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Default Are we screwing our kids over with our one size fits a all education?

August 22nd, 2012, 01:24
Originally Posted by Ubereil View Post
Considering their job is to teach children that sounds like a rather serious competence gap.



Considering the amount of kids who don't get those things from other places, that sounds like a major design flaw. Especially since school are the ideal place for kids to learn those things. They need to be prepped, but to learn how to treat other pepole you need other pepole to train on, which you'll get in school. And to learn how to learn you need teaching from someone who knows - and not all parents know that.

άbereil, who's heard Swedish class sizes are nearing 35 students per class
First of all no one needs to learn how to learn. Children start learning at birth and some studies would say before that, such as benefits from reading or singing to children while they are in the womb.

Children should already have basic social skills before entering school by interacting with other children( cousins,friends,siblings,etc) it's the parents job to ensure this happens. Also most people don't parent in a vacuum you have grandmas,grandpas,aunts,uncles and so on that contribute but the responsibilities falls squarely on the parents to ensure the child is being brought up with the right social skills and values.

Now whether all parents are equipped to do that is a whole other story.
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August 22nd, 2012, 07:41
Originally Posted by badmofo View Post
Hey you're right, those lazy teachers should be spending their spare time studying child psychology.
What spare time? The spare time they now spend planning tomorrow's lessons and correcting school work?

Originally Posted by badmofo View Post
School starts at 5 years of age here - too late.
Due to how children develop there's no point starting school earlier.

Originally Posted by badmofo View Post
And again, teachers are there to teach. If little Johnny is a biter then the teacher does not have the time or training to deal with it.
…and thus fails at his/her job.

If what you're saying is true we ought to ensure teachers have training that fits their tasks and time enough to preform all of them. Because the consequence of them not having the training and time to deal with kids that bite other kids is that they'll have to neglect other things to sort out the biting kid problem (many other things since their lack of training ensures they'll do a poor job of sorting it out).

Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
First of all no one needs to learn how to learn. Children start learning at birth and some studies would say before that, such as benefits from reading or singing to children while they are in the womb.
Learning in school and learning from parents are two different games which require different things from the kid. You rarely have to sit down and listen to your parents lecturing to you for long periods of time, you also rarely get a textbook with theoretical tasks which you have to do one at a time in a row, all while getting breaks when others say you're allowed to, not when you want one yourself.

In short, academic studies is different from many other things and to be successfull at it you need to build different sets of habits. This is unlikely to be done spontaneously.

Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
Now whether all parents are equipped to do that is a whole other story.
Well, they're obviously not, otherwise children would learn those things. So, like JemyM said, you can talk about what parents' responsibilites are until you're blue in the face, it's not going to change anything, really. If you want change, you need to figure out what's causing parents not to do the work you expect of them and fix that. If you don't do that you can safely assume that the problem will continue.

Also, all those pepole you claimed were to help out? They're disappearing from the childrens' lives. Society really is moving towards raising kids in vacuums. Which is a problem in itself, I think.

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August 22nd, 2012, 22:49
Well people have got internets to rely on now, rather than government. God knows everything on the web is reliable. Scary thought, eh?
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August 23rd, 2012, 12:40
Here in Germany there is currently a small movement gaining more attention which believes that handicapped children should be allowed to learn among normal children.

The only problem I personally see here is that of bullying, but with a well-made "inclusion", it wouldn't be a problem, because there would be other children always defending and caring for the handicapped children.

The thought-model behind this is not to treat handicapped children as "outsiders" by placing them into their own kinds of schools; instead, they should - or o the movement people say/believe - be "included" into normal society as soon as possible in order to develop a healthy self-esteem.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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August 23rd, 2012, 13:20
Alrik, that scenario is wrong as I live in the country where children with all types of dyslexia are mixed with those who can read/write/calculate normally. Bullying? Nah. Those kids simply "feel" they don't belong, build enormous amount of frustration and rage over the years of schooling but are actually very intelligent as they early compare themselves with others and conclude/speculate that they're in fact - stupid. The problem is - they cannot express themselves well enough within today's education standards.

Back then when I was just a kid I was not aware that some kids in my class have this problem and it was me also who thought they're plain stupid. Today one of my best friends has such dyslexia that after reading only one page in the book he stops as by his own words his head fells like it'll explode. But his logic and ideas are extraordinary. I'm not saying he's dyslectic genius, but I bet he wouldn't be frustrated so much if he wasn't in the same class with children who didn't have the problem. In his case, "the competition" was unfair.
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August 23rd, 2012, 16:20
I was not talking of psychical handicaps; I was rather meaning physical handicaps.

