Is education failing us?

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » General Discussion
  3. » Is education failing us?

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Vasska
 
Reply Sat 17 May, 2008 03:51 pm
Education has always, and will always be a hot topic of discussion.
Education by all means is important, but I feel that our Educational system is failing us.
I'm speaking of my Dutch educational system, but probably hit the same points as American,
Swedish or British educational systems, for they are all western.


Just recently I bought the book: Mathematics: From the Birth of Numbers by Jan Gullburg (Swedish)
and in the Foreword of it Peter Hilton made a remark that mathematics is only trained, and not educated.
By this he meant that people are learned how to do arithmetic's (multiply, divide,
and basic introduction to mathematics) but not to understand them thoroughly. Thinking of
that I recognized it with a lot of subjects given in the educational system, and felt betrayed by it.

I feel strongly that this system feeds us the information, but does not give us a framework
to expand on, it does not learn us to think for ourselves. And does not warn you about the
consequences of Ignorance, I rather feel it is supporting it nowadays.

It feeds us on how to divide numbers, spell words correct and give us some
general information on a number of things, if we are lucky we also learn a
second or third language in the process of high school. If you went to religious
school you might have learned about religious aspects, and if your childeren were
to go to school in Kansas, America they will be taught creationism.

Philosophy can in simplified meaning learn childeren to question things and form
a framework which can be build upon, to know from the very beginning that knowledge
is better than bliss ignorance.

Do other forum members feel betrayed by their educational systems, for not
teaching on how to think, and create understanding, but instead learn you
only the basics, and to blindly follow them. Only to leave it up to yourself
to decide whether you pursue knowledge or ignorance.
 
de budding
 
Reply Sat 17 May, 2008 04:20 pm
@Vasska,
Yep, the problem you're referring to was started close to home-at the University of Cambridge... THE WRITTEN EXAM!!!

Out of laziness (they call it practicality), they teach us a few choice facts (the syllabus) and then test us at the end of the year to see if we have remembered. O' how I wish I could attend any of the ancient Greek schools of thought.

Once you get to Uni it should

But I am a little drunk and a little angry right now so I'm probably over reacting. My primary school life was a blessing that taught me a lot, my hand writing was never legible yet I loved to write stories about pigs, the 1 teacher who had the patience to decipher it-apparently, found himself pleasantly surprised by the content. The persistence and dedication of that teacher and the fact that he was the only male teacher at our school, coupled with; my personal philosophical outlook and the outrage you stated are the main reasons I will be starting my PGCE in 1 and a bit years to become a primary school teacher.

I started out with a nice idealistic view of education; I think the thread is about somewhere 'learning to learn' or something. But the long and short of it is, you can't please every one and it's complicated... I think the best bet is to work with students on a personal level, Aedes said a lot of interesting points about the relationship and approach he takes with his med students and I find it all relevant.

I'll try not to let you down when it's my turn to teach Smile.

Well I'm rambling,
Dan.
 
Arjen
 
Reply Sat 17 May, 2008 05:33 pm
@de budding,
Vasska, Smile

I recognise your frustrations unfourtunately. I am from Holland too by the way. pleased to make your acquaintance.

Quote:

Philosophy can in simplified meaning learn childeren to question things and form
a framework which can be build upon, to know from the very beginning that knowledge is better than bliss ignorance.

So...I guess that Socrtaes wasn't blissfull then? Wink

De budding, Smile

I think I should swim over so we could give those Cambridge-ians a good punishmunt for their written exams. Smile

p.s. what is a PGCE
 
Vasska
 
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 02:06 am
@Arjen,
Arjen wrote:
Vasska, Smile

I recognise your frustrations unfourtunately. I am from Holland too by the way. pleased to make your acquaintance.


So...I guess that Socrtaes wasn't blissfull then? Wink

De budding, Smile

I think I should swim over so we could give those Cambridge-ians a good punishmunt for their written exams. Smile

p.s. what is a PGCE


I haven't read much about Socrates yet, except for an essay by Anthony Gottlieb, and found Socrates inspiring for he knew how to trigger people's mind and always formulated the questions that were needed. Certainly in philosophy much more important than knowledge for it can be used to gain knowledge.

A PGCE by the way is practically the same as PABO in our country. What school were you at by the way? I'm starting next fall at De Haagse Hogeschool. (Dutch always sounds so stupid in English context)
 
Vasska
 
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 02:17 am
@de budding,
de_budding wrote:
Yep, the problem you're referring to was started close to home-at the University of Cambridge... THE WRITTEN EXAM!!!

