The Black Ship Batrachian


A forum for the unimpressed.

Education!

This forum is for discussion topics in which you want no fooling around. Try to respect the integrity of other posters; avoid jokes and pointless posts.

Moderator: trillicat

Re: Education!

Postby HurlyBurlesque » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:46 am

*laugh* no, BC crime has nothing to do with mandatory schooling. BC crime has two sources:
First, it's the only temperate corner of a huge country which is a lot less hospitable, so everyone freight hops and hitches here who can't find a place to live indoors and doesn't want to sleep outside in fucking Winnipeg. Poverty and crime are a lot more closely and visibly linked.
Second, Vancouver has recently had a massive crime wave because the Russians basically left (I couldn't say definitely why, but I think it was because of crackdowns back in Moscow) and it was sudden, really no warning, which opened up a massive vacuum. BC bud trades across the border for crack. Where you have systemic poverty you get higher drug use, not surprising, but that has since grown into a major corridor where nearly all of the crack for Canada comes in through Seattle and Vancouver, and vice versa for pot in the states. So there's a LOT of money there, and the international trade used to be pretty exclusively run by the Russians. Now, in their absence, a shitload of amateurs and small-timers have been trying to stake their place, sucking at it, and killing each other in droves..

Anyway, looking at the correlation between crime and education is one thing, leaping to it being a simple and linear causal link is pretty unfounded. Anywhere that you have systemically perpetuated poverty you get a collection of societal symptoms which exacerbate disenfranchisement with formal education: depression and fatalism are common (and, arguably, legitimate) responses to systemic poverty, and critically undermine the desire to pursue those longer-term goals which rely on the assumed privilege of stability. Need also frequently requires an early attrition to the workforce (legal or otherwise), since spending hours every day on taking in knowledge becomes an unaffordable luxury. Education also loses its value with the external (and internal) policing of class barriers, since the purpose of raising one's own awareness, skill, and knowledge it usually presented as a means for reaching ends which are in fact still denied - not on a basis of merit, but by an oppressive social distinction.
Similarly, these causes (depression/fatalism, immediate need, class oppression) are also quite visibly linked to crime. The fact that school-leaving and crime both occur with higher frequency together doesn't actually mean that one causes the other.

And then there's the problem that opting in or out of the education system which is currently provided publicly is not a binary value in your life. The state schools are one option for how to spend that time, and the kind of school leaving that you're talking about (the disenfranchisement from "education" entirely) is one other option. They're both pretty lousy, but there are a Lot of other things that people find to do with their adolescences. The problems which precipitate the kind of school leaving that you're talking about don't get better because you held someone down on threat of... (what, exactly?) and forced them to recite the monarchy. There's nothing which that particular education provides which is unique to that environment, or holds a unique pass-key to the future, and the really serious problems in how it's structured make it really problematic as an institution.
I sell men back their worse suspicions:
that everything's for sale,
and piecemeal.

~Atwood
User avatar
HurlyBurlesque
Pirate Ghost
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:25 am

Re: Education!

Postby Fire » Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:54 pm

That was very well spoken, I'm very happy to see someone on the internet take time to think through their points instead of just typing "lol fag". I understand your points, and I can see where you're coming from. I agree with some of them, but I disagree with others, and I will explain why below. I don't want to turn this into an argument, but rather a constructive debate so that we can both end up with the correct point of view. I'm going to present the case for why making education mandatory in BC would help, and if you believe that making education mandatory would be detrimental then I'll gladly read your case.

There are obviously many causes for crime such as the amount of money in the trafficking of drugs and poverty. Both of these factors are much more directly linked to crime than non mandatory education. However, a lack of education often leads to poverty (people who receive an education receive higher paying jobs, and a city with a higher level of education will have a bigger economy) and while adult immigrants do not receive any education, people who grow up in BC and receive an education would be less likely to end up in poverty and driven to crime.

I think that the best point that you made is that "spending hours every day on taking in knowledge becomes and unaffordable luxury". This is completely true, and even in areas where education is mandatory, there are still people who do not attend, because they can't afford to spend their time learning instead of surviving. In the case of an education or life scenario, nobody is stupid enough to choose education. The people who are in these situations are not the people who would benefit from making education mandatory. The lower classes can't receive an education, and the upper classes are going to go for an education even if it's not mandatory (although making it mandatory would rope in a few stragglers). The people that would benefit the most from making education mandatory are the ones in between the lower classes and the upper classes, where spending time each day being educated would make life more difficult, but not impossible.

