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Specific Educational Reforms

Logic_on_rails
Posts: 2,445
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12/25/2012 6:59:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Debates on education reform on DDO are limited to say the least. Also, annoyingly, people tend to opt out of discussion by oversimplifying the needed reforms to 'privatise education and let the market...' , which is understandable given some members sentiments.

But it doesn't answer the question - what reforms would the market implement?

What I'm looking for is for posters to discuss various ideas of reform. I want thread posters to lay out what they believe would be beneficial changes to education. The scope is as broad as you want, although logistical and other practical concerns can be brought up during discussion.

I'll start. I've outlined various proposals in forums and debates:

1. Reducing homework in conjunction with extending school hours (http://www.debate.org... ) ; I've actually done multiple debates on this subject.

2. Unknown Examination dates http://www.debate.org...

3. http://www.debate.org... (this is actually my newest debate)

4. http://www.debate.org... (this was a much improved idea based on a previous debate of mine)

I should note that I don't necessarily agree with the positions I put forth in these debates now vs. when I did the debates, but they're all ideas to consider. I want people to put forth educational reforms and policies, and to have a discussion on these policies.
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it
YYW
Posts: 36,426
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12/25/2012 7:15:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/25/2012 6:59:07 PM, Logic_on_rails wrote:
Debates on education reform on DDO are limited to say the least. Also, annoyingly, people tend to opt out of discussion by oversimplifying the needed reforms to 'privatise education and let the market...' , which is understandable given some members sentiments.

But it doesn't answer the question - what reforms would the market implement?

Reforms that meet the demands of customers.

What I'm looking for is for posters to discuss various ideas of reform. I want thread posters to lay out what they believe would be beneficial changes to education. The scope is as broad as you want, although logistical and other practical concerns can be brought up during discussion.

I'll start. I've outlined various proposals in forums and debates:

1. Reducing homework in conjunction with extending school hours (http://www.debate.org... ) ; I've actually done multiple debates on this subject.

I'm totally in favor of this. 9AM-5PM school days. No homework. Extra curricular activities before or after.

2. Unknown Examination dates http://www.debate.org...

Pop quizzes? Yes. Unknown exam dates? No. Why? Best of both worlds.

3. http://www.debate.org... (this is actually my newest debate)

4. http://www.debate.org... (this was a much improved idea based on a previous debate of mine)

I should note that I don't necessarily agree with the positions I put forth in these debates now vs. when I did the debates, but they're all ideas to consider. I want people to put forth educational reforms and policies, and to have a discussion on these policies.

I might make a lengthy post on this later. Too tired for now. Great topic, nevertheless!
Tsar of DDO
LeafRod
Posts: 1,548
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12/25/2012 7:42:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Yeah, those are some alright micro solutions, but I really think the big underlying issue is the comprehensive manner in which we teach and evaluate, extending to a whole cultural attitude of what it means to be "smart" or "educated" or any of these concepts. I've been thinking about this a lot but it's hard for me to verbalize these ideas.

Here's an interesting video that really inspired some of my thoughts.
Logic_on_rails
Posts: 2,445
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12/25/2012 8:13:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Leafrod,

I am in support of an educational overhaul at a macro level to be sure. My thoughts though are that a large variety of micro factors are also contributing. My proposed micro solutions addressed the areas of testing (and hence the quantification of knowledge, curriculum design etc.) , confidence, memory retention and the like.

I'd be fascinated to have you attempt to articulate your ideas. I understand it might not be perfectly done, but this is an online forum! One may never achieve perfection, but they may approach it through trying.

I think that some of the larger trends (among others of course!) that are ignored are memory retention, the inability to accurately quantify knowledge, your points about what being 'educated' ought to mean along with other key points. I'll detail these tends and others in detail once we see some proposals come in from various members.
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it
LeafRod
Posts: 1,548
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12/26/2012 12:01:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Well that video pretty much does it for me, on a personal level I've always largely rejected notions of "smartness" or "intelligence" as anything that is worth using to compare people due to the multifaceted nature of... skill, or existence, or whatever you want to say. That speech expresses some of the same sentiments, but puts them in the framework of education
ax123man
Posts: 317
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12/26/2012 9:00:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Separate accreditation from education. The idea would be that business would hire based on credentials. If you can teach yourself at home and compete, from a credentialing perspective, with a Harvard grad, then you are on par with that grad. Your education could essentially be free in that case. Colleges would need to focus more on results. Graduates taking tests for credentialing would likely only pay for tests relevant to their chosen vocation, which would lead colleges to follow suit to fill those needs. I believe this would reduce costs significantly. This would also increase the pace of the trend toward online education tools like khan, coursera, etc.

