Enemies of Reason: Now deeply ingrained in our education.

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Discussion by: C. Xander

In the last several decades, it's no secret that the post-modernists have reduced the education system into a drivel of pointless coursework — logical assessment has been replaced with an emphasis on feelings over facts, promoting subjectivity over objective-reality and all this based around a cultural-deterministic model. It has become a system that is very damaging to children. 

Following this realization, in 2010, my wife and I opted to home-school our two sons and sure enough, any difficulty they had in school has now completely disappeared. They are doing significantly better than their former classmates in school, especially in science and mathematics.

You may also be aware that the overwhelming majority of dropouts are boys. Now, there is a lot of evidence to show why the system is more damaging to boys as well. If you are a parent, especially with boys, you need to be aware of this. I will focus my references accordingly.

Those at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) note several reasons in their recent publications:

AEI – Grades disparities from kindergarten to long-term effects

AEI – Department of Education bias

Of special mention here are studies done by, known equity feminist, Christina Hoff Summers who is also a member of the AEI. Her book, "The War on Boys" is an excellent read on the subject. Summers also criticized "STEMinars", as it is set up in such a way that it "undermines the meritocratic culture that enables America's success in science". She also notes that it is not effective at ruling out actual bias, and can be easily abused.

Illionis Loop – Guide to Education > Boys Success

LSN – Bias failing boys grades

 

In two addresses, one being the FFRF 2012 address, Prof. Dawkins points out how post-modernists are poisoning scientific disciplines and corrupting our academia with fraud and bullying – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHiqXxoRFro and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzNwjfbVt-U.

It is disappointing to see the state of our education system in this manner and the attacks on science by this ilk of people. Furthermore, it's very disheartening to see that our children are being subject to the brunt of the damage, in a climate of political-correctness, that seems driven by greed.

I'm hoping more parents will rise against this madness.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Seriously? Men dominate the STEM fields and are paid way more than their female counterparts. Most of the educational system privileges men. “Postmodernism” which you clearly take to mean “feminism” attempts to apply critical thinking to patriarchal systems. “What about the menz” doesn’t apply here…women desperately need the leg up that feminism can provide.

    • In reply to #1 by CoreyLeeWrenn:

      @OP – it’s no secret that the post-modernists have reduced the education system into a drivel of pointless coursework — logical assessment has been replaced with an emphasis on feelings over facts, promoting subjectivity over objective-reality

      This is somewhat exaggerated, but any mention of postmodermism should include these links to the “Postmodernist Generator”!

      http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/

      http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodernism-Generator

      Seriously? Men dominate the STEM fields and are paid way more than their female counterparts. Most of the educational system privileges men. “Postmodernism” which you clearly take to mean “feminism” attempts to apply critical thinking to patriarchal systems. “What about the menz” doesn’t apply here…women desperately need the leg up that feminism can provide.

      There is more detail here!

      http://everything2.com/title/Postmodernism+Generator

      … . . .and a spot of “feminist criticism” here!

      http://everything2.com/title/Postmodernism+Generator

      “Postmodernism” which you clearly take to mean “feminism” attempts to apply critical thinking to patriarchal systems.

      Err no! – Postmodernism is the antithesis of critical thinking!
      It is some of the most confused pseudo-thinking around! It is rubbish regardless of whether applied to feminism or anything else!

      Which courses it is intruding into, is a separate issue.

    • In reply to #1 by CoreyLeeWrenn:

      Seriously? Men dominate the STEM fields and are paid way more than their female counterparts. Most of the educational system privileges men.

      Not at the grade school and high school level – in the US at least girls now significantly outperform boys, and boys do indeed make up the majority of drop-outs, remedial-level students, and disciplinary cases. Gaps in standardized assessments of ability that used to favor boys, such as maths, are closing rapidly, while girls are maintaining their advantage in areas such as verbal ability. Girls are also more active in extracurricular activities, with the possible exception of sports. This gender gap favoring girls is particularly profound in the African-American community.

      All of this is rather common knowledge now in the educational community – boys as a group are indeed struggling. And at the college level now, women are poised to dominate men in both attendance and number of advanced degrees. Outside of a few STEM areas, men are becoming the second sex in academics.

      I disagree with the OP, however, as to the root cause of this. I’m not sure that all of it can be blamed on “gender bias” in the school or po-mo drivel. I’ve seen studies that demonstrate a small, but significant, IQ advantage favoring girls up through middle school. It may just be the case that girls are developmentally ahead of boys in the crucial primary school years, and are just better able to deal with academic work. And perhaps being constantly behind turns off many boys to academics completely. If this is true, we should consider separate schooling of boys and girls until the boys are on a more level intellectual plain.

      Of course, the fact that the gender gap is more profound with black students indicates that this is not entirely explained by an innate female advantage. Clearly, cultural practices influence how young men and young women view the importance of academics. Getting our boys and young men to crack a book and improve their reading skills may go a long way in addressing this issue.

    • In reply to #1 by CoreyLeeWrenn:

      Seriously? Men dominate the STEM fields and are paid way more than their female counterparts. Most of the educational system privileges men. “Postmodernism” which you clearly take to mean “feminism” attempts to apply critical thinking to patriarchal systems. “What about the menz” doesn’t apply here…women desperately need the leg up that feminism can provide.

      This is starting to get a little long in the tooth.

  2. Ps. The meritocracy myth is intended to ensure a sense of entitlement among the privileged and the internalization of powerlessness and personal responsibility for the disadvantages of discrimination among the vulnerable. Any sociologist would tell you that “meritocracy” ideologies are i.intended to preserve unqual social structures,not dismantle them

    • In reply to #2 by CoreyLeeWrenn:

      Ps. Any sociologist would tell you that “meritocracy” ideologies are i.intended to preserve unqual social structures,not dismantle them

      Have to disagree. Using professional sports as an example, the American sport of baseball saw a complete dismantling of its racist, unequal structure by simply judging athletes on their merit and not their skin color or any other factor. The sports of basketball and American football went from mostly white to mostly black by the same mechanism.

