• Vera Mont
    872
    What was lacking is a good understanding of what culture has to do with high human potential, liberty, and justice, and what education has to do with culture.Athena

    Always! You won't change that.
  • Agent Smith
    9.2k


    You're right of course - education would need to be overhauled in order to meet the challenges & capitalize on the opportunities of emerging realities, among which is (some say) rapid technological advancement. How do you suppose we should do this?
  • Vera Mont
    872
    How do you suppose we should do this?Agent Smith

    I have my own little theory of how the young should be socialized and trained, as Athena has hers, and we each seem to have little comprehension of what the other is advocating. No doubt many, many other people all have their different theories. "We" can't do anything. If "we" existed as a coherent unit with a single vision of how things should be done, "we" would already have a plan in place. In fact, all that the US and Canada have done in this regard has been done by regional (state and provincial) governments, with loosely enforced standards tied to the federal purse-strings, and subject to policy and administrative change at four-year intervals, plus the aforementioned hodge-podge of private, religious, trade, military, specialty and reform schools. IOW, spotty and full of cracks.

    The Finns and the Japanese and the Israelis apparently made quite good education systems for their children... But. On one hand, they have the advantage of being unicultural societies concentrated in small territories, and on the other, the systems that are competitive in the present state of affairs may turn out to be utter failures when the global economy implodes. They'll figure something out...

    I don't think we need to worry about education. It will follow from what's perceived as needful.
    What "we" have to create is a political structure built on the needs of the polity, not the requirements of big money. That is quite challenge enough for a "we" that's divided into at least five age denominations and five diverse world-views.
  • Athena
    2.5k
    In the past, we associated virtues with strength, and our honor or reputation was very important along with our dignity.
    — Athena

    I don't know which past or which "we" that refers to, but it doesn't leave much trace in the history books. Maybe it's just in the elementary school readers and the inscription of statues. Symbolic.
    Vera Mont

    That would have been the educated people who learned the culture promoted by educated people.

    The central doctrines of the Enlightenment were individual liberty and religious tolerance, in opposition to an absolute monarchy and the fixed dogmas of the Church. The principles of sociability and utility also played an important role in circulating knowledge useful to the improvement of society at large.

    Age of Enlightenment - Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Age_of_Enlightenment
    Wikipedia
  • Athena
    2.5k
    What was lacking is a good understanding of what culture has to do with high human potential, liberty, and justice, and what education has to do with culture.
    — Athena

    Always! You won't change that.
    Vera Mont

    What? You believe the priority of education should be transmitting a culture based on what was best of the Greeks and Romans? Then we do not have a disagreement.
  • Athena
    2.5k
    You're right of course - education would need to be overhauled in order to meet the challenges & capitalize on the opportunities of emerging realities, among which is (some say) rapid technological advancement. How do you suppose we should do this?Agent Smith

    I am confused about who is arguing what. Education was overhauled by the 1958 National Defense Education Act that ended education for citizenship and the transmission of a culture based on Greek and Roman classics and put in its place education for a technological society with unknown values and left moral training to the church. It was the beginning of a federal takeover of education and judging children with IQ tests and gradually the federal government increased its control of education. Everyone here might remember the No Child Left Behind Act put through by Bush Jr. and hated by teachers. The joke of that Act is that it required schools to give military recruiters children's names and addresses. A play on the meaning of no child left behind.
  • Vera Mont
    872
    What? You believe the priority of education should be transmitting a culture based on what was best of the Greeks and Romans?Athena
    I said nothing about priorities or 'should's'. I agreed that what was lacking was lacking and will continue to be lacking, because nobody has a good enough understanding of culture to fix indelibly into a whole federally mandated curriculum. Especially as culture keeps changing.

    Every generation prepares its young for the world they themselves inhabit - not the world in which in the children will live when they grow up. Every generation, every faction, every denomination and nationality tries to impart its own beliefs, mores and values to its children - and the children invariably disappoint their parents: they change. The best that can be done is to let 'em at knowledge and let 'em go.

