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Does education disconnect you from reality or make the connection stronger?

 
 
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 03:45 pm
It seems to me that there are two major schools of thought when it comes to education. And before you start throwing out all kinds of other schools of thought, I'm simply refering to context of this topic, not education in general.

The first is based on keeping things simple and focusing on what is around you. Learning what you need to learn when you need to learn it. This is basic, no-frills education. It asserts that learning about things that are not immediately around distracts from what is around you. Basically, that the more your learn of other worlds the less you understand and appreaciate your own world; your focus shifts.

The second is based on starting with what is around you and expanding from there. Learning for learning's sake. It asserts that learning about things not immediately around enhances what is around you. Basically, that by learning of other worlds you will understand and appreciate your own world that much more; you focus expands.

I have several thoughts on both schools of thought, but will wait for some of you to weigh in before I post them. So basically, which school are you of and why, but more importantly why not the other.

Only by understanding the view points of others can you intelligently express your own... Wink
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de budding
 
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Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 03:57 pm
@Pongobongo,
The second. If I am not too wrong in interpreting 'other world[s]' as possible 'tools' of learning, for example mathematics or geometry. this way you are better equipped for 'Learning what you need to learn when you need to learn it.'
Dan.
Pongobongo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 04:10 pm
@de budding,
de_budding wrote:
The second. If I am not too wrong in interpreting 'other world[s]' as possible 'tools' of learning, for example mathematics or geometry. this way you are better equipped for 'Learning what you need to learn when you need to learn it.'
Dan.


You're not too wrong, in fact you are quite correct. Wink By other worlds I did in fact mean the worlds of mathematics, science, literature, etc. They co-exist with our own perception of reality, but are not apparent unless pointed out, hence education.

I completely agree with your statement that you are then better equiped to learn what you need when you need to learn it. You can go through life learning like a child (not necessarily a bad thing) or you can learn to learn better (i.e. faster and more thoroughly). Man is like an athlete, naturally gifted, but able to train to enhance that gift. Some choose to train, others do not.

I hope I have not misinterpreted your statements. If so I apologize. Smile
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de budding
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 04:40 pm
@Pongobongo,
Not at all, you got it dot-on. But now I wonder where to start? Would be useful to know as I plan to enter the realms of primary teaching when I finish Uni.

Any thoughts on what worlds would unlock others most efficiently?
Doobah47
 
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Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 06:14 pm
@Pongobongo,
I do not think it is the educational establishment that harms children's connection to reality, I think the connection is harmed by the infrastructure of social intercourse, and the programs and routines that are pressed onto children or that they develop as a reaction to adult society. I'm not talking about social establishments (such as the police), but about social intercourse and attitudes which diffuse into children's minds and subconscious thus affecting the way they relate to reality.

Of course school is a prime example of social interaction, however social intercourse for school children is generally with other children of the same age, so their minds are not infested so much with the prejudices and 'brainwashing' of the adult generations. The educational establishment provides an environment and information, so it does improve one's connection with reality albeit in a slightly surreal, abstracted way (learning tends to come through language as opposed to contact with objects).

Although one could say that one's 'reality' is everything that one is involved with in an objective context, so then adult's interactions and prejudices are part of the 'reality' this topic intends to discuss, I would say that the social nature of human beings is far removed from a more organic nature - we suffer from communal delusions, of grandeur or of fashions and more, and a 'delusion' is supposed to mean opinions irrelevant to reality, and in a way they are 'untrue'. So a child would probably become more delusional when interacting with human society than because of being forced to attend an institution, although I'm not saying that institutions do not press delusional social interaction.
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de budding
 
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Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 06:20 pm
@Pongobongo,
That's kind of what I wanted to implicate when I reffered to 'Learning what you need to learn when you need to learn it.' as tools to combat such things. But I'd like to think we could help develop the 'connection to reality' in the educational establish .
Dan.
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Pongobongo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 06:23 pm
@de budding,
de_budding wrote:
Not at all, you got it dot-on. But now I wonder where to start? Would be useful to know as I plan to enter the realms of primary teaching when I finish Uni.

