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The Role of Education?

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  • The Role of Education?

    Man this place is deserted; let's try to stir something up. What should be the role of education? This can be in relation to the child, society, whatever.
    Can't remember why I have a secular moniker, but I am a Christian just so you know. Per Admin: Evangelism: Rule 24: .... Posters seeking to debate Evangelical Christians should take their discussions or questions to the appropriate forum, apologetics/etc., Atheists/Agnostics/Secularists, or those continuing to debate Evangelicals on the inappropriate forums will be assigned to the ATH/AGN/Secular forums as a Secular Member.

  • #2
    Originally posted by HumbleThinker View Post
    Man this place is deserted; let's try to stir something up. What should be the role of education? This can be in relation to the child, society, whatever.
    It's to turn yahoos into humans.

    I can't find the citation, but supposedly the student senate at a well-known university has considered demanding that particular stories and novels (maybe even entire courses?) be assigned "trigger-warnings" so that students could avoid disturbing content. Sort of the way former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels wanted to investigate state university professors here in Indiana who were using Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.

    Art, history, scientific inquiry, are all supposed to disturb the complacent.
    Last edited by fusilier; 05-05-14, 11:22 AM. Reason: to add clarity
    Reality rules, Honor the truth - in memory of Chemist.

    fusilier
    James 2:24

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    • #3
      Originally posted by fusilier View Post
      It's to turn yahoos into humans.

      I can't find the citation, but supposedly the student senate at a well-known university has considered demanding that particular stories and novels (maybe even entire courses?) be assigned "trigger-warnings" so that students could avoid disturbing content. Sort of the way former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels wanted to investigate state university professors here in Indiana who were using Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.

      Art, history, scientific inquiry, are all supposed to disturb the complacent.
      When I hear of trigger warnings, I think of rape victims, suicidal tendencies and people who suffer from PTSD. I think a trigger warning on books or courses is probably an over-reaction, but I don't think its exactly about fostering complacency.
      “My soul is a dark forest. My known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest. Gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing, and then go back, and I must have the courage to let them come and go.”
      --DH Lawrence

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      • #4
        Originally posted by HumbleThinker View Post
        Man this place is deserted; let's try to stir something up. What should be the role of education? This can be in relation to the child, society, whatever.
        I think the role of education is two-fold. The first is to impart information in an organized and meaningful way. The second - and far more important in my opinion - is to teach people how to think critically and direct their own learning and creativity. The knowledge base developed by the first is important to give people a place to start; but without the second, the first is essentially an abundance of useless trivia; its like giving someone wood and nails, and asking them to build something out of it without providing hammer.
        “My soul is a dark forest. My known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest. Gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing, and then go back, and I must have the courage to let them come and go.”
        --DH Lawrence

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Moonlit View Post
          I think the role of education is two-fold. The first is to impart information in an organized and meaningful way. The second - and far more important in my opinion - is to teach people how to think critically and direct their own learning and creativity. The knowledge base developed by the first is important to give people a place to start; but without the second, the first is essentially an abundance of useless trivia; its like giving someone wood and nails, and asking them to build something out of it without providing hammer.

          How does this fit with education in the United States today?

          Is this view of education driving reform?

          How does a standardized test-based accountability system fit in with teaching "people how to think critically and direct their own learning and creativity?"

          I'm not attacking you, you might hold the same positions I do. I just want to delve deeper into the social consequences of what you say here.

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          • #6
            The role of education is to help prepare students to become productive members of society and self-sufficient. The path for doing this begins at home via constant repetition of proper speech, early introduction to reading/writing, understanding of numbers, fundamentals of linear thinking, etc. by the parents.

            In my opinion the role of public/private school education (levels K - 8th) is to hone those basic disciplines creating a foundation for tackling more complex aspects of these disciplines and others while they are in high school.

            Somewhere along the line there should be an evaluation of the child's aptitude to determine how they can best be equipped for college or vocational training after high school. This doesn't have to be an inflexible track in which you place the child (some kids don't figure out what lights their fire until after they leave high school and spend some time working at different jobs) but this could be a general framework in which we view education.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Moonlit View Post
              I think the role of education is two-fold. The first is to impart information in an organized and meaningful way. The second - and far more important in my opinion - is to teach people how to think critically and direct their own learning and creativity. The knowledge base developed by the first is important to give people a place to start; but without the second, the first is essentially an abundance of useless trivia; its like giving someone wood and nails, and asking them to build something out of it without providing hammer.
              You realize don't you that schools don't actually teach kids to "think critically"?
              "Now, what is the Sacrament of the Altar!
              Answer: It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, in and under the bread and wine which we Christians are commanded by the Word of Christ to eat and to drink."

