NATION

PASSWORD

The Merits of Specialisation in Education

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Do you endorse specialisation in education?

Yes
8
36%
No
2
9%
For Tertiary Education but not really in Secondary
8
36%
Some but Not Too Much in Secondary Education
3
14%
Other
1
5%
 
Total votes : 22

User avatar
Forsher
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 16648
Founded: Jan 30, 2012
Liberal Democratic Socialists

The Merits of Specialisation in Education

Postby Forsher » Tue May 21, 2019 3:10 am

Here's the thinkpiece that made me want to write this.

Frankly I think that's riddled with errors of fact but the question is interesting. I've stuck an example in the spoiler since it becomes relevant later.:

I didn’t resolve my NZ course and career dilemma. I had the opportunity to study in the United States, where it is not necessary to adopt a fixed course at the beginning of the degree,


This is a wildly misleading statement about university in NZ. Certainly, a BCom at the University of Auckland (NZ's largest university) requires a generalised common programme so major intentions are neither relevant nor common. The BSc and BA programmes end up in a similar situation but it's less designed.

What I do remember as being true... and this seems to be as far as Maclean got here... is that applications ask for an intended major. I have no idea if the US does the same (and given the whole "undeclared" trope in its cultural productions I'm going to guess if it is, it's not common) but intentions at the outset aren't the same thing as experienced reality. It does say quite a lot about the assumptions of the system, of course.

Speaking of which, my perusal of r/college makes me question how common double majors are in the US. Again to take UoA the BA requires double majors (unless studying a conjoint, in which case someone has to have two "majors" anyway... and possibly as many as four), the BCom strongly encourages it and the BSc appears much, much cooler on the subject. So, in this sense, the US is actually more specialised than NZ. This is also the conclusion conjoints force us to believe (explanation for UoA... Vic, at least, implements them differently however).

In this sense, I don't think NZ needs to do anything. The system as it stands is very flexible.


Why care about specialisation at all? Here's a point of view from The History Boys, a film/play you should definitely have seen by now:

the dubious title of "general studies". I will let you into a little secret, boys. There is no such thing as general studies. General studies is a waste of time. Knowledge is not general, it is specific. And nothing to do with getting on.


Specificity and specialisation are obviously related ideas. But then take the thinkpiece's generic statement:

A country’s education system should prepare its students for life beyond the classroom, which is more complex than directing students down a supposedly ‘chosen’ path.


It's a bit like the Giant Panda. The overly specialised are exposed to changes in the environment and end up being left behind. In the case of ecological specialisation and climate change the consequence is basically extinction... in the case of future life, here, we're probably thinking more along the lines of automation (of which the consequences are, as yet, unclear).

To my way of thinking both points of view are entirely correct. Maclean's fixation on universities is very ambulance at the bottom of the cliff thinking. Education systems in the Western World tend to have everyone from the ages of 5-16 and it'd be quite intolerable if we chose to try and fix a failure to give people a general basis from which they can be flexible and adaptable synthesists (i.e. drawers of knowledge from all their experiences) at universities.

There are two reasons for the aforementioned intolerability. Firstly, tertiary education is the point in the system where we can be about specialisation. Secondly, universities are an aspect of the tertiary sector that tends to be a lot more relevant for some socioeconomic classes than others... it's like having ambulances but only for the middle and upper classes.

So... how to achieve my ideal balance? Well, NZ's got the tertiary bit down to pat. It's specialised but still allows for flexibility and variety (at least in the university sector). It also gets this done before people are in their mid/late twenties, which gives people more time to enjoy the fruits of their labours. On the other hand... Maclean completely glosses over just how specialised people are able to become as college pupils.

For example, I bumped into a friend of mine yesterday who, as I recall, didn't do maths or science beyond year eleven, i.e. 16. I, myself, didn't do any science subjects from the same age. And then we've got what I seem to recall was termed the Asian Five* of calculus, statistics, physics, chemistry and biology... the reverse intense specialisation. Lots of respect for pupil autonomy, to be sure, but perhaps too much? Given that these decisions are effectively made by 15 year olds (if not 14 year olds)??

