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Does education matter even anymore?
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29 / Everywhere and no...
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Posted 9/16/14
This is largely dependent on individual ambition, influenced by resources, chance, and factor x. Factor x stands as a constantly fluctuating unknown. While science is close to conceptualizing the first 10% of what is factor x, it can easily be felt and understood to those who dip into the pool. But what is the pool? And what can I do when I am there?
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Posted 9/16/14


All students must be prepared for college? You realize not all jobs require college education, that many students have no interest in college and are just happy to leave high school - and probably felt the same about elementary school - and that not everyone is the same?

Also, your comment about students needing to get into the best schools? Surely not *everyone* will go to the best schools, there aren't enough best teachers for that many "best" students. There aren't even enough best schools.

I have to admit I feel it is telling that you put "deserving" in quotes. I see you railing against the system, it's the system that's to blame, or the teachers, never the students. The students that are placed in the more advanced classes don't deserve to be there, it seems. It is unfair that they are being placed in the privileged position of being allowed to learn at a quicker rate after having demonstrated their capability for doing so. They should be kept in line with the rest of the population, damned tall poppies.

I must ask if you have ever been asked to teach someone that didn't want to learn? I was given that task at work. The expectation was that I teach this guy how to make use of our code base, which is reasonable, as our code is insanely over-complicated. I discovered within minutes, sadly, that this new employee did not know even basic stuff, literally first-day-of-class stuff.

Me being the nice guy I am, I recommended a good book on the language they were supposed to know, only to have them immediately reply that they don't like to read. I instantly recalled the kids at my old school that didn't like to read, and thought to myself, "here's one that made it through college somehow, probably by copying other peoples' homework. Good thing he went to college, he never would have gotten this job if he hadn't." That was certainly a compelling argument for the idea that everyone should go to college.

So I do agree with you on the benefit of failing students that don't learn - that person should never have graduated with their lack of knowledge. The funny thing, though, is that failing students is basically applying a tracking system of sorts to them. You're saying, "You aren't qualified for 9th grade Math, you're doing 8th grade (again)."

I do feel that students should be helped when they have difficulties, but I don't think we should punish those that *don't*, how is that fair, or for that matter, helpful to society? Should we not push students that are doing well on to greater heights? Or should we all be equal? Perhaps you should read Harrison Bergeron, if you haven't already; I suspect it may depict your dream world.

I feel that what you are suggesting is similar to saying, "Don't let the kid that is really good at flute play first flute, keep them in second flute with all the normal kids, and throw the kid that is below average there as well! They should all learn to play the same piece!"

I guarantee you, you won't like the way that sounds when you actually listen to it, it will be an orchestrated failure.

Regarding unemployment rates, I rather think the lack of jobs has a greater impact than does education. Today, many unemployed people are, in fact, college educated. College simply isn't a golden ticket anymore, perhaps because everyone and their dog has a degree; basically the value of a degree has become cheapened by people such as my anti-reading (former) colleague.

If, despite all my arguments against the idea, you still believe everyone should be kept in the same position when it comes to education, let me propose a solution to all the woes of our educational system:

The average family has about 2 children. Let us say, then, that every adult should, every year, teach a class, for free, of about 5 students, I suspect that should cover just about everyone. Consider this paying it forward for their own education.

This gives us a massive increase in our teaching population, massive enough that we can pretty much give students one-on-one tutoring on the occasions where they require it.

I know some misguided people will come out and claim that not everyone can teach, but teaching is in fact merely another skill that can be taught or learned; with your belief that everyone should be college educated and that tracking is bad - I get the impression you feel everyone should be taught the same material because we all have equal capabilities - the idea that not everyone can learn to be a good teacher is unarguable.

So we have all the teachers we need and tracking is unneccessary since everyone will be taught well enough to learn all they need to know at each point in their education. How fortunate that we all have equal capabilities and needs, or we wouldn't be able to do this.
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Posted 9/17/14
Most definitely - education is the key to succeeding in whatever you want to do in life. You can go to university to pursue a certain path or learn a trade or just do some self study. The education system over here in Australia is not so bad - and there are plenty of options to better yourself in the intellectual department. I do feel, however, that the students of low socio-economical backgrounds aren't given a good enough taste of what success brings to them.
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Posted 9/17/14

ahatestory wrote:

I know some misguided people will come out and claim that not everyone can teach, but teaching is in fact merely another skill that can be taught or learned; with your belief that everyone should be college educated and that tracking is bad - I get the impression you feel everyone should be taught the same material because we all have equal capabilities - the idea that not everyone can learn to be a good teacher is unarguable.

