Millionaire dilettantes' "education reform" have failed, but teacher-driven, evidence-supported education works miracles


Yes, I’m aware. Perhaps you did not know that I teach history at the college level right now?

There is also the more foucauldian view of modern education system that it was built to make disciplined workers, who had enough literacy to do their jobs and would accept the 8 hour work schedule in a Pavlovian way - he also argued that this type of biopower went along with the creation of the modern prison system:

That being said, other currents of philosophical understanding of the value of education also proliferated in the late 19th and early 20th century. John Dewey and Maria Montessori had similar approaches to education that tracked with how we understand the human mind develops over the course of childhood, as described by sociologists like Jean Piaget and that very much fits in with the vision of citizens educated for democratic engagement (Montessori also had a view of social and educational development that took individualism into account).

So, it’s both, really, historically speaking, both job training and the creation of citizens. But of course, given the realities, who do you think got what in terms of education - elites across racial classes tended to get a more comprehensive education in the liberal arts mode (with the exception of Native Americans, I’d say and possibly Latino communities - black communities had the talented tenth and a host of excellent colleges in the HBCU system), while the working classes got whatever a community could afford, which largely meant more job training - which is one reason you’d often see more kids from working class communities getting pushed into vocational programs in the second half of the 20th century.

I think it’s important to note that the nature of our economy is changing right now, with industrial/manufacturing work slowly being replaced by various kinds of knowledge work, especially those related to data or some kind of intellectual property. We should start thinking about how we retool our education to that, of course… But we can take that as an opportunity to reshape our conception of education more broadly… I’m a fan of approaches like Montessori or Waldorf, because it focuses on the pleasure of learning and it is more flexible for each individual.

Oh I’m aware of that! I’m aiming my snark at the original poster you were replying to…

We’re on the same page! Montessori for all! :wink:


I think we’re agreeing here. I’m sorry if I sounded like I was trying to correct you.


Oh good! Thanks for saying!

At least it gave me an opportunity to talk about the history of education a bit, yeah? :woman_teacher:


Used, I might add without my permission.


But, as others have noted in this thread, how do you know where you will find the “best and brightest?” Sure, many of the problems that the lowest achieving schools face are indeed tied to the hurdles facing the populations that attend them – not because those students are inherently less suited for school but because

  1. they are facing greater stresses at home due to economic and social stresses (like systemic racism, inadequate access to health care supports, food insecurity etc…)
  2. they are coming from families that historically have not had good access or exposure to school systems that work really well, and consequently are less likely to be able to recognize and effectively advocate for improvements
  3. they tend to lack the preschool preparation for school that more affluent students receive

But are these handicaps the problem of the families, or of society as a whole? Certainly the first and third problems are ones that a government could remedy, should it care to do so. The current US government clearly doesn’t want to make those changes, but other countries have and it has worked well. The example of Finland stands out.

The evidence is pretty clear that even modest preschool “education” (which is not really academic education, more about learning how to behave in a group, focus attention, and form positive associations with learning) has lifelong benefits – not just in terms of future academic success but in life success (maintaining stable relationships, not going to jail)


Signing up just to post generic talking points is explicitly against the rules.

This topic is not about whether democracy has failed, or about the minimum wage, or about several other things you seem to want to talk about.


As an educator, you might want to look into Carol Dweck, and work at growing your students’ abilities rather than assessing their fixed IQs. You might also want to look into the history of IQ tests. And the history of tracking and its effects. And . . . and . . . you know what? You might want to look into the last forty-some years of educational theory and research.

OH, you didn’t say you were an educator! You said you “spent your career in education.” Let me guess: administration?


This might be a good introduction to the (racist, classist, sexist, most-anything-else-ist) history of the “science” of biological determinism.


I’m guessing private protestant Christian school, but an ideologically driven elected official on a school board could also fit the bill here…


My guess is post-secondary STEM academic who hates teaching. So many possibilities…


All work and no plays makes Jack a dull boy; but I’m still not reading all that mess.


So say I took one for the team, but it was absolutely not worth the ulcer. You show better judgment than I.


You actually read all that blathering blatherskite?

You must be a saint…


Yeah, my wife would disagree. I will consider sending my Prilosec bill to the community, though.


I think that’s kind of her job, though.



BTW, extra points for this. I snorted out loud. My nurse thinks I may be losing it.


Alas, I cannot claim credit; that’s one of the catchphrases of Gizmo-Duck, from the original Ducktales.


I had totally forgotten Gizmo-Duck!


As much as I’m anti-Disney now, Ducktales, Talespin and Chip & Dale’s Rescue Rangers still occupied a lot of my afternoons as a preteen.