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Old 04-20-2010, 03:05 PM   #31
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The definition of entitlement goes beyond material things for me-but I wasn't talking at all about intellectual freedom or doing anything you set your mind to
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:07 PM   #32
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In that case I think we are in agreement. When I say "entitlement complex" I mean a person who feels they deserve everything and anything they want without having to work for it, simply that they are entitled to it. This is generally because the parents have given the child everything they wanted rather than teach the child to "earn their gold stars" or do chores for an allowance or buy the kid the latest video game system rather than actually spend time together. It's like a fancy term for spoiled brat. An example would be many of my peers getting upset that after college they can't run right out and buy a big house and two nice cars. Their parents have these things so why can't they? They forget that our parents worked hard for decades, moving up the ladders at their respective jobs, building credit, and NOW they have a comfortable house and a fun car.
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:23 PM   #33
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The inherent idea behind this is good: our education system is beyond fucked up. I despise it. Did I thrive according to their standards? Yes. I finished high school with a GPA well above 4.0 thanks to AP-level courses. But I almost never encountered information I hadn't learned previously on my own. My high school was actually very good for what it was, but it could have been exponentially improved without such rigid focus on standardized testing. So many problems plague the school system. My middle school was atrocious. Just horrid. And I don't mean the building, which was old and falling apart. I mean the teachers. I mean the courses. Everything about it was just terrible.

We need a huge overhaul of our education system, is my point.
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:56 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by PhilsFan View Post
The inherent idea behind this is good: our education system is beyond fucked up. I despise it. Did I thrive according to their standards? Yes. I finished high school with a GPA well above 4.0 thanks to AP-level courses. But I almost never encountered information I hadn't learned previously on my own. My high school was actually very good for what it was, but it could have been exponentially improved without such rigid focus on standardized testing. So many problems plague the school system. My middle school was atrocious. Just horrid. And I don't mean the building, which was old and falling apart. I mean the teachers. I mean the courses. Everything about it was just terrible.

We need a huge overhaul of our education system, is my point.
This is more or less what I meant to say earlier on but couldn't find the words.
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:01 PM   #35
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The definition of entitlement goes beyond material things for me-but I wasn't talking at all about intellectual freedom or doing anything you set your mind to
I'm not sure that I'm entirely clear, in that case, what you mean by a sense of entitlement.
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:09 PM   #36
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I mean that you feel entitled to do whatever you want, treat people however you want, have whatever you want, be as big of an a-hole as you want etc just by virtue of the fact of who you are (who you think you are)..which often, but not always, results from being raised that to believe and act that way.
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:50 PM   #37
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The inherent idea behind this is good: our education system is beyond fucked up. I despise it. Did I thrive according to their standards? Yes. I finished high school with a GPA well above 4.0 thanks to AP-level courses. But I almost never encountered information I hadn't learned previously on my own. My high school was actually very good for what it was, but it could have been exponentially improved without such rigid focus on standardized testing. So many problems plague the school system. My middle school was atrocious. Just horrid. And I don't mean the building, which was old and falling apart. I mean the teachers. I mean the courses. Everything about it was just terrible.

We need a huge overhaul of our education system, is my point.
Thank you.

Per usual, the media has gotten a hold of the most ridiculous side of this form of education and presented it as if that is what unschooling is all about. The unschooling/critical pedagogy idea has solid theoretical and practical groundings (check out Paulo Freire's work for a look at how dialogue-based education between teachers and students results in higher consciousness all around), and honestly, I wish my parents had done something similar rather than sending me to public school. Granted, there weren't any charter schools in the area, so it was either public school or Catholic school, making the choices fairly slim.

I made it out just fine from the public school system, but I can't help but feeling that it was a waste of four years. The things I wanted to learn weren't considered "important" because of the standardized testing (thanks No Child Left Behind), and instead, I was forced to sit through monotonous, mindless bullshit day after day with classmates who couldn't care less about anything intellectual. That's not productive for people anymore than parents letting their kids run rampant, playing video games instead of doing homework.
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:16 AM   #38
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"Thank God I received a education,
in spite of going to school."

~Mark Twain
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Old 04-30-2010, 02:20 AM   #39
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Mark Twain said many admirable things.
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Old 04-30-2010, 11:24 AM   #40
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From one of my favourite business bloggers yesterday:

The coming melt-down in higher education (as seen by a marketer)

For 400 years, higher education in the US has been on a roll. From Harvard asking Galileo to be a guest professor in the 1600s to millions tuning in to watch a team of unpaid athletes play another team of unpaid athletes in some college sporting event, the amount of time and money and prestige in the college world has been climbing.

I'm afraid that's about to crash and burn. Here's how I'm looking at it.

1. Most colleges are organized to give an average education to average students.
Pick up any college brochure or catalog. Delete the brand names and the map. Can you tell which school it is? While there are outliers (like St. Johns, Deep Springs or Full Sail) most schools aren't really outliers. They are mass marketers.

Stop for a second and consider the impact of that choice. By emphasizing mass and sameness and rankings, colleges have changed their mission.

This works great in an industrial economy where we can't churn out standardized students fast enough and where the demand is huge because the premium earned by a college grad dwarfs the cost. But...

2. College has gotten expensive far faster than wages have gone up.

As a result, there are millions of people in very serious debt, debt so big it might take decades to repay. Word gets around. Won't get fooled again...

This leads to a crop of potential college students that can (and will) no longer just blindly go to the 'best' school they get in to.

3. The definition of 'best' is under siege.

Why do colleges send millions (!) of undifferentiated pieces of junk mail to high school students now? We will waive the admission fee! We have a one page application! Apply! This is some of the most amateur and bland direct mail I've ever seen. Why do it?

Biggest reason: So the schools can reject more applicants. The more applicants they reject, the higher they rank in US News and other rankings. And thus the rush to game the rankings continues, which is a sign that the marketers in question (the colleges) are getting desperate for more than their fair share. Why bother making your education more useful if you can more easily make it appear to be more useful?

4. The correlation between a typical college degree and success is suspect.

College wasn't originally designed to merely be a continuation of high school (but with more binge drinking). In many places, though, that's what it has become. The data I'm seeing shows that a degree (from one of those famous schools, with or without a football team) doesn't translate into significantly better career opportunities, a better job or more happiness than a degree from a cheaper institution.

5. Accreditation isn't the solution, it's the problem.

A lot of these ills are the result of uniform accreditation programs that have pushed high-cost, low-reward policies on institutions and rewarded schools that churn out young wanna-be professors instead of experiences that turn out leaders and problem-solvers.

Just as we're watching the disintegration of old-school marketers with mass market products, I think we're about to see significant cracks in old-school schools with mass market degrees.

Back before the digital revolution, access to information was an issue. The size of the library mattered. One reason to go to college was to get access. Today, that access is worth a lot less. The valuable things people take away from college are interactions with great minds (usually professors who actually teach and actually care) and non-class activities that shape them as people. The question I'd ask: is the money that mass-marketing colleges are spending on marketing themselves and scaling themselves well spent? Are they organizing for changing lives or for ranking high? Does NYU have to get so much bigger? Why?

The solutions are obvious... there are tons of ways to get a cheap, liberal education, one that exposes you to the world, permits you to have significant interactions with people who matter and to learn to make a difference (start here). Most of these ways, though, aren't heavily marketed nor do they involve going to a tradition-steeped two-hundred-year old institution with a wrestling team. Things like gap years, research internships and entrepreneurial or social ventures after high school are opening doors for students who are eager to discover the new.

The only people who haven't gotten the memo are anxious helicopter parents, mass marketing colleges and traditional employers. And all three are waking up and facing new circumstances.
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