Edit : I just wanted to point out to the "Waldorf Schools", regardless of whether I like their concept or not it is nevertheless an interesting approach : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldorf_schools

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August 24th, 2012, 11:11
The education system is obsolete because it is an information based education system in an era where information is cheap and free. The education system needs to move to a skills based education system, so instead of learning about history and geography (stuff they can look up by themselves) children need to be taught how to research and analyse information for themselves (like in journals and not wikipedia), the ability to think, to communicate effectively (VERRRY important these days), to lead when required, to manage, to be creative. At the moment, high school education is only useful as a means to get into University. In other words it's a big fat waste of time because nobody learns anything useful there.
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August 24th, 2012, 11:51
Originally Posted by drae View Post
The education system is obsolete because it is an information based education system in an era where information is cheap and free.

[…]

children need to be taught how to research and analyse information for themselves
On the one hand you say that schools are obsolete and on the other hand you say that children need to be taught … ???


And, by the way, this "information age" view is a very technocratic one. It sees everything as information.

Examples of what is *not* information is music, for example. Who teaches to play an instrument ? Is this really "free and cheap" information you can researxch via the internet ? And who on the internet says to you if you have played the instrument correctly ? Have you ever tried to hit the right note by playing a violine ? Is this really "information" ? Trying to get out the "real notes" on a violine through trial and error ? And who teaches people the use of their ears to spot the notes within a song ? Because listening - listening so that one is able to distinguish the one note from the other - must be learned … How should this be able to perfom this "listening learning" through "information" alone ? - same goes for painting. Can I learn to become a good painter through "information" alone ? Is "the internet" able to teach me the appropriate techniques to paint a naturalistic landscape piece ?

I say we are rapidly growing into an technocratic age; into an age where everything which is *not* information becomes easily forgotten. Arts - who needs them ? They are not information !

Technology will rule - and this will challenge Humanity at its core - because people might at one point be advised by Technocrats to replace parts of them by technology. Human Revolution ???

They will advise this - and not touching Ethics, becase Ethics will be seen as obsolete, then (partly because Ethics is NOT Information …)

Humanity - as it is now - has a huge problem which fgrows bigger with each day of technological research : Ethics and Philosophy are far, far, far behind Scientific research and Technology. Right now, ex-chemists are developing drugs for drig cartels artificially - drugs they don't even know how they work ! - Thy just design them artificially - hrough the use of Information from books and from the internet ! - without knowing nd interested in how they work within humans - and what they are able to destroy within humans. They are only interested in chep and fast money revenues … No Ethics, please !

And this is the other side of an purely information-based society : The loss of music, of rts, and of emotions. One day people might even frown upon that. Because Information is then the new King ! (Like Money is nowadays …)

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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August 24th, 2012, 11:51
Drae, You are wrong on all counts. There is much which is useful that can be learned at all levels of schooling. Subjects like history, for example, become a tool whereby skills such as how to research and analyse can be learned and applied.

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August 24th, 2012, 11:51
Originally Posted by drae View Post
The education system is obsolete because it is an information based education system in an era where information is cheap and free. The education system needs to move to a skills based education system, so instead of learning about history and geography (stuff they can look up by themselves) children need to be taught how to research and analyse information for themselves (like in journals and not wikipedia), the ability to think, to communicate effectively (VERRRY important these days), to lead when required, to manage, to be creative. At the moment, high school education is only useful as a means to get into University. In other words it's a big fat waste of time because nobody learns anything useful there.
In essence I agree, but as an information provider schools also presents valuable information in a compressed format, most of which you do not figure out is important until you learned it.

Much of our comprehension is based on the knowledge we have so having knowledge improves comprehension. But if we do not first have the knowledge we cannot comprehend why it improves our comprehension.

Learning is slow at first but the more you know the faster you expand, so without the foundation given by schools, the ability to seek out your own information doesn't really help since you do not know what you are looking for.

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August 24th, 2012, 11:55
In an IT-based forum, someone says that it is okay that languages die out, because "the information is conserved".
This is just another example of an biased information-centrered, technocratic view.
Culture, for example, is something that cannot be expressed in Information alone.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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August 24th, 2012, 19:00
Originally Posted by drae View Post
The education system is obsolete because it is an information based education system in an era where information is cheap and free. The education system needs to move to a skills based education system, so instead of learning about history and geography (stuff they can look up by themselves) children need to be taught how to research and analyse information for themselves (like in journals and not wikipedia), the ability to think, to communicate effectively (VERRRY important these days), to lead when required, to manage, to be creative. At the moment, high school education is only useful as a means to get into University. In other words it's a big fat waste of time because nobody learns anything useful there.
Hey, that's sound like the Danish system - sort of.