Out of laziness (they call it practicality), they teach us a few choice facts (the syllabus) and then test us at the end of the year to see if we have remembered. O' how I wish I could attend any of the ancient Greek schools of thought.


I'm curious to why this system still stands today, for it is flawed.

Quote:
Once you get to Uni it should
I would not state that University should be elitist again, however I think the people you talk about, available in every University near you, should not even be accepted. Fun is great, but burning money and ruining the educational system is to much of a sacrifice to make.

Quote:
But I am a little drunk and a little angry right now so I'm probably over reacting. My primary school life was a blessing that taught me a lot, my hand writing was never legible yet I loved to write stories about pigs, the 1 teacher who had the patience to decipher it-apparently, found himself pleasantly surprised by the content. The persistence and dedication of that teacher and the fact that he was the only male teacher at our school, coupled with; my personal philosophical outlook and the outrage you stated are the main reasons I will be starting my PGCE in 1 and a bit years to become a primary school teacher.
I've never had that kind of teacher, I always saw them chose the more popular kids instead to give compliments and attention to, maybe because if they had them under control the controlled the mass.

Quote:
I started out with a nice idealistic view of education; I think the thread is about somewhere 'learning to learn' or something. But the long and short of it is, you can't please every one and it's complicated... I think the best bet is to work with students on a personal level, Aedes said a lot of interesting points about the relationship and approach he takes with his med students and I find it all relevant.
Starting out young and keeping groups together, instead of separating them in dumb, moderate and smart as done in our country, can solve a lot of problems. The will to learn can be triggered at young age, but often they are to busy teaching people on how to write, read and calculate.
The ideal educational system cannot be made, but we can do way better, for we have done it in the past too.
 
Arjen
 
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 02:37 am
@Vasska,
Vasska wrote:
I haven't read much about Socrates yet, except for an essay by Anthony Gottlieb, and found Socrates inspiring for he knew how to trigger people's mind and always formulated the questions that were needed. Certainly in philosophy much more important than knowledge for it can be used to gain knowledge.

A PGCE by the way is practically the same as PABO in our country. What school were you at by the way? I'm starting next fall at De Haagse Hogeschool. (Dutch always sounds so stupid in English context)

I study in Utrecht. I bet every school has the above problems though. Smile

p.s. I love the old geezer. He is an idealist Smile Perhaps you should try to read some Plato. You are going going to meet him often in your studies anyway. Smile
 
Vasska
 
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 05:43 am
@Arjen,
Arjen wrote:
I study in Utrecht. I bet every school has the above problems though. Smile

p.s. I love the old geezer. He is an idealist Smile Perhaps you should try to read some Plato. You are going going to meet him often in your studies anyway. Smile

I was talking more talking about high school (vmbo, havo & vwo) and the ruined vmbo and MBO. HBO, and university still stand, but for how long.

I'm reading "The Great Philosophers" which is a book complied from 12 essays about some of the philosophers (Socrates, Plato, Descartes, Spinoza, Berkelu, Hume, Marx, Russell, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Popper and Turing) Gives you a fair review of what they are about, and saves you some time finding out which philosophers are the one's for you. Only read about Socrates and Plato so far.
 
de budding
 
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 05:57 am
@Vasska,
[quote=Vasska]I'm curious to why this system still stands today, for it is flawed.[/quote]

Well the written exam was only an improvement of the Latin oral exam (I think), but there is a richer history than you think, and maybe a lot of answers can be found there. There was a BBC Radio 4 series on the history of exams entitled 'Turn Over Your Papers... Now!' I've searched like a madman for it, but to no avail. But I will keep trying, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b008chl2 the link has a little bit of information about each episode, for example multiple choice started out in the US military.

[quote=Vasska]I've never had that kind of teacher, I always saw them chose the more popular kids instead to give compliments and attention to, maybe because if they had them under control the controlled the mass.[/quote]

Well, I think 'popularity' has a habit of overshadowing the importance of knowledge and intelligence. A 'popular' student when I was at primary school (age span was 4-11 year old) seemed to be the one with most 'freedom', the one who could play outside when and where she wanted, or who could display independent traits like this. I don't really remember a clothing trend and we all listened to the same music any way. So popularity seemed to be awarded to the rebellious, headstrong and 'free' (from parental wraith), if only they knew the value of true freedom, then they would recognize intelligence and understanding as crucial to freedom rather than values imposed by school, values of conformity, values of 'uncool'.

[quote=Vasska]The will to learn can be triggered at young age[/quote]

I have yet to see a child who wants to learn, how does one go about encouraging this? And how does dividing the children into mental abilities hinder the process? I before discussed how I felt that Primary education would struggle if w couldn't teach the students to choose first, therefore granting them the ability to enroll themselves in school, so to speak.

