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Old 6th June 2012, 03:11 PM   #1
derchin
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The Anti-School Movement

There seems to be a growing interest in the "anti-school" movement, made both by students, parents and teachers alike.

Sites like School-Survival, the Educational Freedom Education, the National Youth Rights Association and authors like John Taylor Gatto, Alfie Kohn, and Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt argue that the educational system we have in place does more harm than good. Instead of pushing kids to fight for their dreams and to be creative and open-minded while doing so, many schools today demands obedience and only seeks to create thoughtless workers for the ones in charge (Whether that means the government, authorities, or corporate/business leaders.)

I consider myself to be an anti-schoolist. I'm a member of the three sites above and an avid read of all three authors mentioned above.



Thoughts Opinions?
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Old 6th June 2012, 03:26 PM   #2
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It depends on the school. My cousin home-schooled her kids because the schools in her area were so sub-standard that she was afraid they'd get little to no proper education. She did it in cooperation with a group of other parents who could help fill in the subjects she couldn't teach herself. One woman was an accountant and taught all the kids math. Another man was a physics professor. There was also a chemist. My cousin was a nurse and taught basic biology. Her kids are doing very well.

My high school was not so bad. There were enough electives to allow a kid to find something of real interest (art, journalism, etc.). That may no longer be true with all the budget cuts and the "teach to the test" mentality.

Every year, the Board of Education in my town votes itself a higher budget. Do they earmark it for new teachers, additional classes, anything else of value to broaden the kids' horizons? No. They use it to hire more principals and administrators. Too many chiefs, not enough Indians, as the saying goes. And the you-know-what hits the fan when they try to cut some of the sports programs. So they cut the academic stuff instead.

Maybe another answer is to try to make better schools? Some magnet schools do marvelous things with REALLY expanding kids' horizons.
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Old 6th June 2012, 03:29 PM   #3
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We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey teacher leave them kids alone
All in all it's just another brick in the wall
All in all you're just another brick in the wall

Written by Roger Waters in 1979

Based on his educational experiences in the late 1950s


So whatever your accusation against education systems, they date back to well before most on this site were born............so I guess that horse has bolted
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Old 6th June 2012, 03:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Niggle View Post
It depends on the school. My cousin home-schooled her kids because the schools in her area were so sub-standard that she was afraid they'd get little to no proper education. She did it in cooperation with a group of other parents who could help fill in the subjects she couldn't teach herself. One woman was an accountant and taught all the kids math. Another man was a physics professor. There was also a chemist. My cousin was a nurse and taught basic biology. Her kids are doing very well.

My high school was not so bad. There were enough electives to allow a kid to find something of real interest (art, journalism, etc.). That may no longer be true with all the budget cuts and the "teach to the test" mentality.

Every year, the Board of Education in my town votes itself a higher budget. Do they earmark it for new teachers, additional classes, anything else of value to broaden the kids' horizons? No. They use it to hire more principals and administrators. Too many chiefs, not enough Indians, as the saying goes. And the you-know-what hits the fan when they try to cut some of the sports programs. So they cut the academic stuff instead.

Maybe another answer is to try to make better schools? Some magnet schools do marvelous things with REALLY expanding kids' horizons.
I hear ya. I feel as though the materials and teachers for alternative means of education is readily available, but not enough people are realizing nor hopping onto this fact.
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Old 6th June 2012, 03:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey teacher leave them kids alone
All in all it's just another brick in the wall
All in all you're just another brick in the wall

Written by Roger Waters in 1979

Based on his educational experiences in the late 1950s


So whatever your accusation against education systems, they date back to well before most on this site were born............so I guess that horse has bolted
No trouble in trying re-innovate that fact to today's folk, is there?
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Old 6th June 2012, 03:40 PM   #6
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Hmmm. I sing in a choir with a girl who was taught in a Steiner school. She has a distressingly superficial grasp of many matters, and the huge gaps in her knowledge are quite startling.

I imagine she's happy enough. But from where I'm standing she's missing so much. And if everyone was like her, huge swathes of human civilisation would simply vanish.

Rolfe.
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Old 6th June 2012, 03:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by derchin View Post
No trouble in trying re-innovate that fact to today's folk, is there?
Except I am waiting for someone to show me there is even an issue to begin with. Three generations since Waters time, and generation being claimed they don't learn are let down etc etc.

Look around you - has the world stopped in the last 60 years...have we begun some backward slide into the stone age because our kids are all stupid and have no education.