I do not have a rebuttal for your point on class barriers. Is this problem severe enough that being educated would not make any difference in people's lives?

In Ontario, the public education system is not mandatory if an education is being received outside of it. The non-public education system that is obvious to me is home-schooling, but this covers approximately the same topics and takes approximately the same amount of time, so I doubt this is what you are referring to. Could you be a little more clear, and provide some examples of non-public education?

I look forward to reading the new points that you bring to the table in favor of why mandatory education is detrimental, and your rebuttals of my own points.
Last edited by Fire on Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Stealing attack walruses was always fun, but since I started doing it using maple syrup, I've been unable to sneeze and fart at the same time.
User avatar
Fire
Jim Lad
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:36 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: Education!

Postby trillicat » Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:26 pm

Fire wrote:However, education can be directly linked to poverty ....

because they can't afford to spend their time leaning instead of surviving....

spending time each day being educated would make life more diffucult, but not impossible....



This is the second time I've seen you use this phrase about education being linked to poverty/crime. My dispute here is that you are making a claim that is opposite to your meaning. I believe what you are asserting is NOT that education is positively correlated but rather is negatively correlated with poverty/crime. Please take care with your phrasing as you may confuse those reading your position and thus diminish the strength/sense of it.

Also, proofreading would go a long way (not that you are the only one to allow spelling errors to go uncorrected in this thread; *pointed glance at Hurley*). Spellcheckers will not understand that you meant to use the word "learning" instead of "leaning", though admittedly I did laugh at the use of the word "leaning" since it almost makes sense in context--but they would catch the error in spelling "difficult".

</nit-pickiness>
User avatar
trillicat
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 2561
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:34 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Education!

Postby Fire » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:46 pm

Thanks for catching my mistakes, I've edited my post to fix them. Most of the time, I don't type more than a few sentences when I post in a forum, so I can quickly glance over to check for mistakes. I'll make sure to proof read my longer posts too.

Also, I must say that I am quite impressed with this forum for the unimpressed. Every post is legible, and contains few if any mistakes. I'm used to being one of the few people with correct grammar, and this is one of the few times when I've ever been called for making mistakes.
Stealing attack walruses was always fun, but since I started doing it using maple syrup, I've been unable to sneeze and fart at the same time.
User avatar
Fire
Jim Lad
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:36 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: Education!

Postby HurlyBurlesque » Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:36 am

Fire wrote:There are obviously many causes for crime such as the amount of money in the trafficking of drugs and poverty. Both of these factors are much more directly linked to crime than non mandatory education. However, education can be directly linked to poverty (people who receive an education receive higher paying jobs, and a city with a higher level of education will have a bigger economy) and while adult immigrants do not receive any education, people who grow up in BC and receive an education would be less likely to end up in poverty and driven to crime.

There are trade schools and diploma programmes which provide the accreditation and skills for particular professions, and those are certainly useful for combating poverty, but I don't see how this is relevant in a discussion of primary/secondary schooling. The actual boons of that form of schooling are very limited (it is simple information which - should any of it be necessary or desirable in an individual's life - can easily be attained without the aid of those institutions) and have little utility in assisting people in their lives, the correlation between highschool diplomas and higher income is a lot more visibly causal when you (as we've established) look at the underlying privilege involved both in the direct allocation of time and effort, and the operation of stability in the range of planning.

Fire wrote:The people that would benefit the most from making education mandatory are the ones in between the lower classes and the upper classes, where spending time each day being educated would make life more diffucult, but not impossible.

First, discussing this in terms of static classes is incredibly problematic. Perpetuation of these class delineations is one of the problems which undermine education entirely.
Second, if people have enough privilege that they are capable of going to school, and still see education as a negative thing which they wish to avoid, then there is a much more serious underlying problem than whether or not they can be bullied into sitting still long enough to be tested on the information they're not interested it. People who leave school because they hate it, -because it bores them, because it feels like a waste of time - generally aren't wildly insane. They aren't being unreasonable, the way that schools are run is mind-numbing, and erects "education" as an adversarial icon, so it is not surprising that there is a popular disgust with "education" despite the fact that acquiring an education in something you enjoy and desire to pursue is a deeply positive and pleasurable experience.
People who leave school because they have other interests, or who get away from school early enough and stay away long enough to realise the "not doing school" as a total summation of how they're spending their time is incredibly boring, tend to find things - individual, original things - to do with their time. They have to learn how to do them, but that's not nearly so onerous when they want to.