    Greek and Roman cultures are interesting to study. So are plankton and whales. So are solar flares and meteor showers. So are poetry and music, math and pottery.
  • Agent Smith
    9.2k
    The education system is not an issue then - if it has been, as you say, reworked. I'm not complaining, being myself a beneficiary of the US education system in both direct and indirect ways. I don't think I would be where I am (not exactly a happy place and yet better in many ways).
  • Athena
    2.5k
    Two things about that: NONA and There is no such animals as an average personVera Mont

    Average people are mathematical reality. That does not negate the reality of variety.
  • Vera Mont
    872
    Average people are mathematical reality.Athena
    Show me one! Mathematical realities are average income, average intelligence, average height, average vocal range, average running speed. What number is "average personhood"?
  • Athena
    2.5k
    I said nothing about priorities or 'should's'. I agreed that what was lacking was lacking and will continue to be lacking, because nobody has a good enough understanding of culture to fix indelibly into a whole federally mandated curriculum. Especially as culture keeps changing.

    Every generation prepares its young for the world they themselves inhabit - not the world in which in the children will live when they grow up. Every generation, every faction, every denomination and nationality tries to impart its own beliefs, mores and values to its children - and the children invariably disappoint their parents: they change. The best that can be done is to let 'em at knowledge and let 'em go.

    Greek and Roman cultures are interesting to study. So are plankton and whales. So are solar flares and meteor showers. So are poetry and music, math and pottery.
    30 minutes ago
    Vera Mont

    Can we imagine we are native Iroquois and talk about what is important about being one of them? Do we want our children to know what is important about being Iroquois?

    How about being Jew? What is important about being a Jew? Do Jews and Christians and Muslims and Hindus teach their children what is important about being one of them?

    Now what about being an American and what it means to be a good citizen in the US? Does this mean following Trump and attempting to take over the Capital Building with force and threatening people like election workers and members of congress? Our Capital Building was open to tourist and we could visit it whenever we wanted. Trump supporters ruined our liberty to do so. Some of these changes came with 9/11. Some of us believe our democracy is going in the wrong direction. Do we want to continue ignoring our lack of culture that did give us a lot of liberty?
  • Athena
    2.5k
    That's a lot like saying Captain Picard is a fictional reality. Have you seen any mathematical realities running around the playgrounds or climbing scaffolds?Vera Mont

    Absolutely yes. That play yard is constructed with knowledge of averages. The school policies and class planning is built on knowledge of averages. But this does not mean a fourth grader from Peru is not struggling with the language used in his new US school. The boy from Peru may not score high on the IQ test because of language and cultural barriers.
  • Vera Mont
    872
    Now what about being an American and what it means to be a good citizen in the US?Athena

    That would have to include:
    what is important about being IroquoisAthena

    What is important about being a JewAthena

    Christians and Muslims and Hindus teach their children what is important about being one of themAthena

    and a lot more besides. People do try to teach their American children all of those things, and they more or less fail.
    Does this mean following Trump and attempting to take over the Capital Building with force and threatening people like election workers and members of congress?Athena

    I'm afraid it does include that, too. That very large, noisy disaffected minority is not an accidental byproduct of education-for-technology: it's the product of crappy political and economic organization.

    Some of us believe our democracy is going in the wrong directionAthena

    Don't the drain? Yes, I would agree that's the wrong direction.

    Do we want to continue ignoring our lack of culture that did give us a lot of liberty?Athena

    I don't know what you-all, collectively, want. I only know you can't seem to agree.
  • Athena
    2.5k
    Show me one! Mathematical realities are average income, average intelligence, average height, average vocal range, average running speed. What number is "average personhood"?Vera Mont

    Awe technology! We live in an information reality different from anything in the past. Thanks to computers and the internet we can gather and store huge volumes of information. We can pick any factor of being human and use information in the Cloud to know where the average person falls in a spectrum of differences.

    We can learn about average people with surveys. We can know how many people in our area identify with being Christian and assume some things about them. Then we need to do social research, a test of some kind to know if the assumption is true. Can you think of something that would define an average that we can not figure out an average for? Keeping in mind an average does not negate differences.
  • Athena
    2.5k
    Christians and Muslims and Hindus teach their children what is important about being one of them
    — Athena

    and a lot more besides. People do try to teach their American children all of those things, and they more or less fail.
    Vera Mont

    Why do they fail? Who is the child following if not the parents?

