TED Conversations

Tao P
  • Tao P
  • Vancouver B.c
  • Canada


This conversation is closed.

If the state is so bad at raising children, how come we allow the state to educate our children?

It's obvious that our educational system is broken, but who is willing to take action to create a new system? Much of learning can be broken down into how much attention does a child get. In a classroom that's almost nil, as a teachers time is spread between 30 students. Studies also clearly show that grading children has a detrimental effect on them. So why do we continue this waste of resources that is also a waste of our children's potential.

What is an alternative to the current method of education. Is there a way to light the fire of children's curiosity rather than smothering it with facts.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb

    Tao P 50+

    • +1
    Oct 27 2012: I do know these things, with the exception of French. I moved from LA to Vancouver when I was 9 and was behind my class in French. My teacher convinced me that I had a language learning disability. I didn't try for another language until I was in Argentina and noticed I picked up Spanish with ease. This is one of the problems with the education system. I picked up math very early on and my math classes were sheer boredom. Obviously I don't feel that I gained much from all the time spent in class.

    State education is not free. It is quite expensive considering what we get out of it, though since everyone pays for it in taxes few realize the actual cost. The average cost in N. Carolina is $9,800 per year for K-12, not far off from private schools, though that is not what I am advocating. I think it is important to come up with a new method of education, one that is more child centered, as opposed to fact centered. I think it would be ideal to have members of the community teaching children in various tasks, and making their classes, especially the sciences, applicable in 'the real world'. I think it is entirely possible to create a new system; one that requires less and is far more productive. There are millions of children in school, hand-cuffed with busywork and boredom, who would love to do something meaningful.
    • Oct 27 2012: My wife and I have chosen to homeschool our children. We have adopted five from Ethiopia and have decided that it is in the best interest of some of my adopted children to enroll them in public school, but we homeschool the rest of them. Homeschooling is a great alternative to public education if the parents are willing to accept the responsibilities of it. It is a lot of work, but my kids get that individual attention that facilitates their academic development. And really, I think that's much of what education needs to be. Yes, they need to know certain facts about the world they live in and develop a skill set in math, science, and writing, but training them on how to acquire knowledge on their own in this information age, and letting them take ownership of their own education will set them up for success in every way.

      Homeschooling is becoming more popular in the US and Canada, and many parents are engaging in social structures of homeschoolers with co-ops and parent-led activities that eliminate the isolation once deemed so problematic. Outstanding curriculum is widely available as well as online courses for those subjects in which parents are limited in their understanding. And I have found this to be helpful in promoting a spirit of unity in our household.
    • Oct 29 2012: "I do know these things, with the exception of French."

      Most people don't, and what if your kid wants to learn French?

      "State education is not free."

      It's not, but the cost usually gets distributed in such a way that rich people pay more to make up for the money poor people don't have, if all education was private parents on minimum wage couldn't send their kids to school.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.