Episode-2676- Replacing the Modern Education System — 12 Comments

  1. I learned about most of these arguments around 1972 from an intellectual activist priest named Ivan Illich who was known as a “liberal” in his day. He died in 2002. He wrote a book called “Deschooling Society” that went over many of these points. He got his awareness through the experience of working with poor communities in Mexico and other places.

    Re: Not a member of any organized religion…have you ever heard of “secular” religions? Modern academics and the theories about life that they teach could be considered one of these. Just sayin’.

    The factory paradigm that schools run on is very real. There are all sorts of problems with it. If you go through this system and get anything out of it, it’s probably because your parents or someone you knew was savvy enough to help you along in spite of school. I learned so many things outside of school! But if I hadn’t had the resources that my family could afford to provide me with, it would have been very rough for me.

    Women and work: My mom “worked” at home until the kids were all grown up. She was an active, intelligent woman who did many different things. While we were growing up, she took care of us.

    Teachers: This is a huge sham and part of the problem with the factory school approach. Nowadays many parents need a place to send their kids during working hours. This is non-optimum. But school buildings can be used for this purpose. What goes on in them could be greatly altered for the better.

    Education or training, technology of: There is more in this subject than many people suspect. Some people really think that “education” takes place in a classroom when a “teacher” interacts with “students.” It’s true that these fundamental elements of learning must be present. But we all know that our “teacher” doesn’t have to be someone with a Masters degree in Education. We know that we don’t need a classroom to learn. It could be anyplace. We know that the results don’t have to me measured or standard in any way. If the student got what he wanted out of the transaction, that’s enough.

    The best “teachers” should be people who are experts in their fields. For those people to be teachers, they would have to write courses themselves. If you offer those courses in school, then the “teacher” only has to be there to help the student through the courses he has chosen to study. So the “teacher” would be an expert in study, not an expert in any particular subject.

    Put education into the competetive marketplace: This makes sense, and is a growing and viable part of adult training. It could be extended to child training. I don’t see any reason why not.

    I don’t see how, in the short run, social position will not be a factor in educational “success.” But if the system opened up to include better methods of training, things might begin to even out a little better.

    People see “education” as a huge factor in social mobility. Studies don’t really support that idea, but in a more workable system, the hunger for social mobility might reduce. It might just be a sham “prize” held up to entice people into government schools.

    IQ: If it has really fallen below 100 (“average”) in the U.S. that’s a shame. But the educational process can raise IQ. IQ, or more properly, intelligence, is valuable in a society. I’d like my trash collector to have a high IQ just as much as I’d like the President to have high IQ. However, good IQ does not guarantee sanity, which has become very obvious in recent years.

    Older people: I spent most of my life with no one thinking what I thought or learned had any value. I hoped that maybe when I retired, people would look at my age and decide to ask me stuff. They don’t. But the whole idea of keeping old people active or productive is a very good idea, and would help keep the whole community happy.

    I have been told that in ancient Rome, you were an “adult” by the age of 15. People that age, who we currently call “children,” are actually quite capable of starting an adult life. There is some other reason why we don’t let people do “adult” work until the age of 25. And it’s not a very sane reason.

    You are painting a picture of a very authoritarian “state.” Many wish this weren’t so to such an extent that they deny all the evidence of it staring them in the face. But corporate also shares in this “state” activity to an alarming extent. I wish I could put my confidence in an existing sector (such as “corporate”) to move in and do a better job where the state has failed. But I don’t feel that way. People need to change. That’s my conviction. You can’t change systems to change people. Changed people can change systems. That’s how it works.

    • You make some fantastic points, Larry.  Regarding ” I hoped that maybe when I retired, people would look at my age and decide to ask me stuff. ”

      This is exactly how I feel about things I want to tell my children now that they probably won’t understand until they are my age.  I just hope I’m around long enough to impart middle-age wisdom that they will appreciate as adults.

      One  thing about public education – not only is public school a complete joke, we now have a lot of kids (almost entirely girls) fresh out of college with no life experience, no actual job experience and they are the ones tasked with teaching our kids whatever skills the state has deemed necessary to be a productive member of society?

      When I was in elementary school the teachers were OLD.  They were serious, and when they talked about things outside of classwork I made sure to pay attention because they seemed genuinely knowledgeable.  I really hate stereotyping but I believe I have seen more than enough evidence to say that many teachers today are too immature to hold the positions they have.  And this is not just in regard to a handful of teachers for my kids, I personally know a handful of them and have had outside interactions with quite a few more.

