The Instigator
Revolution
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
ilovgoogle
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Education Reform

Do you like this debate?NoYes-1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
ilovgoogle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/25/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,438 times Debate No: 8411
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)

 

Revolution

Pro

Before any arguments are posed, let me identify the subject utilizing more clarity: As a child, I was disgusted with my education. Well renowned as an above-grade student, I found my education laughably impractical. Posing reforms in areas such as student authority, I found that the steadfast system was so bullheaded as to not budge an inch.

Thirty years later, I actively participate in the education of my children (elementary and high school, and am finding it just as distastefully naive as a preparation for the modern world. The children are taught "Life skills" (respect, friendship, etc.), and are rewarded for their exhibition with tickets that can be used to purchase miscellaneous flotsam at a weekly stand. I run a corporation, and life skills aren't worth the oxygen in business. No, respect doesn't even earn you a smile. Ten years from now, my 9 year old son will will be introduced to the real world where generosity leads to bankruptcy. An unorthodox education, fostering more real world skills is required.

Children are welcomed in this debate. If willing, please disclose your educational background.
ilovgoogle

Con

I thank my opponent for starting what should be a fun debate! Note: I am in High School

A lot is said about how children today are taught things that have little to no use in the real world. I think my opponent is looking a a very narrow part of our school system and needs to open his eyes. I will disprove my opponent contentions on the following grounds:

Contention #1 Life Skills
My opponent had mentioned how life skills were apparently "useless" in the real world. My opponent may be referring to financial side of life, but there's a whole lot to more life then just how far you can get up the corporate latter. Teaching things like respect, friendship, values, and morals. These are the secrets to happiness and these aren't real life skills then what are? Time, time and again it has been proven the money can't buy happiness. http://www.washingtonpost.com...
Contention #2 Life Skill are not the only thing taught at School
Believe it or not, now more then ever we are teaching our kids "real life" skills as well as life skills. In my high school for instance you have a wide selection of courses and you can pick whatever interests you and what you'd like to pursue in the real world. For instance I'm interested in pursing Law, and my school offers Law & Justice and Business Law. These classes will be EXTREMELY relevant to what I choose to pursue in the real world and are far more practical then what used to be taught. Before your choice (according to my father) was limited to Spanish or French. Administrators can even set up internships that count towards your required high school credits!

My opponent didn't contend a lot of information so that's it for this round; I look forward to my opponents response.
Debate Round No. 1
Revolution

Pro

While money cannot buy you happiness, its the only dough that can buy a house, pay your bills, and support a family. My opponent quoted me as saying that life skills are useless in the modern world. This was neither stated nor implied in the pertaining passage [I run a corporation, and life skills aren't worth the oxygen in business. No, respect doesn't even earn you a smile.] I am not averse to the idea of life skills. My revulsion is their over-emphasis. As my opponent stated in contention #1, I am focusing on the financial side of life (intentionally), and will proceed to broaden the scope of my arguments. Perhaps this discussion is to be more fruitful if we speak from a perspective in consideration of a larger picture. You are endowed with elective (optional) and highly specialized classes, which are not the model in the elementary educational environment. However, several fallacies are apparent in the beginning education of children.

Without further ado, allow me to certify that I am not an oldie. I experienced electives in my time, and my opponent has thus far crafted a description that runs parallel to the educational environment of the 70s that I was taught in, excepting for segregation. Regarding once again to education, allow me to relate my points by the means of narrating the life of Jill, an aspiring economist. NOTE:fictional

From about age 12, Jill knew what she wanted to be: "one of those market people". In the absence of relevant teaching in the curriculum, Jill found books and web sites to instigate a foundation of business knowledge. At age 19, Jill entered Harvard University and was well-prepared for a rigorous course on advanced business science.
Let us now take the example of Fred, an unsuccessful ex-economist. Fred, with the same intentions as Jill, yet a more conventional mind, started off fresh with the same course, having gained no prior knowledge, and was ill-prepared. After his failed career, Fred's income was grounded, and he ended up on the streets. Thus, a potentially great mind fails to flourish in the absence of a relevant class at the elementary level.

As shown by these examples, the current educational system lacks curriculum ties to the real world.
My opponents response to tie off this round should accomplish the following:
1. find flaw in the stories of Jill and Fred
2. illuminate changes in the educational system since the 70s
3. reflect a reason for the over-emphasis of lifeskillsl
ilovgoogle

Con

ilovgoogle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Revolution

Pro

As my opponent has forfeited the preceding round of debate for an unknown reason, all my contentions remain standing, and I shall simply place an additional one on the table. However, I would first like to thank my opponent for providing an excellent beginning experience in online debating.

