Author Topic: 'An Appalling Report'  (Read 44303 times)

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Bulldog

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #400 on: May 26, 2009, 03:32:41 PM »
Chambernut,

When I attended elementary and secondary school in the 70's and 80's 'special education' meant programs for the mentally retarded... I guess things have changed now ?

There was no real assistance for the merely 'slow' back then. The assumption was that they also had the potential to do very well if only they were focused, motivated and disciplined.

One of my sons was in special ed. back in the 80's.  It wasn't meant for the mentally retarded back then at all.  The whole point of special ed. is to give a decent learning opportunity to children who have great trouble in mainstream classes.

By the way, I don't harbor any disdain for you.  I'd love to see you emotionally grow into a fine adult who can well handle life's challenges.  But you do frustrate me sometimes when I feel you're not really willing to make the leap.

karlhenning

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #401 on: May 26, 2009, 03:34:48 PM »
No Karl, I sense the mild disdain in the wording of Don's remark.

You misread Don entirely; I have not seen him direct any disdain towards you.

Homo Aestheticus

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #402 on: May 26, 2009, 03:41:48 PM »
One of my sons was in special ed. back in the 80's.  It wasn't meant for the mentally retarded back then at all.  The whole point of special ed. is to give a decent learning opportunity to children who have great trouble in mainstream classes.

By the way, I don't harbor any disdain for you.  I'd love to see you emotionally grow into a fine adult who can well handle life's challenges.  But you do frustrate me sometimes when I feel you're not really willing to make the leap.

Kind words...

Thank you.

Homo Aestheticus

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #403 on: May 26, 2009, 03:55:30 PM »
Andrei,

If you have no idea about the goal to be attained, how can you tell this or that way to that goal is better or worse?

I am a bit confused now but bottom line are you saying that the educational system ideally should be more restrictive and not standardized ?


Offline Florestan

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #404 on: May 26, 2009, 11:08:08 PM »
Andrei,

I am a bit confused now but bottom line are you saying that the educational system ideally should be more restrictive and not standardized ?

No. But this question is a good starting point for discussing the real issue: what does it mean to educate? What does it mean to be an educated person?

"I’ve always said music should make you laugh, make you cry or make you think." - Kenny Rogers

Homo Aestheticus

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #405 on: May 27, 2009, 02:16:16 AM »
Andrei,

Before others begin with that question I have two:

1. Do you dispute that there is such a thing called 'academic ability' ?

2. Of course there will be individual exceptions, but do you believe that by age 6 or 7, measures of cognitive ability are already pretty stable ?

Offline Florestan

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #406 on: May 27, 2009, 02:22:37 AM »
1. Do you dispute that there is such a thing called 'academic ability' ?

No.

2. do you believe that by age 6 or 7, measures of cognitive ability are already pretty stable ?

I think a fair assessment can be performed after completing secondary school.

"I’ve always said music should make you laugh, make you cry or make you think." - Kenny Rogers

Homo Aestheticus

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #407 on: May 27, 2009, 02:44:38 AM »
But today we have many tests of learning difficulties and even diagnoses of kinds of emotional problems that can usefully be done at that age.

Do you object to this ?

karlhenning

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #408 on: May 27, 2009, 03:23:06 AM »
Eric, have you got fundamental difficulties with the idea of education? With the fact that there are social aspects to education?

Offline Florestan

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #409 on: May 27, 2009, 03:43:02 AM »
But today we have many tests of learning difficulties and even diagnoses of kinds of emotional problems that can usefully be done at that age.

Do you object to this ?

Yes, I do. A six-year child is not a machine that must be tested in order to find out whether it works according to the operating manual or not. A six-year child has not even begin to properly learn anything that pertains to formal education, so how can he be diagnosed with learning difficulties?

That a horde of "psychologists" and "educational experts" make good careers and a lot of money from this whole business is undeniable, but this doesn't mean that their theories are sound. IMO, education is one of the fields where the emperor (i.e, the fashionable elite) truly has no clothes.
"I’ve always said music should make you laugh, make you cry or make you think." - Kenny Rogers

Offline PSmith08

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #410 on: May 27, 2009, 07:26:12 AM »
Eric, have you got fundamental difficulties with the idea of education? With the fact that there are social aspects to education?

I thought that was obvious a while back (i.e., before the real world imposed so inconsiderately on my internet time).

That a horde of "psychologists" and "educational experts" make good careers and a lot of money from this whole business is undeniable, but this doesn't mean that their theories are sound. IMO, education is one of the fields where the emperor (i.e, the fashionable elite) truly has no clothes.

That is finally the problem, then, isn't it? It is, furthermore, a problem across the board for children today. If they do not conform in intellect, outlook, and behavior to certain "norms," then parents can receive all manner of useful pills and services for Junior or Janie from the same experts who establish the norms. Were it not clothed in "science" and were most people not terrified that their children aren't going to be successful at life (though deriving that conclusion from a six-year-old's behavior seems perverse), I think most folks would call this system a "racket."