    It is not culture unless it is what a society holds as valuable and this is why I keep hammering away at the importance of education transmitting a culture. Here is a definition of culture... the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group. Cultures around the world vary and they are learned.
  • Vera Mont
    872
    Why do they fail?Athena

    Because "the old country" is immediate and real to the grandparents; a nebulous memory to the parents, irrelevant to the children. Because their children's world is different from their own. Because the future is different from the past. Because things change. You can't bring back your grandmother's kind of teaching. It belongs in the past. You can't reconstitute an ideal America that never was. It is what it is and will become what it will become.
  • Athena
    2.5k
    Does this mean following Trump and attempting to take over the Capital Building with force and threatening people like election workers and members of congress?
    — Athena

    I'm afraid it does include that, too. That very large, noisy disaffected minority is not an accidental byproduct of education-for-technology: it's the product of crappy political and economic organization.
    Vera Mont

    Your reply is the problem we have today! That is the result of education no longer transmitting the culture that was transmitted before the 1958 National Defense Education Act ended that education. The very reason we have free public education was to prevent those problems. Teachers were proud of their efforts to support unions, granges, fraternities, in general the need to work together to achieve a shared goal. There is so much to talk about!
  • Vera Mont
    872
    That is the result of education no longer transmitting the culture that was transmitted before the 1958 National Defense Education Act ended that education.Athena

    That's your version and you're sticking to it. I disagree, but admire your tenacity.
  • Athena
    2.5k
    ↪Athena The education system is not an issue then - if it has been, as you say, reworked. I'm not complaining, being myself a beneficiary of the US education system in both direct and indirect ways. I don't think I would be where I am (not exactly a happy place and yet better in many ways).Agent Smith

    In the 1970's we announced a national youth crisis. My son and daughter were part of that and I take the change in education very seriously. I was in school when the 1958 National Defense Education was enacted and I remember my teachers walking around in a state of shock. It was frightening because at that time when were also very afraid of a nuclear attack from Russia and doing drills of ducking under our desk. :rofl: As though that would do any good in a nuclear war. Finally in the afternoon a male teacher explained the purpose of education had been changed and it was now about preparing the young for a technological society with unknown values. We could not get any further from the value-laden education we had.

    That change in education lead to women's liberation and increased the strength of people of color gaining equality and finally to the Lesbian, bisexual and gay movement. It has also weakened family values. That is the meaning of unknown values, anything goes. Problem is like civilizations before us we ripping apart. We have a technological society with unknown values and we are not prepared to get a consensus on what our values should be. I do not mean the change in education is the only thing that lead to change, and I want to clarify some of that change is a good thing.

    What I mean is those in power did not understand the importance of culture and what education has to do with it in a secular society. We still do not get, that culture does not have to be a Christian culture or a Muslim Culture to have social order and liberty. That culture can be based on Greek and Roman classics and a liberal education. For me, the ignorance of what I am saying is our national crisis. We do not have the knowledge that is essential to having social order without authority over the people.

    Education for technology ripped our children from us. In the past education contributed to respecting our elders, and wanting to be adults with responsibility, human dignity, and liberty.
  • Athena
    2.5k
    That would have to include:Vera Mont

    You missed something that is vitally important about our identity.

    Our identity is tied to feelings of belonging or feelings of alienation. Our identity can also be tied to feelings of pride or feelings of shame. This is a very important factor when considering a child's education. We now see it as wrong to educate native American children in such a way as to intentionally break all ties to their tribe. The well-intended missionary schools that tore children from their families and punished them for speaking their native language are seen as a terrible thing today. On the other hand, the Scandinavians who settled in the area where I live, have an annual festival celebrating the heritage. Asian Americans who live here have two annual celebrations educating us about their culture.

    Am I making my point clear? When it comes to education, one size does not fit all. However, American citizens should share a set of American values (national values) and know our history. Immigrants must prove they know our values and history before they can be citizens. However, today the average high school student may not be able to pass the test for citizenship.

    Your blindness to cultural differences is as disrespectful of all people as the missionaries and is as dangerous as driving blind. However, our education for a technological society seems to put universal knowledge first and ignore our differences as though they don't matter. I think I have given examples of why our differences do matter. It is painful to be anonymous in the crowd and possibly disenfranchised.
    Those who stormed our Capital Building most likely suffer from feeling anonymous and disenfranchised.

