Thursday, June 10, 2010

Don't Know Nuthin' 'Bout Edication

Maybe it is listening to too much Dan Carlin of late, but I've been thinking about this for a while. How do we make education more interesting?

I've encountered a lot of wrong approaches, both in my own schooling and in the schooling of The Young Lady. Both she and I have suffered from changes in (for example) the math program every couple of years.

Then there is the idea of appreciation. How much of what you are exposed to is appreciated when you learn it? I had to read Moby Dick, David Copperfield and much more in middle school and high school. In general, I did not like what I had to read (I did read a lot in high school, about as fast and as much as I do these days!) and it is only now that I am coming back around to some of these books and seeing how good they are.

Should we defer such classics until we can appreciate them?

Are there subjects we should defer? You dash through history (the joke is that most people only learn about the Korean War or the Vietnam War in high school because of television shows such as M*A*S*H or Tour of Duty); I am getting more out of reading history these days than I did in school. Did school lay the foundation? Maybe, but I'm betting it was more a combination of "wargames" (or, if you prefer, the politically correct "conflict simulations") and being in the military.

Trends are a bad thing. I mentioned the swapping of math programs that both my daughter and I went through. I also went through trends in books where books of quality were swapped for books that were "cool" or "hip" to us youngsters. Does anybody these days still read I Never Promised You A Rose Garden? Death Be Not Proud? ...or any of those other "instant" relevant books?

No firm conclusions, but there has got to be a better way of doing things.

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