In the spirit of spreading some rock badassery (ala Narzack):

Glam rock + Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra ... rocks ... glamorously!

. . .

Preface: As always, this post is limited to my experiences. I grew up in a upper-middle class neighborhood and went to an excellent college. I can't speak to the truth of people who weren't as blessed as I was when it came to education. Other people who have been exposed to those experiences can speak much better than I.

Time: "our education system has little idea how to cultivate its most promising students"

Besides the usual riffraff about education, I'd like to add a few points:

Personally, I don't think our educational system is as bad as everybody paints it to be. I had many friends who attended "gifted" programs in middle school, but they were no better off when we all combined in high school. When I felt high school was boring, I left for college. There was nothing in our system denying me the ability to apply early, and I managed to pull it off (I skipped my senior year of high school and went to Carolina full-time instead). As a side note, I found college horribly boring and ended up never going to class when I realized the professors taught straight from the books (I would study for a full semester's worth of material the night before the final ... needless to say I graduated with a pretty craptacular GPA)

If the goal of our society is to produce a bunch of scientists and engineers, then speeding "gifted" kids through primary school is beneficial. But looking back, forcing me to interact in middle school with normal kids prepared me for an open-mindedness that I think pushing kids through a 'special' system wouldn't do. Entitlement is incredibly dangerous, and something I see often from graduates from "top" schools (at all levels).

I'm not sure throwing more money at teachers is the right solution. I had a helluva fun time teaching kids in Korea a few years back (granted, it was just for the SAT). The few great teachers I had were passionate and encouraging (Ms. Kuhl from high school, Prof Caddell from college), and I'm not sure throwing more money at teachers really solves that problem. I've seen professors with tenure who are horrible teachers ... at the end of the day, the teacher has to want to be there. One day, when I can get all this start-up/entrepreneurial stuff out of my system, I'd love to go back and teach. Being a mentor is the most rewarding thing I've ever done ... but I'm smart enough to realize that I'm selfish and I need to do all this craziness for myself, first.

Posted by roy on August 17, 2007 at 05:47 PM in Ramblings | 2 Comments

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michinnam (guest)

Comment posted on August 20th, 2007 at 09:20 AM
obviously there's more to a person's 'education' than learning math and grammar. the use of the word 'cultivate' by the times shows that part of the problem is that society expects the system to parent/mentor their children.

there are very few mentors in the education system:) sadly, there are just as few parents that are willing and capable of growing their children up into those freaks of nature we all wish we could be. (u know those ambitious, motivated, disciplined, brilliant, athletic, charming aliens that live among us.)

i say it's all natural. Not all the lil creatures of the earth survive. They get eaten by the better ones, succumb to disease, or plan poorly and die in times of drought. Human society is no different. We just have issues with cannibalism.
Comment posted on August 18th, 2007 at 09:49 PM
I've always felt that kids that seem to show a strong interest in the sciences should be encouraged and given all the help in pursuing their goals. But the average kid in school really need to learn basic things like managing a budget and finding something they like that is also a skill needed in the community. I agree with you that throwing more money at the problem won't solve it. We have to think more on how to teach on an individual basis with limited assets.