So, what say ye NSG? Is specialisation a desirable principle in education systems? Is it an age related concept as I suggest? How would you achieve specialisation/ensure it doesn't exist?

*Seems probable... it has an Urban Dictionary entry.
Last edited by Forsher on Tue May 21, 2019 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
That it Could be What it Is, Is What it Is

On hiatus. Stop making shit up, though. Links, or it's a God-damn lie and you know it.

User avatar
Page
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 10525
Founded: Jan 12, 2012
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Page » Tue May 21, 2019 3:48 am

Very few 18 year old high school graduates truly know what they want to do with their lives, and I think it would be even worse if 14 and 15 year olds were required to choose a specialty, because many would spend years learning to do things that they will end up not wanting to do anymore. At that age, it is unreasonable to think a student could make a truly informed decision about what direction to go. So I think specialization should be reserved for tertiary education, and that in high school students should be offered a wide variety of electives so that they are exposed to a little bit of everything.
I am a libertarian socialist.
I am ungovernable.
I owe no allegiance to any state.
I am bound to my conscience, not to the law.
I stand for liberty, justice, and peace.

User avatar
Diopolis
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 13122
Founded: May 15, 2012
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Diopolis » Tue May 21, 2019 8:29 am

Yes. It's past the time when we should've realized that "everyone goes to college, and they'll figure it out later" wasn't going to work.
Trad-Catholic, hispanophile Texan distributist and paleoconservative.
Economic left -3.88, authoritarian 6.15
Thoughts
Abortion is not healthcare.
St Generalissimo Francisco Franco, pray for president Trump!

User avatar
Esternial
P2TM RP Mentor
 
Posts: 51826
Founded: May 09, 2009
Democratic Socialists

Postby Esternial » Tue May 21, 2019 2:55 pm

It really varies from student to student. From personal experience (and those of my friends) I think that most people only start to figure out what they want to do when they're in uni.

Then again, in Belgium we can easily afford faffing about in university. One friend of mine took 7-8 year to finish and he isn't a cent in debt.

Maybe rather than forcing students to specialize even earlier in their lives, let them try things and change their mind.

User avatar
NERVUN
Game Moderator
 
Posts: 29456
Founded: Mar 24, 2005
Right-wing Utopia

Postby NERVUN » Tue May 21, 2019 5:03 pm

Page wrote:Very few 18 year old high school graduates truly know what they want to do with their lives, and I think it would be even worse if 14 and 15 year olds were required to choose a specialty, because many would spend years learning to do things that they will end up not wanting to do anymore. At that age, it is unreasonable to think a student could make a truly informed decision about what direction to go. So I think specialization should be reserved for tertiary education, and that in high school students should be offered a wide variety of electives so that they are exposed to a little bit of everything.

This.
To those who feel, life is a tragedy. To those who think, it's a comedy.
"Men, today you'll be issued small trees. Do what you can for the emperor's glory." -Daistallia 2104 on bonsai charges in WWII
Science may provide the means while religion provides the motivation but humanity and humanity alone provides the vehicle -DaWoad

One-Stop Rules Shop, read it, love it, live by it. Getting Help Mod email: nervun@nationstates.net NSG Glossary
Add 10,145 to post count from Jolt: I have it from an unimpeachable source, that Dark Side cookies look like the Death Star. The other ones look like butterflies, or bunnies, or something.-Grave_n_Idle

Proud Member of FMGADHPAC. Join today!

User avatar
Ghost Land
Diplomat
 
Posts: 725
Founded: Feb 14, 2014
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Ghost Land » Tue May 21, 2019 5:10 pm

Diopolis wrote:Yes. It's past the time when we should've realized that "everyone goes to college, and they'll figure it out later" wasn't going to work.

