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graham christian
04-28-2012, 05:15 PM
Thought I would post this video and hope some may find it interesting.

http://youtu.be/zDZFcDGpL4U

The reason is that on this forum I have said many times and many things about my having no use for 'academic' logic and 'educated gold braided authority'

This has caused much reaction in the past so hopefully this may open a few eyes. Especially those set on this and that 'must be' models.

Peace.G.

Tom Verhoeven
04-28-2012, 06:01 PM
Seen one of his TED-talks before. Very inspiring for anyone who is interested in education. This should have influence in the way teachers approach transmitting the art and skills of Aikido.
Thank you for sharing this !
Tom

dps
04-29-2012, 06:55 AM
Maintaing the institution of public eduaction is now more important than educating our children

dps.

gregstec
04-29-2012, 02:53 PM
Maintaing the institution of public eduaction is now more important than educating our children

dps.

Unfortunately, Institutions and organizations take on a life of their own, and as they grow, divert more and more resources from their primary objectives just to maintain their level of operation and support their growth - eventfully, they cease to exist for the purpose they were originally intended for. This morphing is evident with Unions as well as any form of government - and of course, can also be found in Aikido organizations as well :)

Greg

Tom Verhoeven
04-29-2012, 06:21 PM
That cannot be denied, but I feel Ken Robinson is more pointing towards a flaw in thought when the modern education system was developed. This education system is developed for an industrial society and the way of living that comes with it. But what if we want to change this society or what if we encounter another culture (like Aikido- are we capable to adjust or does Aikido has to fit in in our way of thinking?). What if some of our children cannot learn in this way, while there is nothing wrong with their intelligence? What if society needs more creative ideas and innovations while we have an education system that teaches our children not to be creative?
I consider that food for thought.
Tom

dps
04-30-2012, 08:50 AM
That cannot be denied, but I feel Ken Robinson is more pointing towards a flaw in thought when the modern education system was developed........
Tom

I don't think he is saying it was a flaw in thought when the education system was created. The thought was that industry needed a work force that was educated and trained how to work in the industries of that time and the education system was developed to do just that.

The flaw is that the institution of that education system exists today and is educating and training a work force for work in an industrial society that no longer exists.


dps

Demetrio Cereijo
04-30-2012, 09:27 AM
“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'” ― Isaac Asimov

Keith Larman
04-30-2012, 09:47 AM
Graham, I think you missed a large part of his point. And you are drawing a false equivalency between your often frankly shoddy, self-serving thinking and logic with some odd idea of creativity. Creativity is not about how you fit things to your pre-existing world view.

Asimov's quote is quite well-taken in this case.

lbb
04-30-2012, 12:11 PM
From the talk: "I define creativity as having original ideas that have value." Emphasis mine.

Institutions have many faults, but they're also easy targets for those who are looking for a cheap copout. If your ideas fail to pass the test of intellectual rigor, it's not the fault of some educational institution.

dps
04-30-2012, 01:00 PM
From the talk: "I define creativity as having original ideas that have value." Emphasis mine.

Institutions have many faults, but they're also easy targets for those who are looking for a cheap copout. If your ideas fail to pass the test of intellectual rigor, it's not the fault of some educational institution.

I see the talk about elementary through high school more so than a college or university level and one of the points is that there is no intellectual rigor in the elementary through high school education system.
That most of the kids are educated to be " blue collar " workers for industry and thus do not need to have or are they wanted to have "intellectual rigor".

dps

graham christian
04-30-2012, 01:24 PM
Graham, I think you missed a large part of his point. And you are drawing a false equivalency between your often frankly shoddy, self-serving thinking and logic with some odd idea of creativity. Creativity is not about how you fit things to your pre-existing world view.

Asimov's quote is quite well-taken in this case.

Ahhh, Keith. Seems like this statement of yours is self serving.

The video is of itself and I agree with it 100%

My views are very creative actually, outside of the usual box thank you. Asimov? You like his statement do you? Funny thing is neither he or any of his era of sci fi writers had any degrees in anything at all. Thus they were 'uneducated' yet brilliant. Leave the uncreative stuff to the editors and write freely.

Peace. G.

graham christian
04-30-2012, 01:34 PM
First one must understand the video. Kids start off full of life and creative and willing to learn. They go through a process of schooling, not a very old process, and come out the other end as teenagers lost on the whole.

This is not an anti something video, it's an educational one. It's an eye opening one. To me it's common sense and that's all.

Peace. G.

Mark Gibbons
04-30-2012, 01:46 PM
Ahhh, Keith. Seems like this statement of yours is self serving.

The video is of itself and I agree with it 100%

My views are very creative actually, outside of the usual box thank you. Asimov? You like his statement do you? Funny thing is neither he or any of his era of sci fi writers had any degrees in anything at all. Thus they were 'uneducated' yet brilliant. Leave the uncreative stuff to the editors and write freely.

Peace. G.

Asimov had a PHD in biochemistry. Many other writers of the era also had advanced degrees. The uncreative editors were also frequently writers.

Demetrio Cereijo
04-30-2012, 02:12 PM
Funny thing is neither he (Asimov) or any of his era of sci fi writers had any degrees in anything at all.

BS, as usual.

graham christian
04-30-2012, 02:42 PM
BS, as usual.

Ha, ha, I stand corrected on that one point, albeit minor if you know anything at all about Asimov. He laughed at the education system and said the only real education was self education.

I remember a senior lecturer from a polytechnic turning up on my doorstep one day looking so sad. I had given his wife, also a senior lecturer at the same place a basic course in the basics of study and because she had then excelled he got interested. Unfortunately it made him realize what he didn't know and thus turned up on my doorstep needing some help. I soon got him through it.

Now somwhere along the line maybe twenty years ago I was reading science fiction and science fantasy and that's where I was suprised by how many of the 60's era sci-fi writers were creative yet not of the 'intellectual certificate' variety. Ah, if only people understood the video for real.

So many kids put down for not having the full stop in the right place or other types of grammatical errors and thus given say 2 out of 10 as a mark yet the story, full of imagination and creativity seemingly irrelevent. Thus creativity is destroyed. Thus they feel they are stupid. Thus they feel lack of worth. Just one example of the failings in such an education system. Meanwhile those who know the grammar precisely, (who would make great editors) are called good writers and more than that are told they are the intelligent ones. Oh dear.......The future looks bleak ha, ha.

Unless you are a robot of course then in that case go for it, a mechanical nirvana ha, ha. Exterminate! exterminate!!! Or is that Doctor Who?

Peace.G.

Tom Verhoeven
04-30-2012, 07:11 PM
I don't think he is saying it was a flaw in thought when the education system was created. The thought was that industry needed a work force that was educated and trained how to work in the industries of that time and the education system was developed to do just that.

The flaw is that the institution of that education system exists today and is educating and training a work force for work in an industrial society that no longer exists.

dps

I agree - this was not well formulated. I do not know if Robinson says that it was a flaw in thought when the system created. Point well taken.

The real issue off course is the situation today. And whether we see our current educational system as a problem or not.

Tom

graham christian
04-30-2012, 07:28 PM
Here's my simple and humble view on the matter.

Once upon a time there was apprenticeships for virtually everything. A natural way of study and learning.

Then along came schooling.

At the time it was designed to fit the real happenings and changes extant and seemed to fit well from many angles.

Unfortunately it's not based on love and therefore natural talent. That's it's number one outness. So simple and yet so true and from that viewpoint, once grasped, the future of education and bright happy intelligent able peoples would be the result. A better world, a better society, a better life for all.

True budo is love. Love isn't intellectual yet is far more intelligent, powerful and harmonious to life itself.

Peace.G.

Tom Verhoeven
04-30-2012, 07:38 PM
Institutions have many faults, but they're also easy targets for those who are looking for a cheap copout. If your ideas fail to pass the test of intellectual rigor, it's not the fault of some educational institution.
Not so long ago I might have come up with the same argument. But in recent times I have had talks about education with university teachers in engineering, classical languages, philosophy, medicine and they all point to the same kind of problems; their new students have a lack in knowledge and they lack creativity. Although they do have their proper grades and diploma's.Does this mean that the educational institutions that they went to before did a good job? Or did they just produce students that according to their grades are supposed to be good enough? So the school at least meets the governmental criteria.

I think there would be a strong case for your argument if in a class one or two failed to pass the test of intellectual rigor. But if the whole class fails?
Tom

lbb
04-30-2012, 08:21 PM
Ahhh, Keith. Seems like this statement of yours is self serving.

That's a gratuitous cheap shot.

The video is of itself and I agree with it 100%

You agree with what you believe it's saying.

My views are very creative actually, outside of the usual box thank you.

Both original, and having value? To be honest, Graham, a lot of time when I read your posts, I feel like I'm being force-fed the works of Joe Hyams.

Asimov? You like his statement do you? Funny thing is neither he or any of his era of sci fi writers had any degrees in anything at all.

That wouldn't support your statement even if it were true, and it's not. Asimov had a PhD in biochemistry and was a professor. Arthur C. Clarke was a graduate of King's College; Heinlein was a graduate of the US Naval Academy; H. G. Wells, Royal College of Science; Ursula Le Guin, Radcliffe College and Columbia University. And on, and on, and on.

Thus they were 'uneducated' yet brilliant. Leave the uncreative stuff to the editors and write freely.

I think perhaps you should read what some of the great writers have written on the subject of writing. You might start with Le Guin; she's written a lot of splendid essays on the subject. It's not quite the directionless free-form fandango you seem to think it is.

lbb
04-30-2012, 08:23 PM
Ha, ha, I stand corrected on that one point, albeit minor if you know anything at all about Asimov. He laughed at the education system and said the only real education was self education.

Then why did he accept a post as a professor of biochemistry at Boston University?

"Thou hast railed on thyself."

lbb
04-30-2012, 08:27 PM
Not so long ago I might have come up with the same argument.

Tom, are you familiar with the saying, "Even a broken clock is right twice a day"?

That's the kind of cheap shot I'm talking about: someone who gives an answer that by sheer dumb luck happens to be not entirely incorrect.

Dave de Vos
04-30-2012, 09:22 PM
Not so long ago I might have come up with the same argument. But in recent times I have had talks about education with university teachers in engineering, classical languages, philosophy, medicine and they all point to the same kind of problems; their new students have a lack in knowledge and they lack creativity. Although they do have their proper grades and diploma's.Does this mean that the educational institutions that they went to before did a good job? Or did they just produce students that according to their grades are supposed to be good enough? So the school at least meets the governmental criteria.

I think there would be a strong case for your argument if in a class one or two failed to pass the test of intellectual rigor. But if the whole class fails?
Tom

There may be other causes. In my country less and less students are interested in those kind of studies. I think that before the eighties or so, getting a degree in science or medicine meant that you'd be sure to have a good career and a respected position in society.

But nowadays, the road to success is business schools, studying law, finance, economics, management, marketing. You'll have better career opportunities and you'll be closer to the money. That's what counts today. That's where the best students go to.

In my opinion, you have to be a fairly idealistic to study science or medicine these days. It's definitely not as rewarding as it used to be. These studies used to get the best students, but not anymore.

sorokod
05-01-2012, 08:03 AM
I remember a senior lecturer from a polytechnic turning up on my doorstep one day looking so sad. I had given his wife, also a senior lecturer at the same place a basic course in the basics of study and because she had then excelled he got interested. Unfortunately it made him realize what he didn't know and thus turned up on my doorstep needing some help. I soon got him through it.


Was he the TED lecturer, Sir Ken Robinson, who has a PHD from University of London?

sorokod
05-01-2012, 08:58 AM
My views are very creative actually, outside of the usual box thank you. Asimov? You like his statement do you? Funny thing is neither he or any of his era of sci fi writers had any degrees in anything at all. Thus they were 'uneducated' yet brilliant. Leave the uncreative stuff to the editors and write freely.


I think that your creativity extends to facts, just had a quick look at the Hugo award winners for best novel throughout the 70s ( http://dpsinfo.com/awardweb/hugos/70s.html ).
Of the nine authors (Ursula Le Guin won twice) only two appear not to have higher education; Kate Wilhelm in 77 and Frederik Pohl at 78.

70. Ursula Le Guin
B.A. (Phi Beta Kappa) from Radcliffe College in 1951, and M.A. from Columbia University in 1952.

71. Larry Niven
Briefly attended the California Institute of Technology and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics
(with a minor in psychology) from Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas, in 1962.
He did a year of graduate work in mathematics at the University of California at Los Angeles.

72. Philip José Farmer
BA in English from Bradley University in 1950.

73. Isaac Asimov
:-)

74. Arthur C. Clarke
First-class degree in mathematics and physics at King's College London

75. Ursula K. Le Guin
see 70.

76. Joe Haldeman
A BS degree in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Maryland

77. Kate Wilhelm

78. Frederik Pohl

79. Vonda N. McIntyre
Degree in biology from the University of Washington

Keith Larman
05-01-2012, 09:56 AM
Graham.

As a guy who makes his living full time working in an archaic but creative field I'm quite sympathetic to Dr. Robinson's position. I've shown that video to others well before you've ever mentioned it here.

However, as a guy who grew up with scientists but then went off the deep end to get degrees in a variety of areas including philosophy and religious studies I found myself often in the minority on all sorts of issues. And this summer part of my plans is to teach my daughter how to wrap Japanese sword handles in a couple different styles. Also I plan on teaching her how to use an air brush. We will build a small work area in the yard (planning, measurement, hand tools, structures) and then we will likely build a solar powered light for the work area from parts (electronics, battery storage, solar panel construction, etc.). All I consider education, including wrapping handles and painting. I want to teach my daughter to *think* first and foremost. To both foster her creative soul but also her critical mind.

As others have said, you're entitled to your own opinions, just not your own facts. Overwhelmingly your posts reflect a stubborn refusal to see beyond what appears to me to be at best wishful thinking by, again, what appears to me to be border on delusional thinking. Dr. Robinson isn't talking about "making crap up". He's talking about creativity and a variety of other things. But it doesn't give the kind of ideas you tend to post some sort of ontological equivalence. Yes, there is beauty in poetry, wonder in images, and fantastic things to be learned from flights of fantasy. But they are still fantasy. That it might be useful is one thing. Whether it is *correct* in some sort of objective way is another entirely.

You seem to confuse the two on a regular basis.

And you certainly didn't understand what he was getting at in that speech. Otherwise you wouldn't equate your writing with what he was speaking on.

From an academic. Who now works in arts. And sees no conflicts.

graham christian
05-01-2012, 10:13 AM
Interesting comments. Hopefully it doesn't degrade into who had what as a formal education certificate and thus away from the point.

Asimov for example has many quotes to do with education and thus the system of but all more to do with learning more outside of the system than in it.

There are many examples in life of the so called 'uneducated' going and learning how to do things themselves and being super successful. Take Richard Branson for example. These people may have 'some' or no qualifications but they had a certain quality, a quality easily destroyed by the system of education used.

It's so simple in essence that I believe people need to wake up to the simplicities involved and throw away the nit picking arguments and complexities and 'intellectual rubbish'.

Firstly, the best part of schooling where the majority of kids have a good time is infant and primary schooling. Why?

Because they are doing what is talked about in the video. They are meeting and sharing and having fun with others and learning in a fun way with play items from the abacus to building bricks.

They are also learning something they can see has use. It's usable and desirable to them. Reading, writing and arithmetic. Basics.

Thereafter it all goes wrong because they are now given things to study they see no use for and so enter the deluded world of false reasons called passing exams so you can have a better life. So many stupid reasons given and bought into. No wonder they end up rebellious.

Some folks manage to go on to be great sci fi writers or whatever and the system will shout about how it's down to their education. Ha, ha, what a joke. Did they study sci fi writing? No.

They did it despite the system and as in Asimovs case despite his parents being against it.

