Education

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Well, I see that the usual Political Scientologists are about.
The geniuses of the moment and the arguers of the nonsensical.
Grab hold of this for a bit.
There has been more than passing mention of Education.
But it always seems to devolve about the "How".
I would like to see us address the "What".
Why, in god's name did we ever teach Latin?
If you thought that was because we gloried in a dead language - mark that as wrong.
Why did we ever bother teaching Literature?
You probably got that wrong, too.
Why would anyone teach History?
...sigh...
There are too many who treat education as a trade school and bear little support to the concept of it being a training ground for - humans - citizens...
You do remember when we were citizens?
Not consumers?
Not voters?
"Next to god, of course, America, I"
Were you paying attention?
It is not about "how" we educate, it is about "what".
As always, make your choices carefully - and keep your eye on the ball.
Regards,
Tom Watson
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 /
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Tom is a poet.
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Please use OT in your topic line as "* Education - 7 new" could be a post about Wood Working Education given this is a list devoted (I thought) to that topic.
You hooked me into this and I should have simply "walked away," but I thought to reply because my list of " Today's most active topics:" appears t ist three OTs with only one so labeled. Come on fellas, let's focus.
Today's most active topics:
* Joining two boards - 16 new http://groups.google.com/group/rec.woodworking/t/b6e373c2f38310d7?hl=en * OT: Huckabee, Ughh - 16 new http://groups.google.com/group/rec.woodworking/t/fceb46c5f09f44d6?hl=en * Education - 7 new http://groups.google.com/group/rec.woodworking/t/4da7537f906e152d?hl=en * Woodworking Show at the Big "E" this weekend? - 7 new http://groups.google.com/group/rec.woodworking/t/4d957a9e1c69c4c3?hl=en * Here we go again - 6 new http://groups.google.com/group/rec.woodworking/t/b4c6c43ccc6dd3f6?hl=en
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Tom Watson wrote:

To learn us better English.

To learn us how other people lived and see the common denominators among us all.

To rewrite it so that it suits current political / fashion and to promote the Big State as the solution to all ills, historical and current.

I rather respect trade schools. The produce graduates that do useful things. A good many schools of more better learnin' produce contempt for the values and ideals that make this Republic work, principally because their faculties have never had to sing for their own suppers.

We still are. The term is just being defined downward to mean either mindless nationalism or "progressive" thinking. All else is held in contempt by far too many

The two are not mutual exclusive notwithstanding the romanticized version of our cultural history frequently put forth. Were it not for consumption and consumers, most of us would still be working 16 hours a day on the farm.

An imperfect means to an end, better than all known alternative means of projecting our wishes.

Common and polite use capitalizes "God".

For many years. More recently ... with horror.

That idea lost currency the moment education became a function of the Federal government. Today's "education" is a madrassas for Statism, the rest is but noise.

Yes, do choose politically and socially between the Big State and the Really, Really, Really Big State.
--
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There are several typos in that post - mutual exclusive? - yet you chose to pick on this one, why?
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Jeff wrote:

I was being a wise guy ... no harm intended...
BTW, on this topic, I thought this was interesting:
http://www.fredoneverything.net/DarkAge.shtml
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tim Daneliuk snipped-for-privacy@tundraware.com PGP Key: http://www.tundraware.com/PGP /
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about the empty posts.
Maybe we should talk about 'who' and 'where' we teach. As a retired teacher I know that if a kid doesn't want to learn, no amount of increased educational spending will make him learn and if a kid wants to learn, nothing can stop him.
There are too many schools in this country where 1/3 of the students show up to be students,1/3 shows up to hang out and 1/3 doesn't show up.
It's time to separate students into different schools according to their motivation and to give up the idea that if we spend enough money we can save everybody.
Stewart
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I'm curious Mr. Schooley, who gets to decide what level of motivation is sufficient and at what age do you simply write off those who you deem "unmotivated"?
As the father of a child saddled with both a learning disability and an extremely high IQ, I'm naturally curious about your parameters.
John E.

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Children with special needs are a different category entirely. There are all kinds of programs for these children in schools all over the country. Most of these programs attempt to integrate these students as much as possible into the regular school environment and that is desirable.
Spending money on these students and on studies that allow educators to work with health professionals to develop the best programs for these students is money well spent.
Stewart
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I noticed you sidestepped my main question, who gets to decide who's "motivated" and who's just a lil bastard?
John E.