This. And let's also quit thinking of it as "figure out where you want to go to college first, then decide on a major, then a career path". Seems like it'll almost certainly cause that "quarter-life crisis" everyone talks about.
Forum account/puppet of 60s Music.
Originally joined 24 April 2012.
Born around 1970 but still somehow under 30.
Me OOC
Awesome/Funny Quotes
Conservative libertarian
This nation reflects the OPPOSITE of my views.
Pro: Donald Trump, tougher border laws, 1st/2nd Amendments, benevolent dictators
Anti: Democratic Party, The Clintons, abortion, gun control, #MeToo, communism, racism and racial nationalism, forced diversity, SJWs

User avatar
Diopolis
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 13122
Founded: May 15, 2012
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Diopolis » Tue May 21, 2019 5:29 pm

Ghost Land wrote:
Diopolis wrote:Yes. It's past the time when we should've realized that "everyone goes to college, and they'll figure it out later" wasn't going to work.

This. And let's also quit thinking of it as "figure out where you want to go to college first, then decide on a major, then a career path". Seems like it'll almost certainly cause that "quarter-life crisis" everyone talks about.

Honestly, I'm of the school of thought that adolescents are capable of a lot more than they're commonly expected to do, and saying they need a college degree to make life decisions is just going to cause more problems than it solves.
Trad-Catholic, hispanophile Texan distributist and paleoconservative.
Economic left -3.88, authoritarian 6.15
Thoughts
Abortion is not healthcare.
St Generalissimo Francisco Franco, pray for president Trump!

User avatar
Forsher
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 16648
Founded: Jan 30, 2012
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Forsher » Tue May 21, 2019 5:56 pm

Page wrote:Very few 18 year old high school graduates truly know what they want to do with their lives, and I think it would be even worse if 14 and 15 year olds were required to choose a specialty, because many would spend years learning to do things that they will end up not wanting to do anymore. At that age, it is unreasonable to think a student could make a truly informed decision about what direction to go. So I think specialization should be reserved for tertiary education, and that in high school students should be offered a wide variety of electives so that they are exposed to a little bit of everything.


Well, the 14/15 year old thing happens because subjects are chosen the previous year and also because most schools in New Zealand only use six subject timetables for senior pupils (i.e. year elevens to year thirteens). So, in principle the years people turn 16, 17 and 18 involve taking subjects based on decisions made the years people turn 15, 16 and 17. But there's a complication because a huge proportion of people actually do Y11 to Y13 the years they turn 15, 16 and 17 since we don't believe in cohort entry in NZ. That is, most people start school as close as possible to when they turn 5, for instance the school year starts in February/late January and I started school in late July/early August.

With only six subjects to play with (and often... possibly normally... five for Y13s) then options can narrow very dramatically. Of course, this is all decided at the school level. For instance, we had to do Maths, English and Science in Y11 but my cousins had to do PE on top of that. There are probably schools which have more than six subjects but I don't know any off the top of my head. In either case the remaining subjects are basically free choice dependent on pre-requisites. This was a sticking point for me. I mean, I might have been allowed to do Y13 biology without having done Y12 biology because I remember considering that as an option but in theory that sort of thing shouldn't be possible. This pre-req dependency is another reason to wonder if 14/15 year olds end up as the locus of specialisation in NZ.

I also believe that one of the main issues with forcing people to take general programmes of study is that you make them not want to be there. In other words, it's pretty antithetical to ambitions we want to achieve. People who don't want to play the game (i.e. learn a rounded programme) invariably do not. In fact, the idiots running my school basically compelled a friend of mine to drop out because he'd done too well to stay in the English stream he was in, but not well enough for the next stream up. Giving pupils the ability to shape their timetables is critical and has to be balanced against the concerns of extreme specialisation. The way IB does it, for example, doesn't give pupils enough choice but here's my proposal (assuming six subjects):

Year People turn 16

  • English (or if instruction is normally in another language, that language)
  • Maths
  • Generic Science Subject
  • Cultural Subject (i.e. a creative art or a humanity or an additional language subject)
  • Social Subject (i.e. a humanity or a social science or PE)
  • Technical Subject (i.e. a technology subject or a social science subject or a science subject)