So getting qualifications? Means not much at all really. I got many at school and later realized how useless they were. Good for image but not much else. I also have a friend who got to the last stages of a program called 'who wants to be a millionair' and won 250,000 pounds. He is like a walking encyclopedia. Yet practically he is useless really and he won't mind me saying that either for he tells me himself.

So I shall repeat, budo is love. Who can see the relationship of that staement to the education system or rather to a much better one?

I'll leave you with this clue, Asimov, Heinlein, Richard Branson, The Beatles, Ueshiba, Mother Theresa, Beethoven.....all followed this principle.

Peace.G.

Gary David
05-01-2012, 11:50 AM
Firstly, the best part of schooling where the majority of kids have a good time is infant and primary schooling. Why?

Because they are doing what is talked about in the video. They are meeting and sharing and having fun with others and learning in a fun way with play items from the abacus to building bricks.

They are also learning something they can see has use. It's usable and desirable to them. Reading, writing and arithmetic. Basics.

Thereafter it all goes wrong because they are now given things to study they see no use for and so enter the deluded world of false reasons called passing exams so you can have a better life. So many stupid reasons given and bought into. No wonder they end up rebellious.



Graham
I don't know how long you have been teaching primary or elementary school, but generally reading writing and math are general tools that can be used just to get along.....I agree that the reduction in art, music and other social skills kind of units are a loss.......much of that driven by funding......and maybe the demand for not child left behind.

The other area you seem to have not considered is the mix of individuals and cultures within the class room and the approaches taken by these varied individual children to class room participation. My wife has been teaching at this level for over 30 years and a more loving individual I have never met......so don't give me the more love comment. If you have been in the classroom for any length of time you will know that classroom size and the behavior patterns of the students are as real a problem as the what is taught. Parent involvement is spotty, some of the things these 2nd graders say, act out...could only come from outside the classroom. Trying to handle one who acts out can be handled....trying to handle several is problematic......hitting, biting, constant movement, talking to everyone all of time.....and more.. is what happens all of the time. So maybe separating these small ones into guilds early would be helpful....but don't count on the parents allowing this........

I comment Keith on this efforts with his daughter, this is much what I did with mine when she was small. answer every question, stop and look around when you see something of interest and be open to providing opportunities outside the home and school ............

As for your approach....I agree that once out of school what you specialized in in school may be not used, but I would not give up the experience of having been there.....the boring as well as the interesting and fun......life is just this......

So what are the basic tools needed Graham and how are they passed along, how do you steer folks in the right direction....or do you?

And I don't see True Budo is Love as a color of authority for this discussion.....

Gary

mathewjgano
05-01-2012, 12:50 PM
Graham
I don't know how long you have been teaching primary or elementary school, but generally reading writing and math are general tools that can be used just to get along.....I agree that the reduction in art, music and other social skills kind of units are a loss.......much of that driven by funding......and maybe the demand for not child left behind.

The other area you seem to have not considered is the mix of individuals and cultures within the class room and the approaches taken by these varied individual children to class room participation. My wife has been teaching at this level for over 30 years and a more loving individual I have never met......so don't give me the more love comment. If you have been in the classroom for any length of time you will know that classroom size and the behavior patterns of the students are as real a problem as the what is taught. Parent involvement is spotty, some of the things these 2nd graders say, act out...could only come from outside the classroom. Trying to handle one who acts out can be handled....trying to handle several is problematic......hitting, biting, constant movement, talking to everyone all of time.....and more.. is what happens all of the time. So maybe separating these small ones into guilds early would be helpful....but don't count on the parents allowing this........

I comment Keith on this efforts with his daughter, this is much what I did with mine when she was small. answer every question, stop and look around when you see something of interest and be open to providing opportunities outside the home and school ............

As for your approach....I agree that once out of school what you specialized in in school may be not used, but I would not give up the experience of having been there.....the boring as well as the interesting and fun......life is just this......

So what are the basic tools needed Graham and how are they passed along, how do you steer folks in the right direction....or do you?

And I don't see True Budo is Love as a color of authority for this discussion.....

Gary

What he said. My wife, her brother, and her mother are all teachers. I know several teachers. I am a little over half way through my own teaching degree and I've been a critical observer in school since I was a kid. I support our education system knowing pretty well the different kinds of issues it has. The "real" problem in my opinion with the education system today has very little to do with the educators and very much to do with parent values and "invisible" lessons kids bring with them into the classroom. My wife has taught at schools where the population simply doesn't value the education system beyond cheap day-care.
The point of school has less to do with the content of instruction than the process of learning; this process would appear miraculous if parents and communities embraced their local schools instead of viewing them as some kind of necessary evil. People are generally very clueless when it comes to understanding what even well-off teachers have to deal with.

dps
05-01-2012, 01:25 PM
Firstly, the best part of schooling where the majority of kids have a good time is infant and primary schooling. Why?

Because they are doing what is talked about in the video. They are meeting and sharing and having fun with others and learning in a fun way with play items from the abacus to building bricks.

.

You did not understand what is being talked about in the video.
Eat a good meal, drink a few cups of hot coffee and sober up, then watch the video again.

dps

mathewjgano
05-01-2012, 01:34 PM
Thought I would post this video and hope some may find it interesting.

http://youtu.be/zDZFcDGpL4U

The reason is that on this forum I have said many times and many things about my having no use for 'academic' logic and 'educated gold braided authority'

This has caused much reaction in the past so hopefully this may open a few eyes. Especially those set on this and that 'must be' models.

Peace.G.

As near as I can tell, "the" education system is right up to speed on the issues brought forward by the video. Nothing was in there I wasn't taught in Intro to Ed. and reinforced by more specialized courses. The first thing they did was give me a history of the education system, pointing to the needs and wants which drove it from the time our first education secretary figured we take better care of our livestock than our students, up to the present where we constantly try to meet the demanding values of parents while juggling the political values issued from the "top."
This doesn't take away from the notion that ideas ought be backed up with logical proofs to the extent that they can be. I'd rather logic wasn't compartmentalized away from creativity, just to make creativity easier. Indeed both need to be equally present...which is tough because most people identify with one or the other...hardly an inclusive model. Einstein may have failed math, but he respected the need for logical proofs to his creative solutions.
My two bits.
Take care,
Matt

Rob Watson
05-01-2012, 01:35 PM
A very creative and entertaining presentation of a perceived problem that is woefully shy on suggestions for solutions. We used to call that whining. Nothing stops anyone from opening their own private school and turning out endless waves of wildly successful folks ... where are they?

If children are so wildly creative (and creativity is so great and all) why aren't they running the show? Being able to sift through a writhing sea of creative ideas and finding the few that are actually worth something AND being able to turn the ideas into practical reality takes extreme talent buttressed by education, experience and moxie and a double helping of luck and happy circumstance.

What stops kids from working collaboratively? We used to call that homework. My kids get together with their siblings and some kids from 'round the 'hood and do their homework as a group. Grades 2-6 working together on their own - we just provide the space and some snacks.

I find it is best not to confuse life experience with education (or vice versa) as both are important. We call that a field trip - the PTA is on the hook for those expenses.

Sometimes the solution is academic and no amount of creative fury can change that.

lbb
05-01-2012, 02:21 PM
One of my senseis is a teacher :-D

(and both of 'em went to college, whoa)

graham christian
05-01-2012, 07:40 PM
O.K. Gary and Matthew, thanks for the views.

The point of the video is to show the school system is at fault. Nothing to do with parents or culture or whatever other 'minor' things you want to factor into the equasion according to me.

I call them minor factors because by demonstration I have 'proved' such and do so in daily life. As for teachers I know many too. There are good ones and not so good ones but they are limited by the system it'self and their own unawareness of what good teaching is. (but that's another subject)

Budo is love Gary. Very pertinent to life and indeed education so it fits perfectly here in this discussion and according to me is the single most absent factor from the system and thus the cause of the problem.

This you may never of heard of before but as I generally find after using and demonstrating such principles with constant results I will inevitably find someone somewhere who uses them too and something somewhere would have been written about it by someone.

Let me give you a harsh reality test first. Think of something you love (or someone). Be it eating, be it a hobby, be it a pet, be it whatever but find something you love.

Now have a system, be given a system whereby you are not allowed to relate to that something or have anything to do with it but must relate and learn and practice and do something else. No you're not allowed to communicate to your wife Gary and Matthew you are not allowed to do so with your kids.

Pretty dumb wouldn't you say. But along may come some group of 'Authority' figures all with long grey diplomas (sorry I mean beards) and proclaim how it's all for the best you see, for the greater good you see, so that you turn out a better educated person you see........ Then when you and Gary complain then 'we authorities stroke our diplomas once again and sat how it's understandable because of your background and culture and obviously you have a psychological problem you see and, and, and.......lol!!!!

So Gary yes, I have had great successes with people helping them in their lives by knowing these things and thus knowing what's missing.

Love.

On talking to anyone you care to meet you can ask them once in a comfortable position if they had complete choice, without any considerations of why not or if it sounds ridiculous, but ask them what they love, what would they love to do or be able to do.

You see hidden inside that person is that something. Many will reject the question for they already consider it impossible or hold it as some secret hidden embarrassing thing. Many if not all saw it and knew it when they were small, when they were very young but were put down for saying it or even scolded for the mere mention of it.

So Gary I take it upon myself to find out what people would love to do, what they have put off, what they have been scared to mention, what they have never had the chance to do, whatever the reasoning and encourage them to do it. To learn it, to get good at it, to follow their true path.

The changes in people are indeed miraculous. I have given account here once before of a guy who was quite a successful stuntman who came to Aikido. He was massive and agile and couldn't believe how a skinny old man could throw him around like a rag doll and launch him through the air. He loved it. But as usual we wait. We wait for the real reason the person is here doing Aikido. We hold that every person who comes is here to solve some problem in their life and is searching, searching for something. Low and behold one day he got into a deep discussion and seemed to be rejecting something, something that seemed close to his heart. Well, we helped him through it low and behold out came something he always wanted to do but couldn't say.

He wanted to heal peoples eyes, he knew it when he was a kid yet was never allowed to even mention it for fear of ridicule. Due to his size and culture and where he lived and school he went to he was valued for his size and strength and sporting ability. He was now married with children and a house and established in his work. From the outside a successful man with a great family. Inside, a great big black hole.

To cut a long story short, despite the seeming impossibility due to age and situation he went on to study his dream and ended up moving to Canada opening an opticians practice of some kind or other. A happy man. That took discipline, that took courage, that took the budo of love.

So next time you here the successful telling you to follow your dream know what it means for it is following your love and the discipline, self discipline, to do so despite all pressures from family, friends, or whoever. Follow your true path.

Now if people had the awareness and indeed the responsibility to know these truths then youngsters could be encouraged to follow their dreams too. To find out what it is each kid has a natural love and talent for and set and educational path to suit. Now THAT would be ideal.

By the way, I apply this to my own son too and now he lives a very exciting and fulfilling life. Full of challenges yes, always learning yes, but progression all the way following his path.

The funny story that goes along with his case is once again something to do with when he was young. He was only five or six at the time. He had his favorite toys and teddy bears etc and different games and things he liked doing but I noticed one that stood out. In fact at that age it was unusual. When he went to bed he snuggled up to not a teddy bear but a toy saxaphone. I then decided to observe him more with relationship to music and found that in school his teacher said he loved it and seemed very aquainted with it for someone so young. When he was seven we asked him if he would like to learn how to play saxaphone and he positively beamed. It was like the room turned gold.

That was it. By the time he was fourteen he had passed all exams and was now professional standard and playing for the Harrow School of Music Orchestra and touring with them too.

His world is music and the saxaphone is his symbol he says and thus follows his path.

Matthew, I have read some of your blogs and see that despite your unsurities you love Aikido and thus it is part of your path too. It is the love that guides you is it not?

Well I hope that explains where I am coming from on this subject. May you all enjoy your own paths too.

Peace.G.

Tom Verhoeven
05-01-2012, 07:54 PM
Tom, are you familiar with the saying, "Even a broken clock is right twice a day"?

That's the kind of cheap shot I'm talking about: someone who gives an answer that by sheer dumb luck happens to be not entirely incorrect.

Mary,
English is not my first language, so we may have a language barrier here - but I honestly do not understand what you mean. You are quoting only my first sentence - how could that sentence be a cheap shot?
I only meant to express that at first I was not convinced by Robinson's view. Education has always been important to me and it was not something that was handed out to me. I started working at a very young age and it took me a long time to reach university. I know the academic world and the people I talked with about these educational problems are academics. At first I had similar arguments as you mentioned; it is easy to blame the educational institution. I tended to blame the parents and t.v., computer-games, etc. And I tended to blame the young people themselves ; they did not work hard enough during their education time. But listening to these university teachers and after seeing Robinson's talks I start to see that there is an actual problem within our educational system. We are with this educational system not facing up to the problems of modern society and the rising problems of the coming decade(s). Society needs more young people with skills and creativity, that the educational system at this moment is not providing for.

I think it is a good thing to have a discussion on this subject on this forum. At this moment changing the educational system is very much a point of discussion in several European countries at every level. Robinson's talks seem to be very timely.

Further more; whether in a real fight or in a battle with words; I am not into cheap shots. The language might be a barrier - but I try to present my position with the best arguments I can come up with. They may not be good enough, in which case you can counter-argument. I may have my my facts wrong - in that case please correct me. You may not agree with me - well such is life.
But to call my argument a cheap shot - well, that is a cheap shot isn't it?

Greetings from the Auvergne
Tom

Tom Verhoeven
05-01-2012, 08:12 PM
There may be other causes. In my country less and less students are interested in those kind of studies. I think that before the eighties or so, getting a degree in science or medicine meant that you'd be sure to have a good career and a respected position in society.

But nowadays, the road to success is business schools, studying law, finance, economics, management, marketing. You'll have better career opportunities and you'll be closer to the money. That's what counts today. That's where the best students go to.

In my opinion, you have to be a fairly idealistic to study science or medicine these days. It's definitely not as rewarding as it used to be. These studies used to get the best students, but not anymore.
I think you are right. But that is also part of the problem. All those subjects might make money - for now. But none of them can provide a solution to problems concerning the change of climate, the produce of food, the dangers of the rise of water-level in the seas and rivers, the growing water-shortage, the need for energy resources, etc. For that we need people with other skills and a different way of creative thinking.
Greetings from the Auvergne,
Tom

lbb
05-01-2012, 08:36 PM
Mary,
English is not my first language, so we may have a language barrier here - but I honestly do not understand what you mean. You are quoting only my first sentence - how could that sentence be a cheap shot?

I wasn't referring to you. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

I think it is a good thing to have a discussion on this subject on this forum.

If it proceeds honestly, based on facts rather than fantasy, sure.

Gary David
05-02-2012, 12:08 AM
So Gary yes, I have had great successes with people helping them in their lives by knowing these things and thus knowing what's missing.

Love.



So Graham

I have was going to come back on this.......but there is no common ground. I would suggest you try teaching for a year in a classroom of 32 seven year olds, 10 of which act out or have other behavior problems, many who come from single parent homes, maybe live in motels or in small apartments with three generations of family, maybe 4 of which have parents that can't communicate directly with you because of language barriers, have one or more parents in jail or on drugs....this is a common distribution....now this a place where your direct presence and approach could have amazing results......

Let me know how it goes......

Gary

graham christian
05-02-2012, 05:09 AM
So Graham

I have was going to come back on this.......but there is no common ground. I would suggest you try teaching for a year in a classroom of 32 seven year olds, 10 of which act out or have other behavior problems, many who come from single parent homes, maybe live in motels or in small apartments with three generations of family, maybe 4 of which have parents that can't communicate directly with you because of language barriers, have one or more parents in jail or on drugs....this is a common distribution....now this a place where your direct presence and approach could have amazing results......

Let me know how it goes......

Gary

Well if that's all you have to say then so be it. I have already let you know 'how it goes'.