Dan.
 
Vasska
 
Reply Mon 19 May, 2008 01:09 pm
@de budding,
de_budding wrote:
Well the written exam was only an improvement of the Latin oral exam (I think), but there is a richer history than you think, and maybe a lot of answers can be found there. There was a BBC Radio 4 series on the history of exams entitled 'Turn Over Your Papers... Now!' I've searched like a madman for it, but to no avail. But I will keep trying, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b008chl2 the link has a little bit of information about each episode, for example multiple choice started out in the US military.

I think the worst mistake has been multiple choice instead of coming up with the answer by yourself; open questions. Multiple Choice leaves you a 25% choice to be right, open question really ask you to think about your answer. Many people these days learn on basis of multiple choice.

I tried to find (by less legal channels) to find the radioshow, I just like you came up with nothing. The iPlayer of the BBC leaves the show uncatalogued.


Quote:
Well, I think 'popularity' has a habit of overshadowing the importance of knowledge and intelligence. A 'popular' student when I was at primary school (age span was 4-11 year old) seemed to be the one with most 'freedom', the one who could play outside when and where she wanted, or who could display independent traits like this. I don't really remember a clothing trend and we all listened to the same music any way. So popularity seemed to be awarded to the rebellious, headstrong and 'free' (from parental wraith), if only they knew the value of true freedom, then they would recognize intelligence and understanding as crucial to freedom rather than values imposed by school, values of conformity, values of 'uncool'.


I think we have been stereotyped; being smart is stupid and being popular and often dumber is cool. I'm afraid it's a tough nut to crack.

Quote:
I have yet to see a child who wants to learn, how does one go about encouraging this? And how does dividing the children into mental abilities hinder the process? I before discussed how I felt that Primary education would struggle if w couldn't teach the students to choose first, therefore granting them the ability to enroll themselves in school, so to speak.


There have been studies by.... (looking frantic for my source material) Robert Rosenthal. He took all the grades from kids, knew whether they were dumb, average and smart, and gave them tests. He however falsified the test results (without knowledge of the kids and teachers) and gave some of the "dumb" kids 20 IQ point extra, resulting in amazement and extra stimulation. New tests were given and the grades from the first (the unfalsified) and the second were compared, resulting in higher grades for the "dumb" kids.
We should always encourage kids to express themselves and never to disturb them in their creative ways of learning. Let a kid draw outside the lines.
 
de budding
 
Reply Mon 19 May, 2008 03:26 pm
@Vasska,
Could you direct me to some related research online? Sound interesting.

Thanks for the post,
Dan.
 
Arjen
 
Reply Mon 19 May, 2008 09:34 pm
@de budding,
Vasska, such workings are well known to most of us. It is called the pygmalion effect. It is a necessary evil when one wishes to deal with education in the way we are dealing with it now. I think it is proving ietzsche's point on guilt: that it does not matter what one does, but what one thinks of it and that just this behavior was most likely the desired one. That tells us something of the world I'm afraid. In the world we live in everything has a "use" or else it is not important and often shunned.
 
Vasska
 
Reply Tue 20 May, 2008 02:20 am
@Arjen,
de_budding wrote:
Could you direct me to some related research online? Sound interesting.

Thanks for the post,
Dan.


Some of what I found;

Effects of the structure of classmates’ perceptions of peers’ academic abilities on children’s perceived cognitive competence, peer acceptance, and engagement
Pygmalion effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (As Arjen pointed out)
Robert Rosenthal

Not much online material though.


Arjen wrote:
Vasska, such workings are well known to most of us. It is called the pygmalion effect. It is a necessary evil when one wishes to deal with education in the way we are dealing with it now. I think it is proving ietzsche's point on guilt: that it does not matter what one does, but what one thinks of it and that just this behavior was most likely the desired one. That tells us something of the world I'm afraid. In the world we live in everything has a "use" or else it is not important and often shunned.


I just noticed it's called the pygmalion effect, but it has been reported and described by before mentioned professor and Lenore Jacobson.

Will read some more about the subject later on.
 
de budding
 
Reply Tue 20 May, 2008 04:47 am
@Vasska,
Well I am going to be the a very well prepared student teacher me thinks Smile .
I wanted to study my PGCE at the University of Cambridge but kind of gave up on that dream this year, but if my interview consists of a broad discussion of subjects of this nature... how can they resist! Very Happy

Thanks for the links guys.
 