Year People turn 17

  • English (or if instruction is normally in another language, that language)
  • Maths or Technology Subject
  • Science Subject (i.e. physics, chemistry, biology or generic science... but generic science cannot be taken alongside a science discipline subject)
  • Cultural Subject (i.e. a creative art or a humanity or an additional language subject)
  • Social/Technological Subject (i.e. a humanity or a social science or PE)
  • Technical or Creative Subject (i.e. a technology subject or a social science subject or a science discipline subject... and this year creative arts also appear here again)

Year People turn 18

  • Free Choice (any subject or a study period)
  • Science/Technological Subject (i.e. physics, chemistry, biology or generic science... but generic science cannot be taken alongside a science discipline subject... and this year also a technological subject)
  • Cultural Subject (i.e. a creative art or a humanity or an additional language subject)
  • Social Subject (i.e. a humanity or a social science or PE)
  • Technical or Creative Subject (i.e. a technology subject or a social science subject or a science discipline subject or a creative art or a maths subject)
  • Traditional Subject (i.e. a humanity, maths or science subject)

Any thoughts?
That it Could be What it Is, Is What it Is

On hiatus. Stop making shit up, though. Links, or it's a God-damn lie and you know it.

User avatar
Bombadil
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 10972
Founded: Oct 13, 2011
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Bombadil » Tue May 21, 2019 6:08 pm

It would take a total relook at the concept of subjects or the purpose of school in general.

Generally subjects are still based on 'what it takes to be a learned gentleman', to discourse fairly on the ancients, the classics, literature, science and arts..

..then that's squashed into a means to account for children where parents are toiling in factories.

I think your own language, the ability to comprehend and communicate, is obviously important. I think a fundamental understanding of calculation and numbers is also highly important.

Beyond that, I suspect the evolution of how we're governed (history as the evolution of society) is important, and where we are in regards to the creation and functioning of law.

Then I don't know, my feeling is that with the wealth of knowledge we have access to then education should really be focused on how to source information and build a compelling argument and theory based on evidence, regardless of subject.

Then I feel people have more leeway to specialise or not, where the teacher is really guiding the ability to build those compelling views, what sources are good or not, what a good argument looks like.

Ultimately I think the question here is wrong due to being based on existing structure of education.
Last edited by Bombadil on Tue May 21, 2019 6:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Eldest, that's what I am...Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn...he knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless — before the Dark Lord came from Outside..

User avatar
Xmara
Minister
 
Posts: 2309
Founded: Mar 31, 2014
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Xmara » Tue May 21, 2019 6:23 pm

Page wrote:Very few 18 year old high school graduates truly know what they want to do with their lives, and I think it would be even worse if 14 and 15 year olds were required to choose a specialty, because many would spend years learning to do things that they will end up not wanting to do anymore. At that age, it is unreasonable to think a student could make a truly informed decision about what direction to go. So I think specialization should be reserved for tertiary education, and that in high school students should be offered a wide variety of electives so that they are exposed to a little bit of everything.

This. As someone who changed career goals many, many, many times while in high school (and even a couple of times during my freshman year of college), I say that specialization in high school is really unnecessary.

My high school wanted freshmen to know what they were going to do for the next fifty years of their lives. I said biology teacher or biologist (I was strongly leaning towards one of those but wasn’t finished exploring all of my options; I was still thinking about many other choices). But now I’m working towards becoming a forensic scientist.
/ˈzmaːrʌ/
Info
Our Leader
Status- Code Green- All clear
I mostly use NS stats, except for population and tax rates.
We are not Estonia.
A 16.8 civilization, according to this index.
Flag Waver
Respect the science!


About Me | Great Quotes from NS | Side note: I’m female.

Copy and paste this into your sig if you think we should colonize other planets

User avatar
Northwest Slobovia
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 11976
Founded: Sep 16, 2006
Anarchy

Postby Northwest Slobovia » Tue May 21, 2019 6:26 pm

Diopolis wrote:
Ghost Land wrote:This. And let's also quit thinking of it as "figure out where you want to go to college first, then decide on a major, then a career path". Seems like it'll almost certainly cause that "quarter-life crisis" everyone talks about.