Fire wrote:I do not have a rebuttal for your point on class barriers. Is this problem severe enough that being educated would not make any difference in people's lives?

Of... course? Some people learn - in addition to maths and history - to suppress their accents, their aesthetics, the traces of their upbringing, and imitate the behaviours of privilege. It's incredibly difficult, a lot of people can't (particularly anyone visibly of colour, or audibly learning a second language, since these are frequently embedded in oppressive class distinctions) and, frankly, supporting it is problematic since it is necessitated by the prejudice which maintains those boundaries.
Without that "cleansing," working knowledge of the bovine intestinal system and a timeline of the Napoleonic wars rarely if ever supersedes "first impressions."

Fire wrote:In Ontario, the public education system is not mandatory if an education is being received outside of it. The non-public education system that is obvious to me is home-schooling, but this covers approximately the same topics and takes approximately the same amount of time, so I doubt this is what you are referring to. Could you be a little more clear, and provide some examples of non-public education?

In BC the law is that you must make a statement of intent to pursue "an educational programme," but the nature of that is entirely in your hands. My friend Bini apprenticed herself with several circuses and is now a successful aerialist, my housemate spent her time bumming around libraries and is now a published scholarly author and finishing her PhD, Rachel and Matthew spent most of their adolescence working their passage back and forth between here and Mombasa, Matthew was interested in the infrastructure and is now at Waterloo getting his degree in engineering to go back and get involved in city works, and Rachel is doing graduate work in linguistics on the basis of things about the Maa (Ma'a?) language that she learned while she was there. Devon tinkered with computers a lot and she's now doing complex things I don't remotely understand with databases, Kaeridwynn and Elise busked the island a lot as - respectively - a clown and fiddle player, and now Kaeridwynn is moving to Istanbul next month for a job with a roving clown troupe, and Elise is living in London as a sessional violin for a recording studio. Leo hung out at the Legion and got really into Swing dance, and now he performs and teaches all over the place (last I heard he was in Sweden I think), Jenny got really involved in orthodox jewish theology and moved to Jerusalem, Aria was a library brat like Annabelle, but she opted for running a sleepy little bookstore that she loves, Neal was a groupie at the slams here, and got involved with playing roadie for them, which turned into learning to mix, and then mixing on tours, which turned into mixing in studios, and he's recently started running a very small recording studio dedicated to alternative media (like spoken word). That sort of thing.


trillicat wrote:Also, proofreading would go a long way (not that you are the only one to allow spelling errors to go uncorrected in this thread; *pointed glance at Hurley*)

I hardly think fire's typing errors were horrendous, it was just a (very occasional) slip of the finger. I'm curious, though, what errors you saw in mine, since I've been back over what I've written and haven't seen any, so I'd probably profit from the knowledge.
I sell men back their worse suspicions:
that everything's for sale,
and piecemeal.

~Atwood
User avatar
HurlyBurlesque
Pirate Ghost
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:25 am

Re: Education!

Postby trillicat » Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:10 pm

HurlyBurlesque wrote: the correlation between highschool diplomas

...sitting still long enough to be tested on the information they're not interested it.....


trillicat wrote:Also, proofreading would go a long way (not that you are the only one to allow spelling errors to go uncorrected in this thread; *pointed glance at Hurley*)

I hardly think fire's typing errors were horrendous, it was just a (very occasional) slip of the finger. I'm curious, though, what errors you saw in mine, since I've been back over what I've written and haven't seen any, so I'd probably profit from the knowledge.



I do not believe Fire's typos were horrendous. My main thrust was for clarity; the typos were a secondary matter. But since you ask, I bolded the two errors I found in your post just now. There are others in previous posts, but to be honest, it's really tedious and unnecessary for me to locate and reproduce the others I have spotted. Just trust me that they were there (and not related to regional spelling differences)--and you're certainly not the only other person to make spelling errors or typos.
User avatar
trillicat
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 2561
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:34 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Education!

Postby Fire » Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:08 pm

I think that our discussion has shifted from a question of whether education can make a difference to the much more fundamental topic of the value of an education. I feel that the value of attending school from kindergarten to grade 12 is in the fundamental skills that a student develops. For example, they become better at communicating, doing research, and thinking efficiently as well as becoming more creative, and developing good habits such as punctuality and respect for superiors. All these can undoubtedly be worked on outside of public education, but school is designed to instill these qualities, while other types of training can easily be lacking in one area or another.

