American Education

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MJA
 
Reply Mon 22 Dec, 2008 09:56 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Pardon my interuption, but I wrote this piece about the reformation of education some time ago, and think it important to restate Mr. Swifts' as well as my own views again here. See if you agree with us.



[CENTER]Y AHOO[/CENTER]


Whilst searching for the truth of everything, I found something to share. I came across two references to Jonathan Swift's story "Gulliver's Travels." And like any good true searcher, I found, rented, and watched the movie. I also gave it a critic rating of "G," great. The story is a satire, meaning that it negatively abuses the fundamental institutions of humanity. The story is about a person named Gulliver, who goes on a trip, finds unbelievable truth, and comes back to share his discovery. Unfortunately for him, he was measured to be crazy, and locked up. The history of other great discoverers have met with similar discomforts, such as burning them on stakes, something only humans could invent. Gulliver tells a story of the irony of man, the flaws of who we are, even though we think ourselves better. There is one place Gulliver stops on his journey that had particular interest to me. He becomes one with wild horses, and sees freedom for the first time. The horses have given human beings the name "Yahoo," and see us as the savages that we truly are.

Several months before seeing this movie, I thought it a good idea to check out a new elementary school, just to see modern education at work, it also being a part of my current study of everything. I was told due to security reasons, I was not allowed to look, so on my way out I did anyway. I looked into a classroom and saw young children standing neatly at attention, next to computers with thin screen monitors. At the blackboard a teacher wrote "Y A H O O" in large letters for everyone to see. I then questioned the importance of "yahoo," over the teaching of the basics of life, at the elementary level or any other. Mr. Swift saw us as savage ignorant "yahoos," over three hundred years ago. I still cannot believe his insight.

None of us are born "yahoos," we are what we are taught. Do students of any age bring homework home such as "happiness," or is it "yahoo"? Is computer science more important than ourselves? Perhaps geometry, algebra, calculus, computers, biology, science, astronanophysics, materialism, and "yahoo" have taken the valuable space of what is important. Are we being taught the importance of helping others, or the importance of money, and helping ourselves? Can you imagine a school called The Institute of How To Live instead of Technology? The School of Law could be the School of Morality. The department of physics, or in other words the department of measuring the differences in nature, could be the department of the nature of equality. Would the universe be a better place if we studied what we can see, instead of what we can not? I think Mr. Swift knew the foundation of ignorance is education, what about you? The question has often been asked: "Why do we have to study something we will never use?" Would a class on the proper use of a public garbage can be more beneficial than Euclid's geometry on this trashed planet of ours?

Many people over our human history have pointed us to where wisdom is to be found, right in front of us, not further away. We have been micro and macro measuring everything, only to take us further from the truth, something we were unfortunately taught to do. We have a choice to make with the direction of education for our future, which should it be, "yahoo," or the truth. If man has become ignorant and cruel, then perhaps a change in curriculum to what is most important and true, will enlighten, make us wise, and ultimately set us free.

=
MJA
 
averroes
 
Reply Mon 22 Dec, 2008 09:19 pm
@SantaMonica1369,
Exellent insight...:a-ok:
If only morality could be a curricular subject. Unfortunately, shools just have loosely held honor codes and have trusted the real world to be generous enough to teach good values. This draws me onto a thin line between laughing and sighing at the folly of this plan... I guess that philosophy is as close as we can get to values 101.
 
averroes
 
Reply Mon 22 Dec, 2008 09:38 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
So, because some students do not have the perfect education, all other students must suffer?

Right, they pushed themselves. They did not need the sort of reorganization of education you suggest, instead, they needed their own determination. Such are good students. They strive because they care. The students who do not strive need these positive examples. The power of moral example is not to be taken lightly.


On the topic of paragraph 2.
1.Ah, but my Edisons are not the bright beacons of the educational system, but the failures. Have you ever had a dream and been told that you will fail miserably if you try? If so, I suspect that you wanted to prove them wrong, that you can succeed if you want to. Such is the way of Man.
2. I would like to add that a filter would actually most benefit our C-high F range students. Often, these students want to learn, try to learn from the top of the class, but the anti-stundents drag them back with negative influence. I am not suggesting the seperation of the intellectuals and the masses, but those who want to learn, who try to hold the image of the intellectuals, and those who are hell-bent on destroying their futures.
3. The power of example is quite prevalent to me, but if those who would be separated reject example today, what logic says that they will make an about-face the next day and the day after?
 
Icon
 
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2008 12:39 pm
@SantaMonica1369,
It amazes me that we have not thought of the obvious solution. Why is it that children do not want to learn? Why is it that these "bad kids" are being bad? Why is it that they seem so bored?

The simple answer is that there is no passion in the school system anymore. I want you all to think back to the teacher which most effected your life; the one that you will always remember. Was it not the teacher with the most passion and the one who broke the most rules because it was more important to teach than it was to follow stupid rules put in place because those running the system had no idea what they were doing?

Think about the teachers pay. Rediculously low for preparing our future residents and leaders. We don't need to separate the good and the bad because we are giving up at that point. The fact is that we need to take the extra time and spend the extra effort/money to bring these kids up to speed. Motivate the teachers and re-create the passion which made them teachers to begin with. Spread that passion to the children. Real passion, not just a certificate which says you can teach.
 
averroes
 
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2008 04:33 pm
@SantaMonica1369,
I know exactly what you're talking about, Icon. You are spot-on with what you are saying, but unfortunatey, increased salary budgets would result in more need for money, more taxes, more angry people opposing the taxes, generally one big pain in the ass for the politicians. because of this, Everything will stay the same. And even if there was good pay in the job, not enough good teachers want to teach because of the major hassle of many rowdy and incompliant kids, and there would still be bad teachers. I'm not saying that this is a bad idea, just that I don't think that America is willing to get up off its rear and implement it.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2008 06:04 pm
@averroes,
averroes wrote:
On the topic of paragraph 2.
1.Ah, but my Edisons are not the bright beacons of the educational system, but the failures. Have you ever had a dream and been told that you will fail miserably if you try? If so, I suspect that you wanted to prove them wrong, that you can succeed if you want to. Such is the way of Man.


