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Joe Hart
05-16-2007, 09:16 PM
So what in your opinion makes a well rounded education? What levels of Math. Should a person focus on a few subjects or do you think its better to spread yourself around?

For me I want to improve my Science and Math just so I can help my children with those topics when they get to that level. But when you get into Liberal Arts (for lack of a better term) where do you go? What is applicable to everyday life or atleast being able to carry on a a good conversation?

What do you all think?

Greg Everett
05-16-2007, 09:31 PM
i think a strong backgronud in all the physical sciences/math is super helpful. do you need to be familar with quantum physics and outer space theoretical math? probably not unless that's your specialty.

i think language is the biggest problem, though. Math is not that helpful if you can't even communicate effectively with people. I've been consistently shocked at the horrendously poor grasp of English by more and more people for whom English is the first language--even within university English departments. Not nearly enough reading or writing by students, or at least structured and monitored reading and writing. I worked with Japanese exchange students who had more mastery of English in terms of spelling, vocabulary and grammar than senior English majors. Not cool.

Russell Greene
05-16-2007, 10:12 PM
When it comes to education I am a confirmed elitist. That said, I would say:

logic (this should be covered much earlier and more extensively than it currently is, considering that it is useful for so many different fields)
foreign languages - at least one, preferrably 2
Math at least up to BC Calc
Chemistry, bio, and physics
Writing and speaking
macro and micro economics
American history and American politics

And being that I am in the School of Foreign Service, I of course advocate extensive education in the rest of the world: geography, international relations, comparative politics, and history.

I also think that theology, philosophy, and literature are very important.

I would advocate beginning with a basic education in the above fields. This will take a while. Then one should pursue specialization in one of them.

Well looking back at that, my attempt to narrow essential knowledge to a simple list has completely failed. I also clearly have a bias to the subjects that I have focused on and succeeded at. I am very interested in hearing what others think.

Don Stevenson
05-16-2007, 11:18 PM
Oh the irony of the title of this topic :p (look closely kids)

In my opinion as someone more famous than me said "I never let my schooling get in the way of my education"

Education is about experiences and learning a bunch of stuff that's relevant to your life. I've done maths to a university level and it was the most boring, pointless and confusing thing i've ever done and I can't remember a single shred of it.

Coach Sommer
05-16-2007, 11:31 PM
An excellent topic and one that is unfortunately going to delay my getting some much need sleep.

This is incredibly simplified, but in my opinion the essential elements of education, that will provide for an exceptionally well rounded and prepared person, naturally break into the following categories of Scholastic, Gymnastic and Artistic.

'Scholastic' essentially breaks down into two main components; mathematics and Latin. These are two of the three universal languages which directily affect the development of the brain. These are not survey courses, but in depth gradual development of the focus subjects over the period of years.

As a side note and an attempt to at least marginally illustrate the importance and effectiveness of the in depth study of Latin, I will share that growing up I was in all honors or AP classes; including English. In college, the same. In the military, I was a Chinese Mandarin Linguist among other things. That meant that for 47 weeks I studied Mandarin for 8 hours a day. Yet I learned, and understood, more English grammar from studying a third grade Latin text book with my son for six months than I had learned in all of the years of prior education. (Just thinking about all of those wasted years and ultimately profitless busywork, still causes me to grind my teeth in frustration.)

'Gymnastic' need not be actual gymnastics, but could be any form of developmental progressive sports training (wrestling, OL, track & field, whatever). It should, at least occassionally, involve intense effort, discomfort and perseverance. Outside of the physiological adaptations, one of the supreme side effects of a correctly managed physical education program is the development of character.

'Artistic' involves any and all of the arts, especially including music. Music is the third universal language and quite literally, when pursued with vigor and focus, develops the mind in ways unappoachable with any other tool. My own daughter has been fortunate enough to train in classical piano with an instructor trained at the Russian Music Conservatory since October of 2006 (she had just turned five years old) and the changes in her maturity, ability to reason and focus, as well as the blossoming of her personality in that short time frame are staggering.

I believe that it may have been Plato who said, "Give your children math, music and gymnastics." In my opinion, it was true four thousand years ago and continues to hold value today.

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

OlympicBodies@aol.com

Chris Forbis
05-17-2007, 02:48 AM
I took a year of Latin in college, and as Coach Sommer said, I learned more about the English language in those 2 semesters than in the entirety of the rest of my academic career.