The type of 'comment' you make above blames everything and everyone but the teaching and the system. Blame in my mind is very very low on responsibility and awareness and understanding. Shame so many buy into it.

Peace.G.

graham christian
05-02-2012, 05:48 AM
Before anyone else asks me about cultural, familial, behavioural or any other 'problems' or labels they want to apply to kids may I just say two things.
1}Drop the labels and excuses.
2) All such 'reasons' for how difficult it is merely shows the need, in fact emphasizes the need for teaching what is interesting and useful (to the student!) rather than carrying on with the same old curriculum blaming all and sundry for their lack of attention.

Peace.G.

sorokod
05-02-2012, 06:15 AM
The type of 'comment' you make above blames everything and everyone but the teaching and the system. Blame in my mind is very very low on responsibility and awareness and understanding. Shame so many buy into it.

You are misreading David's post. I think that rather than dishing out blame, he is saying that you are not familiar with the reality of the matter on which you have a strong opinion.

morph4me
05-02-2012, 08:46 AM
Before anyone else asks me about cultural, familial, behavioural or any other 'problems' or labels they want to apply to kids may I just say two things.
1}Drop the labels and excuses.
2) All such 'reasons' for how difficult it is merely shows the need, in fact emphasizes the need for teaching what is interesting and useful (to the student!) rather than carrying on with the same old curriculum blaming all and sundry for their lack of attention.

Peace.G.

What's interesting and useful to these students is being taught, the pimps and pushers have the money, the fancy cars and all the cool toys, they carry the coolest guns. Can't get much more interesting, or useful to escape their present circumstances. No labels, no excuses. Facts.

graham christian
05-02-2012, 09:53 AM
What's interesting and useful to these students is being taught, the pimps and pushers have the money, the fancy cars and all the cool toys, they carry the coolest guns. Can't get much more interesting, or useful to escape their present circumstances. No labels, no excuses. Facts.

Same old excuses. I think that's as far as most want to look or think. This only validates my point.

If the system was good then the education would be seen by the young kids as valuable, of worth, enjoyable and leading somewhere good.

Because it's not they end up led by other things. So simple.

Peace.G.

Gary David
05-02-2012, 11:47 AM
Same old excuses. I think that's as far as most want to look or think. This only validates my point.

If the system was good then the education would be seen by the young kids as valuable, of worth, enjoyable and leading somewhere good.

Because it's not they end up led by other things. So simple.

Peace.G.

Graham
OK I try one more time..........
I don't have a problem with your model as I understand it........the problem as I see it lies in the resources to put it into affect. As a teaching model it requires one on one time.....all of the teacher's time. When you have 32 to 1 you do not have that time. You can't single focus on one student and forget the rest.......and you can't leave them on their own.... the open class room model was tried for a while...kids to learn what they wanted...it was the new way...much in the framing that you are talking to. It didn't last.....with the numbers you couldn't keep any on task control.....they moved as the winds took them.....it was chaotic....

As bad as the system may be......it does provide mandatory education in this country.......it gives you reading and writing skills that can help you on your way. .........

Naaah enough of this....

Graham you will never concede a point once you have make your statement and you are always right.....and it is always about what you have accomplished.......have fun with it........that's cool...

we are done.......

Gary

Keith Larman
05-02-2012, 02:25 PM
Graham, wow, such simple solutions to what everyone else I know who actually have kids find to be a complex and vexing problem. Raising and educating a child. I guess we're all just too dense to realize all those apparent trade-offs and balancing acts about providing guidance, letting them explore, encouraging growth, encouraging creativity, but teaching focus and responsibility are just figments of our collective imaginations.

It must be nice to see the world so very clearly with your obvious fantastic intellect and spectacular level of sensitivity.

Or else you're so completely convinced of your world view that you can't see past your own nose.

Pfftt.

graham christian
05-02-2012, 02:33 PM
Graham
OK I try one more time..........
I don't have a problem with your model as I understand it........the problem as I see it lies in the resources to put it into affect. As a teaching model it requires one on one time.....all of the teacher's time. When you have 32 to 1 you do not have that time. You can't single focus on one student and forget the rest.......and you can't leave them on their own.... the open class room model was tried for a while...kids to learn what they wanted...it was the new way...much in the framing that you are talking to. It didn't last.....with the numbers you couldn't keep any on task control.....they moved as the winds took them.....it was chaotic....

As bad as the system may be......it does provide mandatory education in this country.......it gives you reading and writing skills that can help you on your way. .........

Naaah enough of this....

Graham you will never concede a point once you have make your statement and you are always right.....and it is always about what you have accomplished.......have fun with it........that's cool...

we are done.......

Gary

Gary. You started so I'll reply. I do not concede points tested and applied no. My accomplishments are not boasts, they are generally asked for with relation to the subject I am talking about and given to show it's not airy fairy talk.

Now, apart from that you started off with some valid points which seemed to be more reasonable to me anyway.

Well the starting point is that the system is faulty in the extreme. The why has never really been addressed so all that's happened is different models have been tried based on false reasoning so obviously they didn't last.

I agree that basic reading and writing and arithmetic are needed and have already said that at that very young age there is no problem really. It's after that where it all goes askew.

So let's take what I said and put it into a structure off the cuff shall we. Let's not take it as 'let them do what they want type attitude but at the same time take the fact that a person learns with enthusiasm the things the would love to do

So when a system is so wrong and obviously stupid and yet everyone apathetically goes along with it thinking it's the best they can do then it is quite obvious to me that same apathy is what keeps it in place. Nobody is really bothered.

However to find a better solution we would then have to come outside of the box, outside of the 'expert opinion' box for they are the cause of such failure. We have to go back to the roots of learning and then create a new model that fits better than the old.

Now, as an aside here there is a very simple way of finding better models and better ways of doing things but it is generally blocked by prejudices and stupidity, again usually by 'experts'. It's very simple and I guarantee if I was in a position of Authority or influence it would be the first thing to do. That is simply go out and find different models that work much better. That's the first thing to do. The funny thing is there always are some. Then you will find that it is fixed old fuddy duddies and vested interests that get in the way of change.

Then I would find all the outstanding, by results, teachers; all the ones who had extremely happy students with great results continuously and ask them the secrets of their success.

Once again the best are usually outside of the old school tie brigade and usually anti the system to various degrees because they see how dumb it is. Yet they have worked out winning ways. These folks are almost unerringly put down because they don't fit the 'profile', don't lick the principals boots, don't belong to the right club. You know, the usual human idiocy.

Ha, ha, and we haven't even stepped outside of the box yet.

We would have to look for, by consulting with kids (not old experts) what they would like to learn about in school if they had complete choice and we could qualify it by saying what they would like to learn about that they feel would be exciting and pertinent to their everyday life and future life. A very simple start, not complicated.

A massive research project. You would end up things wanted by many yet not taught at all.

Why not teach them how to drive, basic car mechanics, how to cook, Basic building skills, you know, with real bricks and mortar. Even the academic ones could at least say then that they have actually physically handled a brick and done something ha, ha.

Secretarial skills, all kinds of things and industry could actually get involved and get creative and design courses that could be taught in schools that have meaning to the kids and a future. Who knows maybe the rail service could come up with something and they would even supply a train carriage. Interesting things that relate to real life now. In fact if that was made a rule then industry would be fighting to get their courses in the curriculum and paying too.

Now who says you have to have one teacher for 32 students? To me that's one of the most lazy ways of doing things I could possibly imagine and yet people think it's normal. Give me a break!

It's what you have and it's mad,that's as much as I would say on the matter.

Now if organization was done based on the above, where the courses were of value to the students and industry then the maths could be done based on how many chose to do what subjects. You could have 20 in one popular subject and ten in another. What's the problem? You could have three classes of three subjects with ten in each. Many many formats but it takes the will instead of lazy ignorance.

With industry, with the real world involved, there will be plenty of money around.

Anyway, that's ten minutes worth of 'thinking' without much concentrated attention yet it shows you don't have to stick to things cos 'that's the way they are.' Especially when they don't work.

Peace.G.

graham christian
05-02-2012, 02:49 PM
Graham, wow, such simple solutions to what everyone else I know who actually have kids find to be a complex and vexing problem. Raising and educating a child. I guess we're all just too dense to realize all those apparent trade-offs and balancing acts about providing guidance, letting them explore, encouraging growth, encouraging creativity, but teaching focus and responsibility are just figments of our collective imaginations.

It must be nice to see the world so very clearly with your obvious fantastic intellect and spectacular level of sensitivity.

Or else you're so completely convinced of your world view that you can't see past your own nose.

Pfftt.

Thanks Keith. But please don't call me a fantastic intellect, to me that's an insult.

Raising kids is hard for some yet easy to some too. If you learned from the ones who it is easy to then you could learn much.

Your explanation above about balancing acts and trade offs and, and , and, woahhhhhh. If you see it as so complex then no wonder it's so hard for you or those you talk about.

I hope at least it is a pleasure for you.

Don't worry, I know plenty of parents too who have the same problems.

I'm good at some things, very good at some things, useless at some things. Me and my son are like best mates and brothers so I guess I'm not bad there. To me it was fun, it was in fact great fun and let's not forget his mother shall we.

Why you or anyone else don't like the fact of me being good at or even extremely good at some things merely amuses me. You want to hear about what I'm not good at I could write a book for you.
However, I generally comment on those things I do, very simple really.

Peace.G.

lbb
05-02-2012, 05:42 PM
Graham, we really don't hate you because you're beautiful. Honest.

(and we don't hate freedom, either)

Tell me, why is it such an affront to you when people ask if you've ever put your theories (which, I'll be honest, appear facile to me) to the test in some of the situations where you seem unwilling to forgive a less than perfect performance in others? Here in los estados unidos, we call what you're doing "armchair quarterbacking". I'm sure you have a term for it across the pond, too.

Gorgeous George
05-02-2012, 05:59 PM
My views are very creative actually, outside of the usual box thank you. Asimov? You like his statement do you? Funny thing is neither he or any of his era of sci fi writers had any degrees in anything at all.

Peace. G.

Asimov had a PHD in biochemistry.

HAHAHAHAAHA!

http://riquard.nl/wp-content/uploads/pwnd.jpg

Graham Christian: a credit to aikido.

The guy must be a troll - who really hates aikido; he has to be.

graham christian
05-02-2012, 07:39 PM
Graham, we really don't hate you because you're beautiful. Honest.

(and we don't hate freedom, either)

Tell me, why is it such an affront to you when people ask if you've ever put your theories (which, I'll be honest, appear facile to me) to the test in some of the situations where you seem unwilling to forgive a less than perfect performance in others? Here in los estados unidos, we call what you're doing "armchair quarterbacking". I'm sure you have a term for it across the pond, too.

Pardon? Put my theories to the test? I don't see that as an affront thank you as I explain how I do so. you have totally lost me there.

Unwilling to forgive a less than perfect performance in others? What does that refer to? I'm lost once again.

When I do give examples of how and when and in what way I put things to the test and demonstrate some of you, two examples right here in this thread, accuse me of being 'oh so perfect or some such futile statement. If I do indeed say something that is incorrect it's pounced on with such glee that it appears to me it is not I who is an armchair quarterback.

I think I may do it on purpose one day and just sit back and watch the usual crew pounce, I'm sure it would make their day or even their year.

That I find quite sad really.

It reminds me of a guy me and my friend were working with last year. A very negative guy, full of himself yet not very good at his job. In fact all we were doing was helping him as he was in a bit of trouble. But he would wait and wait and eventually spot some mistake and shout I've got ya. It would make his day and even his weekend. Quite oblivious to his own below standard work as a norm. Quite amusing.

I've told you before Mary, I only say what I do, what I teach, my views I use and the results.

If you or anyone else don't believe or understand that then it's not my problem is it?

I have also said that I don't tell others what they are or are not or can and can't do but I can't say the same about some for they are full of opinions about me. Once again it's a matter of simplicity and honesty. Simplicity is I don't know the person at the other end. Only ego would assume it does.

I can tell you how I am but can you accept it? That's all it's down to really. So it appears to me that some can't accept certain things about me. Again, not my problem for it is the good things they can't accept.

Such is life ha, ha. Do I worry about it?

Peace.G.

sorokod
05-03-2012, 09:46 AM
When I do give examples of how and when and in what way I put things to the test and demonstrate some of you, two examples right here in this thread

the examples:

1.

"The funny story that goes along with his case is once again something to do with when he was young. He was only five or six at the time. He had his favorite toys and teddy bears etc and different games and things he liked doing but I noticed one that stood out. In fact at that age it was unusual. When he went to bed he snuggled up to not a teddy bear but a toy saxaphone. I then decided to observe him more with relationship to music and found that in school his teacher said he loved it and seemed very aquainted with it for someone so young. When he was seven we asked him if he would like to learn how to play saxaphone and he positively beamed. It was like the room turned gold."

2.
"I remember a senior lecturer from a polytechnic turning up on my doorstep one day looking so sad. I had given his wife, also a senior lecturer at the same place a basic course in the basics of study and because she had then excelled he got interested. Unfortunately it made him realize what he didn't know and thus turned up on my doorstep needing some help. I soon got him through it."

lbb
05-03-2012, 09:57 AM
I've told you before Mary, I only say what I do, what I teach, my views I use and the results.

If you or anyone else don't believe or understand that then it's not my problem is it?

I'll believe it when you tell me how you're actually walking your talk, in re: the subject being discussed in this thread. What are your experiences in teaching people to read, or basic arithmetic? Have you ever done so in a situation where you didn't have the luxury of virtually unlimited time delivering one-on-one instruction? Have you ever done so in a situation where you were given thirty or more illiterate children and commanded to get them to a level of basic literacy, with a very real deadline? How did that go for you?

graham christian
05-03-2012, 10:51 AM
I'll believe it when you tell me how you're actually walking your talk, in re: the subject being discussed in this thread. What are your experiences in teaching people to read, or basic arithmetic? Have you ever done so in a situation where you didn't have the luxury of virtually unlimited time delivering one-on-one instruction? Have you ever done so in a situation where you were given thirty or more illiterate children and commanded to get them to a level of basic literacy, with a very real deadline? How did that go for you?

O.K. Mary. A bit of a loaded question as all it is saying is 'Am I a school teacher?' Which I am not.

However, let's start with one ro one rather than rule it out first. (we can progress from there) Yes I have taught, helped, and as I prefer to call it: supervised, many on many different occasions to do with all kinds of study problems and barriers.

I have even helped some, including my brother in law, with dyslexia to the point of no more dyslexia.

So that covers that.

Now, back to groups of people and kids. As I said earlier I am not a school teacher. The only experience with kids is when my son and his friends would come to me for help with their studies. Apart from that is when family friends or friends would send their sons or daughters to me for help in the same manner.

I have however run different courses at my old Aikido center in watford where I was put in charge of study courses, not just Aikido, where I had groups of people and groups of teenagers.

Give me an illiterate person to bring up to literacy? No problem.

If you ever study Jamaican patua (broken english) for example from a grammatical point of view you will find it quite amusing. It is the grammatical view which will get someone to understand how it came about and the basic rules which are being broken. It it'self comes from illiteracy.

I'm not going down there = me nah go down deh

He gave me = him give I

Believe it or not but I gave it to her = me give it to him. All fascinating stuff.

So Mary, to understand me you will never do so by trying to put me in some classical identity of school teacher or doctor or such. That doesn't mean I don't know more than the average teacher or doctor for that matter based on fundamental principles studied learned and applied with success.

I'm not into fame or fortune thank you so I am and probably will always be just me, usually pennyless and usually happy with life and living and learning.

As it happens people usually come to me with be it Aikido problems, study problems, health problems, mental problems, as a last resort after having tried all the so called 'Authoritive approaches' without success. That's just the way it is my friend and is just the way I am.

