Thursday, July 27, 2006

Creating Obsolete Kids--Education with Incompetence in MInd

Q and O blog points to a NY Daily News article by Sol Stern about new "social justice" curriculum in middle schools.

The root of the problem is "social justice" education. It starts in teacher preparation programs, where rigorous training in math, science and literacy takes a backseat to theories about victimization and inequality. Teachers-to-be are told that conventional instruction is an outgrowth of capitalist oppression; "true" education helps students see the unfairness all around them and challenge society to change.

But it doesn't stop there. Far too many New York City public schools - including some of the new small schools created by Chancellor Joel Klein and funded with money from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - distort education by imbuing social justice into everything they do.

Q and O then goes on to comment on the phenomenon of political indoctrination of children into dysfunctional ideologies:

There's a propensity among educators to reinvent education every decade or so. I'm not sure why except each decade a new generation of educators are in the position to make changes and feel compelled to do so. There has also been a movement away from what previously worked - in terms of providing a student with the basic tools needed to be literate as well as assimilate into our civic culture - and more toward exactly what Stern notes. I don't know a thing about these three schools except what Stern writes, but in each, I don't see much of a focus on education, or at least not what I consider education. It's almost like the cart is before the horse. What good is an understanding of activism and "social justice" if you can't read the poster announcing the next peace rally?

Again this seems a logical outgrowth of the multiculturalism movement who's basic premise is the need for "social justice". But probably a larger and more important need than hearing one side of the social justice story is that of getting a good basic education. The school day is a finite amount of hours. The more "social justice" finds its way into the curriculum, the less time there is for math, science, reading, literature, writing and other core subjects necessary to enable someone to maneuver successfully in this society.

Of course this type of indoctrination into dysfunctionality began in the universities, but it has wasted little time working its way down the ladder to high schools and middle schools. It is clear that people who are indoctrinated in the "social justice" ideologies are less able to reason effectively in the real world. This method of inculcating incompetence into children has a delayed effect on society, but the effect is real--generations can be lost, and social stratification becomes ever worse.

Of course if dysfunctional education creates a large enough underclass, it will be possible to elect leaders such as Hugo Chavez as president of the US, or prime minister of Canada. Imagine when the wealthiest and most powerful nations on earth become third world dictatorships like Venezuela. To quote the wicked witch, "what a world, what a world!"

Labels: , , ,

Friday, July 21, 2006

Stunted Growth: Perpetual Incompetence

Here is where the modern trend is taking us: as soon as parents take a newborn home from the hospital, they sign it up for infant-school. From the start, parents drop the infant off at school in the morning and pick it up in the evening, being careful to check its diapers. From birth on, school continues uninterrupted for the little tyke as it progresses through toddler stage, on into traditional K-12 schooling. The high school graduate progresses directly into university, achieving its undergraduate degree (of little value on its own), and progressing to graduate school.

Graduate school can never take too long, so it will be extended over several decades until retirement age. The late middle-aged student will now graduate from school, so as to go directly on retirement pension. Longer lifespans will carry the retiree on for two or three decades of well-pensioned retirement, before mandated euthanasia--to make way for newer generations.

Lifelong students, without any of the unwelcome requirement for employment or risk of running a business. There will be plenty of breaks and vacations to exotic places, as part of the extended curriculum. But no working will be allowed. Society cannot risk allowing these perpetual students cum retirees to shoulder any real responsibility, since nothing in their backgrounds will have prepared them for it.

Immigrants will do whatever work machines cannot do. Immigrants will drive the students to school through K12 and throughout graduate school, until retirement. Then immigrants will drive retirees between places of interest and their retirement homes. All police departments, fire departments, maintenance and custodial services etc. will be staffed by immigrants.

Whenever the immigrants decide to assimilate, they will step into the student/retiree matriculation as well. Students will form unions and agitate for shorter school weeks, and earlier retirement. That is to be expected, and society will do what is necessary to placate the students, since they will be the largest voting block within society.

All military service will be forbidden, since the military is seen as competition for the educational establishment. Any need for military action will be fulfilled by international troops unter international governmental control. Citizens of North America will not need to dirty their hands with that sort of thing. Likewise, religions will be forbidden, as "confusing and unnecessary intrusions into belief systems" that the education department should control.

All students will receive a stipend, which will help pay local and federal taxes to cover immigrant's salaries, as well as international government taxes. All goods and services will be available at the school store, free of charge to students. Students will live in school housing, provided free of charge. Bussing to and from classes is also free. The few married students will be housed separately, close to infant school.

All television, internet sites, magazines and newspapers, will be run by the Education Department, with content carefully selected so as to increase a student's self esteem and willingness to conform to the common good. All medical and dental services will be provided to students and retirees free of charge by immigrant doctors, nurses, dentists, hygienists and assistants.

