The Instigator
Matthew202
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
zhangwn
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Would Children be Prepared for the Real World by going to School or being Unschooled

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
zhangwn
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/9/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 459 times Debate No: 75031
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

Matthew202

Pro

By going to school, children are better prepared for what they face in the real world, unlike unschooling also known as radical unschooling, where children don't go to school and have no punishment for bad behaviour.
zhangwn

Con

I accept.

In the topic, my opponent uses the word "children" as if we can generalize the topic to all children.
Also, when my opponent says "Real World," we must assume that he is talking about financial success since he did not specify and did not provide a definition for the debate.
Therefore, my opponent has the burden of proof to show that all children would be better prepared for success if they went to school.

My primary counterexample to my opponent's claim are children who will go on to inherit a family business. These children do not need a formal education in order to succeed "in the real world."

Here is a summary of the arguments I will run in this debate.

1. Children can expect to have lower stress levels in an unschooled environment.
2. Putting children through a system teaches everyone almost the exact same way is not efficient. Different children have different preferred methods of learning.
3. Children are curious and natural learners. However, they would rather learn at their own pace than be forced to go at the same pace as a traditional school.

Here is how I refute my opponents argument.
My opponents argument against "unschooling" is that children are not punished by bad behavior.
That, however, is false. Unschooling is characterized by freedom in choosing what to learn, not freedom to do whatever the child wants. Parents still punish their children for misbehaving, even when homeschooling. If my opponent is arguing against unschooling, then he is advocating for a system like Common Core, in which the learner does not have a choice as to what should be learned.
Debate Round No. 1
Matthew202

Pro

My first argument is that without a school, there is no basis on which a child may thrive on to learn. If unschooling (not radical unschooling; the type of unschooling I was suggesting on the basis of no punishment for bad/irregular behaviour) allows children to learn anything they like with no formal basis, then they could be interested in somethings, but not everything. If you were to be unschooled, then along with most of the students in public schools, the ratio of children who enjoy mathematics to those who don't is about 1:6 (based on a small survey I have conducted at my school). This would show that if most children don't enjoy mathematics, then they would have no reason to learn mathematics if they didn't want to. But, math is needed in everyday life, and weather someone doesn't like it doesn't mean that it's not important. During school, children are taught by a professional on a more formal basis. I am not saying they should use Common Core in school, for the curriculum is absolutely ridiculous, but to use a curriculum that would involve all needed aspects of math, such as finance and multiplication and division in a more easy, simplified way, in which some states do without the Common Core Standards.. There are other subjects, but this is one that is needed throughout everyday life. I conclude my point.
zhangwn

Con

First, notice that my opponent failed to address my arguments discussing the benefits of unschooling, so those arguments can be extended into this round. Keep in mind that, in a debate, any failure to refute an argument is an admission that the argument is true.
Most notably, he didn't address my point that he has the burden of proof to show that unschooling would not prepare ALL students as well as a formal education would. Yet he did not provide an argument addressing the counterexample I gave in the previous round.
Furthermore, by omission, he admits that the following arguments are true:
1. Children can expect to have lower stress levels in an unschooled environment.
2. Putting children through a system teaches everyone almost the exact same way is not efficient. Different children have different preferred methods of learning.
3. Children are curious and natural learners. However, they would rather learn at their own pace than be forced to go at the same pace as a traditional school.

Now, I'm going to refute my opponent's arguments point-by-point.

"My first argument is that without a school, there is no basis on which a child may thrive on to learn."
This is false. Unschooling is a type of home-school characterized by freedom in which subjects to be learned. Here is a definition provided by an online source: "define unschooling as allowing children as much freedom to learn in the world, as their parents can comfortably bear." http://www.holtgws.com...
The "basis on which a child may thrive on to learn" is provided by the parents. Education does not always have to be formalized in order to learn. Common skills not typically taught in a formal education are cooking, dish-washing, laundry, social skills, how to fill tax forms, how to eat and stay healthy, how to use a phone, how to ride a bike, etc. The list of skills usually learned in an informal setting goes on.

My opponent's next argument:
"If unschooling allows children to learn anything they like with no formal basis, then they could be interested in somethings, but not everything."
The issue with this argument is:- people don't need to learn "everything" in order to be prepared "for the Real World." For the majority of the population, we don't use most of what we learn in our daily lives. If a child wants to be a physicist when he or she grows older, then learning African history will most likely be useless for him or her.