Once we go into the actual content covered in schooling, more benefits can be seen. School provides a good base from which people can train to do what they want with their lives. I appreciate the quantity of your examples of people who did not receive schooling, but a I see that a common link between many of them is that they are dangerously specialized. In the U.S. the average worker switches careers 3 to 5 times in their life, and I imagine it would be approximately the same thing in Canada. Although I can't address the specific curriculum, school provides opportunities for a wide range of careers, compared to the few offered by the methods of education that you addressed.
Stealing attack walruses was always fun, but since I started doing it using maple syrup, I've been unable to sneeze and fart at the same time.
User avatar
Fire
Jim Lad
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:36 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: Education!

Postby HurlyBurlesque » Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:17 pm

I think it's really important to touch on a distinction in terminology that you've been blurring. Education is, in my opinion, fucking wonderful; the process and pursuit of careful study, scholarly rigour, and the ability to contribute to the current discourse for an area of study which a comprehensive understanding provides are all desperately important elements in our intellectual lives. To say that this discussion is centred on "the value of an education" is crudely inaccurate. What I have very little time or patience for is the particular curricula, methods, and culture of our current public-education system. I think that one of the things which make the school system we employ so toxic is the social implication of it being compulsory (and apparently that compulsion is more explicit in some places), but I also think that the structure itself is deeply flawed. I am happy to continue in a discussion of this, educational theory is always fascinating, but the only reason I referenced the fact that it can be controverted was to locate this system as one which is potentially (and often experienced as) problematic. If it were the pinnacle of all ideals and fundamentally necessary for any aspiration to be a functional person, then sure, we can classify people who make other choices as being too self destructive to be trusted in that decision. Since that's not an accurate portrayal of our institutions, treating every choice that excludes it as invalid is fairly troubling.
I sell men back their worse suspicions:
that everything's for sale,
and piecemeal.

~Atwood
User avatar
HurlyBurlesque
Pirate Ghost
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:25 am

Re: Education!

Postby trillicat » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:06 pm

To be honest, there's a part of me that keeps wishing we had a more old-school system that was largely a matter of apprentices and master craftsmen. However unlike in times past, there would be (theoretically) less pressure to apprentice to a family member and more freedom of choice. But...I don't really see it happening. And besides, a LOT of people out there who are excellent in their trade are terrible educators.
User avatar
trillicat
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 2561
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:34 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Education!

Postby Rossignol » Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:47 am

The main problem with the public school system in America is just that; it is public and government run. I posit that this is a vastly inefficient method of schooling, when a free market solution so easily exists. Instead of forcing everyone to comply with arbitrary bureaucratic standards of education, it would be much simpler to allow a fully privatized school system to flourish.

In a private school system, the students who clearly do not want to be in class, do not have to be. By removing the government mandate on education, much of the dead weight would be cut out of the schools, allowing the committed students to learn much more effectively. Furthermore, if families did not have to pay the outrageously high taxes that fund public schools, they would easily have the money to spend on a private institution. Of course, there may be some families who would be unable to pay for these schools, which would be unfortunate. However, this problem would again be naturally solved by a private system. If a school saw promise in a student, then, much like a college, the school would offer grant money or a scholarship.

A private system has more advantages. I'm sure many of you are aware of the constant debate to teach Christian ideas and beliefs in school. I believe that everyone should have their own choice of religion, and it should not be forced on others. Accordingly, separate institutions would exist to cater to each demographic. Those who wish to teach Christian ideology would be free to, and those who prefer other religions, or no religion at all, would also have their choice.

A fully privatized school system of sorts is being pioneered in Post-Katrina New Orleans right now. Despite the tragedy of Katrina, there is some hope that has arisen there. Following the advice of Milton Friedman, a charter school system has been established there. These charter schools act like private schools, but receive a government subsidy. These charter schools have been thriving as a result of the absence of government intrusion. The system clearly works, and if the private college industry is any indication, the desire for private education institutions already exists. The only question is, why haven't we started yet?
Rossignol
Jim Lad
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:30 am

Re: Education!

