Whatever the obsession is, that’s the real curriculum.


Professionals who dispense information (Teachers, Doctors, Lawyers come to mind first) tend to HATE the Internet in general, except those sites which they approve of, because of lack of control.

In short, it’s competition.

Children saying, “Wikipedia said” goes against what the teacher’s textbook says. The teacher works with the textbooks (or if they care about what they teach, themselves) for the curriculum and Wikipedia does not follow academic curriculum.

[I could rant about the assumptions of 19th-21st century education but then there’d be a Tome so I have to be care when I get started on the subject tongue emoticon

The Progressivist movement of Dewey was very fruitful. That was a child-centered, child-driven philosophy that was supported by the system. The Internet as it functions without adult supervision functions similarly by providing an abundance of resources, in a sense.

But Dewey’s ideals were abandoned around 1940 as the country geared up to enter WWII and hasn’t looked back since, the only leftover bits of Dewey are among School Librarians, oddly enough, unless they’re encumbered by local figures to remove certain books. Oh well. I can’t fix school. I have to tell myself that whenever I start on the subject.

You’re both right in a sense that it’s not _entirely_ credible, but neither are the very textbooks the teachers are teaching from / the kids are learning from.

So in that sense you’re also both mistaken.

Putting a black hat on Wikipedia and a white hat on textbooks doesn’t solve the issue of thinking critically.

Example: In 6th grade, there were pictures of cavemen in my history book with blond hair and blue eyes. This was 1983 – not that long ago. The methodologies used then in school are the same as today – Bell Curves and such, statistical methodologies and whatnot for grading. Even Common Core isn’t _that_ fundamental of a change [although I have some nit-picks about it]

Ok, not the best example. Still, critical thinking needs to be applied _across the board_. Otherwise it is simply “This is authority. Period. This is not authority. Period.” That’s not critical thinking. That’s dogma.

My apologies and you’re correct. Within the school system itself, that is correct. Surviving school is an important skill for children to learn at a young age and knowing how it works is important so for that, I applaud the 2nd grade teacher.

It does not help them as adults but it _does_ help them while they go through a school system that has its own special ways about it.

Socio-historical critical readings are, unfortunately, out of fashion at the moment. “Fact” and “Authority” are in fashion, wrapped under the umbrella of a critical-thinking-that-*isn’t*.

I admire the “ideals” of Common Core but it’s unfortunately go
ing to be a fad, like all of the fads that came before that each of us got stuck with in our schools growing up, that they’ll abandon in 10-12 years for something new. Lots of hoopla, lots of money, then all the criticisms and dismantling of it for the “next new thing to replace “Grit” with.

Ok. I almost launched into my Common Core rant. I’m not going to do it….

Your daughter has to survive school.

For school survival, knowing what _they_ find acceptable and unacceptable is important.

But _YOU_ are in a place to let her know that, “This is how SCHOOL does things. It doesn’t mean it reflects reality.”

I had to have the same type of discussion with my nephew when he was 8 yrs old and complaining about the way they taught math. [it’s gotten worse now that he’s in 4th grade].

I explained that Yes, the school system you’re in is flawed just like you think it is. But if you learn to give the teacher what they EXPECT from you, you’ll survive. You can get good grades while still thinking for yourself.

He does very well in math – I told him how to “show his work” while still calculating in his head at the same time.
Socio-historical critical readings are, unfortunately, out of fashion at the moment. “Fact” and “Authority” are in fashion, wrapped under the umbrella of a critical-thinking-that-*isn’t*.

I’ve been ranting about the way schools do things since I was at least in 4th grade that I remember.

I wrote letters to the school newspaper – even one to the local paper when I was 12-14… I’m 43 now and it *still* bothers me that noth
ing’s changed. Can’t be fixed though. Just survived. Thriving is possible too. I wish it wasn’t that way… but it’s too big to change, too much invested in too many places.

Unless you want to form parental education groups, there’s not much you can do for them. But you *can* do something to help your daughter. One well rounded person is far better than 10,000 biased people who speak with a singular voice, imo.

But I’m an individualist… a product of my upbringing which included my mother, who was supportive of my odd way of looking at the world that she didn’t understand herself but supported.

My 10 yr old nephew just popped out here, talking about Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 and where he’s gotten in the game.

Children’s culture [entertainment, friends] have greater influence on their way of thinking than school does anyway, Erek Tinker – so try not to stress too much about it. You’ll learn more about “how kids think” by understanding Five nights at Freddy’s or Minecraft than you will what they learn at school, unless they’re obsessed by school.

Whatever the obsession is, that’s the real curriculum. But I’m biased as I tend towards a Dewey / John Holt-Unschooling / JS Neill Summerhill outlook on things.

I believe children learn far more math and algebra, war and compassion, by a Pokemon obsession than by learning the arcane 17th century short-hand for mathematics. Myself, I learned more math by getting a Tandy Color Computer 2 at age 11 and teaching myself to program in BASIC than I ever learned in school.

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