In lower secondary schoool and also higher secondary school, the students are encoruaged to think for themselves, to do research and to make their own conclusion based on the information they've analysed - provided from either their teacher or themselves due to their research.

For instance, I have taught history to 7th graders in a school in Denmark, their assignment was to find out what people dressed like in the 13rd century, how the monks lived, did they have pets and animals and if so, how many. This encourage students to analyse information for themselves; I'll also have taught them how to present this information say in a power point presentation etc.

In Denmark, schools starts at age 6, the children then go into a kindergartenclass where they'll learn something like half the time and learn how to behave in school etc. the other half of the time.

Of course, students also need to be taught in a more traditionel sense, e.g. it is very hard to learn the periodic table other than memorize it (I think) or to learn verbs like to break broke has broken or sing sang has sung without students learning this by heart. I always tell my students that they have to learn this because there are no rules and they cannot look them up - or they can - but in a real situation where they'll need to use them, it'll look rather stupid that they say 'pardon me, mam, I need to check my dictonary'. Certain things in the communication go better if they're learned by heart - or are on the backbone or spine as we say in Denmark.

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August 25th, 2012, 00:34
Originally Posted by Corwin
Drae, You are wrong on all counts. There is much which is useful that can be learned at all levels of schooling. Subjects like history, for example, become a tool whereby skills such as how to research and analyse can be learned and applied.
Skills cannot be learned without also researching and studying a subject, but that subject should be up to the individual. The vast majority of all school takers will forget everything they learned in history a year or two after they leave school. It will also not be useful in their lives. Therefore the time spent studying it was nothing more than a waste of time. Why should a student be forced to learn things which are useless to them? It's extremely inefficient. Spending 6-12 years throwing information at kids only for the majority of that information to be forgotten and ignored is an example of one of the most inefficient systems in place in the modern world.

Schools need to focus on skills which would be useful to EVERYONE and not specific information which is only useful to a few.

Originally Posted by JennyM
In essence I agree, but as an information provider schools also presents valuable information in a compressed format, most of which you do not figure out is important until you learned it.
What information is this ? I never learnt unexpectedly important information when I was at school. Maybe I missed out *shrugs*

Originally Posted by JennyM
Learning is slow at first but the more you know the faster you expand, so without the foundation given by schools, the ability to seek out your own information doesn't really help since you do not know what you are looking for.
You make it seem like School's possess this secret information which when given to children will enable them to grow and learn by themselves but without which they will be lost and confused. I remember talking to some computer programmer mates of mine in Uni, according to him the students who did the best at Uni were the ones who reached Uni already experienced computer coders. One of my mates said there was a dude in the class who knew more about the programming language they were studying than their class tutor.

They didn't learn that at school, they learnt it by themselves because they were interested and did their own study. The idea that school's give students a critical foundation without which the student will be lost is not right. Definately not right. The only critical foundation schools give children is the ability to read.

It is much more important for students to able to THINK and RESEARCH for themselves.

Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
On the one hand you say that schools are obsolete and on the other hand you say that children need to be taught
I said schools are obsolete BECAUSE the education system is an information based system. I said that children need to be taught SKILLS and not just have information thrown at them.

Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Examples of what is *not* information is music, for example. Who teaches to play an instrument ? Is this really "free and cheap" information you can researxch via the internet ? And who on the internet says to you if you have played the instrument correctly ? Have you ever tried to hit the right note by playing a violine ? Is this really "information" ? Trying to get out the "real notes" on a violine through trial and error ? And who teaches people the use of their ears to spot the notes within a song ? Because listening - listening so that one is able to distinguish the one note from the other - must be learned … How should this be able to perfom this "listening learning" through "information" alone ? - same goes for painting. Can I learn to become a good painter through "information" alone ? Is "the internet" able to teach me the appropriate techniques to paint a naturalistic landscape piece ?
You don't learn music at school. Sure, you take a music class but the class is pointless and everyone who takes it can already play an instrument, or sing. Painting isn't learned at school either. You can take an arts class but again…

You learn these things outside of school. You learn very little that is important at school, actually.
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August 25th, 2012, 05:46
You have a VERY distorted view of schools and education.

