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Author Topic: Education and the modern generation  (Read 5016 times)

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Offline Healergirl

Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #125 on: May 24, 2013, 11:27:47 AM »
Chaoslord29,

I'm not sure we can prove it in the empirical sense.  We are too close to the problem, perhaps.

If someone did come up with such proof, who would accept it?  Surely such proof would have something in the analysis that would offend everyone, and not the same thing for everyone to boot.

Offline chaoslord29

Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #126 on: May 24, 2013, 11:33:43 AM »
Chaoslord29,

I'm not sure we can prove it in the empirical sense.  We are too close to the problem, perhaps.

If someone did come up with such proof, who would accept it?  Surely such proof would have something in the analysis that would offend everyone, and not the same thing for everyone to boot.

Bam! Hit the nail on the head with that one. There needs to be some kind of evolution of the principles which govern our use of reason, logic, and empirics themselves, a task that empirical science is institutionally incapable of, and really only suited to wildly theoretical philosophy. Which also tends to be pretty offensive haha, but over time, some crazy philosophers' theories may become the foundation fields of science that science itself cannot yet conceptualize of.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #127 on: May 24, 2013, 11:43:39 AM »
And you folks are needlessly fixating on somebody who isn't ruling out the humanities as unnecessary in the first place, and attempting to vilify them using their own words.

That right there is the most distinguishing feature to me. I'm in the field of political science, which has far reaching ramifications, so I study it more specifically. I study philosophy as a passion, and because I believe it provides an excellent foundation for other knowledge, science, argumentation, everthing-else.

It seems to me that all Neysha is saying is that the engineer/chemist/physicist/etc. shouldn't be required to take anymore humanities courses than necessary to help them gain an appreciation and respect for their study and utility. Not that they are unnecessary/masturbatory as a whole.

Then I don't understand why the same argument doesn't apply to the STEM fields. If you're planning on, say, writing for a living, is a strong empahsis on chemistry really necessary? Neysha's arguments as I understand them say emphasis should be placed there regardless of career choices; why? Why is it any more valid to place emphasis there?

Please spare us your deepity. The definition of free will which we are operating upon and within has been sufficiently illuminated, I should think, by the arguments posed thus far, on both sides.
Think you could pack a little more hostility in there? I guess, since I'm apparently not allowed to demonstrate how I arrive at my conclusions, I'll just say "no" and exit that half of this thread.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #128 on: May 24, 2013, 11:44:07 AM »
And you folks are needlessly fixating on somebody who isn't ruling out the humanities as unnecessary in the first place

This particular tangent started out with Beorning's post about a series of examples of spectacular ignorance of basic history and several other foundational skills (like the ability to reckon dates and centuries) from the Polish school system. Neysha's response was that these were examples of the haphazard teaching of the humanities, in response to which the humanities should be "de-emphasized" and made "elective" and the secondary school system as a whole should be more focused on vocational and STEM training. I took great care at the outset to clarify that this was in fact what she was saying and she confirmed it, precisely because I did not want to be assailing her for something she was not saying.

She's not talking about engineers and chemists at the university level. She made that very clear. Her point is that the "humanities" are relatively useless to general and secondary education except at some extremely minimal level that is presumaly below the benchmark of ignorance seen in the examples from Beorning she responded to, because most of them just feed into masturbatory self-referential fields anyway in which most people just go on to teach the subject after studying it. Her recommendations for education are based on this demonstrably false idea, and have mostly consisted of claims that this minimized approach to "the humanities" will address whatever is needed just fine because, essentially, she says so.

I am not "vilifying" anyone, and neither is Ephiral, except where to "vilify" someone is to ask them repeatedly how seemingly untenable ideas like this are supposed to work, and pointing out to them that it is unhelpful to pretend not to have said what they have said. Whether the exercise is "needless"... well, you may have a point there.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 11:56:19 AM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #129 on: May 24, 2013, 11:45:35 AM »
Disparaging remarks about each other, your beliefs and opinions are not valid arguments.  Neither are they helpful.

