We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Saturday, May 31. 2008
A Back to Basics education with 24 students in one room, and a teacher salary of $240,000. This is great. It would entail a meaningful pay cut for me, but I'd do it in a New York minute for the joy and challenge of it. Can I say whatever I want, and can I use my whip?
I have always claimed that John Adams and Abe Lincoln got better educations than our public school kids get. Of course, they were not the average kids - and you don't "get" an education anyway - you "take" one. Or not.
It is no longer PC to acknowledge that relatively few are able, interested, motivated, or inspired to engage in a serious classical education. For good reason, too: it's not practical and it's difficult, and most jobs do not require calculus or music theory. Result? Watered-down non-rigorous gruel and As and degrees for all, accompanied by a dose of leftist propaganda and multicultural BS. And that's OK, because you cannot get wisdom in school (except maybe a basis for historical wisdom, but that's easy to do on your own once your Mom teaches you to read).
Now back to do the bidding of She Who Must Be Obeyed in the gardens. Adding "organic material," ie our recent truckload of slightly aged manure (a sweetly odoriferous and oozing mountain in the back driveway) from my dairy farmer pal, to the new perennial beds. I will have to dig it in, 2' deep. I will dump some on top of my vegetable garden too, as mulch to be dug in next Spring. Then horseplay later, if it doesn't rain: I could use a sherry or two for courage and a vintage stogie this afternoon, followed by a good gallop over hill and dale with the Mrs. to let today's cool Yankee wind clear my head of the nonsense in life. If rain, maybe indoor horseplay with the same goal.
Editor note: Photo is an early 1800s one-room schoolhouse in Norwalk, CT
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Wow -- kids headed for academic altitude, teachers worth 250K -- a virtuous circle rolling -- these forehead slapping 'aha' moments are always so simple -- and perfect.
This is a fascinating concept. In a practical sense it could be done as far as the physical "plant" goes. But where, oh where are we going to find the broadly educated "generalist" teacher to preside over it, when many of today's "specialist" teachers don't seem to have absorbed accurately the "special" information of their specialties?
The good-to-excellent home-schooling that is being done today is shown repeatedly in the public contests like spelling bees et al. But the only talented "generalist" teacher I am aware of on the Internet is Betsy Newmark, whose column [Betsy's Page] I read regularly. Betsy teaches Civics at a charter high school and invests herself heavily in her students, even to the extent of taking them on weekends to compete and debate with students from other schools. How many teachers do you know who would sacrifice personal time to do this?
Generalist teachers? Easy to find renaissance men and women. They just don't have teaching degrees.
As far as I can determine, BD, that's an advantage.
I have "elite" college calculus, statistics, Shakespeare, Melville, Dante, history, law, bio and chemistry. I think I'd be a credible applicant, but the commute would be stretching it from here.
There is great merit in this, but it's unlikely that those with masters degrees in education administration are open to the concept...gulp.
The public education system is not about education, but about centralized control.
You are correct. I can't think of one thing of value I learned in all the required EDU 501 courses we teachers had to take. Some of our best teachers were retired military. Wow... excellent.
There is actually a one room school house still teaching kids here in Northern NH.
"The Blue School" is a one room schoolhouse in Landaff NH. Located at he intersections of Old Mill, Jockey Hill. Rabbit Path and Mill Brook roads. (can't you see the wagons with farm kids coming over the hill?)
They recently held a reunion there with over 4 generations in attendance.
One should also remember that these schools operated on a much shorter schedule than the current "school year". Chores did not wait; sons and daughters could not be spared for long.
Yet they produced well educated, well rounded, well behaved CITIZENS. Do they even have "citizenship" classes any longer, anywhere?
Where possible (most places, I would think) this system absolutely merits another look. Nobody can say that current efforts have rendered these little schools obsolete, as it is obvious the "newer" alternatives have yet to reach the standards these schools set a 150 years ago.
As a product of the Mass public schools in the 70's I can tell you that I have spent a goodly portion of my life filling in the "blanks" left by my education. I have spent an even greater amount of time "un-learning" the absurd amount of propaganda I was fed instead of three 3 R's.
Adams' education wasn't public but was a clasical one available only to the gentry.
Lincoln's was hardly an education before he took one for himselfa he wrote in one of his autobigraphies.
"My father, at the death of his father, was but six years of age; and he grew up, litterally [sic] without education. He removed from Kentucky to what is now Spencer County, Indiana, in my eighth year. We reached our new home about the time the State came into the Union. It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals, still in the woods. There I grew up. There were some schools, so called; but no qualification was ever required of a teacher beyond "readin, writin, and cipherin" to the Rule of Three. If a straggler supposed to understand latin happened to sojourn in the neighborhood, he was looked upon as a wizzard [sic]. There was absolutely nothing to excite ambition for education. Of course when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher to the Rule of Three; but that was all. I have not been to school since. The little advance I now have upon this store of education, I have picked up from time to time under the pressure of necessity."
I simply must ask!
"She Who Must Be Obeyed" ?
H. Rider Haggard, "She"; John Mortimer, or something you made up?
I ask because I will always have a very soft spot for "She" "King Solomon's Mines" "Alan Quartermain" etc. (While Bailey of the Rumpole has held no such sway)
Haggard, Kipling, Robert E. Howard, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Rice Burrouhgs (The John Carter of Mars books especially) all had places of honor in my pre-adolescent bookcase.
They nestled nicely next to Jules Verne and H.G. Wells and provided a pathway to Joseph Conrad.
Amazing that rereading them in later years would be like reading a completely different book, hidden between the lines of the first.
Remeber the joke? " A woman like that could kill ya'"
"Only if you were lucky"
I have one-half of less than a beginning and a piece of paper that says I was already ahead of the curve before I dropped out. Add a little less than one-half a years worth of college and you have a non-starter with a GED. My education is non-traditional, but significant enough for me to appreciate the polish a good education puts on a mind.