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  #51  
Old 11-16-2019, 04:57 PM
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Part of the difficulty in designing education is any choice involves values: what one values in life in and society, what one thinks the future will be and what it should be, ideas about authority and obedience and resistance to same, and the list goes on. Not to put too fine a point on it, your idea that we should equip people to work, be patriotic, and make smart shopping choices looks to the next person like you want to turn out drones, cannon fodder, and vacuous consumers....and etc. As for me, I think kids should be trained in self defence and scaling violence, first aid, peaceful conflict resolution, piano, basic agriculture and tool use, and how to organize with others who have different viewpoints to accomplish common goals. That is, smart rebels who will resist authority and figure out how to build a world they’d live to live in. Who you might see as terrorist layabouts, wreckers, and parasites. Now, we each take our plans to the school board....

Last edited by Kropotkin; 11-16-2019 at 04:58 PM. Reason: Typo
  #52  
Old 11-16-2019, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kropotkin View Post
Part of the difficulty in designing education is any choice involves values: what one values in life in and society, what one thinks the future will be and what it should be, ideas about authority and obedience and resistance to same, and the list goes on. Not to put too fine a point on it, your idea that we should equip people to work, be patriotic, and make smart shopping choices looks to the next person like you want to turn out drones, cannon fodder, and vacuous consumers....and etc.
Agreed

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As for me, I think kids should be trained in self defence and scaling violence,
Teaching self defence is useless unless you're ready to really hurt your students. Most "self defence" activities make things more dangerous because you think you have an ability you don't.

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first aid,
Good idea, most kids will hate it, though.
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peaceful conflict resolution
That's really hard to teach, but critical thinking skills are always good.

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, piano
,

Music, yes.
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basic agriculture
This will make all other "when will I need to do this" questions pale in comparison.

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and tool use,
Offer shop clases, but most will detest it.
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and how to organize with others who have different viewpoints to accomplish common goals.
Schools do that, but you can't teach it as a subject.

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That is, smart rebels who will resist authority and figure out how to build a world they’d live to live in. Who you might see as terrorist layabouts, wreckers, and parasites. Now, we each take our plans to the school board....
You can't teach teach rebelliousness in an orderly fashion to teens.
  #53  
Old 11-16-2019, 07:07 PM
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I confess I was, and am, not entirely serious, but:
You can easily teach kids how to break fingers, gouge, bite, punch, and kick, and if everyone knows everyone can do that, bullying would cease instantly. At least if we follow the logic of some of those opposed to gun control. And if you’re gong to teach all that, many will be keen to learn first aid. The basic stuff is pretty simple; Boy Scouts and Girl Guides used to be taught it all the time.

Anyone who has unbroken fingers can then sign up for piano lessons.

You absolutely can teach teens to rebel in an organized fashion, and teach people in actual classes to figure out how to work together. That doesn’t mean they won’t find other ways to be jackasses. This site has some ideas and there are lots more like it
https://www.trainingforchange.org/
  #54  
Old 11-16-2019, 07:09 PM
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As for farming, one good meteor strike (and feel free to insert other disaster scenarios here) and a whole lot of us are going to be wishing we knew how to grow rutabagas.
  #55  
Old 11-16-2019, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Kropotkin View Post
Part of the difficulty in designing education is any choice involves values: what one values in life in and society, what one thinks the future will be and what it should be, ideas about authority and obedience and resistance to same, and the list goes on. Not to put too fine a point on it, your idea that we should equip people to work, be patriotic, and make smart shopping choices looks to the next person like you want to turn out drones, cannon fodder, and vacuous consumers....and etc. As for me, I think kids should be trained in self defence and scaling violence, first aid, peaceful conflict resolution, piano, basic agriculture and tool use, and how to organize with others who have different viewpoints to accomplish common goals. That is, smart rebels who will resist authority and figure out how to build a world they’d live to live in. Who you might see as terrorist layabouts, wreckers, and parasites. Now, we each take our plans to the school board....
And this discussion of "authority and obedience and resistance to same" reminds me of a relatively recent thread on Law vs Chaos in D&D/Pathfinder.

It seems to me that "Teach kids to fit in, respect authority, and be a productive member of society" is the kind of viewpoint a Lawful individual (in the RPG alignment sense) would espouse, while "Teach kids to rebel and question/resist authority" is the viewpoint of a Chaotic alignment.
  #56  
Old 11-16-2019, 09:42 PM
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I’m guessing Dungeons and Dragons here? It’s not my first stop for political philosophy, but perhaps 8 should fix that. There is a different between a rebel without a cause/clue and principled resistance to authority, by which I mean someone with the institutional power to compel others to do what they are told. As Bakunin put it, one might respect the “authority” of the bootmaker on the matter of boots if by that you mean consider their advice seriously and then do what you think best. That’s a lot different from the chaos imposed by the authority who says, do what I tell you and pretend to like it, or else.
  #57  
Old 11-17-2019, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
I don't think teaching coding per se will do a better job of teaching kids to think logically than teaching math would, and math is a more generally applicable set of skills than learning any specific coding language.
TBH I think people here are thinking we should train everyone to be software developers or teaching coding as an otherwise "job-ready" skill like they're going to be programming data analysis or something.