Postby HurlyBurlesque » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:22 am

I don't see how it's remotely helpful to accept the structure of our system as it stands with the only tweak being that those benefits it does provide be contingent on individual expense. I am quite unabashedly a socialist, but even most hardcore capitalists baulk at making a child's access to information contingent on their parents fiscal priorities/resources. Having public resources (publicly maintained archives, lending libraries, community centre programmes, &c.) which allow a minimum access to knowledge and learning are crucial, providing resources as a standard of social discourse can only ever be positive (and if we had an education system which operated with a similar ethic to those institutions I would be thrilled). My dispute with the current system is that we are uncritically perpetuating an institution which was designed under wildly different circumstances for entirely different ends, and it's not very good at what we're trying to reimagine the whole purpose of "public education" to be. Were it socially constituted as an interesting and optional resource then I would simply find it's inefficacy in its new rôle rather tragic. Since it is culturally (and sometimes institutionally) enforced as a mandatory and necessary process, it becomes much more troubling. None of the problems with it, however, seem like things that would improve were the burden of its expense focused at enrolment.
I sell men back their worse suspicions:
that everything's for sale,
and piecemeal.

~Atwood
User avatar
HurlyBurlesque
Pirate Ghost
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:25 am

Re: Education!

Postby trillicat » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:38 pm

Rossignol wrote:The main problem with the public school system in America is just that; it is public and government run. I posit that this is a vastly inefficient method of schooling, when a free market solution so easily exists. Instead of forcing everyone to comply with arbitrary bureaucratic standards of education, it would be much simpler to allow a fully privatized school system to flourish.

In a private school system, the students who clearly do not want to be in class, do not have to be. By removing the government mandate on education, much of the dead weight would be cut out of the schools, allowing the committed students to learn much more effectively. Furthermore, if families did not have to pay the outrageously high taxes that fund public schools, they would easily have the money to spend on a private institution. Of course, there may be some families who would be unable to pay for these schools, which would be unfortunate. However, this problem would again be naturally solved by a private system. If a school saw promise in a student, then, much like a college, the school would offer grant money or a scholarship.

A private system has more advantages. I'm sure many of you are aware of the constant debate to teach Christian ideas and beliefs in school. I believe that everyone should have their own choice of religion, and it should not be forced on others. Accordingly, separate institutions would exist to cater to each demographic. Those who wish to teach Christian ideology would be free to, and those who prefer other religions, or no religion at all, would also have their choice.

A fully privatized school system of sorts is being pioneered in Post-Katrina New Orleans right now. Despite the tragedy of Katrina, there is some hope that has arisen there. Following the advice of Milton Friedman, a charter school system has been established there. These charter schools act like private schools, but receive a government subsidy. These charter schools have been thriving as a result of the absence of government intrusion. The system clearly works, and if the private college industry is any indication, the desire for private education institutions already exists. The only question is, why haven't we started yet?



I'm pretty sure this would have the effect of making virtually everyone miserable in a very short span of time. There are too many consequences of this setup that you are ignoring. Are you, by chance, a libertarian? This sounds like a very libertarian viewpoint. Brash and superficially logical but wholly failing to take into account how it will affect anyone but the individual with that opinion.

And charter schools are wildly different than private schools. The only distinction from the current system is that they are allowed more freedom in their methods of educating.
User avatar
trillicat
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 2561
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:34 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Education!

Postby GregTheAsshole » Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:12 pm

Rossignol wrote:The system clearly works, and if the private college industry is any indication, the desire for private education institutions already exists. The only question is, why haven't we started yet?


Hahahahahahahahaha, I get it, a joke. For a second I thought you were serious when you said that the private college system was a good idea. That was a good one.
Image Image Image Image
I'm not actually Greg the asshole...
the Decadent Life
User avatar
GregTheAsshole
Pirate Ghost
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:27 pm

Re: Education!

Postby HurlyBurlesque » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:59 am

it saddens me that a Libertarian would look on this system, and see the gifting of education as the greater crime than the domination of a child's will, or a parent's.

How does it not horrify us that we are pressed to give away our children, send them from us each day, again, and again, until the days make months and years and every day for such many hours that they may return weary to us when their work is done, and all our time we should have had to love them has been swallowed. And for what? That experts may properly instruct them in two times two? I know the material they would have given, and what I do not yet is not so hard I cannot learn, it's easy stuff - easy enough for a child, sure - yet must I not be the one to share this? Must I bide without and meet my child new after twelve years absence? The thought of it cracks my heart.
I sell men back their worse suspicions:
that everything's for sale,
and piecemeal.