Arjen
 
Reply Tue 20 May, 2008 09:04 am
@de budding,
psst, Vasska, it's ArjEn. Very Happy
 
Vasska
 
Reply Tue 20 May, 2008 10:16 am
@Arjen,
de_budding wrote:
Well I am going to be the a very well prepared student teacher me thinks Smile .
I wanted to study my PGCE at the University of Cambridge but kind of gave up on that dream this year, but if my interview consists of a broad discussion of subjects of this nature... how can they resist! Very Happy

Thanks for the links guys.

Hope it works out for you.


Arjen wrote:
psst, Vasska, it's ArjEn. Very Happy

My bad, since you mentioned it I'd better fix it.
 
urangutan
 
Reply Wed 21 May, 2008 07:30 am
@Vasska,
Imagine failing mathematics simply because you did not show your working out of the equation on paper. The education systems are designed to eliminate free thinkers, employ children from their parents lives or work most generally, for a great many years, fodder out paper jockeys to conglomerates everywhere, all the while churning outsiders of their ways toward the menial labour entensive jobs of the world. Few outcasts continue through the system or slip through but are found within themselves during latter schooling or pocketed amongst new tribes that fringe societal living.
 
Vasska
 
Reply Wed 21 May, 2008 12:06 pm
@urangutan,
urangutan wrote:
Imagine failing mathematics simply because you did not show your working out of the equation on paper. The education systems are designed to eliminate free thinkers, employ children from their parents lives or work most generally, for a great many years, fodder out paper jockeys to conglomerates everywhere, all the while churning outsiders of their ways toward the menial labour entensive jobs of the world. Few outcasts continue through the system or slip through but are found within themselves during latter schooling or pocketed amongst new tribes that fringe societal living.


I don't think i can agree with you on this points:

The educational system, as flawed as it may be, does not by design eliminate free thinkers but rather does not have the capacity to support it. It has to chose for either the masses or a few select. I think by logic it makes the good choice to go for the masses. How sad it might be for some people.
Failing to turn into your assignment - let's forget the valid reasons to do so for a moment - shows your character as human being; you did not do your work, you are not committed to your task given. This must, if done many times, be discouraged, in the educational system this is failing and retry next year (or dropout). I am amazed at how many people fail to turn their papers in and waste a seat for someone who would be a good student.

My view of the problems are as followed;

  • We are taught certain things, like arithmetics, reading and writing, for otherwise i would not be talking here in either my own language or English as my second language. However it dismisses a though system to be learned from the very beginning something we might call logic or otherwise. This system i feel is missing. As de_budding already pointed out, it has been done in old Greek schools but is missing nowadays.
  • Philosophy in simplified form can be used at primary and eventually secondary school to give an idea of thought, I am not the person to say what should be taught, but i am confident that others will know it. This Philosophy should be constructive rather than just another graded subject, however to keep as stimulants it should at least be grated at times to make sure people start to skip the lessons.
  • The Pygmalion effect makes for problematic for kids that are less than other, making them fall behind and.. well we all have either been their or witnessed it certain forms. Social education should be another one of these things that should be reintroduced because it shows to be needed.
  • Kids these days are distracted by almost everything, multitasking is killing them as well as everything else that is more attractive then stealing apples from a local farmer as people did in the 1920's and maybe even the 1950's. We should start young to make sure kids stay with education and know what the consequences are at young age. In my country this has proved to be a big deal. Most of our educational systems our nowadays as i see it rotten to the core by the childeren and adolescents that don't even know why they are here, or as de_budding said about British Scholars;
 
urangutan
 
Reply Thu 22 May, 2008 03:03 am
@Vasska,
Vasska, education isn't for the masses, at least not at the same time. For example, by this I mean that a ten year old girl is much more interested in English study than a ten year old boy. The boy wants outside, so let him go outside and play. Now by your logic, he needs to be conscripted to the talons of his future. There is less than a fifty percent chance the boy will comply, that is plus fifty percent of males at age ten out of the masses group of lets say forty-five percent of boys and roughly eighty percent of girls. It is a rash generalisation of expression, but the school now only has to dumb down its level of education to keep these boys, 'till they either smarten themselves up, ( by this I also mean they come to their senses) or else they can be out sourced into the work force. This can occur while they remain at school and continue to recieve an education however they accept it. This also applies to girls but usually at a later age, when their intrests lead to other ideals. Great lets teach them to type they took in the english skills at age ten lets throw them into an office now, while they are still at school. This isn't education it is brainwashing.
I can complain, because I failed mathematics for not showing my working out. One hundred percent correct but I failed because they could say I cheated, I did not cheat and they did not see me cheat, so go figure. The following year I gave up a career in mathematics, one hundred percent. School is close to the biggest distraction in the lives of our children. Not an education, school.
 