      You simply cannot get around the fact that certain people are better performers than others. It is unfortunate that the better performers are not evenly spread among all ethnic groups, but constantly changing the definition of “better” in order to include more groups is counterproductive. What needs to be done is to be honest about the gaps in performance – i.e. that they are real, and to address why they arise so that they can be eliminated.

    • In reply to #2 by CoreyLeeWrenn:

      Ps. The meritocracy myth is intended to ensure a sense of entitlement among the privileged and the internalization of powerlessness and personal responsibility for the disadvantages of discrimination among the vulnerable. Any sociologist would tell you that “meritocracy” ideologies are i.intended to preserve unqual social structures,not dismantle them

      So what would you suggest to take the place of the “meritocracy myth”? I agree with you that certain people have very unfair advantage and we need to do more to make sure people who don’t have access to wealth still have an equal chance. But my parents were lower middle class and I did very well and I did it by working my ass off. So I don’t think the meritocracy idea is completely a myth, on the contrary what we need to do is to encourage societies to be more of a real meritocracy and less like a place where you can get into Yale because daddy did.

      • In reply to #12 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #2 by CoreyLeeWrenn:

        So what would you suggest to take the place of the “meritocracy myth”?

        Exactly. If it is a central tenet of sociology that meritocracies are mythical or undesirable, then I would tend to wonder if sociology is more pseudoscience than science.

  3. post-modernists have reduced the education system into a drivel of pointless coursework — logical assessment has been replaced with an emphasis on feelings over facts, promoting subjectivity over objective-reality and all this based around a cultural-deterministic model

    So, in short, you dislike coursework. My experience of it, in both schools and universities, involves as much objectivity as the exams. Can you give examples to the contrary?

    any difficulty they had in school has now completely disappeared. They are doing significantly better than their former classmates in school

    Your children aren’t a big enough sample size to prove what you claim. You’ve given no reason to think their improved performance is due to their avoiding coursework; indeed, I don’t see how they could anyway, given the curricula for qualifications. Nor is their superiority to their former classmates necessarily to the credit of home-schooling; you may well just have smart kids. Also, the fact that you have strong opinions on the best way to structure testing implies an interest in education that also correlates with children performing better.

    the system is more damaging to boys as well

    Boys perform worse than girls in most subjects across the Western world, but the exact reasons are the meat of the debate. Girls feeling a need to try harder because of society’s sexism is a commonly suggested explanation. I certainly don’t see a reason coursework would be to blame. Your links don’t even discuss that possibility.

    Which gender is ahead depends on the age group (from kindergarten to postgraduate) and subject, and women are at a disadvantage for jobs.

    What specific changes, besides less coursework, do you want to see?

    • In reply to #3 by Jos Gibbons:

      post-modernists have reduced the education system into a drivel of pointless coursework — logical assessment has been replaced with an emphasis on feelings over facts, promoting subjectivity over objective-reality and all this based around a cultural-deterministic model

      So, in short, you dislike coursework. My experience of it, in both schools and universities, involves as much objectivity as the exams. Can you give examples to the contrary?

      I agree. The OP is mixing the coursework vs exam debate with ‘facts’ vs ‘opinions’. Look at it this way: In the post-education world, we have books and science papers, surely we don’t dismiss these because they are not exams?

      my wife and I opted to home-school our two sons and sure enough, any difficulty they had in school has now completely disappeared. They are doing significantly better than their former classmates in school.

      You do not give details but it is no secret that smaller teaching groups are better, thus home schooling has that advantage, but that would be an equal advantage to someone teaching creationism at home. The disadvantage, of course, is the cost and effort.

      It would be interesting to know how to measure you children’s academic improvement:if you measure by exam results, then you are using the state (or other authority) method of measurement, which, if you don’t believe in state (or other authority) education, could be discounted!

  4. In reply to CorelLeeWrenn

    I am male so supposedly I am entrenched in other thinking. Unfortunately, I can no more change that than I can become dog-like.

    It is a futile discussion, laced with special pleading that does not bridge the offending gap as you may see it. The best that I can say is that in the past century women have taken opportunities that has allowed more of them to become somewhat like perhaps they want to be.

    However, seeing that the successful cohort is still so small one might think that it is not enough. I can sympathize with the direction because I have held high hopes for the women in my family life. If they have been disappointed by life’s vicissitudes that is also the lot of most men as well.

    As you say there is no “meritocracy” for humankind. The most powerful and brutal succeed. The rest from both sexes either do not understand or else fear what life game they are bound in.

    This needs to be filtered also by the reality that irrespective of your sex you get about 30 years to make your mark. It is a precious but grossly inadequate time. There are better things to do than over-think it.

  5. The big bone of contention: How do you know that your kids are doing significantly better than their old classmates? Have you subjected your home schooled children to the same exact tests and more importantly, standardized tests that your state mandates every student take?

    What constitues “significance” in this arena? Surely you realize that a sample size of two and a parental anecdote that their kids are “great” is not enough to base an opinion on??? How are the home schooled kids doing en masse in your state?

    Provide hard and fast statistics proving that their is a significant difference in these two options for schooling. Be sure to include all homebound, cyber, and home schooled children and rate them against their counterparts that attend school.

    If I picked two very high achieving students from each high school in your state, would your kids outperform them??? In Calculus?? In Biology??

  6. In the last several decades, it’s no secret that the post-modernists have reduced the education system into a drivel of pointless coursework — logical assessment has been replaced with an emphasis on feelings over facts, promoting subjectivity over objective-reality and all this based around a cultural-deterministic model. It has become a system that is very damaging to children

    Well I think it is a secret as I haven’t noticed it at all. When I did my A levels physics coursework was a matter of designing a physics study – no gender bias or feelings allowed, chemistry coursework was making aspirin and determining various unknowns – no real gender bias or feelings allowed and maths had no coursework. At gcse Stalin and the russion revolution were the same, as were the sources used, regardless of gender and no feelings or subjectivity could alter that. The books read in english did allow some subjectivity but it wasn’t really biased to one gender or another and in food tech a victoria sponge remained a jam and cake based confection regardless of gender. There was no post modern bias.