Math is good (full disclosure, I am a math teacher) but I am not a big fan of learning higher level mathematics for the sake of mathematics. Learn some higher level math so you can learn some physics. Physics is badass. 2 years of undergrad physics will improve anyone (it's 4 classes: 1. Mechanics; 2. Electricity and Magnetism; 3. Waves and Optics; 4. some Modern Physics). Learn as much math as you need to get through those courses.

If I had it to do all over again, I would have majored in Physics. It is a great foundation for whatever you would want to do in science or engineering post undergrad.

Steve Liberati
05-17-2007, 04:31 AM
Oh the irony of the title of this topic :p (look closely kids)

In my opinion as someone more famous than me said "I never let my schooling get in the way of my education"

Education is about experiences and learning a bunch of stuff that's relevant to your life. I've done maths to a university level and it was the most boring, pointless and confusing thing i've ever done and I can't remember a single shred of it.

I agree Don. Most people treat college like an extension of high school. They take the most mainstream courses, did the minimum amount they needed to get an A, tried not to get into "trouble" with the professor or face the uncertainty of the unknowable. They were the ones who spent six hours a day in the library, reading their textbooks.

University is more about the experience. The best part of college is that you could become whatever you wanted to become, but most people just do what they think they must.

Quote of the day:

"Cut class. Take a seminar on french literature. Study abroad. Organize a protest movement. Whatever."

Steve Shafley
05-17-2007, 04:45 AM
Good thoughts.

John Vernon
05-17-2007, 05:54 AM
I took a year of Latin in college, and as Coach Sommer said, I learned more about the English language in those 2 semesters than in the entirety of the rest of my academic career.

I agree. I had two & a half years of latin in high school and found it to be extremely beneficial. Had it been offered at the college level I would have taken it up again.

Yael Grauer
05-17-2007, 09:47 AM
I went to Shimer College (http://www.shimer.edu), which is a Great Books school. It was probably the best decision I ever made.

When I went, it was in a hellholle called Waukegan that we all put up with for the wonderful classes. Now that they are affiliated with IIT, people can take all kinds of math and science classes. When I was there, all we got was science theory (http://shimer.edu/academicprograms/curriculum/naturalsciencescourses.cfm). We learned about things like phlogiston and read works by the Pre-Socratics.

The Humanities (http://shimer.edu/academicprograms/curriculum/humanitiescourses.cfm) and Social Sciences (http://shimer.edu/academicprograms/curriculum/socialsciencescourses.cfm) and Integrative Studies (http://shimer.edu/academicprograms/curriculum/integrativestudiessciencecourses.cfm)courses were awesome, however.

Anyways, I'd recommend starting with the Cannon on your own. The only thing missing is Eastern studies...

Another great book I've read is called How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day. (http://shimer.edu/academicprograms/curriculum/naturalsciencescourses.cfm) It covers the seven Da Vincian principles, which as defined on Amazon are:

Curiosita: An insatiably curious approach to life.
Dimonstratzione: A commitment to test knowledge through experience.
Sensazione: The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to clarify experience.
Sfumato: A willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty.
Arte/Scienza: The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination ("whole-brain thinking").
Corporalita: The cultivation of ambidexterity, fitness, and poise.
Connessione: A recognition and appreciation for the connectedness of all things and phenomena; "systems thinking."

This from the humanities perspective. I would like to get more into math at some point.

Great thread.

Ron Nelson
05-17-2007, 10:05 AM
I like the Da Vinci approach mentioned by Yael. Be curious. Follow that.
Study what piques your interests and go from there.

Each year I try to focus on something different and it invariably ends up leading to something else. Believe it or not, this year it was baseball. Last year it was music. Nothing specific, just baseball and music. This year, baseball has led to business and economics. Studying exercise has led to diet, nutrition, body image, and psychology. Music got me started with biographies.

The other day, my daughter told me she didn't like astronomy because it freaked her out to think about the origins of the universe and just what was there before the origin on the universe (a.k.a. the Big Bang theory or whatever Stephen Hawking is proposing). I told her that was the exact reason I find astronomy fascinating and why I studied it in high school as opposed to physics or biology. Probably why I was a big Star Trek nerd as well.

Now, about them Dodgers. . .