Honestly, I'm of the school of thought that most adolescents are capable of a lot more than they're commonly expected to do, and saying they need a college degree to make life decisions is just going to cause more problems than it solves.

With those two small changes, I agree. It's been repeatedly demonstrated by principals turning around "bad schools" that many kids are capable of rising to meet higher expections, but that many are happy to sink to lower ones. I won't say all of them, but enough are that I think it's reasonable to ask high school seniors to pick a major. Since most (all?) universities start with introductory courses in the first two years, if students figure out that they don't like or can't do that subject, they still have time to change majors.
Gollum died for your sins.
Power is an equal-opportunity corrupter.

User avatar
Kowani
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 16558
Founded: Apr 01, 2018
Democratic Socialists

Postby Kowani » Tue May 21, 2019 6:42 pm

Diopolis wrote:
Ghost Land wrote:This. And let's also quit thinking of it as "figure out where you want to go to college first, then decide on a major, then a career path". Seems like it'll almost certainly cause that "quarter-life crisis" everyone talks about.

Honestly, I'm of the school of thought that adolescents are capable of a lot more than they're commonly expected to do, and saying they need a college degree to make life decisions is just going to cause more problems than it solves.

Eh, I would disagree, at least with the majority of my classmates.
Narcissistic (Hedonistic) Nihilist. Yes, I am edgy. I know.
Atheist and still proud of it. Spanish Expat.
Post-Capitalist, Post-Nationalist.
Rights are functionally just privileges society has deemed important.
Prydania wrote:
As a Canadian? I find Americans and their deep, deep distrust of the government to be fundamentally, critically, laughably flawed. I find some aspects of your country completely absurd. The distrust of anything remotely resembling authority is one. The gun problem that stems from that is another.

Seangoli wrote:You are spouting nonsensical drivel with no coherent thought, little logic, and at the end of it all just angry opining at the clouds based on a truly astonishly low level of knowledge or understanding of the subject matter.

0% Capitalism

User avatar
Forsher
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 16648
Founded: Jan 30, 2012
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Forsher » Tue May 21, 2019 7:15 pm

Kowani wrote:
Diopolis wrote:Honestly, I'm of the school of thought that adolescents are capable of a lot more than they're commonly expected to do, and saying they need a college degree to make life decisions is just going to cause more problems than it solves.

Eh, I would disagree, at least with the majority of my classmates.


How could we test this? As in what would it take for you to be convinced that adolescents are usually misunderestimated?

I do mean misunderestimated here. It is necessary to underestimate adolescents as a whole because, for example, Northwest Slobovia's alterations to "most" and "more" (instead of "(implicitly) all" and "a lot more")... without some level of underestimation those who aren't ready for more are going to be left high and dry. It becomes misunderstimation when the bar is left so low that people entirely capable of making perfectly respectable choices are given no choice at all. That is, the level of underestimation is wrong... misunderstimation.

For example, I got back from the dairy one day (or possibly had just arrived at school, I don't remember exactly) and found my friends discussing, as I remember, indigenous rights. On the other hand, we were heading to the back field to play soccer and a different friend commented on the presumed size of a (not present) female peer's bust (I say peer rather than friend because I am not sure how well he knew her). Obviously this is the sort of comment that wouldn't be unexpected in the higher echelons of American politics (and I've seen similar here) but my point is that surely there can be some more systematic means of assessing capability for responsibility than these kinds of memorable anecdotes?
That it Could be What it Is, Is What it Is

On hiatus. Stop making shit up, though. Links, or it's a God-damn lie and you know it.

User avatar
Kowani
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 16558
Founded: Apr 01, 2018
Democratic Socialists

Postby Kowani » Tue May 21, 2019 9:38 pm

Forsher wrote:
Kowani wrote:Eh, I would disagree, at least with the majority of my classmates.


How could we test this? As in what would it take for you to be convinced that adolescents are usually misunderestimated?

