The Instigator
OneWideWest27
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
alexnotmurfs
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Brick and mortar schooling programs are not a better form of education than online/home education.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/12/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 346 times Debate No: 40413
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

OneWideWest27

Pro

First round acceptance. The opponent will argue for brick and mortar schools being more beneficial to the student.
alexnotmurfs

Con

This is a topic I have wanted to debate for some time, so thank you for bringing it to the table!

I accept the challenge and will be arguing that brick-and-mortar schooling has many benefits which, by the nature of home-schooling or online learning, cannot be provided through these types of alternative learning environments.

Good luck, and I look forward to reading your arguments!
Debate Round No. 1
OneWideWest27

Pro

Thank you for accepting! This is my first debate on this site so I ask that you bear with me as I try to figure the technology and format out.

Firstly, I wish to state clearly that my position is not strictly against public schooling, and I fully support anyone who chooses to educate their children in that way. However; it is my opinion that homeschooling and online education are equal to or greater than Brick and Mortar. Not less beneficial.

1. Customization and Learning Speeds
Homeschooling parents and parents who choose to enroll their child in an online academy are more able to supervise and customize their child's education. They are able to see their child's level of maturity and learning ability more fully, and therefore are able to set curriculum that fits their child's needs perfectly. In most public schools the class runs at a single pace with a specified set of curricula that are typically unable to be adjusted from student to student. This format can cause students to fall behind in their education. If a machine is to function at top productivity and efficiency, it must have parts that fit together perfectly and move in accordance with each others speed. In the same way, an education that does not supply the perfect "parts" it will not be able to function properly.

2. *Quality of Education
This topic varies heavily from school to school, however studies do seem to point out that homeschooled/online schooled students are able to achieve the same standards public schooled students. This summery of a 1998 study on the topic seems to show this fact.

"In Spring 1998, 20,760 K-12 home school students in 11,930 families were administered either the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) or the Tests of Achievement and Proficiency (TAP), depending on their current grade..... Major findings include: the achievement test scores of this group of home school students are exceptionally high--the median scores were typically in the 70th to 80th percentile; 25% of home school students are enrolled one or more grades above their age-level public and private school peers" (This summery can be found here http://eric.ed.gov...)

This is certainly not the only study that shows the same results. Many other credible studies can be found with little research involved. Though the above study is not controlled and cannot prove that homeschool is "better" than public school, it certainly demonstrates that home education is not a "lesser" form of education.

Furthermore, history also shows that people who were educated at home are just as successful. Inventors such as Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and the Wright Brothers were all homeschooled. Numerous US presidents were also homeschooled, as well as many other people in many fields of work. Some more notable homeschoolers include John Witherspoon, Andrew Carnegie, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart! To see a more complete list of successful homeschoolers you can look here: http://www.homeschoolacademy.com.... History indeed shows that homeschoolers are just as well off as anyone else.

*(In this topic I somewhat switch my terms to "homeschooled" as in anyone educated at home, this includes online education. I don't want any confusion going on here :).)

These will be my starting arguments, I will probably add more as the debate goes on but for now I shall leave these as my main points. I look foreword do seeing your response. Good luck!
alexnotmurfs

Con

"Thank you for accepting! This is my first debate on this site so I ask that you bear with me as I try to figure the technology and format out."

No worries, I'm fairly new to this myself. Welcome to the site! I apologize in the delay with my reply. I've been sick for the last couple of days and my head was too foggy to properly address this debate.

Thank you for clarifying your position. I am arguing that while brick-and-mortar schooling may not be superior to the aforementioned alternative learning environments in every way, classroom learning does have many benefits that cannot be provided to students at home or online. Therefore, brick-and-mortar schooling is preferable to homeschooling or online education.

1. Rebuttal


My response to your initial arguments:


1. Customization and Learning Speeds

You assert that homeschooling parents are "more able to supervise and customize their child's education. They are able to see their child's level of maturity and learning ability more fully, and therefore are able to set curriculum that fits their child's needs perfectly."

