education is primarily a barrier to entry: true or false

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Not all messages are displayed: show all messages (272 of them)

I don't get your yuk. I teach at a university whose students consist mostly of Hispanics and blacks.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

the grounding in mathematics, science (chemistry & biology), history, language provided by basic high-school education is both hugely valuable and a decent general measure of willingness and ability to do hard cognitive work of the sort required to succeed in fields like law, engineering and medicine. of course there are outside factors that can impede/obscure or aid/enable that "willingness and ability", and these should be better addressed by an educational system that makes it its mission to provide a high quality of education to all americans. nevertheless, the basic approach is a good one, and it deserves respect, especially from the people who provide it.

argument could be made that a properly managed apprenticeship in any given field could provide the same chance to show a general measure of willingness to do hard cognitive work that is more relevant and valuable in a given direction without handicapping many people with gradings in subjects that they have no interest in nor faculty.

any system setting out a framework allowing for education/training/improvement in a fair and equal manner deserves respect, not sure that this is limited to the current educational system as discussed.

truth fromgbs (darraghmac), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

robin hanson has a whole thing like this where he basically says that education is designed to teach students how to behave appropriately in professional society + suss out who is good at that kind of behavior and who is not.

Mordy, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

he has a ton of posts about it tho -- it's one of his big things

Mordy, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

that's cool alfred, i was just pointing out that on a national level blacks and latinos are "weeded out" of higher education 20% more than other students and i was wondering if you thought it was because of their attitude toward jumping through hoops

the late great, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

the grounding in mathematics, science (chemistry & biology), history, language provided by basic high-school education is both hugely valuable and a decent general measure of willingness and ability to do hard cognitive work of the sort required to succeed in fields like law, engineering and medicine

^^ is this based on research or what?

the late great, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

the grounding in mathematics, science (chemistry & biology), history, language provided by basic high-school education is both hugely valuable and a decent general measure of willingness and ability to do hard cognitive work of the sort required to succeed in fields like law, engineering and medicine

valuable, maybe; a measure of ability to do cognitive work, definitely not. more like a measure of how important school grades were to a person when they were a teenager

lex pretend, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

IIRC the only variable that correlated to success in engineering classes at UC schools was your 9th grade algebra results

the late great, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

not whether you were in calculus or algebra ii as a senior, not what your SAT math score was, etc etc

the late great, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

xpost to shakey - i thought you meant you worked somewhere that did facilities work, ie electricians, HVAC repair guys, etc ... it sounds more like you're in the "civil engineering" end of things

close - energy engineering. which sort of requires a combination of design and repair skills (ie you need to know how an optimally functioned system is designed, and also how to retrofit an existing poorly functioning system to function as best as possible)

many xp

the sir edmund hillary of sitting through pauly shore films (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

you write a very strident paragraph contenderizer, but i'm not convinced it's any less ideological than the views i laid out in the OP

the late great, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

argument could be made that a properly managed apprenticeship in any given field could provide the same chance to show a general measure of willingness to do hard cognitive work that is more relevant and valuable in a given direction without handicapping many people with gradings in subjects that they have no interest in nor faculty.

yeah, wouldn't disagree w this at all.

Fozzy Osbourne (contenderizer), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

i take a lot of issue with "the basic approach is a good one" but conty does like to go for bat for the tried and tested values of the 18th century so

Kony Montana: "Say hello to my invisible friend" (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

course in an ideal world career guidance would be worth a fuck to a 16 yr old, or college wouldn't take place til you were 22 and had already learned IT basics anyway

truth fromgbs (darraghmac), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

dude, what could possibly be wrong with a system that asks you to take the most important exams of your life just as you're discovering alcohol and sex?

Kony Montana: "Say hello to my invisible friend" (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

robin hanson has a whole thing like this where he basically says that education is designed to teach students how to behave appropriately in professional society + suss out who is good at that kind of behavior and who is not.

― Mordy, Wednesday, March 14, 2012 4:33 PM (6 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah, left that part out, but it's obviously another part of what the contemporary educational system is designed to do, relative to professions like law, medicine and engineering: prepare people for the demands not only of the "professional" workplace, but for the sort of education that will specifically prepare them for that workplace. in part, high school is where you get to demonstrate that you're willing to apply yourself simply because that application is requested of you, and i'd argue that that, too, is hugely valuable.

Fozzy Osbourne (contenderizer), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

I am seeing how students increasingly regard their education as a service commodity e.g. "I paid $600 for these credits and I better get a good grade." It doesn't help that my university has used gobbledygook like "results-oriented student excellence," like we're in charge of making good tacos or something. So, yes, I do see students who regard education as an annoyance to circumvent. To a degree I don't blame them.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

apprenticeship is actually the model that a lot of education reformers like to use these days (one popular pedagogical approach is called cognitive apprenticeship)

i like the idea but i feel like its going to be even harder to provide that than a decent school aystem

the late great, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

It sucks to teach math, chemistry, history, and I dunno Virgil to students who regard college as the means by which to acquire a piece of paper that signifies "You're okay to start your own business."