I do mean misunderestimated here. It is necessary to underestimate adolescents as a whole because, for example, Northwest Slobovia's alterations to "most" and "more" (instead of "(implicitly) all" and "a lot more")... without some level of underestimation those who aren't ready for more are going to be left high and dry. It becomes misunderstimation when the bar is left so low that people entirely capable of making perfectly respectable choices are given no choice at all. That is, the level of underestimation is wrong... misunderstimation.

For example, I got back from the dairy one day (or possibly had just arrived at school, I don't remember exactly) and found my friends discussing, as I remember, indigenous rights. On the other hand, we were heading to the back field to play soccer and a different friend commented on the presumed size of a (not present) female peer's bust (I say peer rather than friend because I am not sure how well he knew her). Obviously this is the sort of comment that wouldn't be unexpected in the higher echelons of American politics (and I've seen similar here) but my point is that surely there can be some more systematic means of assessing capability for responsibility than these kinds of memorable anecdotes?

Perhaps there are. But I know 17 year olds who thought that women could control their breastmilk via telekinesis. And I quote “They just-think it!” Complete with hand gestures.
Som people are not meant to enter the real world.
Narcissistic (Hedonistic) Nihilist. Yes, I am edgy. I know.
Atheist and still proud of it. Spanish Expat.
Post-Capitalist, Post-Nationalist.
Rights are functionally just privileges society has deemed important.
Prydania wrote:
As a Canadian? I find Americans and their deep, deep distrust of the government to be fundamentally, critically, laughably flawed. I find some aspects of your country completely absurd. The distrust of anything remotely resembling authority is one. The gun problem that stems from that is another.

Seangoli wrote:You are spouting nonsensical drivel with no coherent thought, little logic, and at the end of it all just angry opining at the clouds based on a truly astonishly low level of knowledge or understanding of the subject matter.

0% Capitalism

User avatar
LiberNovusAmericae
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5736
Founded: Mar 10, 2018
Left-Leaning College State

Postby LiberNovusAmericae » Tue May 21, 2019 9:42 pm

As was stated earlier, 14 year olds can't be expected to make an informed decision about what he or she wants to specialize in for his or her career. College should be specialized, but not high school.
Last edited by LiberNovusAmericae on Tue May 21, 2019 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nova Cyberia wrote:Thank you. I appreciate your respect for my low opinion of you.
Call me Liber for short.
Not to be confused with Novus America. We are different people with very different political opinions.

User avatar
Conserative Morality
Post Kaiser
 
Posts: 76675
Founded: Aug 24, 2007
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Conserative Morality » Tue May 21, 2019 9:50 pm

the dubious title of "general studies". I will let you into a little secret, boys. There is no such thing as general studies. General studies is a waste of time. Knowledge is not general, it is specific. And nothing to do with getting on.

Oh good, I can't wait for bio majors to know nothing at all about history. Or history majors like myself knowing nothing about the hard sciences. There's no possible way this could go wrong.

Knowledge is very often general, and it likewise is VERY important to 'getting on' in life.
On the hate train. Choo choo, bitches. Bi-Polar. Proud Crypto-Fascist and Turbo Progressive. Dirty Étatist. Lowly Humanities Major. NSG's Best Liberal.
Caesar and Imperator of RWDT
Got a blog up again. || An NS Writing Discussion

User avatar
The Republic of Fore
Diplomat
 
Posts: 563
Founded: Apr 10, 2018
Left-Leaning College State

Postby The Republic of Fore » Tue May 21, 2019 10:05 pm

Speaking as an American, I think specialization is a good thing in college. As a chemistry major, why should I have to waste my time on art and psychology? Neither of them will ever benefit my career, or help me make more money. Which is the only reason I'm in school.

User avatar
Borovan entered the region as he
Diplomat
 
Posts: 876
Founded: Dec 18, 2017
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Borovan entered the region as he » Wed May 22, 2019 1:09 am

I support specialization we have to be something but not everything however you have to do your homework and it isn't what you see
FPP - Politician Alastar Macdanieus
A conservative through and through.