Any thoughts on what worlds would unlock others most efficiently?


That's a pretty loaded question. No one world unlocks others any faster than any other. My advice would be choose the one you personally enjoy the most. It is much easier to teach when you are into the subject yourself. Don't go after the biggest paycheck, or where the jobs are, go where you want. The world doesn't need any more uninterested, apathetic teachers. Wink

Just out of curiosity what you going to Uni for? That would be a good place to start, unless you dislike it. Smile

Another tid bit would be this: learn how to learn. Not only will that help you in the future, it will allow you to teach others in the way that works best for them. Everyone learns a little differently and you need to be able to recognize what is and what is not working for them. That's how no child is left behind.
Pongobongo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 06:33 pm
@Pongobongo,
As to what world I feel would be the best to begin with, I'd say science.

You get the scientific method for figuring things out. You learn disection, which works for ideas as well as physical objects. You also encounter mathematical equations. And all of it requires reasoning and reading to work out.

More importantly though it requires interacting. You cannot truly test a theory until you physically recreate it. And a lot of that involves more than one person working together as a team. Book smarts are great to have, but they don't really mean anything until you can apply them or express them.

Then again, the universe in built on math. And books are the gateway to knowledge. So it come down to the human world. What do you prefer? What do you have access to? That sort of thing.
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VideCorSpoon
 
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Reply Sat 19 Apr, 2008 06:50 pm
@de budding,
It seems like the two are one and the same, only the second modus expands on the basic principle of both, that is, focusing on what's around you. This seems like criterion for empirical a-posteriori wisdom.

But if you want my opinion, it would be for the second and here is why. It seems as though the difference in the two is picking between constrained and un-constrained knowledge. The first is an immediate focus and the second is an acceptance of the first and an extrapolation upon it. I think most could agree that knowledge is built upon knowledge upon knowledge upon knowledge etc. It reminds me of a bit of Indian philosophy on the concept of knowledge and ignorance.

One is truly wise who thinks themselves ignorant, because ignorance implies that there is more to learn as one cannot know everything.

The issue is where does the knowledge start which has been the hot topic with educational experts for a very long time. Do you teach a child with the understanding that the knowledge is inherent within them, only to be called up upon demonstration and education, or are children blank slates tabula rasa and are free to be imprinted with knowledge in general.

So the primary question is whether or not knowledge is a-priori (before the senses) or a-posteriori (after the senses) which is basically the foundation of modern philosophy from the rationalists (Descartes and Spinoza) to the empiricists (Hume and Berkeley.)
boagie
 
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Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 07:32 am
@VideCorSpoon,
Pongobongo,Smile

" Those whom know the most must mourn the deepest orr the fatal truth, the tree of knowledge is not that of life." Byron.

:)What is the function of life but to live it the best way you can, however if one does not follow the passions of ones life, then life becomes drab, all of ones days monday mornings. Some times one must revolt from ones context, for with many it is not their life they are living, it is the life context dictates. To much education, at some point becomes pathological, a distraction from realizing the rapture of being alive, if your education turns you into this experience, which is possiable, then you have your cake and eat it to.
de budding
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 07:40 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon,
I think I understand 'a-priori' and 'a-posteriori' in this context (new words to me), and if I do I would still maintain it is a-priori. Learning to critically judge information the newspapers present to you is far more important than learning the information in the article per se. In fact I think not learning to critically evaluate would hinder or possibly prevent one from learning the true nature of the information presented; I learnt to critically evaluate sources in History class at secondary/high-school.

But I'm confusing myself a little now I think- although I fully agree that 'One is truly wise who thinks themselves ignorant' and that- as you put it, all knowledge is 'knowledge upon knowledge', I have the feeling that there is- or at least could be, a minimum base-knowledge which would lead us to the world of independent learning 'best'.