Unless you return to civil discourse this thread will be locked.

Offline chaoslord29

Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #130 on: May 24, 2013, 11:58:05 AM »
Then I don't understand why the same argument doesn't apply to the STEM fields. If you're planning on, say, writing for a living, is a strong empahsis on chemistry really necessary? Neysha's arguments as I understand them say emphasis should be placed there regardless of career choices; why? Why is it any more valid to place emphasis there?

Admittedly, I'm coming into this argument a little halfway through, so I apologize for my manner, but as I read Neysha's arguments, they suggested to me that she's saying there's a reason the Humanities and STEM fields are separated, and why cross-disciplinary study is not always of paramount value. We all seem to be in agreement that we at the very least need to respect the value of our opposite field (I happen to think the STEMs are a little more guilty of it than we are, but that might be my own) tendency to vilify coming through.

Quote
Think you could pack a little more hostility in there? I guess, since I'm apparently not allowed to demonstrate how I arrive at my conclusions, I'll just say "no" and exit that half of this thread.

Apologies, I didn't mean to rule you out entirely, and would of course appreciate input in regards to where you think the definition of free will factors into the debate. I hope you would understand though why I might be a bit embittered against the apparent appeal away from the present argument towards a discussion of 'definitions', and a generalization regarding 'things not always being as simple as they seem'.

This particular tangent started out with Beorning's post about a series of examples of spectacular ignorance of basic history and several other foundational skills (like the ability to reckon dates and centuries) from the Polish school system. Neysha's response was that these were examples of the haphazard teaching of the humanities, in response to which the humanities should be "de-emphasized" and made "elective" and the secondary school system as a whole should be more focused on vocational and STEM training. I took great care at the outset to clarify that this was in fact what she was saying and she confirmed it, precisely because I did not want to be assailing her for something she was not saying.

She's not talking about engineers and chemists at the university level. She made that very clear. Her point is that the "humanities" are relatively useless except at some extremely minimal level that is presumaly below the benchmark of ignorance seen in the examples from Beorning she responded to, because most of them just feed into masturbatory self-referential fields anyway in which most people just go on to teach the subject after studying it. Her recommendations for education are based on this demonstrably false idea, and have mostly consisted of claims that this minimized approach to "the humanities" will address whatever is needed just fine because, essentially, she says so.

I am not "vilifying" anyone, and neither is Ephiral, except where to "vilify" someone is to ask them repeatedly how seemingly untenable ideas like this are supposed to work, and pointing out to them that it is unhelpful to pretend not to have said what they have said. Whether the exercise is "needless"... well, you may have a point there.

My apologies for assuming we were speaking about Higher Education rather than secondary, but I do believe you are reading a bit too much into Neysha's apparent devaluation of the humanities. It seems to me that she's pointing to the value in secondary education prioritizing vocational training and the practicality in doing so, not solely in the context of the present system.

Suppose for a moment we quit quibbling over who said what and take a moment to consider the implications of a vocational secondary education system which allowed for electives truly be just that: passions, and pursuits not to be required by curricula, but options which everyone could pursue in their own time with likeminded individuals? My concern would be the potential for overspecialization in a specific field (where STEMs are concerned), but I don't see it as insurmountable. Perhaps even preferable to the generalized factory model education system that we have here in the states.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #131 on: May 24, 2013, 11:59:39 AM »
So... bad time to point out that "deepity" isn't really a word?  :P

I should get some work done and have to bow out of this thread in any case.

(EDIT: In response to chaoslord29's last post, I haven't said that all of Neysha's ideas are necessarily uninteresting. The idea for specific courses in coding, for better life-skills training, are not bad. Generalist education is not so easily done away with, however. The idea of vocational secondary schools with the humanities as largely elective would be more viable if Neysha's views of the humanities' place in the job market were correct, but unfortunately they just aren't. I would take the more boring approach and say that if humanities education is inadequate, maybe actually reinforcing the humanities is in order rather than the reverse.)
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 12:06:06 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline chaoslord29

Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #132 on: May 24, 2013, 12:04:55 PM »
So... bad time to point out that "deepity" isn't really a word?  :P

I should get some work done and have to bow out of this thread in any case.

