December 12, 2006

Real Education is Dead

I rarely get philosophical but today I was inspired...

Ok many people who know me know that I am fascinated with the notion that modern education is tantamount to monkey training to be an obedient citizen. Real education is dead.

Modern Education is about telling us how…

Real Education is about asking why…and letting us find out for ourselves.

So if you have some time to waste,
read Ivan Illich’s “Deschooling Society”

Another shorter essay, but equally revealing is by John Taylor Gatto,
is available here.

I watch my godson slave away at two hours of algebra a night. It makes no sense whatsoever. They should be teaching the kids how to think critically, how to analyze problems, how to come up with potential answers on their own, not train them to solve equations quickly.

I guess it is my anarchist side finally showing itself, but I truly think that our entire education system needs to be overhauled. More critical thinking. More thoughtful content. If at 18, a student has read and analyzed the Communist Manifesto, the Social Contract by Rousseau, Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics, Common Sense by Thomas Paine, and other works about society around them, then there is no doubt they vould vote, because they would understand the consequences of what they are voting for.

Education is about asking questions and making the right decisions. Today's modern political culture offers none of that, just rhetoric. Therefore, do not be surprised at the lack of interest in voting by our younger generations. We are too busy getting trained to be obediant monkeys in our schools. But hey, at least we know how to do algebra!

Enough wonkery out of me, back to exams.

17 Commentaires:

Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

To Bring Back Bowie sign here:

12/12/2006 11:38 a.m.  
Blogger PhillyC a dit...

I call bullshit Antonio. You're essentially saying that politics trumps all other subjects. What does Canada need more - a 20% bump in election participation or more engineers/tradespeople?

If you answered the latter, you are indeed correct. Canada is desperately trying to get more trained labour. How are people trained? By taking courses that they can apply to the real world.

If we see a decline of 5% in voting turnout, life will go on. If we can't fill positions of skilled labour, Canada as we know it will be at stake.

We need to accelerate science/math in schools. Raising the benchmark will keep Canada competitive.

12/12/2006 11:43 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Phil, you cannot be more wrong.

Education is more than training somebody how to fix a drainpipe. We teach kids way too much science and not enough philosophy.

We teach them too much technical stuff and not enough practical knowledge.

We do not teach responsibility at all. I am not saying remove math and science from the curriculum, but 3 hours of math exercises a night is not education, its training.

12/12/2006 11:47 a.m.  
Blogger lance a dit...

The reason they teach how and not why in K-12 is because it isn't very useful to churn out a pile of elementary students at about the same level as the ancient philosopher's.

All thought is based on science, all science is based on math, all math is built on logic.

Teaching the hows of the base logic allows the student to figure the whys of math, the whys of science, and the what-ifs of thought.

Asking K-12 to start at the level of the Ancient Greeks or earlier (Pythagoras was 582-507 BC according to Wikipedia), just so that they can ask the same 'whys' is a little counter-productive, no?


12/12/2006 12:43 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

im not saying give them the Republic at 7 years old.

I am saying that maybe it is time we teach them something other than math.

Let people figure something out on their own. In Sweden they forbid children form attending school until age 7, with similar test much for Baby Einstein

12/12/2006 12:47 p.m.  
Blogger The Rat a dit...

Yes, Yes, in Sweden everything is better. We've heard it all before Antonio. Frankly, what you are advocating isn't "critical thinking" so much a indoctrination. It shouldn't take a rocket science (someone who needs math) to see the long list of capitalist thinkers omitted from your list of acceptable works. Sorry Antonio, the school system has been politicized enough. Let the children learn how to feed themselves first.

12/12/2006 1:18 p.m.  
Blogger dollard_liberal a dit...

Concordia's motto is Real Education for the Real World.

Feeling disillusioned about your university experience, Antonio?

PS: So am I, at the university down the street.

12/12/2006 1:33 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Yes Rat

It is a Marxist Plot

What I am proposing is the end of indoctrination. Allowing people to think for themselves is more important than us telling them what to think.