So we have all the teachers we need and tracking is unneccessary since everyone will be taught well enough to learn all they need to know at each point in their education. How fortunate that we all have equal capabilities and needs, or we wouldn't be able to do this.

I know you're talking about a system that I don't know much about so I don't want to get involved in that debate but I didn't really understand what you meant with some of your more general comments.

Do you really think that everyone is capable of learning exactly the same things in exactly the same way and that it's merely effort that decides how successful they are? I couldn't quite tell if you were being sarcastic at times. Perhaps what you really meant was to highlight that everyone is different and needs to be taught accordingly.

Just because someone expresses a distaste for a particular form of learning or subject doesn't mean that they're being lazy, there are a number of possible reasons that a particular method will not work for someone.

One of the big challenges in creating an educational system is trying to make it able to adapt to suit the needs of every student, the "one size fits all" approach will never work to effectively educate everyone (though it might work for the majority, which many people may feel is acceptable).
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Posted 9/17/14
I don't think it's a matter of education being "worth it" so much as if what passes for education these day is really an education. I can't speak about college as I never experienced it but up through high school the focus was more on obedience, conformity and memorization rather than critical thinking and applying what you learn. I honestly wish I'd quit school at 16, got my GED and went to college from there.
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20 / M / CA
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Posted 9/17/14
Waiting to graduate for college
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20 / M / Stockton, England
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Posted 9/17/14
For me it honestly varies.

I do personally think it's very important, basic English and Maths skills go a long way (whether you notice it or not) and a lot of other subjects I was taught helped me grasp concepts that I was looking into in my own time, stuff that I'd never have understood if I wasn't taught stuff under a similar thing in the classroom.

However I do feel that some schools (at least the ones I went to) focus on academia above all else, effectively barring any 'life skills' (Eg: cooking, writing a CV/Resume) from being taught because they're not as important. Of course I'm not saying they shouldn't focus on academia, I mean it's a place for education for goodness sake but that's the thing, it's a place of education, which includes more than just the written stuff.
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Posted 9/17/14 , edited 9/17/14
In my experience high-school is becoming more and more worthless. They are trying to teach you how to succeed in life, which is what they have to do, but they are trying to teach everyone so what it turns out to be is the most watered down way of doing it so that everyone will understand it and it becomes useless. High-school diplomas are all but worthless now because as more and more people get them you need something different to stand above them.

College on the other hand is a very good thing. You know what you want to learn so the class you are taking geared towards that field of education. The professors are better because they know what they are teaching and how to teach it, they just do not care weather or not you learn.

There are also a lot a degrees you can get that are worthless, they are so general that when you go apply for a job you are competing against hundreds of people with the same qualifications. So if you do go to college try do go for a degree you are interested in and is more specific.
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33 / M
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Posted 9/17/14
Does anyone else find it ironic that the thread title asks this very question, yet it is worded the way it is?



(It should be "Does Education Even Matter Anymore?")
Jinzhu 
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20 / M / Palm Harbor, FL
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Posted 9/17/14
Oh my god the irony.
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34 / M
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Posted 9/17/14

Smeelia wrote:


ahatestory wrote:

I know some misguided people will come out and claim that not everyone can teach, but teaching is in fact merely another skill that can be taught or learned; with your belief that everyone should be college educated and that tracking is bad - I get the impression you feel everyone should be taught the same material because we all have equal capabilities - the idea that not everyone can learn to be a good teacher is unarguable.

So we have all the teachers we need and tracking is unneccessary since everyone will be taught well enough to learn all they need to know at each point in their education. How fortunate that we all have equal capabilities and needs, or we wouldn't be able to do this.

I know you're talking about a system that I don't know much about so I don't want to get involved in that debate but I didn't really understand what you meant with some of your more general comments.