I don't think we're past the point of rationale discussion, just that we need to do a little backpedalling to reach the point where we can find some productive conclusions to draw.

As for my use of the term 'deepity', it's not entirely outside the vernacular for academic discussion, at worst, it's slang  ;D

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #133 on: May 24, 2013, 12:20:09 PM »
Admittedly, I'm coming into this argument a little halfway through, so I apologize for my manner, but as I read Neysha's arguments, they suggested to me that she's saying there's a reason the Humanities and STEM fields are separated, and why cross-disciplinary study is not always of paramount value. We all seem to be in agreement that we at the very least need to respect the value of our opposite field (I happen to think the STEMs are a little more guilty of it than we are, but that might be my own) tendency to vilify coming through.
First of all: Thank you. The courtesy you're displaying here is all too rare, and greatly appreciated. That said, the part I'm objecting to is less "these are different fields" (though I think there is a false division in place); it's "...and the overwhelming majority of humanities should be electives with no emphasis put on them at all". Cross-disciplinary study isn't of paramount value, but I see things like epistemology for any science, or history for anthropology, are less "cross-disciplinary" and more "foundational".

Apologies, I didn't mean to rule you out entirely, and would of course appreciate input in regards to where you think the definition of free will factors into the debate. I hope you would understand though why I might be a bit embittered against the apparent appeal away from the present argument towards a discussion of 'definitions', and a generalization regarding 'things not always being as simple as they seem'.
Again, thank you. I am deeply impressed with your reconsideration here. I... can understand, yes; I was trying to lead to, rather than push, my perspective as the latter has generated hostility before, but I guess I was too low-information. I do think rigorous definitions are important, though. "Free will", as I usually see it conceptualized, is the idea that, when a decision comes up, we could take any of the options available. To avoid a long chain of "Yes, but what does X mean?", I'll cut to the point: "could" strikes me as illusory. When we say "I could do X", what we really mean is "I see a physically possible chain of events that would result in me doing X". Regardless of how many options you "could" choose, you will choose specific ones, and these would be predictable by a system that had perfect information.

Suppose for a moment we quit quibbling over who said what and take a moment to consider the implications of a vocational secondary education system which allowed for electives truly be just that: passions, and pursuits not to be required by curricula, but options which everyone could pursue in their own time with likeminded individuals? My concern would be the potential for overspecialization in a specific field (where STEMs are concerned), but I don't see it as insurmountable. Perhaps even preferable to the generalized factory model education system that we have here in the states.
That system would be desirable, but we would need to make sure electives aren't necessary. Philosophy strikes me as necessary to science, at least in the form of epistemology; similarly, I think a significant percentage of philosophers could benefit from learning to ask "If this idea were true, what would the world look like?"

So... bad time to point out that "deepity" isn't really a word?  :P
If I'm going to accept "truthiness", I'll accept "deepity". Especially since they seem to be closely related concepts - the illusion, at least to the speaker and certain groups, of truth or depth.

Offline chaoslord29

Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #134 on: May 24, 2013, 12:20:45 PM »
In response to chaoslord29's last post, I haven't said that all of Neysha's ideas are necessarily uninteresting. The idea for specific courses in coding, for better life-skills training, are not bad. Generalist education is not so easily done away with, however. The idea of vocational secondary schools with the humanities as largely elective would be more viable if Neysha's views of the humanities' place in the job market were correct, but unfortunately they just aren't. I would take the more boring approach and say that if humanities education is inadequate, maybe actually reinforcing the humanities is in order rather than the reverse.