      Another thing to think of – anytime the schools need money, they pretty much get it.  There were some school issues on the ballot recently and the district put out an extremely well-coordinated propaganda campaign about how important it was for these issues to pass for general repairs and increased salaries.  Videos, a website, social media bombardments, postcards in the mail.  They even bragged about registering as many seniors as they could to help ensure victory.  They are basically teaching our kids that big government is good because we should all sacrifice so the schools could have more money.  And there was no mention whatsoever of just how many poor students are in the district and how the increased taxes will affect the families that can’t even afford their kid’s lunches.  It’s crazy.

    • “Re: Not a member of any organized religion…have you ever heard of “secular” religions? Modern academics and the theories about life that they teach could be considered one of these. Just sayin’.”

      Sadly for them that is exactly when I said if you don’t have something like this, you follow an ism in the worst way.

      Again as a Deist, I have the belief in a higher power, I just do not attempt to define it.

  2. Agree with most of the observations by Larry Cox and JT above.   The teachers or professors that I remember  with regard were those who were generally older and had real life experience in their fields or in life in general and could add something very worth while besides blaa blaa about what was already in the textbook.  For instance, personal experiences in WWII; as a CIA spy master; as a participant in pre-Watergate type activities within a political party;  relating experience working at a hard and dirty job, etc.

    There are problems with the quality of cultural transmission in general, largely due to government indoctrination and taking over functions that should be in the hands of parents and responsible significant others in the community.  Personal responsibility is lost.     Choice is lost.     Leadership is abased.  And in the end, I agree with Larry that changed people can change systems.  Not the other way around.



  3. How would you respond to concerns about shitty parents who wouldn’t put any effort into the schooling of their children?  This seems to be a concern forthe school teachers I talk to about their current remote learning situations.  Apparently there is only like 40% of kids who are actively participating in online learning thru the public system (presumably because the rest of the parents aren’t making their kids do the work)

    • Do you really think those children are currently getting a good education?

        • Prove this claim with facts, logic and reason, not a slogan. Defend your position.

          Lot’s on that agenda.

          1. You have to prove those students come out of school with a better education then they receive though their own environment, and that it matters enough to steal freedom and money and property from people.

          2. You need to defend your number of 40% beyond some news station said so.

          3. You need to prove those kids what ever the real number is actually do their work when in school.

          4. You have to prove those kids actually go to school in the first place.

          There is a shit load more but let’s start there.

        • I’d just like to state for the record that “Nate” and “Nathan Kirby” are different people.

          And the 40% was just what my neighbor who is a teacher told me from her school. I can’t prove the validity of it.

          I’m not trying to argue that taxation to fund school is needed. More like trying to get your opinion on how the difference in parental involvement would impact a child’s education in the system that you were describing in this episode.

          Carry on.

        • I understand a lot of what I am going to say is only “hearsay” because I don’t have a way to prove the information, because I don’t have access to the systems that show the data for where I am going to talk about. I have talked with numerous teachers in my local area (who have access to the submitted assignments, student count, grades, etc.) and they all stated that since the lock downs began unless it was directly required assignments for the student to move to the next grade the completion of digital assignments was only 10%. I am sure that varies per location, but that is locally. So those numbers would be based on students who actually attend the schools. By logic, if only 10% of students did actual work at school there wouldn’t be a school because there is no way they would get funding. Say what you will, but most families are too lazy to teach their own children, so wouldn’t unless required. I will do what I can to try to get actual numbers and provide better data in regards to my local area. Considering this area only had 10% participation, it wouldn’t be too far a leap to have 40% participation in other areas.

        • Also “I understand a lot of what I am going to say is only “hearsay””

          Instantly invalidates your argument.

          Additionally your position is throwing people out of a system in a completely disorganized manner with zero transition, no advanced notice and without their consent didn’t work, hence the system we already have works best.

          Really please I am begging you, after I get back from my vacation let’s do a live debate it will be like a scrimmage for me in case anyone able to actually debate logically takes me up on some other position.

  4. Jack, when I was studying German in high school (1965) our teacher tried an experiment. He said that we had to do 6 sections in the book over the 6 weeks. If we could complete it in 5 weeks, we got an A and could read a novel for fun the last week.

    I finished in 6 DAYS. And read novels for almost 5 weeks with an A! He never did it again. What an inefficient way to learn our current system is.

    I have told people that graduation from high school was like getting out of jail for me. Sure I got release on weekends, but evenings were for homework. Real life was so great I dropped out of college for several years just to enjoy it.

    I have told friends I think homeschooling is a great thing. The objection I usually get is, “But they don’t learn any social skills and are socially backward.”  I ask, “You mean learning about bullying and being bullied, and learning about social pecking order? Being around adults at home leads to dealing with the way the world really is and interacting with adults like you need to do in real life.”