seth stephens

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Should there be an international agency in charge of regulating education and if so how much authority should it have.

the United Nations exist to foster peace and sponsors different agencies and governments throughout the world (WHO, world courts, interpol) would not a similar agency charged with monitoring how countries specifically in war-torn or underdeveloped nations bu generally everywhere are training and indoctrinating their youth.

  • Mar 20 2014: There seems to be a distinctive difference between monitoring, regulating and taking charge of activities.

    I think an international agency that promotes better practices and provides the better ways would be advantageous…
    I think an international agency that regulates better practices be disadvantageous… (how is one to know they actually got the better ways).
  • Mar 19 2014: Yes there is a big gap in the way our education systems are ran, but I'd like to add, as a South African and as an African I feel there is already so much foreign influence in our current education system and we have been led to believe, for example, that Africa is and was a "savage land". But lately as I've been doing my own research Africa had civilized societies who had a working knowledge of science, math, philosophy and etc....Point is as "3rd world" countries we need to start doing our own thing without any external influence, that will be the only way we can gain any form of confidence in our country and continent. In so doing we will be able to develope a whole lot faster.
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      Mar 21 2014: Your words inspire me. Seems education was connected to nature, connected to sustaining life, focused on local areas, influenced by food eaten/prepared, weather, exercise. Then education was standardized by foreigners.
      What nations stopped teaching unnecessary foreign material, and revived their original education system?
  • Mar 22 2014: The idea of an international agency is a visionary one, but i would like to emphasize here that education like culture and fashion is viewed uniquely and as a token of the nation's identity.in such a scenario, an agency with the intention of 'regulation' would only invite protests because what is right for some is wrong for others.
  • Apr 1 2014: I have been researching what I learned in my formal mandatory public education, and discovered (using original documents) that when it comes to history or social studies, ALL that I was taught is provably false. For this reason, I think that global standards are a horrible idea. Current educational programs SERVE commerce (the military industrial complex). Government even admits to that. Giving education over to a central power is like giving education over to global bankers who tell governments what they are allowed to teach.

    Our educational system is based on the philosophy of Johann Fichte, the first Nazi, who didn't want to educate us. He wanted us to be indoctrinated with Themes, so that we would obey authority and be good workers for the industrial revolution as will as the State's military ambitions. His intent was to take away any and all critical thinking skills and creativity, as well as a sense of self, so that the graduate would only be able to will that which the State wanted him to will.

    This is why your idea is so dangerous.
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    Mar 31 2014: There should be international MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) system agency, with classes from and going to every part of the world. With the regulating and ratings being done through crowd-sourcing. This would not be to replace the current school system, but instead it would compete with it and reach kids without access to schools.

    So Joe from a 3rd world slum and take the same classes and earn the same degrees as Jane from Park ave. any person in the world could take a basic math class from any small-town teach in the world to a the most advance Grad level class as long as they have done the prerequisites.
    Teachers should love this… correction GOOD teachers should love this, imagine a China history professor teaching people worldwide China history, or the classes you did being active long after your gone.
  • Mar 31 2014: Seth
    How would such an agency be defined? What would the objective be? Who and how would the curriculum be authored and written?
    Based on our current public, government controlled system, which is showing itself to be an abysmal failure; should any such system be considered viable.
    You bring the UN into the equation, as some sort of roll model when this money eating and power grabbing behemoth is, perhaps, the most incompetent and corrupt organization on the planet. That is a compliment.
    Lets look to the finished product; what results to we want to see embodied in our new graduate?
    Tolerance, multiculturalism, diversity, inclusiveness, volunteerism---these are already being taught in US schools and were originated in the UN. The right to an education is a UN mandate, but reasonably absent from the Constitution
    It is the emphasis on these items and diminished importance of reading, writing and arithmetic that has resulted in the US dropping like a rock into a third world status. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/12/03/american-high-school-students-slip-in-global-education-rankings/
    As the threat of terror rages around the world, China threatens to annex Japanese Islands, Syria massacres her own people, Iran builds atomic weapons with the open threat to wipe out Israel and the Western world and Russia invades Ukraine, have I missed the "fostering of peace'? All this, while here in the US we are bankrupt supporting something called 'The Great Society', two wars that were never meant to be won, upset that somebody made a racial slur, a women was slighted because she is a women, never mind that she was obnoxious, a female political candidate who is going to Washington to castrate males, a woman upset because she only has five Obama cell phones and a president who is anticipating being crowned the first universal king.
    What was your question?
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      Mar 31 2014: So if I read your post correctly, we should teach intolerance, nationalism, segregation, exclusiveness and screw everyone but me as the foundation in our schools.

