Thu, 26 December 2013
Is an education what many believe it to be -- formal schooling -- or is it something more? It seems like something more as we begin this episode talking about our first memories of education...it didn't start with school. But, obviously, one cannot discuss education without [mostly] talking about school. After our early memories of being educated about something, we move on to this question: "Did you have any teachers that inspired and changed your life like you see in movies?"
Maybe we did; maybe we didn't...you'll have to listen to find out, but we definitely had teachers who soured us on schooling. So often, teachers are held up in high regard, but is it justified when so many teachers aren't all that great? (Not saying for a moment that a good teacher should be lumped in with the actions of poor teachers, but so often you hear things like, "Teachers should be paid more than athletes," and, truth be told...there are a lot of shitty teachers out there who probably don't deserve what they are already paid!)
After that, it's on to standardized testing and the money that's tied to it. Is standardized testing good or bad? Is one who tests well "educated" -- is it possible to solve problems and be smart and not test well? (You can probably guess where we stand!) Does more money solve problems in districts, or are there bigger problems with education that money alone can't solve? Hell, why not just ask if the public school model is outdated altogether?
We take a different track and ask how we'd see our own children educated before stepping into home schooling/unschooling. Is homeschooling and unschooling bad? What about the arguments about socialization: is a school a good place for socialization, or can it be like Lord of the Flies for many, destroying the confidence of so many kids who would otherwise be social in other environments?
While most of this episode focuses on primary and secondary education, it's off to college...but is college worth it? Does a traditional education and college prepare younger people for adulthood and the real world, or is it more about discipline and then wondering why the person who previously had to ask for permission to use the restroom isn't suddenly the problem-solving adult they are expected to be after graduating high school?
Breaking from tradition, we move on to other interesting ways of educating people. After that, we build a time machine and go back with the ability to shape our own educations -- find out what we would have changed and how we'd have preferred to have been educated. And, as always, we wrap it all up by discussing the future...this time, what the future of education might be like...
If you're stuck in detention and looking for something to do, tell us some of your thoughts and feelings about education in the comments.