From: on 7 May 2005 23:24
i tend to agree with Shaw
'The only time my education was interrupted was when I was in school.'
in this thread there has been some criticism of current school systems
in the USA, but systems elsewhere have their faults also.
in my school and undergraduate college years (not in the USA)
about 30 years ago, there were only 4 occasions when i came across
anything in a classroom that i did not already fully understand.
i remember these because the experience was so unusual.
in chronological order:
1)5th grade, euclidean geometry starting from the axioms and postulates
2)7th grade, set theory and non decimal number systems
3)9th grade, organic chemistry
4)third year of college, abstract algebra
while i remain very grateful for those 4 occasions, i must say that
11 years of school and four of college were largely wasted on me.
i spent most of the time reading on my own, very often during
class. i recall that in the rare event when i had no reading material,
or i was prevented from reading whatever i had smuggled in,
i would be bored almost to tears. it was this mind numbing boredom
that made the strongest impression on me, and hence i sympathise
greatly with children who protest going to school. those of my
friends who have children of schoolgoing age complain that i am a
i am afraid that my attitude was shared by my classmates, who
regarded school as a necessary evil; it seems that children
are harder to fool than one might imagine...
in any event, being small and powerless, we filed obediently into
our classrooms every day, and resigned ourselves to the syllabus as
perpetrated by our instructors.
attendance was not mandatory in college, except for labs,
and i did develop passable skills at bridge, and discerning tastes
in hashish, but that was extra curricular.
by contrast,i learned a great deal in graduate school on my way
to a doctorate in physics
in grad school the material was challenging, the professors demanding,
and the pace relentless. i loved every minute of it; believe it or not,
i even enjoyed the exams, including take home exams that might involve
perhaps a hundred pages of calculation for a single problem. i think
that i learned more in those two or three years of coursework than at any
other time. subsequent research in experimental physics was also immensely
educating, tho did not take place in a classroom.
From: Steve Richfie1d on 8 May 2005 15:03
Barb, et al.
> Going to school, even though it was boring, was 500% better
> than working in the fields. My mother was not allowed to
> go to high school because she was girl. The only reason
> she went to grade school (1-8th grades) was because the
> law said so. If there hadn't been a law, she and her
> sisters wouldn't have had any schooling. Home schooling
> is a very dangerous step towards regressing back to this.
The vast majority of homeschools are there to teach Khristian Krap
instead of what kids need in life, and so the kids usually emerge to
start "begatting" as soon as they are biologically able. Traditional
schools at least have a fractured curriculum and don't concentrate on
teaching obvious untruths, and so do a much better.
We did a pretty professional job of designing our approach. Their mother
was a qualified secondary school teacher and worked in educational
testing. Their dad, well, you all know me by now. We gave our kids the
choice of which path to follow, and they each did indeed choose
traditional school for a couple of years during primary school before
rejecting it. I have seen NO homeschooling effort approaching ours
either in its curriculum, qualifications of parents, or apparent results.
Hence, my discussion here is regarding our particular approach, and is
NOT any sort of broad support for Khristian Krap homeschools in general.
From: Kevin G. Rhoads on 9 May 2005 09:38
>>I think we mean the about same thing. What I was getting at is it didn't matter
>>if the intent of having the banned object was "oops" or "I'm coming to school
>>armed." All that matters is if the banned object is present.
>There is also a huge mission creep here;
I think "mission creep" is overly charitable as a description. When enforcing the "rules"
becomes counter-productive in achieveing the original goals (which "zero tolerance" has been
shown to do in studies, well beyond levels required for standard confidence levels) it is no
longer "mission creep" but something else.
Bureaucracies become self-justifying (as was noted decades ago, e.g., "The Peter Principle"),
at which point their existence and the function they were intended to implement originally
often become disconnected (at best) or (more often) counter-functional. ZT has moved to
counter-functional almost instantly, and worse, the ideas and mentality of ZT are poisoning
other systems (such as "homeland security", do you think the TSA would be so bad were it not
for ZT-ish thought patterns?)
In economics there is Gresham's Law: Bad money drives out good. I.e., where there are two
or more competing currencies, the "good" currency will be hoarded leaving only the "bad"
currency [n circulation. (Apologies to any economists reading this for oversimplification.
I know it is a central tenet of economics that things should not be comprehensible ;-)]
This same principle often seems to crop up in other circumstances. It certainly seems
operative in politics and bureaucracy.
From: Nick Maclaren on 9 May 2005 10:28
In article <427F67DE.1B5F010E(a)alum.mit.edu>,
"Kevin G. Rhoads" <kgrhoads(a)alum.mit.edu> writes:
|> I think "mission creep" is overly charitable as a description. When enforcing the "rules"
|> becomes counter-productive in achieveing the original goals (which "zero tolerance" has been
|> shown to do in studies, well beyond levels required for standard confidence levels) it is no
|> longer "mission creep" but something else.
From: Kevin G. Rhoads on 9 May 2005 11:39
Oohh! Good one.