In school, mathematics, science, and history are all taught fruitlessly. In a work-style environment, the children would utilize these skills day after day, intertwining them in their work as they would do in the real world. However, in the current system, children are taught the subjects disconnectedly from the real world.
If I may inquire, why the forfeit.
ilovgoogle

Con

My opponent never clearly defined what about education reform he wanted to debate and never had an essential question or anything of the like. Nevertheless; I will attempt to debate what he has stated in round 1 & 2 and ask for further clarification of the topic, as "education reform" is a VERY broad topic.

-"I am focusing on the financial side of life"
Even so our Per Capita GDP has been rising significantly (http://www.rocklin.ca.gov... ) so saying that skills taught in today's classes aren't worth anything when it comes to finances is nonsense, in fact it's the compete opposite, it's lead to a rise in wealth.

-Your "Example"
First I would like to point out that you have "made-up" "(NOTE:fictional)" situation and backed it with no evidence of how the education system we have now is responsible for what you have provided. Nor do I see how this supports your argument. In your example Jill had done more work and got a great job, Fred had not. How does anything to do education reform?

"In school, mathematics, science, and history are all taught fruitlessly. In a work-style environment, the children would utilize these skills day after day, intertwining them in their work as they would do in the real world. However, in the current system, children are taught the subjects disconnectedly from the real world."
What evidence do you have to support this contention?

My opponent has also failed to produce any evidence of how we have over emphasized on life-skills in schools. My opponent has also decided to apparently change the topic, arguing for education reform at the elementary level, Never declaring that in his opening arguments, again I ask for clarification.

Contention #1 Life Skills
This contention still stands as my opponent has not refuted it.
Contention #2 Life Skill are not the only thing taught at Schools.
My opponent yet again not refuted my example of more "real-world" life skills are taught in schools in today more then ever.
New: Contention #3
I would also like to point out that education has been improving significantly in the United States. My opponent states their is an over emphasis on life skills in today's schools, yet how does he explain that "America's nine-year-olds posted the best scores in reading (since 1971) and math (since 1973) in the history of the report. America's 13-year-olds earned the highest math scores the test ever recorded.", "cross-the-board improvements were made in mathematics and in fourth-grade reading." http://www.ed.gov...
Debate Round No. 3
Revolution

Pro

By education reform, I do mean reform at the elementary level, as you have inferred.

1. My opponent has not proven the link between the rise in the GDP and the education system. The chronic effect on our stocks (economy) is nearly always growth, regardless of circumstances. In addition, your link covered a very limited time span in regards to the economy (1 year).
http://datek.smartmoney.com...
A final comment: yes, life skills are bogus in regards to business. If you're negotiating a stock price, distributing dividends, or buying a corporation, friendship is useless unless you want to addle the brain of your fellow business partner and clock him over the head with an oxygen tank. In business, the world is A's and B's, 1's and O's.

2. My examples are in direct consequence of the education system. Jill succeeded because she found extra-curriculum material to prep her for university classes, and Fred didn't. Having a more conventional mind, Fred would have been just as knowledgeable, should the curriculum have contained electives such as what you are experiencing, yet at a lower level.

3. This contention requires no evidence, if the educational system resembled the real world, the curriculum would have more relevance. My second, "unsourced", claim requires no source: I consider the teaching of life skills (that you acknowledged) over-emphasis, as they have relatively little importance in the real world, compared with their teaching.

4. Notice the phrasing: "real world". Education and the real world are disconnected.

5. Excuse my confusing clarification. The topic was Elementary reform from the beginning.

Opposing Contention #1. I shall proceed to explicitly refute this contention. Your link provides that happiness does not increase beyond about $12,000/year. However, in all middle class households, the phrase dreaded by the masses of working men "we can't afford it". Money serves as a buffer, reducing stress and providing for mistakes such as The Sub-prime Mortgage Crisis. See link: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Opposing Contention #2. Your example of real world life skills was previously refuted. The elective classes you are taking do not exist at the elementary level.

Opposing Contention #3. This contention is entirely based on improvements in material knowledge, which is not the only relevant teaching to prepare for the real world.
ilovgoogle

Con

"By education reform, I do mean reform at the elementary level, as you have inferred."

Great, it's round FOUR and we have established a more focused topic.

"2. My examples are in direct consequence of the education system. Jill succeeded because she found extra-curriculum material to prep her for university classes, and Fred didn't. Having a more conventional mind, Fred would have been just as knowledgeable, should the curriculum have contained electives such as what you are experiencing, yet at a lower level."
In the example you quoted Jill as 12, but most people GRADUATING elementary school are 10 or 11. Most kids this age don't know what they want to do or still want to be a sports star! We build a foundation of basic skills in the early years to greater serve them when they do decide what to do. http://en.wikipedia.org...

