Will Education Evolve??

Discussion in 'Community' started by eclipse525, Oct 7, 2003.

  1. eclipse525 macrumors 6502a

    eclipse525

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    #1
    So I'm having this discussion with some co-workers and the topic of Education is this country poppd. Mainly because some of them are married and expecting. Most of us agreed that the educational system in this country is out-of-whack and out-of-date. Nothing seems to be changing anytime soon and that is worrying many people. So some of them are considering alternate schooling systems or even sending them abroad. One option that someone mentioned was the "Waldorf Schooling" <http://www.awsna.org/education-aboutwaled.html>, which after reading up on it seems like a great direction. The other option was to send them abroad with sponsering families, which also seems like a great way to go. This went on and on. Acouple of main points that this country's educational system focuses on is how much 'Knowledge" you can aquire but their is almost a non-existent teaching on how to harness that "Knowledge"........in other words "Wisdom" is not considered a part of the educational process. Hmmm.....how can you give someone power without the wisdom to weld it?

    Anyway, I thought it was interesting and wanted to get my fellow Mac-Heads view on the subject.


    ~e
     
  2. Phil Of Mac macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

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    #2
    The current educational system is flawed at its roots. Small class sizes and more funding will do nothing to substantially improve the current system. There are definitely better ways to teach our children. As Albert Einstein once said, "It's a wonder curiosity survives formal education."

    What we need to do is to ferment the natural curiosity of all children, instead of suppressing it. A curious, literate child let loose in a public library can amass more knowledge than most college graduates by the time he's 15, if he wants to.

    Another important thing is to allow progress to happen at its own pace. One size does not fit all. My mother runs a Kumon math and reading program. The curriculum is set out, and what the student does is progress through worksheets at his or her own pace. The levels are denoted by letter, and you progress from worksheet 1 to 200 of each level. Each level roughly corresponds with one grade in school, but with some schools lowering their standards, Kumon is even more aggressive than that.

    Kumon works *perfectly* for almost all students because you proceed at your own pace. You do anywhere between 3 to 10 sheets per day depending on how upper-level the math is. There are no calculators allowed. If you make mistakes, then you have to keep working on the problem until you get it right. When you get to a point of relatively good proficiency with the work you're going, you get to progress to the next set of 10 within the level.

    In my mother's Kumon program, there are 10 year olds doing high-school level math and middle schoolers doing harder math than I ever did in high school. If you're smart, you can go as fast as you can, if you're not as smart, there's no stigma to it. Education is personalized and individualized to each student.

    The work is also timed, but accuracy is far more important than speed, although both are necessary for progress.

    The things that are right about Kumon are the same things that are wrong about current schools.

    In current schools, you progress based on age. You might skip a grade or two if you're smart, but that's the exception. And because there's so much stigma in being held back, kids who have trouble are thrown ahead into a grade they're not prepared for, end up confused, and give up. In the meantime, smarter kids who are held back and taught the same things year after year after year get bored and give up

    Current schools are one-size-fits-all. That might work with Krispy Kreme hats, but what's inside the head can differ far more than the size of the head itself--not just in ability, but in how that ability is manifested.

    The Kumon method itself, indeed, does not work for all children. My essential point is: There are all sorts of educational methods, and restricting ourself to the one that just happens to be a state-controlled monopoly is stupid.

    Education does not need to mean school. We owe more than that to our children.
     
  3. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

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    #3
    The children are being taught by products of a flawed educational system. They in turn will propagate the flawed education system. Sort of a vicious cycle.

    I fear that the middle class will dissapear over the next century as the smart get smarter and the dumb get dumber.
     
  4. Phil Of Mac macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

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    #4
    That is the biggest problem.

    The first thing we must do is remove the current system. Since stupidity is the root cause of all human problems and the current system propagates stupidity, we cannot solve anything while we have the current school system in place.
     
  5. Macco macrumors regular

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    #5
    Phil-
    While it is great to allow children in school to progress at their own rate, I don't see your mother's method as the best. It doesn't seem ideal for students to learn math merely by doing hundreds upon hundreds of programs. This system runs the risk of teaching kids that math is all about rote memorization and repetition, instead of something exciting and interesting with real-world applications. I know this from first-hand experience. I am currently in an Algebra II honors course at school, approximately two years ahead of most public school, and I can say that math class has failed to interest me this year. We do repetetive problems for homework days after most people have already grasped the concept. This leads me to think that the best way to teach math is to allow students to progress quickly, without forcing them to do mindless problems over and over again.
     
