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Schools and classroom attendance

Blade-of-Truth
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6/21/2016 12:23:08 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
Schools should not make classroom attendance compulsory.

This was a question presented to me on a political compass test, with the options to strongly agree or disagree and agree or disagree. I take an issue with this question due to its lack of specificity.

My own answer would be that I'd make anything from highschool and lower compulsory, but wouldn't require such a rule for higher education institutions like colleges or grad programs. (This isn't to say I don't think that the entire educational system from the highschool level down needs to be redone completely, but that's a topic for another day)

My reasoning for this is because I do feel, that as a collective society, we need some form of basic education just to be able to function on a higher level than other countries competing against us in the grand game of world dominance. However, once in college or higher, the person, as any adult, should have the freedom to hold themselves responsible for any further education.

Therefore, I believe this question is lacking, and ultimately unfair to be used in the manner it is. Thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? What would be your own answer to this question?
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ResponsiblyIrresponsible
Posts: 12,398
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6/21/2016 12:44:26 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/21/2016 12:23:08 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
Schools should not make classroom attendance compulsory.

This was a question presented to me on a political compass test, with the options to strongly agree or disagree and agree or disagree. I take an issue with this question due to its lack of specificity.

My own answer would be that I'd make anything from highschool and lower compulsory, but wouldn't require such a rule for higher education institutions like colleges or grad programs. (This isn't to say I don't think that the entire educational system from the highschool level down needs to be redone completely, but that's a topic for another day)

My reasoning for this is because I do feel, that as a collective society, we need some form of basic education just to be able to function on a higher level than other countries competing against us in the grand game of world dominance. However, once in college or higher, the person, as any adult, should have the freedom to hold themselves responsible for any further education.

Therefore, I believe this question is lacking, and ultimately unfair to be used in the manner it is. Thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? What would be your own answer to this question?

I see what you're saying with regard to the tricky wording. Every time I've taken the political compass test, I've always interpreted this as high school and below since that's the current law as I understand it, at least in most states, but this wouldn't be the first time one of their questions was worded weirdly. (Remember "a one party state is more efficient than a democracy because it avoids partisan gridlock" or something like that? I mean, I guess that's true.... but that doesn't make it desirable.)

I'd also agree with your position on that: college, much less grad-school, most certainly isn't for everyone.
~ResponsiblyIrresponsible

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Blade-of-Truth
Posts: 5,036
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6/21/2016 2:09:51 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/21/2016 12:44:26 AM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
At 6/21/2016 12:23:08 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
Schools should not make classroom attendance compulsory.

This was a question presented to me on a political compass test, with the options to strongly agree or disagree and agree or disagree. I take an issue with this question due to its lack of specificity.

My own answer would be that I'd make anything from highschool and lower compulsory, but wouldn't require such a rule for higher education institutions like colleges or grad programs. (This isn't to say I don't think that the entire educational system from the highschool level down needs to be redone completely, but that's a topic for another day)

My reasoning for this is because I do feel, that as a collective society, we need some form of basic education just to be able to function on a higher level than other countries competing against us in the grand game of world dominance. However, once in college or higher, the person, as any adult, should have the freedom to hold themselves responsible for any further education.

Therefore, I believe this question is lacking, and ultimately unfair to be used in the manner it is. Thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? What would be your own answer to this question?

I see what you're saying with regard to the tricky wording. Every time I've taken the political compass test, I've always interpreted this as high school and below since that's the current law as I understand it, at least in most states, but this wouldn't be the first time one of their questions was worded weirdly. (Remember "a one party state is more efficient than a democracy because it avoids partisan gridlock" or something like that? I mean, I guess that's true.... but that doesn't make it desirable.)

See, I've always thought the same - the question pertains to people of the highschool level or lower. The problem is that the question uses the word 'compulsory' which means both laws and rules. At my university about 90% of my classes had a 3 strike rule for attendance, where if you miss more than 3 classes your final grade drops by one letter or by 10%, other times it was an auto-fail for the course. So, for me, the question does include colleges and higher education institutions, thus my dilemma with answering the question to the best of my ability.

