Re: The value of shopping local

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And what about her children? Have they been put in that situation because of THEIR choices?
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I wouldn't live in a country without a publicly funded educational system. That was the point. However, I do feel sorry for you that you can't look to other places for ideas.
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Don wrote:

Well, last night, I attended a kind of dinner-seminar-discussion with Matt Hern... Does that count? ;)
"...Other critical pedagogues more famous for their anti-schooling, unschooling, or deschooling perspectives include Ivan Illich, John Holt, Ira Shor, John Taylor Gatto, and Matt Hern..." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_pedagogy
...And:
http://www.democracynature.org/dn/vol6/hern_chaulk_internet.htm
(Unsure each article is related to the same person, but they probably are)
At the end of it, some of us split into groups and I mentioned in passing, my 'Inversity' idea to one group, and where they might be able to find a little about it-- namely at alt.architecture, of all places. :D
...I think it should be mandatory that the government pay each family with a child or more, enough money to buy a sailboat and sail around the world for a full year. ;)
(Although I'm still half-serious: http://www.bluewateradventures.ca/Special/school.htm There are doubtless countless other similar programmes out there.)
It is my contention that students need to be brought out into _the open_, from beyond the four walls of academia and into the real world of air, land and sea... and yes, maybe also markets and governments, etc..
Field-trips to museums are not the real world. A museum is yet another depository or institution.
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I actualy think that is not such a bad idea. Sometimes I think I owuld love to teach (I'm sure none of you has ever suspected that I have a bit of apedantic nature <LOL!!>), but the whole "classroom" thing puts me off, because what I would like to pass on is my love of, and excitement about, the natural world, and how Science helps us uncover and understand it. The problem is that this is extremely difficult, excpet for very talented "natural-born" teachers, to communicate withing th econfines of a concrete room.
The other problem is the strictures - I have a friend who is a teacher, and it seems that the *vast* majority of time is wasted upon adhering to this or that bureaucrat's pet dumbass "theory of education", and on teaching the kids to memorize the andwers of the dumbass "no child left behind" (talk about lack of truth in advertising...) Federal money acquisition forms.
IMO, Nature is the best classroom, because it is constantly stimulating, and is the wellspring of a child's curiosity - which, in turn, is the cornerstone of a continuing desire to learn.
Hence, I do not teach, and have never sought to little piece of paper taht grants me permission to do so.
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Kris Krieger wrote:

(Qualification: what follows is a hypothesis)
Agreed, but also including government, industry and markets and so forth-- whatever's part of the world and beyond.
'Open-Door Education'.
Education turned inside-out:
*_INVERSITY_*
If students are brought _way_ more beyond the classroom (and/or reinventing what a "classroom" and "school" are and can be), then those areas that they visit, study-- and, yes, even apprentice, co-op and work in, etc., will also learn and teach-- and have more to answer for. There will be more transparency by necessity.
Currently, students seem hardly allowed to go anywhere. That's not community or how close-knit, successful tribes worked, or anything else. It's built-in ignorance, failures and disasters waiting-to-happen. More eyes see more, even if they're still learning-- or maybe especially so.
If, as I've read this week here, education is supposed to prepare one for the real world, then I think we're going about it the wrong way.
I propose that the very act of seeding students throughout (which is where they should rightfully be) could change our systems/world for the better-- government, industry, markets, education-- everything.

I'd be surprised if you needed a paper to teach in many contexts. It might be just a question of getting it going, a la grass-roots.
For example, rather that just setting up a garage only for himself, Don could easily create a "one-room schoolhouse" for drafting and building.
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Don wrote:

Fair enough, and of course... I've already suggested, perhaps outright, that I value your "online forum" side(s). The many things you know that I don't is in part what brings me here-- architecture, building, ACAD, framing with balloons...
(joking with the last bit ;)
I love reading what you guys have to say in that area, even if I don't always completely understand it. Hopefully, our public sides, though, or the main sides others see, are fair to our sides unseen, that what-is and who-is behind the scenes is not somehow undermined or devalued, if only through the eyes of others.
If you feel you're not being read properly or fairly, perhaps it might be a good time to consider avoiding some topics that you think might put you in the mire... Not that that's necessarily a big deal if you can handle it, or that we'll all invariably end up there from time to time! :)

Very cool and commendable, and glad you shared it-- it's inspirational.