              Martin Luther "The Large Cathechism"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ignatius View Post
                You realize don't you that schools don't actually teach kids to "think critically"?
                Perhaps not at K-12 level but in college that depends on the course and on the instructor. I certainly made an effort to help my students learn how to think critically but many did not want to do so. In the sciences at the graduate level, most student who earn advanced degrees learn how to think critically, at least within their disciplines. It certainly is quite difficult to earn a doctorate without doing so.
                Last edited by trubadoor; 05-26-15, 01:26 AM.
                May the One True God of Creation bless you with the ability to tell fact from falsehood and lead you to the truth.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by trubadoor View Post
                  Perhaps not at K-12 level but in college that depends on the course and on the instructor. I certainly made an effort to help my students learn how to think critically but many did not want to do so. In the sciences at the graduate level, most student who earn advanced degrees learn how to think critically, at least within their disciplines. It certainly is quite difficult to earn a doctorate without doing so.
                  If its important to teach students critical thinking isn't it important to do so from the beginning? Schools at least through college are nothing more than indoctrination centers.
                  "Now, what is the Sacrament of the Altar!
                  Answer: It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, in and under the bread and wine which we Christians are commanded by the Word of Christ to eat and to drink."

                  Martin Luther "The Large Cathechism"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ignatius View Post
                    If its important to teach students critical thinking isn't it important to do so from the beginning? Schools at least through college are nothing more than indoctrination centers.
                    Students ought to be taught to think for themselves. That said, I really do not know how much schools are successful in doing that. I do know that while I did well as an undergraduate, I wasn't prepared for grad school with its emphasis on thinking independently. But that was 50 years ago and times change. The school I taught at had an introductory course in critical thinking. I'm not sure how much it helped in the science considering scientists and philosophers don't seem to use much of the same terminology when it comes to explaining how one thinks critically. The big problem I saw was that many students were afraid to risk thinking independently. They were sort of like the creationists one finds on these forums, parroting the ideas of others rather than thinking their own.
                    May the One True God of Creation bless you with the ability to tell fact from falsehood and lead you to the truth.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by trubadoor View Post
                      Students ought to be taught to think for themselves. That said, I really do not know how much schools are successful in doing that. I do know that while I did well as an undergraduate, I wasn't prepared for grad school with its emphasis on thinking independently. But that was 50 years ago and times change. The school I taught at had an introductory course in critical thinking. I'm not sure how much it helped in the science considering scientists and philosophers don't seem to use much of the same terminology when it comes to explaining how one thinks critically. The big problem I saw was that many students were afraid to risk thinking independently. They were sort of like the creationists one finds on these forums, parroting the ideas of others rather than thinking their own.
                      Interesting assumption you make regarding creationists...
                      One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present. Golda Meir
                      Fundies say the darndest things - simplicio

                      Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.

                      Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” - Martin Luther King Jr.

                      as long as there is life, there is hope.

                      what unites us is stronger than what divides us...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by trubadoor View Post
                        Students ought to be taught to think for themselves. That said, I really do not know how much schools are successful in doing that. I do know that while I did well as an undergraduate, I wasn't prepared for grad school with its emphasis on thinking independently. But that was 50 years ago and times change. The school I taught at had an introductory course in critical thinking. I'm not sure how much it helped in the science considering scientists and philosophers don't seem to use much of the same terminology when it comes to explaining how one thinks critically. The big problem I saw was that many students were afraid to risk thinking independently. They were sort of like the creationists one finds on these forums, parroting the ideas of others rather than thinking their own.
                        And I bet you consider yourself a "critical" thinker.
                        "Now, what is the Sacrament of the Altar!
                        Answer: It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, in and under the bread and wine which we Christians are commanded by the Word of Christ to eat and to drink."

                        Martin Luther "The Large Cathechism"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ignatius View Post
                          And I bet you consider yourself a "critical" thinker.
                          I'm a scientist. It goes with the job. Willingness to accept deceptive arguments without critically evaluating them is a creationist trait. For some it is due to not knowing how to test the arguments. For others it is simply being unwilling to test the arguments, i.e., intentional ignorance.
                          May the One True God of Creation bless you with the ability to tell fact from falsehood and lead you to the truth.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cas07 View Post
                            Interesting assumption you make regarding creationists...
                            And I think it is warranted. You are welcome to try to show otherwise.
                            May the One True God of Creation bless you with the ability to tell fact from falsehood and lead you to the truth.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by trubadoor View Post
                              I'm a scientist. It goes with the job. Willingness to accept deceptive arguments without critically evaluating them is a creationist trait. For some it is due to not knowing how to test the arguments. For others it is simply being unwilling to test the arguments, i.e., intentional ignorance.
                              I know plenty of "scientists" who are far from critical thinkers. Can you prove "creationists" have accepted deceptive arguments without critically evaluating them? I really cant wait for this.
                              "Now, what is the Sacrament of the Altar!
                              Answer: It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, in and under the bread and wine which we Christians are commanded by the Word of Christ to eat and to drink."

                              Martin Luther "The Large Cathechism"

                              Comment

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