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I have an Adri, your argument is invalid.

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.

15 Comments

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  1. 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?.

    1. 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.

  2. 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?.

    1. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. 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.

  4. 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.

    1. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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?

  7. Okay, I agree with the first 5. I think that maybe some of them could be coupled with one another into one class. Not necessarily the same ones coupled over and over, mix it up every semester or year, variety is the spice of life (just not too much salt). Example: Civics + Ethics, Reading + Research, and logic. Then maybe do Logic + Research the next go around and couple them however they work with the lesson plan for that semester.

    The second set of them I think should be condensed. Psychology and Philosophy should be together. Philosophy can be studied in Psychology. Sociology could be studied in Civics, and Neurology could be in Anatomy (not just a small part, but a big part every year, like a semester of it). Economics are taught in school already, but as an elective, it really should be a regular class for atleast one year in junior high, and another in high school.

    Don’t know if I agree with the Martial Art. There are plenty of reasons to teach it, as well as to not teach it in school. Maybe as an elective, and have the kid sign that they will not use it to hurt others, only as a self defense.

    I’m all for the arts. We should always have an arts program in our schools, and funding for them too. This is what helps us express ourselves.

    My only REAL disagreement here? Math. Yeah, Math is hard for some (me! I hated math, and it was my hardest subject), and easy for others, but Math is a constant, it doesn’t change. When you learn it, you’ve learned it, it’s not going to be “That’s not how we do that anymore” unless there is an easier way, and even then you still know how to do it. Plus, your right as far as the calculate your bills thing, but Math and Physics we use everyday. It gives us a deeper understanding of everything around us.

    Also, most well paying jobs (economics and civics would be incorporating it) require a higher Math education. I do think that there should be, in this case, more than one math teacher. It would be nice to have 2 or 3 teachers in a math class, hell, throw a teacher’s aid in the mix too. A lot of times, our best subject in school, has a lot to do with liking our teachers. My favorite teacher was a 5th grade English teacher, and I don’t think it is a coincidence that I received my highest scores, in the course of going to school, in Literature, English, Spelling, and Reading. Adding extra teachers could be the difference in being proficient in Math, and being distinguished in Math, let alone novice.

    The only classes that you forgot to mention above that I think are also important are History, Science, and Health. These are very important classes and should not be overlooked.

    Science also helps us to understand the world around us, and helps to teach us some of the math we use everyday. A deeper understanding of our environment, cause and effect, and physics help us to live in a real world.

    History teaches us about where we came from and what the world used to be like. We can learn how other cultures lived and evolved, not to mention evolution itself (which would also be covered in science) and to help us not to make mistakes that have already been made.

    Health class teaches us about our body and how to respect it. Teaches us how to take care of ourselves and good habits to follow. And if your not in the bible belt, it teaches us about safe sex so we don’t end up with diseases or end up getting pregnant way before we are physically and emotionally ready for it.

    All of the classes are very important, and relate to each other. Most subjects, at the very least, touch on all the other subjects as well. Together they provide us with a needed balance. Just like our lives need a healthy balance, our education does too. We need serious adjustments to our school system. I think teachers should at least be trained to handle delicate situations, children with disabilities, and signs that children are being abused and/or so left out that it will affect them in the future. Kids are resilient and fragile, knowing where those differences lay is one of the most important lessons a teacher should be taught.

    Sorry so long. I’m full of hot air today.

  8. 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

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