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Forum Post: Do you know the origin of public schooling?

Posted 1 year ago on Sept. 22, 2012, 4:11 p.m. EST by thoreau42 (595)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Everyone loves the idea of public schooling, but do you know where it came from?

Have you ever heard of Horace Mann? Johan Gottlieb Fitche?

Have you heard of the Prussian School?

The history of public school in America, summed up in 8 minutes...if you dare to learn anything real. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBNh543A81U



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[-] 2 points by Buttercup (1067) 1 year ago

I didn't. But you're joking right? This clip is complete nonsense, logical fallacy, bordering on conspiracy theory. Making a connection between some evil person and how he used the educational system for evil purposes and draws the conclusion that therefore the educational system must be evil. Complete logical fallacy. Thanks for the snicks though. lol.

[-] 1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 1 year ago

I didn't even have to watch the clip....but you weren't joking were you?

"Making a connection between some evil person and how he used the educational system for evil purposes and draws the conclusion that therefore the educational system must be evil. Complete logical fallacy."

Making a connection between some evil person and how he used the financial/economic system for evil purposes and drawing the conclusion that therefore the financial/economic system must be evil. Complete logical fallacy. Thanks for pointing out why your posts are so snick worthy though! LOL

[-] 2 points by Buttercup (1067) 1 year ago

I've never said anything of the sort.

But, nonetheless, any system can be distorted. It all depends on the rules put in place and by whom. It's not (necessarily) the system, but the rules/policies governing the system that can distort it, help it or hinder it. My point stands.

[-] 1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 1 year ago

Let's address your point.

"If any system can be distorted" by rules/policies governing that system, then by that SAME LOGIC, the educational system cannot be immune from distortion.

Logical fallacies come in all shapes and sizes.

For example:

If the rules/policies governing our economic/financial system are distorting it, or hindering it, then YOUR logic dictates that the blame for the hindrance/distortion of that system should fall squarely on "the rules put in place and by whom". (it ALL depends on those two things according to your statement)

Therefor it would be illogical to cast blame or guilt upon anyone or anything that had nothing to do with putting those rules/policies into place.

[-] 1 points by Buttercup (1067) 1 year ago

That sounds about right.

[-] 0 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

There's no real cure for willful ignorance. It's obviously much easier to rationalize and dismiss than to do any research yourself. Sorry, did the best I can.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Little House on the Prairie - Half Pint grows up to Be a Teacher.

[-] 1 points by yobstreet (-575) 1 year ago

One of the biggest mistakes American education made was in assuming that the public expression of a surreal equality was of higher concern than American intelligence. Prussian schools, to this day, are highly discriminatory - if the student does not show the desire or aptitude at a very early age they are removed from academia to be placed in a vocational school of their choosing.

I would like to see the more intelligent awarded greater freedom to pursue as they desire... they should be permitted to follow their own interests. And I would like to see those dedicated heart and soul to never ever glancing at the written word, placed upon a vocational career path, of interest, at a much younger age.

I would also like to remove all of our present political indoctrination; neither the Left nor Right have a place in education - 50 years of this pseudo-intellectual nonsense is enough.

Truthfully, mandatory education beyond the age of ten is a waste because very few that stay against their will, will ever progress beyond that.

[-] 0 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

Everyone should be awarded the freedom to pursue as they desire, to the fullest of their abilities, no? Once you can read, write, and count, the world is unlocked. The Internet has made school (as a pseudo-gatekeeper of information) obsolete.

As for your last sentence: too true. The two party system is one of the greatest ruses in the history of humanity. Slaves fight each other while the system perpetuates itself. It's genius!

[-] 1 points by yobstreet (-575) 1 year ago

You'd be surprised at how many in this country cannot read beyond the third grade level, and yet, are possessed of no marketable skill.

I agree on the Internet... education is big business in this country; worse it is entirely focused on the indoctrination of our youth. And if you have followed any of our recent grads, as you can see, indoctrination of the present flavor has not served the majority very well.


[-] 1 points by yobstreet (-575) 1 year ago

I don't know... I have a daughter who double majored in preschool and elementary ed, she also has a masters in reading and a masters in special ed...

