Comments on: Back to School http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/ Sharon Astyk's Ruminations on an Ambiguous Future Sun, 06 Sep 2009 04:44:06 +0000 #?v=2.3.2 By: Guy McPherson http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24406 Guy McPherson Tue, 01 Sep 2009 21:51:31 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24406 Good stuff, Sharon, as always. You might be interested in a K-5 curriculum for the post-carbon era put together by two undergraduate students working on an independent study project, with minimal advice from me. It's posted on my blog: http://blog.ltc.arizona.edu/naturebatslast/2009/05/k-5_curriculum_for_the_post-ca.html Good stuff, Sharon, as always. You might be interested in a K-5 curriculum for the post-carbon era put together by two undergraduate students working on an independent study project, with minimal advice from me. It’s posted on my blog: http://blog.ltc.arizona.edu/naturebatslast/2009/05/k-5_curriculum_for_the_post-ca.html

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By: Crunchy Chicken http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24389 Crunchy Chicken Tue, 01 Sep 2009 18:07:22 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24389 OMG, Sharon. That is so awesome. I love reading that kind of stuff. The value in those books lies in so much more than their financial worth as "antiques". OMG, Sharon. That is so awesome. I love reading that kind of stuff. The value in those books lies in so much more than their financial worth as “antiques”.

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By: E.L. Beck http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24374 E.L. Beck Tue, 01 Sep 2009 13:56:06 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24374 What a thought provoking column, and I agree with the comments that link education to citizenship in a republic, an intrinsic value that, alas, we shrugged off long ago. Small-r republicanism demands civic engagement to counter corruption and keep government centered on the people, not on professionalized institutions. http://www.the-small-r.com/the-small-r/civic.html What a thought provoking column, and I agree with the comments that link education to citizenship in a republic, an intrinsic value that, alas, we shrugged off long ago. Small-r republicanism demands civic engagement to counter corruption and keep government centered on the people, not on professionalized institutions.

http://www.the-small-r.com/the-small-r/civic.html

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By: tim-10-ber http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24368 tim-10-ber Tue, 01 Sep 2009 10:05:07 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24368 Interesting column - the history of compulsory er government education was to pull people away from their religions to which people were loyal and turn them to wards (harsh term on my part) of the state er dependent on the state and good citizens. There was no focus on academics. Our education system came from the Prussian (German) system. To me...it has worked. Before compulsory education there was no such thing as adolescents. Young people were productive in their teens or earlier. Kids came to school knowing the basics because they were taught numbers and reading at home. They knew the importance of education. In addition literacy was much much higher than it is today. The books of John Taylor Gatto and Charlotte Iserbyt (lives in Maine) shed an incredible amount of light on the history of compulsory education in the US. Just my two cents worth... Sharon -- I love your blog!! Keep up the great work! Elizabeth Interesting column - the history of compulsory er government education was to pull people away from their religions to which people were loyal and turn them to wards (harsh term on my part) of the state er dependent on the state and good citizens. There was no focus on academics. Our education system came from the Prussian (German) system. To me…it has worked.

Before compulsory education there was no such thing as adolescents. Young people were productive in their teens or earlier. Kids came to school knowing the basics because they were taught numbers and reading at home. They knew the importance of education. In addition literacy was much much higher than it is today.

The books of John Taylor Gatto and Charlotte Iserbyt (lives in Maine) shed an incredible amount of light on the history of compulsory education in the US.

Just my two cents worth…

Sharon — I love your blog!! Keep up the great work!