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

dude, what could possibly be wrong with a system that asks you to take the most important exams of your life just as you're discovering alcohol and sex?

well sure, growing up is hard. we segue into "real life" just as we're losing our minds hormonally, figuring out who we are and want to be, and exploring a vast and dangerous world. the fact that this is true is not, however, the fault of the educational system.

Fozzy Osbourne (contenderizer), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

I am seeing how students increasingly regard their education as a service commodity e.g. "I paid $600 for these credits and I better get a good grade."

happening a lot in the UK too now that students are paying the full cost of their degrees

Kony Montana: "Say hello to my invisible friend" (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

dude, what could possibly be wrong with a system that asks you to take the most important exams of your life just as you're discovering alcohol and sex?

oh i fuckin wish i was, iirc, discovering parental committal & possibly taco fries

truth fromgbs (darraghmac), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

It sucks to teach math, chemistry, history, and I dunno Virgil to students who regard college as the means by which to acquire a piece of paper that signifies "You're okay to start your own business."

― Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:45 (1 minute ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

it might do, yes, but from their POV it might suck to have to hear about these things and be graded on your interest in them when you know your career plans don't include them

truth fromgbs (darraghmac), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

I am seeing how students increasingly regard their education as a service commodity e.g. "I paid $600 for these credits and I better get a good grade."

^ a good attitude, imo. encourages the sort of work that's likely to result in success (i.e., good grades).

Fozzy Osbourne (contenderizer), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

and financial success

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

well yr self-fulfilling prophecy came true

the late great, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

Panglossian!

Kony Montana: "Say hello to my invisible friend" (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

it might do, yes, but from their POV it might suck to have to hear about these things and be graded on your interest in them when you know your career plans don't include them

oh yeah! We're finally seeing the results of "democratizing" the educational system. It's neither bad nor good imo. If "society" requires a college degree for most anything then we must become degree mills.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

It sucks to teach math, chemistry, history, and I dunno Virgil to students who regard college as the means by which to acquire a piece of paper that signifies "You're okay to start your own business."

it's pretty sad that the idea of learning for learning's sake has such little purchase right now, because that's pretty much the only "utility" of many courses, at high school and above.

then again that doesn't apply across the board, making a 15-yr-old who dislikes chemistry and knows at that point that their adult life will not involve any of it sit through lessons is just going to alienate them from the system and reinforce the idea that they're just doing it for a piece of paper.

lex pretend, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

It sucks to teach math, chemistry, history, and I dunno Virgil to students who regard college as the means by which to acquire a piece of paper that signifies "You're okay to start your own business."

― Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:45 (1 minute ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

it might do, yes, but from their POV it might suck to have to hear about these things and be graded on your interest in them when you know your career plans don't include them

― truth fromgbs (darraghmac), Wednesday, March 14, 2012 4:48 PM (21 seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah, but if you know that your career plans do not require such things, in any way shape or form, and you are in a school that does require them, then the only real problem is that you've chosen the wrong school. i mean, basically the only thing you really need to start a business is a line of credit.

Fozzy Osbourne (contenderizer), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

but when the school in question is high school ... ?

the late great, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's pretty sad that the idea of learning for learning's sake has such little purchase right now,

did it ever? Seriously! ILE is one of the few communities in which I've encountered people like me who used to read and write because they gave him pleasure.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

i agree with noodle vague upthread (v. beautifully put). some rough thoughts: there is this idea that logic, reasoning, critical thinking and other side effects of learning math and science will serve someone just for being those skills, directly applied to life, but i think it's more about learning how to perform these skills in a setting, i.e., what takes precedence for success is how able someone is to meet and perform the requirements necessary to gain membership in a group. sometimes those requirements are "hard" rather than "soft" or whatever but i still think this is a big reason why secondary education and "the field" (knowledge/production/market work) exhibit so many disconnects, those two cultures require two different performance profiles, with different amounts of element overlap.

i think education culture, in the u.s. at least, has many tangled and contradictory aims and claims. the impulse contenderizer is spouting above for one. the idea that pure education is about a kind of personal liberation, which needs to be majorly questioned and sorted out because it ends up being a cover for a lot of hypocrisy.

lots of x-posts of course

desk calendar white out (Matt P), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah, but if you know that your career plans do not require such things, in any way shape or form, and you are in a school that does require them, then the only real problem is that you've chosen the wrong school. i mean, basically the only thing you really need to start a business is a line of cred

The subjects I mentioned are part of most colleges' core curriculum.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

but when the school in question is high school ... ?

fair point, but i'm good with everybody having to learn to crawl, even if they're pretty damn sure that they have no intention of ever walking

Fozzy Osbourne (contenderizer), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's pretty sad that the idea of learning for learning's sake has such little purchase right now

this ties in with what Alfred's saying and what i said about the different values in education systems. i definitely think that education as a value in itself is being pushed out in favour of consumerism and the needs of employers, but ironically in the UK at least we still seem pretty bad at creating an education system that's meeting the actual needs of employers

Kony Montana: "Say hello to my invisible friend" (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

do u guys ever feel like with something like education that so many words have already been written about the topic that anything you had to say about it would just be a drop in the ocean?