When she as in high school almost a third had been placed in alternative programs because they lacked both aptitude and desire; in short they had very bad attitudes - how many of those are employed now? Well, virtually none.

When she graduated, it was said almost 30% of her graduating class had received a buy merely to maintain the numbers necessary to federal aid - they should not have graduated.

It goes on and on... I've met Mastered African Americans who cant write a complete sentence; they received a buy because they are African Americans.

I've met Portuguese (I'm also part Portuguese) who passed their language off as Hispanic and received a free complimentary education, complete with Masters, while all else are forced to struggle with college loans.

More federal involvement at this point is just pure insanity.

I'll take a look at your book.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

I've met educated congress people that can't write a simple sentence

[-] 1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 1 year ago

And yet a "majority" of their constituents elected them to represent them!

I can only assume that it wasn't their grammar skills that got them elected...

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

the "majority" that elect someone has never been the majority of register voters

US voter turn out is low compared to other democracies

I assume getting elected is in who you know

[-] 1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 1 year ago

Apparently the people who put them in position either don't know, or don't care if they can or cannot write a simple sentence.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

the people who put them in position often write for them

don't most presidents have speech writers

[-] 1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 1 year ago

Illiteracy is an equal opportunity thing.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

so is smoking

[-] 1 points by yobstreet (-575) 1 year ago

I can honestly say I have not met too many Congressmen. Or even Congress People. And THANK GOD for that.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

rolls eyes

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 1 year ago

Hey you can't pick your relatives... but you can certainly stay away from politicians.

[-] 0 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

Insanity is the name of the game.

[-] 1 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

So, what kind of educational system would you prefer to see in America?

[-] -3 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

I think it's a logical fallacy to assume that a "system" is needed. Some people can learn in classrooms, they can do so. Some people learn through experience, they can do so.

If we are all born with unique qualities, why would one "system" of education work on 300 million people? Any system broad enough to work on a hundred million is going to be worthless enough to do nothing.

Education is a drawing out from within. There is no system for doing this. Emerson talked about this in his essay The American Scholar http://www.rwe.org/complete/complete-works/i-nature-addresses-a-lectures/the-american-scholar.html

I wrote about this in my book http://endlessunlimited.com/?page_id=217 and I'll send you a free, printable PDF copy if you'd like to read it.

[-] 2 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

I don't think systems are necessarily detrimental to individuality, and would personally prefer to see the US return to the classical education system:


[-] 0 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

Systems aren't, but forcing a circle into a square is. That's the point. The point isn't that one is better than the other, the point is that people should have the choice to do the one that works best for them.

[-] 1 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

I think that to live within the same society, people need to share some basic foundation, but that this foundation can be acquired in different ways, home school being one example.

I don't see what's wrong with evaluating one system as being better than another. Classical education, for example, is supposed to be based on the evaluation of systems over periods of thousands of years, and identifying those which produced the best societies, such as the Renaissance, the classical periods of Greece and Rome, or the Confucian Renaissance in China.

[-] 0 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

So people can't voluntarily choose what basic foundation they want? They should be forced, at gunpoint, to live within whatever foundation is fashionable?

[-] 1 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

People need a foundation in language, for example, to communicate with each other. If everybody learned whatever language they wanted to learn, wouldn't it be impossible for us to function as a society?

[-] -1 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

People would choose to learn the languages that would benefit them the most. They wouldn't live in a world where people speak Greek, and then spend time teaching themselves Mongolian. Why would somebody do that? It defies logic. And on the other hand, if they wanted to speak mongolian, they suffer the consequences. Nobody can talk to them. Why can't they be free to leave?

Why can't people be allowed to make a choice for themselves? Why should they be forced?

[-] 4 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

People choose to live in a society, and that choice makes constraints upon them. The children don't make the decision where they are born, but their parents do and that constrains them.

People can't just make choices for themselves in every situation, they can't just choose to obey or disobey traffic laws, for example. Living in a society requires us to conform to some rules which allow us to function together in harmony.

I think there needs to be a balance of individualism and collectivism. We have to obey some rules, but can develop our individuality as well.