    Of special mention here are studies done by, known equity feminist, Christina Hoff Summers who is also a member of the AEI. Her book, “The War on Boys” is an excellent read on the subject. Summers also criticized “STEMinars”, as it is set up in such a way that it “undermines the meritocratic culture that enables America’s success in science”. She also notes that it is not effective at ruling out actual bias, and can be easily abused.

    LSN – Bias failing boys grades

    The first piece I couldn’t access and the last one from LSN is clearly from a religious magazine. The ‘together we can end abortion’ tag in the top left hand corner gave it away, as did the pictures of Pope franny. It was a poorly written anti woman piece from what looks like a male biased, anti woman catholic publication to me.

    In two addresses, one being the FFRF 2012 address, Prof. Dawkins points out how post-modernists are poisoning scientific disciplines and corrupting our academia with fraud and bullying – http://www.youtube.com

    Except that Richard Dawkins is not really an expert in education. And he also holds very traditional views of the roles of women in society. So I not inclined to take him too seriously when it comes to education and girls doing well.

    I can’t quite work out what your problem is but it does seem to stem from a concern that women and girls may be matching and sometimes outperforming boys and therefore the system must be wrong. However it is just as likely that they are academic.

    • In reply to #9 by atheistengineer:

      Except that Richard Dawkins is not really an expert in education. And he also holds very traditional views of the roles of women in society. So I not inclined to take him too seriously when it comes to education and girls doing well.

      What do you mean, “holds very traditional views of the roles of women in society”??? If you are suggesting that Dawkins thinks that women should conform to the old sexist notions of roles for women, then you are hugely mistaken. A truly monumental error on your part that indicates you have no idea who Dawkins is.

      Are you perhaps confusing Dawkins with Hitchens? Christopher did have some odd views concerning womens’ sense of humor, and in an interview once stated that no wife of his should have to work, but that “she could if she wants to.” So yes, the Hitch was a bit retrograde on these issues.

    • In reply to #9 by atheistengineer:

      In the last several decades, it’s no secret that the post-modernists have reduced the education system into a drivel of pointless coursework — logical assessment has been replaced with an emphasis on feelings over facts, promoting subjectivity over objective-reality and all this based around a cultural-deterministic model. It has become a system that is very damaging to children

      Well I think it is a secret as I haven’t noticed it at all. When I did my A levels physics coursework was a matter of designing a physics study – no gender bias or feelings allowed, chemistry coursework was making aspirin and determining various unknowns – no real gender bias or feelings allowed and maths had no coursework. At gcse Stalin and the russion revolution were the same, as were the sources used, regardless of gender and no feelings or subjectivity could alter that. The books read in english did allow some subjectivity but it wasn’t really biased to one gender or another and in food tech a victoria sponge remained a jam and cake based confection regardless of gender. There was no post modern bias.

      Of special mention here are studies done by, known equity feminist, Christina Hoff Summers who is also a member of the AEI. Her book, “The War on Boys” is an excellent read on the subject. Summers also criticized “STEMinars”, as it is set up in such a way that it “undermines the meritocratic culture that enables America’s success in science”. She also notes that it is not effective at ruling out actual bias, and can be easily abused.

      LSN – Bias failing boys grades

      The first piece I couldn’t access and the last one from LSN is clearly from a religious magazine. The ‘together we can end abortion’ tag in the top left hand corner gave it away, as did the pictures of Pope franny. It was a poorly written anti woman piece from what looks like a male biased, anti woman catholic publication to me.

      In two addresses, one being the FFRF 2012 address, Prof. Dawkins points out how post-modernists are poisoning scientific disciplines and corrupting our academia with fraud and bullying – http://www.youtube.com

      Except that Richard Dawkins is not really an expert in education. And he also holds very traditional views of the roles of women in society. So I not inclined to take him too seriously when it comes to education and girls doing well.

      I can’t quite work out what your problem is but it does seem to stem from a concern that women and girls may be matching and sometimes outperforming boys and therefore the system must be wrong. However it is just as likely that they are academic.

      Keep telling yourself this enough and maybe you’ll poison the next generation of women with the same mind set. Consider an alternative hypothesis, it could be just as likely that boys are being effected by the attitudes of lower grade teachers who are predominantly women. For some years now they have been being complained about and being way to much diagnosed with and medicated for ADHD. I wonder what the effects of that has been on their academic performance? Has anyone studied it and do you care? When I was a boy in elementary school, I wanted to have a man for a teacher and was very pleased to finally get one for 5th grade, but we moved and I got a woman. It wasn’t until I got to 7th grade that I had a couple male teachers and I never had more than 50% men until I went to a science/technical college where I’d have been pleased to have more women around. I think it would have improved the community quite a bit.

      After several decades, I’m tired of some women who get to doors ahead of me and then pause or step aside in the expectation that I’ll open the door for them. And I’ve never had one reach ahed to open a door for me. Once I was surprised to hear a black man comment about some black people that they needed to get past their “slave mentality”. Of course people who have the same qualifications and experience should receive equal pay and have equal consideration for advancement!!! Maybe it’s time some women start getting over their “oppressed woman” mind and realize that they have a considerably wider range of socially accepted and supported paths in life than men do. They want it all, think they should have it but don’t think it should come with any compromises or costs. Get over it, because it should. If a man took a few years off to raise kids, he’d be lucky to work again. My brother wouldn’t dare not take conference calls late at might or on weekends, or travel wherever and whenever he has to go in spite of his expressed desire to have more time with his kids. Plus, women outlive men by 10 years; can collect their husband social security if he earned more and live off his estate as well as hers. How much is 10 years of life worth? Want to give it up in exchange? I bet you’ll find some takers. Gimme a break.