      I hate to say this but I don't think that will work to improve our society.
      • Mar 31 2014: Jim
        Suffice it to say that your reading comprehension needs improvement. Would I be correct to assume that your reply indicated that you were an ET? Blanket, nonsensical statements such as yours serve no point and do not further reasonable discussion.
        Please point out anything that I said that was wrong and why it was wrong and than provide a better thought. I, then, if still in disagreement, will counter until we reach a position that both can deal with.
        After you have reread my post; tell me what I proposed. Please quote me on my position concerning the items you mentioned.
        Now Jim what are your proposals? And if you will define, "our society."
        I look forward to a critical, but yet intelligent debate. Be careful of platitudes, homilies, and unsupported visions of singing songs around camp fires, they do not win debates.
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          Mar 31 2014: Charles, no I have never been an Extra Terrestrial. Not sure why you would ask? I will admit that my response was in poor taste and for that I a[apologize.
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    Mar 25 2014: A far more effective approach would be to regulate paranting or perhaps the lack there of.
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    Mar 25 2014: Mike, the answer is yes absolutely depending on the level. I'll skip the UN part. Depending on level training and indoctrination probably fall into something like this: K-8 - 90%, 9-12 - 50% and undergrad and grad -10%. In the K-8 level it is all about interpersonal interaction, learning to read (training), basic math (training), and some history/civics. I guarantee at this level the study of WWII history is very different in France, Japan, Israel, and the US (indoctrination). This carries across almost all of the basic course work at the K-8 level. Sex education is another good example. Think how different that topic is in Nigeria, Japan, America, India, and Saudi Arabia. Even reading and math is very different in China or Japan vs the US or UK.

    So again, yes education is all about training and indoctrination until one reaches the upper levels.
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      Mar 25 2014: Jim,
      Maybe our understanding of the terms are different. I see K - 12 as a period for evolving young adults to explore their capabilities and capacities and acquire knowledge necessary to become functional young adults. T and I comes later after the young adult is aware of him/herself.
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        Mar 27 2014: Mike, In Iran, young kids are taught that the US is the devil incarnate, in the US they are told we are teh best and richest and everyone wants to be like us. Kids in Saudi Arabia are told that women are worthless and shouldn't be seen outside. In Japan kids are taught absolute obedience and very hard academic work to achieve life long success (not all bad). Nearly every country teaches their very young much more than basic reading and math. They are conscientiously evolving these young people into the image they believe will further and strengthen their national identity. Sounds more like indoctrination to me with a little education stuffed in around the edges.

        And home schooling, OMG that is nearly pure indoctrination. But, this is not new. Countries have been doing this since there were schools. Public schools, though they are loath to admit it, serve two primary roles; first indoctrinate our youth into our social system and second provide basic academic training (i.e., math reading, etc.).

        Having had college students from dozens of countries in my classroom I can say the differences are huge. But admittedly, it is the common interests and beliefs that most often bonds them together.
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          Mar 27 2014: Jim,
          You have just enumerated the problem. Public schools all over the world are doing T & I to mold their children to the national view. That is what I am saying is wrong when it is at the cost of a good basic education that will enable a young adult to be successful.

          And home schooling is truly.... focused, but they mostly have a better basic education then too many public schools.

          There are by some count, 11 different cultural identities in the USA. So the idea of a "national" education program is flawed right out of the gate. And yes, like the Saudi's there are areas in the USA where girls are best left home, barefoot and pregnant.
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    Mar 25 2014: Is training and indoctrination the goal of education?. And has the UN been a shining example of world cooperation?
    I think not.
  • Mar 23 2014: People are against any such organization , So, Can any body tell be how to solve this:

    The current education system stresses not leaning but on acquisition of certificates and Degrees, where as a person may not have actual knowledge , and some even buy certificates and Degrees. Some don't have even practical working knowledge.

    At one end there are lot of unemployed people whose certificates and degrees hold no value and there are organizations who fail to find qualified professionals for recruitment.

    At the school level much focus is given on number scoring rather than on learning.The education is based on quantity of memorizing facts rather than on real quality learning .

    The quantity of books is also high . And if we look at number of books in each class/grade then it is approximately 15 books and each book has aprox 15 chapters and each chapter is approx 7 to 10 pages.

    Number of chapters = 15x15 = 225 chapters
    Number of pages = 225x7=1575 pages

    Number of days in a year 366 days

    Number of days in school is approx=200 ,

    So, how it is possible to thorough understand and learn 1575 pages in 200 days.

    And if you add the home work burden then you will find that student has become a donkey who has no life but run of mill activity.

    Get up in the morning , go to school and stay there for 7 to 8 hours, come home, take a little rest , then again go to tuition classes spend there 1 to 1 hours, then take little rest and again sit down for study.

    Where is the time to play ?, Where is the time to relax ?. Where is the time to observe the nature ?

    And above all education has become something like that if a person fails then it is his/her moral duty to suicide.
    • Mar 25 2014: How does that prove that a world-power dictatorial agency will fix anything?
      • Mar 25 2014: No World power dictatorial agency will not fix anything . . . again and again the things are being proved which I generally say.
      • Mar 25 2014: Thanks for the proof again.
        • Mar 25 2014: Some people are born to flip burgers, and no attempt at education can change that. We can't all be scientists and artists.
    • Mar 25 2014: If getting through 1 page an hour seems like a difficult task to accomplish (that is getting through 7.5 pages a day) THEN I would say Houston we got a problem! Please note that some can get through that many pages in a fraction of the time!