    I don't know what you-all, collectively, want. I only know you can't seem to agree.Vera Mont

    That is a problem. You seem to lack an understanding of what culture is and why it is important.
  • Athena
    2.5k
    Because "the old country" is immediate and real to the grandparents; a nebulous memory to the parents, irrelevant to the children. Because their children's world is different from their own. Because the future is different from the past. Because things change. You can't bring back your grandmother's kind of teaching. It belongs in the past. You can't reconstitute an ideal America that never was. It is what it is and will become what it will become.Vera Mont

    Did you learn that in school? I believe you did and it is why I keep hammering away at what is wrong with education for technology and blaming those who gave us this education for ripping children away from their families.

    Our ideal democracy has always been in the making and we are realizing successes that were not possible in the past. In the past, our education system was very limited and many students dropped out by grade 8. That is too young to learn more complex thoughts such as the thinking skills needed for philosophy and science. Jobs did not require a lot of education and we needed all the working hands we could get. Hopefully, they learned to be good citizens and hopefully, they continued learning for the rest of their lives as this is essential to democracy.
  • Vera Mont
    872
    Am I making my point clear?Athena

    Not in the least. In fact, you seem to have thrown a lot of ideas into a big pot, but, like America, they refused to melt into an alloy.

    Your blindness to cultural differences is as disrespectful of all people as the missionaries and is as dangerous as driving blind.Athena

    Really? I'm sorry you think that. Frankly, a bit surprised, as well; I thought better of you.
    Did you learn that in school?Athena

    No, I learned it in my immigrant family.
  • Athena
    2.5k
    Yes, a lot of ideas in a big pot is a complex concept. Democracy is a complex concept.

    If we can bring back my grandmother's way of teaching, our democracy is doomed. Thomas Jefferson and teachers understood that. Since you do not like my efforts to explain what the Age of Enlightenment has to do with education and democracy, I will quote Kucinich and Thomas Jefferson. Right now most voters seem to lack the principles that are important to democracy and that is a problem.

    “Unless we’re motivated by principle in our voting, we walk into a mirrored echo chamber, where there’s no coherence,” Kucinich

    "I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion."
    Thomas Jefferson

    "There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people." Thomas Jefferson

    "Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day." Thomas Jefferson

    "Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both."
    Thomas Jefferson

    "To all of which is added a selection from the elementary schools of subjects of the most promising genius, whose parents are too poor to give them further education, to be carried at the public expense through the college and university. The object is to bring into action that mass of talents which lies buried in poverty in every country, for want of the means of development, and thus give activity to a mass of mind, which, in proportion to our population, shall be double or treble of what it is in most countries."
    Thomas Jefferson

    "If the children are untaught, their ignorance and vices will in future life cost us much dearer in their consequences than it would have done in their correction by a good education."
    Thomas Jefferson

    "To instruct the mass of our citizens in these, their rights, interests and duties, as men and citizens...this brings us to the point at which are to commence the higher branches of education . . . . To develop the reasoning faculties of our youth, enlarge their minds, cultivate their morals, and instill into them the precepts of virtue and order."
    Thomas Jefferson

    "The objects of this primary education . . . would be . . . to form the statesmen, legislators and judges, on whom public prosperity and individual happiness are so much to depend." Thomas Jefferson
  • Athena
    2.5k
    The education system is not an issue then - if it has been, as you say, reworked. I'm not complaining, being myself a beneficiary of the US education system in both direct and indirect ways. I don't think I would be where I am (not exactly a happy place and yet better in many ways).Agent Smith

    The good and the bad of our education does not stop with individuals doing well in life. How well individuals do depends greatly on how well their family has done. A nation not united with culture is not united. Few disadvantaged children are doing well because they do not know of life outside of the tiny experience of it. Education centered on those who will go to college cheats all those who will not go to college out of the education that serves them best. But more important is why education is important to democracy and liberty.

    "If the children are untaught, their ignorance and vices will in future life cost us much dearer in their consequences than it would have done in their correction by a good education."
    Thomas Jefferson

    That is what we need to understand about the trouble we are having today. Automatic weapons are selling much better than the classics or books about philosophy. We think we defend our democracy with weapons of war and are clueless of the importance of the classics and philosophy. That is not how to manifest a democracy and liberty.

    If the citizens of the US wanted lifelong education as much as they want weapons to defend themselves, the state of our union would be much better. Voting ignorance destroys democracy. I refer you to Socrates and Plato. I will repeat the quote from Kucinich.