In Ontario (my province of residence), a parent does not need to complete any sort of certification in order to home-school their children. If the parent is not required to learn about child development and child education, how can they be qualified to decide which studies and learning strategies will be most beneficial to their child?

Teachers in schools are heavily screened. In Ontario, an elementary school teacher must complete a bachelor's degree (usually 4 years of full-time University studies) as well as a minimum 1-year teacher education program which includes supervised and evaluated classroom experience.

Classroom teachers are trained to create learning programs and learning environments which are most beneficial to students. Homeschooling parents who are not trained teachers cannot hope to have the same insights into what is necessary to make the best teaching decisions for their children.


2. Quality of Education

"This topic varies heavily from school to school, however studies do seem to point out that homeschooled/online schooled students are able to achieve the same standards public schooled students. This summery of a 1998 study on the topic seems to show this fact.

"In Spring 1998, 20,760 K-12 home school students in 11,930 families were administered either the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) or the Tests of Achievement and Proficiency (TAP), depending on their current grade..... Major findings include: the achievement test scores of this group of home school students are exceptionally high--the median scores were typically in the 70th to 80th percentile; 25% of home school students are enrolled one or more grades above their age-level public and private school peers" (This summery can be found here http://eric.ed.gov......)

This is certainly not the only study that shows the same results. Many other credible studies can be found with little research involved. Though the above study is not controlled and cannot prove that homeschool is "better" than public school, it certainly demonstrates that home education is not a "lesser" form of education."


The quality of home education versus school education is difficult to gauge simply by grade marks, especially since it is not a requirement for all homeschooled students to be tested and graded in the same way that students in classrooms are.

In Ontario, it is a homeschooling parent's choice whether or not to test and grade their child.
This makes it very hard to know whether a child has absorbed their studies and is prepared to pursue higher education if that is their choice.

"Furthermore, history also shows that people who were educated at home are just as successful. Inventors such as Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and the Wright Brothers were all homeschooled. Numerous US presidents were also homeschooled, as well as many other people in many fields of work. Some more notable homeschoolers include John Witherspoon, Andrew Carnegie, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart! To see a more complete list of successful homeschoolers you can look here: http://www.homeschoolacademy.com....... History indeed shows that homeschoolers are just as well off as anyone else."

I would argue that homeschooling was a very different institution in the time of Bell, Edison, Mozart, and others born before the 1900s. In fact, a small percentage of children received formal education from either tutors or in school before that time.

This is because children were responsible for helping their families economically. They worked alongside their siblings, parents, and other relatives to make money. Families taught their children informally back then, and their lessons generally focused on developing practical skills such as farming and hard labour for boys, and sewing and cooking for girls.

So, while the historical figures you mentioned were homeschooled, the majority of other children of that era were homeschooled as well. Their success should be attributed to their intelligence, creativity, and resiliance, not to their childhood education.


2. Arguments


After examining the requirements for homeschooling children in Ontario, I have found the standards to be much lower than the requirements of classroom teaching in Ontario.

Brick-and-mortar schooling offers students fully qualified teachers who can direct their studies in the most productive way. These teachers are backed up by their training and experience.

Homeschooled students do not have the benefit of qualified teachers, which puts them at a disadvantage to their classroom-taught peers.

Also, homeschooling does not offer students the benefit of social interaction with others to the same extent as classroom learning does.

How are homeschooled students able to practice the social skills necessary for their future lives outside the home, without the opportunity to interact with a variety of different people as they could do if they were being taught in school?

Thank you and I look forward to reading your response!
Debate Round No. 2
OneWideWest27

Pro

I am very sorry I took so long to post my argument, it was my sister's birthday over the weekend and I spent most of my time celebrating the occasion. Thank you for being patient. Now without further delay, I shall launch my rebuttal.