On the contrary - kids today are smart...as smart as any other kid from any other generation you care to point to - undoubtedly some of these kids will start threads in the future about uneducated kids
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Old 6th June 2012, 03:58 PM   #8
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I'll concede that progress haven't slowed much (even though we are dragging behind in terms of math and science behind China and India), but there's a long and grueling fact that kids have no say what-so-ever in their education and that they are suffering due to that fact. All their lives they've been told that they're interests must come second to those that rule over them and they, quite literally, must sit down and shut up for the remainder of the school year. And most give up the fight and race to explore and most (like me) and end up depressed, lazy and frustrated.

You remind of my father in a way: Loves the idea of progress, hates to bring up negative opinions or alternate views on it.
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Old 6th June 2012, 04:58 PM   #9
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Some recommended articles, courtesy of the EFO (http://www.edfreedom.org)

Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Schooling
http://www.edfreedom.org/391/valedic...nst-schooling/

Why Education is Broken
http://www.edfreedom.org/219/why-education-is-broken/

Schooling: The Hidden Agenda
http://www.ishmael.org/Education/Wri...chooling.shtml
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Old 6th June 2012, 05:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by derchin View Post
... but there's a long and grueling fact that kids have no say what-so-ever in their education ...
How much say should a kid have? I know in grade school and high school I had no idea what I wanted to be, or learn. In fact, my interests were strongly influenced by the good teachers I had.

Hell, much of that was true through my undergrad years.

I think giving kids elective choices is great but they have to take core knowledge classes whether they like it or not. Life's a bitch, ain't it?
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Old 6th June 2012, 05:40 PM   #11
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I went through a Catholic school system (elementary and high school) back in the 50s and 60s and was quite shocked at the difference between the education I got and the education my friends that had gone to public schools got.
I recall comparing courses with a neighbor who was a senior at the local public high school and she was taking only mandated US history and Physical education. She already had enough credits to graduate.
At our school, one took a full course load all four years, including four years of a language, sciences, etc. The optional courses were very few and included things like typing and art.

I listen to NPR all the time and have heard many discussions and debates over public schooling and it's problems. Seems we are still for the most part trying to turn out kids well-educated enough to take jobs in manufacturing and industry that no longer exist.

The wealthy can afford to send their kids to quality preparatory schools and then good colleges and universities. The poor can perhaps dream of a stint at some practical courses at the junior college level, if they can read and spell after graduating from their cash-strapped public schools.
So much of the problem is political. School boards are political, money-raising is political, and teaching agendas are political. Just as the country is deeply divided as to political philosophy we are deeply divided as to educational theory.
I don't have any answers, but from the various things I've heard it seems that kids are for the most part willing and able to absorb information and the most-successful schools are those that constantly challenge the kids instead of pushing them through dull "learn the facts" courses that "teach to the test".
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Old 6th June 2012, 06:01 PM   #12
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If it had been up to me at the time, I wouldn't have gone to school at all. Only thing that would be worse, would be being home schooled.
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Old 6th June 2012, 06:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
How much say should a kid have?
Enough so they can get of the bunk classes that have no role or interest in their lives.


Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
I know in grade school and high school I had no idea what I wanted to be, or learn. In fact, my interests were strongly influenced by the good teachers I had.
Yeah, I think that's my point of why this system is broken. Kids lose their original interests by going to school and can only turn to the school system to "choose" it for them.


Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
I think giving kids elective choices is great but they have to take core knowledge classes whether they like it or not.
What if they don't need it and we're throwing our money to waste? My main interest is writing and all the other "core knowledge classes" other than English haven't been used much or have quickly been forgotten.


Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
Life's a bitch, ain't it?
Yeah it is sometimes, but at you should at least have a say in your how your life is run of how to deal the problems that come with it. You don't get that at school. It's that exact mentality that our schools have that has our kids doomed to eternal conformity and un-expression.
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Old 6th June 2012, 06:05 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by saraban View Post
If it had been up to me at the time, I wouldn't have gone to school at all. Only thing that would be worse, would be being home schooled.
Turns out that home-schoolers are more successful and happier than those who go to traditional school.

http://images.collegeathome.com.s3.a...domination.jpg
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Old 6th June 2012, 06:15 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by derchin View Post
Turns out that home-schoolers are more successful and happier than those who go to traditional school.

http://images.collegeathome.com.s3.a...domination.jpg
But as a kid that didn't matter, if I hated school at least I could go home and escape it. Being home schooled meant not escaping. You can't walk out of that classroom with the horrible teacher and forget them for a week. Because they're right there, day after day.
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Old 6th June 2012, 06:19 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by derchin View Post
Enough so they can get of the bunk classes that have no role or interest in their lives.




