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"The world we actually have does not meet my standards." ~Phillip K. Dick

New School

Do you agree? School makes a huge mistake in that it attempts to teach all that one needs to know when it needs to teach how to find what one needs to know and how to process what is found.

1. Ethics
2. Reading
3. Logic
4. Research
5. Civics

These subjects would give children the tools they need to develop and discover the tools they need, period.

This course would not take more then two years total. But would be spread out over k12 time frame to give children time to absorb, discover on their own, and most importantly, learn from their parents.

Ethics first for what should be obvious reasons. Being benevolent should be the highest priority.

Reading because it is what connects us to each other and the past and allows us to grow as a species.

Logic so we can process what we read critically and properly incorporate it into what we know.

Research so we can find the answers if we have questions or share the answers we ourselves created, or verify the answers we are given.

Civics so we know how to incorporate ourselves into our society in a way that is mutually beneficial and so that we can understand the purpose of the laws we are subject to and how those laws came about.

Each subject also provides defense against manipulation and exploitation, which will make our children strong, safe, wise, and perhaps most importantly, happy.

A secondary set should be as follows.
6. Psychology
7. Neurology
8. Sociology
9. Economics
10. Philosophy

Psychology so that we can know how we think, and avoid our cognitive blind spots, impact bias, and other inherent mental issues we all can have.

Neurology so we can understand that reality comes to us through the lens of our brain, awareness of the nature of that lens will give us a better actual understanding of the reality outside it.

Sociology so we can understand the societies we choose to live in and or were born in.

Economics so we can understand the nature of resources and how to best distribute them for the common and individual good.

And philosophy so that we can explore the context and meaning of our existence.

In addition I feel that all children should be taught one martial art (minus the philosophy, just the skill) and one artistic technical skill of their choice. So they can be safe, confident, and express themselves fully.

No Math?:
Nope, no 18th century French literature, or quantum mechanics either, math is not fundamental to learning how to learn.

( Update: This would be an acceptable form of math education: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang/eng//id/1007 )

Forcing everyone to learn math is like forcing everyone to learn magic the gathering. Basic math like what is +-*/, would be covered by reading, but anything past long division is a specialty and thus not included.

Addendum:

The only thing we have the right to unilaterally insert or remove are cures and pathogens. And even then only with extremely careful consideration of the cost.

We literally steal childhoods. We conflate the indoctrination process with childhood itself to a repulsive disgusting degree.

Children should be treated EXACTLY like adults recovering from a brain injury and determining when they are to be given freedom and rights should be a clinical objectively driven process approached from that perspective.

When someone wakes up from a coma and has to learn to read and speak again do we presume to decide for them all the shit we decide for children? No, because we recognize an adult as a human.

Conversation about education in 99.99% of cases assumes children are not humans without even being aware of that prejudice.

Children are pets and property in our culture and our “education” is inextricably bound to that loathsome truth.

  • http://www.fictionalphilosophy.org Kevin

    Interesting post. The only problem I really see is the issue with philosophy being last. Aren’t steps 1,3, and 5 basically philosophy?

    The other issue is ethics. I took an ethics course and how it applies to technology, but I was still essentially a lazy slob after the course.

    I think ethics have become a word that is supposed to mean “secular morality”, but the secular humanists seem to be too busy attacking religion than they are at proving their stance. I would think there are still quite a few atheists who wouldn’t self describe as secular humanists. Could be wrong, hopefully I am, but ethics is a loaded word. What theory would be taught in school? Would everything have to be taught, then hopefully kids would choose what is right? if that’s the case, why not just teach comparative religion with ethics?.

  • http://www.fictionalphilosophy.org Kevin

    Interesting post. The only problem I really see is the issue with philosophy being last. Aren’t steps 1,3, and 5 basically philosophy?

    The other issue is ethics. I took an ethics course and how it applies to technology, but I was still essentially a lazy slob after the course.

    I think ethics have become a word that is supposed to mean “secular morality”, but the secular humanists seem to be too busy attacking religion than they are at proving their stance. I would think there are still quite a few atheists who wouldn’t self describe as secular humanists. Could be wrong, hopefully I am, but ethics is a loaded word. What theory would be taught in school? Would everything have to be taught, then hopefully kids would choose what is right? if that’s the case, why not just teach comparative religion with ethics?.

  • Eonir

    Well… I cannot agree on your math here. The basic four operators are certainly not enough. There is no economics when a kid can’t even create or read a chart.

    Maths is not a specialty. Most of science is based on maths. Such disciplines as Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Psychology, Sociology, and many more. Not being able to calculate anything more than your bill should be considered a disability.

    Maths is the language of the universe.

  • Eonir

    Well… I cannot agree on your math here. The basic four operators are certainly not enough. There is no economics when a kid can’t even create or read a chart.

    Maths is not a specialty. Most of science is based on maths. Such disciplines as Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Psychology, Sociology, and many more. Not being able to calculate anything more than your bill should be considered a disability.

    Maths is the language of the universe.

  • Anonymous

    Aren’t steps 1,3, and 5 basically philosophy?

    Not the way I see it.

    I took an ethics course…

    You took it well after you were a child. We beat our children under the justification that right and wrong must be taught, yet we delay ethics instruction to specialty college fields. That’s absurd.

    How other people twist the word ethics is not my concern. For one i know this wont ever happen, school is not nor has it ever been about making people smarter, it’s about making them skilled, productive, and obedient.

  • http://friendfeed.com/innomen Innomen

    Aren’t steps 1,3, and 5 basically philosophy?

    Not the way I see it.

