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"The Basics"
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lisafromjackson Offline
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Post: #1
"The Basics"

If we leave kids to follow their own interests they won't learn the basics or become culturally literate. This is dangerous to the continuation of our society.

If we require them to learn both, then they will.

Discuss.

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01-27-2015 12:19 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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Post: #2
"The Basics"

How about, give them a reason to learn both?

I do think there's a role for both pursuing interests, and learning a body of knowledge and skills of some sort, even if takes some effort and isn't 100% passion-driven.

However, must these things be forced? Or can "we" help learners see the value in learning things that "we think are relevant? (Which happens to vary a bit between people -- your list and mine might differ... but why not let learners see that controversy, and decide themselves what's important?)

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01-27-2015 12:24 AM
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Post: #3
"The Basics"

There's a difference between a 4th grade education (necessary) and a 12th grade education (85% bullshit.) I think that they SHOULD teach the basics, BUT, it's nothing that can't be taught at home.

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01-28-2015 12:35 PM
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TheCancer Offline
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Post: #4
RE: "The Basics"

It really isn't. With reading you just need a phonetic understanding of the alphabet and maybe a hundred sight words. With math addition subtraction multiplication and division. The rest you can learn alone from that foundation alone or get a tutor if you want.

Two years is all anyone needs. And there's no point starting so early. An 8 year old mind gets much higher returns than a five year old mind so trying to cram a bunch of crap in as early as possible is a huge waste of energy and time.

If you want to be a different fish, you've got to jump out of the school.


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01-28-2015 01:00 PM
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brainiac3397 Offline
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RE: "The Basics"

Well math isnt just arithmetics, which is a part of number theory. You also have algebra and geometry (and the calculus branch, which is called math analysis I believe)

Dont know about the whole age thing, but education probably gonna become more stringent as we develop our stuff. College classes will probably be moved down to HS as more advanced classes take over. Course in other countries this has already taken place. Its pretty amusing American colleges tend to have to give what is considered HS level courses to freshmen college students because HS didnt cover it (from the insane emphasis on testing rather than teaching)

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01-28-2015 02:50 PM
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Rule_BreakerXVIII Offline
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Post: #6
"The Basics"

Eh...I'm actually ambivalent on this issue. I have no issue with the things school decides we have to know; it's mostly BS after a certain point, as KFC Nyan Cat said. I do have a bone to pick with the way school teaches us that stuff- it kills interest on a soul level. I actually enjoy the many subjects I hated in school now- art and craft, math, and the local languages. I also hate the artificially arbitrary nature of school; marks and such have zero relevance outside school, it's basically "Do this crap because we told you to do it." No other reason.

As for the age thing, it's way better to let children learn at their own pace, thus identifying the more gifted ones (I was in this category till 6th; I'm just a slacker now.) and ensuring that the less gifted ones don't slow them down, like the current system is doing.

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01-29-2015 03:51 AM
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Ky Offline
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Post: #7
"The Basics"

I learned everything a grunt worker needs to know - reading, writing (albeit sloppily), and basic arithmetic (sans exponents) - before I even entered kindergarten. I worked with computers before it was cool it was considered a life skill. I had enough knowledge of entrepreneurial ventures that, in the absence of child labor laws, I could have started my own business before I was 10. While this isn't proof that "the basics" aren't a necessary part of education, it is an example of how not everybody needs school to learn "the basics".

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01-29-2015 04:30 AM
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Dikont5 Offline
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RE: "The Basics"

(01-27-2015 12:19 AM)lisafromjackson Wrote:  If we leave kids to follow their own interests they won't learn the basics or become culturally literate. This is dangerous to the continuation of our society.

If we require them to learn both, then they will.

Discuss.

Define "the basics" and not in an black and white term as most authority figures would place it. Instead, explain in terms of relativity and creativity, and most children would be able to understand the given material. Given the meaning of culturally literate, I presume that you mean that the child is capable of procuring their individual though processes towards politics no? In what sense would it be dangerous? If the child's natural understanding of society is stunted during their crucial development years, then would it be safe to proclaim that they won't understand politics at all, but just as a game in which they have to pick sides and be used as pawns?

lisafromjackson, I admire you posting the typical proschool stance and leaving it to school survivalists to counteract that argument, but if you wanted to manipulate the audience, then wouldn't it be easier if you simply linked the conversation from whence the conflicting statement originated? Then, it would be much easier to provide definitive rebuttals, and counterarguments towards the audience while keeping school survival free of the same topics that can be merged into one thread instead

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(This post was last modified: 01-29-2015 01:11 PM by Dikont5.)
01-29-2015 01:09 PM
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Aureate Offline
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Post: #9
RE: "The Basics"

Quote:If we leave kids to follow their own interests they won't learn the basics or become culturally literate. This is dangerous to the continuation of our society.

If we require them to learn both, then they will.

Discuss.

When you refer to basics and cultural literacy, I will assume you mean those elements of a general education that are imperatives. You propose that we "require" children to learn these things, and it would be an untoward suggestion indeed that a free society demand superfluous action from its citizens. One could contend that even a necessary action for another's well-being ought not to be forced upon him, but we need not accept that for my following assertions to stand.

I will argue that school is obliged to demonstrate three things before it can deem its subjects educational imperatives:

(1) that what it purports to teach its students is necessary for social adequacy

By definition, we cannot call subjects imperative if they are not necessary.

(2) that it effectively imparts knowledge of said subjects

If school subject x is an imperative, but it is ineffectively conveyed, then we are destined for inadequacy regardless of our attendance or absence from school. We ought then to accept our lowly status rather than grasp at false hope of deliverance, pouring years of life into illusory pursuits.