    “Unless we’re motivated by principle in our voting, we walk into a mirrored echo chamber, where there’s no coherence,” Kucinich
  • Athena
    2.5k
    is it ethical for technological automation top be stunted, in order to preserve jobs (or a healthy job marketplaceBret Bernhoft

    If the purpose of education is about preparing the young for a technological society with unknown values, what happens to the nation?
  • Agent Smith
    9.2k
    I don't know much about education. I don't have the relevant qualification. I remember, rather vaguely, attending classes in high school and then a few lecture halls back in my college days but alas these do not add up to an appropriate credential
    to comment any further than I already have which, as you would've noticed, is an example of someone talking out his/her bung hole, er, I mean hat!

    God points though. You seem to be aware of the flaws in our system, but as I reported in the climate change thread, something really weird is going on.
  • Athena
    2.5k
    I don't know much about education. I don't have the relevant qualification. I remember, rather vaguely, attending classes in high school and then a few lecture halls back in my college days but alas these do not add up to an appropriate credential
    to comment any further than I already have which, as you would've noticed, is an example of someone talking out his/her bung hole, er, I mean hat!

    God points though. You seem to be aware of the flaws in our system, but as I reported in the climate change thread, something really weird is going on.
    Agent Smith

    I have had a super great morning so far. I unexpectedly found something in my files about the WWII war crime trials that is perfect for my arguments. Now I just need to figure out how to do a new thread that will attract more people who can help me think things through.

    The 1958 change in education in the US has produced people who can not reason independently, leading to reactionary politics and other problems. Education for technology is not education for independent thinking and is intentionally education for "group think". One would think education for "group think" would be ideal for democracy but- group thinkers are dependent followers, not independent thinkers. And there are social, economic, and political ramifications to this change.

    The US adaptation of the German model of bureaucracy seems a logical improvement over the extremely efficient bureaucracy we had. Seriously we could not be a world power without that adjustment. Please ask questions. I am dying here trying to figure out how to say things so they are understood. This is a control issue. How has authority and power? Let me try this...

    The Nazi were not evil people but people controlled by bureaucracy and educated to be like parts that serve the Borg.

    https://aeon.co/ideas/what-did-hannah-arendt-really-mean-by-the-banality-of-evil

    Can one do evil without being evil? This was the puzzling question that the philosopher Hannah Arendt grappled with when she reported for The New Yorker in 1961 on the war crimes trial of Adolph Eichmann, the Nazi operative responsible for organizing the transportation of millions of Jews and others to various concentration camps in support of the Nazi’s Final Solution.

    I must leave the man I am trying to help on the streets in freezing weather, or I could lose my housing and he would not be able to get the help he needs to get the appropriate independent housing. That is bureaucratic control of our lives. It is immoral because there is no human connection with people on the streets like in Germany there was no connection with the Jews. People are just doing what they have to do for their own benefit. Failure to submit to the bureaucrat control can mean serious sacrifices such as losing housing or a job. Excuse my pagan aphorism but damnit why is it so hard for everyone to see what has happened and what increasing technology is going to do to our liberty and freedom? Technology will give some people excellent jobs with excellent pay and benefits, while it will marginalize all those who are not absorbed into the system. The masses will get public assistance and they will also be very controlled by fear of losing these benefits if they do not submit to the bureaucracy.

    While Christians like to believe they get the credit for our liberty and democracy, the belief that we are born into sin can lead to a very controlling bureaucracy over the people. The US left moral training to the church and the church is not the best for liberty. Believing we are born in sin and need to be saved is very different from believing education can bring out the best in humanity.
  • Agent Smith
    9.2k
    So, I'm not sure who you have a beef with - the bureaucracy or politicians? The question Hannah Arendt asked is critical to the plot of course.

    I'd say we need ta dig a little deeper and try some role swapping along the way. "Are we worthy to be saved, o lord?" muttered the kneeling priest.
  • Athena
    2.5k
    So, I'm not sure who you have a beef with - the bureaucracy or politicians? The question Hannah Arendt asked is critical to the plot of course.

    I'd say we need ta dig a little deeper and try some role swapping along the way. "Are we worthy to be saved, o lord?" muttered the kneeling pries
    Agent Smith

    Bureaucratic order is everything.

    It is really important to understand what bureaucratic form has to do with the power of government to control or influence our lives. I have repeatedly said the US adopted the German model of bureaucracy and with the German model of education this gets what we defended our democracy against. Unfortunately I am not understanding why my words are meaningless to everyone and what I can do about that. If people got what I am saying, the discussion would be very interesting to me.
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