Elizabeth

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By: Valuing For The Sake Of Doing So | Butts In The Seats http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24366 Valuing For The Sake Of Doing So | Butts In The Seats Tue, 01 Sep 2009 07:52:25 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24366 [...] way of the Crunchy Con blog, I was reading Sharon Astyk’s blog entry on valuing education. She had recently come across the school books her great-grandfather used when he was a young man [...] […] way of the Crunchy Con blog, I was reading Sharon Astyk’s blog entry on valuing education. She had recently come across the school books her great-grandfather used when he was a young man […]

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By: Jason http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24365 Jason Tue, 01 Sep 2009 07:37:58 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24365 From what I can recall, being schooled in London, UK in the 70s and 80s, the whole thing seemed ridiculous to us. To me, certainly. The adults so obviously detested the world that the books were schooling us to enter. From what I can recall, being schooled in London, UK in the 70s and 80s, the whole thing seemed ridiculous to us. To me, certainly. The adults so obviously detested the world that the books were schooling us to enter.

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By: Chuck http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24352 Chuck Mon, 31 Aug 2009 22:30:33 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24352 What's carved in stone, literally, on the outside of the old Boston Public Library? This stern proclamation: "The Commonwealth requires an educated citizenry as the safeguard of order and liberty." Or something like that. It's a far cry from getting your economic ticket punched. What’s carved in stone, literally, on the outside of the old Boston Public Library? This stern proclamation:
“The Commonwealth requires an educated citizenry as the safeguard of order and liberty.”

Or something like that.

It’s a far cry from getting your economic ticket punched.

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By: Brad K. http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24348 Brad K. Mon, 31 Aug 2009 21:02:59 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24348 @ dewey, In Junior High, in northwest Iowa, in the mid 1960's one of my teachers made the claim that compulsory education was never intended for the benefit of the student. That no one cared, when the public school system was created, if a particular student got an "education". Mr. Butt's point was that a liberal education was essential for the informed populace that would make democracy work in America. If you remember the old TV show, Beverly Hillbillies, recall the running joke about Jethro having only gone to first, second, or third grade, I forget which. The rule was pass the grade or be held back - but you passed on regardless the third year in any grade - you needed the exposure to the next year's material more than the community could afford waiting for you to master what you already missed three times. The Amish and other groups still hold to that rule - compulsory education through grade 8 - or age 16, whichever occurs first. I think the 16 and 17 year ages in your Ingalls story are pertinent, as they reflect the 16 year or grade eight targets of the schools, and that those students, like today, would not represent the brightest - but possibly the most diligent. Today sloth, arrogance, disrespect, and violence are big barriers to some students being able to study to their capacity. In earlier times short hours and exhaustion, exposure to lead and other heavy metals in ground, paint, and water, parasites and other illnesses and maladies also reduced a student's ability to excel. @ Sharon, I suspect that much of New England's fascination with a liberal education was an expression of patriotism. They close to the action of the formation of the nation. Maine, especially, was poor, poorly traveled and isolated. In Maine the awareness of nationhood and the role that thinking people play in limiting the intrusion of government through education and determination resulted in a belief and reverence for an educated mind. New Englanders were outside the rich streams of wealth of the South and middle Atlantic states. I imagine that the laws and actions of the new government would seem ill conceived and poorly wrought to serve them. I imagine they would want to instill the ability to oppose and withstand the ignorance and greed of the outsiders in their descendants, through education. Crossing the Alleghenies, in earlier times, was a monumental separation of the governed from the government. The American people grew independent, found that the government and it's rules and laws were more oppressive than supportive, that survival and success depended more on the individual and less on a government they were relatively weak in affecting. Education became more imminent, the "practical" took on a different valuation. I think the only real answer to today's big government is again an educated and informed populace. But that takes wresting control of the schools back from the hands of that same big government that seized our children's minds so many years ago. @ dewey,

In Junior High, in northwest Iowa, in the mid 1960’s one of my teachers made the claim that compulsory education was never intended for the benefit of the student. That no one cared, when the public school system was created, if a particular student got an “education”.

Mr. Butt’s point was that a liberal education was essential for the informed populace that would make democracy work in America.

If you remember the old TV show, Beverly Hillbillies, recall the running joke about Jethro having only gone to first, second, or third grade, I forget which. The rule was pass the grade or be held back - but you passed on regardless the third year in any grade - you needed the exposure to the next year’s material more than the community could afford waiting for you to master what you already missed three times. The Amish and other groups still hold to that rule - compulsory education through grade 8 - or age 16, whichever occurs first.