      As for Dawkins being an expert on education or not, I don’t know, but I do know that he can be an excellent educator. Part of the problem with education is that for far too long we’ve had a lot of teachers who spent too much time learning about education and pitifully little about the subject area they are teaching. I knew a former elementary teacher who constantly bounced checks so I had her show me her checkbook to see how she was balancing it – everything was rounded into perfect tens or hundreds – she admitted she couldn’t do the arithmetic. I asked “but you taught this to kids, how could you teach it?” Well it was because the teacher’s book had the solutions all worked out… Gasp! How can one teach without understanding?

  7. From the Cornwell and Mustard paper cited in the OP:

    “Our paper shines a light on the teacher‘s role in assessing academic achievement. If, as the data suggest, young girls display a more developed ―attitude toward learning and teachers (consciously or subconsciously) reward these attitudes by giving girls higher marks than warranted by their test scores, the seeds of a gender gap in educational attainment may be sown at an early age, because teachers‘ grades strongly influence grade-level placement, high-school graduation and college admission prospects. Consequently, our results may spur further educational innovation at the early grade-levels, such as developing ways to improve boys‘ non-cognitive skills, creating alternative methods of instruction to communicate more effectively to boys who have different non-cognitive skill sets, and experimenting with single-gender instruction.”

    I agree that this contradicts the notion that boys are somehow favored in school over girls. However, I see nothing that supports this notion that “enemies of reason” are biasing education towards girls. I do see evidence that boys’ grades are suffering due to an underdeveloped attitude toward learning, which is a nicer way of saying that they are less disciplined and organized in general. To say that boys must be bored and under stimulated because coursework in schools these days is just mindless busy-work is actually quite insulting to the girls if you think about it.

    I am skeptical when I see explanations that involve different sets of non-cognitive skills along neat gender lines. Not being able to focus on something for more than 10 seconds is not just a “different” behavior from the girl next to you who can concentrate longer – it is an inferior one. If such differences are largely learned, then we aren’t socializing our boys properly. If they are due to different rates in development, then we may need completely separate learning environments for the boys.

    • In reply to #14 by blitz442:

      I am skeptical when I see explanations that involve different sets of non-cognitive skills along neat gender lines. Not being able to focus on something for more than 10 seconds is not just a “different” behavior from the girl next to you who can concentrate longer – it is an inferior one. If such differences are largely learned, then we aren’t socializing our boys properly. If they are due to different rates in development, then we may need completely separate learning environments for the boys.

      There are basic underlying issues which everyone should understand before making sweeping generalisations.

      Pre-pubescent girls mature quicker, grow faster, and reach developmental stages earlier, than than primary, infant, and nursery age boys. In these age group they are ahead of their male counterparts.

      The teenage boys however continue growing and developing for around two years longer than the girls. , and seem to do better in the areas of spacial awareness and sciences.

      This has been known for decades! There is however considerable variations in individuals, even before environmental effects are considered. (Family attitudes – lack of male teachers as role-models in early schooling, lack of female teachers in hard sciences / engineering etc)

      • In reply to #20 by Alan4discussion:

        In reply to #14 by blitz442:I am skeptical when I see explanations that involve different sets of non-cognitive skills along neat gender lines. Not being able to focus on something for more than 10 seconds is not just a “different” behavior from the girl next to you who can concentrate longer – it is an inferior one. If such differences are largely learned, then we aren’t socializing our boys properly. If they are due to different rates in development, then we may need completely separate learning environments for the boys.There are basic underlying issues which everyone should understand before making sweeping generalisations.Pre-pubescent girls mature quicker, grow faster, and reach developmental stages earlier, than than primary, infant, and nursery age boys. In these age group they are ahead of their male counterparts.The teenage boys however continue growing and developing for around two years longer than the girls. , and seem to do better in the areas of spacial awareness and sciences.This has been known for decades! There is however considerable variations in individuals, even before environmental effects are considered. (Family attitudes – lack of male teachers as role-models in early schooling, lack of female teachers in hard sciences / engineering etc)

        And yet both boys and girls have learnt and continue to learn despite all these issues. The fact is girls are not necessarily suddenly outperforming boys it is just that they have only recently entered the race in terms of science and maths and are doing equally well.

        And to be honest they’ve only relatively recently entered the race in terms of taking higher education and future careers seriously rather than looking to have jobs till they have babies. They are certainly not underperforming or outperforming they’re just newer into the mix and doing just as well.

        And even if boys in general are slightly more immature in primary schools they’ve still managed to learn to read, write and count by the time they leave in general. And that is still a genearalistion with huge individual differences within both genders.

        The much more important issue for primary school children is age I’d say. All children start school the September they are four, but one could have literally just had their fourth birthday whilst another is a day away from their fifth. At that age nearly a years chronological difference translates to a huge developmental difference. Research shows that to be a very important factor. Babies born in August do less well than those born in September.

        And boys aren’t seriously suddenly underperforming by A level/gcse either if we’re honest. There are still the high fliers and idiots as there always has been and not much has changed in that respect, other than some girls are now beating some boys whereas before they wouldn’t.

        Perhaps what has changed is the opportunities for the less able males and females in jobs. Full time low skilled work has been hit harder than part time low skilled stuff.

        If there are small differences in things like spatial or concentration or communication skills in terms of gender or anything else – than concentrate on what the child is struggling with to get them up to speed. In short I don’t think anything the author of the article has to say is correct or relevant really all children are individuals and should be seen as such as much as possible..

