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Re: Fishing License
- From: Thomas Cameron <thomas cameron camerontech com>
- To: For users of Fedora Core releases <fedora-list redhat com>
- Subject: Re: Fishing License
- Date: Fri, 12 May 2006 01:07:33 -0500
But then I disagree with the notion of homework, anyway. It's only
value is to involve parents with their child's education, but most
don't, or don't do it in a worthwhile manner. The kids go to school to
learn, at the end of the day they've done enough of that. Likewise most
parents have had enough work during their day, and don't want to spend
several more hours doing work on something at home.
It, homework, is pointless anyway. I work in electronics, I highly
technical field. I've never needed anything I was taught at high school
beyond basic maths in the first couple years, and the same applies for
most people that I know in a wide variety of jobs. All those nightly
hours of grief were a complete waste of my time. If I knew then what I
knew now, I would have coasted school. I would have flatly refused to
waste my time with pointless rubbish, insisted that they constrain
themselves to teaching things that were genuinely useful, and flatly
refused to co-operate with any punishments meted out. Even when I
worked in schools I realised it was a pointless place for most people.
That has got to be the dumbest argument I have ever heard in my life.
Oh really? Have you also spent around 15 years working in schools?
Nope - grew up in a house with a parent, a grandparent, an aunt and an
uncle who were all educators, all at post-grad or doctoral levels.
That terrifies me. Where do you work so that I may make sure that my
children stay the Hell away?
I have practical experience from both sides of the fence that
it's a pointless exercise. Can you remember everything that you were
taught at school?
Do you use a fraction of it?
All of it. I don't think that I have ever said to myself "ah, yes,
division of polynomials - I remember that in Ms. Wheat's class!" But
the numerous small, seemingly insignificant building blocks of my
education have formed a solid foundation which I use daily. As Gene
mentioned, I continue to study and learn, many times at home.
I did the highly academic subjects (English, Maths I & II [trig and
algebra, I never remember which is which anymore, we didn't have
calculus], Physics and Chemistry). All of which were listed as
prerequisites for my tertiary training, NONE of which were ever needed.
You just don't get it. All of those are tools to teach logic and
reasoning as well as the mechanics of number crunching and
manipulation. It seems as though your view would have kids go into
highly focused courses of study, say electronics, with no broad
education in other topics. How Orwellian. Single-skilled people machines.
I am personally glad that I was educated in a school system which
"forced" us to study topics which seemed unimportant at the time. As
Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to
repeat it." I hated history, thought it was boring and useless. Now I
see parallels between today's political environment and historical
situations. Had I been educated in your model, I would not be prepared
to see those similarities.
The academic load at school is not just to teach you the fundamentals,
the core bits of knowledge about mathematics or sentence structure or
turning wood on a lathe. The academic mix is to teach you about
pooling knowledge, to be able to associate dissimilar knowledge sets,
to (hopefully) think critically.
Yes, schools *should* teach you how to learn, but they invariably don't.
They teach by rote, they teach things that are incorrect, they have
teachers that are incompetent (who not only don't really know about what
they're teaching, they're hopeless *at* teaching), they make huge issues
about ridiculous things (the colours of your socks) but put little
effort into teaching someone grammar or how to properly spell (not
anymore, at least).
Then do something about it. Tell your politicos that you want education
reform. But don't dismiss education out of hand.
My critical assessement is that they don't do the job that they should
do. My moment of final disillusionment was when I asked the principal
whether they thought the school should be teaching students in a manner
that prepared them for life outside of the school, and her one word
answer was, "no". It wasn't an experience unique to that school,
Possibly. But your sample (one school) is not statistically
significant. Dismissing all education as worthless based on your single
experience set is foolish.
The dumbest arguments I hear are that schools *are* "practical"
education institutions. Those people that do have common sense, know
how to figure things out, are creative, genuinely useful, etc., didn't
learn that from school. If anything, it dulls that out of most people.
Horse feathers. If you don't understand that each small educational
building block leads to a better, more well-rounded person, than I don't
think that you will ever understand the arguments I am making.
In all the years I spent working in schools, the most practical
education was the old non-school sort of mentoring, not the academic
that they focus on. The time spent on the practicalities of life and
social interaction was more beneficial. Those I've met who've been home
schooled, or distance education out in the bush, were generally smarter
people. But in contrast, many of the main stream school students who're
supposedly top of their class seem to be as thick as two short planks.
I know a lot of folks who are those "thick as two short planks,"
top-of-their-class types who have knowledge and skills which I will
never have. I might seem to have more "common sense," but I can't do
heart surgery or design a new engine or code a data warehouse. Those
folks worked harder than I did, they learned more than I did and they
went further into the educational process than I did.
Learning, say, geometry might not *seem* to help you directly in your
job, but every time you want to cut a board or navigate a curve in a
car, you will be more likely to be successful if you understand the
concepts of measuring and calculating the curves and angles.
When I ride, throw a ball, or some other intuitive physical skill, I can
tell you that I don't use physics to figure out how to do it. Physics
might explain the processes, but it's certainly not needed to do so.
The skills involved in such basic tasks don't require several years of
training either, just some apppropriate time for the task.
That wake you see in the water is from the boat you missed. You aren't
comprehending what I am saying at all.
School is about learning to think, not silos of knowledge. I am
appalled that no one ever taught you that.
It's not how schools work (they discourage thinking, they discourage
individuality, they encourage obedience without question of any sort),
hence my comments about it being a waste of time.
Again, you are making wild generalizations for which you have only
anecdotal of hyperbole or anecdotal evidence. Even with the sad state
of affairs the popular media would have you believe our schools are in,
the US turns out some incredibly bright, amazingly educated folks. They
excel because of, not in spite of, the broad education they have.
I would hate to live in a world where I could not expect the person next
to me to be at least generally versed in literature, math, the sciences
and so on. I would be furious if my children's school did not offer
them a broad education so that they could decide in what direction they
wanted to go to specialize.
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