I also advocate getting the government out of education, which would reduce the cost of college, along with increasing diversity of learning. This also eliminates the problem of academics being used for propaganda by the state.

To fill the hole left by eliminating public funding, I'd like to see financial structures that allow for investing in the future income of students. However, given the technology trends in education and the other two changes above, I think the cost of college would drop by such a huge factor, it wouldn't be as much of an issue.

There's also the standard stuff: eliminating tenure and unions.

As far as secondary ed, I'd like to see less emphasis on formal eduction and more on developing skills. Secondary education should not be compulsory. I like the idea of this being voluntary. It just gives kids more choices.

I might also argue against compulsory primary education, but I expect this to be controversial. For the most part, I don't have an issue with primary education.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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12/26/2012 9:06:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/26/2012 9:00:10 PM, ax123man wrote:
Separate accreditation from education. The idea would be that business would hire based on credentials. If you can teach yourself at home and compete, from a credentialing perspective, with a Harvard grad, then you are on par with that grad. Your education could essentially be free in that case. Colleges would need to focus more on results. Graduates taking tests for credentialing would likely only pay for tests relevant to their chosen vocation, which would lead colleges to follow suit to fill those needs. I believe this would reduce costs significantly. This would also increase the pace of the trend toward online education tools like khan, coursera, etc.

The problem is that companies what an idea of your skill BEFORE they hire you. You can't just walk into an interview and say "I taught myself to be as skilled as a Harvard grad."

It is just like someone that was trained by Honda to repair Honda cars and has a certificate to back that up (from Honda) is going to be worth more to Honda customers than someone that says "I taught myself and I know just as much as they do."
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
ax123man
Posts: 317
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12/27/2012 6:53:24 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/26/2012 9:06:58 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 12/26/2012 9:00:10 PM, ax123man wrote:
Separate accreditation from education. The idea would be that business would hire based on credentials. If you can teach yourself at home and compete, from a credentialing perspective, with a Harvard grad, then you are on par with that grad. Your education could essentially be free in that case. Colleges would need to focus more on results. Graduates taking tests for credentialing would likely only pay for tests relevant to their chosen vocation, which would lead colleges to follow suit to fill those needs. I believe this would reduce costs significantly. This would also increase the pace of the trend toward online education tools like khan, coursera, etc.

The problem is that companies what an idea of your skill BEFORE they hire you. You can't just walk into an interview and say "I taught myself to be as skilled as a Harvard grad."

It is just like someone that was trained by Honda to repair Honda cars and has a certificate to back that up (from Honda) is going to be worth more to Honda customers than someone that says "I taught myself and I know just as much as they do."

It seems like you completely missed my point about accreditation. Why couldn't Honda have a competency test that included an hour long test, an interview (if the test goes well), and an hour in the shop next to another mechanic (if the interview goes well)? The point is to separate training from accreditation.

My vocation is computer programming and I realize these ideas will vary by job. But I can tell you from experience, a diploma is becoming less of a factor. I'd rather see enthusiasm, humility, and an eagerness to learn. Or better yet, something produced. In your example, a kid who drives up to the Honda dealership with a car that they personally over-hauled. That car becomes the "golden ticket" that is currently the 80,000$ diploma. You might say a kid will just claim he did this work, but that's not much different than writing "Graduate of Harvard" on your resume. If he can't explain in detail why he chose a specific camshaft, etc, it won't fly. Again based on my experience, the diploma is overrated. It's a classic example of group think.
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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1/1/2013 11:01:58 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Education is an extremely easy problem to figure out. Knocking common sense into the heads of politicians is not.

And no, privatizing is not the answer.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
ax123man
Posts: 317
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1/1/2013 11:15:35 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/1/2013 11:01:58 AM, MouthWash wrote:
Education is an extremely easy problem to figure out. Knocking common sense into the heads of politicians is not.

And no, privatizing is not the answer.

didn't you just contradict yourself? That is if the "knocking common sense" part is impossible (which I believe is true).
tmar19652
Posts: 727
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1/1/2013 12:15:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'm a fan of selective grouping throughout a child's educational career. For example, if you had 3 third grade classes, you could have one smart class, one average class, and one remedial class. This way the smart kids can move ahead and learn more, and the remedial kids can be helped with whatever they are struggling at.

