August 19, 2011

Wondering

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:23 pm by chavisory

What would an educational system look like that nurtured creativity, bravery, compassion, diversity, and independence–instead of punishing those things?

I’m not totally sure that I know; I’m just wondering.

Share your thoughts…

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8 Comments »

  1. I think we’d have an education system that would be a lot more sensible and attractive. Those that got lower marks in taking tougher courses would be rewarded more than hose who got higher marks in taking easier courses instead of vice versa. Creativity would probably attract students to more subjects. History wouldn’t be taught as a date cake, but would actually ask why stuff happened. We need to ask the question why more in general, which is why I think the subject of philosophy should have a place in secondary education. I’m not talking about gettng into hard deep theories here, but just to get students to think for themselves about some fundamental problems. For example, what do you think it means to be moral? Also, in math class, we wouldn’t be just trying to memorise those timestables, but trying to play tic-tac-toe on a doughtnut shaped object (I actually did this in a senior level course for my math degree) and understanding that if you join a piece of paper with a twist, it will only have one side (the mobius strip). And finally, teachers and university professors alike woud be paid more and be more widely appreciated by society at large.

    • chavisory said,

      I agree about the weighted grades–my high school graduating class had multiple valedictorians who had deliberately taken all the easiest classes they could just so they wouldn’t risk losing their 4.0 GPA by engaging in any risk of actual learning or work. Also about history and philosophy. But more than curriculum design and grading scale technicalities…I’m thinking about how an educational system that nurtured the best parts of humanity would be run fundamentally, structurally differently….

      I’m thinking, for instance, that there wouldn’t be letter/number grades at all, which to me always seemed like a guide to doing the least amount of work necessary to get the number you wanted….

  2. 17th (? I think) century Denmark. Watch (or read) “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan.

    • chavisory said,

      Okay, I’ll put “Cosmos” on my reading list. (I HAVE read “The Demon-Haunted World” and “Billions and Billions.” Don’t go thinking I’ve been remiss in not reading Carl Sagan.) But I remember reading about the Danish school system before–I had an article about it at one point, about how the values of the Danish educational system were at the heart of the national spirit that made Denmark the ONLY European country to save the vast majority of its Jewish citizens during WWII. I don’t remember who the author was–any chance that anyone else remembers this essay from somewhere?

      Didn’t they totally, like, build their own schools?

  3. Sue said,

    What a great idea! I think it would look very similar to my son’s school. They do this from preschool on and he has never hated anything about school expect for the time homework takes away from his free time. Of course his school is actually known for the arts, visual, media, dance, music and theater play a big part. I only wish we had realized how great it is when Miranda was little.

    • chavisory said,

      I love the thought of the arts playing a greater role. We have specialized arts schools here, of course, but then there seems to be this philosophy that the arts schools are elitist places for the artistic kids, not that creativity is something that anyone can pursue.

  4. People would be able to find there passions and focus on them to the exclusion of all else, resulting in a much deeper understanding. If you look at all the people we consider geniuses weather in art, music, mathematics, science, or anything else. What you will find are people who have been practicing there interest from a very young age, not people who are diverse in subject knowledge.

    • chavisory said,

      Yeah, it seems to me that the insistence that kids have such a broad base has actually turned counterproductive, with most students winding up mediocre in everything. Of course I think that everyone should be able to read and write, do some basic level of math, and know a little something of history and science, but the way that we force students to divide their time right now leaves them with a shallow competency in everything and a deep knowledge of nothing.


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