Peace.G.

mathewjgano
05-03-2012, 11:52 AM
The point of the video is to show the school system is at fault. Nothing to do with parents or culture or whatever other 'minor' things you want to factor into the equasion according to me.
I disagree. The point of the video wasn't to ascribe blame on a system formed by cultural factors, but to show how certain elements of the system might be outdated; the segregation by age, being a great example. It's interesting that you seem willing to blame the system (teachers and administrators), but unwilling to do the same for the other part of it (the surrounding cultural factors). The role of parents is not minor. It alone can make a bad system work, or a good system fail....according to me and those I trust with direct experience.

graham christian
05-03-2012, 01:18 PM
I disagree. The point of the video wasn't to ascribe blame on a system formed by cultural factors, but to show how certain elements of the system might be outdated; the segregation by age, being a great example. It's interesting that you seem willing to blame the system (teachers and administrators), but unwilling to do the same for the other part of it (the surrounding cultural factors). The role of parents is not minor. It alone can make a bad system work, or a good system fail....according to me and those I trust with direct experience.

Matthew. The video makes quite a few points but overall it is about the model, the system and it's drawbacks.

Let's get away from blame shall we as he tries to do in the video. It is not a blaming video but it is on the model and it's age and it's reason for coming about and the purpose of the video is to show its drawbacks.
The purpose is also to show how damaging it is.

So come on let's get real. In your life or dojo people come from various backgrounds and parentage and cultures. It is only a barrier to the degree you make it one. The ones who make these things a barrier are thus very divisive people actually and thus not very wise. So yes these may be small matters of concern along with a myriad of other small matters of concern but if you concentrate on them and give them more importance than they are worth then you, we, anyone, is actually creating a false problem, a mountainous one out of a minor.

The video, if you care to watch it again, shows how many brilliant kids and folks are discarded purely because of the way it is. For no other reason.

He also points out that some few may get through it and still be brilliant, some few. What a waste of resources.

The few get through despite it rather than because of it. That is his point.

Segregation by age was a minor example thinking outside of the box, giving something to look at and maybe to test. It wasn't some revolutionary insight.

Why say I blame the teachers and administrators? If you believe that then you are totally missing my point.

I am talking the model. The teachers and administrators and parents and who ever else are part of and in and may even earn a living from or even have a vested interest in but I don't blame them for it They are unaware of a better way and probably unaware of the need for one for it is them along with everyone public et al. who start off from the view that the system is good therefor any problems is due to other factors.

The video challenges this view and that's it's point.

Of course you may agree or disagree as is your prerogative but don't think I am just blaming two sets of people or that the video is merely pointing out a couple of minor things that need tweeking. That sounds like a politician speaking.

Peace.G.

mathewjgano
05-03-2012, 02:54 PM
Matthew. The video makes quite a few points but overall it is about the model, the system and it's drawbacks.

Let's get away from blame shall we as he tries to do in the video. It is not a blaming video but it is on the model and it's age and it's reason for coming about and the purpose of the video is to show its drawbacks.
The purpose is also to show how damaging it is.
I don't have a problem with the video, it's some of the phrasing you use to describe it.

So come on let's get real. In your life or dojo people come from various backgrounds and parentage and cultures. It is only a barrier to the degree you make it one. The ones who make these things a barrier are thus very divisive people actually and thus not very wise. So yes these may be small matters of concern along with a myriad of other small matters of concern but if you concentrate on them and give them more importance than they are worth then you, we, anyone, is actually creating a false problem, a mountainous one out of a minor.
Actually, while there is a fair amount of diversity in the dojos I've seen, they don't compare much to the schools I'm thinking of. Try telling a very traditional Somali father his daughter ought prepare for higher education. This isn't degrading the rich Somali culture, this is a fact of life with no easy answers. A problem no systemic change will address.
Also, while I agree that people who make a barrier out of it are generally being unwise, that is a huge difficulty for the public education system...they must deal with and respect those who do this...every day. Parents regularly make mountains out of mole-hills...and occassionally mole-hills out of mountains. As a compulsory system (unlike the dojo) this creates an "interesting" dynamic.

The video, if you care to watch it again, shows how many brilliant kids and folks are discarded purely because of the way it is. For no other reason.
I am personally familiar with one such individual so I appreciate this fact in a profound way. My point isn't that school systems don't deserve any blame. It's that I think many people are too eager to point the finger at the system instead of other factors that I consider to be even more important. Yes, fix the school system so it allows each individual to express their values and tastes in a self-actualizing way (there are a number of studies used to shape this endeavor already).
I think a number of people have pointed out the video has a lot of good ideas put forward, but with very little substance on how to go about it. The ideas put forward by the video are not new; they are at the very heart of many debates already within the system. Simply put, we do not have the resouces to put it exactly where it probably should be; we do not have a society which values it enough. And where it is valued you have ideological conflicts because so many people want to impose their own version of what is "best" for all.
I had a lot of fun in school...in the system which is being criticized for not allowing people to have more fun. There are two basic factors at play: the system and the society which shapes it. The particulars of how the system is structured is a minor role compared to the values of the community within which it's operating. The most obvious difference between successful students and less-successful students can be readily viewed in the habits formed at home. I've seen this principle at play my whole life, both as a student and as someone with a fair amount of classroom observation. It is a cardinal sin for teachers (those who make the system do what it does) to criticize parents; it is obligatory for parents to blame the reasonable failures of their students on the system or teachers.
Clearly this has created a bias in me and it reflects in the conversations I've had on this subject. I stand by my remarks on how to best improve the system. Changing the system can help, but it is the people who make it work or not; the people who make children enjoy this or that subject; the people whodetermine whether a lesson is understood or merely memorized. This is the heart of the learning/teaching dichotomy. Sure, change the system, but you will still have the same problems. Quit thinking that sending your kids to school will give them an education like it was some kind of factory: take an active role in teaching them and, more importantly, learning WITH them. Again, yes the system makes a difference, but I believe the keystone to education is and always will be found at home.

Segregation by age was a minor example thinking outside of the box, giving something to look at and maybe to test. It wasn't some revolutionary insight.

Why say I blame the teachers and administrators? If you believe that then you are totally missing my point.

I don't think it's a minor example in terms of the learning process or community building or leadership development. In fact the current system is working on this in places by having older kids mentor younger kids. You're blaming the system, and I would love to get away from the blame game, but your rhetoric suggests otherwise to me...and maybe I'm alone in this?

I am talking the model. The teachers and administrators and parents and who ever else are part of and in and may even earn a living from or even have a vested interest in but I don't blame them for it They are unaware of a better way and probably unaware of the need for one for it is them along with everyone public et al. who start off from the view that the system is good therefor any problems is due to other factors.

Here is a major point of mine to you: they are not unaware of these issues. Major differences in pedagogy aside, the people who work through the system and shape it agree with many of the talking points brought up. The problem lies with how to make the rubber meet the road...because the road makes its own demands, day in and day out.

Of course you may agree or disagree as is your prerogative but don't think I am just blaming two sets of people or that the video is merely pointing out a couple of minor things that need tweeking. That sounds like a politician speaking.

Peace.G.
I've watched it twice now. I'm going to watch it again and perhaps I'll try to give a better critique based on that. My responses so far have been based largely on segments of your remarks about it. Perhaps that will help.
Take care, and thank you for sharing your thoughts on this,
Matt

lbb
05-03-2012, 03:00 PM
So Mary, to understand me you will never do so by trying to put me in some classical identity of school teacher or doctor or such.

I'm not trying to understand you. I'm trying to see if your criticisms are valid or not. I don't think they are, because your playing field is uneven. You're criticizing others for failing in a certain situation, and to validate your criticism you use your claims of success in a different situation. That's not valid.

That doesn't mean I don't know more than the average teacher or doctor for that matter based on fundamental principles studied learned and applied with success.

But it means you've never walked the proverbial mile in their shoes...and yet you judge them.

I'm not into fame or fortune thank you so I am and probably will always be just me, usually pennyless and usually happy with life and living and learning.

You started this thread by calling others out, and now you want to retreat into platitudes?

As it happens people usually come to me with be it Aikido problems, study problems, health problems, mental problems, as a last resort after having tried all the so called 'Authoritive approaches' without success. That's just the way it is my friend and is just the way I am..

Graham, are you interested in honesty? Is honesty important to you?

graham christian
05-03-2012, 03:31 PM
Thank you Matthew. So it seems our basic divergence is on the fact of the system being bad (my view) and your view of that not being the case. (correct me if I'm wrong)

A couple of things mentioned in the video: That it's only been around a short while really. So we can look to before it throughuot the whole history of mankind to discover where and how kids or people learned and especially to where and when very successfully. That's one thing we could do. Then we may or may not find that it's not as good or as bad as it seems.

Therefore I put it to you that having looked at this before I found that the best way of learning in the past, in all those centuries was by apprenticeship. That was the natural way.

Low and behold you will find that those with certain talents and desires could then be sent to the appropriate place as an apprentice.

So this basic natural way of learning, which I may say is based on solid principles of learning, covers some of the basics I have been talking about ie: children first and foremost finding what they are interested in and like, love, and thus already have a natural gait for. Then the nurturing of it via apprenticeship.

To me that is fundamental to all the other 'problems' for without that basic desire and love of the student in the first place you will end up with all kinds of problems and they will be given all kinds of false reasons, from parentage to culture to politics etc ad nauseum.

The simplicity is this: why should I, you or anyone study anything they are not interested in? I am afraid it's that simple.

Thus when kids leave school, apart from the opportunity to earn money they have a great release, a great feeling of freedom when they find they can study whatever they want, whatever they are interested in, the major factor of study itself.

As pointed out in the video he says how computers can actually help in this regard for knowledge on just about anything can be found. So that's one plus for this day and age.

I could mention many things wrong with the system not mentioned at all and I may say when looked at can be found to be completely mad. Kids aint stupid and many see these major failings are are generally put down for even mentioning them. I would say the exam system falls into this category.

Yes, the exam system itself is so stupid that you get people with qualifications who can quote all kinds of things and yet understand not much at all and do even less. But boy can they talk and come out with lots of data and 'appear' intelligent.

Another major fault in the system, unchallenged on the whole, yet obvious to so many workers and normal joe public.

Anyway that's enough from me. Good talking to you.

Peace.G.

graham christian
05-03-2012, 03:45 PM
I'm not trying to understand you. I'm trying to see if your criticisms are valid or not. I don't think they are, because your playing field is uneven. You're criticizing others for failing in a certain situation, and to validate your criticism you use your claims of success in a different situation. That's not valid.

But it means you've never walked the proverbial mile in their shoes...and yet you judge them.

You started this thread by calling others out, and now you want to retreat into platitudes?

Graham, are you interested in honesty? Is honesty important to you?

Mary, I don't judge them, ie: teachers, as someone who has never walked the proverbial mile. Just because I am not a school teacher does not mean I have no reality on the subject and indeed their problems and concerns. I have worked with many teachers and helped them with such concerns so I have done something worthwhile, walked rather than talked.

Saying how I am is no retreat and is no platitude thank you.

What do you mean 'call others out?' I started this thread with a video and precisely to point out not call out.

Can you take my honesty is more to the point. I give honest views and make some honest mistakes.

Glad you mentioned it though because it seems I find it strange how just because a person disagrees or don't understand what I say or on many occasions disbelieve what I say they come back at me with such comments.

Peace.G.

Demetrio Cereijo
05-03-2012, 04:03 PM
Therefore I put it to you that having looked at this before I found that the best way of learning in the past, in all those centuries was by apprenticeship. That was the natural way.
So you are into indentured servitude, exploitation and child labour?

The simplicity is this: why should I, you or anyone study anything they are not interested in? I am afraid it's that simple.
Why study anything? Life would be even simpler.

mathewjgano
05-03-2012, 04:21 PM
Thank you Matthew. So it seems our basic divergence is on the fact of the system being bad (my view) and your view of that not being the case. (correct me if I'm wrong)
More or less. I wouldn't agree the system on the whole is any more bad than any society can be said to be. I also get the impression we disagree on what is being implemented in schools. I fully agree it has problems that need addressing, but I also think they're trying in these regards. If I have a criticism of the video now, it's that in many regards it's a decade late...per my slice of the pie.

Therefore I put it to you that having looked at this before I found that the best way of learning in the past, in all those centuries was by apprenticeship. That was the natural way.

Low and behold you will find that those with certain talents and desires could then be sent to the appropriate place as an apprentice.
Intensive focus on the student is essential for the student's needs in learning. Apprenticeship is one way of addressing this, because the mentor has a direct vested interest in how the student performs. One of the reasons it worked in the past though is because the student knew that without his master, his hopes for autonomy were sketchy at best. People didn't always get to choose which craft they practiced, it was based on availability.

The simplicity is this: why should I, you or anyone study anything they are not interested in? I am afraid it's that simple.
I see it as very simple too: because we're not always already interested in what we'd most be interested in. This is the premise behind the concept of general education which is the boring stuff most people complain about. One quick thing I disliked from the video now that I think about it: he says the subject matter is all boring stuff. Talk about exhibiting the very thing he's arguing against.

Yes, the exam system itself is so stupid that you get people with qualifications who can quote all kinds of things and yet understand not much at all and do even less. But boy can they talk and come out with lots of data and 'appear' intelligent.

Another major fault in the system, unchallenged on the whole, yet obvious to so many workers and normal joe public.
Yes and no, in my opinion. Being taught about the process of "assessment," I was actually reassured. I agree intelligence and aptitude aren't things which can be entirely measured. I am not a fan of No Child Left Behind even though I support the use of exams (even high-pressure exams) as one metric. The problem comes when people put too much weight on them and forget all the stuff that is invisible to them.
The same problem that causes experts to put too much wieght on exams is the same problem that causes lay-folk to dismiss them: knowledge obfuscates; we see what we've been primed (through experience) to see.

graham christian
05-03-2012, 08:39 PM
More or less. I wouldn't agree the system on the whole is any more bad than any society can be said to be. I also get the impression we disagree on what is being implemented in schools. I fully agree it has problems that need addressing, but I also think they're trying in these regards. If I have a criticism of the video now, it's that in many regards it's a decade late...per my slice of the pie.

Intensive focus on the student is essential for the student's needs in learning. Apprenticeship is one way of addressing this, because the mentor has a direct vested interest in how the student performs. One of the reasons it worked in the past though is because the student knew that without his master, his hopes for autonomy were sketchy at best. People didn't always get to choose which craft they practiced, it was based on availability.

I see it as very simple too: because we're not always already interested in what we'd most be interested in. This is the premise behind the concept of general education which is the boring stuff most people complain about. One quick thing I disliked from the video now that I think about it: he says the subject matter is all boring stuff. Talk about exhibiting the very thing he's arguing against.

Yes and no, in my opinion. Being taught about the process of "assessment," I was actually reassured. I agree intelligence and aptitude aren't things which can be entirely measured. I am not a fan of No Child Left Behind even though I support the use of exams (even high-pressure exams) as one metric. The problem comes when people put too much weight on them and forget all the stuff that is invisible to them.
The same problem that causes experts to put too much wieght on exams is the same problem that causes lay-folk to dismiss them: knowledge obfuscates; we see what we've been primed (through experience) to see.

Thanks for the response. May I say that you are very focused on this subject and much more 'you' than on some things you discuss. Please take this as a validation.

Intensive focus on the student: Let's stop there for a moment. We are both in agreement there and thus we can both see it in apprenticeships. You say it's essential and and I agree with you. So I would say any system therefor which cannot do this is 'bad' So to me it's not a matter of excuses or 'yeah buts' but rather a matter of let's find which which fits that criteria.

Now with a bit of research for example a number could be found as to how many kids per teacher fits that criteria. Once found any problems and thus solutions can be found which handle them. Thus a new system developed. For example: The problem of money and spaces may come up to do with number of teachers needed for such a project if for example the optimum number of kids per teacher was found to be five.