See, now that's productive discussion ^_^

Part of the problem is definitely that separation of STEM and Humanities studies seems to deepen the perception (both ways) that neither is as valuable as the other, especially in exclusion. To me, that more a fault of the commodification of education rather than something inherent to either or any discipline. STEM can more readily produce degrees with tangible applications translatable into goods and services bought and sold. Humanities are of course just as capable of doing so (in terms of services, often more so in relation to specific job-fields) but they also deal with concepts and values not as easily quantified, which of course, is something STEM is not as readily able to deal with in the first place, even before trying to put a dollar value on it.

Offline chaoslord29

Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #135 on: May 24, 2013, 12:46:40 PM »
First of all: Thank you. The courtesy you're displaying here is all too rare, and greatly appreciated. That said, the part I'm objecting to is less "these are different fields" (though I think there is a false division in place); it's "...and the overwhelming majority of humanities should be electives with no emphasis put on them at all". Cross-disciplinary study isn't of paramount value, but I see things like epistemology for any science, or history for anthropology, are less "cross-disciplinary" and more "foundational".

Again, thank you. I am deeply impressed with your reconsideration here. I... can understand, yes; I was trying to lead to, rather than push, my perspective as the latter has generated hostility before, but I guess I was too low-information. I do think rigorous definitions are important, though. "Free will", as I usually see it conceptualized, is the idea that, when a decision comes up, we could take any of the options available. To avoid a long chain of "Yes, but what does X mean?", I'll cut to the point: "could" strikes me as illusory. When we say "I could do X", what we really mean is "I see a physically possible chain of events that would result in me doing X". Regardless of how many options you "could" choose, you will choose specific ones, and these would be predictable by a system that had perfect information.

That system would be desirable, but we would need to make sure electives aren't necessary. Philosophy strikes me as necessary to science, at least in the form of epistemology; similarly, I think a significant percentage of philosophers could benefit from learning to ask "If this idea were true, what would the world look like?"

If I'm going to accept "truthiness", I'll accept "deepity". Especially since they seem to be closely related concepts - the illusion, at least to the speaker and certain groups, of truth or depth.

Happy to oblige, and really though, consideration and reconsideration are all a part of the discernment process, as I know and practice it. I try, at all times, to be as combative and pointed as I am considerate and apologetic. The way I see things, it's productive so long as one perpetually reserves judgment in regards to the issue at hand, and always to those on the "opposite" side. Ally and enemy to all at the same time as it were.

Personal reflections and explanations aside, I think the heart of the matter, as you've put it is that the humanities are more or less foundational for the more technical and "scientific" fields. At the same time, they also represent the areas which STEM fields have not yet dared to tread, or at least to quantify, while dealing with them in an academic and relatable format founded upon reason. Ostensibly, since the STEM fields also draw their methodology from logic and reason, it is this basis which cross-disciplinary exchange can be predicated upon, to the benefit of both sides.

More and more, it seems to me that the problem isn't with either side inherently disparaging the other, but rather the growing trend toward commodification of an education: "My degree is worth something because with it I can make X yearly salary."

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Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #136 on: May 24, 2013, 01:06:59 PM »
"My degree is worth something because with it I can make X yearly salary."

Anything that can be done to change this philosophy has my vote.

Team members in my department have anything between a high school diploma or the equivalent through Master's Degrees.  A degree is worth nothing to me unless the person holding it knows how to use it.  I have goals and quotas to meet on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis and I determine who is qualified to handle which accounts.  Once you hit my floor it is your performance that matters and only your performance.  The technical knowledge you gained in studying within your field may be a benefit to you but the more important aspect of your educational experience as far as I'm concerned is how well you developed you ability to learn.

"My degree is worth something because with it I can make X yearly salary."
My boss told one of college graduates that her degree isn't worth the paper it's printed on in practical use unless you know how to learn to do your job after she complained that someone with only a high school diploma was promoted over her.  One could do the work and the other couldn't.

