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Useful education

So, maybe I'm crazy, but shouldn't education be based on living in the world and changing it?
So, why is it that when a kid graduates high school they have no idea how to take care of themselves? Why has no one taught them how to think logically, make a meal for themselves, do taxes or apply for a job?
Isn't the point of education to provide individuals with the skill sets needed to become a productive member of sociaty? When did education in America stop being about helping the student? When did it start being about impressing others by turning students into encyclopedias of useless information?
Further more, why is it that a person who wants to be a librarian has to learn how to read Mayan numbers? Most of the work that librarians(and many other careers) do is learned on the job.
I understand that there are several jobs that would need farther education (ie. doctor or teacher), but why aren't there more apprinticeships for jobs that are on a learn as you go basis?
I think that we should make information avalible to anyone who wants or needs it. I do not think that we should be shoving useless information into kids heads until they hate learning. A sociaty filled with people who hate learning and don't know how to do anything for themselves, is doomed to fall to shambles.
But, a sociaty filled with people who first know how to survive in their world and second are passionate about learning and improving their world, is a sociaty that will only increase in strength.

  • May 7 2014: I whole heartedly agree. :) I think with today's flexible technology where everything is just a click away and software can offer diverse, tailored options, we should be able to create classrooms where people are able to specialize early and are shown all the options. We should also give them resources on how to start different career paths if they want to. So if that librarian wants to become a programmer at some point in his/her life then he/she has the resources to pursue it. There are tons of online courses and programs. Courses offered by top institutions like Yale, Stanford, MIT etc. I would love to see more of those. And have the government create modern guidelines and accreditation standards for good online programs. Free, flexible learning is within our grasps. People can start specializing early and change just as easily when they want to. Something that irks me is the different accreditation standards for vocational schools and liberal science colleges. It's a pretty biased, rigid learning model.
  • May 4 2014: My mother taught me to cook.
    My father taught me basic logic (although I learned to refine it a great deal in college).
    My father taught me basic finance.
    My grandfather taught me about finding a job.

    If people don't know how to do those things, it's not the fault of schools. It's the fault of lazy parents.
  • May 3 2014: Encourage kids to self-educate by asking them "any questions?" in the class-room, a lot.
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    May 19 2014: "From an early age, we’ve been told that education is the key to one’s success in life. Study hard! Get good grades! Go to college! And by making education freely available to all children, we’re giving everyone an equal opportunity to succeed in life. But the path to success and even middle-class existence is no longer so straightforward, if indeed it ever was.

    At OAS 2006, a notable conference, the well-known professor and visionary scholar Nicholas Negroponte stated,

    “No matter what global problem you are dreading, whether it’s the elimination of poverty, whether it’s the creation of peace, whether its solving environmental energy problems, the solution- whatever it is- multiple solutions, the solutions always include education, never is it without an education component and sometimes cannot be done without education.” And he went on to state, “The children should be making things. The children should be writing computer programs. They should be learning by doing. The thing is not to learn excel or such programs, it is to learn to learn.”

    "It’s Personal

    But what is the purpose of education? Is education about preparing students for a specific career? Or is it about teaching students lifelong values, discipline, and the ability to explore new ideas and to think independently?

    Over the decades, the following have all been goals of education:
    •To prepare children for citizenship
    •To cultivate a skilled workforce
    •To teach cultural literacy
    •To help students become critical thinkers
    •To help students compete in a global marketplace"
  • May 11 2014: That is a very interesting view and I agree! I would love your input on my question regarding how to differentiate and involve all students in the classroom..
  • May 8 2014: Solid points made in this post.

    Any readers of this comment: Would you be able to help me out? For a final project in graduate school (I am getting my Masters in Literacy), I was asked to pose a question to a larger audience and facilitate a discussion about a problem in education. My classmate and I decided to take two (extreme sides) to the common core curricula modules. The question posed in the debate is “Does the Common Core Stifle Creativity in Education?” (For some reason, it has not been able to post to the TED Debate forum). Please help us out by clicking our link to Reddit and commenting your thoughts in the section provided. Thank you!

    Here is the link:
  • May 7 2014: I'm not saying that parents shouldn't be involve in the lives of their children, but where do they send most of their day? Their at school. The point of them being there is to prepare them for the real world. Why aren't they prepared?
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    May 7 2014: well, a lot of kids don't go on to college and are able to create a life at 18, get some kind of job, some kind of residence, and do okay?