User avatar
Forsher
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 16648
Founded: Jan 30, 2012
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Forsher » Wed May 22, 2019 5:01 am

Conserative Morality wrote:
the dubious title of "general studies". I will let you into a little secret, boys. There is no such thing as general studies. General studies is a waste of time. Knowledge is not general, it is specific. And nothing to do with getting on.

Oh good, I can't wait for bio majors to know nothing at all about history. Or history majors like myself knowing nothing about the hard sciences. There's no possible way this could go wrong.

Knowledge is very often general, and it likewise is VERY important to 'getting on' in life.


The character who says this completely undermines the point later on:

Sir, I don't always understand poetry.

You don't always understand it? Timms, I never understand it. But learn it now, know it now, and you will understand it, whenever.

I don't see how we can understand it. Most of what poetry's about hasn't happened to us yet.

But it will, Timms, it will. And when it does, you'll have the antidote ready. Grief, happiness, even when you're dying. We're making your deathbeds here, boys.


Also, I suppose, we get the same sentiments here:

I've got this idea of buying a van, filling it with books and taking it round to country markets. Shropshire, Herefordshire. "The open road, the dusty highway." "Travel, change, interest, excitement." Poop-poop!

See, what I didn't want was to turn out boys who would claim in later life to have a deep love of "literature". Or who would talk in their middle age of the lure of language and their love of words. "Words" said in a reverential way that is somehow... Welsh.

That's what the tosh was for - Gracie Fields, Brief Encounter. It's an antidote. Sheer, calculated silliness.


But knowledge is not general in the sense Hector's talking about. People have knowledge of various things which they can apply in various circumstances but the actual stuff is specific. Of course, this is more what would be called "data" or "information" than "knowledge," which is perhaps explains your objection?
That it Could be What it Is, Is What it Is

On hiatus. Stop making shit up, though. Links, or it's a God-damn lie and you know it.

User avatar
Jack Thomas Lang
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1135
Founded: Apr 18, 2019
Ex-Nation

Postby Jack Thomas Lang » Wed May 22, 2019 5:06 am

Specialisation could work in a state-planned economy in which the government can guarantee you a job based on your specialty. But in a free-market economy where nobody can guarantee you a specific type of job? Forget it. General knowledge and electives are a better choice, with Uni and Trade School offering specialisation later on.
Catholic Distributist
Three Acres and a Cow

"In the race of life, always back self-interest — at least you know it's trying."
Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno

User avatar
Diopolis
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 13122
Founded: May 15, 2012
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Diopolis » Wed May 22, 2019 7:25 am

Kowani wrote:
Diopolis wrote:Honestly, I'm of the school of thought that adolescents are capable of a lot more than they're commonly expected to do, and saying they need a college degree to make life decisions is just going to cause more problems than it solves.

Eh, I would disagree, at least with the majority of my classmates.

People do what they're expected to do. Tell 'em they're dumbasses who can't make good decisions, and they'll be dumbasses who can't make good decisions. Tell them they're young adults who should be able to act in a mature way, and well...
Trad-Catholic, hispanophile Texan distributist and paleoconservative.
Economic left -3.88, authoritarian 6.15
Thoughts
Abortion is not healthcare.
St Generalissimo Francisco Franco, pray for president Trump!

User avatar
Camelone
Senator
 
Posts: 3566
Founded: Feb 20, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Camelone » Wed May 22, 2019 8:43 am

Diopolis wrote:
Kowani wrote:Eh, I would disagree, at least with the majority of my classmates.

People do what they're expected to do. Tell 'em they're dumbasses who can't make good decisions, and they'll be dumbasses who can't make good decisions. Tell them they're young adults who should be able to act in a mature way, and well...

Students rise to the standard set for them most of the time, set it to low such as society is doing now a days and they'll hardly rise farther than that. Parents also have a role in this just from my own personal observation is that those who prominent responsible excellence, not the "you better do good or else" mindset, and encourage their kids that they are capable of independent thought did remarkably well in high school and are doing pretty well in college. The low expectations just pushes down on students and incentives them to continually extend their childhood instead of attempting to assume adult responsibilities.
Dissenting High Church Episcopalian, American Jacobite with a Byzantine flair for extra spice
I am... the lurker!
Ave Rex Christus!