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August 25th, 2012, 06:01
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
You have a VERY distorted view of schools and education.
I've talked to a number of employers in various industries… you'd be surprised at how worthless they think a school education is. Grades and performance at Uni are treated as fairly unimportant when they're looking for employees. Of course it depends on the industry… but you'd be surprised.
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August 25th, 2012, 06:10
I find myself agreeing with you drae, but I suspect that you - like me - learn best by experience, not by the traditional method of receiving large chunks of information that we're expected to remember and regurgitate at test time. Some kids do very well in the school environment, some are bored shitless. And if you're bored, you're not learning.

My wife is proposing that we send our kids to private school which is very expensive here. "Don't you want to give them the best chance at life?" she asks me, emotional blackmail style.

I think the money could be better spent taking the kids on holidays / buying them a piano, etc. Because that's how I prefer to learn.

Anyway it's an interesting topic, particularly in this day and age. Interesting times to be a parent!
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August 25th, 2012, 11:06
Originally Posted by drae View Post
You don't learn music at school. Sure, you take a music class but the class is pointless and everyone who takes it can already play an instrument, or sing. Painting isn't learned at school either. You can take an arts class but again…

You learn these things outside of school. You learn very little that is important at school, actually.
We do learn music here at school. I do even know personally a few people from my own school time who had music as one of their Abitur subjects.

The greatest part, however, of learning music is being taught in both public and private "Music Schools".

The basics of music (and easy instruments) are taught at school, but learning real instruments usually takes place in those music schools. That's how I had learned the guitar, too.

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August 26th, 2012, 00:35
Hey, I don't believe in one size fits all education, and I do know that people learn differently. However, to say that school is a total waste of time cannot go unchallenged. It may be for YOU, but not for everyone.

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August 26th, 2012, 05:33
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
Hey, I don't believe in one size fits all education, and I do know that people learn differently. However, to say that school is a total waste of time cannot go unchallenged. It may be for YOU, but not for everyone.
It's not about learning differently, it's all about outcomes and results. The information acquired in school will benefit you little in life (little bits here and there, nothing to justify 12 years of formal schooling though)… unless you plan to go to University, in which case the stuff you learn at school will benefit you only as a tool to get into University. It's useful for nothing else and is therefore a waste of time. Furthermore, information being cheap and widespread these days means that people no longer care about what somebody knows. As someone famously put it "it's all about what you can do with what you know"

The concept of 'education' needs to be updated. The fundamental goal of education and the methods to go about it havn't been changed in thousands of years. In that period of time, information has gone from a guarded resource known only by a few to a free commodity. The world is a very different place and it has made the education system useless. You'd be better home schooling your child but unfortunately your children may suffer socially from it.

Originally Posted by Alrik
We do learn music here at school. I do even know personally a few people from my own school time who had music as one of their Abitur subjects.

The greatest part, however, of learning music is being taught in both public and private "Music Schools".

The basics of music (and easy instruments) are taught at school, but learning real instruments usually takes place in those music schools. That's how I had learned the guitar, too.
I wasn't really talking about music schools. I was kinda talking about general schools where they teach the basics. Music schools I can understand, and if you want to learn music it seems like the way to go.
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August 26th, 2012, 07:42
It reminds me of a documentary I watched a few years ago.

Russians under the soviets used to screen select children with high IQ to send them to be trained in a school tutored by some of the best soviet scientists. The children should grow into the next generation of scientists.
They were given priviledged means, were sent on holiday camps, had access to a portative camera (back in the 1980s) etc…

A woman who went through the process had the idea of shooting a documentary to know what her class became.

At time of shooting, all her class was in their late thirties.

In order and not exhaustively:

-A first one became a mathematics researcher. He was drafted by severa colleges in the US that offered full scholarship so he could pass a PhD. He went to the US, grew homesick and was unable to write any research paper. He went back to Russia to live with his mother, started to write papers. His russian mentor was unpleased with his work ethics (laziness)Unmarried, no children.
-A second one went to the US, became a computer sciences professor in a small college. Married another russian from a similar mould. Had kids.
-A third one went to the US to become a Phd dropout, discovering that coding commercial programs was more lucrative. Was chasing the buck around. Got obsessive with his condo and invested everything he had in it. Was unmarried and absolutely did not want to get children.
-A four one became a realtor in Russia. He implied he had connections with the russian mafia. Was divorced. Married again. No children.
-The director of the documentary worked as a model because she had the build for (tall and slim) and was working through connections. She probably shot the documentary to reap more money. Unmarried. No children.
-Some others, none working in the research field. Most unmarried, no children.
-A last one. Had a sense of duty. Did not avoid the two years compulsory military conscription as the others did, even if he knew people like him were bulled in the military to help military groups to build military sense of belonging. After the two years, came back a broken man, lived with his mother, got suicided.
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