Ultimately, I think having mandatory attendance in college level classes or higher is not necessary. In my own experiences, I often taught myself the course material better than any of my professors, so it was extremely hard for me to sit through classes wasting hours of my time when I could learn the same material on my own in half the time. (By senior year I was signing up mainly for online courses through the university and spent half the semester enjoying my free time due to my work-load already being done). If people still want to attend the classes then by all means do it, but those of us who utilize different learning methods should have the freedom to come and go as we please if we're being responsible about it.

I'd also agree with your position on that: college, much less grad-school, most certainly isn't for everyone.
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ResponsiblyIrresponsible
Posts: 12,398
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6/21/2016 2:27:27 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/21/2016 2:09:51 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 6/21/2016 12:44:26 AM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
At 6/21/2016 12:23:08 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
Schools should not make classroom attendance compulsory.

This was a question presented to me on a political compass test, with the options to strongly agree or disagree and agree or disagree. I take an issue with this question due to its lack of specificity.

My own answer would be that I'd make anything from highschool and lower compulsory, but wouldn't require such a rule for higher education institutions like colleges or grad programs. (This isn't to say I don't think that the entire educational system from the highschool level down needs to be redone completely, but that's a topic for another day)

My reasoning for this is because I do feel, that as a collective society, we need some form of basic education just to be able to function on a higher level than other countries competing against us in the grand game of world dominance. However, once in college or higher, the person, as any adult, should have the freedom to hold themselves responsible for any further education.

Therefore, I believe this question is lacking, and ultimately unfair to be used in the manner it is. Thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? What would be your own answer to this question?

I see what you're saying with regard to the tricky wording. Every time I've taken the political compass test, I've always interpreted this as high school and below since that's the current law as I understand it, at least in most states, but this wouldn't be the first time one of their questions was worded weirdly. (Remember "a one party state is more efficient than a democracy because it avoids partisan gridlock" or something like that? I mean, I guess that's true.... but that doesn't make it desirable.)

See, I've always thought the same - the question pertains to people of the highschool level or lower. The problem is that the question uses the word 'compulsory' which means both laws and rules. At my university about 90% of my classes had a 3 strike rule for attendance, where if you miss more than 3 classes your final grade drops by one letter or by 10%, other times it was an auto-fail for the course. So, for me, the question does include colleges and higher education institutions, thus my dilemma with answering the question to the best of my ability.

Ah, that makes sense. I've had classes with similar rules, though I think for me it's professor-specific. My school has attendance policies for, I believe, the first week (miss the first week and get auto dropped), but I've had plenty of profs who don't take attendance and/or don't care.

Ultimately, I think having mandatory attendance in college level classes or higher is not necessary. In my own experiences, I often taught myself the course material better than any of my professors, so it was extremely hard for me to sit through classes wasting hours of my time when I could learn the same material on my own in half the time. (By senior year I was signing up mainly for online courses through the university and spent half the semester enjoying my free time due to my work-load already being done). If people still want to attend the classes then by all means do it, but those of us who utilize different learning methods should have the freedom to come and go as we please if we're being responsible about it.

I agree with this completely. There are plenty of people who really needn't attend lecture -- especially if it's positively painful to sit through (haven't we all had those?) -- in order to succeed, and I'd rather not punish them for it, especially when perhaps a third of their classmates sit in the back of the room on Facebook the whole time, lol.... (Probably why some professors increasingly tabulate bullsh1t "participation" grades, have exam material that is strictly found in the lecture, introduce cold calls, and/or ban laptops/ipads.)

I'd also agree with your position on that: college, much less grad-school, most certainly isn't for everyone.
~ResponsiblyIrresponsible

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RoyLatham
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6/23/2016 5:44:43 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
I agree. The question is ambiguous, and I think your analysis is correct. The political compass tests that I've seen are rank with ambiguous or loaded questions. If you want to play the compass tests, the way to do it is to guess which answer the questioner wants to show the libertarian/authoritarian split or whatever is supposedly measured. So a question like, "Should poor people be allowed to suffer?" Supposes that libertarians will say yes and collectivists will say no, event though libertarians believe charity is the best answer to suffering. Play to the expectations of the test designer.