Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,


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Do today's educational institutions produce individuals with anti-social behavior or is it the society at large?

Education is supposed to improve a person's intelligence in a well rounded fashion, or that is at least my assumption. A specified skill(s) is very important, but too often has education seem to fail to teach people to be more social or collaborate with other people. These specialized minds only seem to be looking out for their own self-interests and will trample over anyone who doesn't meet eye to eye with them.

I, having previously lacked many social skills for an array of reasons, but I have become more aware of my behavior which I have changed much since then, can see that there is a collapse of etiquette and decency in people's social interactions in the younger demographics of people (around K-12 to early college)

The individuals with social and well rounded families have a higher chance of succeeding in this world, but what about most other families that have only known hard labor and hustling to provide for their children?

I think I see an issue, but am not entirely sure if my single perception has any credibility.

Is educational institutions providing future generations with the skills to sufficiently communicate and collaborate with people who they are close to and people outside of their comfort zones or is another leading factor to anti social behavior in the society at large?

  • Nov 11 2012: No I don't believe it's the education system, I believe it's our society as a whole. Look at how people in High School stay in cliches. and how when they get to college the people stay with their respective group of friends mind you a person might have left one group for another due to conflict. A majority of the population tends to stay in cliches with the same mind set, and dismiss people who are different from them. For example my friend Sherry is constantly being ridiculed due to her Iranian accent. We met because of our circumstances led to an mild adventure, and we have been friends ever since. She told me she had problems making friends because people didn't want to talk to her because they had trouble understanding what she was saying. My friend Melissa is constantly looked down on because she is a single mother. I can say with person knowledge it wasn't her choice. I when a I was little I was treated like a pariah by my church peers because they thought I was gay. Another example is how the poor are looked down upon, like they are idiot's who couldn't make a better living for themselves. Some poor are happy with the life they live. Or how people are ridiculed for not believing in Christ. Or how a person deems another unpopular because they don't like certain star's, tv shows, or music, or look a certain way. Especially when business professionals judge each other for not only having expensive business attire, but judge hairstyle as well.
  • Nov 10 2012: I feel it is both the educational institutions as well as society at large that is producing individuals with anti-social behavior.

    The term education is derived from a Latin word ‘educere’ i.e. “bring out”, “bring forth what is within” and ducere, “to lead”. This definition is quite simple yet exhaustive at the same time, upholding the core philosophy behind it that suggests: education is a means to reveal our inner talent and help us transform that into action. Additionally, it implies that education is a phenomenon that takes place at all stages of our lives and is not limited to one sphere or one particular time.

    ‘Education’ in our part of the world, is commonly perceived as a commodity that is necessary to derive a definite source of income. This perception is flawed. In essence, education is a process that every individual inevitably engages in throughout his/her life, unlike a product that can be measured or ascribed a monetary value.

    Technology does play an important role in anti-socializing individuals as Sean has suggested however one cannot blame technology. It is upon institutions and units like family, how they introduce any technology to their children. Today we are engulfed with the need to prosper economically hence all units are used to serve that interest - be it media, advertising agencies, government representatives as well as schools.
    • Nov 11 2012: I don't agree with blaming educational Institutions because the first thing kids learn is sharing is caring and that they should love and respect each other. Same thing in middle school. Even in high school teachers and councilors try to make teens come to an understanding, even though it's not that effective. I blame parent's for forcing high expectations on their kids. Prime example toddlers and tiara's. Other's are specialty made camps or groups that force kids to compete example Academic Camps, Sports Camp, and especially Leadership Camps. In group dynamics I leaned that in any form of competition will force people to work against each other instead of with. This example was proven in class when he forced us to compete in a simple game where no prize was given. Yet each student in the class was seen trying to out do each other. It was also proven that team members will do a lot better when the coach/leader doesn't pressure them to succeed. I mentioned the camp's because parents make kids this idea that the must excel in a certain field or aspect in order to succeed in life. Instead of letting kids decide for themselves. Please note that I don't think that all camps are bad just one's that put heavy emphasize on succeeding.
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    Sean T

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    Nov 9 2012: Public schools have always been an agent of socialization and still are. The cause of the anti-social behavior we're seeing in the modern day, I assert, is a side effect of rampant technology use. Cell phones, social networking, video games, etc. enable people to be anti-social publically while maintaining a smalll network of relations. In other cases, these technologies enable people to withdraw completely from other human beings but still satiate the inborn desire for social contact. Video games, for instance, allow a person to "converse" with artificial beings thus satisfying that desire without actual human contact. They also permit people to go on excursions through worlds that do not physically exist in our reality without moving from a chair; no need to explore the real world or learn real history when a fantastic, artificial one exists. I can personally attest to this being a former video game addict. I was extremely anti-social and never felt any desire to not be because of the false and fruitless experiences provided by the games; RPGs mainly.

