Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Schooling #1

/me blows the dust off this blog

BLEG: any interesting links you have to share on education theory?

Prompted in part by a talk at Cambridge Geek Night #13 about the poor quality of ICT in schools, I am mentally exploring the possibilities of unschooling and am interested in what's already been attempted in this area.

Essentially, school to me seems like an only moderately successful way to keep kids quiet during the day so that adults can work, and I strongly suspect that the current system does very little for those who aren't so smart or who have crap parents and so on.

So I'm questioning everything. Some initial thoughts:
- most teachers are not amazing. But there are some really amazing ones out there. Can we leverage the amazing ones better to eg. deliver video tutorials or course materials on a massive scale?
- are "teachers" even the best people to enforce classroom discipline?
- is the notion of "classrooms" and "classes" even that helpful? 45-60min lessons seem mostly a way for schools to box up packages of information in a way that's easy for them while not necessarily being that great for kids.
- what's with homework? Almost no adults do homework related to their jobs.

I suppose I idyllically dream of an education utopia in which kids are excited to be at school and get taught important things that help shape their articulations. I don't know about you but my <18 education covered none of the following:
- critical thinking (don't believe what you read in the papers)
- logic
- personal finance
- how to learn more effectively
- the sociology and psychology of bullying, and of the school experience in general
- any sort of encouragement to introspection

These things are not "history", "science" or "English" but they all seem to me to be vital pieces of what we expect adults to be, and yet we seem to largely require children to work these things out for themselves.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Alice Thompson: moron

Oh, why do I read the Times? It only makes me angry. Today Alice Thompson is claiming that a 1% mansion tax is unfair and unaffordable. Her own numbers in her column suggest that there are 250,000 houses liable, and at 1% of at least £1m. a go that's £2.5 BILLION per year. Consiering that estate agents will value your home for nothing (or perrhaps under this scheme a fee of up to... £100) how on earth can that be unaffordable?? It's ludicrous. Who reads this column and agrees with it??

I'd write more but I'm on my phone.