Vasska
 
Reply Thu 22 May, 2008 07:01 am
@urangutan,
urangutan wrote:
Vasska, education isn't for the masses, at least not at the same time.


In this perspective you are declining education to people. I feel there is a logic in the following system:

  • Day Care/Kindergarten; kids learn to socialize etc.
  • Primary school; kids learn the basics of life (math, read, write)
  • Secondary School (Highschool): Kids learn the finer things of life.
  • College/University: Kids -now adults- learn towards specifics.

Where the problem lies is in Day Care and Primary School for it fails to educate the kids in another way that is not killing the mind, but activating it. At least that's how i feel about it. I would say everyone at least has to finish highschool to have a basic knowledge and knows how to read and write as well calculate.

Quote:
For example, by this I mean that a ten year old girl is much more interested in English study than a ten year old boy. The boy wants outside, so let him go outside and play. Now by your logic, he needs to be conscripted to the talons of his future.
So we were to let him play outside till he gets tired of it and decides to learn, but as a 10 year boy has the mental ability of someone who is 5 because he did not learn much. I think playing and learning could be combined, and it works perfectly. A good teacher can even find a way to make learning feel like playing.


Quote:
There is less than a fifty percent chance the boy will comply, that is plus fifty percent of males at age ten out of the masses group of lets say forty-five percent of boys and roughly eighty percent of girls. It is a rash generalisation of expression, but the school now only has to dumb down its level of education to keep these boys, 'till they either smarten themselves up, ( by this I also mean they come to their senses) or else they can be out sourced into the work force.
After a fairly heated discussion I finally got my teacher to admit that my school did dumb down in order to be on the level of the kids, and not get to much dropouts.
This however came because those kids never did anything, just like the kid you just described, and because they are used to do nothing but whatever pleased them.
The problem lies in the fact that young childeren can be taught things with extreme ease while they are young, you've got to use that precious time to make sure they learn the basics and how to think, as we described with the Greek toughtschools.

Quote:
This can occur while they remain at school and continue to recieve an education however they accept it. This also applies to girls but usually at a later age, when their intrests lead to other ideals. Great lets teach them to type they took in the english skills at age ten lets throw them into an office now, while they are still at school. This isn't education it is brainwashing.
I really don't get this point.

Quote:
I can complain, because I failed mathematics for not showing my working out. One hundred percent correct but I failed because they could say I cheated, I did not cheat and they did not see me cheat, so go figure. The following year I gave up a career in mathematics, one hundred percent. School is close to the biggest distraction in the lives of our children. Not an education, school.
This is a personal experience, but yes this is a flaw in the system. I do however only see you pointing out that education is a distraction that is a distraction but are not helping to find some pointers for a better education.
 
urangutan
 
Reply Sat 24 May, 2008 01:26 am
@Vasska,
Ok Vasska, let us look at this first statement in years. (This is in Austrtalia, so I imagine there will be differences.)
Kinda or day care equals three years. Are we talking about full time five days a week or once a week. Five if mum and dad both work at the same time and as little as once a week if that socialising is the purpose of sending your child to day care or what ever. No doubt, children need interaction with other children if they have no siblings and it is comforting to see how they do interact, with no false aprehensions. Wonderful for working parents or something new and special for the child each day.
Primary equal to seven years. Lets see, the day has 12 hours of daylight, two are used to prepare to go to school, seven to nine in the morning, seven hours of school of which one and a half hours for lunch and play and where available four hours a week for sport. So that is eleven and a half hours of forty-five outdoors. Though it is only a tenth of seven years applied to physical education. Man was once a hunter gatherer, now he is a placemat. A child, in fact any child's instincts need to be encouraged from the onset. Once that is assessed, education can be tailored to enter the curriculum. If there is to be seven years of Primary school, then it should be centered around what the child wants primarily. For a child that wants to play outside, one tenth of seven years is not going to be enjoyable. I am not saying that they should be exempt from an education in the fields of language and mathematics, plus other sciences, arts, ect..
High school equals six years. This is the time to refine the childs art and encourage broader learning of language, maths, arts and science. Anything else isn't education it is life consumption.
That would roughly be sixteen years of education in the world you are comfortable controling what about what they want. I certainly don't expect to discourage education but what you proclaim is that we prepare them for their future everyday of their lives. Once again, that isn't education, it is brainwashing.
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » General Discussion
  3. » Is education failing us?
Copyright © 2024 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 05/22/2024 at 02:06:34