PongoBongo,
'Just out of curiosity what you going to Uni for? That would be a good place to start'- Sound essentially; half the science of waves and acoustics and half the craft of utilising this science to create art (music). The course title is Audio Technology and Creative Music Technology, and I really feel like I got to understand 'perception' (in the broadest sense of the word) from the science, something I'm quite thankful for.

Dan.
VideCorSpoon
 
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Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 10:29 am
@de budding,
de budding
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 01:11 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
Yes, I think critical examination of what underlies the superficial is primary and foremost. But I also think I'm having trouble articulating myself here, so I'm going to refer to your accurate description of me as an empirical thinker. I guess it would be my opinion that all information, even the most abstract of philosophical theory, must be grounded in consistent human observations. All information must be bore from that which man could point at and proclaim 'is something' and that you could then come and see, and in agreement, proclaim the same; then there would come early mythology, or as I think of it, primitive scientific theories and from there the utilization of facts and their theories with or against each other to uncover new ones generating a thick and complicated latice of knowoledge.

Does this highlight why I see importance in digging into information to unearth that which it is based on? Or why I seek an ontological imperative with knowledge?

I guess it seems a given to me that the earliest humans had nothing but there senses, therefore all information must be grounded there some how. To paraphrase criminal, madman and creationist extraordinaire Hovind- if the world/universe was a computer could we really expect to work out that it was a computer from the intrinsic constituents? I would say yes based on the beautiful work so far.

Hope I'm still on topic :p,
Dan.
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Doobah47
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 01:41 pm
@boagie,
boagie wrote:


" Those whom know the most must mourn the deepest orr the fatal truth, the tree of knowledge is not that of life." Byron.



I'm thinking that the more one does, the greater the subconscious knowledge and capability. So in a way reading and writing are simply too isolated as activities, the subconscious should be open to more experience when one is surrounded by so much opportunity to act and do in this world.

I'm quite concerned that the aim of many Western people's lives would appear to be to earn enough money in order to employ others for physical activity that one would rather not engage in. I see it in myself, and I see it in other people around me - surely we should, as people, strive for variety and excellence in our actions. A particular area of concern is in the field of electricity allowing entertainment to be a totally sedate activity, gone are the days it seems of informal football matches and children running wild in the open air for pleasure; all these computer games and media manipulations have totally subjugated the people, especially parents and children. That's just a rant, please excuse me!
de budding
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 02:10 pm
@Doobah47,
Doobah47 wrote:


I'm quite concerned that the aim of many Western people's lives would appear to be to earn enough money in order to employ others for physical activity that one would rather not engage in. I see it in myself, and I see it in other people around me - surely we should, as people, strive for variety and excellence in our actions. A particular area of concern is in the field of electricity allowing entertainment to be a totally sedate activity, gone are the days it seems of informal football matches and children running wild in the open air for pleasure; all these computer games and media manipulations have totally subjugated the people, especially parents and children. That's just a rant, please excuse me!


You're excused Very Happy, I often try to envision what our western, ultimate goal is. Sometimes it seems to me that it is to become an immobile, amorphous blob living in the lap of materialist luxury.
VideCorSpoon
 
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Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 04:48 pm
@de budding,
identification is the basis of knowledge All information must be bor(n) from that which man could point at and proclaim '(this) is something"???
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de budding
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2008 03:17 am
@Pongobongo,
how about, Identification and definition are the basis of knowledge.
But I don't want to invite the label 'aggregate knowledge'; in this context it seems to describe a flat collective of labels. Another thesis could be; all knowledge originated from the senses. Then these original constituents of knowledge bloom into the 'thick and complicated lattice' of knowledge we work through today. With layered, aggregate knowledge like this I would be able to search for what underlies by either following the timeline of knowledge backwards towards its origins or employing other knowledge, taking the network of knowledge forward.

