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View Diary: Does a Learner-Directed Education Support a Democratic Society? (6 comments)

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  •  Not necessarily mutually exclusive (0+ / 0-)

    We need more enrichment for students to explore, but we also need standards.  The latter is not to be compliant, but to have a baseline of knowledge and agreed upon facts, the absence of which has shown its effects on our politics.  Universal education is a sine qua non for a functional democracy, which was the broad consensus of our founding generation.

    •  Shared knowledge of history & political process... (0+ / 0-)


      My concern is that the curriculum standards for education during the past few decades have grown to the point that 90% of a kid's formal education is pretty much determined by state educrats rather than revolving around what a particular young person is passionate about and what their immediate adult mentors might have a particular talent or wisdom to share with them.

      Should we demand that a person spend over a thousand hours (in classroom and homework time) learning abstract math if it was not of interest to them after repeated pitches perhaps from mentors?  Or pushing an equally extensive regimen of terrestrial language arts on a kid with  geeky penchant for science, sci-fi and fantasy?  Or forcing someone attuned to activity and adventure in the outdoors to spend over 10,000 hours in a classroom during their youth?

      That feels like unnatural, unnecessary and debilitating conformity and regimentation to me!

      Cooper Zale Los Angeles

      by leftyparent on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 04:38:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think much of that is valuable. (0+ / 0-)

        Those subjects all exercise the brain in critical ways.  It is important for everyone to have a strong grasp of math and language so as to problem solve and communicate well respectively.  You also have a lot more faith than I do that kids will self-direct.  I see too many kids who seem interested in almost nothing.  The trick is to have the right balance of required classes for well-roundedness and basic skills while leaving enough room for electives and extra-curriculars.

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