All we are doing is training them to obey authority. Education these days is nothing but pure training

12/12/2006 2:56 p.m.  
Blogger lance a dit...

Heh, feeling dejected dollard? That's pretty standard in University from my experiences. I've started it twice, gave up on it twice. Everyone goes in thinking it isn't the same as High School, there's culture, ideas, free thought. It isn't long until they realize that's just hogwash.

Real innovation and thought is in the marketplace. All a B. degree does these days is prepare people for Doctorates or mail-rooms.

If Antonio had used himself as an example, I would have agreed whole-heartedly. He didn't though.

Interesting, looking at it from that angle, one could surmise that Antonio's post can be refuted.

The first degree in pretty much any field is just catching up with the stuff in specifics that wasn't included in K-12.

That puts a lot of back-pressure on K-12 to teach more stuff as single degree graduates realize their degrees and $1.50 can get a cup of coffee . . . at the gas station.

They're peers who chose trade schools are working on their apprenticeship in the trades by the time the University student is done and in debt.

Maybe, the load on K-12 is a result of people complaining that Bachelor degrees are pretty much useless . . . unless they're science. :)


12/12/2006 4:21 p.m.  
Blogger s.b. a dit...

Aren't you supposed to be writing essays or studying for exams young man?

12/12/2006 4:37 p.m.  
Blogger s.b. a dit...

PS Algebra teaches students, "how to think critically, how to analyze problems, how to come up with potential answers on their own"

I believe pedagogy has been missed in your readings.

12/12/2006 4:40 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

im not saying eliminate algebra.

algebra does make people think critically but not hours upon hours of it.

it's ridiculous

12/12/2006 5:08 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Practically all major research into education these days show that teaching students to develop the 'why' - higher order thinking - not only benefits them later in life, whether or not they are a philosopher or plumber but it aids them while in school. Reading skills, math skills, ability to think critically, etc. all improve. Education at the elementary and secondary levels need to be balanced between practical and theoretical. Teaching only the 'how' and not any 'why' puts our students at a major disadvantage for later in life and that is why, at least in Ontario, essentially all new teachers and the older ones that are willing to listen, are being trained to teach to the 'why' as much, if not more, than the 'how'.
Like JFK said, "Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education.". Real progress in education comes through understanding and not just knowing.

12/12/2006 6:40 p.m.  
Blogger PhillyC a dit...

This was a dumb post. They don't "only teach" science/ath at school.

Language Arts
Fine Arts
Social Studies
Physical Education

Those were my grade 7 courses. 2/7 Antonio. Eat your words.

12/12/2006 9:57 p.m.  
Blogger big gay al's big gay liberal sanctuary a dit...

antonio, you sure sound like a communist...

to make matters worse, you supported italy's centre-left coalition composed of the communist party

for shame!

12/12/2006 10:50 p.m.  
Blogger fidel a dit...

let them read the republic. if you can read shakespeare you can read plato. FO SHO.

for once in my life...i agree with antonio. (well i didnt really read the post..apart from the TEACH PHILOSOPHY AT SCHOOL..but that was enough.)

high school is lame. creating a framework for analytical reasoning is important for personal development. screw the economy. its stupid anyways.

and when i say teach kids philosophy..i mean PHILOSOPHY. it is through philosophy that subjectivity can be understood without *having* to risk offending....the objective bullshit that i was subjected to in high school in my "language arts" and "humanities" classes was total bullshit.

in conclusion: ennui continues to abound.

12/13/2006 3:53 a.m.  
Blogger Charlie Barnard a dit...

I agree entirely Antonio, and this is coming from someone studying engineering. I sincerely wish that one of the core subjects in school had been philosophy. The blogging community is a testament to that. Most of what I read on blogs from both sides are just repetitions of partisan talking points. Why? Because a lot of us haven't learned to think for ourselves yet.

12/13/2006 11:09 p.m.  

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