(3) that its students are inadequate prior to receiving instruction

Educational imperatives are stripped entirely of their urgency when they are already possessed.

Note, if you have not already, that failure to prove even one of these criteria renders curriculum less than imperative, depriving us of the authority to demand it from a compatriot.

Now we must question whether schools fail to meet any of the criteria.

Is what school purports to teach its students necessary for social adequacy?

In high and middle school, experience should be sufficient to answer this question with a resounding no. If one can think of a subject in high or middle school that is imperative, I will be glad to analyze its merit in a response.

Accept, before you waste your time seeking a counterexample, that a mathematician needs only to be fluent in English, not to familiarize himself with the writing of Charles Dickens or the grammatical minutia of the language. Accept that an author needs only to wield arithmetic, not to study algebra. If either of the aforementioned seriously wish to venture from their chief passions, they have that right, but you are advocating universal compulsion. Your subject must stand an equal beside arithmetic and reading.

There is also the problem of the internet; I submit that receiving 100% on a test where use of the internet would guarantee anyone the same is demonstrative only of wasted time. Only during particularly imaginative dreams am I confronted with an environment in which immediate use of the internet is important but impossible. You have gained no adequacy by lessening your dependence on such an ubiquitous tool.

In elementary school, it is true that important concepts are among the curriculum. It does not wholly fail to demonstrate its curricula's necessity, so I will generously grant it this criterion.

Does school effectively impart knowledge of its subjects?

Let us say that history, one of the core subjects in high, middle, and elementary school, is in fact a necessity. A short conversation with any adult graduate should convince you of the pathetic failure of rote memorization to convey it. My parents cannot speak for even a minute on historical subjects they spent years learning in high school.

My father was forced to study Spanish for hundreds of hours. Almost immediately after the knowledge ceased to appear on his assessments, his vocabulary and structural understanding of the language evanesced. I knew more than him after a mere two weeks in high school Spanish. Fortunately I relished the moment; now that I have satisfied my Spanish requirement of two years, my repertoire is rapidly becoming his equivalent.

Hilariously, many students not only forget what they learn in the years following its teaching; they fail to learn it in the first place! This is the plight so tearfully recounted by experts appraising America's relatively poor test scores. When I hear such woeful laments, I am thankful that our schools fail to fulfill my first criterion, that is, that their subjects are not uniformly relevant.

Are students inadequate prior to receiving instruction?

A thread exists on School Survival asking what aspect of compulsory education is most infuriating. Let this be my reply.

First I should mention that this is where elementary school suffers most profoundly. I allowed it my first criterion, only because I knew I had this silver bullet waiting in the chamber: it does not properly test for preexisting capability.

Some would say it is not the duty of the institution to do so. "If you're advanced, apply to skip a grade!" they declare with a condescending snort. What if a student's parents find that process inconvenient or unreasonable and refuse? There is a reason for its rarity in spite of the wide range of intellects that occupy every age group.

Consider the pupil who has sufficient understanding of a concept prior to being compelled to undertake its study. What is school for him once that study begins? Robbed of even perceived benefit, it fails to distinguish itself from a prison! I cannot emphasize enough the importance of constant testing for adequacy in a system requiring compulsory attendance. To neglect the former is to send a knight into battle unarmored. It invites the moral outrage that is utterly purposeless detainment.

And is there not something supremely doleful about arriving at class, deciding you are capable of the day's work (regardless of its usefulness), and realizing that significant time is to expire without personal improvement? Enduring daily an experience of that sort can break even steadfast spirits.

High and middle schools present an attractive facade of immunity by offering classes of varying difficulty. When one proves skilled at basic English, he can take honors or even AP level equivalents. These are not the fair substitutes they seem; I regard them as especially sinister. They are at once the school's admission that you are adequate and its promise that you will not leave. Age is the only ticket that will free you of study; to prove understanding will only burden you with a more extensive investigation of minutiae.

In conclusion, school proves not to be an educational imperative because it never meets all of the pertinent criteria, and it rarely meets any. I accept the importance of basics and cultural literacy, but they are rare sights in the classrooms of schools. Your sweeping suggestion that we "require" all youth to attend is not vindicated by necessity.
(This post was last modified: 01-29-2015 11:18 PM by Aureate.)
01-29-2015 05:14 PM
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lisafromjackson Offline
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Post: #10
"The Basics"

Dikon, there isn't any originating dialogue...I'm juxtaposing two ideas: the need for kids to learn content, which many of us think is powerful for cultural continuity, which leads to the perceived need to force them to learn content. Is this the only progression possible?

I give as little information as possible in order to NOT manipulate the discussion. All the information needed to ask for opinions is there. It also allows the discussion to go off in different directions.

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01-29-2015 11:42 PM
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Dikont5 Offline
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RE: "The Basics"

(01-29-2015 11:42 PM)lisafromjackson Wrote:  Dikon, there isn't any originating dialogue...I'm juxtaposing two ideas: the need for kids to learn content, which many of us think is powerful for cultural continuity, which leads to the perceived need to force them to learn content. Is this the only progression possible?

I give as little information as possible in order to NOT manipulate the discussion. All the information needed to ask for opinions is there. It also allows the discussion to go off in different directions.

Sorry for the misconception, Lisa. I understand why you made the discussion this way. And no, forcing a kid to learn will make them hate learning instead of making them love learning.There are several options to schooling if traditional schooling isn't working (like it is for most people).

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01-30-2015 09:51 AM
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Rule_BreakerXVIII Offline
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"The Basics"

Given that the best of this site is drawn out when people present pro-school arguments, thus causing us to present our side in a more polished way...I'm kinda thankful to lisa for playing the devil's advocate.

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01-30-2015 07:11 PM
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