Well, there's two ways of doing this to solve those kinds of problems. 1) A directive or law which says you have to do it this way. Then minds would have to focus on how to and then amazingly solutions are found. (that's the harsh way) 2) As I said in an earlier post if industry itself had a vested interested in schooling. Thus if they could design educational courses to be taught in school so that kids come out already able in that field of work then they would pump up the necessary funds for however many teachers or spaces for teaching necessary. So number two is giving it thought based on we can not 'yeah but.'

Your interest point I don't get. 'We're not always interested in what we most be interested in'? Doesn't make sense to me.

I have it as fundamental that without interest it is impossible to study properly and that most teachers know this and thus try to make the subject interesting. This to me may sound reasonable but is in fact putting the cart there after the horse has bolted and thus already having broken the golden rule of interest of the student must be there first for any education to work.

The exam question I say this. All kids and teenagers know quite thoroughly it's all about the piece of paper and it's drummed into them. Unfortunately this then rules out understanding. It also brings into play a whole market for tactics and ways of remembering data for those who can generally remember parrot fashion can get high marks. Nothing to do with understanding or ability to do.

When I ask teenagers now that's all they care about (the others have given up trying) and that is passing the exam or with such grades as gets them into the preferred university. They don't care much about understanding the subject at all but just about methods of remembering and as little understanding as possible in order to get the desired result in an exam. Like drug dealers boast in rap records 'it's all about the paper' (meaning money) so students do in education. By any means necessary. This isn't blame but it is reality. It's not their fault they think this way for they are taught to.

It's so absurd nowadays, in this country anyway, that it is standard procedure that you can ask a person in school or university what they are studying. The person will answer quite brightly and tell you let's say chemistry degree or a masters in biochemistry. Then you say 'oh, so you're going to be a chemist or you pick some trade or work that fits and they look at you blankly. 'No' they say, 'I plan on going into marketing or some such totally 'other' field of work. It's quite amazing really just how stupid and wasteful that is. I asked my friends daughter what she was studying in order to get into university and she told me. There were two languages and a couple of other main subjects but on me saying to her how good that was and then making the fatal mistake of complimenting her for being interested in such things she actually gave me a puzzled look and corrected me as if I was from another planet. As if to say 'you don't understand, that's now how we do things in our generation' Her correction included various reasons for doing those subjects and none of them included liking them but they did include finding the easiest ones and or the ones which meant she could go on echange holidays with. She hated studying and could see no future use for those subjects in her life apart from getting into the uni. She is half Italian studying Italian, easy peasy.

What makes all this laughable to many is the life and work system we are all used to means that a person with a university degree in 'baking bread' (joke) can walk into a high powered job which has nothing to do with bread. It's even more weird when no one finds that strange. It all fits into a job for the boys type society though unfortunately.

I bet many can justify it and put it down to IQ and such like and make it seem all reasonable though.

Wow! Is all I say to that. Reasonable would be to study the thing you are going to do. Simple.

This leads me finally to one more simplicity I have mentioned in past threads. A person from the moment they are born studies what they want to DO That's another basic. Another simple truth not adhered to in the reasoning of later education systems.

O.K. That's it from me for now. Time for tea ha, ha.

Peace.G.

SeiserL
05-04-2012, 07:57 AM
Just for the sake of balance and political incorrectness, while there certainly is room and need for an improved educational paradigm, when do we empower the individual and hold them responsible and accountable for their learning participation and contribution to the educational opportunity and experience?

Is our lives (and learning) always someone else's fault?

morph4me
05-04-2012, 08:31 AM
Just for the sake of balance and political incorrectness, while there certainly is room and need for an improved educational paradigm, when do we empower the individual and hold them responsible and accountable for their learning participation and contribution to the educational opportunity and experience?

Is our lives (and learning) always someone else's fault?

Personal responsibility?? That's just crazy talk. :freaky:

graham christian
05-04-2012, 11:57 AM
The system extant doesn't empower the student beyond primary education.

Students who try to be responsible are discarded. They have to wait till they leave school.

Peace.G.

lbb
05-04-2012, 12:22 PM
Can you take my honesty is more to the point. I give honest views and make some honest mistakes.


The reason I asked the question was because you keep referring to me as "my friend", and we're not. We're casual acquaintances on an internet forum. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not friendship in my book -- and it also illustrates the fact that you and I may be using the same terminology to refer to very different things. I understand that, but do you understand that?

graham christian
05-04-2012, 01:02 PM
The reason I asked the question was because you keep referring to me as "my friend", and we're not. We're casual acquaintances on an internet forum. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not friendship in my book -- and it also illustrates the fact that you and I may be using the same terminology to refer to very different things. I understand that, but do you understand that?

Yes I understand that. That's how misunderstandings come about is it not? Why would you think I don't understand that?

To think that the use of 'my friend' could offend or even cause confusion is beyond me. Once again maybe it comes down to you're not understanding me.

It's actually an Aikido view in my book and a personal one too. Everyone is my friend in truth according to me whether they consider it so or not. What I do know is I am.

As I have said previously in Aikido threads the 'opponent' is not an enemy but merely a long lost friend. The degree of lostness determines his or her way of behaviour.

Being honest and sincere means yes I recognise all on here as friends even the ones who only comment negatively on anything I say.

An often used phrase of yours regarding things I say is 'platitudes' Well, when you realize they are not platitudes but tested and applicable and real views we may reach a better plateau of communication.

As a twist on Steve Mcqueen in the magnificent seven (I think) 'I deal in wisdom my friend'

Any issues I have with anyone on here is actually an issue with myself. When a person gets angry with you they are actually angry with their-self. These are statements which fit with Masakatsu and agatsu and thus Aikido. The only enemy therefor is ourself not the other person.

Peace.G.

graham christian
05-04-2012, 01:42 PM
Yes Keith it sure is from an academic.

From the intellectual culture which produced the academic ability which discarded the non academic and thus the majority and caused chaos. That's what the video says.

That way of thinking causes chaos yet is full of 'logic' and worse of all sees nothing wrong with itself.

The majority may I point out, the non academic, he points out as potentially brilliant whilst only a few of the academic go on to be so. The problem he points out is that they the majority don't think they are due to that system run by their 'peers'

So please, 'I've watched it 'x' amount of times type statements mean nothing to me for it is the understanding that is important.

I know everyone is potentially brilliant but their potential has mostly been stumped by the system extant.

Your example of getting your daughter to do sword wrapping or whatever is hardly an example of creativity of the type he describes or divergent thinking for that matter. Then if you read what I said then you will see it's completely nothing to do with that either. The point I made was to find what the child is interested in not what you are interested in getting the child to learn. If your daughter is truly of her own volition and not due to wanting to merely please her dad interested in such things then go for it. That's the point.

My views are not fantasy my man, they are pointed out in many places by many people and in many films too for they strike a chord with people. The film about the boy who wanted to do ballet is a great example.

In fact that same intellectual model has plagued Aikido.

Peace.G.

Keith Larman
05-04-2012, 04:01 PM
It's not so much your smug ignorance on so many issues, it's that you share your facile, simplistic ideas with others with such, well, pride at being nearly completely ignorant of the topics you discuss. You wear your ignorance like a badge, as if being completely uninformed is somehow a plus. You wade in to areas where you are woefully uneducated and somehow feel that gives your uninformed opinions some sort of odd validity. I look back on the posts you've written over the recent months (or is it years?) and I wonder if there has been anything you've written that has been a positive contribution. Or if it's all just more "crap Graham made up supported by self-serving stories of anonymous people benefiting from your self-professed great wisdom".

Nothing.

Goodbye, Graham. I know it is of no significance to you, but I have lost the smallest sliver of respect for you I had remaining. I used to respect the fact that you were at least consistent. Now I just see it as more of the same insidious disease infecting way too many, and the internet gives it a forum with relatively equal footing. It seems you see yourself as some sort of Nietzschian Übermensch when in fact you appear to be the very sort of person Nietzsche was horrified that society was creating. A rush to the lowest common denominator with an admiration for mediocrity.

Too much time has been wasted.

Deeds, not words. All we have here is words. Goodbye.

graham christian
05-04-2012, 05:04 PM
Just occurred to me, has anyone invented, created computer games which teach literacy?

Note I didn't say computer courses or replicas of schooling methods, I said games.

For example I could envision a game where a person has lots of symbols (letters of the alphabet) and the game entails finding the matching names for those symbols. The names could be on bricks or in some form where the person has to go and get them or dig them up or whatever and take them back to the symbol and if they are correct they get a reward be it points or whatever the current reward in computer games is. (me not being one for such myself)

The same could be done for sounds which fit the symbols etc. Then on to the next levl where the symbols with their sounds have to be put together to make words. Thus a game of fun and challenge and each level is the next step towards literacy.

Kids of this day and age would compete to be literate with each other because that's what they do as kids with computer games, they challenge each other by levels of computer games.

Get some creative minds in the field of gaming to come up with a popular game which does this and they would make a killing.

Any geeks want to take up the challenge???

Peace.G.

Gorgeous George
05-04-2012, 06:06 PM
It's not so much your smug ignorance on so many issues, it's that you share your facile, simplistic ideas with others with such, well, pride at being nearly completely ignorant of the topics you discuss. You wear your ignorance like a badge, as if being completely uninformed is somehow a plus. You wade in to areas where you are woefully uneducated and somehow feel that gives your uninformed opinions some sort of odd validity. I look back on the posts you've written over the recent months (or is it years?) and I wonder if there has been anything you've written that has been a positive contribution. Or if it's all just more "crap Graham made up supported by self-serving stories of anonymous people benefiting from your self-professed great wisdom".

Nothing.

Goodbye, Graham. I know it is of no significance to you, but I have lost the smallest sliver of respect for you I had remaining. I used to respect the fact that you were at least consistent. Now I just see it as more of the same insidious disease infecting way too many, and the internet gives it a forum with relatively equal footing. It seems you see yourself as some sort of Nietzschian Übermensch when in fact you appear to be the very sort of person Nietzsche was horrified that society was creating. A rush to the lowest common denominator with an admiration for mediocrity.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

The guy's trolling, and disputatious, egotistical, un-aiki nature, has made these boards a waste of time - he ruins every thread he enters (which is a great many), and he has probably turned a great many curious people off aikido, which is a real shame.

sorokod
05-05-2012, 06:44 AM
Just occurred to me, has anyone invented, created computer games which teach literacy?


Questions such as this are best answered by Google ( http://www.google.com ). Here is something to get you started: http://www.google.co.uk/search?rls=en&q=computer+games+which+teach+literacy

dps
05-05-2012, 07:32 AM
Graham's world reminds me of this guys world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaGG8Oh3Qas

dps

graham christian
05-05-2012, 08:04 AM
Questions such as this are best answered by Google ( http://www.google.com ). Here is something to get you started: http://www.google.co.uk/search?rls=en&q=computer+games+which+teach+literacy

Nice. Good to know it's being looked at and some have been made. Good positive things.

Peace.G.

mathewjgano
05-05-2012, 04:30 PM
Thanks for the response. May I say that you are very focused on this subject and much more 'you' than on some things you discuss. Please take this as a validation.
Well, thank you. This is a subject I am clearly biased about and have a fairly strong opinion on. I also have a lot more experience on this subject than I do on most any Aikido subject. At any rate, please forgive this relatively brief reply, but my pc is down.
Suffice to say, much of what you'r describing in terms of studies on which conditions promote interest and functional skills have been done in a myriad of ways. In some placs at least, there is already a huge shift toward more "student-centric" pedagogies. Direct interaction with high expectations and intensive scaffolding are the more current models; direct interaction requires cooperation; cooperation requires the student cares and has a sense of purpose.
Your interest point I don't get. 'We're not always interested in what we most be interested in'? Doesn't make sense to me.
Just that we don't always know what we're going to like until we've tried it. This is one principle behind general education (the "boring" stuff).
If I get the chance I'll try to respond to the other ideas when I have more time. Again te problem is not in the ideals, but in the pratictical applicatin.
Take care,
Matt

graham christian
05-05-2012, 05:23 PM
Well, thank you. This is a subject I am clearly biased about and have a fairly strong opinion on. I also have a lot more experience on this subject than I do on most any Aikido subject. At any rate, please forgive this relatively brief reply, but my pc is down.
Suffice to say, much of what you'r describing in terms of studies on which conditions promote interest and functional skills have been done in a myriad of ways. In some placs at least, there is already a huge shift toward more "student-centric" pedagogies. Direct interaction with high expectations and intensive scaffolding are the more current models; direct interaction requires cooperation; cooperation requires the student cares and has a sense of purpose.

Just that we don't always know what we're going to like until we've tried it. This is one principle behind general education (the "boring" stuff).
If I get the chance I'll try to respond to the other ideas when I have more time. Again te problem is not in the ideals, but in the pratictical applicatin.
Take care,
Matt

Hi Matthew.
That last point being the one I questioned I consider a fundamental to ALL learning. The video at the beginning points this out when he says that modern kids don't believe in this system.

Now if it is a principle that 'we don't always know what we are going to like before we've tried it'
and equated with the boring stuff then I would say that is once again a fundamental error. Thus more chaos would ensue.

Firstly the 'saying' is hardly a principle and quite nothing to do with why a subject is boring.

But more importantly it shows me only that they don't still grasp what study actually is thus as with many things just go round and round in circles. I think certain principles are missing and that is the problem.

Perhaps we can carry this foreward when you computer is in better shape.

Peace.G.

Tenyu
05-05-2012, 06:21 PM
:::: Bold mine ::::

Modern schooling is a failure—or is it? That depends on the real purpose of schooling, an enormous topic that I cannot possible do justice to in these pages. Fortunately I don't have to, thanks to John Taylor Gatto's magnificent opus The Underground History of American Education, a work of prodigious scholarship, unflinching honesty, seasoned insight, and towering indignation. I will share some of his insights (and his indignation), since they illustrate so well the mentality of control, the logic of the Newtonian World-machine, the liquidation of spiritual capital, and ultimately our culture's fundamental attitudes towards nature and human nature.

Just beneath the superficial justifications for mass forced schooling lies the first level of its true motivation: to create a population suitable for the demands of the industrial economy. (That we are supposedly in a post-industrial economy today is part of the reason why school is admitted even by the elites to be "not working anymore".) School as we know it, like other applications of the technologies and mentalities of mass production, got its start in the early 19th century in the great coal powers of the period: Prussia, England, France, and then the United States.

Early industry faced a problem. Mine and factory work was dull, repetitive, arduous, and dangerous while offering wages barely high enough to sustain life. Office work—the work of clerks, scriveners, and accountants before computers—was equally dull and dehumanizing, if not so dangerous. Factory discipline was alien to the independent, self-directed farmers and artisans that made up pre-industrial society, and the question of how to instill labor discipline was discussed at length by the intellectuals of the day. One solution was outright force: the driving of peasants off the land through enclosure, the use of militias to enforce strike prohibitions, and mostly the motive of extreme economy exigency. However, the inhumanity of this solution offended the conscience and besides, it was potentially very explosive as a series of insurrections, revolutions, and bloody labor strikes throughout Europe and North America attested. Wouldn't it be better to somehow condition people from childhood to accept, and even to desire, work that was partial, trivial, mechanical, dull, repetitive, and unchallenging to thought or creativity?