Danny John
05-17-2007, 10:10 AM
I was very impressed by the link to Shimer. I was a Great Books student all through elementary and I wish my high school would have had the program. My Poli Sci prof at USU wouldn't let us get out of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle...arguing that everything else in politics was a footnote.

I like to think (allow me the ego stroke here) that I took advantage of the opportunity to learn in my life. I can add the details, but I have to agree that "well rounded" includes physical and mental goals...

Robert McBee
05-17-2007, 10:18 AM
First, instill a joy for learning and intellectual curiosity. Curriculum won't matter much if the student has no interest in exploring it. How do you go about this? Tell me please. I do have a theory from observing my 5 yr. old that the Xbox runs counter to my above advice.

Second to Yael's "How to think...DaVinci" book reccomendation. Covers the bases and does offer a nice approach to making learning an 'adventure' now that I think about it.

"The Well Trained Mind" is another good game plan. Specific roadmap kind of stuff for teaching from basically infancy to university. There's surely a 'best' approach for almost everyone. Great thread topic....

Mike ODonnell
05-17-2007, 11:00 AM
Learn Spanish....you'll need it.....

Other than that I say follow your passions....become a passionate expert, not a jack of all trades....

If you want an engineering degree cheap, I don't use mine anymore so I'll sell it for like half price....best $50,000 you'll evere spend!! :D

Rene Renteria
05-17-2007, 11:35 AM
From "My Life as a Knowledge Worker," by Peter Drucker:

"The newspaper I worked for came out in the afternoon. We began work at 6 in the morning and finished by a quarter past 2 in the afternoon, when the last edition went to press. So I began to force myself to study afternoons and evenings: international relations and international law; the history of social and legal institutions; finance; and so on. Gradually, I developed a system. I still adhere to it. Every three or four years I pick a new subject. It may be Japanese art; it may be economics. Three years of study are by no means enough to master a subject, but they are enough to understand it. So for more than 60 years I have kept on studying one subject at a time. That not only has given me a substantial fund of knowledge. It has also forced me to be open to new disciplines and new approaches and new methods--for every one of the subjects I have studied makes different assumptions and employs a different methodology."

and this:

"Whenever a Jesuit priest or a Calvinist pastor does anything of significance--making a key decision, for instance--he is expected to write down what results he anticipates. Nine months later he traces back from the actual results to those anticipations. That very soon shows him what he did well and what his strengths are. It also shows him what he has to learn and what habits he has to change. Finally, it shows him what he has no gift for and cannot do well. I have followed that method for myself now for 50 years. It brings out what one's strengths are--and that is the most important thing an individual can know about himself or herself. It brings out areas where improvement is needed and suggests what kind of improvement is needed. Finally, it brings out things an individual cannot do and therefore should not even try to do. To know one's strengths, to know how to improve them, and to know what one cannot do--they are the keys to continuous learning."

The whole thing is very much worth reading; it's here:

http://www.inc.com/magazine/19970201/1169_Printer_Friendly.html

Yael Grauer
05-17-2007, 11:55 AM
OMG, Dan John is impressed by my alma mater. :o That makes up for all the years of, "Where? Never heard of it!" I'm a member of the Center for the Study of the Great Ideas, but nothing will ever hold a candle to those seminar discussions around octagonal tables that continued around bonfires well into the night.

I did have to supplement what I learned with some basic first aid and wilderness survival skills, as well as home repair. Those have come in quite handy over the years. It's amazing how few people know how to make a fire, build a shelter, find water, etc. I'd probably add marksmanship in there as well.

And I guess this is woman stuff, but I am totally intrigued with books such as The Forgotten Arts and Crafts, particularly the "Kitchen Crafts" category (which includes salting and pickling, bottling and canning, etc.)... I've also been reading Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping Home, and it is this incredible compendium of lost skills with a modern flare that are all but gone in the age of housecleaners and microwave ovens. And for the guys: http://www.dangerousbookforboys.com/

Daniel Miller
05-17-2007, 12:26 PM
Great thread.

I thought about going to St Johns (another great books school) when I was a senior in college, but opted for a small Jesuit liberal arts school in Colorado. I was not and am not catholic but I can honestly say that my education there was one of the most expansive, reality shaking, and intriguing experiences I've ever had. I learned to think, ask questions, and write.