Hypothetically, an iceberg, brimming with clear pristine fresh ice, can float by an industrial town and get its above-surface portion coated with a thin brownish-gray film of industrial pollutants. ;)
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I think of going outside, because that is the very first thing you can do with children. Everything else comes later ;)

Anyplace can be a classroom. That's the point that IMO too many poeple miss. THe best IMO is to go out, observe, collect data, and so on, and then come back (to someplace) to discuss it, digest it.
I could never do math because it was never tied to anything - it was just a matter of "shut up and learn it, and if you can't learn it, shut up anyway". Once i got out of school, I did more math than I ever did in school, because it bacemae a tool rather than just some abstract bit of pedagoguery.

True.
Heh ;)
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Kris Krieger wrote:

I think you are absolutely correct. http://www.outdoorlab.org/Home2.asp Curricula: http://www.outdoorlab.org/learning2.asp This is one example. There are many others. And there are guides online for how to design and plan your own . Here are a few links: http://jeffcoweb.jeffco.k12.co.us/elem/windypeak/proginfo.html http://www.clemson.edu/outdoorlab/ and http://www.westminster.edu/common/coding/404.cfm show difference in approaches.

I home schooled for many years so I'm with you on this one.

Nothing like learning multiplication with half cartons of eggs and then using those eggs to make omelettes, angel food cakes and etc. Can do division with piles of nails...

Carpentry projects are great for kids to learn a little solid geometry.

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THe other thing is, WHy bother kids if you aren't going to enjoy them? I couldn't have any, but if I did, esp. when older, the greatest thing would be going out and watching them explore teh world. One of the best things about raising birds was seing them do that, explore their world (huge cage but often, the whole apartment <g!>) and grow and develop. I just don't see why a lot of people have kids at all, given that many just ignore tham and bitch about them.

My Dad taught me fractions like that. Fodd is always a good stimulant for learnign <LOL!>

Or even things like Origami, or making models (plastic, paper, wood, clay, whatever).
The worst way, IMO, is to take active, squirmy kids, slam their butts down into a chair, and expect them to learn a bunch of rote stuff that isn't related (byt the instructor) to anything useful or practical or real.
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I've saved the post so I can look those up later (my system is getting wonky again, IE is really *slow* - must be time to re-re-re-re-re-install Windows XP =:-p ).

My schooling was kind of pathetic, so I srt-of "self-schooled", whihc is the root of my views on this. ALso, given that my brain doesn't function "normally/inan average manner", I don't learn well in a classroom situation, and can't follow long lists of instructions when there is no overarching principle offered. I learn better from being able to figure out the principle, and then extrapolate the details/instructions. Which is great with computer software - people do tend to use similar principle,s so, once you figure out how one program saves files (directory structure and all of that), you can pretty easily know how *any* prog will save files. And so on. IOW, I sort-of have to work inversely to how most things are taught in a classroom. I learned Russian from tutors, for example, through speaking, and got good whough to work with the language after a rather brief time. OTOH, learning language (German) in a classroom took me at least three times as long, and that was without having to learn a new alphabet.
OTOH, it seems to me that a lot fo people learn better tha same way. I don't know about most, but I think that kids who are having "trouble" with learning are merely having trouble with the teaching methods ;)

ANything practical works! Although food is always a good incentive <G!>

Building anything - kites, scale models, Orogami, paper models - it all is good, and all you have to do is find out what the child enjoys. IMO, the buiggest problem with classroom learning is the whole "siddown and shaddup" thing that so often happens. SOme kids do learn best in a classroom situation, but certainly not all, and esp. not those who are more rambunctious or have any sort of quirks (I dislike the term "disability", because IMO, it is too often considered to be a sort of absolute thing - rather than a wall, tho', it's more like a bumpy part of a road that one has to negotiate differently than one negotiates the smooth part of the road).
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Reading is the foundation for pretty much everything else, becuase one *can* learn so much from books. When a kid in school, I wondered why we couldn't just read books an dexplanatory texts, and get tested on that, because most of the teachers I had pretty much just had us read textbooks, and thmselves just read their teacher's handbooks - when I asked "odball" questions (i.e., stuff "normal" kids didn't think to ask, and which had n oanswers in the teacher's handbooks), it caused problems. So, for me, books were the best things. Of course, I also didn't learn to read in school, but at home, so there ya go...
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I always used to get "I never thought of it that way" and "I'll have to go look that up" :-)
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Then why do you belittle solutions from other countries (or simply looking at other countries that don't implement sensible solutions as examples of what failures we'd be if we didn't do that either)?

