Thursday, June 14, 2007

Why Try To Learn When You Can Shout Out?

The last three posts including the Creation Museum which has about half a million replies so far have provided the background for this one.

There is little point in having a debate on the pros and cons of nuclear power if we don't understand nuclear fission, half lives and radioactivity. Even less point if we don't have the faintest clue as to what an atom is.

Neither can we argue about Creationism without an understanding of Astronomy, Genetics, Physics and Geology.

If we try to do so, then we are simply giving worthless opinions. ie ones that are not based on any sound knowledge. This is what our modern curriculums are encouraging, with their emphasis on debate before learning.

The problem is that it is difficult and time consuming to study and understand these concepts. Learning from a textbook and practising questions isn't fun or fashionable so it will never be popular.

Far better to just blurt out the first thing that comes into your head and try to win the argument by shouting louder than your opponent or hurling abuse. That's what I've always found, anyway.

15 comments:

British National Party member said...

If we try to do so, then we are simply giving worthless opinions. i.e. ones that are not based on any sound knowledge. This is what our modern curriculum's are encouraging, with their emphasis on debate before learning.

Mr Chalk, it is now my strong belief that the curriculum is designed to do just that. It is not an accident, nor an unwelcome sideline of dumbing down for other reasons.

An ignorant populace is a malleable one.

Tom Welsh said...

All men are born equal. It says this in the US Declaration of Independence, so it must be true. Gee, it's even self-evident!

Therefore it follows that all men (and women and children) are equally valuable.

Therefore it follows that their opinions are equally valuable.

See what you can prove when you haven't had an education (or had one but didn't understand it)?

lilyofthefield said...

Same problem with Grammar: spelling and grammar are tedious, repetitive and difficult to jazz up (unless like me you made your children The Eight Parts Of Speech board game - and they liked it. Call us the Flanders) and therefore has been dropped from the curriculum in the same way as times tables, formulae, dates, verb tables and vocab have.

So then you let a child loose on a piece of creative writing or an essay having failed to equip him with the necessary tools to make a decent job of it, and whine about standards of literacy when it turns out to be a piece of trash.

alanorei said...

Having reverted to my usual mild-mannered self after comments on that 'other' thread, I agree with all that's been said so far, including the tongue-in-cheek nature of TW's comment.

I certainly agree with Mr Chalk's analysis.

The Flanders? Okleydokely...

Anonymous said...

"Neither can we argue about Creationism without an understanding of Astronomy, Genetics, Physics and Geology."
I agree that Creationists do sometimes display showstopping ignorance of those subjects.

But it's nothing compared with their ignorance of theology.

They think that they know about theology in the same way that you or I think we know about running the DfES. We have an idea, but our idea is largely based upon a very detailed close-up view of a tiny fragment of the beast.

Having an idea is not a problem unless it comes with the further ideas that this makes other people wrong, which implicity renders a judgement upon them.

Anonymous said...

One further point, though: at what point, in a free society, can someone be said to have acquired enough knowledge and expertise on a subject to be allowed to argue about it?

delroy said...

"Far better to just blurt out the first thing that comes into your head and try to win the argument by shouting louder than your opponent or hurling abuse. That's what I've always found, anyway."

You are obviously the same generation as my father. It is the technique he uses in debate. he was taught in the 1930's and education was so much better then,wasn't it?

lilyofthefield said...

Did nobody ever tell him to shut his ignorant mouth?

Then why would he?

cramerj said...

Learning shouting is most essential in protests, trade unions , all political parties.
It is a pity they don't teach properly the natural follow up - a punch in the nose.

Anonymous said...

The thing that most impresses me about the children that I teach is how they are able to see right through what is obvious bullsh@t- even with only an elementary knowledge of the topic in question.

I refer you back to the Creationist nonsense on the other thread.

abuannie said...

anonymous said:"The thing that most impresses me about the children that I teach is how they are able to see right through what is obvious bullsh@t"
US Gallup poll results are not favourable to evolution despite it being taught in every school and featuring on every televised nature program for decades.
Results: Q and percentages
Group of adults God created man pretty much in his present form at one time within the last 10,000 years. 47%
Man has developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process, including man's creation. 40%
Man has developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life. God had no part in this process.
9%

I guess they can see through the crap...

DavidMBaker said...

The idea of these new sylabii is that students can learn to think in a scientific way. In life memorising a load of useless facts doesn't get you very far. Learning skills like how to research and then report and argue about a point provides the student with skills that will be useful in any walk of life. They are also designed to make the course content more relevent to students and interesting to boost performance and help increase interest in subjects that recently have been facing large shortages. So far numbers seem to be increasing so it seems to have worked. At least they encourage thinking skills that help students stand on their own 2 feet.

fedup said...

"In life memorising a load of useless facts doesn't get you very far."

Very true. However, learning a load of useful facts does.

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