I am a strong proponent of being a generalist and dabbling a bit in everything as opposed to an expert on something.

I only took a few science classes in college, but a few years later I'm doing molecular biology research, writing papers, and starting med school in August.

I took physics at a community college after graduating. I don't think I would have been as interested as a 18 year compared to being 25 while taking physics. But, that might just have been me.

Physics, Cell bio, genetics, and O. Chem unlocked secrets for me but not without having learned to ask questions in socioogy, peace and justice studies, philosophy, literature, anthro, and history classes.

Robert McBee
05-17-2007, 06:19 PM
I would be highly remiss not to make a case for "The Zombie Survival Guide" and "How to Survive a Robot Uprising: Tips on Defending Yourself Against the Coming Rebellion". I'm sure the Ivy League schools are huge advocates as well.

Neal Winkler
05-17-2007, 07:16 PM
Man, I wish I was smart!

Jamila Bey
05-24-2007, 09:43 PM
Me too!

It's pretty much over for me, but I'm planning to homeschool my kiddies. When we have them.

They'll learn argumentation, elocution, gymnastics and some fighting art. Spanish, maybe Japanese (where Daddy spent his first years). They'll get maths, sciences and visual arts someplace else- a homeschool co-op perhaps. I'll teach writing and criticism. Dad will teach guitar, piano and voice.

I have no faith at all in the American system of training up its young. There are exactly two high schools I would permit any boy of mine to attend; Bronx Science or St. Augustine in New Orleans.

I'll stop now before I wind up in my rant re: little black boys in US schools.

Allen Yeh
05-25-2007, 03:38 AM
I have no faith at all in the American system of training up its young.


Have you seen this article? http://www.wesjones.com/gatto1.htm


Thought provoking, makes me wonder if home schooling would be right for our youngest.

Derek Simonds
05-25-2007, 06:18 AM
OMG, Dan John is impressed by my alma mater. :o That makes up for all the years of, "Where? Never heard of it!" I'm a member of the Center for the Study of the Great Ideas, but nothing will ever hold a candle to those seminar discussions around octagonal tables that continued around bonfires well into the night.

I did have to supplement what I learned with some basic first aid and wilderness survival skills, as well as home repair. Those have come in quite handy over the years. It's amazing how few people know how to make a fire, build a shelter, find water, etc. I'd probably add marksmanship in there as well.

And I guess this is woman stuff, but I am totally intrigued with books such as The Forgotten Arts and Crafts, particularly the "Kitchen Crafts" category (which includes salting and pickling, bottling and canning, etc.)... I've also been reading Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping Home, and it is this incredible compendium of lost skills with a modern flare that are all but gone in the age of housecleaners and microwave ovens. And for the guys: http://www.dangerousbookforboys.com/

The dangerous book for boys reminds me of another book Wild at Heart. Wild at heart is written from a biblical perspective but is worth the read even if that isn't your cup of tea. Here is a bullet list from review.

1. Our culture (and even our churches) has adopted a strategy that facilitates the feminization of men.
2. Masculinity, with its predilection to adventure, rowdiness, and risk has become a condition to be cured.
3. Consequently, boys are in big trouble. School systems and churches have not taken the unique features of masculinity into consideration when designing curriculum or programs.
4. Our culture, intent on emasculating its boys, has produced a huge sense of withdrawal and boredom from its men.
5. As disconcerting as it may be to mothers everywhere, masculinity can only be imparted by masculinity. In other words, a young boy is never really sure hes become a man until another man, or group of men, tells him so.
6. Sadly, many, if not most, men have abdicated this responsibility.
7. Every man needs a battle for which he can live and die.

Yael, I promise you that both of my kids (boy and girl) will be able to do all the stuff you mentioned in the last 2 paragraphs. Me and my family are lucky my grandmother who is in her 70's still practices the salting, pickling, bottling and canning skills she learned growing up on a farm in Rome GA. We camp, fish, build fires, cut wood, take stuff apart and try to put it back together. My kids think I can fix or build anything which BTW is the furtherest thing from the truth, but it gives them faith they can do the same thing.

I wish all of you success if you go the home school route. It is a tough road. At our gym we have home school gymnastics classes for PE. Out of the kids that attend I would say that half are truly learning and excelling while the other half would be better off in a public school. If anyone is serious PM me and I will hook you up with some of the families if you want to talk to them about the ups and downs.