Also, in circumstances where everyone has a degree the value of the degree is cheapened in favor of performance.  You'll only succeed if you learn how to work with effectiveness.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 01:08:42 PM by Beguile's Mistress »

Offline Chelemar

Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #137 on: May 24, 2013, 02:10:35 PM »
While I can understand the need to believe that removing all but the most basic of humanities and focusing on STEM courses would seem more logical for those in secondary education who prefer to persue a vocational field, I have to disagree with you. 

My reasons are thus:  First, as George Santayana states,"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."  I believe as a society as a whole, we are obliged to learn from history, from our past to learn from the mistakes, and successes of our forefathers so that we are not doomed to make the same mistakes we've made, and try to learn what works.  Though it doesn't seem to work very often. :)

As it is our duty to vote, we need to be an informed electorate, part of our educational base has to be given in school.  Some though Civics yes, but that is complemented via History.  Our duty as teachers is then to make sure that the History we are teaching is as truthful as possible, and not centric to one nation, thought, idea, etc... 

Also, the teaching of History should not only focus on facts the past but also on the "hows" and more importantly the "whys."  It engages the student in critical thinking, and that is necessary no matter what position or station you are in life.



At least that's my 25 cents worth. ;P


(PS:  The US is not the only country that colors it's History with a nationalistic paint brush.   At least from anecdotal findings from teaching History/US Cultures to international students and exchanging "facts," that's what I've found out.  XD


Offline Ephiral

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Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #138 on: May 24, 2013, 03:00:04 PM »
Also, the teaching of History should not only focus on facts the past but also on the "hows" and more importantly the "whys."  It engages the student in critical thinking, and that is necessary no matter what position or station you are in life.
My grade 11 history teacher had an odd format: He'd give us a subject, presenting two sides to it, and spend about a week on typical classroom lecturing/assignments. Another week was basically open-ended research. At the end of week two, we would be expected to pick a side and debate it formally.

I still think this is the best way I've ever seen of engaging students with history and making them understand the how-and-why aspects.

Offline chaoslord29

Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #139 on: May 24, 2013, 03:05:36 PM »
That sounds awesome and engaging, exactly the style of teaching I would love. Also, totally incongruous with standardized testing, and very subjective in terms of 'grades'. So basically everything we would all like, but is politically speaking untenable for most public school systems.

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Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #140 on: May 24, 2013, 03:07:06 PM »
I had the same history teacher for four years in high school.  He loved history and was a great communicator, too.  Rather than break it down geographically he taught by time line incorporating everything that was happening worldwide over a period.  He would bring in things from the past to show their effect on the current time under examination and would point out how one thing or another came to influence the future.  He was creative and inspiring.  I had teachers I loved as people but this man I remember.

Offline Chelemar

Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #141 on: May 24, 2013, 03:30:40 PM »
I had the same history teacher for four years in high school.  He loved history and was a great communicator, too.  Rather than break it down geographically he taught by time line incorporating everything that was happening worldwide over a period.  He would bring in things from the past to show their effect on the current time under examination and would point out how one thing or another came to influence the future.  He was creative and inspiring.  I had teachers I loved as people but this man I remember.

I had a History Prof like this as well BeMi, he was wonderful and informed the way that I taught History.  He also taught us to do Ephiral's teacher had done, and in a small way, I tried to do that too.  It was amazing to see the differences that each country was taught compared to what we, as Americans were taught.

Offline Healergirl

Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #142 on: May 24, 2013, 03:42:11 PM »
Chaoslord29,

I was going to say that perhaps we should table the free will discussion for five years, but based on how rapid the data gain is from brain chemistry/activity research is these days, next spring may be long enough for us to get some movement.  Not a resolution, but movement.


************************************************

"generalized factory model education system"

This is the Achilles heel of my opposition to home schooling.   The motives of many home schooling parents are rooted in this, a basic recognition that the current system just isn't up to the demands that modern society requires.


Offline Neysha

Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #143 on: May 24, 2013, 03:55:29 PM »
Also probably not a good idea to cite Limbaugh (or Fox News for that matter) when you're the one who's employing the "how dare you quote me accurately, I shall rage!" tactic. Ephiral said you were being dismissive of the humanities, you plainly were, nothing unfair or inaccurate has been said about your position, get off your high horse.

