Okay so going through Collin and Breece's argument on another thread, I was reminded of something that I've been thinking about, and that was this:
Where I live, you can go through all 12 (13?) years of mandatory public school education and not once be told to be a good, decent human being.
I mean, it's not in the curriculum. Once in a while, a good decent teacher (usually an English teacher) would tell us it's important to be good people, or someone would come to tell us not to b.ully, or not to do dr.ug.s (although that's a whole different discussion). But, for instance, there is no mandatory Et.hics class. The closest we get to one is Ci.vics, where we are told to help society and be good citizens. You can be a model citizen and be an a.lco.holic, just so we're clear. You can be a model citizen and never give a dime of your money to charity, except what you give in taxes.
Basically, my point is: do you think that the se.cularization of schools has resulted in a loss of the essential education of being a good human being? Have we shifted focus?
For that matter, we aren't taught to learn knowledge to 'excel as moral beings'. We are taught it so that we can pursue our p.assions, or so that we can make money, and then waste it.
When we learn about humankind, we learn about the e.volution of man from some pre-h.omo sapien ape to a human. Never, along the process, are we told that there has been a spiritual e.volution. We are taught, because of the necessity to be politically correct, that the purpose of man is to survive. But surely this itself has moral implications?
I mean, maybe if we were taught basic mathematics, sure, there's no need to mention morality. But we are clearly learning subjects that deal with things that are, tangentially, related deeply to morality. They affect our mindset so much that the only level we can discuss humans on with our teachers, to general consensus, is the animal level.
The classes that deal with man otherwise, e.g. history, are too dumbed down, or they are electives and only people who are interested take them.
So basically, unless you go out of your way to take an Ethics class, or you have a good teacher, you are never once going to be told in public school to be a good person.
You may say that's not the school's job. Well, then what is? If the purpose of education isn't to make us better and more capable human beings, what is it? Whose job is that then? Our parents? The ones raised in a similar system? Public schools are meant to even the playing field. They're supposed to give me, as a middle class person, the opportunity to learn what before was only available to the wealthy. Well then, surely those people who have the misfortunate of having d.ou.ch.ey parents ought to be given a lesson or two in morality, to make up for the uneven playing field in that arena?
I think the education system has some real flaws. I know that there are people from all over the world here, but if you're in the West, I think you can relate on some level.
There are, of course, extra curriculars. We had a Relay4Life at my school annually. But the focus of the system is all wrong. We are not being taught to be well-rounded or moral human beings. We are being trained to be industrious, efficient consumers. There is no such thing as an 'impartial' philosophical viewpoint.
On a similar thought to this, I've always thought there should be a class in school called "Life Skills."
In this class you should be taught how to do basic things that you'll need/will be of use in life. Things like cooking, how to change a tire, basic exercise routines, how to change the washer in your taps, a basic overview of politics (to help with voting), how to use a search engine properly, how to do well in a job interview (and how to apply for a job), basic first aid, how to budget, how to use a map, typing skills, how to jump start a car, etc.
There's a whole lot of areas and skills that could be covered in this subject. Ethics and morality could be one. Se.x ed could be included in this too.
As for the lack of moral eduation in schools, I'm going to let others continue on that debate.
My old school tried to do this - we had an honor code and big morality discussions. Unfortunately the administration were all lying hypocrits so it never really worked out due to lack of credibility...
I'll reply in more detail to the actual argument when I get a chance.
Hm... i guess, but I did take a bajillion health classes that told me not to do dr.ugs and stuff. Also, my school fights abu.se and dru.gs and violence and se.x and like, every bad to the point it's almost annoying ^^; We had a whole assembly once just to talk about "DON'T HURT PEOPLE". ... okay, it was talking about bullying, but that's pretty much what it was saying.
They have done studies that show what impacts your life isnt your school, but your parents though (private and public school kids are totally equal here). So I guess it probably is your parent's job.
Or maybe they just assume the society will be enough to tell who what's morally right or wrong.
For the record, I don't know what I'm saying. and I should probably be working on what's assigned in class right now.
Jubilex: We have Home Ec, which teaches cooking and such. Personal fitness is required and teaches you fitness routines. And then also Personal finance, which teaches how to do taxes and keep a budget and stuff. My digital arts class went over search engines a few times, my social studies talks about politics. An old school i went to required you to learn typing. Health class again goes over first aid. Not everything si covered, but a lot of them. I guess these life skills are just spread around everywhere.
What happend here? I can't see anything on this thread! lol
I can't see anything :S
This doesn't show up for me. What's wrong?
The problem is that society cannot agree on what's moral and what isn't. Is having se.x as a teenager moral? Say yes and the more conservative elements of your neighborhood will be up in arms. Say no and somebody's bound to start in about personal freedom and how nobody has a right to tell you what to do. Avoid the topic altogether and you've saved yourself a whole lot of trouble.