Jamilla, I am sure that it is more difficult for a black boy in US schools because of many different factors. I also believe that it is in general more difficult for boys in the earlier grades period. My son is all boy, he is also pretty well mannered and usually well behaved. Unfortunately the expectation of most teachers is that boys should behave the same as girls, which does not happen. I struggled mightily this year with the curriculum at my sons school. He is first grade and they were taught and graded on cursive handwriting. Oh it made my scientific brain go absolutely nuts. How can you expect a 6 to 7 year old boy to have the fine motor skills needed for cursive. The first two quarters he got B's on his report card for hand writing and he didn't want a B so he really buckled down and practiced and got A's the last two quarters. I was impressed because if it was me I would have thrown in the towel.

My youngest sister went to Emory in Atlanta and at the time I thought the liberal slant to her education was a travesty, but she came out of there even more well rounded and intelligent then when she went in. If I had it to do over again I would have added Latin and what I consider liberal arts studies.

What a fantastic thread.

Jeff Northrop
05-25-2007, 07:00 AM
First, instill a joy for learning and intellectual curiosity. Curriculum won't matter much if the student has no interest in exploring it. How do you go about this? Tell me please. I do have a theory from observing my 5 yr. old that the Xbox runs counter to my above advice.

Bingo! By the time students reach high school, or even middle school expectations are already in place and habits have been formed. You can't expect to get better students by simply teaching more advanced classes at higher levels. The students need to want to take those classes. They need to have the skills to think critically and apply what they learn. Otherwise it is all a waste of time.

No Child Left Behind is KILLING our education system. It has taken all of the flexibility and freedom away from the teachers (those who know best how to teach) and put it into the hands of our government which is making decisions based on statistical analysis. They don't call it pedagogy for nothing.

To that end I believe home schooling is a great choice, but it is a difficult row to hoe, however with its growing popularity it is getting easier. For my part I have two children (6 and 9 years old) and they are enrolled in a Waldorf (http://www.awsna.org/education-k12.html) school. It's very hands on, very creative and at all times shows a deep respect for the child. There is nothing magical about it and there is nothing particularly difficult (or expensive) to applying the teaching methodology but it produces students who are far more capable of continuing to learn then their public school counter-parts.

One other thing with regards to the XBox comment: TV and the computer are evil for children. I mean that. Kids need time to be bored, explore and seek out stimulating activities. Entertainment can't just be handed to them or they miss a critical part of their development.

Robert Allison
05-25-2007, 07:14 AM
The dangerous book for boys reminds me of another book Wild at Heart. Wild at heart is written from a biblical perspective but is worth the read even if that isn't your cup of tea. Here is a bullet list from review.

I've read a couple of books by John Eldridge, the author of Wild At Heart. He has some interesting ideas. David Deida touches on some similar themes, but probably more from a Buddhist perspective.

Eldridge's take on rites of passage, the sissification of males in our society, etc. are spot-on, IMO. For a look at these issues in the context of the education system, you might want to check out Why Gender Matters (http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/038551073X/ref=sib_dp_pt/103-6388796-2646204#reader-link) by Leonard Sax. I have read some articles by him, but not the book. However, a friend of mine, who used to be an educator, speaks very highly of the book.

Considering the state of education today, if I ever have children, I would strongly lean toward home schooling. While there are no doubt many good people who are teachers, the system is fundamentally flawed.

Jamila Bey
05-25-2007, 07:17 AM
This thread is precisely why I love PM so much.

Alan, this was a fantastic read and I've forwarded it to everyone I know. Thanks!

Derek, you are gonna get a lot of questions from me shortly. I'm a journalist, so I don't know when to stop - if I get annoying just let me know and I'll quit pestering you.

That feminization of culture read is deadly on point. It hurts boys yes, but also girls and women who don't fall into the typically feminine characteristics ascribed their gender. I was a girl who rathered play football than cheerlead, debate than join chorus, and be friends with anyone I pleased than subscribe to the social order of coolness.

I think the bottom line is that American culture is such that anyone who thinks for him/herself is persecuted. Any difference is seen as threatening, and children are coddled and told what to do at every moment instead of being able to learn, experiment and choose for themselves.

Self-actualized little hellraising autodidacts. That's my greatest wish for my children.