I have glossed over how the economic system of this brave neotenous society will work. More on that later.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Being Part of Your Own Generation: Making it Up as You Go

Recent comments from Turtlekill have stimulated me to consider alternative ways in which a person might wish to order his/her life. Both men and women are being shortchanged by current societal expectations.

For women, some evidence suggests that having children at an early age (in her twenties) produces health benefits for both mother and child. But all health concerns aside, is it possible that there is something inherent in the process of raising a very young child that teaches something to a parent that cannot be easily learned any other way? Is it possible that child-raising itself offers benefits to the mother (primarily), that will stand her in good stead in the course of her later career?

I suggest that this is the case, that watching and aiding the physical and mental development of a very small child provides a learning experience that is very profound and very valuable. Such an experience is also frequently very rewarding emotionally, and frequently not regarded as a sacrifice.

A woman trained in human nature by very young professors-in-diapers, can be a formidable judge of character indeed. Often what seems to be missing in trial judges in courts of law, entrepreneurs, and rising executives in enterprise, is that very character judgement. Yet so often professors of feminism discourage young women from having children early, and disparage and criticise women who make such a choice for early child rearing. Perhaps they lack good judgement themselves?

Young men are also putting off marriage and child-rearing later and later in their lives. ( Why should they buy the cow when they can get the milk for free, so to speak?) It is not only the mother who learns from the young child. If the father will pay attention and attend to the child himself, he could also learn a great deal about human nature, and also gain an emotional reward.


It is expected that children of college educated parents will also go to college, and beyond. In fact, it is desired, "societally", that most youth should graduate from high school and go on to graduate from college. But is that the best plan for the youth, and for "society?"

With the internet (and before that with public libraries), virtually everyone can have the knowledge base and erudition of the college educated, regardless of their formal educational attainment--as long as they can read and learn to operate a computer. With faster connection speeds and more advanced interfaces, virtually any type of knowledge or skill will be available over the net.

The lack of a college degree did not keep some of the most famous billionaires and tycoons from achieving their wealth. In a large part of the world, it is still a person's capacity to achieve that counts, rather than the degrees behind the name. Children and youth need to learn real world skills, and problem-solving skills well enough that they acquire justified confidence in their ability to make their way in the world. A college degree is no substitute for confidence based upon achievement.

Unfortunately, the educational system in the west is devised to deny children and youth the opportunity to achieve anything meaningful. This is because the people who devise and revise the educational system do not have real-world skills themselves, so fail to see any value in them. Educated idiots, is the cruel but accurate description for a large proportion of university professors and professors of education. How are these educated idiots going to help students to acquire necessary skills that the idiots do not even recognise as important?

University of Minnesota scholars Harkins and Moravec have put forward a bold plan for making universities relevant again. Their Leapfrog University proposal is a hopeful and reasonable approach to making universities a fertile bed for growing solutions to societies problems.

But not everyone, not even most, perhaps, should go to university. A university education is no guarantee of success or competence. The more society tries to force everyone to get a college degree, the less value the certificate seems to have. Then you need a masters, a doctorate, a post-doc, a post-post-doctoral fellowship, and so on, to distinguish yourself academically.

But in the real world, it is competence that counts. Competence and confidence that is based upon competence. One alternative to college for young men (and recently for young women) has always been military service. Many young people go into the military uncertain and unskilled, and come out with job competencies that in civilian life might have taken much longer to acquire.

In an opportunity society, it is entrepreneurs and independent businesspeople who have the greatest potential for economic growth. In the independent business world, you do not generally need a degree if you have the competence. This is more true in the trades, in businesses that service the large businesses, and in new pioneer industries, where rigour mortis has not set in, as it has in the professions.

An intelligent high school dropout can still apprentice in a trade, learn the business, then strike out on his/her own. If able to out-compete, the dropout can grow a new business to an impressive size, and either cash it in or move to a supervisory and planning role and live on the proceeds. Not bad for a dropout. Better to have the degree, perhaps, but there are ways to compensate if people are open to them.

How many people have internalised the attitude of "failure" or "loser" because of the limited and overly critical attitude of many in society toward educational and professional achievement? How many of these go on to become failures, losers, drunks, junkies, etc. because of this subconscious internalisation of society's attitudes? What might they have contributed if they had been given all their options when they were young?

But how could they, when there is such prejudice against alternative orderings of one's life? When their teachers themselves serve merely as conformist enforcers for the larger society?

These are very interesting things to consider. Do not for a moment believe that this blog has seen the last of speculations on this topic.

Labels: ,

Newer Posts Older Posts