~Atwood
User avatar
HurlyBurlesque
Pirate Ghost
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:25 am

Re: Education!

Postby GregTheAsshole » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:33 pm

HurlyBurlesque wrote:it saddens me that a Libertarian would look on this system, and see the gifting of education as the greater crime than the domination of a child's will, or a parent's.

How does it not horrify us that we are pressed to give away our children, send them from us each day, again, and again, until the days make months and years and every day for such many hours that they may return weary to us when their work is done, and all our time we should have had to love them has been swallowed. And for what? That experts may properly instruct them in two times two? I know the material they would have given, and what I do not yet is not so hard I cannot learn, it's easy stuff - easy enough for a child, sure - yet must I not be the one to share this? Must I bide without and meet my child new after twelve years absence? The thought of it cracks my heart.


First off, there's always the option of home-schooling your kids, the problem with that is, lost people need to work to feed, clothe and house their family, so they don't have the time for this. The fact that people have to work also makes the option of not sending their kids to school basically impossible because they would have to find something else to occupy their children from 9-5 from Monday to Friday.

I'm not sure if the libertarian remark was directed at me, but regardless, I'll respond to it. I am an anarchist, or libertarian if you'd like, but that doesn't mean I pretend I'm living in an anarchist society, because I realize that that is both counter-productive and dangerous for myself and those around me. The way our society works, and I'd like to point out that I think this is a bad thing, we have to go to school just to learn how to properly function with our "fellow citizens". We live in capitalist countries where having a university degree becomes more and more important everyday, to the point where it is basically a necessity unless you want to work for minimum wage in some soul-sucking job. I don't by any means think our education system is perfect, or even anywhere close, but I think it's extremely important, if we want to prevent complete societal breakdown, that kids go to school.

That said, school does not have to be about...
HurlyBurlesque wrote:the domination of a child's will, or a parent's."
School can be about learning what you want to learn, learning what interests you and learning what you think is important to your life. When I say that education would be the cornerstone of an anarchist society I'm talking about it in the broadest sense possible; everything from child rearing to listening to music.
Image Image Image Image
I'm not actually Greg the asshole...
the Decadent Life
User avatar
GregTheAsshole
Pirate Ghost
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:27 pm

Re: Education!

Postby HurlyBurlesque » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:02 am

For the record, I stand by the sentiment of what I said in that last message. The syntax, however, was the product of WAY too much vody and limonata. Sorry about that.

GregTheAsshole wrote:First off, there's always the option of home-schooling your kids, the problem with that is, lost people need to work to feed, clothe and house their family, so they don't have the time for this. The fact that people have to work also makes the option of not sending their kids to school basically impossible because they would have to find something else to occupy their children from 9-5 from Monday to Friday.

Everyone has different ways in which they integrate their children into their lives. Most people - regardless of schooling plans - find ways to care for children in their infancy years despite work schedule, so it's not an unheard-of problem to be present and responsible in a child's life. Since school isn't particularly popular in my immediate community, I have plenty of anecdotal responses for how people do address the practical considerations attendant on taking an active role in raising their children. By the time kids are reaching school age there are a Lot of options for things that are child-directed: Community programmes which follow a particular interest that a child is taken with, co-parenting among friends who work different shift-hours (very popular with my friends), or taking jobs which aren't anathema to the existence of children.

GregTheAsshole wrote:I'm not sure if the libertarian remark was directed at me, but regardless, I'll respond to it. I am an anarchist, or libertarian if you'd like, but that doesn't mean I pretend I'm living in an anarchist society, because I realize that that is both counter-productive and dangerous for myself and those around me.

Those words are very rarely used interchangeably in my experience. I was addressing the nightingale who was expressing explicitly clichéd "Libertarian" views on public works and services. While Libertarianism is - in the broadest sense - an anti-socialist extreme form of anarchism, the people who are usually recognised - and self-identified - as proponents of anarchism (Emma Goldman, David Graeber, &c.) have little in common with people like Rossignol.

GregTheAsshole wrote:The way our society works, and I'd like to point out that I think this is a bad thing, we have to go to school just to learn how to properly function with our "fellow citizens".

Can you expand on this? It seems wildly contrary to my experience...

GregTheAsshole wrote:We live in capitalist countries where having a university degree becomes more and more important everyday, to the point where it is basically a necessity unless you want to work for minimum wage in some soul-sucking job.