    • In reply to #14 by blitz442:

      From the Cornwell and Mustard paper cited in the OP:“Our paper shines a light on the teacher‘s role in assessing academic achievement. If, as the data suggest, young girls display a more developed ―attitude toward learning and teachers (consciously or subconsciously) reward these attitudes by giving girls higher marks than warranted by their test scores, the seeds of a gender gap in educational attainment may be sown at an early age, because teachers‘ grades strongly influence grade-level placement, high-school graduation and college admission prospects. Consequently, our results may spur further educational innovation at the early grade-levels, such as developing ways to improve boys‘ non-cognitive skills, creating alternative methods of instruction to communicate more effectively to boys who have different non-cognitive skill sets, and experimenting with single-gender instruction.”I agree that this contradicts the notion that boys are somehow favored in school over girls. However, I see nothing that supports this notion that “enemies of reason” are biasing education towards girls. I do see evidence that boys’ grades are suffering due to an underdeveloped attitude toward learning, which is a nicer way of saying that they are less disciplined and organized in general. To say that boys must be bored and under stimulated because coursework in schools these days is just mindless busy-work is actually quite insulting to the girls if you think about it.I am skeptical when I see explanations that involve different sets of non-cognitive skills along neat gender lines. Not being able to focus on something for more than 10 seconds is not just a “different” behavior from the girl next to you who can concentrate longer – it is an inferior one. If such differences are largely learned, then we aren’t socializing our boys properly. If they are due to different rates in development, then we may need completely separate learning environments for the boys.

      Agreed. Excellent post.

  8. The only thing I have against this whole crusade of “enemies of reason” is that some people and some groups of people seem to be making a brand out of all of this reasoning capability of the human mind like it were some kind of cookie you can buy on a supermarket. I am against all of this, making a brand out of reasoning. Reasoning is not a cookie, I’d like people to talk less about this word, I’d like people to market this word much less and stop referring to it as some quality brand cookie. Use reasoning instead of talking about it.

    Let me turn this around. How many times have you heard “You should reason all your claims”. But I tell you otherwise, you should NOT always make reasoning out of your claims, because, guess why; Reasoning does not depend on your own ability to explain yourself well, reasoning depends on the listener and his ability to comprehend what is being said. This is why reasoning is not always the best option. Sometimes, you have to be even more dynamic than that. Reasoning can be a tool, but always using reasoning is not the best option.

    Here is my law of reasoning. 1. You should learn to be an excellent communicator, Above anything else. 2: You should always reason your views and claims if point 1 is fulfilled.

    Why you may ask, why be an excellent communicator before reasoning? The answer to this is, because if you are not an excellent communicator and you try to reason with 5 people and they all misunderstand you, they may end up being in a worse condition before you came in the door.

    There are no enemies of reason, there are for the most part, only bad communicators. How can someone who is trying to reason with you (using bad reasoning) be enemy of reason, obviously he is trying to reason but fails, he is not an enemy of reason, he is just a bad communicator, and if he fails to reason well, he is not an enemy of reason, he is just a student and need to be corrected, in a well manner, properly behaved and in a polite way.

    Some people may then say, “Well there are creationist teachers trying to cover up important science, and is an enemy of reason”.

    Again, no he is not an enemy of reason, if he tries to cover up important science, he is not an enemy of reason, he is an enemy of free floating information, which is a totally, completely different thing and has absolutely nothing at all to do with being an enemy of reason.

  9. I can’t say I noticed any post-modernism in my schooling, or my kids. While I certainly don’t admire post-modernism as it applies to literature or philosophy, if it is being applied to my local schools it is indeed a very well kept secret. Looks like I have no “madness” to rise against, not that I’m clear what the madness is.

    The articles you link to seem to have more of a political agenda than a science agenda.

    I’m glad you take such an active interest in your children’s education, and that they are now doing well in their studies. For students in any type of school, a major influence on success is the interest and activities of their parents.

  10. Whiteraven:

    It is just as likely that boys are being effected by the attitudes of lore grade teachers who are predominantly women. For some years now they have been being complained about and being way to much diagnosed with and medicated for ADHD. I wonder what the effects of that has been on their academic performance? Has anyone studied it and do you care? When I was a boy in elementary school, I wanted to have a man for a teacher and was very pleased to finally get one for 5th grade, but we moved and I got a woman. It wasn’t until I got to 7th grade that I had a couple male teachers and I never had more than 50% men until I went to science/technical college.

    Yes I do care because education of every member of society to the best of their ability is important. But blaming women for boys failing is disingenous crap. It isn’t the element of coursework or exams or post modernist bullshit entering education that contributes to failure. And it isn’t the attitudes of women either but the behaviour of their peer groups and the lack of good male role models. Not all boys are failing after all. The majority are doing just fine.

    If you look at the actual groups of boys that are failing they are more likely to come from disadvantaged backgrounds with huge peer pressure to mess around and not bother with education. And often with parents to match. You really are underestimating the effect of peer pressure and the effect of parents who are little more than egg and sperm donors.

    I’m not really sure why you had problems being taught by a woman? I can’t understand that at all, I’ve never had problems being taught by men after all. Did you think her gender made her less competant? Would you be uncomfortable being treated by a woman doctor or having a woman solicitor handling your affairs or a woman accountant? Why did it effect your grades so much?

    Today most boys and girls are brought up pretty much in a atmosphere of equality so it isn’t as much of an issue for boys today – that really, really isn’t why some are failing! As I say most failures are due to peer group not schools. At the end of the day what isn’t headline news is most kids learn regardless of methods used or gender of teacher.

    After several decades, I’m tired of some women who get to doors ahead of me and then pause or step aside in the expectation that I’ll open the door for them. And I’ve never had one reach ahed to open a door for me. Once I was surprised to hear a black man comment about some black people that they needed to get past their “slave mentality”.

    Well heres the thing, I don’t expect anyone to open doors for me. If I get to a door first I will open it and hold it open for whomever is behind. If a man or another woman gets there first I’d expect the same as common manners not to slam a door in someones face. If a woman in front of you is too helpless to open a door than there is something seriously wrong with her but its not something I’ve ever come across so don’t blame me for you living amongst helpless individuals. Don’t open it if it bothers you that much.