[-] 1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 1 year ago

Actually-people CAN and DO choose to obey or disobey traffic laws every day for example. People drink and drive-which is against the law. We all CHOOSE which rules of society we're going to "conform" to each and every day.

People are constantly trying to change the "constraints" placed upon them by society if they believe that those constraints aren't "fair" to them and what they want. It's why we do NOT function together in harmony all the time.

[-] 1 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

I agree, and believe that people should disobey those constraints which are not fair.

[+] -4 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

This "balance" as you call it, always leads to despotism and destruction. All of history is evidence. How could the smallest government in the world (the USA) end up as the biggest? Crooked people get into power, and use the violence of the state to increase it's power.

If you think there needs to be a balance, and that it has ever been achieved, you would have to ignore all of history to see the failings..

[-] 2 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

What is it that you are suggesting? That we abandon all collectivism and live as animals roaming "freely" in the jungle? We would face another despotism then, that of wild animals and the unfettered forces of nature.

That something has always happened does not necessarily imply that it must always happen that way. America was originally established by people who wanted to escape from despotism and establish a society that would be free from it. That free society was then meant to serve as a model for the rest of the world.

We succeeded at it for a while, by overthrowing the despotic oppression of the British empire. The American people lived for periods with the greatest freedom ever known in history, until we were again conquered by the same empire, not militarily but through subversion.

Our people were strong and independent, but did not have the same cruel sophistication as an imperial system that has existed for thousands of years.

[-] 1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 1 year ago

The British empire subverted America? Please explain.

[-] 2 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

Ok, but let me first explain that by the "British" I don't mean the British people, or the country of England, but rather the "British empire", which is a corporate empire that has major headquarters in the City of London and on Wall Street.

An empire is not a country that aggressively takes over other countries, but rather a company, or really groups of companies, that take over countries. You know how people say that corporations are controlling the US? This is the idea.

This started when the British East India company colonized India, and gained access to its fantastic wealth. With this wealth, it returned to England, which it "colonized", that is, it used its money to take control over the English government.

As you know, America used to be a British colony, and during our revolution, there was a group of people called the "Tories" who were British loyalists. This same class of people exists in America today, they are people who you might call "anglophiles".

These would include the wealthy bankers on Wall Street who are a part of the financial network that is headed by the Queen of England. As a monarch, she is just a figure head, but plays a much more important role as the director of the global financial oligarchy.

Our bankers like to think of themselves as a kind of royalty or aristocracy in America, and feel that they have more in common with the royalty or aristocracy of England, and of other countries, which are all linked together through an international financial network.

This network, is the remnants of what used to be the British empire, which wishes to re-establish itself as a global empire, and does so in countries like America more through subversion, rather than through military conquest.

What the empire does is corrupts the elites of other countries, and gets them buy into it by selling out their own countries.

[-] 0 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

Facing nature, and the reality of existence, is completely different from facing a man with a gun who owns you. You understand how that is different, right?


[-] 3 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

Sure they are different, but as far as I am concerned, both are undesirable. I'd prefer to live as a free man in a civilized society.

[-] 0 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

I suppose you'd have to be able to resolve a system that allows for unlimited growth in a world of finite resources. Unless people are allowed to flourish or decrease as the environment allows, I'm not sure how we can expect anything but a crisis of scale.

[-] 0 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

I actually recommended reading the book, not the wiki article. Did you imagine you would fully grasp his points by reading 200 pages condensed into a paragraph? Comon, man!

[-] 1 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

Having been an environmentalist, I know much of the environmental argument, having read quite a bit of environmentalist literature. But did you know that environmentalism was originally founded by Prince Andrew, as well as Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands who was previously a card carrying Nazi?

These people believe there are too many of us in the world for them to control, so they would like to reduce our numbers dramatically to about a billion or two people, by killing off four or five billion of us. Environmentalism is part of the philosophical framework that they developed to justify their depopulation policies.

[-] 0 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

RE: That's the way things are now. You do what the government says, otherwise you go to jail or are imprisoned.

It's not about living in nature. The question is a fallacy. You're implying that the only way people can get along is to have a dictator, or go live in the wild. Why can't we learn to live without dictators, peacefully?

