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Author Topic: The Purpose of School, Dr. Merseth  (Read 1526 times)

Description: an important fundamental question explored


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The Purpose of School, Dr. Merseth
« on: June 22, 2012, 07:54:17 AM »
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The embed code isn't working but clicking will launch a video of Dr. Katherine Merseth raising the incredibly important fundamental question What is the purpose of school?.

For FA parents please note from about 3:20-3:30 where she opines that schools have largely become a place to socialize and "hang out". Consider that in context of Dr. Merseth's critical observation that we are not gaining traction in schools because we are not in agreement with what the purpose of schooling is.

Think about this anytime you have a conflict with an admin, a teacher, another parent. When you get down to it we're in conflict because we are not agreeing with the purpose of schooling. We must take up the position that school is not a place to hang out, filling it with food to entertain and in obtaining a 504 we help redefine the purpose as learning with procedures on how to gain access to that purpose of school.

More to come about this, charter schools and the K12 STEM pipeline.

Offline CMdeux

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Re: The Purpose of School, Dr. Merseth
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2012, 10:51:38 AM »

But there has always been an undercurrent of this-- that public schooling was developed not to EDUCATE, per se, but also (maybe even "primarily") to properly 'socialize' future workers for an industrial economy.  Seriously.

This is something that critics of Dewey raised as early as the turn of the (19th) century as a potential failing/weakness of the public schooling model.  It has ALWAYS been about social normalization.  This is one reason why it tends to work so very poorly for children whose intellectual needs do not fall within a couple of standard deviations of the mean, too.

I've openly raised this question with administrators over the years-- that is, asked them to defend particular practices, procedures, etc. in terms of educational value.  Mostly they are abashed... but occasionally they can mount a reasonable defense.  It's an important question to ask, however:

"How is {this practice} integral to the educational merit of the activity/lesson?  Please explain this learning activity to me."

Often this serves as a wake-up call.   :bonking:
Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

Western U.S.

Offline ajasfolks2

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Re: The Purpose of School, Dr. Merseth
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2012, 10:54:40 AM »
EXCELLENT!  I linked to this thread from the "Food in Schools, Part Deux" thread.


Is this where I blame iPhone and cuss like an old fighter pilot's wife?

**(&%@@&%$^%$#^%$#$*&      LOL!!   


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Re: The Purpose of School, Dr. Merseth
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2012, 11:47:19 AM »
A point was also raised from another individual, a veteran administrator from public schools who ended up pioneering some charter school start ups that schools also perform a custodial functio. whether the admins want to factor it in or not. Meaning, a family has an expectation of a Monday through Friday building a life schedule around it. That expectation is a lifeline for households with two working parents.