction.




yup, and putting them in random age based groupings really helps that behaviour magnify.

 Written by: coleman


 Written by: meg

teach them something they do see value in. Or change society to reflect better values onto the kids. Whichever will take longer.



bearing the above example in mind, its clear that it is nowhere near as simple as you wish to make it seem.




of course not. I really think you need to change the roots of our society. And I think those roots are created by the 'education' we recieve at school. Or at the very least moulded.

 Written by: coleman


 Written by: meg

"one of the major things that children turning into adults need to learn is that they are not the most important person in the world to anyone but themselves."

that's pretty sad cole. a) why? b) are you a child psychologist? c) do you not think they would learn that in our society anyway? Without having it hammered into them?



i don't think its sad at all.

a) because its the truth - here's a layperson-level look at some basic child behavioural patterns: http://www.dltk-kids.com/articles/behaviour.htm
br>b) no, but i don't need to be a professional to have an opinion on a subject meg - i admit that i have a pretty limited knowledge of child psychology, but it doesn't mean i can't talk about what i do know.
c) possibly, but only to an extent and only if they are exposed to a society that holds such values. if children learnt the rules of compassion and considerate social interaction through osmosis by simply existing in a society, then all kids would be perfectly polite, well-mannered and the problem wouldn't arise in the first place. besides, if you think the american school system is corrupt beyond redemption, i don't even want to think about your opinion on american society at large...




a) that link is about 6 year olds cole. After another 12 years of life I think they might 'get' it. Plus it seems to have been a study based on kids in school or at least referencing their behaviour while there. I though we were talking about actual child psychology, not child psycholody in a prison.
b) Yeah I was doing an NYC.
c) Yeah, until it did once, and then society would get worse and worse, just like it is doing. But oh wait, it didn't start out perfect anyway, oh well!

I thought about american society at large and then it struck me: I probably have better literacy and maths skills than the president of america.

 Written by: coleman


the fact that i have heard young kids come back from school having learnt phrases such as 'caring and sharing' and hearing them tell me about why these are good things, shows me that they do not just 'learn that in our society'.
maybe they would eventually, but then again, maybe they wouldn't and the world would be filled with selfish, socially inept idiots shrug




really they learned that? They came back having learned a catchphrase and then parroted some blurb the teacher told them? sounds brilliant cole. Maybe after another 10 years of that they won't be able to think original thoughts and be dependent on heat magazine for their opinions. [super harsh I know, and I apologise] It just came across as a nightmare senario out of 1984.

 Written by: coleman


 Written by: meg


who cares what the child does in a flawed system? I don't. I'd rather fix the system. Or destroy it, whatever has a better outcome for the children.



care to offer us some clues as to how you might do either of those things then?
do you have a better system in mind for example?

denouncing an education system is fine if you have some idea of a better solution.




Yeah I'm sure. Destroying something bad is much much worse than letting something bad continue on, since we don't have a better solution. I'm sure all those kids are thanking you for that attitude right now. No please don't destroy our crap education system! We don't want to go play outside and learn about things that interest us! We really want to continue the system and get a-levels and go to university just like our older brothers and sisters who have to go in order to get high paid jobs that aren't secure for the rest of their lifes. I'm sure the crisis of no more school won't provoke a sudden glut of solutions or at least force us to life in interesting times. After all, we wouldn't want any change to happen in our society, and certianly not sudden change, that's the worst kind.

 Written by: coleman


just saying "it does no good - destroy it" is a reactionary/knee-jerk 'solution' that would do more harm than good - a complete lack of an education system would be infintely more detrimental to children.




Because the only way to get an education is to go to school. You can't learn anything outside of it, especially if you're a child. THE ONLY WAY. There is no education outside of school. NONE. In fact not only is there no outside of school, but if you didn't go to a school you would be unable to learn and be totally ignorant, you wouldn't know ANYTHING.

is that what your saying cole? Cos that's what I'm hearing.

And why would it be detrimental? I could have learnt all I learnt at school in about a year at the age of 18. If I hadn't just have been through 14 years of learning and utter boredom becoming associated in my mind.

Well maybe not reading and writing, but y'know some people come out of schools nowadays not being able to do that.


 Written by: coleman


the system may be flawed and there may have been some questionable aims and methods suggested at times in its history but american schools are not a complete failure by any means.




america used to not have schools. And they still managed fine. HOW CAN THAT BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE??? and they had greater literacy rates than they do now. "and you don't want to know what literacy meant back then, you really don't."

But y'know the past is no guide for the future. I mean if we looked to the past to guide us, we'd gooooo alll oooover the place!

So why are schools alloted into age groups? Will kids of different ages learning the same thing destroy their tribal peer bonding?

Do kids have to learn things at a certain age or the world will crumble?

Do classes have to exist? Do you have to learn just one subject for one class?