Who cares if they are the failures or not? The bottom line is that they can and do succeed by their own effort and determination. Even the bright examples in the education system are governed by the same principle - that success takes effort.

averroes wrote:
2. I would like to add that a filter would actually most benefit our C-high F range students. Often, these students want to learn, try to learn from the top of the class, but the anti-stundents drag them back with negative influence. I am not suggesting the seperation of the intellectuals and the masses, but those who want to learn, who try to hold the image of the intellectuals, and those who are hell-bent on destroying their futures.


And so you still condemn that portion of the population.

averroes wrote:
3. The power of example is quite prevalent to me, but if those who would be separated reject example today, what logic says that they will make an about-face the next day and the day after?


No logic says that they will necessarily take to the example at any point in time, but there is logic to suggest that they are more likely to take to the example the longer the example is presented to them. As someone who is keenly aware of the power of moral example, you are familiar with said logic.
 
averroes
 
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2008 07:22 pm
@SantaMonica1369,
How do you condemn someone who is condemning himself? We gave a good try. We made school mandatory. Unfortunately, there comes a time and place where we can't force the want for knowledge onto people. Now, the logic that you suggest is valid, but let us look at the history of No Child Left Behind. Seven senior classes have graduated. If you look at these senior students, how many are these failures redeemed after years of grinding resistance? Yes, you can over time teach a person that hitting people is bad or that smoking is not cool or that cars and driving are not matters to be taken lightly, but if someone genuinely dosn't want to learn, you cannot create a fire for knowledge in them. As you said, that is something they have to do.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2008 07:28 pm
@averroes,
averroes wrote:
How do you condemn someone who is condemning himself?


By removing opportunities for said individual to recognize his errors.

averroes wrote:
We gave a good try. We made school mandatory. Unfortunately, there comes a time and place where we can't force the want for knowledge onto people.


Yes, there will always be lost causes. But accurately identifying them is impossible. Thus, you have to take the optimistic stance and give all of them a chance.

averroes wrote:
Now, the logic that you suggest is valid, but let us look at the history of No Child Left Behind. Seven senior classes have graduated. If you look at these senior students, how many are these failures redeemed after years of grinding resistance? Yes, you can over time teach a person that hitting people is bad or that smoking is not cool or that cars and driving are not matters to be taken lightly, but if someone genuinely dosn't want to learn, you cannot create a fire for knowledge in them. As you said, that is something they have to do.


Right, it is something they have to do, but that does not mean that influences are irrelevant to their decision. Influences do matter. Because influences matter, we should present good influences instead of setting aside those who do not try to learn by themselves. If we take all of the students who do not want to learn and put them together, their only influence is the sort that reinforces apathy toward education. If we leave these apathetic students in with the rest, at least there is a greater chance that the apathetic students will develop interest.

You cannot create the fire, but you can provide the spark.
 
averroes
 
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2008 07:42 pm
@SantaMonica1369,
Sadly, sparks cannot ignite wet logs.
I am acctually curious as to how you would approach the situation. I am not trying to change the subject, just trying to get a grip around the other side of this debate.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2008 04:28 pm
@averroes,
But wet logs can be dried out given time.

My approach to the situation? Keep the students in the same classroom and reform the way we teach. Focus on core - history, english, science and math - and remove unnecessary technology, like the power point and television. Have a higher standard for teachers. Tougher discipline.

Our disagreement isn't extensive, averroes.
 
averroes
 
Reply Fri 26 Dec, 2008 02:27 pm
@SantaMonica1369,
I will say that, if implemented correctly, technology can be quite useful.
Your plan can work to an extent, the restrictions being in my response to Icon's post. Though, on the point of budget, maybe if we took some money out of the obscene sports budgets, we could make some curricular progress...
 
Miranda phil
 
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 11:47 am
@SantaMonica1369,
Education is almost forced down our throats obviously because America doesn't want a country full of idiots.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 12:06 pm
@SantaMonica1369,
But doesn't the current education system in America seem to be a remedy for idiocy? If the goal of education is to eliminate idiots, then the American education system fails miserably.
 
averroes
 
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 11:00 am
@SantaMonica1369,
That's exacly my point! No matter what you do, there will be some idiots who think of eduation as a waste of time and therfore choose to be detrimental to the system. Stupidity and ignorance spread like an infection, so why not cut off said infection before it spreads.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 02:09 pm
@SantaMonica1369,
Because an even greater idiocy would spread to the general population than does the education population. Do you want to turn an epidemic into a pandemic? There is no need to make a bad problem worse.
 
MJA
 
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 09:00 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:
But doesn't the current education system in America seem to be a remedy for idiocy? If the goal of education is to eliminate idiots, then the American education system fails miserably.


The system of education is idiotic, education is not.
It is only the education system that is in dire need of reformormation.

=
MJA
 
averroes
 
Reply Sun 18 Jan, 2009 08:25 am
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:
Because an even greater idiocy would spread to the general population than does the education population. Do you want to turn an epidemic into a pandemic? There is no need to make a bad problem worse.

How would this spread? Those who are being educated are out of reach for influence during school, and those who have been educated are smart enough to resist influence. I fail to see the logistics of your point. I am not saying that education be denied. The class disruptors would have to go to school, they just wouldn't be allowed to waste class time for those who are there to learn.
 
 

 
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