Talk About Education

Discussion Group

Why talk about education?

First let’s cut art, music, and gym from public schools. Good idea? Already done. Then let’s bring in money by selling stuff. Done! Underpay teachers? Of course. Better still, replace teachers with technology.

Universities sell job permits. The permits are of limited value at the time of graduation since entry level jobs pay squat. Universities, therefore, charge for a lifetime of earnings. Students assume a lifetime of debt.

Pure research? Cut it. Applied research? Useful. Leave it to large corporations to fund research and profit from the results.

Consolidate news organizations and scale back investigative reporting. Too much information is confusing. Report the news as is.

Or make it up out of whole cloth. The news, only better. It says what you want it to say. Gets everyone excited.

People need to learn how to think and behave. To doubt what they learn and believe what they’re taught. To feel uncomfortable with questions and comfortable with facts. To do what’s rewarded and spurn what is not. To labor unattended and persist when bored.

Does America have a poor standard of education or, depending upon our objectives, the best in the world?

What are our objectives? How can they be achieved?

What do people need to learn?

Survival skills?
Reading, writing, and arithmetic
Managing money and staying out of debt
Martial arts, marksmanship, self defense
Cooking and cleaning
Using and understanding computers
Reading contracts, avoiding scams
Meeting people, joking around, making friends

Achievement skills?
Working long hours and performing well under stress
Following instructions and meeting or exceeding expectations
Staying motivated when it’s difficult (extrinsic rewards)
Getting people to do what you want
Taking benefits while passing on the costs
Fashion sense, looking good, building the brand
Skills to perform a specific task or pursue a career

Thinking and learning skills?
Asking questions
Finding answers to questions
Challenging assumptions, opening up ideas
Science and math to learn how the world works
History to learn about probable outcomes
Literature and philosophy to fill your head with great ideas
Multiple disciplines to learn different ways of thinking

Citizenship skills?
Giving to others, sharing, being polite
Making do with less
Taking care of the planet
Reading the news, keeping up on issues, voting
Civil disobedience

Internal skills?
Meditating, inner peace, self-awareness
Empathy, compassion for others
Love of poetry, music, and art
Handling pain, disappointment, and loss
Being happy

What next?

Everything we do is the result of having learned to do it that way. If we want to do better, we have to learn to do better. Are we learning to do better?

The purpose of Stir Center is to learn to do better.

Step 1: Conceive
Think of an idea that is truly exciting. If only it were possible.

Step 2: Refine
Figure out how the idea might be made to work in the real world. Resolve conflicts. Cross divides. Iron out the kinks.

Step 3: Practice
Develop a set of skills. Practice until natural.

Step 4: Apply
Bring about the changes you want to see.

The purpose of Talk About Education is to talk about education. How do we educate ourselves? How do we educate others? How do we pay for education? How does education make the world a better place to live?