  6. eclipse525 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse525

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    #6
    Creative subjects should not be electives BUT major subjects. Creativity is a MAJOR part of who we are as individuals. It's what makes us Human Beings. Yet, it's suppress or rather pushed aside in our schooling system.

    We should also teach them critical thinking skills. The problem is that our government fears that because it will breed a population of people who actually think and question the systems oppose to just going along with it. The will realize that the history taught in this country is how the United States see's history. Our take on an event. Travel outside the U.S. and see just how differnt they interpret the same history. We always seem to be the good guys. Could History not be fact but rather an opinion or perspective and if so, how much weight should it hold.



    ~e
     
  7. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #7
    i hate my school and its teachers, i have one teacher who knows whats going on and how to teach. like in my government test all we do is read a chapter and memorize everything for a test the next week. i learn nothing from government, just how to memorize a bunch of s*** for a test. its ridiculous. my math teacher blows too. i started doing bad and my mom got me a tutor and i understand everything. history is stupid too, just read a book, learn a date and memorize it so you can say it again on a test and never use it again. i hate tests and all that stuff. we ahve tests in biology but he is the only teacher whose teaching methods work and i have no problem with them.

    iJon
     
  8. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #8
    i think the middle class will be gone due to normal macroeconomic fluctuations where the rich get the upper hand and get richer while the poor get poorer and the middle class vanishes for a few decades

    it will happen many times and be cyclical and have very little to do with education

    two thirds of millionaires are born that way in the usa so they will keep their money and not one iota of education will stop the birthrite of the rich and their desire to keep the money in their tight little fold

    if a lot of people get highly educated but don't have the money to start out with, they will simply be poor and very smart and it's something i see a lot in college towns like santa cruz and berkeley here in northern california...in order to get allocated monies for education and to increase that funding, the ultra liberals have drummed into our heads the myth that education can magically make you jump a class or two with ease...they perpetuate that myth to get funds for their pet educational programs

    education is good for educating the populace, but not for making them richer and education should be looked upon favorably for what it is...and people should realize that it's not a job training program that needs money to constantly be funneled into it...that only leads to a over bloated inefficient system

    i can't stand government pork and the common lies that surround it saying, "more, give us more...for the survival of teh universe" he he...and i am a registered democrat and the "big wasteful education lobby" is just one of those powerful entities that make the rest of us liberals look stupid to a lot of people
     
  9. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

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    Oct 6, 2003
    #9
    Check out an IB Math textbook. They are much better than most others in the US. I noticed that the math textbooks in Japan tend to be more like the IB texts.

    Kumon style drills are very good for some people. I have heard from several people that they found Kumon to be very effective for them.

    Our college system in the U.S. is pretty good but not fabulous. Nevertheless, it is well respected throughout the world. The K-12 schools are pretty lousy.

    One improvement I was considering is flexible enrollment throughout the year for K-12. Basically this would eliminate the grade system per se and students could progress at different rates and take vacations when convenient for their family. One way would be to have 3 semesters in a year with a week vacation between them. Students would be required to attend at least any two semesters in a given year. They could then take an extra semester to either catch up or advance further or just take one semester off as a summer(or winter, spring, fall) vacation. Children could first enroll at the beginning of any semester, so this would reduce the problem of certain students just missing the birthday cutoff point. Basic proficiency tests would be required to move up to more advanced middle school or high school levels. These tests could just be a pass/fail test to discourage people from worrying too much about test scores.

    This is more of a systemic solution and doesn't attempt to address problems regarding teaching materials and methods.
     
  10. eclipse525 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse525

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    #10
    Education has everything to do with it. At school as well as at home. Believe me, when I tell you this, it's 'the will of the people' that will determine the direction of this country. NOT the rich fat cat that everyone thinks. If the people will it, the Rich have no choice but to bow down. If not they will. This country needs a movement and it starts by planting these seeds in our children and nurturing them till they are strong minded enough to change this country.

    You are not born 'ANYTHING' until you are taught that what you become.

    ~e
     
  11. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

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    #11
    It is pretty clear that education is an important factor in the competitive advantage of nations (see Porter). It also has been shown to be an enabler for some people to improve their income. Unfortunately many other barriers exist to prevent people from improving upon their level of relative wealth. No economic system so far has been perfected to improve overall levels of wealth in a nation while preventing dramatic disparity of income and wealth. However, more education and job training has a very positive effect on the overall employment level and wealth generating capacity of a nation. It isn't the only factor involved, though. Politicians often erase gains or help distort perceptions for their own goals or out of ignorance.

    On an individual level people need to be helped to and held responsible for their own education and training. Individuals need to be flexible enough to be willing to change careers when conditions change but should also be assisted during that transition so that they do not suffer financial hardship because of the change.