Do you really think that everyone is capable of learning exactly the same things in exactly the same way and that it's merely effort that decides how successful they are? I couldn't quite tell if you were being sarcastic at times. Perhaps what you really meant was to highlight that everyone is different and needs to be taught accordingly.

Just because someone expresses a distaste for a particular form of learning or subject doesn't mean that they're being lazy, there are a number of possible reasons that a particular method will not work for someone.

One of the big challenges in creating an educational system is trying to make it able to adapt to suit the needs of every student, the "one size fits all" approach will never work to effectively educate everyone (though it might work for the majority, which many people may feel is acceptable).


The short version of this is that I agree with what you've stated in this post. To elaborate on its contents...

I was being fairly sarcastic throughout that post, but especially in the section you quoted. To your first question, I don't feel that way at all, rather the opposite. I feel it does everyone a disservice to disregard a clear difference in capabilities and either teach weaker students at the pace the stronger ones are capable of or teach the stronger students at the pace the weaker ones are capable of.

As far as I can tell, the person I was responding to felt differently; I got the distinct impression that they only saw one group being treated differently than another and felt it was unfair, rather than that the groups were being catered to based on demonstrated ability. Is it the case that some students end up in the wrong groups? Undoubtedly, humans are prone to error, so any system involving humans has flaws. That doesn't mean the idea itself is wrong.

The system I suggested... I honestly don't know if it would succeed or fail. I don't think everyone is capable of teaching many students, but it may be that anyone that has a good understanding of a subject can teach a small group of students that are well-prepared to understand that subject.

Regarding learning vs laziness, I feel that most knowledge can be learned by most people, if they devote enough effort (and in the right way) to it. The terribly complicated stuff, perhaps not, but most knowledge can be learned by most people, so far.

In the future, that will change. There are definitely things out there beyond the capabilities of human understanding - humans encountered at least one of those decades ago and have been struggling since to deal with this problem; I refer to software and the ongoing attempts to develop better ways to express our thoughts with e.g. higher-level languages and proof systems and the like. Next time you use a large piece of software, think about the fact that there is probably not one individual that understands it in its entirety; it has been tested a bit and it seemed like it worked well enough, but tests cannot prove the absence of bugs.

I realize my posts have probably come across as arrogant to some, but I was only attempting to express my opinion that we are all different and should be educated according to our abilities. I believe everyone deserves the opportunity to learn to the best of their capabilities - actually, I consider it a waste for humanity when this does not occur - but it is best to recognize the differences between students and try to shore up their weaknesses and improve their strengths.

The problem is that such things take time, and we don't have enough qualified teachers for the task. Ideally, everyone would have their own personal tutor or even multiple tutors, but is that feasible? Perhaps AI will take over that job, if it is every actually created.
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Posted 9/17/14

nemoskull wrote:

i really cant see spending 4 year of my life in school, for a chance at a job.


This. I mean seriously; paying for 4 more damn years of school, just for a "chance" to get the job you want.
I personally believe "learning" is an important thing, but find "schools" and similar places to be pointless.
The one good thing that comes out of school are School Anime (and them school girls).
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Posted 9/17/14
Spend 5 hours on Yahoo! Answers outside of the Science and Math sections.
Then you'll realize the need for school.
Posted 9/17/14
I ask myself this question a lot. Honestly, my own answer to this is unknown.
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Posted 9/17/14 , edited 9/17/14

AiYumega wrote:

My answer is 90% of the time, I learn most outside of school. But I feel we still need it. The US has a 99% literacy percentage, meaning 99% of the American population can read and write, just how much is the question. We're not dumb, but we're not smart and as the maelstrom of technology becoming is more intelligent, people are etting lazier, and life getting more expensive...

Is education really worth it anymore?



Your statistics are flawed:

1) "According to a study conducted in late April (2013) by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults in the U.S. can't read. That's 14 percent of the population. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can't read."
(source: www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/06/illiteracy-rate_n_3880355.html)
(source: http://www.statisticbrain.com/number-of-american-adults-who-cant-read/)

2) Median salary for someone with a high school degree in 2013: $651 per week vs. $1,108 per week for a college degree.
(source: http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm).


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