Yeah, I think that's my point of why this system is broken. Kids lose their original interests by going to school and can only turn to the school system to "choose" it for them.




What if they don't need it and we're throwing our money to waste? My main interest is writing and all the other "core knowledge classes" other than English haven't been used much or have quickly been forgotten.




Yeah it is sometimes, but at you should at least have a say in your how your life is run of how to deal the problems that come with it. You don't get that at school. It's that exact mentality that our schools have that has our kids doomed to eternal conformity and un-expression.
Just curious - which classes would those be (the bunk classes). Mostly curious as to what a high school student knows re: what will have "no role or interest in their lives" . (greater interest in the role than the interest in all fairness) As this applies to later life and things such as voting.
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Old 6th June 2012, 06:22 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by saraban View Post
But as a kid that didn't matter, if I hated school at least I could go home and escape it.
Escaping torture for a day just to come back to it everyday is perfectly fine?

Originally Posted by saraban View Post
Being home schooled meant not escaping. You can't walk out of that classroom with the horrible teacher and forget them for a week. Because they're right there, day after day.
At least here you have more of a say in your education, you have more rights, and you get more attention than being cramped in a room with 15 or 20 others.
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Old 6th June 2012, 06:27 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
Just curious - which classes would those be (the bunk classes). Mostly curious as to what a high school student knows re: what will have "no role or interest in their lives" . (greater interest in the role than the interest in all fairness) As this applies to later life and things such as voting.
Classes (IMO) like historical English literature, chemistry, etc


Now, I'm well aware that these classes are an interest to some, but these classes shouldn't be held responsible for those who have no interest in them.

What classes do you propose should be taught then?
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Old 6th June 2012, 06:42 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Hmmm. I sing in a choir with a girl who was taught in a Steiner school. She has a distressingly superficial grasp of many matters, and the huge gaps in her knowledge are quite startling.

I imagine she's happy enough. But from where I'm standing she's missing so much. And if everyone was like her, huge swathes of human civilisation would simply vanish.
You get that from pretty much every education system. Try talking to the kids who come from the school that serves your nearest sink estate.
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Old 6th June 2012, 06:43 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by derchin View Post
(even though we are dragging behind in terms of math and science behind China and India)
Do kids in China and India have more or less say in their education than American kids?
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Old 6th June 2012, 06:44 PM   #21
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They have way less.

http://www.theglobalist.com/StoryId.aspx?StoryId=5264
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Old 6th June 2012, 06:46 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by derchin View Post
Classes (IMO) like historical English literature, chemistry, etc
You need at least some understanding of chemistry even if its only at the "plastic comes from oil" level.
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Old 6th June 2012, 06:47 PM   #23
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Some = Entire course?
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Old 6th June 2012, 06:50 PM   #24
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Sounds like by meaning "some", means that it can easily be looked up at a local library or internet site.
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Old 6th June 2012, 06:58 PM   #25
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"Well, the world needs ditch diggers too." -- Judge Smails, Caddyshack.

In the system we have now the elite break out -- that's part of what makes them meritorious. I fear this customized education fad will produce the same kind of product you get without competition -- the "everyone's a winner" crowd, and ribbons for anyone who enters.

There's an underlying idea about human nobility and value that is threaded through the conversation.

Just to ground me, what happens when a kid fails his classes in homeschool? I only ask because I've never heard of that happening. Does it? Do they get expelled? Can they fail?
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Old 6th June 2012, 07:05 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post

Just to ground me, what happens when a kid fails his classes in homeschool? I only ask because I've never heard of that happening. Does it? Do they get expelled? Can they fail?
Depends. Homeschooling is broken into many subgroups.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeschooling#Methodology
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Old 6th June 2012, 07:10 PM   #27
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Things depend on if we are talking about from a personal or global perspective. Many differences people think they see in the data is often attributable to biased sampling (certain schools or home schoolers tend to be made into environment for certain students with certain backgrounds). When I was looking at studies on the different "alternative" schooling methods, what surprised me was how uniform the results tended to be (I'll try to look some old stuff up). American schools have undergone a number of "revolutions", but it really doesn't show up.
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Old 6th June 2012, 07:10 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by derchin View Post
Sounds like by meaning "some", means that it can easily be looked up at a local library or internet site.
Only if you know the right terms to look for. And if you don't have some idea what atoms and molecules are then you are not going to have much of a chance of understanding what polyethylene is.
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Old 6th June 2012, 07:12 PM   #29
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You can always ask.
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Old 6th June 2012, 07:13 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by derchin View Post
There seems to be a growing interest in the "anti-school" movement, made both by students, parents and teachers alike.

