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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    14 Jan '11 09:11
    What makes for a good education?

    What makes for a good education system?
  2. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    14 Jan '11 11:06
    Depends on what you want from education, I guess. I don't view it as necessarily universal in its goals.

    As a tentative start, I'd say ideally an educational system would allow each person to develop their skills and talents in a way that would allow them to contribute to society doing something that the person enjoys doing. By "contribute", I mean a broad definition of the word (including art, entertainment, etc.). I would also like it to place a high value on teaching critical thinking and the importance of getting information from varied sources.

    As for education I see it as a bit more over-arching, where parenting plays a larger role. I'd like the education system to conform to my values but I'm not sure I'd want it to teach them explicitly (although they would by example).
  3. 14 Jan '11 12:15 / 8 edits
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    What makes for a good education?

    What makes for a good education system?
    I would say that an education entails a variety of factors, however, the main focus is usually science, math, history, and language. What is often overlooked, however, is character development. When children are raised in a public school moral vacuum where morality is akin to uttering the dreaded words "God" and where teachers are in large party unable to discipline their students without fear of a law suit, you run into problems with ones "education". Sure, they may wind up with all A's and go to Harvard, however, what if they also turn out to be a bunch of amoral punks? If they wind up turning out "bad", it would have been better for the world had you not educated them because their minds merely become a weapon for "evil" in society.

    As for learning about the 4 subjects I listed to begin with, they are designed to provide children with a competitive edge in terms of surviving economically as well as a general knowledge in regards to how to attain a better quality of life. Make no mistake, education often equals competition with your peers. It all boils down who can perform the best in class? Whoever does perform the best gets the "A". Whoever performs the worst gets the "F". Then there is compitition to score high on tests to go to higher educaiton where the same rules apply. And lastly, there is the competition in terms of schools that one graduates from in order to find a job. If one goes to Harvard, for example, that is much better than a local community college because it is assumed that the person who went to Harvard, has a "better" education.

    By in large, a good education is one that teaches self discipline and one that maximizes ones capacity to teach ones self about the world around them coupled with a desire and a curiosity to learn.
  4. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    14 Jan '11 12:31
    Originally posted by whodey
    Whoever does perform the best gets the "A". Whoever performs the worst gets the "F".
    Even if the "F" performance is almost as good as the "A" performance?

    Sounds like you think that one of the education system's objectives is to designate a certain proportion of students failures in a systematic way.

    Surely not?
  5. 14 Jan '11 12:33
    Originally posted by FMF
    Even if the "F" performance is almost as good as the "A" performance?

    Sounds like you think that one of the education system's objectives is to designate a certain proportion of students failures in a systematic way.

    Surely not?
    That's how the American grading system works. Basically makes a high school degree worthless, though standardized testing alleviates the problem somewhat.
  6. 14 Jan '11 12:40
    Originally posted by FMF
    Even if the "F" performance is almost as good as the "A" performance?

    Yes that is a real problem I'm sure that happens all the time.
  7. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    14 Jan '11 12:50
    Originally posted by Sam The Sham
    Yes that is a real problem I'm sure that happens all the time.
    So you support the principle that even good work and good progress - successful education - should be awarded a FAIL grade if that's what the prescriptive grading system coughs up?
  8. Standard member mikelom
    Ajarn
    14 Jan '11 13:11
    Grading results can be, and often are, skewed in the curve. That is to say, lower deserving grades are pulled up to a pass, for deserving students, and the higher passes move up accordingly. It happens commonly, when a grading system suddenly fails for large numbers of students (i.e. an exam has been incorrectly set, and is not representative of studies). It's not all doom and gloom failure.
  9. 14 Jan '11 13:15
    Originally posted by mikelom
    Grading results can be, and often are, skewed in the curve. That is to say, lower deserving grades are pulled up to a pass, for deserving students, and the higher passes move up accordingly. It happens commonly, when a grading system suddenly fails for large numbers of students (i.e. an exam has been incorrectly set, and is not representative of studies). It's not all doom and gloom failure.
    In my bachelor it was common for some courses to have 50-75% of students fail. They just said students should study harder. It's a calvinist thing, I guess.
  10. Standard member mikelom
    Ajarn
    14 Jan '11 13:22 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    In my bachelor it was common for some courses to have 50-75% of students fail. They just said students should study harder. It's a calvinist thing, I guess.
    If that is the case then, in my opinion, that is a clear indication of where an institution and its teachers/lecturers have failed/are failing in educating the students!
  11. 14 Jan '11 13:27
    Originally posted by mikelom
    If that is the case then, in my opinion, that is a clear indication of where an institution and its teachers/lecturers have failed/are failing in educating the students!
    How so?
  12. 14 Jan '11 14:06 / 1 edit
    The education system tends to greatly penalize failure and sends the message that failure is a bad thing to be avoided at all cost.

    But the only time when you are TRULY learning something is if you're experiencing failure. The failure indicates that you trying to do something that you do not already know how to do. After a great deal of hard work, you eventually master the skill (or at least you improve)

    How much chess are you learning when you're only playing opponents that you can beat almost 100% of the time? How much are you learning if you're only taking classes that you can get an A in almost 100% of the time?
  13. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    14 Jan '11 17:24
    Originally posted by Palynka
    Depends on what you want from education, I guess. I don't view it as necessarily universal in its goals.

    As a tentative start, I'd say ideally an educational system would allow each person to develop their skills and talents in a way that would allow them to contribute to society doing something that the person enjoys doing. By "contribute", I mean a broa ...[text shortened]... 'm not sure I'd want it to teach them explicitly (although they would by example).
    How the heck does a teacher prove that he's doing his job if the objectives are that vague and abstract??
  14. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    14 Jan '11 17:26
    Originally posted by whodey
    I would say that an education entails a variety of factors, however, the main focus is usually science, math, history, and language. What is often overlooked, however, is character development. When children are raised in a public school moral vacuum where morality is akin to uttering the dreaded words "God" and where teachers are in large party unable to d ...[text shortened]... self about the world around them coupled with a desire and a curiosity to learn.
    Your system means some children MUST fail. What happened to "No Child Left Behind"?
  15. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    14 Jan '11 17:28
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    That's how the American grading system works. Basically makes a high school degree worthless, though standardized testing alleviates the problem somewhat.
    There is no American grading system. Individual high school teachers make their own systems. It's not standardized in the slightest.

    The only thing that is standardized are the NCLB mandated standardized tests which most educators seem to despise with a passion. I kinda like them myself. I suspect this hatred for such tests is a reflection of the fact that there are very few math and science oriented teachers in education, even in math and science classes. This is a big problem.