Details would have to be worked out, like the aptitude tests at the end of the year, but I thing this system would work better than our current system.

Also this is already used in high schools and junior highs, with remedial, regents, honors, and advanced placement courses.
"Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first." -Ronald Reagan

"The notion of political correctness declares certain topics, certain ex<x>pressions even certain gestures off-limits. What began as a crusade for civility has soured into a cause of conflict and even censorship." -George H.W. Bush
ax123man
Posts: 317
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1/1/2013 12:42:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/1/2013 12:15:38 PM, tmar19652 wrote:
I'm a fan of selective grouping throughout a child's educational career. For example, if you had 3 third grade classes, you could have one smart class, one average class, and one remedial class. This way the smart kids can move ahead and learn more, and the remedial kids can be helped with whatever they are struggling at.

Details would have to be worked out, like the aptitude tests at the end of the year, but I thing this system would work better than our current system.

Also this is already used in high schools and junior highs, with remedial, regents, honors, and advanced placement courses.

Why not put all those kids in one class and let the smarter kids participate in teaching? You wouldn't be restricted to arbitrary groups and it would be more like real life. This could be further facilitated via Salman Khan's flipped classroom.

In any case, schools and teachers should feel free to experiment, through which schools could discover what works and what doesn't.
tmar19652
Posts: 727
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1/1/2013 12:53:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/1/2013 12:42:59 PM, ax123man wrote:
At 1/1/2013 12:15:38 PM, tmar19652 wrote:
I'm a fan of selective grouping throughout a child's educational career. For example, if you had 3 third grade classes, you could have one smart class, one average class, and one remedial class. This way the smart kids can move ahead and learn more, and the remedial kids can be helped with whatever they are struggling at.

Details would have to be worked out, like the aptitude tests at the end of the year, but I thing this system would work better than our current system.

Also this is already used in high schools and junior highs, with remedial, regents, honors, and advanced placement courses.

Why not put all those kids in one class and let the smarter kids participate in teaching? You wouldn't be restricted to arbitrary groups and it would be more like real life. This could be further facilitated via Salman Khan's flipped classroom.

In any case, schools and teachers should feel free to experiment, through which schools could discover what works and what doesn't.

Really, try getting first graders to teach a class, I think separate classes are needed, but I agree with the flipped classroom idea.
"Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first." -Ronald Reagan

"The notion of political correctness declares certain topics, certain ex<x>pressions even certain gestures off-limits. What began as a crusade for civility has soured into a cause of conflict and even censorship." -George H.W. Bush
OllerupMand
Posts: 375
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1/1/2013 12:58:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/1/2013 12:53:35 PM, tmar19652 wrote:
At 1/1/2013 12:42:59 PM, ax123man wrote:
At 1/1/2013 12:15:38 PM, tmar19652 wrote:
I'm a fan of selective grouping throughout a child's educational career. For example, if you had 3 third grade classes, you could have one smart class, one average class, and one remedial class. This way the smart kids can move ahead and learn more, and the remedial kids can be helped with whatever they are struggling at.

Details would have to be worked out, like the aptitude tests at the end of the year, but I thing this system would work better than our current system.

Also this is already used in high schools and junior highs, with remedial, regents, honors, and advanced placement courses.

Why not put all those kids in one class and let the smarter kids participate in teaching? You wouldn't be restricted to arbitrary groups and it would be more like real life. This could be further facilitated via Salman Khan's flipped classroom.

In any case, schools and teachers should feel free to experiment, through which schools could discover what works and what doesn't.

Really, try getting first graders to teach a class, I think separate classes are needed, but I agree with the flipped classroom idea.

First graders are able to teach their friends very well as long as they know they can't just show them the answear XD
ax123man
Posts: 317
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1/1/2013 2:33:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/1/2013 12:53:35 PM, tmar19652 wrote:
At 1/1/2013 12:42:59 PM, ax123man wrote:
At 1/1/2013 12:15:38 PM, tmar19652 wrote:
I'm a fan of selective grouping throughout a child's educational career. For example, if you had 3 third grade classes, you could have one smart class, one average class, and one remedial class. This way the smart kids can move ahead and learn more, and the remedial kids can be helped with whatever they are struggling at.

Details would have to be worked out, like the aptitude tests at the end of the year, but I thing this system would work better than our current system.