If you replace "school" with "doing nothing," then certainly. Our options are not binary in this regard, however. A lot of people do fascinating and individually satisfying things instead of attending primary, secondary, and even post-secondary education.

GregTheAsshole wrote:I don't by any means think our education system is perfect, or even anywhere close, but I think it's extremely important, if we want to prevent complete societal breakdown, that kids go to school.

What does this "societal breakdown" look like to you? What differentiates our current society from every previous incarnation where formalised education hasn't been pervasive or mandatory?

GregTheAsshole wrote:That said, school does not have to be about...
HurlyBurlesque wrote:the domination of a child's will, or a parent's."

I wasn't referring to the fact of school's existence, but to the erasure of choice in making it mandatory.

GregTheAsshole wrote:School can be about learning what you want to learn, learning what interests you and learning what you think is important to your life. When I say that education would be the cornerstone of an anarchist society I'm talking about it in the broadest sense possible; everything from child rearing to listening to music.

That sounds much more like a comprehensive definition of what "education" can/does mean. I'm advocating for the choice to build our own educations in this sense, which is - in many crucial ways - denied in the current form of our formalised system.
I sell men back their worse suspicions:
that everything's for sale,
and piecemeal.

~Atwood
User avatar
HurlyBurlesque
Pirate Ghost
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:25 am

Re: Education!

Postby trillicat » Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:27 pm

http://notalwaysright.com/thats-like-mean/213

The sick thing is that this probably works at least some of the time.
User avatar
trillicat
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 2561
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:34 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Education!

Postby Gallium_Arsenide » Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:17 am

trillicat wrote:"

Meanwhile children are watching video games and television and texting and playing around on the Internet. They have come to expect their world to be full of instant gratification. Even I am guilty of that as an adult, texting shopping list items to my husband to put on our shopping list spreadsheet, rather than relying on my own memory. Telephone numbers are stored in contact lists, so we no longer need to know the phone numbers of our friends and family. We want to know something, we google it and learn it instantly on Wikipedia or About.com. Knowledge retention is becoming obsolete as we outsource of cognitive functioning.

It's a completely different world than it was 150 years ago. We have so many more things TO know. Mechanics of cars, boats, planes, and various other structures. Engineering and physics and biology and chemistry have all had tremendous leaps in development. We have computers and wireless technologies of every kind. So much to learn and remember...I suppose we have a finite capacity for knowledge...or at least it's easier to believe that than to really strive to learn it all.



This is a pretty delayed response to the above, but I think it's one worth making.

I don't for a second deny that TV and Videogames provide gratification, some of it delivered much more "instantly" than was previously possible, but from whence comes the idea that all videogames are more or less equivalent to that one from Star Trek: The Next Generation when the aliens of the week tried to use it to take over the ship (before Wesley saved the day by way of Data)? For the not-so-geeky, it was a "game" that got easier the more passive the user allowed him or herself to become, and it was actually not a game but some kind of endorphin-powered mind control device. Now, it's just recently become accepted that videogames have an appreciable effect on hand-eye co-ordination (I believe there was a study of surgeons published in the last year or so), but at this point I digress. Success in videogames is not handed to the player on a silver platter. Sure, modern games are less difficult than those released in the early days of gaming, but I think that's one of gaming's growing pains as it attempts to adapt to the mass market. Back when 'gamer' more or less meant 'hardcore', people would play your insurmountably difficult game. Now, of course, you have to make a product that is palatable to people who aren't full-time gamers, people who at least believe they have other (better?) things to do with their time than try to beat Morgoloth the Really Bad and his +12 Mace of Reload Last Save. Digressions, digressions!

Thing is, games do require problem-solving skills to beat. They require the player to manage resources (be they troops, health and ammunition, mana, or wood/stone/food/gold/money/what-have-you). Many require some degree of communication and teamwork to play effectively (although that's one area in which gamers as a broad group really need to pick up some slack!). There are videogames requiring every level of commitment to play effectively, from Peggle (the game with the pegs and the balls) to Falcon 4.0 (an accurate virtual replication of the experience of flying an F-16 Falcon).