      BTW the primary reason that schools focus on the number and facts scoring rather than on learning is that the evaluation of the former is much simpler than the latter. The focus on a certificate is a proxy and filtering gatekeeper. The certificate is more of an administrative hurtle. Look at it this way in principle to get a good score in an evaluation you either prepare really good, or are exceptionally smart. In practice there are other possibilities like getting someone else to take it for us and paying them, or just getting the relevant answers that someone uses to make the evaluation.

      Humans are highly efficient puzzle solvers… and learn to manipulate their environment to their advantage… some with complete disregard to the system itself… so long that they get what they want.
      • Mar 25 2014: Have you thoroughly understood the problem ? Have you felt and seen the problem through the eyes of a school student ?
        • Mar 25 2014: As a student, even in elementary school, 7.5 pages a day was no problem for me. Maybe I just don't see things through the eyes of the born burger-flippers.
        • Mar 25 2014: Evidently I have seen and thoroughly understand the situation… yes I have felt and seen the problem thought the eyes of a school student… and the tenured teachers and others … who want to pass by the system and get their lollypops/pacifiers … Did you know that truly outstanding instructors are put down by mediocre ones because they look bad? (I intentionally left the ambiguity as to who 'they' refer)
        • Mar 31 2014: :::::::)))))----

          Having been a student and successfully rising four sons through college, the answer is yes.
          At the age of 16, providing they wanted more money than their allowance, a remuneration for work around the house, they were required to get a part time job.
          Involved, as a partner, in a fast food franchise we hired a great many high school and college students on a part time basis, allowing for class scheduling. Most of these kids worked between 10 and 25 hours a week. Most were eager to work, did a good job and maintained high grades.
          There is no demand or expectation of performance from students today, just a feel good philosophy that in the end makes them and the rest of us feel bad and broke, because they are on welfare,.
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    Mar 21 2014: Yes there should be if we want to continue with our self destruction for profit, education is the only way to get people to conform. People must be taught to believe in the way the powers that be want us to believe. It ensures economic growth and a fragile race.

    Higher learning is not the same as education. An educated person can only do what others have done, a higher learned person will not be socially acceptable.
  • Mar 21 2014: No. It is a path to global fascism.
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    Mar 21 2014: United Nations is here, peace is not.
    Problem with international education agency is that education needs to be highly localized. Education was highly localized before globalization and internet exposed far reaches of planet to mass information.
    Maybe an international class on detrimental effects of globalization on education systems would be helpful.
  • Mar 20 2014: An international organization regulating educational content sounds pretty scary to me! On the other hand, a world library providing free access to online education of all kinds, sounds like something of value to the whole world.
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    Mar 19 2014: As you have the same question going already as another thread with 5 days left, I suggest you move the three comments here to your concurrent thread asking the same question and then delete this identical question.

    Here is that concurrent thread: http://www.ted.com/conversations/23343/should_there_be_an_internation_1.html
  • Mar 19 2014: I concur with some of the suggestions posed by Katlego Koma. Africans should be self-directed in their quest for education and economic empowerment. However our global village should still be supportive with some limit to control to foster these endeavours
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    Mar 19 2014: Good Idea, Seth.

    As an example for some basic impromevents : Global Ethics practicing is missing in all schools.This important class needs to be indroduced in schools.
    • Mar 22 2014: Why is fascism a good idea?
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        Mar 22 2014: How can Fascism and Ethics may ever relate? Is this ever possible?

        Correct me if I'm wrong. I think you confuse that term Fascism or Regime, controlling and dictating its made-up laws, with Ethics that is for preventing any violation over individuals and their rights.

        If we would not have any international organization based on international ethics, and if you are trapped in some place under bloody regime and terror, like Fascism, you would not have any slightest chance to be helped from the outside..

        When we say ETHICS we usually mean our best combination of rules, preventing us as individuals, from violation within and without our community/society.
        • Mar 24 2014: An international agency dictating educational policy world-wide will become fascist. It's inevitable.
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        Mar 24 2014: If it is some DICTATING POLICY, as you put it, then, Yes, it wold be horrible.

        But I'm talking about something drastically opposite - about PREVENTING educational institutions from making-up those Dictating Policies. We can witness this dictatorship disaster happening all over the world.

        I'm talking about Fundamental Ethics teaching us about our rights, therefore, we understand that no one can force you to believe in political or religious ideas and lies and you can freely choose something else to believe in or study. Until we impower Ethics as an international rule/law many will remain imprisoned in cults, or be trapped in their own country under some mad, fascism-like regime.

        I hope you inderstand that I'm talking about ETHICS to break or prevent any DICTATORSHIP or cult.
        • Mar 25 2014: If it has the power to "prevent", it has the power to dictate, and that power will inevitably be used. It's human nature. The worst thing possible is to set up yet another all-powerful agency.