No I have not been dismissive of the humanities. By with-holding the truth and quoting me out of context, you are spreading ignorance and fabrication. I thought we were having a discussion, it's clear you're only here for "Gotcha" points in lieu of actually discussing anything. Which is perfectly fine, just be honest with yourself that you're not interested in discussing the issue, in lieu of pursuing relevance fallacies and trading barbs.

Quote
*snips Strawmans*

Instead of you defining what I said, how about we quote what I said about the issue as opposed to your strawmanning.

Quote from: Neysha
I personally would prefer to see less of a focus on such things and more of a focus on (especially in elementary/primary school) the basics of "English" (or whatever language is primary) and thus including speaking, reading and writing and in addition mathematics as well as technology related courses so that people can communicate effectively at the very least. Maybe some Civics tossed in so that the kids aren't completely ignorant of the world around them with basics on governments and laws and very generalized social norms. Then when we go into secondary school we can dive into a core curriculum focused around the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and try and focus students on those. Granted, a lot of students simply aren't cut out to engage in such fields, but instead of driving them to the humanities/social sciences, maybe business/personal finances/ money management or trade learning or apprenticeship programs could be more fitting so they can learn nice job skills and talents which will help them be responsible and more important, help them find employment or a sustainable career path or occupation.

Most of the humanities and social sciences then can be considered electives as opposed to part of the core program as we're seeing now in a lot of programs. And ultimately, if people really want to invest in further education in the humanities, there's still always going to be college, or more fiscally possible, the internet and libraries and other resources which can often be obtained easily and cheaply if people wish to pursue/better educate themselves in such topics without making it mandatory or a huge part of a basic or core educational curriculum.

Quote from: Neysha
Absolutely. I don't want any schools teaching humanities and social sciences with watered down textbooks, known or subconscious biases and filtered viewpoints, and political or social meddling, and general incompetence/uneven teaching. There's a virtual cottage industry of literature (best exemplified by the popular book by James Loewen, Lies My Teacher Told Me) from both sides of the political spectrum that's been rightfully critical of schooling at least in the US, and not just of public schools, but private as well. Outside of a bare minimum of understanding of some of the subjects, I honestly don't see the purpose of overemphasizing studies in the humanities when there is a very important need to focus on the STEM fields, as well as focus on English (or other languages as appropriate) and personal finance/business concepts as a core curriculum. And later in secondary school, expanding the prior studies and trying to find a greater focus on trade/apprenticeship type programs for the large numbers of students that might not be STEM oriented.

Humanities can still be there, but as a far less emphasized elective. With the proliferation of information on the internet and libraries and books and other media, people can be free to educate or delude themselves as needbe. They're doing a wonderful job of doing so in spite of, or perhaps due to an over emphasis on humanities in schooling already and are willing to invest thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours into pursuing degrees in somewhat self replicating degree fields. (where the main outlet of pursuing a subject of study is teaching said subject)

Quote from: Neysha
Incorrect. I'd prefer a greater emphasis on the STEM fields, as well as personal finances and English/Grammar/Communications (whatever we can call it) and a base of Civics, as I stated earlier. Reading comprenhension and communication should be covered by Grammar classes, or at least I hope they would, early on. Being able to communicate goes beyond the purview of just the Humanities IMHO and if I misspoke, I apologize. I want people to be able to communicate at a reasonably competent level, or else the STEM education would be useless. But yes, I do find possessing anything more then a basic knowledge of most humanities to be rather disposable unless its in a field one is pursuing or a hobby or passion or something they themselves choose to make an investment in.