    To be sure, I am not advocating the abolishment of technology. I am simply asserting that we must use it wisely or suffer the unforeseen, philosophical, psycho-social side effects. Our computer technologies can be great tools for learning, record keeping, designing, calculating, etc. but they can also be misused to enable or even promote the anti-social behavior on which you have focused. Other technologies cause other problems when abused as well. As the old proverb says, "All things in moderation."

    Of course, doing so would not eradicate all anti-social activity, but it would stem the tide.
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      Nov 11 2012: Hi, what if technology isn't the problem, but the person using the technology? As I read your comment Sean, I began to hypothesize that it may not technology, but it could be a reflection of the individuals' inner desires to escape the reality with which they live in, though there are definite factors as to how technology can be addicting; it also make interactions seem superficial. It could be that the person, to begin with, is already superficial and technology assists in furthering their behavior and giving it reinforcement. I think there needs to be more research into the psychological aspects of technology and its ramifications on the people who use it. Like addictions to drugs, there is a factor of the feel good and/or a way to escape, which is what might this addiction factor may stem from.

      As I continued to consider the factors into why people who might be aware of their own anti-social behavior that still continue to be anti social and extroverted, some may be self destructive and don't see value in themselves, but there is always people who are introverts, though I don't comprehend the correlation between anti social behavior and introverts, only that introverts don't have much interacting with many people. They do; however, find connections that are more intimate as enjoyable as compared to extroverts who enjoy large activities with a large amount of interactions. I think it might be more than educational institutions that factors into anti social behavior, but I'm sure there is a lot more info I'm most likely missing.
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        Sean T

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        Nov 11 2012: You have a valid point that the aspects of the individual could render that person more prone to addiction, but I have two retorts.

        Firstly, the video game phenomenon is expanding. It used to be only those introverts who wanted to escape as you said, but now the extroverts are starting to play as well. I've personally known people who were very outgoing and social who began playing video games and started saying things like "I just want to go home and play X," "I can't stop playing X," and "I'm going to take leave so I can play X when it comes out." They became addicted over the course of a few months and their social activity decreased.

        Second, that is just one example of one technology. I wager that the people who are most apt to talk and text often on their cell phones are extroverts. I say this because introverts tend to not talk to people much even if they know them. So, the cell phone presents an interesting paradox. We perceive a person texting rapidly as anti-social when one does it in public, but the person is being social. Instead of socializing with the larger social world, the person socializes with an established social network and so, the larger social world thinks that person is being anti-social. It also seems that conversing with people who are not physically present does not count as socializing in our minds. Think about this picture: http://9gag.com/gag/5761286 ; we would call all those people anti-social because they are not talking, but they are conversing with others presumably or they're playing games. Now consider a pair of people sitting on a bench talking with each other; they're being social even though they are not talking to everyone. The physical presence of a person seems integral to being considered social. The question may have to change to: should we consider such activity social? In regard to that question, I answer no because people are finite creatures and must be mentally present at their physical locations.
        • Nov 12 2012: Also Playing Games on Xbox is stupid because they make loyal customers pay monthly charges for Internet connection. Something that they can get for free with playstation and all other consoles.
          2nd the Console isn't used for just video games but can also access the web, play movies, songs and have other functions similar to a computer.
    • Nov 12 2012: Ok don't hate on RPG's their fun have you played DC adventures, or any version of Games like Dungeons and Dragons there surpisingly really fun.
      Two video games don't have the technology where artificial character's that can have actual conversation's.
      Three me and my boyfriend love Video Games and don't have problems socializing with people we are more like the cheers gang who just have fun in the bar our at the house, or anywhere with our wild adventures that isn't stationed indoors.

      I ADMIT THERE IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM with the adiction to it, and yes people have been known to try to escape hardship of life though artificial means. It never truly works because find a way to support there need to eat and sleep. Mooching can only last so long. And I'm worried about my sister who experiences the anti-social behavior descibed by Young.

      Sean just because I like video games doesn't make me anti-social. I fit in that category seeing how I like having actual conversations with people face to face on a regular basis.
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        Sean T

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        Nov 12 2012: I did mean to insinuate that all players are addicts, just that the games can be very addictive to a variety of people. It's great that you do not seem addicted. Also, I never said they weren't fun and enjoyable; I never would have gotten addicted if they weren't.