I think the 16 and 17 year ages in your Ingalls story are pertinent, as they reflect the 16 year or grade eight targets of the schools, and that those students, like today, would not represent the brightest - but possibly the most diligent. Today sloth, arrogance, disrespect, and violence are big barriers to some students being able to study to their capacity. In earlier times short hours and exhaustion, exposure to lead and other heavy metals in ground, paint, and water, parasites and other illnesses and maladies also reduced a student’s ability to excel.

@ Sharon,

I suspect that much of New England’s fascination with a liberal education was an expression of patriotism. They close to the action of the formation of the nation. Maine, especially, was poor, poorly traveled and isolated. In Maine the awareness of nationhood and the role that thinking people play in limiting the intrusion of government through education and determination resulted in a belief and reverence for an educated mind.

New Englanders were outside the rich streams of wealth of the South and middle Atlantic states. I imagine that the laws and actions of the new government would seem ill conceived and poorly wrought to serve them. I imagine they would want to instill the ability to oppose and withstand the ignorance and greed of the outsiders in their descendants, through education.

Crossing the Alleghenies, in earlier times, was a monumental separation of the governed from the government. The American people grew independent, found that the government and it’s rules and laws were more oppressive than supportive, that survival and success depended more on the individual and less on a government they were relatively weak in affecting. Education became more imminent, the “practical” took on a different valuation.

I think the only real answer to today’s big government is again an educated and informed populace. But that takes wresting control of the schools back from the hands of that same big government that seized our children’s minds so many years ago.

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By: MD http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24347 MD Mon, 31 Aug 2009 20:51:35 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24347 We have a few old schoolbooks left from my great-great grandfather's third wife, a schoolteacher. We're in TN, but the math problems were similar, and some of them were similarly advanced. One book is a history of the US, written by a Southerner in the 1870s. That book has a very different perspective from the usual Northern one, and is not as racist as you would think it would be. In the late 1800s my gg-gf was paying $4/month per child for schooling in the local one-room schoolhouse, while putting "used" horseshoes on his horses (some noted on the receipts as "found"). Basic education was necessary then to keep from being deceived, by politicians or religious leaders or anyone who assumed to "know better." For my gg-gf, with reconstruction a recent memory, complete with the carpetbaggers and scalawags who pilfered and stole as much as they could, making sure his children were literate and numerate enough to survive was worth great financial sacrifice. We have a few old schoolbooks left from my great-great grandfather’s third wife, a schoolteacher. We’re in TN, but the math problems were similar, and some of them were similarly advanced. One book is a history of the US, written by a Southerner in the 1870s. That book has a very different perspective from the usual Northern one, and is not as racist as you would think it would be. In the late 1800s my gg-gf was paying $4/month per child for schooling in the local one-room schoolhouse, while putting “used” horseshoes on his horses (some noted on the receipts as “found”). Basic education was necessary then to keep from being deceived, by politicians or religious leaders or anyone who assumed to “know better.” For my gg-gf, with reconstruction a recent memory, complete with the carpetbaggers and scalawags who pilfered and stole as much as they could, making sure his children were literate and numerate enough to survive was worth great financial sacrifice.

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By: EJ http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24346 EJ Mon, 31 Aug 2009 20:16:24 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/08/31/back-to-school/#comment-24346 Very interesting. You ask: Why did they do it? Apart from education: If the kids only went to school in the winter it wouldn't se such a loss, workwise. Also perhaps because everyone was bored and it was good to get off of the farm. Parents might also have benefited from knowledge brought home by kids. Very interesting.

You ask: Why did they do it?
Apart from education:
If the kids only went to school in the winter it wouldn’t se such a loss, workwise.
Also perhaps because everyone was bored and it was good to get off of the farm.
Parents might also have benefited from knowledge brought home by kids.

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