Quote from: Neysha
Civics would be covered, as I stated in my original 'diagnoses.' But I don't see any particular need for expansion of the core curriculum into humanities. They can still exist as electives, both in Secondary School and in College so if people want to invest their time and money into it, they should feel free. But again, I would much prefer an emphasis on a core of STEM + Personal Finances (since many people seem woefully ill equipped at managing money) and as stated before, Grammar/English so they can communicate their ideas effectively. Therefore with this system, there'd be a lot less wiggle room for cultural/societal radicals such as those you bring up, to corrupt schooling. It certainly would be hard to be worse then social studies standards are today. And "theories" like Intelligent Design can be rightfully relegated to the Humanities electives where they belong by an increasingly scientifically literate populace. :)

And again, for emphasis, I don't want to eliminate the Humanities. Just de-emphasize them in core curriculum. Humanities are still important in a broad sense, but individually, I find its importance a fair bit more muted in comparison to learning STEM fields or learning a trade, skill or vocation or how to communicate effectively etc.

Quote from: Neysha
Well I prefer using "Humanities" as a broad term as opposed to "Ancient and modern languages, literature, philosophy, religion, and visual and performing arts, music and theater, history, anthropology, area studies, communication studies, cultural studies, law and linguistics etc except on a base level of the previously bolded subjects and others as de-emphasized electives."

;)

I apologize for any confusion. :)

Quote from: Neysha
It's only an elective in that the typical graduation requirements for a US Secondary School is something along the lines of four credits of English (which is fine, people should be able to read, write and speak ideas) but the upper level courses tend to be excuses for straying into the humanities for various reasons when they could be spending that same time learning something more STEMish or of use in an actual job or career field not directly related to that particular humanities subject. And then, you get three or four credits in Social Sciences as a basic requirement and one to two credits in Fine Arts... and yet only 2-3 in Math and maybe 2 in Science related related fields. Then you toss in all of the electives, which can be easily utilized by opportunistic students to pad their GPA's with classes they'd rather glide through. (and IMHO there's a tendency for Humanities as opposed to STEM classes being easier to coast through) There's only so much classroom time to utilize and kids aren't moving past basic algebra, basic scientific literacy, and alternatively have little actual schooling in any particular trade or vocation or other practical/technical skills, and while these generations are familiar with technology, we should be focusing more on whether they can do coding and programming languages, or use various software beyond MS Word or be able to manage their personal finances. Maybe then they can actually be prepared and equipped to go to college, or at least enter the job field with more relevant skills then knowing what year WW2 began. (which sounds kind of like a trick question anyways)

Quote from: Neysha
Well any strong students tend to be well rounded regardless from my limited experience. Hence I don't think the talented "honors" students being dismissive of such electives as they typically aren't now. And for the talented students, the context of advances in various STEM fields could find some usefulness. But for the mass of students, and considering the time and resources, I would think a concentration in STEM type fields would be ultimately preferable to Humanities, at least when it comes to those who are college bound. And for colleges and premier secondary schools I suppose, those courses you've stated would be excellent for fleshing out a strong science program. Definitely love to see them encouraged in lieu of less related Humanities electives.

Quote from: Neysha
Sounds like a good idea to me if it works generally as you laid out. We need more skill technicians and the like. Auto mechanics. Plumbers. Carpenters. Other assorted handyman style work and contracting. Even just general education in DIY type technical projects. Especially for those that might not be inclined to go into the STEM fields, which is a lot of people, and might not be prepared for the rigors of pursuing a narrower slice of employment options by going into some of the Humanities fields. A lot of people who go to college but end up underemployed after graduation or not graduating at all from a four year school, or even a smaller college, might've found they could've have a better investment of time and money going into a program like you are suggesting.

Quote from: Neysha
They're elective. Students can elect to take them or not IMHO. I'd prefer a core curriculum more focused on what I've stated a half dozen times before.

What Cyrano is making my position out to be is...

Quote from: Cyrano
"de-emphasized electives"

and

Quote from: Cyrano
an over emphasis on humanities in schooling already and are willing to invest thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours into pursuing degrees in somewhat self replicating degree fields. (where the main outlet of pursuing a subject of study is teaching said subject)

Whether it's vilification is beyond my ability to say. I won't attest to his motives. All I know is we had a perfectly reasonable discussion going on before my companion here elected to pursue the Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck methodology of discussion IMHO with utilizing out of context quotes.

