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Old 08-03-2012, 11:32 PM   #826
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The only thing it would tell me, as I drive by, is that the man who owns the lumber yard was not competent enough to run a tape measure in between those two poles, and order a sign that fits the space. That, and he didn't realize the tiny script would be illegible from the road. Total miss.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:25 AM   #827
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Only the ones who learned how to read.

Guess they all taught themselves, eh?
Did you know people can be taught to read by their parents? A lot of things that the left attributes to government are simply appropriations of existing machinery. Yes, we have to have government schools to produce wage slaves for our corporate masters, but do we need them for humanity? (only half kidding)
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:06 AM   #828
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That kind of depends how good a teacher the parent is. Somewhat devalues what can be quite a difficult skill. Teachers may be people with natural aptitude for teaching, but they still had to learn how to do it effectively. Not all parents can teach. Not all parents will teach. Nations do not reach 100 % (or nearto) literacy rates by leaving it to parental efforts. Not all children will be taught if governments don't force the issue in some way.
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:08 AM   #829
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And another thing about Ray Guster, I guarantee his store is LOADED with tools and parts made in China. 100% guarantee it.

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That kind of depends how good a teacher the parent is. Somewhat devalues what can be quite a difficult skill. Teachers may be people with natural aptitude for teaching, but they still had to learn how to do it effectively. Not all parents can teach. Not all parents will teach. Nations do not reach 100 % (or nearto) literacy rates by leaving it to parental efforts. Not all children will be taught if governments don't force the issue in some way.
It's amazing that human beings managed to survive as a species all the way up to the mid 1800's when formal schooling became popular.
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:58 AM   #830
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It's amazing that human beings managed to survive as a species all the way up to the mid 1800's when formal schooling became popular.
What's survival got to do with anything? I was talking about literacy and education. Plenty of people around the world survive just fine without either. Not sure I'd want that life for myself or any child I cared about.
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Old 08-04-2012, 12:12 PM   #831
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And another thing about Ray Guster, I guarantee his store is LOADED with tools and parts made in China. 100% guarantee it.



It's amazing that human beings managed to survive as a species all the way up to the mid 1800's when formal schooling became popular.
The 1% have always managed to do better.

You just have to choose your parents wisely.
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Old 08-04-2012, 03:26 PM   #832
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What's survival got to do with anything? I was talking about literacy and education. Plenty of people around the world survive just fine without either. Not sure I'd want that life for myself or any child I cared about.
I'm saying, for between 50,000 and 200,000 years, we've been learning from non-professional teachers. If they are as ineffective as you suggest, the species wouldn't have lived long enough to be blessed with modern "education."
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Old 08-04-2012, 03:39 PM   #833
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All depends on what is being taught and in what context. I was talking about reading. As a specific skill, reading isn't always something that can be taught by watching and copying, which is how most pre-industrial skills were taught.
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Old 08-04-2012, 03:52 PM   #834
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:16 AM   #835
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All parents teach their children. However. Not all the things the children learn are what the parents intended for them to learn. And OF COURSE parents play a major role in a child's literacy. It can be done without the parents and it can be done without professional teachers, sure. But it can be done better, much better with both of them supporting and reinforcing the work of the other.

As for history, yes, there have been countless generations that have grown from childhood to adulthood without the benefit of professional teachers. Today, here, literacy is infinitely more important than it was hundreds of years ago. I don't think it's a fair comparison. As you point out Dana, there are many many children today who are illiterate or barely literate. Like you, I would not want that for my children or the children around me. In my "world", literacy counts. Our society has a stake in the education of our children. It is that stake that makes it worthwhile for public teachers and free schooling.
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:43 AM   #836
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Well said V.

Looking back at the last 1000 years or so of history, I see those who cannot read at the mercy of those who can far more often than the other way around. Withotu the ability to read we are dependent upon those who can to interpret and filter through laws, holy texts, scientific ideas, political events etc.

Being unable to read, and to a slightly lesser extent, being unable to write, is a handicap in the world we live in. 20,000 years ago, it wasn't. 20,000 years ago being able to move quietly through the undergrowth was a much more useful skill. But the teaching of that is a whole other matter. Most of what we needed to learn then as humans could be learned pretty much by osmosis. Parents would show and guide, and by doing the children would learn.