Applied to the newspaper article... I now have a choice now when reading the article to assure I extract the truth,

1. Investigate the origins (trace the timeline of knowledge backwards); who is the author? Why did he right this? Influences? Etc.

or

2. Employ more knowledge (extend on the timeline); I know the tabloids tend to sensationalize, so I will go through and highlight possible areas where this could be the case. Then I can judge the context (e.g. is it The Sun or The Independent), I can also compare the information to itself and investigate consistency etc.

Dan.



VideCorSpoon
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2008 09:25 am
@de budding,
[As a side note, I get the impression that you may be pursuing a metaphysical ontology with knowledge. That makes great sense and I completely agree that is where a possible answer may be found. I have been working for a few years with metaphysical ontology relating to corporate law in pursuing my J.D., and I am convinced that the only answer I can reasonable settle on may rest within the confines of metaphysics. Might I suggest, if you are interested in the origins of knowledge, Aristotle's metaphysics Book Zeta- subbook 1, 2, and 3 (only a few pages long). Though Aristotle talks about "being"(i.e.substance) this can provide you with an excellent template for researching the ontology of knowledge. I did a senior thesis on zeta when I was an undergraduate, and I can email you my translation on the first three chapters if it can help you further your own research.]
de budding
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2008 10:34 am
@VideCorSpoon,
Well first VideCorSpoon,
Thank you for all your responses, I'm very grateful for you input .

The term "aggregate knowledge", as you said 'may encapsulate the fundamental factors', but after some deliberation I think I would like a term like this to describe the hugely pre-developed network of knowledge we are born under.

Just a side thought here: while I was reading 'Philosophy Made Simple:p' I was contemplating the 'need' for philosophy, how far wrong would I be to assume the need is to decipher the aforementioned "aggregate knowledge". Without the aggregate knowledge philosophy would have nothing to question and hence start fresh with every new mind.



What is missed when an item is only considered as its collective predicates?

I think now I'm quite happy to state that there is no such thing as a-priori knowledge, in my opinion, all knowledge can be traced back to the original constituents, which would be the collective predicates of objects and phenomenon as you described. On that note, It would be an impossible task (not just, as you stated, problematic and a reduction to absurdity) to trace my authors influences and reasons backwards to an objective origin. However I will still maintain this endeavor would, if possible, take us to some very ancient times, looking for an undocumented labeling of an items features (not that we would get anywhere near that close).
So why do we bother when in history class to investigate the reasoning and influences behind a written source? Is it a futile attempt to identify if there could be bias?

"In the case of #2, how can we ensure exact truth"

I would like to back peddle here and implement a pseudo-a-priori, a rationale used to take the system of knowledge forward further (is this even plausible? Perhaps an illusinary a-priori, misconcieved because of the complex nature of knowledge.)

Now I guess it is time to try and find those Zeta texts. Thanks again for your help and input,
Dan.
Pongobongo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 May, 2008 04:05 pm
@de budding,
Wowee! I didn't think my humble question would ignite this kind of debate. Good job to all who have participated! Smile

It seems to me that there is no such thing as exact knowledge only agreed upon knowledge. Everything around us, and inside us for that matter, is a construct of our senses. If we were to discover or create new senses, reality as we now know it could change. Same goes if we lose senses.

We all take for granted that up is up and down is down, the sky is blue, and so on. But take away one sense and it all changes. We have our basic 5 senses. But how do you explain a blue sky to a blind man? You can use words, atmospheric chemistry, and even wavelengths of light, but that doesn't make it blue in the sense that seeing it does.

We also have some other senses (no, not ESP) such as sense of balance, common sense, sense of danger (fight or flight), etc. Any pilot will tell you that it is easy to lose your sense of up and down. So what is up and what is down? It all comes down to language, and all language is fabricated by man to describe the world around us.

So I suppose this all makes me a relativist, but in the end everything is relative to the person observing it...so I may not even know what I'm talking about. Wink
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