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View Diary: A partial response to Bill Gates' op ed about teachers (247 comments)

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  •  Most working-class people, bothe union and non- (2+ / 0-)
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    badger, sillia

    union, understand the pitfalls of rate-busting.  Seeing this is not  a bad work ethic.  Why isn't this principle examined by the educational system, or those fluff "career" columns in the media?

    •  Teachers certainly see this (1+ / 0-)
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      brae70

      but they barely have a voice. I don't know what percent of teachers are unionized but union or not, teachers have become the scapegoat for society's ills.

      Also, you have to ask what is the end product. Reasonable, thinking people want students to enjoy learning, to be inspired, to learn to ask questions, to challenge themselves and others, reach their personal potential and become productive citizens. If that is your goal, of course it makes no sense to discourage good teachers.

      However if the goal is to produce a population of people who don't ask questions, who don't aim above their station in life, who don't know enough to understand what's going on in the world, then you would best teach them limited skills and this could be done in a large-scale format, like lecture halls. Teachers could be replaced by anyone forceful enough to give math drills, teach history out of the textbook--National Guard? That may sound over the top, but I can imagine it.

      Basically we do not have agreement about the purpose of education.

      ~On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Raise her glowing flame!~

      by sillia on Mon Feb 28, 2011 at 02:39:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't say that the goal shoud be (0+ / 0-)

        " to produce a population of people who don't ask questions, who don't aim above their station in life, who don't know enough to understand what's going on in the world".  I simply said that education shouldn't be just a numbers game (e.g. standardized test scores) to the detriment of more important things.  In this respect do we agree or disagree about the purpose of education?  

        Since I would hope we are on the same side (Progresives!) my purpose is to help create an understanding of what is creating the "elitist" perception.

        I must agree with a quotation which appeared in my high school yearbook:

        "I never let my schooling interfere with my education."  Mark Twain
        •  You and I totally agree! (1+ / 0-)
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          brae70

          I apologize for my unclear writing. I understand exactly what you are saying and I agree. When I said "we" don't have agreement about the purpose of education, I meant to say we as a country. Sorry, that was unclear! :-(

          On the one side, there are people like us who would like education to be the development of thinking citizens; on the other side are those who want education to instill obedience and a minimal amount of literacy and basic skills. For conservatives, standardized testing is a perfect way to funnel school activities into a very narrow set of objectives. And to them, anything else beyond that can be labeled 'elitist' in order to frame it as unnecessary.

          Your question earlier about why the public doesn't see the harm in overburdening teachers is an interesting one. In my opinion, it's because there are sections of the public that do not agree with the basic principles our education system has been based on--developing individual thinking and creativity, exploring horizons, etc. Instead they would prefer a much narrower set of goals and a less humanitarian approach.

          I like the Mark Twain quote. I think what he means is, people need to think for themselves, not just regurgitate what they are taught! Republicans would hate his guts if he were around today.

          ~On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Raise her glowing flame!~

          by sillia on Tue Mar 01, 2011 at 07:11:42 AM PST

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          •  Imagine him with a nightly cable show! (1+ / 0-)
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            sillia

            A gerat figure for his day.  Spoofed the robber barons and pompous politicians and also spoke against U.S. military involvement in the Phillipine Insurrection.  And of coure there was that thing about being friends with a slave boy.

            •  ...and so irreverant about religion! (1+ / 0-)
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              brae70

              He was great at making fun of the self-righteous religious fanatics in his day, too.

              ~On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Raise her glowing flame!~

              by sillia on Tue Mar 01, 2011 at 10:44:23 AM PST

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