    Of course people who have the same qualifications and experience should receive equal pay and have equal consideration for advancement!!!

    How very generous of you.

    Maybe it’s time some women start getting over their “oppressed woman” mind and realize that they have a considerably wider range of socially accepted and supported paths in life than men do. They want it all, think they should have it but don’t think it should come with any compromises or costs. Get over it, because it should. If a man took a few years off to raise kids, he’d be lucky to work again.

    Well heres the thing, I’m not quite sure how that comment rationally fits as a response to my comment at all. Which was pointing out that I’d never seen this supposed post modernism and that the authors main gripe was the fact that he thought women teachers were holding his sons back. Which is garbage as a hell of a lot of boys succeed with women teachers.

    But to respond to your irrational rant – I have never had the “oppressed woman” mind. I worked to get where I am, and to succeed in a male dominated environment – there was no special pleading. Nor would I expect my career to continue if I took long periods of time off which is why my child attends a nursery and care is shared with my husband as his hours (vet) allow some measure of flexibility between surgeries and operations. It costs us a fortune but hopefully will resolve when she starts school in a few years time.

    But here is an interesting fact that may not have occurred to you – most children need a lot of care AND most have two parents (whether together or not) to do that! And usually one of those parents is a man. So it would appear that having it all is possible and I’d fight for the rights of fathers to have paternity leave as well because they have as much right to be involved in their childs care as women.

    And I would never expect not to be equal and in general that is what I’ve experienced. I know if I’d been born in your generation I wouldn’t as your comments reveal. I know sexism existed in the 80s when I was a child, and that huge pockets of it still exist as older men fight to retain their privileges. But I will fight to ensure it completely goes and doesn’t come back – if only for my daughters sake

    • In reply to #21 by atheistengineer:

      Whiteraven:

      It is just as likely that boys are being effected by the attitudes of lore grade teachers who are predominantly women. For some years now they have been being complained about and being way to much diagnosed with and medicated for ADHD. I wonder what the effects of that has been on their academic performance? Has anyone studied it and do you care? When I was a boy in elementary school, I wanted to have a man for a teacher and was very pleased to finally get one for 5th grade, but we moved and I got a woman. It wasn’t until I got to 7th grade that I had a couple male teachers and I never had more than 50% men until I went to science/technical college.

      Yes I do care because education of every member of society to the best of their ability is important. But blaming women for boys failing is disingenous crap. It isn’t the element of coursework or exams or post modernist bullshit entering education that contributes to failure. And it isn’t the attitudes of women either but the behaviour of their peer groups and the lack of good male role models. Not all boys are failing after all. The majority are doing just fine.

      If you look at the actual groups of boys that are failing they are more likely to come from disadvantaged backgrounds with huge peer pressure to mess around and not bother with education. And often with parents to match. You really are underestimating the effect of peer pressure and the effect of parents who are little more than egg and sperm donors.

      I’m not really sure why you had problems being taught by a woman? I can’t understand that at all, I’ve never had problems being taught by men after all. Did you think her gender made her less competant? Would you be uncomfortable being treated by a woman doctor or having a woman solicitor handling your affairs or a woman accountant? Why did it effect your grades so much?

      Today most boys and girls are brought up pretty much in a atmosphere of equality so it isn’t as much of an issue for boys today – that really, really isn’t why some are failing! As I say most failures are due to peer group not schools. At the end of the day what isn’t headline news is most kids learn regardless of methods used or gender of teacher.

      After several decades, I’m tired of some women who get to doors ahead of me and then pause or step aside in the expectation that I’ll open the door for them. And I’ve never had one reach ahed to open a door for me. Once I was surprised to hear a black man comment about some black people that they needed to get past their “slave mentality”.

      Well heres the thing, I don’t expect anyone to open doors for me. If I get to a door first I will open it and hold it open for whomever is behind. If a man or another woman gets there first I’d expect the same as common manners not to slam a door in someones face. If a woman in front of you is too helpless to open a door than there is something seriously wrong with her but its not something I’ve ever come across so don’t blame me for you living amongst helpless individuals. Don’t open it if it bothers you that much.

      Of course people who have the same qualifications and experience should receive equal pay and have equal consideration for advancement!!!

      How very generous of you.

      Maybe it’s time some women start getting over their “oppressed woman” mind and realize that they have a considerably wider range of socially accepted and supported paths in life than men do. They want it all, think they should have it but don’t think it should come with any compromises or costs. Get over it, because it should. If a man took a few years off to raise kids, he’d be lucky to work again.

      Well heres the thing, I’m not quite sure how that comment rationally fits as a response to my comment at all. Which was pointing out that I’d never seen this supposed post modernism and that the authors main gripe was the fact that he thought women teachers were holding his sons back. Which is garbage as a hell of a lot of boys succeed with women teachers.

      But to respond to your irrational rant – I have never had the “oppressed woman” mind. I worked to get where I am, and to succeed in a male dominated environment – there was no special pleading. Nor would I expect my career to continue if I took long periods of time off which is why my child attends a nursery and care is shared with my husband as his hours (vet) allow some measure of flexibility between surgeries and operations. It costs us a fortune but hopefully will resolve when she starts school in a few years time.

      But here is an interesting fact that may not have occurred to you – most children need a lot of care AND most have two parents (whether together or not) to do that! And usually one of those parents is a man. So it would appear that having it all is possible and I’d fight for the rights of fathers to have paternity leave as well because they have as much right to be involved in their childs care as women.