My opponent's next argument:
"If you were to be unschooled, then along with most of the students in public schools, the ratio of children who enjoy mathematics to those who don't is about 1:6 (based on a small survey I have conducted at my school)."
When we are discussing "children," what age group are you talking about, and what ages are the students at your school that you surveyed? Do these students consider themselves to be children? Can we really use a "small survey" from a public school to generalize the results to all children? Please post more information about the survey in the next round.

Another argument:
"This would show that if most children don't enjoy mathematics, then they would have no reason to learn mathematics if they didn't want to. But, math is needed in everyday life, and weather someone doesn't like it doesn't mean that it's not important."
Again, parents provide the basis of education in unschooling. Just because unschooling is characterized by more freedom then formal education does not mean absolute freedom. A good analogy would be comparing this to the First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution, which includes freedom of speech. Despite this, yelling fire in a crowded theater is not protected by the First Amendment. Similarly, parents would be teaching the student math in an informal education.

Final argument:
"During school, children are taught by a professional on a more formal basis."
While a formal education is more "professional," it is also far more standardized. In comparison to unschooling, formal education does not adapt to a student's best learning style as well.

Also, since you are not advocating for Common Core, you must be advocating for some form of standardized education. In the next round, please post a list of subjects that you believe all children should be required to learn.

"I conclude my point."
Debate Round No. 2
Matthew202

Pro

As you can see, my opponent is yes, obviously better than me at debating, for he is probably more experienced, and older, whilst this is my first ever debate. I shall try to attempt to be better at this current round.

First, I shall address my survey I have conducted, or to say, conducting.
This survey is still on. If you have not yet inferred, I am still in the age of school. I am part of a military family, so have been to many different schools through out my life. From the grade of second (2nd) to my current grade (a grade in which I have the right not to say), I have been collecting data on children (for clarification, ages 7-16), those who like/dislike math. In simplified terms, the outcome was a ratio of, as I said, 1:6, those who like to those who don't.

Also, I will admit that arguments 1 and 2 are truthful, yet the third may be argued, yet as I said, I'm new at this, so I would not be sure of arguing that at this time would be for or against the standardized debating rules.

Now, time to rebuttal!

First off, I shall refute my opponent's argument that " Common skills not typically taught in a formal education are cooking, dish-washing, laundry, social skills, how to fill tax forms, how to eat and stay healthy..."
This can be proven false. The definition of typical is " Having the distinctive qualities of a particular type of person or thing" (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...). This would mean that (in the case of this argument) not all schools would teach these qualities, but some would. Most would, actually. As I said, I am part of a military family, so I have been to Texas, Germany,Virginia, and New York. As I went through each school, there was never a year when I didn't learn about common skills. I took two quarters of health in NY, a subject my opponent states is ..." not typically taught..." Many schools have home economy classes, in which students DID learn how to use basic cooking materials (post, pans, knives, stove, oven, etc..." and learned how to properly use both a washer and a dryer. In mathematics, students did learn about taxes, about money taxes, and how to write checks (http://www.ixl.com...).

My opponent also states that children mus-int learn "everything". But they should learn a majority. Again, I use math as an example. Students, for the most part, ask teachers multiple time "when will we ever use THIS in the real world". Well, most to all of math is important. From being a dress designer to simply a waitress, math is always needed. My evidence for this is this website, http://weusemath.org.... Also, history is needed. If we were to stop teaching history, errors from the past could be made in the future. It wouldn't happen over night, but after a few years, in government and in the use of the military and even in things occupations such as construction, errors can be made if children aren't taught what things not to do in the future.

Next, I shall argue that parents are not always basis of education. If unschooling allows children freedom of what to learn, how would a parent be a grounds of education if that person doesn't even have the knowledge of the subject? If the child wants to be a rock star, or an architect, how would the parent help if they are not an architect or have no musical knowledge (counting in time, playing the instrument, musical notation, etc...)? Sure, they can teach them somethings needed to do some occupations, but at one point, they will have to go to a university or college to learn further.

Another things I might add, your definition of unschooling comes from a webpage clearly devoted to the subject. The actual definition for the term would be a home-school education with the child taking the primary responsibility instead of a parent or teacher; also called child-directed learning, self-learning (http://dictionary.reference.com...) Thus, the parent would have little responsibility in the child's learning, fro the child takes on primary responsibility. Just another, the term unschooled has the definition: Not educated at or made to attend school: unschooled children (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...)