Is this description already reminding you of school? Where learning arises not from curiosity but from authority's agenda; where achievement is adjudged by external standards; where human beings, like so many objects, are numbered, "class"ified, and "graded"; where knowledge is reduced to answers, right and wrong; where children are confined to a classroom or desk except when authority allows them "recess" or a pass; where problems are solved by following teacher's instructions; where free speech and free assembly are suspended—where, indeed, there are no freedoms at all but only privileges; where bells condition us to follow a regular external schedule; where fraternization is surreptitious (as my teacher once said, "You are not here to socialize!"); where none outside the hierarchical structure of authority have the power to make or change rules; where we must accept the tasks given us; where work is arbitrary and meaningless except for what external reward it brings; where resistance is proved futile in the face of a near-omniscient, omnipotent central authority. . . what better preparation for adult confinement to offices and factories could there be? What better preparation for accepting unquestioningly the lives given us? Where else can students "learn to think of themselves as employees competing for the favors of management"?[27]

Not only does school prepare us to submit to the trivialized, demeaning, dull, and unfulfilling jobs that dominate our economy to the present time, not only does it prepare us to be modern producers, it equally prepares us to be modern consumers. Consider Gatto's description:

Schools train individuals to respond as a mass. Boys and girls are drilled in being bored, frightened, envious, emotionally needy, generally incomplete. A successful mass production economy requires such a clientele. A small business, small farm economy like that of the Amish requires individual competence, thoughtfulness, compassion, and universal participation; our own requires a managed mass of leveled, spiritless, anxious, familyless, friendless, godless, and obedient people who believe the difference between "Cheers" and "Seinfeld" is worth arguing about.

The consumer model is written into the very foundations of the modern classroom. Gatto writes: "Schools build national wealth by tearing down personal sovereignty, morality, and family life." These things are precisely the social and spiritual capital whose conversion into money was discussed in Chapter Four. It is not just that the broken and stupefied child is unable to stand up for himself in the workplace or to resist his role as a standardized cog in the vast automaton of industrial society; it is that relationships themselves, and all the previously non-monetized functions and exchanges associated with them, have been objectified, depersonalized, and commoditized. When the autonomous relationships (social and spiritual) that define our humanity are stripped away, we naturally becomes consumers of them. When self-directed learning through reading is replaced by programmed teacher instruction—the dishing out of a curriculum—we become consumers and not producers of knowledge, which is reduced to measurable "information". Thus we instill in our children not only obedience—tell me what to do—but also intellectual dependency, the reliance on authority for truth. What is the difference between getting truth from books and getting truth from teacher? Reading books as part of a personal search for knowledge does not make one a mere consumer, because the search is self-directed and the information subject to independent, uncoerced selection and judgment. In school quite the opposite holds: the truth—the right answers—has already been pre-selected and pre-judged by the authorities, and the students are to accept it—are coerced into accepting it (at least to the extent that exams, grades, detentions, "permanent records" and so on are effective instruments of reward and punishment).

In other words, school is an instrument of alienation. It alienates children from their families, not only by removing them physically but by replacing and professionalizing a traditionally important sphere of interaction: education. It alienates children from communities, segregating them by age, inducing competition among them, isolating them from adult life, and feeding them a curriculum determined by distant experts. (The community-breaking function of school is especially strong after 100 years of school consolidation and state-sponsored standardization of curricula). It alienates children from nature and the outdoors, of course, simply by keeping them inside all day—surely an unprecedented condition of childhood until the last century. It alienates children from real experience by substituting for it games, simulations, and lessons, in which everything they do is, after all, only in a classroom, without real consequences, and terminating as soon as the bell rings for the next class. But most importantly, school alienates children from themselves: their own natural curiosity, inner motivation, self-reliance, and self-confidence. As Ivan Illich puts it, "Rich and poor alike depend on schools and hospitals which guide their lives, form their world view, and define for them what it legitimate and what is not. Both view doctoring oneself as irresponsible, learning on one's own as unreliable, and community organization, when not paid for by those in authority, as a form of aggression or subversion. For both groups the reliance on institutional treatment renders independent accomplishment suspect."[28]

William Torrey Harris, U.S. Commissioner of Education from 1889 to 1906, wrote in the last year of his tenure:

Ninety-nine [students] out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual.

The great purpose of school can be realized better in dark, airless, ugly places. . . . It is to master the physical self, to transcend the beauty of nature. School should develop the power to withdraw from the external world.[29]

Gatto comments, "Nearly a hundred years ago, this schoolman thought self-alienation was the secret to industrial society. Surely he was right." This alienation is nothing else than the separation that is the theme of this book, implicit in all technology and culminating in the pinnacle of modern science, technology, and the Machine.

These features of schooling were designed into it from the very beginning, as stated very explicitly by such guiding organizations as Rockefeller's General Education Board:

In our dreams. . . people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. . . . We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets, or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple. . . we will organize children . . . and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.[30]

"A mass-production economy can neither be created nor sustained without a leveled population, one conditioned to mass habits, mass tastes, mass enthusiasms, predictable mass behavior."[31] The modern institution of school helps create the very "human nature" that is assumed in liberal economic theory, whose behavior is predictable according to deterministic laws just as are the masses of classical physics.

On a deeper level, the goal of modern education is the perfection of Lewis Mumford's megamachine—the great automaton composed of human parts—that itself provided the original model for the factory, and in which each person is reduced like a machine component to a standardized function. Just as physical machines produced unprecedented wealth and power over the environment, so it was also supposed that the sacrifices made of individual wholeness and self-determination would find compensation in the glorious onward march of science, the eventual conquest of nature, the fulfillment, in other words, of the Technological Program that would take us beyond labor, beyond suffering, beyond death, beyond planet earth across the Final Frontier of space.

The subordination of the individual to the needs of system is a key component of the ideology of "scientific management", associated with Frederick Taylor but tracing its roots back at least to Francis Bacon. Bacon believed that with the Scientific Method humanity had arrived at just that, a "method" that could be mechanically applied to achieve unlimited progress in science. No longer would individual genius be required, just the competent and correct application of method. John Raulston Saul eloquently describes the evolution of the ideology of reason, method, and system in his magnificent Voltaire's Bastards. As Taylor put it, "In the past, man has been first. In the future the system must be first." Gatto comments, "It was not sufficient to have physical movements standardized, the standardized worker 'must be happy in his work,' too, therefore his thought processes also must be standardized."[32] If you aren't happy in your work, that must imply a fault in your production process (socialization, education, training); fortunately, that can be adjusted with pharmaceutical technology. Indeed, the term "well-adjusted" implies the molding of the human being, a standardizing to the needs of system. Again the 1933 World's Fair slogan comes to mind: "Science Finds. Industry Applies. Man Conforms." School is simply part of the process of conforming man to machine, the engineering of human nature.

While correctly and compellingly identifying the true historical objectives of schooling as comprising a monstrous violation of the human spirit, Gatto sometimes leaves the impression that it was contingent on a few historical accidents and could easily have been otherwise. If only Humbolt had won the debate with Baron Vom Stein in early 19th-century Prussia, if only the Massachusetts legislature had swung by a mere 36 votes to reject Horace Mann, then the crime of mass compulsory schooling might never have happened. In fact, it was bound to happen, bound by vast historical processes that carried Vom Stein, Mann, Dewey, the Carnegie Foundation and Rockefeller Board, William Rainey Harper and the rest to victory. Even the behind-the-scenes manipulators—Rockefeller, Carnegie, Ford, and Morgan—who sought the creation of a docile proletariat and orderly society were themselves merely enacting roles dictated by the very processes that brought them to power.

Yes, school is an agent in the dissolution of family and community, in the conversion of citizens into subjects and creators into consumers, in the breaking of children to the demands of institutional life; school is an agent in all this, but these processes extend far beyond the institution of schooling to embed it and guide it. It was inevitable that one way or another, we would apply the same essential technologies to children as we did onto nature and everything else—and for the same basic reasons. How to "subordinate the individual to the needs of the system"? The individual must simply be made labeled, quantified, measured, graded, and standardized. That is the only way the methods of management can be applied. School is thus an outgrowth of the Mumfordian megamachine, which itself is the logical endpoint of the progressive objectification, management, and control of nature.

In taking children away from the matrix of family, nature, and social apprenticeship, mass schooling is essentially an enormous experiment in social engineering, the fruition of thousands of years of utopianism going back to Plato in which institutional training of the young was always a crucial component. Up through the Owenite and socialist experiments of the 19th and 20th centuries, children were removed, at least in part, from their families. Sorry, but the family is obsolete: henceforward we are going to raise children scientifically. Surely trained experts can do better than ignorant parents, surely science and reason can improve upon primitive, biological, emotion-driven families. The scientific laws of psychology and child behavior will replace the old irrational customs, and unclouded by parental subjectivity we will raise children for modern society. You, the modern parent, can do your best to learn about scientific parenting, but in most areas you'll have to yield to the experts.

The terminus of this trend is nothing other than Huxley's Brave New World, in which the factory method is applied to child-rearing from birth and before. All people are graded, from Alpha-plus to Delta-minus—sound familiar?—and each given the stimuli and resources appropriate to their grade.

Like all technology, the social engineering agenda of schooling involves a separation from nature, in this case the removal of children from their original biological and social habitat of family and community. The separation from the family, totalized in Brave New World, is a necessary, inevitable product of the attempt to engineer society according to the same methods and logic as we engineer the material world. In both there is a replacement of the personal, subjective, and traditional with the abstract, formal, and general. We have not yet reached Huxley's extreme, but a trend in that direction is visible wherever the Technological Program is pursued. When I was a child we listened with horror to stories of the Soviet Union, where the state was replacing the parent, replacing the very family, with mandatory "scientific" child care, youth indoctrination, and so forth. But today the same thing is happening everywhere, if not directly at the hands of the state, then with its literal license, or else at the hands of other institutions operating by the usual principles of scientific management. Whether by chance or design, today's system of infant and child care, school, organized sports, counseling, and television conspires to replace the parent and community. The same functions of socialization, education, and identity-building are being provided, but now by institutions and their functionaries who may not really care about your child at all, except that they are paid to. Moreover, there is a fundamental conflict between the social engineer's goal of adjusting the child to fit the needs of the system, and the spiritual goal of personal fulfillment. The socialization is socialization to the machine. The identity built is the identity of a consumer.

The agenda of social engineering explains the emphasis that psychology—the "science" of the mind—has always received in pedagogy (the "science" of teaching) ever since Horace Mann advocated phrenology as the key to a successful classroom. As in other realms of humanity's "ascent", we follow Galileo's prescription of applying measurement to learning in hopes of turning it into a science. We can then deploy the whole gamut of technologies based on standardization, efficiency, management, and control. The object of education—the child—becomes the object of technology. School is an aspect of a vast enterprise: the engineering of the human being, the human mind, the human psyche, the human soul. An audacious ambition indeed: not the accidental result of an historical blunder, nor the plot of an evil conspiracy, but implicit in the original audacity of technology. On the deepest level, the purpose and motivation of education is to apply the Technological Program to the ultimate frontier: society and the human being. As technology in general seeks to improve on nature, educational technology seeks to improve on human nature.

::: relevant excerpt (http://ascentofhumanity.com/chapter5-6.php) :::: chapter beginning recommended as well

mathewjgano
05-06-2012, 01:00 AM
[insert dramatic sigh here] I just spent an hour trying to make a nice lucid description only to lose the whole thing.
I will just say that subjects are boring partly because of the expectations of those around us, although I agree there are other factors as well. There is a famous study which seems to have demonstrated that when a teacher expects a student to do well, the student actually performs better than when the teacher expects the student to do poorly. This is why I hate it when people talk about how boring something is as if it were innately so and not a function of personal state of mind and/or other factors. In my opinion, "boring" is too often a cop-out to stop engaging a situation.
I'd like to add to Tenyu, it would be very easy to overcome the schism school systems supposedly cause within familes. My parents had no problem getting me to think for myself while maintaining a strong connection to how I formed my values and habits. If more parents took a more active role, much of the article would be rendered moot, even supposing it's not a touch of hyperbole to begin with.
Psychology has the role it does because of its use of data tracking. I will happily admit the data is not the be-all end-all...largely because my education professors reinforced that idea. Coincidentally, phrenology has been debunked by the science of the mind. That makes me trust in the process a bit.
My two bits, at any rate,
Take care folks,
Matthew

graham christian
05-06-2012, 09:49 AM
Hi Matthew.
Boring is a state of mind, an emotion. So even that state I would like to question first before believing it. The reason I say this is because let's call it different levels of boredom shall we. Of itself being a bit boring isn't a barrier to study however when it is a matter of apathetic type attitude then that is the barrier a nd is usually dismissed as 'boring' and assigned to the subject.

Now back to the real cause (my view) for you to contemplate if you will.

Right at the beginning of study what is there? What starts this thing called study? As I have said in past posts on education babies study and learn, it's a natural, enjoyable, enthusiastic process. Thus until this process is taken responsibility for then mad solutions will only ensue.

So now I will give you some simplicities, so simple and obvious that their import is not taken into account yet they are the foundation of the process of study or most other things in life too. FOUR factors.

1)Desire 2)Intention 3)Purpose 4)Decision

These you could look at as four pillars necessary for success or even interest but nonetheless the foundation, the first step of the process of study.

Let's take even a baby shall we? The baby desires to walk. His intention actually is to understand how to walk. His purpose is to attain, to do, to walk. The decision sets the process into action.

1)So we have the overall desire to do the process.
2)The intention to understand through close observation, study, and practice.
3)The purpose to do, to have the process end with ability.
4)The decision which starts all things.

So once this is understood we can look and see. We can see trying to force or make a person study cake making who has no desire to so do or purpose for is already a losing task, a task of failure before it starts as it breaks the fundamental principles.

Kids are not stupid so of course those teacher who operate from tnhis view would have better results than the others as you say above but the fact that that statement comes from research and seems so astounding to those educational researchers just shows me how far from reality they are in the first place.

The 'production line' model doesn't work, just like the communism model or dictator model because people, human spirit, kids, are not things. They are individual beings, lives, life with independent thought and creativity and desire. They are not cars or machines or mere pieces of clay to be shaped by some authority.

You cannot suppress or oppress the human spirit forever, eventually it will rise up and burst out, usually in anger. Like when the Berlin walls finally came down, like that which is happening in the middle east at the moment, like the riots which happened here recently by the youth. All versions of what I say above, rebelling against the oppressive ill conceived model they are forced to follow.

1)Kids desire to learn. They desire to learn how to do.
2)Kids intend to learn how to do something that they can see themselves doing in life.
3)Kids have purpose which needs recognising and validating and helping.
4)Kids decide, they are not robots.

These factors are what need to be understood first in my mind for they are fundamental to all else that follows including coming up with models that accommodate them.

Now finally before any usual naysayers try to equate this as fantasy (due to their own misunderstandings in my view) then may I say that as with Aikido, study is a discipline.

Kids have fun but boy when the desire and intention and purpose is in alignment they have willing discipline so don't need it enforced on them but merely need good help.

There again how many know what discipline is? I doubt many have really looked at that either.

O.K. Enough from me. That's basically it on that point.

Peace.G.

mathewjgano
05-06-2012, 11:07 AM
Hi Graham,
learning is definately something we do from before birth; we do it without trying. I agree that as soon as you try to force something, even something fun, it can and often does invite resistance. Even 50 years ago, there were a lot of people who didn't have access to quality education; 100 years ago even more so. In many people this created the desire to learn, even if only for its own sake. One of the central themes in the teacher education courses I took is based on this idea of finding out why a student wants to learn and bringing that into the lesson. The trend is to tailor lessons to the wants of students. One of the ways we're told to do this is to give them choices. I use this with my 3 year old all the time with great success:
"Would you like to go to bed?"
"no fank-you."

"Would you like to go to bed yourself, or would you like papa to carry you in there?"
"Maybe Benjamin will do it myself."

The simple act of involving the person in even just a part of the choosing process addresses that intrinsic autonomy all beings like to express in some way. Of course, as he gets older and learns more, he begins to come up with his own "options," but it's a good rule of thumb and one current models are based around. Educators largely recognize the need for involving the student, both within the confines of options provided and in developing their own options. The older they get, the more options they tend to get.
You finish by mentioning discipline, and I would say this it the dichotomy we're discussing: freedom and discipline. On some level mentors must impose certain conditions to challenge the student in different directions; they don't get to make every choice so where do we draw the line? We can make general guidelines based on natural developmental trends typical to whatever age range and then further refine those guidelines based on individual proclivity. This is the current approach I am familiar with.