[-] 2 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

Sure that's the way it is now, but we have had better and worse times in history. Some of the best times in all of history were produced by the American experiment.

I don't think my question is a fallacy, you've just said very little about what kind of society that you would prefer.

[-] -1 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn, was an awesome read. I would highly recommend it. It will address all of the things we are talking about.

[-] 1 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

According to Wikipedia, Quinn suggests that:

"sustained food aid to impoverished nations merely puts off and dramatically worsens a massive population-environment crisis."

It seems that environmentalism always eventually ends up in advocating that whole populations be allowed to die off, based on the idea that we live in a limited world, and they would eventually die off anyway.

The alternative that I believe is to think of ourselves as creatures of the universe, rather than just the earth, and that its our destiny to expand our numbers indefinitely throughout the universe.

[-] -1 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

Re: Centralization

That's a fair question. The indigenous people of America are probably the closest successful example. (Good theory is hardly to blame for people becoming obsessed with statism). If you have ever read Howard Zinn's People's History, his description of the Iroquois is very sophisticated and peaceful, though they didn't have guns (therefore, they were uncivilized and destroyed).

Economies of scale, as you put it, are exactly the problem. You cannot have unlimited growth in a world of finite resources. Have you ever read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn? Highly recommended. Decentralization prevents an explosion of scale (and therefore, the inevitable burst of the bubble).

[-] 1 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

Although the earth may have finite resources, the universe does not. By organizing an economy of scale, we can gain access to those resources.

The moment man begins to use fire, he sets himself off on an endless journey of progress. Because when we use fire, we consume fuel, and eventually use that fuel up.

As a result we have to look for or invent new fuel sources that provide more energy per the amount of physical fuel used. So we go from wood to coal, to oil and gas, to nuclear, fission than fusion, then to anti-matter reactions, and who knows what beyond that.

I don't think is possible to maintain humanity in a steady state, we either have to go forwards or backwards. If we don't go forwards, we will use up the limited resources of the earth.

Can't say I've ever read or heard of Daniel Quinn.

Also, if we don't eventually gain the capacity to escape the earth, we'll eventually be destroyed by some natural disaster, just like the dinosaurs were.

[-] -1 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

RE: Sure that's...

And I wouldn't hesitate to predict that we are about to see some of the worst.

That's true. I could think of all kinds of different structures, but the bottom line is that I would prefer a voluntary society. It can exist in many forms. Imagine your group of friends, or coworkers. That would be your society, only there isn't centralized services. So roads aren't centralized. Law isn't centralized. Enforcement isn't centralized. And so on. The decentralization protects everyone from corruption, allows people to associate with who they want, and allows everyone to compete in whatever means they want. It's easy to start businessses. It's easy to innovate. It's simple to trade. And with all the technology and knowledge we have now, this kind of society wouldn't be hard at all to create. It would just be an experiment in non-violence in the same direction as the original American experiment, but more so.

[-] 2 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

Centralization does provide certain benefits, such as economy of scale. That is we all put our money together to accomplish things that we couldn't accomplish by ourselves.

I don't know if what you are advocating would ever work or not. Do you have any examples of such a society every working?

[-] -1 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

You can call it whatever you want, I suppose. But begging for your masters' table scraps is hardly behaving like a free man, or living a civilized society. Or gaining control of government guns and forcing others to do as you want them to do is hardly civilized society. You're only deluding yourself.

Don't cry when the guns get turned on you, okay? This is the kind of "civilized society" you prefer.

[-] 1 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 1 year ago

I don't call any of those things civilized society. If that's all that you think civilization is or can be, than your own perspective is warped.

What do you think is preferable? Do you want to live like an animal in nature?

[-] 1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 1 year ago

The current "system" does NOT work, and there are plenty of posts here from regulars pointing out that such a system is failing. Until you attack that system-then they LOVE it.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

I referred to your ideology as the bastard child of Ayn Rand and Lao Tsu earlier today and this latest post of yours seems to fit right into that.

[-] -2 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

Thanks. Although I think of myself as a combination of Socrates, Thoreau, Jesus and Musashi. It's awful radical to believe in the uniqueness and equality of human beings, and their potential to make decisions for themselves, in a slave society.