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"John E." wrote in message

How about "the student" ... through aptitude testing/testing, much the same as is done currently to decide who goes to college, only at an earlier age.
England moved away from such a "Tripartite" system, that observably worked extremely well, through an "Eleven plus exam", and now, after trotting off down a less sucessful path, appears to be moving back in that direction.
Once again, see:
http://www.summitsat.co.uk/about-11-plus-exam.php
And once more, in a past post of mine:
"8th grade is a good 'fork in the road' ...
Those who have the desire to continue with a classic education and go on to college can continue on a different track without being drug down by the shenanigans of those who have no desire to ever go to college.
Those who want to go into a trade or technical field don't have to sit through the crap and can immediately get down to the business of learning the skills that will eventually get them though life."
A much better solution for all concerned, including the country, IMO.
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In some ways, it certainly is better. I'm not sure how well it handles the occasional misfit like me, though. By 9th grade, I was ready to do something else, though I was still doing well in school. The next year saw me totally inactive as a student, a feature that continued throughout high school, with the exception of American history classes and English. I passed and was seldom disruptive, but I sure didn't learn much--to my later regret. I also enjoyed woodworking and machine shop, but had no idea of a career direction--that didn't really come until I was most of the way through college, and 29 years old. I was 30 when I finally quit working my way through college, and sometimes wonder why I bothered. A degree in English lit is not exactly a career opening key, and wasn't intended to be. Part of it was to get my mother off my ass, and part was to see what I could find out about writing in other ages. Those worked pretty well. I still prefer potboilers for recreational reading, but do a lot of reading in various areas of history, archaelogy, and similar subjects. I like to think I have a modest understanding of what has made people tick over the ages, though I'm sure I'm wrong in some areas. The degree was actually more of a start to a true education than it was the end of an education. Too many people today seem to consider any college degree as a ticket to big bucks; mine couldn't even get me a job--which is why I ended up doing what I'm doing. A couple years as a substitute teacher was enough to convince me that wasn't my field.
It may not be generally important to allow a bit more flexibility than the Brits were noted for having, but I think there is some importance, though I would imagine something along the lines of the GED as it is in use today might work. And, hell, I might have enjoyed standing at a lathe or milling machine day after day just as much as I enjoy sitting behind a computer. Or more. Roads never taken...at least not for long enough to make a solid determination. One of my old high school friends combined careers: he was a model making machinist and also road raced motorcycles in the AFM. Today, he teaches sail planing. Gene never finished high school but owns land parecels all over the western U.S.as a retirement package.
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John E. wrote:

I'd give the prerogative to the teacher/administrator. IMO, there's no problem in determining which is the former and which the latter, it's the lack of being allowed to enforce discipline and whiny parents that's the problem.
Sit down, shut up, do what you're told and we'll all get along just fine... :)
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"John E." wrote

I'm the father of one young lady with a severe learning disability and a respectably above average IQ (and with a helluva lot of fortitude and character), who is now a senior in college.
It would boggle most minds to observe the volumes of paperwork, hard drive files, e-mail, letters, minutes of IEP meetings, faxes, documentation of threats/praise/encouragement to teachers/educrats (for doing/not doing what they were paid to do), and the constant vigilance and involvement that was necessary during the "public school K-12" part of the above educational experience.
IMNSH(and very experienced)O ... the "What" we need in today's crippled public education system can be inarguably be summed up in one word ... the only word that is the basis of ALL solutions:
"parents"
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That covers more than just education. In a "Dear Abby" (or the equivalent) a couple of days ago, there was an item about a woman who had two 20-somethings living at home and who had just retired. She told the kids she was going to start charging them $30/week rent to help supplement her reduced income and they declined although intending to continue living there. One said something to the effect that he wasn't going to help her pay her mortgage.
My neighbor (who still has teenagers at home) and I (we're empty nesters) were discussing that and we both agreed that there was a severe lapse in parenting in those kids' lives and that the retired woman didn't "deserve" what she got, but she's not entitled to be surprised.
By the way, I am not at all unfamiliar with the concept that there may be more to that story than was presented or published. But on the face of it, there's a lesson which ties into this thread.
--
LRod

Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
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"LRod" wrote

How about, "You reap what you sow"? ;)
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Bingo!
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Swingman said:
,,,

Hear, hear.
Although at this late date, and after being exposed to some genuinely spoiled little cretins from a variety of backgrounds, I'm beginning to appreciate the Samuel Clemen's style of raising children. Put 'em in a barrel, nail on the lid, feed 'em through the bung hole, and decide at age 18 whether to drive in the bung. ;-)
Greg G.
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