Pro: The Social Kingship of Christ, Society of King Charles the Martyr, Corporatism, Distributism, Tradition based Christianity, High Tory, Hierarchy, vanguard republicanism, Official Nationality
Neutral: Constitutions, Guild Socialism, Libertarianism, Constitution Party, monarchism
Against: Communism, socialism, SJWs, materialism, the Democratic Republican Uniparty, material Egalitarianism
Family, Fatherland, Work
Results

User avatar
Xmara
Minister
 
Posts: 2309
Founded: Mar 31, 2014
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Xmara » Wed May 22, 2019 10:05 am

Conserative Morality wrote:
the dubious title of "general studies". I will let you into a little secret, boys. There is no such thing as general studies. General studies is a waste of time. Knowledge is not general, it is specific. And nothing to do with getting on.

Oh good, I can't wait for bio majors to know nothing at all about history. Or history majors like myself knowing nothing about the hard sciences. There's no possible way this could go wrong.

Knowledge is very often general, and it likewise is VERY important to 'getting on' in life.

As a bio major, I am proud to say that I at least know some general knowledge about history. I may not be able to tell you a lot about medieval Europe or feudal Japan, but I can give a pretty decent timeline of American history.

So yeah, general education is very important. Otherwise you end up with people who can’t tell you who the current leader of their home country is or that the Earth orbits the sun and not the other way around.
/ˈzmaːrʌ/
Info
Our Leader
Status- Code Green- All clear
I mostly use NS stats, except for population and tax rates.
We are not Estonia.
A 16.8 civilization, according to this index.
Flag Waver
Respect the science!


About Me | Great Quotes from NS | Side note: I’m female.

Copy and paste this into your sig if you think we should colonize other planets

User avatar
Northwest Slobovia
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 11976
Founded: Sep 16, 2006
Anarchy

Postby Northwest Slobovia » Wed May 22, 2019 2:34 pm

Conserative Morality wrote:
the dubious title of "general studies". I will let you into a little secret, boys. There is no such thing as general studies. General studies is a waste of time. Knowledge is not general, it is specific. And nothing to do with getting on.

Oh good, I can't wait for bio majors to know nothing at all about history. Or history majors like myself knowing nothing about the hard sciences. There's no possible way this could go wrong.

That would be most of American higher education for ya. I went to a fancy-ass liberal arts university with a common core, but I've worked with engineers who were just barely functionally literate and knew next to nothing* outside their technical speciality.

*:Nothing you couldn't pick up from watching videos or glancing at news headlines in your social media feeds. Nothing like coursework or dedicated independent study.
Gollum died for your sins.
Power is an equal-opportunity corrupter.

User avatar
Northwest Slobovia
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 11976
Founded: Sep 16, 2006
Anarchy

Postby Northwest Slobovia » Wed May 22, 2019 2:41 pm

The Republic of Fore wrote:Speaking as an American, I think specialization is a good thing in college. As a chemistry major, why should I have to waste my time on art and psychology? Neither of them will ever benefit my career, or help me make more money. Which is the only reason I'm in school.

Two questions:

1) Do you pay for education by the course-hour, or by the year? If the latter, you'll find it damn near impossible to take a full load of chemistry classes without burning out. You'll want something lighter to help you survive.

2) What do you intend to do with all this money you make? Sit at home and watch random videos and porn? Buy whatever random crap you see advertised? 'cause if you might hypothetically want anything more out of life, you might as well start learning about it now.
Gollum died for your sins.
Power is an equal-opportunity corrupter.

Next

Advertisement

Remove ads

Return to General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Austria-Bohemia-Hungary, Duhon, Free Gallifrey, Google Adsense [Bot], Infected Mushroom, Juristonia, Meikaii, Speshal squad, Telconi, The Blaatschapen, The New California Republic, The Republic of Fore, Thepeopl, Trotskylvania, United Rothanic States, Washington Resistance Army, West Solis

Advertisement

Remove ads