Parents continue to show and guide children how to live and how to do the tasks they will need to do in their lives, but many of the skills we've developed as a species require a different kind of learning and a different kind of teaching. Hence the development of teaching specific professions. Which predate the more modern desire for comprehensively educated workers by many centuries.


[eta] there seems to be a tendency in both our cultures to devalue teaching as a profession and view it almost as a form of enhanced babysitting. There's also a tendency to devalue parenting and see it as 'natural'and instinctive and therefore unskilled. It is the devaluing of parenting that leads to the devaluing of teaching. At its core it is a devaluing of the act of raising children. Most probably because that has traditionally been seen as a female role. The level of respect shown to teachers in society seems to reduce the closer to infancy the children they teach sit.
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:01 AM   #837
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Hence the development of teaching specific professions. Which predate the more modern desire for comprehensively educated workers by many centuries.
The profession predates government involvement by many centuries. The "modern desire" aligns quite nicely with government involvement.
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:39 AM   #838
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Well, yes. Because in order to effect mass education of the entire nation government is generally required to be involved.

I think it's really easy for us to question the necessity of mass education. But I also think it is important to remember that this was not simply imposed onto us from above. It is something which had to be fought for. The need for an educated workforce and the need for literacy as a life skill came before any serious government involvement. And when that involvement began it was highly controversial.

Speaking just for Britain, as I am less familiar with what was happening over in America at this time, the early moves to ensure educational opportunity to poorer families (education, incidently, being one of the areas that Adam Smith suggested was an appropriate place for government intervention and even if necessary provision) were something opposed by many on the right as being unnecessary, and likely to make for an unhappier (less obedient) and less settled workforce.

Polemic battles were fought against acts requiring parishes to ensure some sort of education provision was made available. Reading, it was suggested, bred insurrection and unhappiness in the lower orders. What need had they for such things? Theirs was not a world of literature, but of looms, ploughs, hammers and nails.

I have a lot of problems with the education system as it is. The idea of a massified and uniform approach to something as fluid and invidual as learning seems clunky and inadequate. And the insistence on attendance, coupled with sanctions against children and parents for non-compliance seems heavy handed. A one size fits all system is never going to answer the whole question of teaching and learning.

But. Wherever education is left to the private sector it fails or completely barrs the lowest economic strata. Where education is not mandated, gender inequality becomes much greater. It was only in my mother's generation that if a family had enough money to send one child to college and university they'd almost always choose the son, because girls left work when they got married. Without mandated education families forced to choose which children were educated would make a calculation based on many such factors. Such is the way of it in some countries now.

Parents are just people. They know their individual child better than anyone. But they are no more or less likely to make good decisions than anybody else.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:25 AM   #839
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Originally Posted by DanaC View Post

I have a lot of problems with the education system as it is. The idea of a massified and uniform approach to something as fluid and invidual as learning seems clunky and inadequate. And the insistence on attendance, coupled with sanctions against children and parents for non-compliance seems heavy handed. A one size fits all system is never going to answer the whole question of teaching and learning.

But. Wherever education is left to the private sector it fails or completely barrs the lowest economic strata. Where education is not mandated, gender inequality becomes much greater. It was only in my mother's generation that if a family had enough money to send one child to college and university they'd almost always choose the son, because girls left work when they got married. Without mandated education families forced to choose which children were educated would make a calculation based on many such factors. Such is the way of it in some countries now.
Heartily agree.

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Parents are just people. They know their individual child better than anyone. But they are no more or less likely to make good decisions than anybody else.
Heartily disagree. The say 10-20% of children our system fails today have those parents but they rest do not. Those kids were uneducated before and remain uneducated. Public ed gives them the opportunity but few take it.

The system as it is is inadequate for the needs of modern society. Its inflexibility is increasing at just the wrong time. I am in no way arguing for less funding, but I am arguing for more of an open system with more choice.
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:28 PM   #840
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The system as it is is inadequate for the needs of modern society. Its inflexibility is increasing at just the wrong time. I am in no way arguing for less funding, but I am arguing for more of an open system with more choice.
What good is more choice? How to separate the failing schools from the better ones? Almost every time, the schools with the greatest problems have the most empty parking spaces on Parents-Teacher night.

85% of all problems are, without doubt, directly traceable to top management. That is the parents.

You can often predict the problem students. Observe their parents. Attitude and knowledge comes from top management.
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