Tenyu
05-06-2012, 02:14 PM
::::

The futility of the personal and collective Technological Program of complete control finds incontrovertible demonstration in the phenomenon of boredom, which shows us the human condition when the Technological Program succeeds. What is the ground state, the default state of the human being when everything is under control, when no personal calamity imminently threatens? What happens if we just sit here, with nothing to do and nothing that needs to be done?

Boredom is so endemic to our culture, particularly among youth, that we imagine it to be a near-universal default state of human existence. In the absence of outside stimuli we are bored. Yet, as Ziauddin Sardar observes, boredom is virtually unique to Western culture (and by extension to the global culture it increasingly dominates). "Bedouins," he writes, "can sit for hours in the desert, feeling the ripples of time, without being bored."[19]

Whence comes this feeling we call boredom, the discomfort of having nothing to occupy our minds? Boredom—nothing to do—is intolerable because it puts us face to face with the wound of separation. Boredom, that yearning for stimulation and distraction, for something to pass the time, is simply how we experience any pause in the program of control that seeks to deny pain. I am not suggesting that we ignore the causes of pain. Pain is a messenger that tells us, "Don't do that," and we are wise to heed it. But we step far beyond that when we suppose, even when the wound has been inflicted and the consequent pain written into reality, that we can still somehow avoid feeling it. A saying of Chinese Buddhism goes, "A Boddhisatva avoids the causes; the ordinary person tries to avoid the results."

Apparently, boredom was not even a concept before the word was invented around 1760, along with the word "interesting".[20] The tide of boredom that has risen ever since coincides with the progress of the Industrial Revolution, hinting at a reason why it has, until recently, been an exclusively Western phenomenon. The reality that the factory system created was a mass-produced reality, a generic reality of standardized products, standardized roles, standardized tasks, and standardized lives. The more we came to live in that artificial reality, the more separate we became from the inherently fascinating realm of nature and community. Today, in a familiar pattern, we apply further technology to relieve the boredom that results from our immersion in a world of technology. We call it entertainment. Have you ever thought about that word? To entertain a guest means to bring him into your house; to entertain a thought means to bring it into your mind. To be entertained means to be brought into the television, the game, the movie. It means to be removed from your self and the real world. When a television show does this successfully, we applaud it as entertaining. Our craving for entertainment points to the impoverishment of our reality.

All the causes of boredom are permutations of the interior wound of separation. Aside from the impoverishment of our reality, we are uncomfortable doing nothing because of the relentless anxiety that dominates modern life. This in turn arises from the paradigm of competition that underlies our socioeconomic structures, which (as I will explain in Chapter Four) is written into our conception of self. Second, we desire constant stimulation and entertainment because in their absence, we are left alone with ourselves with nothing to distract us from the pain of the wound of separation. Finally, technology contributes directly to boredom by bombarding us with a constant barrage of intense stimuli, habituating our brains to a high level of stimulation. When it is removed, we suffer withdrawal. We are addicted to the artificial human realm we have created with technology. Now we are condemned to maintain it.

::::

It has been said in a Judaic-Christian-Islamic context that separation from God, the Fall, is the source of all suffering. Buddhism names attachment as the cause of suffering, but careful examination reveals its teaching to be nearly identical to that of esoteric Western religion. Attachment, to the impermanent, delusory ego self and all those things that reinforce it, maintains a separation from the rest of the universe from which we are not actually separate. Attachment is separation. As for separation from God, what is God but that which transcends our separate selves and interpenetrates all being? On the origin of suffering, Eastern and (esoteric) Western religion are in fundamental agreement.[21]

In everyday human life, happiness and security come from strong connections—to family, community, nature, place, spirit, and self—and not from "independence" whether psychological or financial. Because the story of technology is one long saga of widening separation from nature, widening separation from community (because of specialization and the mass scale of society), widening separation from place (because of our highly mobile and indoor-centered lifestyles), and widening separation from spirit (because of the dominant scientific paradigms of the Newtonian World Machine), it is no wonder that the pain of the human condition has only grown throughout the modern era. Even as outright physical hardship has declined, psychological suffering in the form of loneliness, despair, depression, anxiety, angst, and anger has grown to epidemic proportions. Even when our technology succeeds in holding off the external consequences of separation, we still internalize it as a wound, a separation from our own souls.

:::: relevant excerpt (http://ascentofhumanity.com/chapter1-4.php) :::: chapter beginning recommended as well

mathewjgano
05-06-2012, 03:33 PM
In everyday human life, happiness and security come from strong connections—to family, community, nature, place, spirit, and self—and not from "independence" whether psychological or financial...it is no wonder that the pain of the human condition has only grown throughout the modern era. Even as outright physical hardship has declined, psychological suffering in the form of loneliness, despair, depression, anxiety, angst, and anger has grown to epidemic proportions.

It is impossible to accurately compare the rates of anger today with, say, 500 years ago. Same with depression. Just because there are more diagnoses doesn't mean there are more cases of people exhibiting depressed behavior. I would agree however, that a "soft," sedentary lifestyle creates an opening for it (it's hard to be depressed when you're driven by constant hunger, for example).
Is the case being made that boredom or depression is some manufactured concept that didn't exist prior to it being written down? You can observe depressed behavior in other primates...or does that come about because of the use of tools/technology in their lives?


Finally, technology contributes directly to boredom by bombarding us with a constant barrage of intense stimuli, habituating our brains to a high level of stimulation. When it is removed, we suffer withdrawal. We are addicted to the artificial human realm we have created with technology. Now we are condemned to maintain it.
This seems close to the truth. However, it doesn't explain why people like me are still able to unplug and enjoy simply sitting quietly watching the clouds go by. I suffer no withdrawls, so it suggests there are other more powerful factors involved. I grew up watching tv, playing video games, and using a pc. I balanced those out with other activities. Technoloigy is less to blame than our choices in how to balance our lives is.

Tenyu
05-06-2012, 05:00 PM
It is impossible to accurately compare the rates of anger today with, say, 500 years ago. Same with depression. Just because there are more diagnoses doesn't mean there are more cases of people exhibiting depressed behavior. I would agree however, that a "soft," sedentary lifestyle creates an opening for it (it's hard to be depressed when you're driven by constant hunger, for example).

False Historical Dichotomy

::::

So complete is our identification of boredom as the default state of human existence that when asked to define it, most people say, "Boredom is when there is nothing to do." That this is an unpleasant state is by no means a logical necessity. Not only pre-modern people, but the entire animal kingdom seems to be perfectly fine with inactivity. This observation calls into question one of the fundamental tenets of the conventional explanation of the history of technology, which Stephen Buhner names the "anxiety theory" in the context of the invention of brewing.i More broadly, the concept is that human technological progress in general is driven by the struggle to survive, and that this struggle, this precariousness of existence, expresses itself in the human organism's physiology and psychology as anxiety, which is eased by creating better means to survive. Anxiety, then, is the way that threats to survival are translated into action to mitigate those threats. We can restate the anxiety theory as follows: (1) life is dangerous and survival difficult; (2) this makes us feel anxious; (3) the unpleasantness of this feeling drives us to control the dangerous/difficult circumstances, for example through technology; (4) we now feel less anxious.

On an individual level, the anxiety theory purports to explain boredom as follows: we really cannot afford to sit there and do nothing. If life is a competition for survival, then our genes should drive us to make the best possible use of each moment to augment our chances of survival and reproduction. Sitting around doing nothing goes against our genetic programming, which generates feelings of discomfort that impel us to do something productive. Certainly this is what many people feel during empty moments or deliberate experiments at meditation: a churning unease that says, "I should be doing something." This cultural compulsion is so strong that even spiritual practices such as meditation and prayer are easily converted into just another thing to do, moments mortgaged to the campaign of improving life.

Is the anxiety theory true? Ask some random people on the street and you will find that most would not want to go back to a primitive life before technology. We assume a dark picture of the primitive life as an uncomfortable, never-ending struggle for existence. This assumption is at the root of our cultural belief that technology has rescued us from the caprices of nature and enabled us to develop our higher potential. Here we have, in a nutshell, "the ascent of humanity."

The main problem with this view is that life in the Stone Age was not necessarily "nasty, brutish, and short" at all. Ethnographic studies of isolated Stone Age hunter-gatherers and pre-modern agriculturalists suggest that "primitive" peoples, far from being driven by anxiety, lived lives of relative leisure and affluence. An oft-cited example is the !Kung of the Kalihari Desert in southern Africa, who were studied by the anthropologist Richard Lee.ii He followed them around for four weeks, kept a log of all their activities, and calculated an average workweek of approximately twenty hours spent in subsistence activities. This figure was confirmed by subsequent studies by Lee and other researchers in the same region. In one of the harshest climates in the world, the !Kung enjoyed a leisurely life with high nutritional intake. This compares to the modern standard of forty hours of work per week. If we add in commuting time, shopping, housework, cooking and so forth, the typical American spends about eighty hours per week aside from leisure time, eating, and sleep. The comparable figure for the !Kung is forty hours including such necessary activities as making tools and clothes.

Other studies worldwide, as well as common sense, suggest that the !Kung were not exceptional. In more lush areas life was probably even easier. Moreover, much of the "work" spent on these twenty hours of subsistence activities was by no means strenuous or burdensome. Most of the men's subsistence hours were spent hunting, something we do for recreation today, while gathering work was occasion for banter and frequent breaks.

Primitive small-scale agriculturalists enjoyed a similar unhurried pace of life. Consider Helena Norberg-Hodge's description of pre-modern Ladakh, a region in the Indian portion of the Tibetan Plateau.iii Despite a growing season only four months long, Ladakh enjoyed regular food surpluses, long and frequent festivals and celebrations, and ample leisure time (especially in winter when there was little field work to do). This, despite the harsh climate and the (proportionately) enormous population of non-working Buddhist monks in that country's numerous monasteries! More powerfully than any statistic, Norberg-Hodge's video documentary Ancient Futures conveys a sense of the leisurely pace of life there: villagers chat or sing as they work, taking plenty of long breaks even at the busiest time of the year. As the narrator says, "work and leisure are one."

Living in today's depleted world, it is hard to imagine its original bounty:

"Early European accounts of this continent's opulence border on the unbelievable. Time and again we read of "goodly woods, full of Deere, Conies, Hares, and Fowle, even in the middest of Summer, in incredible aboundance," of islands "as completely covered with birds, which nest there, as a field is covered with grass," of rivers so full of salmon that "at night one is unable to sleep, so greate is the noise they make" . . . They describe rivers so thick with fish that they "could be taken not only with a net but in baskets let down [and weighted with] a stone."iv

These and other wonders—flocks of passenger pigeons and Eskimo curlews (both now extinct) that darkened the sky for days—comprised the provenance of this continent's native inhabitants. How much of a struggle could life have been? Note as well that this cornucopia existed despite humans having inhabited the continent for at least 12,000 years. It was not as if the Native Americans hadn't sufficient time to deplete nature's resources. We cannot conclude that their attitude of easy abundance was a temporary consequence of rich natural capital; their relationship with nature also preserved and sustained that abundance.

More significant than the actual time spent on subsistence was the hunter-gatherer's attitude toward subsistence, which was generally relaxed and nonchalant. As Marshall Sahlins describes:

"[The hunter] adopts a studied unconcern, which expresses itself in two complementary economic inclinations. The first, prodigality: the propensity to eat right through all the food in the camp, even during objectively difficult times, "as if", Lillian said of the Montagnais, "the game they were to hunt was shut up in a stable". Basedow wrote of native Australians, their motto "might be interpreted in words to the effect that while there is plenty for today never care about tomorrow. On this account an Aboriginal inclined to make one feast of his supplies, in preference to a modest meal now and another by and by."

". . . . A second and complementary inclination is merely prodigality's negative side: the failure to put by food surpluses, to develop food storage. For many hunters and gatherers, it appears, food storage cannot be proved technically impossible, nor is it certain that the people are unaware of the possibility. One must investigate instead what in the situation precludes the attempt. Gusinde asked this question, and for the Yahgan found the answer in the self same justifiable optimism. Storage would be "superfluous", "because through the entire year and with almost limitless generosity the she puts all kinds of animals at the disposal of the man who hunts and the woman who gathers. Storm or accident will deprive a family of these things for no more than a few days. Generally no one need reckon with the danger of hunger, and everyone almost anywhere finds an abundance of what he needs. Why then should anyone worry about food for the future... Basically our Fuegians know that they need not fear for the future, hence they do not pile up supplies. Year in and year out they can look forward to the next day, free of care...."v

Significantly, aboriginal peoples typically refer to food as a "gift" from the land, the forest, or the sea. To us moderns it is a charming metaphor; to pre-agricultural people the providence of the earth was a living reality. The land provides all things—plants grow, animals are born—without the necessity of human effort or planning. Gifts are not something that must be earned. To see life in terms of receiving gifts bespeaks an attitude of abundance and naturally fosters a mentality of gratitude. Only with agriculture did the freely received gifts of the land become objects of exchange, first an exchange of work for harvest, and eventually the objects of commerce. In contrast, the mentality of the gift corresponds to the forager's nonchalance, which makes sense when the necessities of life are provided and not extracted.

Maybe we can still rescue the anxiety theory—what about disease? When I ask students to identify the most valuable achievements of modern technology, they invariably point to medicine, which they claim has given us levels of health, security, and longevity unprecedented in history. Such a view, however, fails to recognize the power and sophistication of traditional herbal medicine for curing the wounds and diseases common in those times. It also must contend with the observations of Weston Price, an American dentist who lived in the early twentieth century.vi Price was curious about the decline of dental health he had seen over the decades of his practice, and hypothesized that the rapid increase in the prevalence of tooth decay, crowded dentition, and a host of other, formerly rare, non-dental maladies had something to do with our diets. He quit his practice and spent many years traveling to remote corners of the world where people still lived without modern foods. The societies he visited weren't all Stone Age, but they were primitive by our standards. He went to remote Swiss villages accessible only by mule, and to the outer islands of Scotland; he lived with the Masai in Africa, the Inuit in Alaska, the aborigines in Australia, Polynesians in the Pacific. In all these places he found almost no tooth decay, no obesity, no heart disease, and no cancer. Instead he observed magnificent physical stamina, easy childbirth, and broad jaws with all 32 teeth. The diets were different everywhere but there were some things in common. People ate very few refined carbohydrates, plenty of live fermented food, and substantial quantities of fats and organ meats. Their vitamin intake was many times greater than the norm today. Price's work lends support to the contention that at least in some respects, primitive people enjoyed better health than is the norm today, even without the modern medicine that we think keeps us healthy.

:::: relevant excerpt (http://ascentofhumanity.com/chapter1-5.php) :::: chapter ending recommended as well


You can observe depressed behavior in other primates...or does that come about because of the use of tools/technology in their lives?


Caging a monkey in a lab or studying it behind some glass walls may have something to do with test results.

hughrbeyer
05-06-2012, 06:45 PM
It is impossible to accurately compare the rates of anger today with, say, 500 years ago.

Steven Pinker actually does a pretty good job of it in Better Angels of Our Nature. Worth checking out if you care about that stuff, and like to have some grounding in fact.

graham christian
05-06-2012, 07:11 PM
Hi Tenyu.
Just read your first two posts. Basically much like the video with your added historical bits. I don't disagree with most of what you have written there.

One point though on the subject of interest and boredom. Glad you mentioned the word interest because I think it fits rather well into the discussion.

You see from my view interest is real and natural and good. It is a word describing your attention going onto or towards something. That's all. It follows desire etc. So if a person is not interested or has very little interest they would thus be bored. So from that view of interest we can understand boredom.

Anyway nice to see you are taking an interest in this subject ha, ha.