Allen Yeh
05-25-2007, 07:26 AM
This thread is precisely why I love PM so much.

Alan, this was a fantastic read and I've forwarded it to everyone I know. Thanks!

Derek, you are gonna get a lot of questions from me shortly. I'm a journalist, so I don't know when to stop - if I get annoying just let me know and I'll quit pestering you.

That feminization of culture read is deadly on point. It hurts boys yes, but also girls and women who don't fall into the typically feminine characteristics ascribed their gender. I was a girl who rathered play football than cheerlead, debate than join chorus, and be friends with anyone I pleased than subscribe to the social order of coolness.

I think the bottom line is that American culture is such that anyone who thinks for him/herself is persecuted. Any difference is seen as threatening, and children are coddled and told what to do at every moment instead of being able to learn, experiment and choose for themselves.

Self-actualized little hellraising autodidacts. That's my greatest wish for my children.

I thought it was really thought provoking and it made me question the heck out of my own belief system in regards to education. Just like things in the thread have, I have thus far not inserted any input because I have been mulling things over.

Joe Hart
05-25-2007, 10:58 AM
I checked out the "Well Trained Mind" book that Yael recommended. I haven't gotten far into it, but there is some good stuff. They talked about how to use the book to augment the public education. I think that is the way to go for me, right at the moment that and hide the TV. I also think that I will take the oldest (5) to the German Oma (grandma) and spend time with her often. I suspect she will teach him German while spoiling him.

This thread is turning out great. If I do say so myself:) .

Yael Grauer
05-25-2007, 07:52 PM
Joe, The book I recommended was How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci. :)

Derek, I read that book (and Iron John, etc.) and also the book Captivating by his wife Stasi Eldridge. I really liked it but I got confused when she asked whether you would rather be known as "captivating" or as a "tireless worker." Do you really have to give up working tirelessly in order to be captivating, or give up being captivating in order to work tirelessly? I think not.

As far as rites of passage, there is a group that does very beautiful ceremonies to bring men and women into spiritual adulthood. I went through my ceremony two years ago and it completely changed my life. I would be more than happy to speak with people about it privately... I can only speak for the women's ceremony but can direct people to men who can answer any questions about the other one. Their webpage is down right now or I'd post the link.

Joe Hart
05-25-2007, 09:00 PM
I got the Da Vinci book too. I am about half way through it. I like it alot. I am a learning geek. Thanks Yael.

Mike ODonnell
05-26-2007, 09:05 AM
Have you seen this article? http://www.wesjones.com/gatto1.htm


Thought provoking, makes me wonder if home schooling would be right for our youngest.

Wow...very interesting...I liked
School trains children to be employees and consumers; teach your own to be leaders and adventurers.

Being an entrepreneur I've noticed that all the people who are very successful, usually dont have some sort of impressive educational background, yet they were creative, took risks and pursued dreams with a passion...it may have taken them a long time, but they made it work because there was no other option. School does teach you how to become a great employee for someone, gives you skills for someone else to pay you for...which is fine...but I left that whole corporate world not feeling any daily satisfaction and wasting my life away....the millionaire next door is not an employee or consumer....

David Wood
05-27-2007, 06:34 AM
Hmmm, late to this game but I'll add:

a) some sort of physical education, preferrably fundamental skill (gymnastics, primarily, and/or dance and/or martial arts) should be mandatory all the way through to adulthood. (After that, too, but I don't like telling adults what to do.) I didn't get this until college, when I pushed my way in after being denied it by my high school (athletics were only for jocks). My life would have been very different had I known then what I know now.

b) Ability to read / write / form a comprehensive arguement is next most important. I run (part of) an analytical consulting company; the number of otherwise bright people who cannot form a succinct and direct English paragraph is stunning.

c) I would want some sort of training in probability and statistics (more in probability than anything else). The inability of most people to understand basic ideas like "selection bias" means that many, many bad decisions will be made.

d) As far as "logic" training goes, the best training I ever got was to learn basic computer programming (I'd be showing my age if I talked about the archaic languages I learned on). Nothing will show you more quickly that actions have consequences, and the results you get are always from what you put in.