. . .

I consider myself to be an anti-schoolist. I'm a member of the three sites above and an avid read of all three authors mentioned above.

Thoughts Opinions?
A lot of the home-schooled that I have met are remarkably uneducated, with a few exceptional exceptions.
Idealists look at the lofty goals of the movement.
Realists look at the results.
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Old 6th June 2012, 07:16 PM   #31
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So we should retain a broken system?
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Old 6th June 2012, 07:19 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by derchin View Post
But you say they are doing better in math and science than American kids so more say in education for American kids might not lead to better results and it might even lead to American kids falling further behind.

It seems like there might be other factors that are more important to educational outcomes than the amount of choice kids have in their education.

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Old 6th June 2012, 07:22 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by J-Funk View Post
But you say they are doing better in math and science than American kids so more say in education for American kids might not lead to better results and it might even lead to American kids falling further behind.

It seems like there might be other factors that are more important than the amount of choice kids have in their education.
Such as? Its sad to hear people suggest that kids come second (if at all) in their education.
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Old 6th June 2012, 07:27 PM   #34
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I'd be more impressed with anti-school arguments if there were some evidence that children who do not go to school are more successful than children that do go to school.

I am skeptical that such evidence exists.
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Old 6th June 2012, 07:30 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by derchin View Post
Classes (IMO) like historical English literature, chemistry, etc


Now, I'm well aware that these classes are an interest to some, but these classes shouldn't be held responsible for those who have no interest in them.

What classes do you propose should be taught then?
I am a product of public school, rural Texas, so last century.
Yeah, I don't care about Chaucer, but I know a little about the Canterbury Tales, I don't care much about organic chemistry, but I understand how it relates to both medicine and fossil fuels. I know a little about electricity and shipping and Spanish and German - none of which are particularly useful on any given day. But - the knowledge that has been accumulated over the last thousand years is the most valuable thing humanity has. Its not like 'less for you is more for me'. It is amazing to me that anybody would deliberately choose to be ignorant on any subject and avoid sharing in that wealth.

PS - willful ignorance is one definition of stupidity.
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Old 6th June 2012, 07:32 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by derchin View Post
So we should retain a broken system?
Fix it. The solution is not to become a bunch of insular know-nothings.
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Old 6th June 2012, 07:34 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
I'd be more impressed with anti-school arguments if there were some evidence that children who do not go to school are more successful than children that do go to school.

I am skeptical that such evidence exists.

Famous authors like John Holt, John Taylor Gatto, Ray Bradbury, and filmmmaker George Lucas all renounced traditional education in some way.
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Old 6th June 2012, 07:36 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by fishbob View Post
Fix it. The solution is not to become a bunch of insular know-nothings.
Ah, so the problem is you don't trust kids.

ďAll I am saying ... can be summed up in two words: Trust Children. Nothing could be more simple, or more difficult. Difficult because to trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves, and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted.Ē ~ John Holt
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Old 6th June 2012, 07:39 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by fishbob View Post
I am a product of public school, rural Texas, so last century.
Yeah, I don't care about Chaucer, but I know a little about the Canterbury Tales, I don't care much about organic chemistry, but I understand how it relates to both medicine and fossil fuels. I know a little about electricity and shipping and Spanish and German - none of which are particularly useful on any given day. But - the knowledge that has been accumulated over the last thousand years is the most valuable thing humanity has. Its not like 'less for you is more for me'. It is amazing to me that anybody would deliberately choose to be ignorant on any subject and avoid sharing in that wealth.
And I love the fact that you think like this, but the minute you force people to learn these things is the first step in rebellion.
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Old 6th June 2012, 07:40 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by derchin View Post
So we should retain a broken system?
That's the wrong terminology isn't it? My car get's broken and my television gets broken. I know this when my car won't run and my television won't show me nice pictures of happy things.

In what clear sense do you mean the school system is broken?

I think we probably would disagree on what the function of a public education is and what purpose it serves. That's where the conversation ought to focus, because that's what's driving the "alternatives to public schooling" bus.

I think one push for homeschooling (perhaps now swamped by other purposes) was the complaint that a public education wasn't instilling the correct moral values. In particular, the idea that liberal ideology and a spirit of general permissiveness was invading the school system. Is this still a driver?
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