Peace. G.

graham christian
05-06-2012, 07:48 PM
Hi Graham,
learning is definately something we do from before birth; we do it without trying. I agree that as soon as you try to force something, even something fun, it can and often does invite resistance. Even 50 years ago, there were a lot of people who didn't have access to quality education; 100 years ago even more so. In many people this created the desire to learn, even if only for its own sake. One of the central themes in the teacher education courses I took is based on this idea of finding out why a student wants to learn and bringing that into the lesson. The trend is to tailor lessons to the wants of students. One of the ways we're told to do this is to give them choices. I use this with my 3 year old all the time with great success:
"Would you like to go to bed?"
"no fank-you."

"Would you like to go to bed yourself, or would you like papa to carry you in there?"
"Maybe Benjamin will do it myself."

The simple act of involving the person in even just a part of the choosing process addresses that intrinsic autonomy all beings like to express in some way. Of course, as he gets older and learns more, he begins to come up with his own "options," but it's a good rule of thumb and one current models are based around. Educators largely recognize the need for involving the student, both within the confines of options provided and in developing their own options. The older they get, the more options they tend to get.
You finish by mentioning discipline, and I would say this it the dichotomy we're discussing: freedom and discipline. On some level mentors must impose certain conditions to challenge the student in different directions; they don't get to make every choice so where do we draw the line? We can make general guidelines based on natural developmental trends typical to whatever age range and then further refine those guidelines based on individual proclivity. This is the current approach I am familiar with.

Hi Matthew.
I see you are well up with the current trends and methods and ideas being tried out within the education system and it's all interesting stuff. I've nothing against that.

I id finish by mentioning discipline but decided not to take that any further at that point. Mentors must impose certain conditions you say. Yes, and that's about how far most take the concept of discipline to unfortunately. Most would translate discipline in terms of boundaries (imposed) and following what you have been told to do.

Do you know the word discipline comes from the same root meaning as disciple? The basic concept of the word is thus to follow a set of principles without detour.

A set of principles, not man made rules or things given as principles which are in fact just other bits of data given the title principle.

Thus knowing discipline we can see that those who are seen by others as free, creative, expressive etc are actually disciplined. They are following a set of principles.

Thus if you follow a set of pertinent principles, workable principles, you will unerringly get the desired results and thus be happy. When I see a whole field or structure unerringly not turning out desired results and happy 'results' then I know straight away the principles they are basing their practice on are faulty at best.

In the fields of mechanics this is well known and well understood and well practiced.

However, in the field of humanities and people and thus schooling it is far from understood alas.

Like your example you gave of your relating to your son though, that made me smile. Good on yer Sir.

Peace. G.

lbb
05-06-2012, 08:35 PM
To think that the use of 'my friend' could offend or even cause confusion is beyond me.

Who said that it offended or caused confusion? I didn't. I said that it's not accurate. If you care about honesty, why do you use it, and why do you want to claim that I was offended or confused by your use of it?

graham christian
05-06-2012, 09:59 PM
Who said that it offended or caused confusion? I didn't. I said that it's not accurate. If you care about honesty, why do you use it, and why do you want to claim that I was offended or confused by your use of it?

Mary, who said? I said.

You questioned why I used the term thus implying a degree of confusion or dissatisfaction. (maybe not quite offence)

I have answered why I use it so I need not repeat. If however you don't like it or for whatever reason don't want me to use that turn of phrase when speaking to you then fine by me.

You will notice in one of my last threads addressing Matthew I ended with sir. Take it literally and you could come up with the same type of argument for he is not my boss or official senior. But it is once again a turn of phrase and actually a term of endearment in that particular sentence and respect I might add.

As I said to you before understand me and there will be less misunderstandings between us. (and vice versa by the way) I love people therefor I can say I love you too. To me that is truth and when it doesn't feel like it to me, in me, then I know I have a personal issue to handle. So I attempt to speak from this truth as much as possible and thus I say to you it is very honest for in truth we human beings are all in the same world and are in truth brothers and sisters and friends but many have yet to realize it. That is from where I speak.

Just addressing people formally all the time especially in a more cordial exchange of views relaxes and turns to mate, or my man, or other less formal terms does it not? If I remember correctly your first post (I'm not going to look it up now) had some statement about 'we like you or love you really' or some such. Should I question this by taking it literally and asking why you said it? No of course not.

Well, you're not confused and not offended so I won't apologize for it's use but I will note not to use it in any discussion with you.

Peace.G.

mathewjgano
05-06-2012, 11:16 PM
Steven Pinker actually does a pretty good job of it in Better Angels of Our Nature. Worth checking out if you care about that stuff, and like to have some grounding in fact.

Thanks Hugh! I've been meaning to read that one for a while actually, now seems like a good time. Does he compare the rates of anger though? I thought the book was more about violence...although the two do tend to go hand in hand.
At any rate, I remember seeing him on the Colbert Report talking about the book, but I don't recall much beyond the gist: violence is relatively diminshed...time to check it out!


Also, Graham, in my studies there was a strong distinction made between the discipline of the "carrot or stick" and self-imposed discipline, similar to extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. The goal is to get the student to self-monitor and organize their own behavior (including discipline).
Gotta dash. Thanks folks for the comments!!!

mathewjgano
05-07-2012, 12:13 AM
Caging a monkey in a lab or studying it behind some glass walls may have something to do with test results.

It surely holds some effect, but I'm thinking of a video I saw of field research wherein one primate died and the other refused to leave the body and died of exposure. I also seem to recall a description of primates low on the hierarchy exhibiting depressed behavior, but my recent searches have yielded very little.
A lack of physical activity seems to be my biggest guess for ennui and other depressed behaviors; not technology, though certainly it will play a role, particularly since technology tends to be used for the purpose of making things require less exertion.

mathewjgano
05-07-2012, 03:10 AM
False Historical Dichotomy...

The degree of activity is the pertinent part, not the specific idea of being hungry and searching for food. I am aware that "primitive" people lived and live as well healthwise as any of us in the "modern" world. We do have real medical improvements despite this fact though. Technology has rescued SOME of us. Some of us have been able to do fine with only nature. To ignore either fact seems problematic or bordering on heartless in the former.

graham christian
05-07-2012, 05:24 AM
Thanks Hugh! I've been meaning to read that one for a while actually, now seems like a good time. Does he compare the rates of anger though? I thought the book was more about violence...although the two do tend to go hand in hand.
At any rate, I remember seeing him on the Colbert Report talking about the book, but I don't recall much beyond the gist: violence is relatively diminshed...time to check it out!

Also, Graham, in my studies there was a strong distinction made between the discipline of the "carrot or stick" and self-imposed discipline, similar to extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. The goal is to get the student to self-monitor and organize their own behavior (including discipline).
Gotta dash. Thanks folks for the comments!!!

Agreed on the discipline part. I would also say that it shows what a teacher really is in essence and what a student is too.

A student is one who can apply the self discipline of study which includes abiding to the principles of study ie: knowing what to do when stuck. In other words being both a student and self supervisor at the same time. This is what Asimov meant by the only real teaching is self teaching.

Then the teacher becomes not a person who 'tells' or lectures but merely a presence for when the student needs help.

This all falls down though when the student has no interest in the subject in the first place.

I still also want to make the point that I have never met a kid who doesn't have discipline, self discipline. Therefor discipline is not really the problem at all.

By this I mean take any kid and find out what they like doing and are good at. It may be computer games, it may be playing the guitar, it may be riding a bicycle, whatever. The fact is that kid applied their self to learning how to do it. That's discipline. To achievement of ability. That's perfect study.

Funny thing is when the person desires to learn because they want to achieve that ability and has the self discipline to do so then there is no carrot or stick needed by any outside force or influence.

Peace.G.

lbb
05-07-2012, 08:03 AM
Mary, who said? I said.

Oh, so now you're telling me what I'm thinking? Neat trick, that.

You questioned why I used the term thus implying a degree of confusion or dissatisfaction. (maybe not quite offence)

You're wrong. There's no confusion in my mind; you use the word "friend" in a false manner.

Just addressing people formally all the time especially in a more cordial exchange of views relaxes and turns to mate, or my man, or other less formal terms does it not? If I remember correctly your first post (I'm not going to look it up now) had some statement about 'we like you or love you really' or some such. Should I question this by taking it literally and asking why you said it? No of course not.

Well, first off, that's not what I said or even close to it. It was a joke. Call it a couple of failed cultural references. Google "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful" and "Why do you hate freedom?" if you care to know what it means, or just take my word for it that it means nothing like your interpretation.

graham christian
05-07-2012, 10:13 AM
Oh, so now you're telling me what I'm thinking? Neat trick, that.

You're wrong. There's no confusion in my mind; you use the word "friend" in a false manner.

Well, first off, that's not what I said or even close to it. It was a joke. Call it a couple of failed cultural references. Google "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful" and "Why do you hate freedom?" if you care to know what it means, or just take my word for it that it means nothing like your interpretation.

Well I don't know where you are coming from or what you are on about. I do know this thread has a topic and if all you have is personal questions then use the p.m.

Otherwise we have no common ground from which to speak so I need not do so with you from now on.

Peace.G.

David Orange
05-07-2012, 12:46 PM
From the talk: "I define creativity as having original ideas that have value." Emphasis mine.

Institutions have many faults, but they're also easy targets for those who are looking for a cheap copout. If your ideas fail to pass the test of intellectual rigor, it's not the fault of some educational institution.

"having original ideas that have value" is only the first half of creativity. The other is to think that thought through completely, over and over, in greater and greater detail, communicating it where necessary and adjusting it where problems are found, until the "thought" is a "thing." In other words, "thinking" of a valuable idea is half of "creativity." The other half is actually "creating" it.

Cheers.

David

mathewjgano
05-07-2012, 03:17 PM
"having original ideas that have value" is only the first half of creativity. The other is to think that thought through completely, over and over, in greater and greater detail, communicating it where necessary and adjusting it where problems are found, until the "thought" is a "thing." In other words, "thinking" of a valuable idea is half of "creativity." The other half is actually "creating" it.

Cheers.

David

Well put! Thank you!

lbb
05-07-2012, 03:39 PM
Well I don't know where you are coming from or what you are on about. I do know this thread has a topic and if all you have is personal questions then use the p.m.

Personal question? You mean the honesty thing? Perhaps I should have used the word "accuracy" instead, so feel free to use that if it feels better. At the same time, I think you'll agree that it's a lot more accurate if you don't refer to me as "my friend". Not being friends isn't a bad thing, unless you insist on using the word "friend" for anyone who's not hostile toward you...that does kind of debase the meaning of "friend", though, doesn't it? Acquaintance, associate, coworker, some person I've exchanged ideas with on some forum...nothing wrong, negative or pejorative about any of those.

Sometimes I sympathize with people who call for threads to stay on topic, but sometimes I don't -- as when the topic, as expressed by the original poster, is something like, "This thread is all about how my view is the correct view", and "staying on topic" means agree with that view or get out. In your original post, I believe you misconstrued a fairly well-done, if quite soundbitey, talk and subsequently tried to use it as ammunition for a general attack on institutions of learning. If staying on topic means nodding my head and agreeing with that, I don't see how that's a reasonable expectation.

Otherwise we have no common ground from which to speak so I need not do so with you from now on.

Works for me.

mathewjgano
05-07-2012, 06:49 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuQK6t2Esng
:p :D

graham christian
05-09-2012, 02:35 PM
Matthew.
I would like to end off here on this thread, which has been quite informative, with my personal summary or conclusion.

It appears we agree that basically things need improving.

I see on the whole there are two schools of thought. One which includes you and one which includes me yet with the same goal of a great education sydtem.

1) One school of thought is that the system, the model itself is based of false premises and being built like an industrial production line is unworkable. Basically that the whole system needs replacing. We could call this the school of thought of changing from the outside.

2) The other school of thought, which I believe you adhere to, is that the basic model and structure is fine and that any changes for the better is done from the inside.

It's been interesting none the less.

Peace.G.

mathewjgano
05-09-2012, 11:40 PM
Matthew.
I would like to end off here on this thread, which has been quite informative, with my personal summary or conclusion.

It appears we agree that basically things need improving.

I see on the whole there are two schools of thought. One which includes you and one which includes me yet with the same goal of a great education sydtem.

1) One school of thought is that the system, the model itself is based of false premises and being built like an industrial production line is unworkable. Basically that the whole system needs replacing. We could call this the school of thought of changing from the outside.

2) The other school of thought, which I believe you adhere to, is that the basic model and structure is fine and that any changes for the better is done from the inside.

It's been interesting none the less.

Peace.G.

Thanks, Graham, I've enjoyed it as well. It's important for me to get outside input because it helps me refine my views and look at things anew.
I believe change has to take place from both the outside and the inside. No I don't think the whole system needs changing, but a massive overhaul could also be a good thing if done right. I try not to put too many limits on it. My view tends to come down to one thing: community support. Without it, only the rarest of schools will excel...under even basically adequate conditions. It is the parents/guardians/mentors who get their kids to study; to value this or that aspect of their education, if at all. So while I tend to point out the positive changes of the system itself (partly due to what I view as a lop-sided flow of criticism), I don't believe progress can ever come about entirely from within. I believe that's how the older versions of the system were so good at stamping out (somewhat accidentally) individualism and a healthy love of learning in so many people...by thinking only of what is easiest for them in their day-to-day tasks (hence the compartmentalized regimentation of everything).
At any rate, thanks for the topic!
Take care,
Matt

hughrbeyer
05-10-2012, 08:03 PM
Just ran across this quote: "Research into online learning suggests that it is roughly as effective as classroom learning." The TED talk in the OP sorta suggests the same, at a meta-level.

Chum in the water. :)

mathewjgano
05-11-2012, 01:25 PM
Just ran across this quote: "Research into online learning suggests that it is roughly as effective as classroom learning." The TED talk in the OP sorta suggests the same, at a meta-level.

Chum in the water. :)

So I was just swimming a mile away when I caught the faintest whiff of something tasty... :D
I've taken a number of online courses and I basically agree. However, I know of a few people who didn't do so well or otherwise didn't like the format. For more responsible/organized people it's definately a great option.
I have always done well in my classes to whatever extent I showed up. I often found class to be a waste of time for me, so again, I'm sympathetic to the idea of trimming the proverbial fat. I did well with the material as it was presented (written and verbal) and rarely needed much reiteration. Other folks in my classes clearly wanted or needed the instant feedback you can get in class though.

Keith Larman
05-11-2012, 02:38 PM
Just ran across this quote: "Research into online learning suggests that it is roughly as effective as classroom learning." The TED talk in the OP sorta suggests the same, at a meta-level.

Chum in the water. :)

As a guy who used to do a lot of studies... Beware of that sort of research. Or more accurately beware of what conclusions you draw. When you're looking at a variable as difficult to define as "effectiveness of a class" and then consider what sort of range you'd be looking at, realize that it may not be possible to draw much of any conclusion beyond that. For instance, it wouldn't be inconceivable to say that many who would do terribly in a classroom for any number of reasons might do better with on-line learning. And also consider that many who would thrive in a classroom may in fact need the interaction that would be lacking in an on-line environment. Same with structure, planning, time, etc. So while things may "even out" in the end with a mean for the entire group being the same, some may thrive spectacularly in one environment while failing profoundly in the other with the exact opposite occurring for others. In other words, the overall may be true but it is meaningless for most individuals as there may be very good reasons for each individual to go for one over the other. So what you have is actually a more complex situation than the study anticipated and that may in fact call our for more options for learning rather than saying one is as "good" as the other. In other words... It ain't necessarily so and the study is flawed from the get-go because they really didn't look in the right places to begin with...

mathewjgano
05-11-2012, 03:01 PM
...I'll just add the assessment is differnt too. Online tests are essentially open book, provided you can read fast enough. There are hybrid courses where the major tests are in a classroom, though.