Also this is already used in high schools and junior highs, with remedial, regents, honors, and advanced placement courses.

Why not put all those kids in one class and let the smarter kids participate in teaching? You wouldn't be restricted to arbitrary groups and it would be more like real life. This could be further facilitated via Salman Khan's flipped classroom.

In any case, schools and teachers should feel free to experiment, through which schools could discover what works and what doesn't.

Really, try getting first graders to teach a class, I think separate classes are needed, but I agree with the flipped classroom idea.

So the idea fails overall because it doesn't work for first graders? Is that really your argument?
The main point I'm trying to make is that teachers should be free to experiment. Just trying things is more valuable than spending all this time debating.

When I asked our son's middle school math teacher what he thought of khan and the flipped classroom ( I actually had my son ask), his replay was "That's a good idea, but everyone would need internet". The next day I asked my son what he was doing on the computer and he says "Oh, our math teacher has everyone do homework on studyisland.com."
Logic_on_rails
Posts: 2,445
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1/1/2013 7:17:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Let's go through the various replies.

Firstly, I addressed selective class streams here http://www.debate.org... , so I won't repeat myself here.

ax123man, I agree that there should be a way to demonstrate competency aside from university study and the like. However, such ways have to be actually used by businesses as opposed to degrees, which have a very strong use in signalling, which demonstrates useful attributes aside from the knowledge learnt via a degree. Obviously, the relevance of a degree to work is in question, which relates to the purpose of universities, proposed curriculum etc. This is what would be a good discussion - proposed curriculum changes.

With regard to waiving compulsory primary education... I disagree completely as a certain foundation ought to be taught. With regard to secondary education, I sympathise with your point, but your solution to the issue of problems in secondary education is to scrap it. I think the solution is to fix the issues, which aren't inherent in potential education processes. Education has various benefits set into it's timetabling, social interactions and more which most people don't know about. For instance, the spacing effect is enforced by education, vs. the inclination for massed presentation in self-education.

Mouthwash, what is inherently bad about any potential school environment? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the views you've espoused before result in the complete elimination of formal education. I'd be interested to hear your reasons for why you believe this, and then maybe we can have a discussion in a few days (as I'll be offline for a few days) .

And YYW, I'd be absolutely fascinated to hear your thoughts.
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it
ax123man
Posts: 317
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1/1/2013 8:08:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/1/2013 7:17:44 PM, Logic_on_rails wrote:
Let's go through the various replies.

Firstly, I addressed selective class streams here http://www.debate.org... , so I won't repeat myself here.

ax123man, I agree that there should be a way to demonstrate competency aside from university study and the like. However, such ways have to be actually used by businesses as opposed to degrees, which have a very strong use in signalling, which demonstrates useful attributes aside from the knowledge learnt via a degree. Obviously, the relevance of a degree to work is in question, which relates to the purpose of universities, proposed curriculum etc. This is what would be a good discussion - proposed curriculum changes.

It would require localized success probably starting with certain trades and collaboration between schools and business. It wouldn't be easy.

I don't agree that a University degree demonstrates much beyond knowledge learned. At least in my own profession (IT), a hiring candidate needs to show base knowledge, enthusiasm, ability to handle stress and a positive attitude. The degree is just a start - really just a ticket to get in the door to satisfy the initial part of "base knowledge". The rest depends completely on the interview.


With regard to waiving compulsory primary education... I disagree completely as a certain foundation ought to be taught. With regard to secondary education, I sympathise with your point, but your solution to the issue of problems in secondary education is to scrap it. I think the solution is to fix the issues, which aren't inherent in potential education processes. Education has various benefits set into it's timetabling, social interactions and more which most people don't know about. For instance, the spacing effect is enforced by education, vs. the inclination for massed presentation in self-education.

But your assuming nothing would be learned unless there was compulsory education. And your also assuming that public education would be scrapped just because it's voluntary. There would still be plenty of kids who would make that choice. As soon as you make something non-voluntary, you introduce the risk of reducing the quality of whatever that thing is. I don't see the point of home schooled kids being required to prove or show anything to the public education system. The rules vary but at least that's the system with my kids. I think the required structure is pointless. It serves more to make educators feel good, in my opinion. Eliminate the structure, and I think the result would be that kids would be more likely to end up where they naturally belong, whether that be the family business, an auto mechanic, a musical prodigy, doctor, lawyer, whatever.