And you folks are needlessly fixating on somebody who isn't ruling out the humanities as unnecessary in the first place, and attempting to vilify them using their own words.

That right there is the most distinguishing feature to me. I'm in the field of political science, which has far reaching ramifications, so I study it more specifically. I study philosophy as a passion, and because I believe it provides an excellent foundation for other knowledge, science, argumentation, everthing-else.

It seems to me that all Neysha is saying is that the engineer/chemist/physicist/etc. shouldn't be required to take anymore humanities courses than necessary to help them gain an appreciation and respect for their study and utility. Not that they are unnecessary/masturbatory as a whole.

Thank you. It's nice to know that most of us are interested in discussing the issue, as opposed to villifying our opponents in order to score 'points' in order to pander to an invisible audience.

« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 04:10:17 PM by Neysha »

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #144 on: May 24, 2013, 04:01:27 PM »
We've already been through this and things have calmed down.  Let us please respond to disagreements without being disagreeable.


Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #145 on: May 24, 2013, 04:10:29 PM »
No I have not been dismissive of the humanities

Readers of the thread can judge for themselves whether anyone has summarized your arguments unfairly or done violence to their context. I've already been clear about what I think is happening with your recent attempts at denial, and this is just another instance, so I won't belabor the point further.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 05:11:14 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline chaoslord29

Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #146 on: May 24, 2013, 04:21:03 PM »
Chaoslord29,

I was going to say that perhaps we should table the free will discussion for five years, but based on how rapid the data gain is from brain chemistry/activity research is these days, next spring may be long enough for us to get some movement.  Not a resolution, but movement.


************************************************

"generalized factory model education system"

This is the Achilles heel of my opposition to home schooling.   The motives of many home schooling parents are rooted in this, a basic recognition that the current system just isn't up to the demands that modern society requires.



The sooner the better to your first point, as far as I'm concerned. I've made something of a crusade pushing for greater consideration given to neurological sciences and even deterministic/probabilistic implications of the physical sciences where criminal justice is concerned, but the major stumbling block there isn't the science, it's the civics.

Which of course, leads us back to education, as the best way to improve and streamline political processes is to have a well informed, civically minded public, or at the very least one who's more inclined towards dispassionate cynicism than they are susceptible to demagoguery and fear-mongering. You and I couldn't agree more about the dangers of homeschooling, and I have the same complaints about recklessly biased smaller charter and private institutions, but the issues with factory-model education are . . . manifold, and unfortunately thoroughly entrenched in our society.

Readers of the thread can judge for themselves whether anyone has summarized your arguments unfairly or done violence to their context. I've already been clear about what I think is happening with your recent attempts at denial [including the mass regurgitation above which you seem to mistakenly imagine as a refutation... awk-waarrd...], and this is just another instance, so I won't belabor the point further.

I'm sure we're all grateful for that.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 04:26:12 PM by chaoslord29 »

Offline Branwen

Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #147 on: May 24, 2013, 04:25:43 PM »
As an educator I am very much enjoying this thread and would like to ask that participants remain civil so it won't be locked.  Please?

Offline chaoslord29

Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #148 on: May 24, 2013, 04:27:24 PM »
As an educator I am very much enjoying this thread and would like to ask that participants remain civil so it won't be locked.  Please?

Indeed. Neysha has done much to clarify her position from this point forward, there's no need to continue to prod the proverbial bear one way or another.

Offline Healergirl

Re: Education and the modern generation
« Reply #149 on: May 24, 2013, 05:05:07 PM »
I do not at all want this thread locked.

Chaoslord29,

Civics is inded the stumbling block, the logjam impeding movement.  But science is continuing to build up pressure, rapidly building pressure that is forcing the beginnings of movement on the issue.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 05:09:50 PM by Healergirl »