e) Becoming comfortable speaking in public, and with strangers. (Oh, and, by the way . . . somehow acquire the ability to remember people's names. It doesn't come easily to me to do so, but being able to do that is a huge asset in business.) For people who want to acquire the public speaking as adults, the self-help organization called Toastmasters International pretty much exists for that one purpose, and they have a fabulous program. I direct all my ambitious staff to them; those that do the work get much better quickly.

f) travel / see how the rest of the world does it. Learn a second language if you can (I regret not speaking more than a tiny bit of other languages); it will help you get inside others' heads when you have to actively confront how they structure their thoughts. Right now, I can travel on business in an "American bubble" where everyone in gracious and almost everyone speaks English. I have no illusion that this will last.

g) Understand language and how we use it (and it uses us) to control what we can think about. George Lakoff and Robert Anton Wilson would be required reading in my curriculum.

I better stop, this is beginning to rant . . .

Joe Hart
05-27-2007, 08:16 PM
Rant on! Education is a big deal. If people don't get worked up about it we are going to be a nation of idiots by comparison.

Chris Forbis
05-28-2007, 04:19 PM
Rant on! Education is a big deal. If people don't get worked up about it we are going to be a nation of idiots by comparison.

I saw a movie about that one time... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkEIx0vwHZ8&mode=related&search=

Joe Hart
05-28-2007, 07:29 PM
Chris,

Being a teacher...How do you feel about home schooling?

Chris Forbis
05-29-2007, 05:09 AM
It depends on what options you have available. I think pretty highly of the quality of education at my particular school, but it costs over 10k a year. Were my school not here in this town, I'm not sure there is one within 50 miles that I would recommend to someone to enroll their children in.

After having seen the administration of a pretty good education first hand by my colleagues, I would feel extremely overwhelmed/inadequate trying to do the same for my own child. Science and math I could handle. History and english... not without A TON of work. The history and english teachers at my school are brilliant and I would feel extremely inadequate trying to do what they do.

This is an idea I have pondered for the day when I have children, should I then no longer be teaching at a quality academic institution. My ego is sufficiently large that I think I might be able to pull it off (think being the operative word.) :)

I will say that the home school kids that have started schooling with us are almost always very deficient in math when they get to us. In fact, they tend to struggle in general. There may be a selection bias there, as it is likely the kids who are doing well with home schooling don't ever get sent to a normal school. The ones we get also have a bit of trouble socially.

Chris Forbis
05-31-2007, 09:36 AM
OMG, Dan John is impressed by my alma mater. :o That makes up for all the years of, "Where? Never heard of it!" I'm a member of the Center for the Study of the Great Ideas, but nothing will ever hold a candle to those seminar discussions around octagonal tables that continued around bonfires well into the night.

I did have to supplement what I learned with some basic first aid and wilderness survival skills, as well as home repair. Those have come in quite handy over the years. It's amazing how few people know how to make a fire, build a shelter, find water, etc. I'd probably add marksmanship in there as well.

And I guess this is woman stuff, but I am totally intrigued with books such as The Forgotten Arts and Crafts, particularly the "Kitchen Crafts" category (which includes salting and pickling, bottling and canning, etc.)... I've also been reading Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping Home, and it is this incredible compendium of lost skills with a modern flare that are all but gone in the age of housecleaners and microwave ovens. And for the guys: http://www.dangerousbookforboys.com/

I just got my copy of The Dangerous Book for Boys in from Amazon.

What a neat book.

Joe Hart
06-05-2007, 08:31 PM
I finished the Da Vinci book and I found it very interesting. I am going to give it a try. I am reading "The Well Trained Mind" and find it very good. It does what I want to help augment my children's public education. Thanks to everyone who made recommendations. Now that I have had some time to think about it...Another language is key. It makes you think differently when you actually try to speak and understand in the language rather than translate from English into the language. I will re-learn math and science and read the classics, because I want to kick more ass than normal in trivial pursuit. Entertainment will continue to be my achilles heel because I can't tell you crap about "off broadway musicals" If its not CATS, Le Miserable, The King and I, or The Phantom of the Opera I am screwed. I have only seen the last two.

Allen Yeh
06-06-2007, 03:58 AM
Saw this today and it seemed somewhat appropiate towards the topic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxsOVK4syxU


My own little poem:

Upon reflection
I've had good teachers
I've had bad teachers
I've had teachers that bored me to tears
I've had teachers that were unfair
I had a teacher that inspired me
That has made all the difference
Thank you