Author Topic: Dumbing us down  (Read 2479 times)

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Offline Oz girl

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Dumbing us down
« on: June 26, 2007, 12:50:38 AM »
So i took ginger's advice and read this book. if the author is correct is sounds like the USA public school system is somewhat broken. He also makes the point that private schools are elitist and create an invisible but real class barrier. I would concur with this because as a kid at a private school I felt either envy for the kids who in primary school did not wear uniforms or as i got older curiosity about "the other" in my mind public schools had a certain decadent rabble rousing mystique. it was only in adulthood I became aware that the reality was way more mundane. Looking back I am aware that private education does breed a certain unspoken snobbery.

It seems that public schools largely run differently here because of the much smaller population but there are certainly some similarities. i do wonder if having kids in simple 40 minute blocks is really a good way to teach them and build a rapport.
What I am undecided about is whether universal home schooling is the answer. While there is no doubt that many of the families who home school do produce children who are thinkers and who are not  afraid to take the road less travelled, there were seversl questions that gatto did not address.
For instance what about the fact that homeschooling can be used by religious zealots or paranoid conspiracy theorists to protect their children from a world that they fear and loathe? Is it any healthier to breed such paranoia in youngsters? Dont their kids have a right to some level of exposure to an alternate view? Even conservative religious schools provide some level of exposure to the outside world. Also there is the question of families who abuse. In a regular school there is at least a chance for the youngster to report such activity. At the very least the child has a reprieve from a hostile home environment for 8 hrs even if the school system has many flaws

What are peoples views?
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n case you\'re worried about what\'s going to become of the younger generation, it\'s going to grow up and start worrying about the younger generation.-Roger Allen

Offline nimdA

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Dumbing us down
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2007, 01:33:50 PM »
I've been dumbing myself down for the last 3 weeks almost every single night. Not to worried about the public schools as I graduated from high school ages ago.

To top it off I believe strongly that it is every person's sacred duty to educate themselves regardless of their circumstances. Being educationally crippled by forced attendance in a public school is hardly an adequete excuse for not tending to your own education.
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am the metal pig.

Offline Sidhe Shee

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Dumbing us down
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2007, 09:11:14 PM »
Did you know?

Following another school district's policy, my daughter's school district sent me a letter six months ago informing me that I would owe the district $35.00 for each day missed that wasn't a legitimate day missed.  How cheeky.
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Offline Froderik

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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2007, 09:23:12 PM »
Quote from: ""Sidhe Shee""
Did you know?

Following another school district's policy, my daughter's school district sent me a letter six months ago informing me that I would owe the district $35.00 for each day missed that wasn't a legitimate day missed.  How cheeky.

That's totally fucked.
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Offline Sidhe Shee

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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2007, 10:06:34 PM »
Totally.

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Offline Antigen

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Dumbing us down
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2007, 10:28:50 PM »
Quote from: ""nimdA""
To top it off I believe strongly that it is every person's sacred duty to educate themselves regardless of their circumstances. Being educationally crippled by forced attendance in a public school is hardly an adequete excuse for not tending to your own education.


A-Men!
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Offline Ursus

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Dumbing us down
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2007, 01:29:44 AM »
The trend I see, amongst home schoolers who do so to give their kids a better education than that available via local public schools, is that at some point in their teenage years, the kids want to go to public school for the social aspect.

I can't speak for the fundamentalists who want to limit their kid's exposure to the evils of society because I don't know any of these people (knowingly, that is!).
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Offline hanzomon4

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Dumbing us down
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2007, 05:52:09 AM »
I don't think that blanket home schooling is the answer or even good, I two have concerns regarding abuse and such.

I think a skill based approach to learning is the way to go. It's hard to explain but what I mean is that subjects shouldn't be taught as a step to get to the next grade. Teach subjects so that kids can use them, if the excel at reading/writing push them further, if they don't get the basics of math stay on the basics.

The grade system doesn't give you the time to master anything, esp if you fall behind. In other words let kids learn the subjects not the grade. However this would never work in the traditional class room, it would be chaotic for one teacher to teach one kid addition and some other kid geometry and yet another calculus
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Offline Antigen

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Dumbing us down
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2007, 12:22:05 PM »
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"Don\'t let the past remind us of what we are not now."
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Offline Antigen

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Dumbing us down
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2007, 12:37:18 PM »
Quote from: ""Professor Richard Pring Lead Director, Nuffield Review of 14-19 Education and Training for England and Wales Former Director: Oxford University Department of Education Studies""
Editor
New York Times

Dear Editor,

I have read with interest the report of Sir Michael Barber's address to New York Principals on the lessons to be learnt from Britain on how to improve schools. (NYT 15 Aug. 07) However, may I along with so many in England who have seen the consequences of the innovations led by Sir Michael, urge caution. Not everyone agrees with his analysis, and indeed the ÂŁ1 million Nuffield Review of 14-19 Education and Training in for England and Wales, which I lead, is not, in the light of evidence, presenting such a rosy picture.

