I was reading an email this morning about education. It was really more about the disadvantages of “public” schools (government schools).
This video was in the email. I don’t usually listen to rap music. I’ve never heard of this guy, Dave. Or his Boyinaband. I did check it out today. Just because I finally have some spare time at home and because of the recommendation in the email from TDV.
I think Dave makes a LOT of good points! No, I don’t think school should completely eliminate ALL the classics. But I DO think they spend a lot of time on things that nobody is EVER going to use.
OK, if you’re going to be an engineer or scientist, (or math teacher) then I’m sure you’ll be using quadratic equations. For pretty much everybody else, you’ll be fine if you ace geometry (or even just basic arithmetic) and skip algebra completely.
Same goes for all the other subjects: Science, English, History, Civics, etc.
Why don’t we just give all our kids a great background in those basic subjects. Up to about 4th grade, say. They OUGHT to be able to ace it by then. And if they’re some of the few that can’t, then DON’T let them hold back the ones that can do the work! Put the slow ones in a special remedial class and stop with all the political correctness that is ruining everything for everybody! Get some discipline back in the classrooms so the kids that want to learn, can learn. Concentrate on giving ALL of them a good foundation: “readin’, writin’, ‘rithmatic!” Spend the rest of the time up til High School building on those foundations with more intensive studies.
Then, after that, let the kids and their parents chose a more applicable education. Surely by High School, all involved ought to have a good idea of what they want to do with their lives. Let them opt out of todays’ standard “college prep” and take something more practical if they want to (technical or trade track).
I agree with the premise that kids are naturally curious and WILL learn what interests them. If you show them how a subject will be relevant to them, then they’re a lot more likely to take an interest.
In my own personal experience, I was very lucky to have the chance to leave the ‘public’ school system before it totally destroyed my chance of a good education. I was one of those students who always aced the tests, etc. I made straight A’s without even trying. By the time I got to High School, I had already started skipping school. Just because it was SO DAMNED BORING!
I decided I had much better things to do with my time than to take Algebra yet again! I had been taking that class (earning straight A’s) since 4th grade! No one could/would explain to me why I should waste even more of my time in that class. Nor could they say why there were no options!
People seem to think that the ONLY place you can learn something is in ‘school’. I disagree!! I’ve learned a hell of a lot more on my own, then I ever did in school.
Looked to me then (and it looks to me now), like we have a one track system. Dumb down the smart kids (and the middle of the road kids). Let the slow kids set the pace of the class. IMHO, that is a road to disaster! And just look at how bad the results are compared to a century ago! Here’s a link to an 8th grade exam from 1912. Could YOU pass it?
(I can’t. I have 2 degrees- one of them is in math).
BUT; if kids could pass it then, they COULD be taught to pass it NOW.
Now we graduate kids from High School that can’t even READ! Or do even BASIC math! I know, because I used to tutor a hell of a lot of them when they got into college. And WHY are they even allowed into college if they can’t ALREADY read, write and do math???
We really need to stop spending so much time, money and other resources on making sure (or trying to) that everybody can go to college. Somehow we’ve managed to make a college degree a ‘necessity’.
MAYBE if we got back to where a high school diploma actually meant something, like a graduate really knew how to read, basic math, basic all around education and HOW TO THINK, then a business would once again be able to trust that the person they’re interviewing for a job could learn the skills to do the job without needing a complete education after they got hired! Maybe then you wouldn’t ‘need’ a college degree to get a ‘good job’.
After all, one of the main reasons we send kids to school is so that they can ‘get a job’. Hopefully, a job that will allow them a decent standard of living. A “good job”. I don’t see why we should FORCE kids to stay in school if that’s all they’re looking for.
The other reason we send kids to school is to give them a real education. To learn how to live their lives. I think we are failing BADLY in this task. I think we should teach these lessons from the earliest opportunity and all the way up through High School.
Yes! Like Dave says; teach them about money, currency, and where it comes from! Teach them about finances, about how the stock markets work, about banking, about budgeting, about debt and interest, about how to balance a checkbook, about how to run a household.
Teach them about how to shop for groceries, about nutrition and healthy eating, about how to cook. Teach them how to grow a garden. Teach them about their bodies and how to stay healthy (and how NOT to become parents!), and how to raise a family IF you want to.
Teach them about the society they live in (and the worldwide situation), about how they are part of the community, about their rights and responsibilities. About politics and voting and corruption and how the system REALLY works! About history and how all this came about.
Teach them about the rest of the world: Geography, world events and how they relate to history and how it affects them, now. Languages, to help them get by in a changing world. Natural science and environmental studies, so they can understand how the environment they live in affects them and is (or is not) effected by them. Throw some travel in the mix, it’s a GREAT way to teach many different subjects!
Teach them about science (and math), basic principles and how it is relevant to them!
Most important, teach them how to THINK!!
NOT just how to regurgitate facts, or to pass the next test. Teach them how to go about learning about a subject. Teach them how to find the information they need to solve a problem or to answer any questions they may have. How to use logic and how to get past all the advertising and propaganda we all have to deal with constantly.
I think learning HOW to learn is the most important thing we can teach. But I don’t see much of that going on in schools anymore. 😦
Listen to the lyrics to the song above, do you agree or disagree with Dave?
Why or why not?