        The conversations are not true conversations in that they are not spontaneous or topical, but verbal interactions do occur quite often in games and many RPGs have dialogue that changes due to the character's actions and NPC dispositions can change depending on various factors. That can be enough to satisfy the psychological need for social interaction. It doesn't help that developers continually work to improve the interactions to make them more realistic and dynamic.

        Also, a significant number of addicts do not mooch. My roommate does essentially three things in his life: work, sleep, and play games. He does not mooch off anyone. Others work at home and, in some severe cases of anti-social behavior, people order food, clothing, and other things through the internet for delivery and never interact with a real human being.
  • Nov 8 2012: I think the systemic design adopted by the edu. inst. will play a crucial role in equipping a person with social skills. The kind of structure adopted to impart learning information can enable the process of knowing how to work with people, handle group dynamics and work within social structures. Institutes that focus more on experential learning and provide platforms for exposure; with equal focus on learning from books and theories can provide a balanced ground for learning these skills.
    At the same time, we have sectors where experts and speciality is encouraged, and this gives rise to the want for indivudual excellence. These sectors usually face challenges when it comes to working in a social setting. (examples: engineering, IT, etc.)

    However, in all of this mix individual preferences also play a key part. It is easy to say there aren't supporting stuctures to make a person comfortable in a social dynamic, but individualls who prefer to not adapt or adopt also exist.

    The solution then could be to not enforce a social norm that labels people as social or anit-social, but to create an enviornment where a person can choose to be part or apart from a group and still be part of a community. However ideal it may seem, the endevour could be in the direction of knowing how to, rathern than doing it.
  • Nov 12 2012: What do we mean by anti-social behavior? Is it something proactive like saying or post something that is inappropriate or just hanging back and not engaging others? One benefit generally attributed to students who attend schools is that they get more socialization whereas home schooled children do not get as much. Have their been any studies done to test this?

    The computer world brought in "flaming" where anonymous posts allowed others to engage in anti-social behavior without being punished. There has been a substantial coarsening of society which is one expression of anti-social behavior. It just seems people are more willing to be confrontation than when I was a teenager in school, but we had problems with bullying where one student was constantly beat up.

    In the 1960's competition was placed ahead of cooporation, so times have changed, but I see no evidence that this emphasis on cooperation has yielded a generation of social children; indeed, the opposite seems to be the case where many children both in school and out of school exhibit anti-social behavior. Technology has raised bullying to an art form.
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    Nov 8 2012: This must be quite different in different places, but around here schools are all about fostering skills in collaboration and discourse. Kids don't love group projects, but they grow up with them and teachers work with kids on how to try to engage everyone rather than have someone steering.

    One of the things I love about the beginning of the school year is that all sorts of schools do their kick off team building things outdoors, where a passerby can easily see it.

    Sports have gotten bigger and bigger, it seems, as well, which is another way team work becomes a part of life.

    Many states require anti-bullying programs as well, which are almost always based on community building.

    So I don't think you can fairly lay this one on schools.
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      Nov 11 2012: Hi, I would say that I'm not personally knowledgeable about the school you teach at, but I am investigating the topic at hand.

      Can you account for all the teachers at your school that they teach similarly or exactly how you teach; or is it actually a set curricula that is to be strictly mandated and regulated at your school?
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        Nov 11 2012: I no longer teach secondary school and am not drawing conclusions from any particular school. But I have worked at a school and district level in an extremely ordinary urban setting with a high proportion of poor kids.Further, my district was not original but tended to go with nationwide trends.

        An example of what happens at a district level in the US is that there are curriculum and pedagogical guidelines that often go by the name 'best practices." These guidelines become part of mandatory trainings and are enforced by building principals and district administrators. Pedagogy stressing questioning and inquiry rather than lecture and mostly solo work are at this point well understood within the teaching profession to be best practice.
        This doesn't mean there is no lecture but that other pedagogies are emphasized.
        Beyond this, programs that train teachers keep abreast of changes in thinking about best practices, so that certification programs train and evaluate teachers using certain pedagogical priorities, including cultivating an atmosphere of inquiry and collaboration.

        The importance of helping students learn to collaborate and the virtues of helping each other learn have been understood in the teaching profession for a very, very long time.
        Of course, there will always be scattered dinosaurs who like excessive quiet.
        These sorts of ways in which practices move through school districts apply to public rather than to private schools.
        Some private schools are more progressive than public schools and some less.
        I know people do not like to believe this. I am sure there is a good psychological explanation for why in popular culture people like to feel that those who deliver services, like teaching or healthcare, are unaware of or unwilling to accept what is common knowledge everywhere else:)