If I had kids, I would home school them. But I don't get all that concerned about the educational system as a whole, because I think it is pretty much what the people who do have children want. Like you said about quality food, if people have no experience of anything else and don't have a demand there for anything else, why change it? Plus, I suspect it is a bit dangerous for parents who haven't learned to think critically to be responsible for children who have.
-Amy
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Amy Blankenship wrote:

I don't belittle solutions in other countries. But their systems aren't based on the same stupidity ours is. They don't assume that more moneytter education. Here's a model I'd like to see followed:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20040416/ai_n11450489
But you must understand that culturally, the Finns are different (I've lived there, I have Finnish relatives, I understand the culture). They don't spend nearly as much money as we do to educate our children. Why? The parents instill the idea that education is very important into their children. This idea is reinforced throughout society. It works because culturally, education is important, not because they spend money. And they mean it. We pretend to mean it. Until we really mean it, and not with money, we'll continue to have schools that turn out brain-dead idiots expecting the government to solve their problems.
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I wasn't speaking to you, but to the person who posted that.

You know, I find the most interesting thing in that article the fact that so many Finns want to be teachers. I had a several day long conversation with a colleague last week over something similar. He said that it is best to learn something from a course, because you don't know what you need to know until you take the course. I said it is best to learn on your own, because if someone is teaching a technical subject, it is pretty much a given that they don't know enough about it to be useful, since the experts are out there doing it. If you're lucky the experts will blog about it, but they are not sitting down and making up courses and they are _certainly_ not taking time out to teach.
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Don wrote:

_Inversity_, folks. "Get the kids out, bring the professionals in."
Don; how about conducting a drafting class at your place?

Some who teach are also doing other things, like research, and vice-versa.
Here's another expression: 'It takes a village to raise a child.'

Ya gotta luv statistix.
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...

And that is a good thing. I am reading a book called "The Medici Effect", which suggests that the best opportunities for creativity come from stepping outside your comfort zone.
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"More Money" is unfortunatley very American - it's a lot like "bigger vehicles" and "giant teevee screens". IOW, the entire "bigger is better" mentality. What matters more is quantity rather than quality, appearance rather than substance.
The most important aspect of education, however, is *not* ever-more- expensive gee-gaws, but rather, learning how to think - how to gather facts, assimilate them, derive principles, and then apply thiose principles to other areas. I learned that on my own, but it'd be interesting to see it being taught, because it's so useful.
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None,. but as I keep saying, what I'm trying to get at is giving children an opportunity to be *educated*, not forcing them to be warehoused or turned into factory-wheel cogs, no matter how fancy-assed that warehouse or tool-and-die plant might be.
WHat you cite is what I've consistently citred as being not education, but self-perpetuating buraucracy run amok. IMO, most of what you mention is complete BS and people should not be forced to pay for it, if they are not using such facilities.
OTOH, I'd be willing to volunteer to teach reading and writing, if it would be permitted - which it sn't, because I'm a "loon" - a loon with a 164 IQ, bachelor's in science, and a wazoo-full of post-grad and continuing education credits plus various sorts of job expereince, but a loon nonetheless, so there ya go, the masses have spoken. WHcih still doesn't mean that I think children ought to have the opportunity to receive education...children aren't born as stupid as most parents are, it takes years of training, and puberty, to turn them into acceptable idiots. ((Yes, I *am* feeling somewhat cynical today.))
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I think the point is that, if education is the right of all children, how do the People, through the gov.t, see to it that all children have access to education?
So, for example, if you are home-schooling your children, then IMO you should receive a tax reduction, because you are not using the public schools, but not an exemption because it can be well-argued that education benefits everyone.
I do not think that "education for every child" should be at all *equated* with "the current public school system and its accompanying over-bloated bureaucracy".
I do think that education is the right of every child, because I see education as an intrinsic part of both maintaining liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I therefore do think that education should be a shared responsibility by a People concerned with liberty, and individual fulfillment.
I do not think that what occurs in public schools is education, and therefore do not beleive that it is right or fair that huge amounts of taxes are collected in order to support what is, for the most part, a self- perpetuating bureaucracy which not only does not, but by its very nature (as a bureaucy) cannot focus upon it purpoted role.
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