It is not surprising that Sir Michael, having been Director of Standards and Effectiveness at the Department of Education and Skills and then head of delivery in the Prime Minister's Office at No. 10, should have finally moved to McKinsey's, which believes that what is real can be measured and what can be measured can be controlled. In the last few years, England has created the most tested school population in the world from age 5 to age 18. School improvement lies in scoring even higher in the national tests, irrespective of whether these tests bear any relation to the quality of learning, and schools which see the poverty of the testing regime suffer the penalty of going down the very public league tables.

The results of the 'high stakes testing' are that teachers increasingly teach to the test, young people are disillusioned and disengaged, higher education complains that those matriculating (despite higher scores) are ill prepared for university studies, and intelligent and creative teachers incleasingly feel dissatisfied with their professional work. I believe it is no coincidence that, according to the recent UNICEF Report, children in England are at the bottom of the league of rich countries in terms of happiness and feelings of well-being, or that England now criminalises 230,000 children between 11 and 17 each year (the highest in absolute and relative terms in the whole of Europe), or that nearly 10% of 16-18 year olds belong to the Not in Education, Training and Employment group, despite the massive investment in that group over the last ten years. And why should one expect anything else as most of their day light hours consists of preparing for tests, totally disconnected from their interests and concerns, present or future?

The Nuffield Review is starting from the basic question, never asked by Government during Sir Michael's turn in high office, namely, 'What counts as an educated 19 year old in this day and age?'. The answers which we are receiving from teachers, universities, employers and the community would point to a system very different from the one which Sir Michael nurtured and is now selling to the United States.

Yours sincerely Professor Richard Pring Lead Director, Nuffield Review of 14-19 Education and Training for England and Wales Former Director: Oxford University Department of Education Studies
Full Article
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Offline The Liger

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Dumbing us down
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2007, 08:50:32 PM »
This is one of my favorite books.  I homeschool my kids because I did not like what I saw in my oldest daughter's old school.  I know it sounds dramatic, but I really did feel like she was in a prison or boot camp.  All the lining up, strict schedules, bells and whistles -- it just really felt wrong.  I'd have to write a huge long thing to explain all of my reasoning, so I guess I'll just leave it at that.
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Offline Anonymous

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Dumbing us down
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2007, 10:54:16 PM »
Quote from: ""nimdA""
To top it off I believe strongly that it is every person's sacred duty to educate themselves regardless of their circumstances.

Being educationally crippled by forced attendance in a public school is hardly an adequete excuse for not tending to your own education.


That's "adequate"
And it ain't that simple, guy.
People's life situations are idiosyncratic, and comprised of gross limitations.
A famous author’s mother (forget who), circa 1930s, held that cleanliness was always possible; all you needed to do was work at it. Than, she was forced out of her home and wound up in an ethnic ghetto by the turmoil of WW2. She found that the new time constraints, inaccessible resources, and work exhaustion made such a thing impossible. Her house became inevitably dirty, but she gained a more realistic understanding of environmental conditions and their effect on animals/humans. Educating oneself is possible to an extant, but again, dependant on one’s situation, and even then, self education can never equal the one gotten though a reputable university system. This is why we don’t have “self educatedâ€
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Offline Anonymous

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Dumbing us down
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2007, 10:57:58 PM »
Also, home schooling is unrealistic for most people. I also believe that most parents are not capable of educating their kids well. I mean, seriously. Why not have parents perform tonsillectomies while they’re at it, because of all the problems with the medical industry.

How many of you think you would have gotten a good education from your mom?
 :roll:  :roll:
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Offline Oz girl

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Dumbing us down
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2007, 04:09:55 AM »
for the purposes of this discussion I am possibly the grumpy conservative but my concern is that stupid ppl who homeschool raise stupid kids. There is no independent model for how much a kid learns. i appreciate the benefits and am sure there are many very bright ppl who do this raise smart thinking kids but I would imagine that there are also a fair few insular nutbars who raise paranoid fearful children. I think of many of the parents from Jesus Camp as examples. Is it a good idea that such ppl are the only educational influence on a kid?
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n case you\'re worried about what\'s going to become of the younger generation, it\'s going to grow up and start worrying about the younger generation.-Roger Allen