    I took an ethics course…

    You took it well after you were a child. We beat our children under the justification that right and wrong must be taught, yet we delay ethics instruction to specialty college fields. That’s absurd.

    How other people twist the word ethics is not my concern. For one i know this wont ever happen, school is not nor has it ever been about making people smarter, it’s about making them skilled, productive, and obedient.

  • Anonymous

    Reading a chart does not require advanced math training.

    Math is a specialty else why have classes dedicated to it throughout education? If it were not a specialty it would be taught in context of the subjects at hand as needed.

    In fact, it already is. Take physics, or chemistry, there’s plenty of math taught because you need it in a certain way in those fields, thats in addition to separate math classes.

    I am so sick of that doe eyed crap. Math CLASSES are not the “language of the universe.”

    Every time I speak about obligatory math class being a classist arbitrary limiting factor, as worthless as learning to churn butter in this the age on the cusp of thinking machines, some robe wearing acolyte of the math education industry and mind wipe program shows up and tries to sell me on the idea that by opposing formal abundant worthless expensive limiting math courses, I’m somehow pissing on the beauty of snow flakes, well fuck that.

    I get that NATURE is beautiful. MATH however is a clunky worthless best fit half assed work around, a throw back to an era when it was not possible to directly intuit the understanding of the world, an era that is quickly coming to a close.

    Math education’s primary function in modern society: To artificially depress the number of college graduates to keep college enrollment expensive.

    I once asked an economics professor why statistics was required for an english lit degree, and he told me “because society needs janitors.”

    You’re that asshole. If your next comment contains classist bullshit, don’t expect it to be published.

  • http://friendfeed.com/innomen Innomen

    Reading a chart does not require advanced math training.

    Math is a specialty else why have classes dedicated to it throughout education? If it were not a specialty it would be taught in context of the subjects at hand as needed.

    In fact, it already is. Take physics, or chemistry, there’s plenty of math taught because you need it in a certain way in those fields, thats in addition to separate math classes.

    I am so sick of that doe eyed crap. Math CLASSES are not the “language of the universe.”

    Every time I speak about obligatory math class being a classist arbitrary limiting factor, as worthless as learning to churn butter in this the age on the cusp of thinking machines, some robe wearing acolyte of the math education industry and mind wipe program shows up and tries to sell me on the idea that by opposing formal abundant worthless expensive limiting math courses, I’m somehow pissing on the beauty of snow flakes, well fuck that.

    I get that NATURE is beautiful. MATH however is a clunky worthless best fit half assed work around, a throw back to an era when it was not possible to directly intuit the understanding of the world, an era that is quickly coming to a close.

    Math education’s primary function in modern society: To artificially depress the number of college graduates to keep college enrollment expensive.

    I once asked an economics professor why statistics was required for an english lit degree, and he told me “because society needs janitors.”

    You’re that asshole. If your next comment contains classist bullshit, don’t expect it to be published.

  • Anonymous

    http://peciacake.stumbleupon.com/ says:

    I’d re-order philosophy to No. 6 given we are less aware of where we fit than at any time previous in the history of mankind. I’d also change Logic to ‘Reasoning’ as often logic denies lateral thought as in ‘it’s not logical’ Otherwise you’ve got it pretty well the way I see it – a good balance between the arts and sciences. cheers

    My reply:

    Hmmm, reasoning is almost a philosophy in itself though, is it not? Torture often has reasons, but is it ever logical? But then again, that smacks more of ethics than anything else.

    Also, “reasoning” is a lofty vague term, it could be said that the purpose of all education is to teach this “single” skill. No, I’ll keep it as logic, because it is a well established specialty that is universally applicable.

    Indeed one of the lies they use to keep the church of math going is that math teaches “logical thinking” but logician used to be a separate entity. The fact is the system does not want children thus equipped. Hence the fall of logic from the educational tree.

    Heh, perhaps I should include semantics in there somewhere despite the fact that to me it would be obviated by logic instruction.

    I ordered philosophy as I did because of its direct practical value in relation to the others. It’s knowing where to drive, the rest are how to build a car. See what I mean?

  • http://friendfeed.com/innomen Innomen

    http://peciacake.stumbleupon.com/ says:

    I’d re-order philosophy to No. 6 given we are less aware of where we fit than at any time previous in the history of mankind. I’d also change Logic to ‘Reasoning’ as often logic denies lateral thought as in ‘it’s not logical’ Otherwise you’ve got it pretty well the way I see it – a good balance between the arts and sciences. cheers

    My reply:

    Hmmm, reasoning is almost a philosophy in itself though, is it not? Torture often has reasons, but is it ever logical? But then again, that smacks more of ethics than anything else.

    Also, “reasoning” is a lofty vague term, it could be said that the purpose of all education is to teach this “single” skill. No, I’ll keep it as logic, because it is a well established specialty that is universally applicable.

    Indeed one of the lies they use to keep the church of math going is that math teaches “logical thinking” but logician used to be a separate entity. The fact is the system does not want children thus equipped. Hence the fall of logic from the educational tree.

    Heh, perhaps I should include semantics in there somewhere despite the fact that to me it would be obviated by logic instruction.

    I ordered philosophy as I did because of its direct practical value in relation to the others. It’s knowing where to drive, the rest are how to build a car. See what I mean?

  • Anonymous

    You kind of assume a level of integrity in educators which I do not share. I’ll leave it at that.

    I like the idea of mixing the primary subjects to make composite classes. Very innovative.

    As to math, I can’t say it better than this.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/conrad_wolfram_teaching_kids_real_math_with_computers.html

  • innomen
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