I now end my argument for round 3.
zhangwn

Con

Rebuttal:
"As you can see, my opponent is yes, obviously better than me at debating, for he is probably more experienced, and older, whilst this is my first ever debate. I shall try to attempt to be better at this current round."
This is not an excuse to fail to address an opponent's argument. If anything, this is a reason to vote Con.

About the survey:
This is not representative of all children since it is not a simple random sample of the child population. The survey was conducted based off of my opponent's personal experience and as such, it is most likely just representative of his friends.
Even if this was not the case, the survey still does not take a random sample of the population of interest. The survey only targets public school children. In situations in which children are forced to "learn," they aren't as motivated to do it. This concept is very similar to reverse psychology; pressure to do something can often result in encouragement to do the opposite. The paragraph titled "Forbidden Fruit Tastes So Much Sweeter" in this article further explains the process http://www.businessinsider.com...
Also, the survey suffers from high variability and response bias. My opponent admitted that it is "a small survey," so it also has a large margin of error. The response bias affects the result mainly in the social aspect of the survey; a child might not want to say that they enjoy math in order to avoid being negatively stereotyped.
Lastly, my opponent still has the burden of proof that ALL children would be better prepared if they did not undergo "unschooling." The fact that some people in the survey actually did respond that they enjoyed math shows that some students can be self-motivated.

Here is my opponent's next argument:
"Also, I will admit that arguments 1 and 2 are truthful, yet the third may be argued, yet as I said, I'm new at this, so I would not be sure of arguing that at this time would be for or against the standardized debating rules."
My opponent admits arguments 1 and 2 are true, so those can be extended into this round. Being new at a debate is not an excuse to fail to address an argument. Furthermore, even though my opponent says that argument 3 is arguable, by omission of a rebuttal, he admits that it is true.

When my opponent refutes my argument that some skills are not learned in a typical school, he does not address the last example: riding a bike. In order to show that typical schools do not cover all learning, I only need to provide counterexamples. More counterexamples include walking dogs, getting a passport or visa, shaving, card games, what to do at parties, and more generally, social events. As for his statement that many schools have home economy classes, majority of these schools do not enforce these classes, and the classes are taken as electives, meaning that the student chose to take that course. This only proves my point that students are deemed responsible enough to control their own education.

My opponent's next argues that EVERY student should learn "a majority" of topics taught in school.
My opponent misinterprets my arguments in order to refute them. I gave an example that a physicist wouldn't need to learn African history in order to be successful, but then my opponent's response was "If we were to stop teaching history, errors from the past could be made in the future." I am NOT advocating for people to stop teaching history. I am NOT stating that unschooling is for everyone. I AM advocating that unschooling would be better for some people.
My opponent uses math as an example to show that students are not self-motivated or responsible enough to learn topics on their own. However, the parents that allow their children to "unschool" are the same parents that trust their children to be responsible for their own education. Students who are self-motivated to learn can be expected to be more successful than the reluctant learners. Also, a reason why students ask "when will we ever use THIS in the real world" is because they do not understand its usefulness. A students who chose to learn math will likely understand the reasons why they chose to learn math and its practical importance. Unschooling forces students to make the decision to learn math on their own rather than be reluctant learners.

Finally, my opponent presents unschooling only in its most extreme form. While the unschooling is characterized by freedom in what to learn, freedom has its limits the same way that the Freedom of Speech is limited. Parents ultimately have legal and educational right over their child and can direct their education if current methods are unsuccessful in teaching.

"I now end my argument for round 3."
Debate Round No. 3
Matthew202

Pro

Matthew202 forfeited this round.
zhangwn

Con

My opponent has just forfeited his last round, so extend all of my arguments and please vote con.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Khana 1 year ago
Khana
Matthew202zhangwnTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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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
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro failed to adequately present his points, as well as to defend his position from his opponent. It was often unclear exactly what he was arguing for - or against, for that matter. Additionally, Pro forfeited the final round, losing the conduct point. Con was clear and focused, presenting his points fairly. I was not much aware of unschooling, and while I certainly am not completely convinced, I've been swayed in that direction. Well argued.