* In mathematics, students usually master long division and work with multiplication of vulgar fractions and decimals. Sometimes this also includes initial exposure to ratios and percentages. Pre-Algebra is sometimes offered as an honors course. Fifth graders may also work more on more advanced long division, such as dividings in the double digits, hundreds, and thousands.
* In language classes the study of grammar begins. This begins as early as the third grade in some schools.
* In social studies, the study of history and geography are furthered. In Ontario, this grade focuses on the history of the student's province (as opposed to fourth grade which covers the student's municipality, and sixth grade which focuses on the country).
* In physical science, the states of matter are introduced, and an introduction to the basics of machines. This could be also introduced as early as the third and fourth grade.
* In life science, the structures and mechanics of plants and animals are illustrated.
* In music, classes may start or continue recorders (sometimes called the flutaphone). The band and choir program usually starts at that age.
* In P.E. (physical education), schools start sexual education or gender-specific health education.

It's crazy to make kids 5-11 choose elective classes at such a young age. I mean could you see your 6 year old in a marketing class? They wouldn't have the skills to succeed or understand the things taught, because they don't have the FOUNDATION! Elementary schools serve to solidify your base skills so you can take those courses like I am in high school.

"3. This contention requires no evidence, if the educational system resembled the real world, the curriculum would have more relevance. My second, "unsourced", claim requires no source: I consider the teaching of life skills (that you acknowledged) over-emphasis, as they have relatively little importance in the real world, compared with their teaching"

Once again I beg to differ. Teaching "life-skills" helps reinforce other subjects and help them improve in that area. If you believe that teaching life skill aren't worth anything then how do you explain the rise in reading and math scores (see my 3rd contention)? Do you also think reading and math aren't worth anything either?

"Opposing Contention #1. I shall proceed to explicitly refute this contention. Your link provides that happiness does not increase beyond about $12,000/year. However, in all middle class households, the phrase dreaded by the masses of working men "we can't afford it". Money serves as a buffer, reducing stress and providing for mistakes such as The Sub-prime Mortgage Crisis."

Money does serve as a buffer, but that still doesn't make up for the fact that no matter how much money we make it doesn't equivocate to happiness. Last time I checked finding happiness was a "real life" skill. Building good relationships, respect, passion, thinking positivity and having family to help you find happiness. If "real life" skills ( by your definition: money) are what we need to survive in the real world then I suggest you revise your definition of "real life skills". Psychologists have been preaching this time, time and again. http://www.usatoday.com... School's today get this more then ever and it's helping with all aspects of their schooling and life.

"Opposing Contention #3. This contention is entirely based on improvements in material knowledge, which is not the only relevant teaching to prepare for the real world."

Yes, but it is relevant as you have just acknowledged and serves are a base to help children take higher level courses in high school just as I am.
Debate Round No. 4
Revolution

Pro

1. As you stated, Elementary School is for building a foundation of knowledge (by the way: my brother graduated at 12 when I was a child, and most elementary schools go to 6th). If a broad spread of topics were taught, students would be much more prepared for the classes you're taking. This would ensure success as an adult, and would not make children choose electives.

2. In math, friendship doesn't help you solve a problem, and respect doesn't help you spell a word. In what way do life skills reinforce the topic? As shown in the previous sentence, life skills and the subjects are unrelated. In addition, I was taught life skills as a child in the 70s so your chronic frame shows nothing. Note: I was taught the facts and skills you have posted for all of elementary in 3rd grade.

3. While this may be true, materialism is still heavily embedded in American culture, and in this environment, a lack of wealth can be devastating to the structure of a family. Perhaps a successful career will lead to these social riches, and life skills will not. In schools, children are taught to be happy, however, this delays sobriety and does not foster a good life in the real world (by your definition: happiness). I never defined real world life skills as money.

4. Yes, but this area of schools serves to create no foundation of specialized skills. If Elementary level children were taught a thin coverage of the basics of most careers, they would be more prepared for the electives such as what you take.
ilovgoogle

Con

ilovgoogle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Revolution 7 years ago
Revolution
How can one vote cause seven points? There's only six categories?
Posted by Revolution 7 years ago
Revolution
I'm checking for vote-bombing on my debates. See my comment and the votes on this debate:
http://www.Debate.org...
Posted by Revolution 7 years ago
Revolution
Sorry. By education reform I mean creating a relativity between the schools and the real world.
Posted by ilovgoogle 8 years ago
ilovgoogle
I'm waiting for some clarification on the topic. It's very general and I have to base my all my arguments off your last one. I would like to be able to act rather then react, but you need to specify the topic more.
Posted by Revolution 8 years ago
Revolution
Finishing the education you couldn't get in the war years?
Posted by ilovgoogle 8 years ago
ilovgoogle
A 72 year old in high school :)
Posted by Revolution 8 years ago
Revolution
To ilovgoogle: Are you 72 (profile) or in high school (this debate)?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by ilovgoogle 7 years ago
ilovgoogle
RevolutionilovgoogleTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07