      And I would never expect not to be equal and in general that is what I’ve experienced. I know if I’d been born in your generation I wouldn’t as your comments reveal. I know sexism existed in the 80s when I was a child, and that huge pockets of it still exist as older men fight to retain their privileges. But I will fight to ensure it completely goes and doesn’t come back – if only for my daughters sake

      Sorry if I’ve upset you so much because it wasn’t my intention … if it had been, I would have been less honest and less direct. I never said anything about my grades;where’d you get that? I went to an exceptionally adequate technical institution (…and you did A-levels, so we can each be a bit smug and snarky at times, hmm?), That was due mostly to the values and efforts of my parents and mine; I never had a single public school teacher who deserved more than a glancing credit for getting there, but if I had to pick a few,there were three me (history, chemistry, math), a female english teacher I had regard for and a woman who I very much wanted for biology but instead got stuck with a guy once made a comment slyly directed at a girl who sat behind me – after recalling it 20+ years later, it bugs the hell out of me every time I think of it (but this was before it would have gotten the bozo’s ass kicked) – “dumb blond syndrome”.

      Nor did I say I had a problem being taught by a woman! Look, unlike mathematicians, engineers will settle for a kluge, but the misreadings, misinterpretations and thus flawed arguments are a swamp I’m not inclined to wade into any deeper.

  11. In my view my daughters’ public education IS certainly being negatively influenced by post modern drivel, especially in regards to focusing on feelings rather than facts. But, for me, where my school fails, I pick up the slack…or at least try to.

    Where the school(s) does teach math and science it’s in a rather poor way. For example, instead of simply asking the children to define evaporation the exercise is about getting the students to ask the question in several different ways. Like “how does evaporation take place” or “why does evaporation occur”? These might be valid questions but these specific questions are looking for the answer of the definition of evaporation. The school does this because on the state tests they’ll ask about evaporation but the way they ask the question is unknown. So rather than teaching the children about evaporation and getting hem to understand what evaporation is they want the students to recognize the multitude of ways the question might be asked on the state test.

    So rather than spending a few days on evaporation they spend a few days asking the same question 15 different ways for the test. The school would rather skimp on getting the children to understand what evaporation is and instead focus on giving the children short cuts on how to answer the question on the test.

    The same goes for math. Math is no longer taught the way most of us learned it. Ya know, algorithmic math where you use a technique to solve equations. For example when multiplying numbers with many digits you line up your problem, and put the zero’s in the correct places, and go one multiplication problem at a time, then add it all up. No no no. It’s about drawing pictures, using magic boxes?, and hoping to get the right answer for the test. Rather than teach the children how to actually solve math problems they offer them shortcuts that may or may not work. Again, so the children can do better on the state tests.

    Only if your child is in “advanced” classes do they get to learn, really learn, about these topics, otherwise teaching math and science is about teaching to pass a test. These “advanced” classes, in my area, do not even start until middle school (sixth grade). And if your children don’t do well on these state tests they won’t get to be in the “advanced” classes.

    I focus on math and science here because of the nature of these forums. But I could also talk about how writing classes involve writing poetry about feelings rather than, for example, book reports or essays about facts.

    It’s all very frustrating and only part of it is about state tests. It’s the whole culture of elementary public schools that reinforce post modern thought rather than critical thinking.

    /rant off. sorry for my terrible writing but I am angry, I have little patience, and no desire to actually communicate with many of the above posters. I mainly agree with the OP but I find it unfortunate that the only people willing to discuss this in a fair minded way are too often right wing folk who have political undertones. It is however equally disappointing when people start bring in “what about the menz” “privilege” and other feminist nonsense. To me, it’s obvious that the culture of elementary public schools is rife with feminist notions about “toxic masculinity” or “hegemonic masculinity” and such. For what it’s worth there are exactly two male teachers in the school my daughters attend and one is a gym teacher. The vast majority of the teachers are women. The principal is a woman. The superintendent is a woman. The office staff are all women. The lunch people, all women, The nurse, a woman. The psychologist, a woman. The janitors, however, are men. Carry on but I am very disappointed in many of the comments I read above.

    • In reply to #25 by debaser71:

      In my view my daughters’ public education IS certainly being negatively influenced by post modern drivel, especially in regards to focusing on feelings rather than facts. But, for me, where my school fails, I pick up the slack…or at least try to.Where the school(s) does teach math and science it’s in a rather poor way. For example, instead of simply asking the children to define evaporation the exercise is about getting the students to ask the question in several different ways. Like “how does evaporation take place” or “why does evaporation occur”? These might be valid questions but these specific questions are looking for the answer of the definition of evaporation. The school does this because on the state tests they’ll ask about evaporation but the way they ask the question is unknown. So rather than teaching the children about evaporation and getting hem to understand what evaporation is they want the students to recognize the multitude of ways the question might be asked on the state test.So rather than spending a few days on evaporation they spend a few days asking the same question 15 different ways for the test. The school would rather skimp on getting the children to understand what evaporation is and instead focus on giving the children short cuts on how to answer the question on the test.The same goes for math. Math is no longer taught the way most of us learned it. Ya know, algorithmic math where you use a technique to solve equations. For example when multiplying numbers with many digits you line up your problem, and put the zero’s in the correct places, and go one multiplication problem at a time, then add it all up. No no no. It’s about drawing pictures, using magic boxes?, and hoping to get the right answer for the test. Rather than teach the children how to actually solve math problems they offer them shortcuts that may or may not work. Again, so the children can do better on the state tests.Only if your child is in “advanced” classes do they get to learn, really learn, about these topics, otherwise teaching math and science is about teaching to pass a test. These “advanced” classes, in my area, do not even start until middle school (sixth grade). And if your children don’t do well on these state tests they won’t get to be in the “advanced” classes.I focus on math and science here because of the nature of these forums. But I could also talk about how writing classes involve writing poetry about feelings rather than, for example, book reports or essays about facts.It’s all very frustrating and only part of it is about state tests. It’s the whole culture of elementary public schools that reinforce post modern thought rather than critical thinking./rant off. sorry for my terrible writing but I am angry, I have little patience, and no desire to actually communicate with many of the above posters. I mainly agree with the OP but I find it unfortunate that the only people willing to discuss this in a fair minded way are too often right wing folk who have political undertones. It is however equally disappointing when people start bring in “what about the menz” “privilege” and other feminist nonsense. To me, it’s obvious that the culture of elementary public schools is rife with feminist notions about “toxic masculinity” or “hegemonic masculinity” and such. For what it’s worth there are exactly two male teachers in the school my daughters attend and one is a gym teacher. The vast majority of the teachers are women. The principal is a woman. The superintendent is a woman. The office staff are all women. The lunch people, all women, The nurse, a woman. The psychologist, a woman. The janitors, however, are men. Carry on but I am very disappointed in many of the comments I read above.