Offline Florestan

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #411 on: May 27, 2009, 07:33:06 AM »
That is finally the problem, then, isn't it? It is, furthermore, a problem across the board for children today. If they do not conform in intellect, outlook, and behavior to certain "norms," then parents can receive all manner of useful pills and services for Junior or Janie from the same experts who establish the norms. Were it not clothed in "science" and were most people not terrified that their children aren't going to be successful at life (though deriving that conclusion from a six-year-old's behavior seems perverse), I think most folks would call this system a "racket."

Excellent post all along but especially the highlighted part. Indeed, the idea that from the behaviour or the "learning abilities" of a six-year-old child could be predicted his future and consequently his place in society would be laughably ludicrous, were it not, in fact, highly dangerous.
"I’ve always said music should make you laugh, make you cry or make you think." - Kenny Rogers

Offline PSmith08

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #412 on: May 27, 2009, 07:47:36 AM »
Indeed, the idea that from the behaviour or the "learning abilities" of a six-year-old child could be predicted his future and consequently his place in society would be laughably ludicrous, were it not, in fact, highly dangerous.

It's the apparent underlying assumptions that get really dangerous: (1) a person is at six or seven the person he'll be for the rest of his life and (2) there are standards by which you can measure a person free of pathologies in some predictive or metaphysical sense. The first assumption denies the very notion of childhood, and that jives with the way things have been going for a while. I'm sorry, but the six-year-old Pat Smith and the 18-year-old Pat Smith were fairly different in a lot of ways. That's anecdotal evidence to be sure, but I'm not sure I want to meet anyone who stayed essentially the same over twelve years. The second assumption turns intelligence and cognitive ability into something akin to blood glucose levels. That might be a case of reductio ad absurdum, but I think it makes my point.

karlhenning

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #413 on: May 27, 2009, 07:50:57 AM »
. . . I'm sorry, but the six-year-old Pat Smith and the 18-year-old Pat Smith were fairly different in a lot of ways. That's anecdotal evidence to be sure . . . .

Well, let us hear the evidence out  ;D ;)

Offline PSmith08

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #414 on: May 27, 2009, 07:56:41 AM »
Well, let us hear the evidence out  ;D ;)

At the risk of giving too much away, I am pretty sure that 6-year-old Pat Smith would not have taken advantage of college in quite the same way that 18-year-old Pat Smith did.

karlhenning

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #415 on: May 27, 2009, 08:00:06 AM »
But . . . where do we go for a second opinion?  8)

Offline PSmith08

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #416 on: May 27, 2009, 08:07:57 AM »
But . . . where do we go for a second opinion?  8)

That's the neat thing, isn't it?

Homo Aestheticus

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #417 on: May 27, 2009, 03:45:45 PM »
Andrei,

Yes, I do. A six-year child is not a machine that must be tested in order to find out whether it works according to the operating manual or not. A six-year child has not even begin to properly learn anything that pertains to formal education, so how can he be diagnosed with learning difficulties?

That a horde of "psychologists" and "educational experts" make good careers and a lot of money from this whole business is undeniable, but this doesn't mean that their theories are sound. IMO, education is one of the fields where the emperor (i.e, the fashionable elite) truly has no clothes.

Do you remember your elementary school days ?  Do you have any children ?

I deeply wish that I, who had pretty serious and identifiable learning problems could have been identified at age 6 and remediated.

My parents saw the symptoms but they couldn't put the pieces together.... Testing would have, I believe....that's all.

« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 04:14:39 PM by The Unrepentant Pelleastrian »

Offline Florestan

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #418 on: May 27, 2009, 10:18:28 PM »
I deeply wish that I, who had pretty serious and identifiable learning problems

How do you know?

Putting children who show no sign of retardation to various tests, in order to determine their "social skills", or "learning abilities" or what would you amounts to destroying the very meaning of childhood, as PSmith aptly noticed, besides being based on fallacious assumptions, which the same PSmith addressed. I have nothing to add in this respect.
"I’ve always said music should make you laugh, make you cry or make you think." - Kenny Rogers

Homo Aestheticus

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Re: 'An Appalling Report'
« Reply #419 on: May 28, 2009, 06:58:14 AM »
Andrei,

How do you know?

Putting children who show no sign of retardation to various tests, in order to determine their "social skills", or "learning abilities" or what would you amounts to destroying the very meaning of childhood, as PSmith aptly noticed, besides being based on fallacious assumptions, which the same PSmith addressed. I have nothing to add in this respect.

Sorry, but I just don't see tests of aptitude/ability as being fraught with ideology as you and Patrick want to believe.  Besides, even if what they show is mostly invalid or wrong won't a person's latent abilities eventually come through in daily living ?
 
On the other hand,  I DO agree that the business of psychological/emotional 'diagnoses' is another matter altogether and completely out of control...