Re: virus: education, Virus style

C. David Noziglia (
Thu, 23 May 1996 20:50:44 -0700 wrote:
> I'd appreciate your response to this question:
> What qualities about our current education system strike you as archaic, and
> what do you propose as potential improvement? Speaking in terms of
> methodology, institutions, educators, tehnology, etc....
> I ask this -seemingly out of the blue- for two reasons:
> 1) I'm intensely interested in how we teach and learn
> 2) I want something else to read besides the absolute truth thread =)
> So, take that question in any direction you like, but I'd very much like to
> hear any opinions you have. Especially any angles incorporating memetics to
> the idea of education...seems like an angle worth developing.
> BradI'm going to go against the common grain and state that I think that this IS
a problem for which the answer is to throw money at it. The solution to
education at the elementary level is to hire more teachers, pay them a decent
wage so you get people who are competant, and give them clean, roomy,
well-supplied classrooms to work in. You can't teach kids with a
student-to-teacher ratio at the coalface of thirty to one.

Beyond that, we really should deal with kids by starting with the assumption
that they WANT to learn!

At the secondary level, same thing, except that we should abandon the idea of
having kids sitting facing a lecturing teacher and spouting back predigested
answers. Again, this takes a situation in which the teachers can give
individual attention to their students.

In the universities, we have been moving away from a pretty good system -- at
least in theory -- for the past two decades, as monetary pressures on
universities force them to give up on basic research and consentrate on
moving the "product" through the "system" like an assembly line. The best
education is when students work WITH professors on original research, and
maybe contribute an idea or two themselves.

None of this is terribly original, but then it doesn't really have to be.
As far as prescriptions for any one, single system of teaching are concerned,
I think that the Virian answer could be that lots of methods can work,
depending on the subject, the students, the teachers, and whatever. The
worst system of all is one that treats everyone alike.

C. David Noziglia
Wellington, New Zealand

"Blessed are those who have no expectations, for they will never be disappointed." Kautiliya Shakhamuni Sidhartha Gautama Buddha

"Things are the way they are because they got that way."