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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Education and Other Matters Forging the finest print

I have a video of the ABC special on education and school choice on my journal, which is rapidly becoming a video blog. Yes, it is Stupid in America, hosted by John Stossel, and if you detect a bias, yes, the program is from Stossel's view. Regardless, I consider it a fine advocacy piece, so consider it just that if you watch it. In my humble opinion, that doesn't render it invalid.

No, folks, America isn’t the only place needing education reform. The Lionheart has a post lamenting Singapore's education system for failure to carry enough material about local history and politics. I'll excerpt as little as possible:

"Here's the catch: there's absolutely NOTHING on local history, save for one textbook that doesn't go into a lot of detail."

As we say, read the whole thing.

Like Stossel, I consider it a good idea to diffuse the power of the public schools and the teachers union(s), but creating competition through an open market is only the beginning of solving problems in education. Then you have to set up a winning strategy (naturally, to win in the market), and then you need to determine the correct metrics for success. This presents another question: what is education for?

In brief, the several goals of a liberal (classical liberal) education would be to learn the skill-sets necessary to compete in the workplace, learn the civic skill-sets to take part in the politics, and the mental skill-sets to "free the mind-" learn logic and such. That's largely it, methinks, and it seems America is lacking that one/third coming out the secondary education (and undernurished on the other two/thirds), while The Lionheart is admitting that Singapore is most lacking in the middle one/third, and is very possibly undernurished in the last third, for a mind fully developed in that third should be able to adapt and education one's self about the middle third.

I think this underdevelopment of civic development must be the underlying reason for the apathy the Lionheart notices, for the people have plenty of economic empowerment, according to the Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom. If you gander at the foundation's listings of countries, you'll notice that those granting economic freedoms typically grant more civil liberties as well. All the other countries are (relatively) free in both ways, while Singapore lags a little in the de facto presence of civil liberties. Even if they have just as many de jure freedoms as the others in the list.

I have to agree with the Lionheart on this one; there is an education lag going on, in that they have more freedoms than they realize. They are being controlled by outdated customs, hence Lionheart's description of his citizens as conservative.

As for those "other matters!" I'm thinking of registering my own domain name in the near future, so people coming to this address may be redirected. I just thought you needed that heads up.

Published by Typewriter King | 5:59 PM
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