Mordy, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

so the UK still produces business students who can write actual compound sentences? Wow.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

i definitely think that education as a value in itself is being pushed out in favour of consumerism and the needs of employers, but ironically in the UK at least we still seem pretty bad at creating an education system that's meeting the actual needs of employers

ha otm the UK's speciality really is in pitching for a compromise and ending up with the worst of both worlds

lex pretend, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

hey, look! matt responded to one of my posts without directly calling me a racist. red letter day...

Fozzy Osbourne (contenderizer), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

'learning for learning's sake'

i mean, i dunno, does nobody else even find this a troublesome concept to begin with? learning what? decided by whom? to what end? there's more baggage there than is assumed, and i think the attitude of 'learning what someone else finds interesting for someone else's sake' probably turns a lot more off the idea of education than many other factors discussed itt

truth fromgbs (darraghmac), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

has anyone mentioned yet that the current US educational system is a frankenstein's monster hodgepodge of remnants from the transition between agrarian + industrialization?

Mordy, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

"like we're in charge of making good tacos or something."

frankly, i would have liked to have gone to taco-U... i guess that does speak to an apprenticeship-envy.

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

gonna say it's more a test of yr ability/willingness to jump through hoops, useful skill for modern life imo

dude, what could possibly be wrong with a system that asks you to take the most important exams of your life just as you're discovering alcohol and sex?

otms

mookieproof, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

so is society mayyyne xp

truth fromgbs (darraghmac), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

learning for learnings sake implies not grading

the late great, Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

^^

truth fromgbs (darraghmac), Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

i guess by learning for learning's sake we're talking about the idea that a broad base of general knowledge and skills might be important for kids developmentally. i wdn't argue that it can be done in a very ham-fisted and counterproductive fashion, but as a general idea i'm good with it. sometimes kids have to do things against their natural inclinations which are mostly eating jelly babies, watching tv and beating on weaker kids?

Kony Montana: "Say hello to my invisible friend" (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

cost more? why?

the late great, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

i'm not following what you're saying iatee

the late great, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

I teach in the humanities at a public uni & a few years back had a Vietnamese immigrant who struggled hard with written & oral English, didn't understand well the Western debates on monotheism, etc. She ended up kicking every other student's ass. The difference was partly that she actually came to office hours, unlike the others. But I don't really know what else it was: intrinsic smarts? work habits? I dunno, but it was eye opening.

Euler, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

science students require expenive labs, interaction w/ higher-paid faculty, humanities students require chalkboards and grad student teacher who you're paying 15k a year

xp

iatee, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

not math faculty

Euler, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah I mean it's not true across the board but it's a partial explanation why there's not internal pressure to make science ed more accessible at any given university. it costs money and doesn't bring immediate benefits, unless your university is starting out w/ a surplus of science resources.

iatee, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

well they do generally charge lab fees for the labs

the late great, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

trying to find a breakdown, I remember reading it somewhere
http://blogs.sciencemag.org/sciencecareers/2012/01/university-of-f.html

iatee, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

science research otoh can bring in defense $$$$$ (and also other industry $$$$) while good luck getting grants for your novel interpretation of milton.

s.clover, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

yes, on the research level the opposite is true

iatee, Friday, 16 March 2012 20:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

My late father was a mechanical engineer by training, but it's amazing how the field hasn't changed. Sure, they use computers a lot more. My dad worked part-time up to the last month of his life, he adapted to the CAD programs just fine!

Engineers must maintain their math schools their entire life! My dad used to sit down at night with a math book! I envied him, people think math is hopelessly dry, it's interesting if you view it as an expression of spatial relationships! If you're into art or design or photography you might want to maintain some math skills.

My dad put a lot of pressure on me to learn math. It keeps your brain sharp and doesn't have any ideological bullshit in it. I like doing the odd math problem.

We had a math test in design school and I got a C! I got a high score on my math SAT but I hadn't practiced in a while.

Math and science don't discriminate based on background, but sometimes a student's social climate discourages them from learning math. i.e., if you struggle with math you are stupid! Conceptually, it is easier than philosophy or literature...doing the problems is difficult.

โตเกียวเหมียวเหมียว aka Got Gym (Mount Cleaners), Friday, 16 March 2012 20:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

This seems quite salient here:

https://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/03/23-8

Masonic Boom, Sunday, 25 March 2012 09:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

4 months pass...

here's an interesting one

http://nyti.ms/MN6Q8s

the late great, Friday, 3 August 2012 06:59 (1 year ago) Permalink

i am pretty sure nobody really answers the final question in the comments but i didn't read all of them

the late great, Friday, 3 August 2012 07:02 (1 year ago) Permalink

post secondary education facilitated entry ime ; )

buzza, Friday, 3 August 2012 07:14 (1 year ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.