From: Dom on
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/letters/articles/2010/05/23/less_is_more/

A LONGER SCHOOL DAY
Less is more
May 23, 2010

SCOT LEHIGH’S May 14 op-ed “We need it, but who’ll pay for a longer
school day?’’ made me wonder: What was his reaction when he was in
fifth grade and the bell rang at the end of the day? Was it, “Gee, I
wish I could stay here another two hours?’’ Probably he was like most
of us. We couldn’t wait for the doors to open.

Many adults tend to romanticize their school days, confusing schooling
with learning. Social philosopher Ivan Illich attributed this
phenomenon to what he called the “hidden curriculum of schooling.’’
More than any subject matter, more than the content of what is taught,
schools teach above all else the necessity of schools. They instill
the belief that only in school does real learning take place.

This causes many to have an inflated sense of the benefit and
effectiveness of schooling. They think that more school means more
learning. The opposite, however, is true. At a certain point,
prolonged schooling becomes counterproductive, actually hindering and
stifling initiative, creativity, curiosity, and the joy of learning.

How many students today read a book that’s not on a required list? We
need less school, not more.

Eugene Burkart, Waltham
From: Rowley on
Random thoughts and comments...

Martin

Dom wrote:
> http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/letters/articles/2010/05/23/less_is_more/
>
> A LONGER SCHOOL DAY
> Less is more
> May 23, 2010
>
> SCOT LEHIGH�S May 14 op-ed �We need it, but who�ll pay for a longer
> school day?�� made me wonder: What was his reaction when he was in
> fifth grade and the bell rang at the end of the day? Was it, �Gee, I
> wish I could stay here another two hours?�� Probably he was like most
> of us. We couldn�t wait for the doors to open.

When I was in 5th grade, we had a lot of after-school programs where I
was going to school. I particpated in all of the art classes that were
offered. I think we did stay for at least 90 minutes - maybe 2 hours.
Course that was just 2 or three times a week...

> Many adults tend to romanticize their school days, confusing schooling
> with learning. Social philosopher Ivan Illich attributed this
> phenomenon to what he called the �hidden curriculum of schooling.��
> More than any subject matter, more than the content of what is taught,
> schools teach above all else the necessity of schools. They instill
> the belief that only in school does real learning take place.

I don't think schools teach that to most students, but I do think that
is what most adults that are involved with public education think.

> This causes many to have an inflated sense of the benefit and
> effectiveness of schooling. They think that more school means more
> learning. The opposite, however, is true. At a certain point,
> prolonged schooling becomes counterproductive, actually hindering and
> stifling initiative, creativity, curiosity, and the joy of learning.

My take on it is that people of a certain mindset tend to be the ones
that group to be "educators" and those people are the ones who's
learning style most matches how things are taught in public education.
They grow up thinking that the "worked" for them and that it should work
for everybody... and then can't understand why it doesn't.

> How many students today read a book that�s not on a required list? We
> need less school, not more.

I don't think reading is much of a gauge for whether someone is learning
or not. Or at least not as much as it was back in the last century....

Martin

>
> Eugene Burkart, Waltham
From: John Gilmer on

"Rowley" <industry3dREMOVE(a)yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:htf1hm02j70(a)news2.newsguy.com...
> Random thoughts and comments...
>
> Martin
>
> Dom wrote:
>> http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/letters/articles/2010/05/23/less_is_more/
>>
>> A LONGER SCHOOL DAY
>> Less is more
>> May 23, 2010
>>
>> SCOT LEHIGH�S May 14 op-ed �We need it, but who�ll pay for a longer
>> school day?�� made me wonder: What was his reaction when he was in
>> fifth grade and the bell rang at the end of the day? Was it, �Gee, I
>> wish I could stay here another two hours?�� Probably he was like most
>> of us. We couldn�t wait for the doors to open.
>
> When I was in 5th grade, we had a lot of after-school programs where I was
> going to school. I particpated in all of the art classes that were
> offered. I think we did stay for at least 90 minutes - maybe 2 hours.
> Course that was just 2 or three times a week...
On what planet was your school?

Seriously, schools do have "activities" but because of transportation needs
they conclude at a precise time, usually 1 hour after the end of the last
class.


>
>> Many adults tend to romanticize their school days, confusing schooling
>> with learning. Social philosopher Ivan Illich attributed this
>> phenomenon to what he called the �hidden curriculum of schooling.��
>> More than any subject matter, more than the content of what is taught,
>> schools teach above all else the necessity of schools. They instill
>> the belief that only in school does real learning take place.
>
> I don't think schools teach that to most students, but I do think that is
> what most adults that are involved with public education think.

There are exceptions (e.g.: a significant number of kids teach themselves
how to read) but school is the place where kids learn the 3 R's, history,
civics, etc. It's the place where more kids learn whatever music skills
they carry through life.

The proper question is whether routine "cost accounting" is applied to
education (private education isn't all that different from "public"
education.)

What would be the cheapest way to give kids the 3R's?

Beyond that, is there a justified public interest in forcing more education?

Of course, one problem is that the schools are defacto daycare for dual
income or single parent households. They are also storehouses that keep
kids from competing with adults until they are 18.

The fun thing is that most kids will volunteer to "educate" themselves on
subjects that interest them. Provide them with easy access to a library
and magazines or internet access and many kids will both entertain and
educate themselves.
>

From: Juan M on
Turning US schools into factories? Hmmm.....
Let's see if I can recall some recent history.

not too distant past: US manufactures many items and does quite well.
present: Almost all manufacturing jobs seem to be shipped to Asia.

Schools as factories?
Only if we ship all of our kids to Asia.