1. From: "Customization and Learning Speeds"

- "In Ontario (my province of residence), a parent does not need to complete any sort of certification in order to home-school their children. If the parent is not required to learn about child development and child education, how can they be qualified to decide which studies and learning strategies will be most beneficial to their child?" -

I would like to point out that this argument is a Red Herring. My opponent does not directly refute my arguments, and instead introduced a new issue to the debate. The point, however is a reasonable one and I will give my rebuttal to it later on in the discussion. (see 5.) For now I will only point out that I my arguments were based on the flexibility of home education, not on the "qualification" of the teachers. My argument still stands.

2. From: "Quality of Education"

- "The quality of home education versus school education is difficult to gauge simply by grade marks, especially since it is not a requirement for all homeschooled students to be tested and graded in the same way that students in classrooms are." -

Again, my opponent has created a Red Herring as a rebuttal. My argument was not based upon overall grade marks of various students taking various tests as your response would imply. Instead, my conclusions were based upon students taking a specified set of tests followed by a comparison of results. The fact that homeschool students are not required to be tested in the same way as public schooled students is irrelevant. There is no point in asserting that the ways of testing students in different situations vary, it is only natural for this to be the case. Even amongst the brick and mortar system tests vary greatly from school to school, yet it makes absolutely no difference in the overall quality of education. Again my assertions remain unrefuted.

- "In Ontario, it is a homeschooling parent's choice whether or not to test and grade their child. This makes it very hard to know whether a child has absorbed their studies and is prepared to pursue higher education if that is their choice." -

This is a difficult point to debate, simply because many localities have a different set of laws on this issue. However, in my home state of Pennsylvania it is required to submit a strict record of a students work to the local school district each year. This is done through an "evaluation." Each year the parent of the student is required by law to schedule an evaluation with an "evaluator" that has been approved by the local school district. The evaluator determines whether the student is receiving a good education by first interviewing the student, then viewing his or her work throughout the year. By comparing the students completed work to the strict guidelines for education in PA, the evaluator is able to write a report to the school district so that they can assess whether the student is getting a proper education. The evaluator is also able to guide parents that are less experienced in the education of their children. This combination of curriculum guidelines and yearly evaluation creates a situation where each child is ensured the best education possible, and the best situation heading into higher education. While in Ontario, it is not required to submit an evaluation to the school district, there is curriculum guidelines to ensure the same quality of education as would be received in a brick and mortar school.

3. "History"

I concede that my opponents claim that a small percentage of people would have been educated publicly before the 1900's is valid, however in discussing this point a very interesting idea has been brought to the table. My opponent states that, "...children were responsible for helping their families economically. They worked alongside their siblings, parents, and other relatives to make money. Families taught their children informally back then, and their lessons generally focused on developing practical skills such as farming and hard labor for boys, and sewing and cooking for girls." I would ask, is this not also necessary in today's times? I would argue that these "practical" skills are very important, even more important than many of the "skills" taught in schools today. Unlike a publicly educated student, a home educated student is able to observe firsthand how his parents pay the bills, or how they deal with politics and the media. While a public schooled student receives information about these subjects in their classes, they do not usually have the opportunity to apply that information until they are forced to live in the real world. In almost any situation, it is clear that experience and practice will win over pure knowledge to any degree.

4. "Socialization"

-"Also, homeschooling does not offer students the benefit of social interaction with others to the same extent as classroom learning does.

How are homeschooled students able to practice the social skills necessary for their future lives outside the home, without the opportunity to interact with a variety of different people as they could do if they were being taught in school?"-

I will start by saying that it is a misguided conception that home educated students have less social interaction than brick and mortar students. It is a very common belief that homeschoolers are antisocial "shellfish" that rarely leave their house. However many people do not know that homeschool students are often enrolled in programs based from their local school such as sports, band, sometimes cubs, etc. These activities are able to provide the socialization needed to create a healthy student. In fact, based on firsthand observation of homeschool students among publicly schooled students, I have been able to see that the homeschool students excel in every way even next to their public school friends. Because my opponents argument was based on lack of social interaction, its refutation stands in the testimony that this is simply a misunderstood concept of the homeschool community.