      Hmm just sounds like your daughters in a crap school – tho have you actually considered the fact they may be trying to get her to think about how scientific questions are asked or understand the underlying principles of maths before rote learning the traditional ways of doing things.

      Move to the UK. Evaporation is evaporation over here, even at nursery – and we get the kids to think up ways to test it and watch it happening. However I’d have to disagree with you on poetry. That is a subject where often great men and women have written great works about feelings. Go read Shakespeares sonnets if you don’t believe me.

      Anyway I haven’t come across post modernism here, so I guess its a US thing.

      • In reply to #26 by atheistengineer:

        In reply to #25 by debaser71:

        In my view my daughters’ public education IS certainly being negatively influenced by post modern drivel, especially in regards to focusing on feelings rather than facts. But, for me, where my school fails, I pick up the slack…or at least try to.Where the school(s) does teach math and science it’s in a rather poor way. For example, instead of simply asking the children to define evaporation the exercise is about getting the students to ask the question in several different ways. Like “how does evaporation take place” or “why does evaporation occur”? These might be valid questions but these specific questions are looking for the answer of the definition of evaporation. The school does this because on the state tests they’ll ask about evaporation but the way they ask the question is unknown. So rather than teaching the children about evaporation and getting hem to understand what evaporation is they want the students to recognize the multitude of ways the question might be asked on the state test.So rather than spending a few days on evaporation they spend a few days asking the same question 15 different ways for the test. The school would rather skimp on getting the children to understand what evaporation is and instead focus on giving the children short cuts on how to answer the question on the test.The same goes for math. Math is no longer taught the way most of us learned it. Ya know, algorithmic math where you use a technique to solve equations. For example when multiplying numbers with many digits you line up your problem, and put the zero’s in the correct places, and go one multiplication problem at a time, then add it all up. No no no. It’s about drawing pictures, using magic boxes?, and hoping to get the right answer for the test. Rather than teach the children how to actually solve math problems they offer them shortcuts that may or may not work. Again, so the children can do better on the state tests.Only if your child is in “advanced” classes do they get to learn, really learn, about these topics, otherwise teaching math and science is about teaching to pass a test. These “advanced” classes, in my area, do not even start until middle school (sixth grade). And if your children don’t do well on these state tests they won’t get to be in the “advanced” classes.I focus on math and science here because of the nature of these forums. But I could also talk about how writing classes involve writing poetry about feelings rather than, for example, book reports or essays about facts.It’s all very frustrating and only part of it is about state tests. It’s the whole culture of elementary public schools that reinforce post modern thought rather than critical thinking./rant off. sorry for my terrible writing but I am angry, I have little patience, and no desire to actually communicate with many of the above posters. I mainly agree with the OP but I find it unfortunate that the only people willing to discuss this in a fair minded way are too often right wing folk who have political undertones. It is however equally disappointing when people start bring in “what about the menz” “privilege” and other feminist nonsense. To me, it’s obvious that the culture of elementary public schools is rife with feminist notions about “toxic masculinity” or “hegemonic masculinity” and such. For what it’s worth there are exactly two male teachers in the school my daughters attend and one is a gym teacher. The vast majority of the teachers are women. The principal is a woman. The superintendent is a woman. The office staff are all women. The lunch people, all women, The nurse, a woman. The psychologist, a woman. The janitors, however, are men. Carry on but I am very disappointed in many of the comments I read above.

        Hmm just sounds like your daughters in a crap school – tho have you actually considered the fact they may be trying to get her to think about how scientific questions are asked or understand the underlying principles of maths before rote learning the traditional ways of doing things.

        Move to the UK. Evaporation is evaporation over here, even at nursery – and we get the kids to think up ways to test it and watch it happening. However I’d have to disagree with you on poetry. That is a subject where often great men and women have written great works about feelings. Go read Shakespeares sonnets if you don’t believe me.

        Anyway I haven’t come across post modernism here, so I guess its a US thing.

        Perhaps it is a US thing, because when I tutored 6-12 students during college, I saw a lot of what he describes, particularly in the English and writing classes. Even many advanced students that I was prepping for the SATs/ACTs had very poor writing and composition skills. As much as it pains me to say it, only the Catholic school kids seemed to have a decent grasp of essay writing and grammar.

        And debaser71, I’m sure that those male janitors were still oppressors! :)

  12. I try to “reply” but it comes up with all this weird stuff…sorry. This is in response to a few comments.

    No, the school is teaching for the test, not teaching to get students to think deeply about a particular topic. These tests are an issue for the actual teachers and people who run the individual schools. It’s the “Core Curriculum” that is the main problem here.

    Search for New York Core Curriculum and you’ll get an idea. Teachers and principals have been writing open letters and such trying to stop it. So in this regard the fault does not fall on teachers or principals. Their hands are tied. It’s important to note that teacher salaries are based on the outcome of these tests. Jobs are on the line as well. There is no room to disregard the test to focus on actual learning.

    You can thank George Bush for this (No Child Left behind) and then thank Obama for continuing it. It’s a dismal failure yet you’ll find vast amounts of news articles talking about how test scores are improving. As if designing an entire curriculum to do well on a test is a measure of educational quality. It’s obscene.

    Again sorry for the ranting. It just really irks me. And I’ll restate that where the schools fail I try and pick up the slack.

    ETA: I am also a stay at home dad and a liberal.

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