Can kids learn just one subject till they feel they've learned enough of that subject?

Can they learn till they're done, and not till the bell rings?

Can they learn outside?

Can they just spend they're time reading? Will they learnt things from books without being forced to skim it by writing a report on it?

will the world come up with a solution to the PROBLEM of grading students in a heirachy so that they can decide which ones to let into university without a bunch of capital letters to tell them their QUALITY?

OH MY GOD HOW WILL WE SURVIVE THESE TURMOILS?!?!?!?!?!?



Holy crap that was the craziest post ever. I don't even know where to start.

I'll just randomly make points.

Meg, one of the issues you're addressing is 'social promotion.' It's a hot topic and there are intelligent arguements on both sides. There are some philosophies that agree with it and there are some that disagree. If you're interested in it, you should look up more about it (since you're clearly not going to respect anything that I say wink ) It's certainly not the black and white issue you're trying to make it.

Also, your assertion that there is 'no education outside of school' is certainly false. There are plenty of learning opportunities outside of the 5 or so hours a day a child is in academic classes. In fact, I'd go as far as to say there are schools outside of 'school'. At least, outside of the school environment that you're assuming is 100% of America. There are many alternative schools that directly address the 'radical' questions you put forth...


-So why are schools alloted into age groups? Will kids of different ages learning the same thing destroy their tribal peer bonding?

Not all schools are alloted into age groups. Some schools do exactly what you are suggesting by demanding mastery before a child moves on and allowing a child to move on if they master a subject early. Heck, I did it in Math.

-Do kids have to learn things at a certain age or the world will crumble?

Nope. There are plenty of American schools that teach different subjects at different times.

-Do classes have to exist? Do you have to learn just one subject for one class?

Nope, and Nope. There are alternative schools which allow for students to develop their own courses of study and study independantly.

-Can kids learn just one subject till they feel they've learned enough of that subject?

Yup. See above.

Can they learn till they're done, and not till the bell rings?

-Yup. As described above. Also, many schools are leaning towards a portfolio assessment which allows the child to be assessed within a less traditional framework.

Can they learn outside?

-Um yes. My damn English teachers do it all the time. And my kids are stuck in the hot classroom just because their bunsen burner hoses aren't long enough.

Can they just spend they're time reading? Will they learnt things from books without being forced to skim it by writing a report on it?

Yup. If they want. Either in radically alternative schools where they construct their own course of education, or in less structured classes within traditional schools.

-will the world come up with a solution to the PROBLEM of grading students in a heirachy so that they can decide which ones to let into university without a bunch of capital letters to tell them their QUALITY?

Again, already been done in some places. Even some American Colleges don't give grades (like those Santa Cruz hippies wink )

All of these radical 'burn down the system' ideas of yours ALREADY EXIST. IN AMERICA. They're successful schools and do wonders for students that do not appreciate traditional schooling.

My cousin graduated from one when there was no way he'd make it through a traditional school. I send kids to alternative schools all the time.

I had a student that was absolutely not suited for traditional schooling. He was bored out of his mind in class and acting out and doing horribly. He hated most of the traditional aspects and structure of school. He craved something more stimulating. So guess what? We sent him to a special program where he could do exactly what he wanted. He was immidiately trained to be an ambulance medic. He loved it. He spent most of his junior and senior year interning as a medic and driving the ambulance around and saving people's lives. He didn't have to sit in class all day and take multiple choice tests. And he got school credit for it and graduated with the rest of his class.

Is that the radical kind of stuff you're looking to burn down the schools to create? Because it's been done and it's being done.

For the kids that chose to stick with the more traditional route, they get to sit down and listen to teachers babble. And, if they're like I was, they actually even enjoy some of it.

As for the rest of your post, I'm having trouble decyphering as anything but angrily swinging about at me and the rest of the planet.


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: mcp



 Written by: coleman


"You can't teach somebody who doesn't want to learn. Why bother?"

and that's why you're not a teacher smile




still doesn't make it any less true.





Here's an interesting assertion. I'm not sure if I agree or disagree with it. Maybe Cole will have fun thinking about and let me know what the right answer is. wink

Resolve:
There is no such thing as not wanting to learn.

You can 'not want to do certain activites' such as going to school or sitting in class or reading a book or listening to someone speak. You can also 'not want certain information' such as 'here is where your mother and I concieved you'. But you can not 'not want to learn.'

I dunno, it's a stretch. But food for thought.


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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mo-seph


mo-seph

enthusiast
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Total posts: 524
Posted: Written by: NYC


Is that the radical kind of stuff you're looking to burn down the schools to create? Because it's been done and it's being done.



Best point so far!


monkeys ate my brain

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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast

Total posts: 5967
Posted:Hey dave wave

smile


Getting to the other side smile

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