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JOEBIALEK
October 16th, 2005, 04:12 PM
This is the second part to an earlier writing about education in the United States. As you may recall, I advocated for the privatization of all schools from kindergarten to graduate studies. This piece will focus on the curriculum that needs to be followed.

Everytime I encounter someone in the workplace, I am reminded of just how much we have failed to properly educate United States citizens in the fundamentals of communication: reading, writing and speaking. Few would argue that the time is long overdue for the United States to "get back to the basics" of a fully functional education system. We need to exclusively focus on the development of communication skills from kindergarten to eighth grade along with annual testing that measures apptitude and interest. Training in mathematics should be limited to addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Unless communication skills are fully mastered, there is no need to advance to high school.

For those who graduate to high school, the emphasis could evolve into a curriculum of philosophy, sociology, economics, psychology, science and religious studies. Books such as "For Dummies" and "The Complete Idiot's Guide" could be used to foster an understanding of different religions. Athletic activity would be strictly confined to cardio vascular exercises and all sports would be eliminated. While there would still be an emphasis on communication skills, the focus would now be on developing a foundation of basic knowledge so as to be able to graduate to college. Testing for apptitude and interest would continue through high school increasing the chances of picking the right field of study . Those not continuing on to college would enter some type of apprenticeship training for the purpose of learning a trade. For those who do graduate to college, the student would continue to study an advanced version of the same curriculum as high school but only for the first two years then they would complete their education by strictly focusing on coursework designed to train them in their field of study. Nearing graduation, internships would be required to begin the transition to the working world. Think of how different our society would be if our education system could just teach the fundamentals of reading, writing and speaking.

Ninjahedge
October 17th, 2005, 11:21 AM
Your plan would not work with the social dynamic.

Keeping advanced studies from middle school and High Schol would do nothing to help us, as evidenced by the FACT that people such as myself were learning algebra in middle school, and calculus in High School.

Privatization is a pipe dream, unless you want a bunch of people that only know how to network using MS, or who now owe their parents life savings to Merck.

Elimination of sports in a species such as ourselves would not do much more than prompt other compeditive arenas which might not be healthy to social and academic development.


The arguement presented SOUNDS very erudite and well spoken, but when the individual items are examined, it does not present much of a workable solution to the current situation we are experiencing in the united states.

It is a designed philosophical debate piece that does not focus on the reality of the situation. Things such as "science" are stuck on as an afterthought in the list of subjects to be taught after HS level.

If you want to restrict learning to that king of program, you should take a look at countries like China. They sound awfully familiar, and both would be excelent at controling the people and what they know, think and believe in their adult lives.

JOEBILK
November 3rd, 2005, 06:02 PM
This is the sequel to an earlier essay about education in the United States. As you may recall, I advocated the privatization of all schools, at all levels of study, from kindergarten to graduate school. This piece will focus on the curriculum that needs to be followed.

Every time I encounter graffiti in public washrooms, I am reminded of just how poorly we educate our citizens in the art of writing. For example, just the other day I saw this: "It is not just innate capacity that determines success or failure in competitive activities. A considerable element of chance is also involved." Isn't that awful? I remember the good old days when one could read graffiti with much better style. For example, long ago I saw this in a public washroom: "The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all."

Few would dispute my claim that the time is LONG OVERDUE for the United States to get back to the basics. Even fewer would dispute my claim that the time HAS ARRIVED for the United States to get back to the basics. On the other hand, if we do get back to the basics, then those few people might use their new, improved communication skills to persuade the rest of us that they are right. However, that's all just hypothetical.

What is not hypothetical is the fact that we need to exclusively focus on the development of communication skills from kindergarten to eighth grade, along with annual testing that measures aptitudes and interests. Unless communication skills are fully mastered, there is no need to measure aptitudes or interests. So why should we be measuring aptitudes and interests from kindergarten to eighth grade? I'm not sure.

I am sure about mathematics. High school mathematics should focus on nothing but the addition and multiplication of positive, whole numbers. Subtraction and division can be covered in college. Those continuing on to graduate school would study such topics as differential equations, category theory, Fourier analysis, square roots, the Fibonacci Sequence, the Königsberg Bridge problem, and the formula for the area of a square.

Besides mathematics, the high school curriculum could include humanities, social sciences, and the natural sciences. Books such as "For Dummies" and "The Complete Idiot's Guide" could be used to foster an understanding of various religions. Athletic activity would be strictly confined to cardio vascular exercises and all sports (including chess and dwarf tossing) would be eliminated. While there would still be an emphasis on communication skills, the focus would now be on preparing students for college with courses in sex education, mixing drinks, and partying.

Those not continuing on to college would apprentice to learn trades. After the first two years of college, students would specialize in a particular subject area. Nearing graduation, internships would be required to begin the transition to the working world. Think of how different our society would be if our fellow citizens were capable of reading, writing and speaking. For example, if they could speak, then they might say something like this: "Take your stinking paws off me, you damned, dirty ape!"

Ninjahedge
November 4th, 2005, 11:13 AM
Subtraction and division can be covered in college

That is singularly the MOST idiotic statment I have EVER heard about education in the US.

I was skimming up until then, trying to see where you did not simply copy/paste your previous post, but when I read this little gem I had to stop and seriously re-read some to see if you were pulling my leg.

I am still not sure.

Dwarf tossing and quotes from POTA are a good indication of this, but I am not 100% on this.

Ah well. One can only hope this was a joke. Unfortunately, when sarcastic comments and exaggeration are not far fomr proposals actually voiced and presented in other arenas, you can never be too sure.

BrooklynRider
November 4th, 2005, 02:28 PM
He's pulling your leg. An amusing rant- thanks.

Ninjahedge
November 4th, 2005, 04:06 PM
He's pulling your leg. An amusing rant- thanks.

I certainly hope so.

The first rant he had was a little TOO close to what was actually being said that I could not take it as humor.


One of the worst things in life is when someone is credited for a course of action and his only response is "I was only joking!!!"

ryan
November 4th, 2005, 06:23 PM
Ninja, there's two different usernames... hint hint (and congrats to JOEBILK for the successful - and funny - forgery)

Gregory Tenenbaum
November 6th, 2005, 08:15 PM
It would be interesting to look at what the eastern europeans countries are doing. If you want to look at getting back to basics then soviet education curricula (apart from the nationalistic stalinist element) could be interesting. Russians that I have met all speak 2 or 3 languages, and the russians seem to have a good sound science and applied science education.

Remember also that university is not the be all and end all in Russia, there is no shame in becoming a craftsperson as opposed to becoming a doctor, or more commonly here it seems a science graduate who cant get a job simply because everyone has a degree.

Your thoughts please.