    Right now there is no adequate system in the US for helping individuals or for protecting the overall long term growth of the US economy. Jobs and training programs are currently inadequate. The Federal Reserve helps to maintain a balance between inflation and growth but does not even pretend to try to manage the economy. Free marketers argue that management is bad but historical data is neutral so far.
    Besides, management does not have to mean micromanagement or restricting free enterprise. Of course poor management will almost always give poor results. There is no clear perfect economy. If I could come up with one I'd be happy to receive a Nobel prize.
    :cool:
     
  12. Phil Of Mac macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

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    #12
    While I respect my mother very much, I cannot credit her with this system, it was invented by Toru Kumon, a Japanese math teacher.

    The strengths of the Kumon method are that it makes you *very* good at doing the work. With something like math, understanding the concept alone is not sufficient, to be good at it, you need repetition. It's not memorization, though, it's practice. Like Tae Kwon Do, math is best learned through practice.

    That argument being made, no, Kumon does not work for all kids. No educational system does. That's why the idea of an educational monopoly is such a dumb idea.

    I'll agree with that assessment. Right now our colleges are based on lectures, and lectures were invented before the printing press because books were too expensive for everyone to have one. Any college student can predict the rest of the argument from here out, especially after he's bought his textbooks. That said, lectures might still be valuable, but we need to reevaluate the system. Yes, we need to reevaluate it at that basic a level.

    Not to mention the Business School Paradox: If you have to get an MBA in order to gain the skills to make a fortune, then why is it that the people teaching you how to make a fortune are teaching in a business school instead of making a fortune?

    It's a systemic solution to a systemic problem. It is not the be-all and end-all, but it's still good.

    Wealth isn't distributed from the rich to the rest of society, at least not in a halfway capitalist society. It's created by anyone who does productive work. Anyone smarter or better educated does more productive work, all things being equal. ("All things being equal" being an important phrase, because any exception you could think of would likely violate that condition).

    This is generally a good thing. Consider: Of the top ten richest people on earth, none of them are named Carnegie, or Rockefeller, yet the founders of these dynasties definitely were in the top ten. They've been replaced. This is a positive development because now we don't have to kill the bastards.
     
  13. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #13
    we are going to make the rich bow down?

    lmao...i needed a good hearty laugh tonight;)
     
  14. Phil Of Mac macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

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    #14
    We don't make them do anything, we just get richer than they are.
     
  15. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #15
    take the top 100,000 people then and see how rich their parents were on average...you won't find a lot of log cabin to mansion stories there...two thirds of millionaires being born that way is a lot...heck, even 20 percent of millionaires being born that way is a lot!

    wealth has an uncanny way of staying with the wealthy...they have the gigantic head start and if they don't have the smarts to keep it, they can easily hire a legion of accountants and lawyers to help them keep the wealth
     
  16. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #16
    man, what is this? comedy night?:p :p :p :p ;)
     
  17. Phil Of Mac macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

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    #17
    Sure, they'll stay wealthy. But while they're staying at the same place, new people are moving ahead and passing them.

    It's not unknown for the poor to enter the middle class, and it's not unknown for members of the middle class to become wealthy. So while no, not everyone makes the jump in a single generation, it's not unheard of to jump from the middle class.

    Unless you ban the rich from giving gifts or leaving inheritance, yes, that will happen. But over a given period of time, you will refresh the upper class with fresh blood.

    And if people are better educated, that will happen even more.
     
  18. Phil Of Mac macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

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    #18
    Yeah, you know those damn Rockefellers, they're not letting anyone get richer than them.
     
  19. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #19
    yes, i agree that it takes more than one generation

    and yes, i agree that people can sometimes, if not often, jump from poor to middle class

    but jumping to the wealthy is still a rare thing in one generation, or several generations...and the wealthy are not likely to just "stay" in one place while others catch up...and i don't think this makes the wealthy evil or mean spirited, they just want to hang onto what they believe is rightfully theirs and they don't think uncle sam should have a stake in it with a death tax

    our family is a microcosm of what i have seen in my city, state, and in the nation...if not the world...it goes like this: my wife and i both have university degrees and we make money and pay our bills and unless we win the lottery or something, we will never, under regular circumstances join the wealthy...but then take her cousins who didn't go to college because they don't have to...their father is a very rich man and has set up his kids for their life, and his kid's kids for their life...and to live it in extreme luxury if they please...now we all know cases like that everywhere we go where there are working people who have college educations and they have relatives who are not "educated" but are the idle rich...and their holdings are so much, the interest and dividends alone yield way more than the average college grad could make in a lifetime...do you think the bush family kids will live a different life if they don't go to college? what about the kennedys? or what about your rich relative's kids or your rich family friend's kids?

