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View Diary: Anti-Capitalist Meet-Up: Education Under Capitalism (47 comments)

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  •  "I recommend instead that children should decide (0+ / 0-)

    for themselves what to learn."

    You lost me there.

    In every society adults are responsible for preparing children for adulthood. There are things kids need to learn and we must teach them. Kids, being kids, don't know what they will need to know as adults. They can't know.

    We may be doing a bad job of it, but that doesn't absolve us of our responsibility.

    None of this is to say that I am happy with the educational system. I am not.

    We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

    by denise b on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 07:39:04 PM PST

    •  When put to the test, this dogma falls flat... (0+ / 0-)

      If you don't teach children to read will they be illiterate? Turns out, no, they will not. They learn to read anyway and they can't tell you how it happens. In truth, they are capable of learning huge amounts of information very quickly if in the right frame of mind.

      This surprised me too, but if left to their own devices, kids tend to learn more than what the curriculum of most schools teach. They even seem to learn things that are more useful to them in the long run.

      We know this from several sources but the one I find the most compelling is from Democratic Free schools and Sudbury School.

      Check out this documentary on the subject.

      What does not happen is that they do not all learn the exact same things. They do all seem to learn math, reading and how to get to information they need, but then the education becomes very divergent.

      These children seem to have more creativity, are able to problem solve better, are more independent and self reliant. It may very well be that these are undesirable characteristics in worker and therefore are being wiped out of the children who go to traditional school.

      De air is de air. What can be done?

      by TPau on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 07:58:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  children become acutely aware of what they need (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TPau

        to learn. they can see what the adults around them are doing and they find out what it takes to do that.

        I never had to lead my daughter to cooking, for instance. She came to me one day and said she wanted to cook. She looked on the internet for recipes and made her own cookbook and then asked me questions and set to it, with me at the ready to help, if needed. She was 9. For a while there, she was getting up every morning and cooking me eggs for breakfast. Then, in the evening she was baking corn bread.

        After she seemed to have it down, she moved on to other activities. But, she knows enough cooking to feed herself when she needs to.

        She's amazing that way. We had an electrician here when she was in first grade. She asked a lot of questions. One day she asked, "if the electrical line in the ceiling breaks, can I put a magnet up there to keep the electricity going until it can get fixed?" She went online to learn how to build a circuit with a breaker. For her science fair project she built the circuit, battery to light bulb, with a breaker exactly the length of a powerful magnet she had. She would open the breaker and put the magnet in to see if the light bulb would light. It didn't work, but she learned a lot. She was 7.

        She just seems to know what she's ready to learn when. And she knows when she's done with a subject for the time being. Then, she knows when she's ready to go back to it and make the next learning leaps.

        And she does all of this without any goals. If you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up she says she has no idea. She doesn't understand why the question even exists. So, there is no external motivation for her learning. She just does it because she's internally compelled to do so.

        Please remember to Witness Revolution. It means so much to them that we pay attention.

        by UnaSpenser on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 09:14:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  also, letting them lead the way doesn't mean (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TPau

          abandoning them. The role of the adults is to be a keen observer of what they're interested in and to provide the materials and opportunities at the right time. It's a lot harder than having a pre-set curriculum. Still, you get the most vibrant learning that way. And you find out about a learner's gifts that might never be revealed in an externally determined curriculum.

          Please remember to Witness Revolution. It means so much to them that we pay attention.

          by UnaSpenser on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 09:17:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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