The problem is not the fault of the education system; it's because of the degenaration of the society in general. Most of the West no longer believes in a general moral code. If they believe in a moral code at all, it's only one that can be applied in individual circumstances to individual people. Thus the education system avoids it just so that they can get on with the things they can teach without controversy- like math.
One word: Homeschooling.
SuperFloree: Your school did better than mine. We had HomeEc, which was a compulsory class in our first year of highschool. And Se.x Ed of course (although it was largely not very good at all). But the rest, no. Financical skills could be learnt, as there was an optional class that covered some of those skills. I'm pretty sure it was gone by the time I got to my last year of highschool though. Whether you learnt how to use a search engine properly depended on what teacher you had. I didn't really get taught how to even use Google properly until I got to university, but I picked it up well before then on my own.
Oh wait, I did get taught how to write a resume and how to act in an interview. I still looked it up for myself when applying for jobs later, but having that background knowledge helped.
artgirl: AGREED!!! though i'm not in it, my kids will be though. i used to be in it, then we moved to a good school district so i public schooled, from 2nd through 5th, then home in 6th then public 7th through 9th, then online this year. i would've done homeschool this year but my mom can't teach me any farther, her HS standards were in TX and in MN they're more advanced, so she couldn't teach me. probably more than you wanted;)
Shalom Alechiem and Barucha!
Jubilex: Dude, our school like, makes every student a naviance account and makes rue they make a resume. I dunno about interviews though. My school does cover a lot though, it's one of the top schools where I am.
Topaz: DUDE, my homeschooled friend is waaay smart. The closest I got was my mom teaching me math a lot while I was going to school. I learned 7th and 8th math and algebra in 5th. It really helped ^^
And this is kinda random, but when did you peoples start, like, studying for school? cuz I still havent needed to.
The problem is that morals aren't an objective thing that can be proven.
Therefore teaching morals would be like teaching people opinions.
And to add to this, there are ethics classes and philosophy classes in a lot of schools.
I do agree that ethics and philosophy classes could be a bit more mainstream and enforced curriculum, but the concepts are just so subjective that you'd have unimaginable amounts of bias. Like, you thought that history and english teachers were biased, you don't even know, imagine that times a thousand.
Packer: That's awesome that you used to be homeschooled! I've been homeschooled all my life. Well, since kindergarten. My mom was an English teacher before she had kids,and my sister and I learned how to read when we were four.
In New Jersey, there aren't any laws about homeschooling. I just don't exist to the schools, I guess. I'm always getting dirty looks from bus drivers and crossing guards.
Our family is planning to homeschool us all through HS, and I'll probably take a few classes at the community college in a couple of years, to get a head start on college. :)
Well, anyway, I'm glad you want to homeschool your kids! That's great. And of course I get it that some people aren't qualified/can't homeschool (single parents, etc.), but if they can, it's still a great choice that people tend to dismiss. I think public schools, while they started out great, have become so...I don't know. They feel the need to be accepting and politically correct, to the point where they make rules about the stupidest stuff.
I mean, really? If you're so worried about this kind of thing, then let your kids learn at home, for crying out loud!
So...yeah. Rant over. XD
I was homeschooled too (as well as going to public school, private school, and now boarding school). Homeschool is pretty awesome.
Anyway, I agree that this sort of thing should be addressed in schools, although not as a strict - this is the way to do things sort of way (for the reasons Breece brings up). On the other hand, a discussion based learning experience could be pretty handy.
In the long run, however, I think schooling would have little effect. If people want to do bad things nothing the school will do is going to stop them. The real origin of someone's morality is their genes and their parents/those around them from a young age.
And Breece: That bias is why I really don't like history and english classes (I like the subjects, but not in school.) Science and math on the other hand - its either right or it isn't.
Packer: That's awesome! Nice to know a former homeschooler! I'm glad you decided to homeschool your kids. Me too. XD
Super: Yeah, some homeschoolers are really smart. :P But seventh/eighth grade math in fifth grade is really good. I'm about a year ahead of my 'grade' in most subjects. Technically (according to my birthday) I'm in seventh but I'm 13 and doing mostly eighth-grade work, so... *shrugs*
As for studying, well, I take my tests whenever I want, so I don't really have to, at least yet. I did study for the SAT last year and for some of my outside classes (at co-op and stuff).
Quantum: Awesome! Another former homeschooler. But actually I wanted to reply to the thing you said about science/math vs. English/history: That's exactly why I love English and history. Because there's a gray area. :)
Its the parents job. The mom or dad are responsible for the education of their child.
Quantum: lool that's why i suck at english XD It's too subjective, and my thoughts are really weird sometimes ^^; My reading is really bad >.>; It's really ironic saying that on a writing website o^o
Indigo/Topaz: THEY'RE GENIUSES OAO And the math thing was just my parents being totally stereotypically chinese XD Kinda same here though with the grade thing, mainly from a weird transferring problem when going from a Canadian to American school, so I'm like a year younger than everyone in my grade XD I'm 14 in 9th, but m b-day's outta the cut-off date, so 'technically' i should be in 8th.
Contemplator: Agreed 100%.