Personally, I think coding is just a useful drop in for some forms of later high school math. For instance, a very large portion of high school math is spent on conics which are just... not very useful? I'm in a math heavy field and I think the last time I used quadratics was in a quadratic polynomial kernel which still didn't use 99% of the skills (it's basically just distributing) and is a super niche application that even most people doing modern Machine Learning work won't rub up against.

Coding also just makes more things make so much more sense than what they did when I was in high school. For instance the notion of domain, range, pre-image, etc seemed like a huge, absurd waste of time in high school to me because it was like "oh no if you have a function 1/x then the domain doesn't include 0!!!!!!" which like... cool but also why are we spending 2 weeks learning all this framework to label things all "all numbers except 3 of them".

That's even a more niche thing unelss you're doing like... real analysis or abstract algebra or something...
...
Unless you work it into coding. If I have a function

Code:
fn stringify(i: uint32) -> String
Then the domain is any (computer representable, 32-bit) nonnegative integer, the codomain is the set of Strings, and the range is the set of all Strings which contain decimal digits (i.e. [0-9]+ in regex). Or the inverse

Code:
fn parse_string(s: String) -> uint32 {

}
Whose descriptors are a bit more tight (since technically you can input any string but the function is undefined). Honestly a good deal of functional programming, while less common in ~the software industry~ would be a great few units for a high school math course because the pure functional nature makes it easy to reason about type inputs and outputs.


* not strictly accurate since there's a 1:1 mapping so it's all strings that looks like a 32-bit unsigned integer, but for high school purposes saying [0,infinity) -> "[0-9]+" is probably sufficient.

-------------

Anyway, for fallacies. We had a few units on those in high school and I didn't find them particularly useful. In fact, I think they're responsible for the way a lot of ways people misuse fallacies now. And honestly contributed to some piss-poor literature analysis too. For instance, if you look at Animal Farms sparknotes stuff it talks about how the narrator saying if Napoleon hadn't left the farm it would have been better is an example of the "hypothesis contrary to fact" fallacy which is like...

Orwell was a leftist (varying between socialist and anarchist depending on where he was in life), Animal Farm is transparently about the Russian Revolution in particular and socialist revolutions in general. Orwell is plainly saying "Trotsky left for the capitalism world because somehow even Capitalism is better than Stalinism, but if Trotsky had stayed and led Soviet Russia then maybe things would've been okay." Which like... is a historical fact you can argue about, I disagree Trotsky would've somehow saved the Soviet model, but merely calling it "hypothesis contrary to fact" both obscures the actual allusion the book is making and ignores the fact that this is an educated opinion that Orwell was arguing for (through the text of Animal Farm itself), not simply a statement that "if things were different they'd be different".

IMO High School fallacy stuff also fails to properly delineate between the context where fallacies matter, and the distinction between formal/deductive fallacies and inductive fallacies. Deductive fallacies rarely work in real life arguments (since they only really apply to syllogisms where logic is axiomatic and follows a system of defined rules), and inductive fallacies are only contextually fallacies. For instance appeal to expert authority is only a fallacy when the expert is irrelevant in an inductive context, but is straight up wrong in a deductive context where expertise does and can not override syllogistic rules "my professor said A and not A is true" is not valid boolean logic.

Now, exposing kids to this is useful, I certainly wish I had been mentally as mature as I was now in high school English because analyzing works, their biases, logical fallacies, and thematic suggestions (death of the author or not) makes more sense to me now, but there is a certain level where high school English sorta stuff takes a weird pseudo-rote tack to it where it asserts works mean very specific things, or use things to "illustrate" certain concepts sans wider context that makes the lessons very prone to fallacious use in real practice in actual arguments or media engagement.
  #58  
Old 11-17-2019, 02:42 PM
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Public schools are trimming arts and PE from their curriculum. I say we go back to making mandatory before we add something else.

I am OK with an introductory coding course as an elective in middle school. Or an elementary school offering coding lessons for afterschool enrichment (my school did this with folk dancing, of all things). I don't see any reason to make this mandatory, though.
  #59  
Old 11-17-2019, 05:09 PM
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I began programming in COBOL a loooooong time ago. I went bonkers from being on call-out and transferred to a client department where I did adhoc reporting using SAS. I loved it. But it's not for everybody. We'd often hire contractors to fill in, and, damn, some of the people who called themselves "programmers." Sheesh. One guy was a trucker who had some physical issue that prevented him driving a truck anymore so he went to DeVry and was now a "programmer." He understood the basics of SAS coding, but he couldn't think his way through developing workable code to save his life. It's not for everybody. Even the people who thought they'd be good at it had a wash-out rate of at least 50% in the contractors we went through over the years.

So, yeah, as monstro says, offer it as an elective. Kids'll figure out if it's for them, and if it's not? No biggie. You don't really need it to be an educated, successful citizen.
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  #60  
Old 11-17-2019, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monstro View Post
Public schools are trimming arts and PE from their curriculum. I say we go back to making mandatory before we add something else.



I am OK with an introductory coding course as an elective in middle school. Or an elementary school offering coding lessons for afterschool enrichment (my school did this with folk dancing, of all things). I don't see any reason to make this mandatory, though.
My proposal isn't adding another core class that's programming so much as using coding as a tool/unit to replace or supplement existing math units that may be poorly motivated or not broadly useful (except for the broad use of teaching kids to solve problems and do mathematical thinking).
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