Games are great at holding our attention, because - of course - they push the reward buttons in our brains. We level up, we get new loot, and so on. What isn't so good at holding a kid's attention span (as seems to be the claim here) is traditional schooling. But hang on a moment. "Levelling up"? Replace that with "Graduating", and have a look at the basic structure of a videogame as compared to that of school:

Video Game: Challenge -> Player Input <-> Success/Failure -> (success) REWARD! -> Next Challenge

School: Assignment -> Student Input <-> Success/Failure -> (success) REWARD! -> Next Assignment

Call me out for oversimplifying if you think I'm so far wrong about this. Now, one of these two things is like friggin' CANDY, and the other a lot of people see as a chore, so what gives? If your mental image of videogaming is informed by something like GTA, you might well ask, "How can a teacher make a history lesson as captivating to his or her audience as beating up hookers?". I venture that the answer to such a question has to involve a change in perspective. Look at who the actors are in a history class: they could be suffragettes, soldiers, presidents, generals, they could be anything. Who aren't they? The students! In GTA, YOU get to beat up the hooker. In history class, some short dead dude gets exiled to an island. To wit, here's something you might hear in a history class:

"Can anyone tell me what Hannibal chose to do next?"

Here's something you won't hear, in all likelihood:

"What would YOU do next?"

Now, I'll admit that putting little Timmy in control of imaginary war elephants is not really what you'd call educational in and of itself. What putting little Timmy in control of imaginary war elephants in the classroom DOES do is something that games (not just video) have been doing for a very, VERY long time: creating a simulated, consequence-free environment in which one can compare his or her tactical acumen to the great generals of history. Here's where the education starts happening, because now little Timmy's challenge isn't "remember what happened so I can score well on a test", it's "use my knowledge of history gained up to this point to concoct a strategy that will maximize my chances against the Romans". What you have given Timmy is more or less the same challenge that was given to Hannibal himself. If Timmy was bored before, the problem was not with history, nor was it with Timmy. History is a series of FASCINATING challenges that humans have had to face. Timmy is human, and can totally face challenges, except until now he has been given boring ones, dull ones. Maybe now he'll display some interest in history, because of course it is VITAL to his success in the project that he know and understand it, and not just because he will have to regurgitate it onto paper. No, Timmy now might want to know how he is feeding his imaginary army, or how the romans are feeding theirs. He'll want to know what terrain (if any) favoured which army, which generals were the most successful when delegated a task. Of course a grade schooler might not think of these things of their own accord, but that's why games come with manuals and written rules to let you know the sort of factors you're likely to have to contend with.

Talk about the Punic wars for hours in class, and you'll probably have a mostly-bored class with a few interested parties paying rapt attention because they're genuinely interested in this sort of thing. Teach a class the Punic wars AS A GRAND STRATEGY GAME, and maybe you'd turn a few more heads. Heck, make it a videogame and they could even play it at home. I'm pretty sure there are more than a few games already out there which simulate the Punic wars, in fact. With one stroke, you have gone from derided pastime to educational assistant! Come classtime, students could discuss their favourite strategies from the night before, comparing and contrasting how well the games they played reflected the actual tactical and strategic considerations which shaped the real-world wars. This is actually pretty educational, assuming it would happen anything like this: you've got the real history, but on top of that you have your students thinking about strategies, exploiting mathematical systems to achieve optimal results, creating systems to simulate real life...you've gone from plain' ol history to history/math/computer science, all thanks to the immense potential of the videogame!


You are right, trillicat, to say that things are different from how they were 150 years ago, but the existence of new technologies should not make the prospect of education more daunting, in fact quite the opposite! We have technologies that can enhance learning that no one in the past could have anticipated, and when we fail to use them to that end, we blame what IS being done with them rather than make a concerted effort to overhaul our outdated education systems!


I owe large debts of gratitude to the theories of Seymour Papert, and also that guy who wrote Everything Bad is Good for You, which more or less formed a basis for the opinions expressed in this post.
Image
User avatar
Gallium_Arsenide
Jim Lad
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:55 pm
Location: Halifax, NS

Re: Education!

Postby trillicat » Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:39 pm

http://schoolosophy.blogspot.com/

Schoolosophy is a group that was created with the idea in mind of discussing the best methods for educating today's youth. Given that most of us who are contributors to the blog are several years out of college at this point, I thought that I might share this link with you all who are, by and large, considerably younger. Many of you are still minors or only just recently out of that phase. I'd be interested to see if you had any contributions to make to the group.

If you are interested in becoming a part of the Schoolosophy blog, please message me, however you ARE able to comment without having to become a blog author.
User avatar
trillicat
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 2561
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:34 pm
Location: Florida

Previous

Return to Quorum (Serious Discussions)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron