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Educational streaming, not to just pick up the brightest but to find what subjects inspire particular pupils, from practical to theoretical

We should stream children by the kind of people they are and their fields of interest, not try to teach them all subjects equally, especially where they don't need to know it, for where they are going talent wise (just enough to get by, if necessary, no more - we don't need clones, we need self-led adults - creative, thoughtful, inventive).

By this I mean Thinkers should be led into the area of theory (science, politics, business etc.). Doers should get practical sessions in hands on skills like sports, mechanics, farming, domestic science etc. Feelers should go into the arts, healing and religion etc.

I'm talking about secondary level education, not primary but this early level may determine direction, through indicators of interest/ talent.

Nothing should be set in stone because not all children know what they want to do or where they are going in society and this should be accommodated as this has always been true of a certain percentage of school children (If they are not happy, they will resent things being rammed down their throat and become disruptive). One size doesn't fit all in reality and this should be recognized and dealt with, within the educational system. The rebel can bring something new to civilization as those that fit in, keep everything running smoothly.

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  • Feb 27 2012: Thank you. I see your points relevance. I would have the children decide whether they were bored or happy with their choices, in consultation with their teachers. I don't think forcing children in any particular direction is conducive to anything but resistance, which doesn't lead to learning anything. In other words it is the emotional state of the child that should decide multi-disciplinary or single subject pursuit. As you say about basics - that is why I suggested secondary level education stage as before that children would be into more general exploration. Another point is that some people only discover what their true vocation in life is, well after they leave school. It could be something they hated that they unexpectedly went back to or something outside the school curriculum that they stumbled upon at some later date.

    As for the unfeeling politician - I don't think you can educate that in (conscience), just bring it out, if it is there. Sociopaths manipulate others because they like the sense of power it gives them: It never stopped Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot etc. sadly.
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    Feb 24 2012: Some arguments in favour of a more rounded approach:
    - It takes a certain breadth of experience for anyone to know where their interests lie, and streaming too early closes down the options
    - Everyone has a need of a certain set of practical skills in order to cope with life, even if acquiring those skills doesn't interest them
    - Streaming closes off options for those whose skills and interests span multiple areas
    - The fact of streaming presupposes that the system has full understanding of the fields where specific talents should be applied - and this presupposition stifles the creativity that allows skills from one discipline to be effectively applied to another.

    Theoretical thinking can be applied outside hard subjects such as the sciences. A politician without feeling would be inhumane. Practical areas such as technology development (theoretical or practical?) need feelers to assess the potential for usability issues. Subject matter can't be divided that way, the people who work with the subject matter treat it differently depending on their individuaal talents.

    But, allowing for all of the above, it makes sense to give children the opportunity to build skills in their areas of interest and aptitude, provided they also get the breadth of education to give them basic life skills and to give them an awareness of the options they have.