adebo ifesanya

Electric and Electronics Engineer, Electrical Engineering

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"...education doesn't go on in ... rooms of our legislative buildings. It happens in classrooms..." Is classroom the only place?

It seems that our creativity as a society would have to also evolve beyond the context in which we see education. The possibilities of what education is or could be, I believe is more than just a classroom. Education associated with a one physical location, as a school, would continue to fall under conformity and standardization. Let's see education as it is, that is, Education Happens in Society - home, media, role models, communities, offices, social gatherings, war and so on. Our world is education as seen by each unique being. Classroom is just a piece of it.

  • May 12 2013: I believe that you have taken the idea out of context here. Sir Ken Robinson was making the point that it is not legislators who should be in charge of education but teachers and educators.
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      May 12 2013: Kathryn, may I ask where do you expect to find teachers and educators?
  • May 12 2013: Hi Adebo,
    I really agree with this.

    As a parent, I take on a responsibility that is greater than making sure my kids are fed, clothed and sheltered. They need to become confident, independent, decision-making individuals, and I can never rely solely on a classroom to ensure that. In fact, it would be foolish to do so.

    But I know lots of parents who see their children roughly a half hour before they drop them off at daycare, and an hour if they're lucky, at dinnertime, before the kids go to bed.
    Being a part of a capitalist society and raising children at the same time is a challenge.
    I can easily say, "Make time". But there are simply so many hours in the day.

    I have a feeling, and correct me if I'm wrong, that this may contributing to why so much pressure is put on schools and educators to take all the responsibility of educating, and actually raising, other people's kids.

    "Education Happens in Society" - as long as all sides of the story are represented.
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      May 12 2013: Thank you. This is my point, as we point our fingers at legislative and school, we must not forget us, our PERSONAL responsibility. It sometime seems like there are two agendas regarding the talks on education revolution - one is looking for non-standardized system while another is looking for the best babysitter for our kids.

      Lizanne, I like to encourage you to actively inspire other parents through your example.
      • May 13 2013: I'll certainly try, Abedo!
        I am not the type to preach, especially when it comes to parenting, but I do jump at the opportunity to share ideas with parents I know about ways to educate our kids outside the classroom.
        When my kids have a play-date, or a birthday party, I'm the kind of Mom that comes up with a sort of mini lesson, in a super fun way though! A scavenger hunt in the woods, building volcano, Googling famous artists, making up music... Poor things, they think they're going to play with Barbies and cars all afternoon...but no!
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    May 12 2013: well, it takes a village to raise a child, and we are all children
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      May 12 2013: Greg, I believe this was the point I wanted to convey. Thanks for your concise input.
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    May 12 2013: The history of what we use as education is not that old. Mostly modeled after supporting a war by assembly lines. At present, twice the tax can be collected if both parents are removed from the home. Could this be the change that ends the learning process of what a home is and make mass murder seem OK. How much mass murder was there outside of war in the 50's. What makes a student want to learn? Could it be love for a good parent. What shape would we be in if it was love of congress? Why is education being positioned to collect more revenue now that the world seems sick of war. GED allows you to seek employment at WalMart, College is what they tell you is needed to have a job that will change the world- paid for by the student. Seems like they should at least be able to build a road without pot holes. What is the formal education of the 16th president of the US (top 5 of most, Lincoln-3 yrs).
  • May 12 2013: You make a good point, but there is a significant challenge to the idea that education should happen throughout society. Since World War II western societies have grown more and more anti-intellectual with as time has passed. Learning, knowledge, and reason are seen as personal character flaws. Those who know are seen as arrogant and potentially dangerous. Anyone who suggests that one thing is right, and another is wrong, is seen as elitist, judgemental, and ideological. It's so subsumed in our culture that it's not even an issue that is debated any longer, it has been accepted as foundational. Those with intellectual skill are socially retarded, have dangerous hubris, and are fundamentally worse people than those who rely on intuition. All of the flaws of reasoning that humans are prone to are enshrined. Smearing the speaker to defeat a proposed idea, ignoring counterevidence and overstating collaborative evidence, assuming correlation and causation are the same thing, using tricks of language to persuade people emotionally rather than rationally, encouraging abandonment of "abstract principles" in favor of expediency, etc are the ways the "good people" in society now conduct themselves. So a few hundred thousand doctors tell you to get your kids vaccinated? A lady down the street knows someone who has an autistic kid and she KNOWS the vaccines did it.

    There is no crisis of lack of information, or lack of access to education. We live in a golden age for that. The problem is that society despises the practice of reason. They see it as a significant character flaw. They see it as restrictive and dangerous. Until that changes, society simply cannot be a place where learning happens everywhere. Learning takes a back seat to having to pledge allegiance, to agreeing with people to prove you like them and are like them, to following your gut or following the other guy following his.
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      May 12 2013: Wow! I like this. Thanks for sharing. Now I am glad I wrote my question.

      "The problem is that society despises the practice of reason" would you say this is simply because we are not taking PERSONAL responsibility but expecting and blaming whatever we agree to blame?
  • May 12 2013: Guys in the back of my mind I find the call of self-study coming through strongly. Look at the polymaths in our human history and the personalty types that do self-study.
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  • May 11 2013: American Indian author/educator/professor, Four Arrows, offers REASONS for why schooling fails true goals AND offers ways to achieve them.

    In his new book, endorsed by such notable educators as Noam Chomsky, John Pilger, etc., entitled, TEACHING TRULY: A CURRICULUM TO INDIGENIZE MAINSTREAM EDUCATION. After exposing hegemonic basis for curriculum and standards, he offers complementary and proven teaching and learning approaches that Indigenous cultures used for thousands of years prior to colonization. His internationally recognized work and his provacative and engaging presentations make him an ideal candidate for a TED talk! Go to amazon.com to see why so many major and noted thinkers say that Four Arrows book may be "our last chance.
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    May 11 2013: I have never heard anyone express a counter view to yours. Does something in particular bring this question to your mind?
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      May 12 2013: Sure, I would like to hear him say explicitly that Education is beyond schooling. It seems like talks of education revolution are attempting to standardize "un-standardized" form of schooling, which was why I mentioned a look at out-of-classroom education. This mean you and I would begin to take responsibility of educating kids in our communities rather than expecting teachers as the only educators.
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        May 12 2013: I think the reason speakers might not explicitly state that education takes place also outside of schooling is precisely because everyone understands this fact and has throughout history. People of all ages learn from the full spectrum of life experiences, but learning things from parents and in community is very well established practice, including in primitive societies.

        For the last decade or so there has been a particular focus on getting parents and community involved in activities for learning readiness before kids start school and as collaborators with school.

        In typical schools in the US and, I expect elsewhere, there are internship programs, service learning, bringing people from the community into school, and taking students out of school into the community. There are after school programs in community all over town, whether for sports, the arts, science experiences, cultural events, and so forth, not to mention informal opportunities like social gatherings and festivals.

        Now there are lots of online learning opportunities, and in the US, I know, there are libraries and community centers which offer free programs and make computer resources available so that learners can take advantage of online resources.

        Museums and so forth here have lots of special programs for kids and teens during and after school hours, and many organizations that use public space need in exchange to commit to opening the doors for specific learning programs for kids.

        I just haven't heard anyone claim that teachers are the only educators, because that would be an entirely strange idea against a backdrop in which people assume lots of learning of all kinds takes place in family and community.

        PS I taught all my kids to read, worked with all of them on their writing, and taught them a large proportion of their math. I have also worked with hundreds of kids outside of school on recreational math over the last fifteen years.