    see my point? in a nutshell, wealth usually comes from wealth, not smarts or a piece of paper on your wall that says you sat through four years of school...and the degree is honorable but not a correlation to money to the level of wealth (that myth of education=wealth, and more education=more wealth is perpetuated by the ultra liberal, ultra powerful education lobby to justify getting huge funds to push their human high school and college diploma mill factories) and yes as you know i am a democrat but when i see bull hockey, even when it's from my own party, i call it as i see it - if it smells like @@@@ and it looks like @@@@, then well, you know

    ...i know a local man with an olympic gold medal on his wall and that is highly impressive, but it does not make him rich...but we all know a trust funder with a good financial portfolio, from birth perhaps...and that kid is set up
     
  20. Phil Of Mac macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

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    #20
    You could always come up with an idea no one else has ever had before and risk your livelihood to put that idea into place. That's how Steve Jobs joined the wealthy, for one.

    Having a university degree is not the same as being well-educated. Some of the most well-educated scholars in world history didn't have a formal education. The purpose of education should be to educate, and at least the university system does that somewhat. But if people were *truly* educated, they would be...wealthier.

    I assume that you work in an honest profession, right? Make a reasonable income? Compared to the rest of the world, you *are* wealthy. Compared to any period in human history before this, and you are extremely wealthy, because you own things that didn't exist back then. So, no, being educated does not make everyone the richest man on earth, but it does, on the average, make you wealthier than you would be without it.

    Education does equal wealth, on the average. However, a college degree does not necessarily equal education. That's the fallacy that your ultra-liberal education lobby can't work their way out of.

    And wealth actually does come from smarts, originally. Why are the Rockefellers so damned rich? Because John D. Rockefeller was a genius, and he made enough wealth that it's been able to support generations of his children.

    On the average, a given individual is often wealthy because of his family. However, the wealth itself did come from smarts, and if you want to be on top of all the other wealthy families, you have to use your smarts to crease wealth for yourself. Obviously, not everyone can do this, but Howard Hughes did it, Larry Ellison did it, Sam Walton did it, Bill Gates did it.

    My point is, we do not have a static upper class. Further, my point is, if we had an educational system that actually worked, that actually educated people and stimulated their intellects, then everyone would be wealthier. And that is why we need to end the current state-sponsored monopoly on education and reform our educational system, providing as many different options, methods, and systems as needed, and create a well-educated nation. Then, we can fix the colleges, ensuring that our universities are transformed from mere gathering places for the young to drink and have sex to a place where students are able to gain greater knowledge and skill than ever before.
     
  21. eclipse525 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse525

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    #21
    WISDOM is what is missing in the equation. Knowledge+Wisdom is bound to create a society of wealthy people. In everyway, not just financially.

    Right now our society is all about 'Knowledge' but what's the point if you don't know how to use it properly. All the weathly people can help make the difference but most lack the wisdom to do good with their fortunes.

    ~e
     
  22. Phil Of Mac macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

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    #22
    Wisdom is definitely necessary, but wisdom is difficult to educate. That said, it is not difficult to eliminate, which is what our educational system has been doing.
     
  23. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #23
    i think we are all basically saying the same thing here

    you can improve your net worth some with education, knowledge, or wisdom...but the catalyst to jump social classes is not in those factors by any measureable amount...luck and right place at the right time are far more potent factors, and there is nothing wrong with choosing your parents wisely:p

    the wealthiest sector is not static but people rarely join that sector from elsewhere...that sector changes when a member of it dies and when someone is born into it or marries into it...at least that is the lionshare

    i am not trying to sound like an elitist from the national review and i am not a right wing republican, but the upward mobility through education is a liberal myth...i am a democrat and i am ashamed that many in my party push education to the point of overlooking any red tape and corruption...they say, "throw money to schools" while not really caring how that money is distributed or if they are accountable with our tax monies

    i guess that is one of the reasons i consider myself a fiscal conservative but socially liberal when it comes to gay marriage, being pro choice, and pro affirmative action...i could of sound and believe like our new governor in CA, but i have fewer muscles:p :p :p
     
  24. Phil Of Mac macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

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    #24
    Slight correction: upward mobility through schooling is a liberal myth. True education is not what generally passes for "education" in today's society.

    You sound like a libertarian to me :p
     
  25. tazo macrumors 68040

    tazo

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    #25
    Jef,

    how can you be in support of something that perpetuates discrimination?
     

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