5. "Qualified?"

-"Brick-and-mortar schooling offers students fully qualified teachers who can direct their studies in the most productive way. These teachers are backed up by their training and experience.

Homeschooled students do not have the benefit of qualified teachers, which puts them at a disadvantage to their classroom-taught peers."-

In this argument my opponent seem to assume that to be "qualified" one must necessarily be "certified." This is not at all the case. Qualified can be defined as:

"Having the abilities, qualities, attributes, etc., necessary to perform a particular job or task"

This definition of the word is able to show that what is needed to be "qualified" is not a certification, and that parents of homeschooling children are just as able to provide a good education as long as they have common sense and are able to choose curricula that meets he requirements of the state. Based on not only this fact, but also the flexibility of home education, the standards of education imposed, the monitoring and guidance provided by evaluators, and the ability of the students to witness firsthand how to deal with real-word issues; it must be concluded that home education is in no way subordinate to public education and that home educated students are at no disadvantage to those who have been educated publicly.

Sources:
http://ontariohomeschool.org...
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca...
http://www.pahomeschoolers.com...
http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca...
www.thefreedictionary.com/qualified

...
Fantastic job! I eagerly await your response.
alexnotmurfs

Con

alexnotmurfs forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
OneWideWest27

Pro

In order to give my opponent one last fair chance to respond, I shall keep this argument short.

My final argument in this debate, is one of testimony. My own testimony, which I believe truly does show the competency of home education. The truth is, I myself am homeschooled. While my opponent might say that this causes a strong bias, and that my arguments are invalid because of this. However, if this is true it is also true that my opponent himself would have an equal amount of bias based on past experience. Yet my "testimony" has been seen throughout the debate, my ability to reason well shows that I have also been trained well. Had my education been poor, so would my arguments, my research ability, and my logic. As you can see, I have been able to hold my own in these areas. While I may not "win" this debate, I have successfully demonstrated that homeschooling is truly a fine form of education, which should not be overlooked.

I look foreword to seeing the final arguments of my opponent.

Thank you.
alexnotmurfs

Con

alexnotmurfs forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by OneWideWest27 9 months ago
OneWideWest27
@alexnotmurfs: I meant to ask, how are you changing text style in your responses? I feel like that would make mine much easier to read. Is it just html? I also ran out of characters to wish you luck in your next argument. This has been a fantastic debate so far, thanks again for accepting!
Posted by alexnotmurfs 9 months ago
alexnotmurfs
I must still be sick. I forgot to post my sources for round 2. Here they are:

http://ontariohomeschool.org...
http://www.oct.ca...
http://thecanadianencyclopedia.com...
Posted by OneWideWest27 9 months ago
OneWideWest27
I would agree with the first statement, I hope that my reasons for supporting homeschooling are clear in this debate. However I do not agree with your second point. First of all you have stated no proof for this statement. Secondly, though it is true that homeschooling CAN be a platform for brainwashing, so can public school. Neither are used for that purpose all the time as your statement implies of homeschooling. Have you ever looked up Common Core? I believe it is a prime example of public schools moving towards "brainwashing" as well. I do not want to debate further in the comments until after the main debate is concluded, but if you start another debate challenge on that premise I would be glad to accept.
Posted by silverneccho 9 months ago
silverneccho
I think anyone who stands behind homeschooling needs to have clearly defined reasons for this. Homeschooling is used as a brainwashing platform for many religious denominations. When you have complete control over a child's learning environment that child is at risk of entering the world disconnected and lost.
Posted by OneWideWest27 9 months ago
OneWideWest27
Feel free to add arguments instead of JUST rebutting :). I'm sure you were going to, but I wanted to make sure I get to see your arguments too haha.
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