Re: NOW(-ish): Education

Jeff Taylor (
Tue, 30 Mar 1999 13:08:08 -0800

You raised another point.

Once you have all of those things, sometimes you need to subtract students to make a class really effective. I think that student participation is a useful part of the cycle of learning and it appears as though, when a class is too big, people tend to be taught like you move sheep through the slaughterhouse.

How do students participate when conditions are overcrowded? Perhaps students should spend most of their time at home learning on computers and only part of their time in a class room. Seems like there are opportunities to have stronger community participation as well.


"An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one."
-Charles Horton Cooley, Life and the Student


>From: "Billy Brown" <>
>To: <>
>Subject: RE: NOW(-ish): Education
>Date: Tue, Mar 30, 1999, 11:42 AM

> Jeff Taylor wrote:
>> Perhaps the real issue is that the current mode of education is just
> barely
>> effectual.
> I'd certainly agree with that.
>> I've noticed that the evolution of education has been severely inhibited.
> Is
>> this a subversive maneuver to preserve the economic class structures?
> IMO, it is a natural result of the fact that a government bureaucracy is in
> charge of education. They have no incentive to even care about whether
> their methods work, and every incentive to fiercely resist any effort to
> change the system.
>> A poorly educated nation is easiest to govern. Perhaps that is why so
> little
>> is spent educating our people. (in the USA)
> Actually, the U.S. spends quite a lot of money on education. Teachers are
> paid above-average wages (especially considering that 3-month vacation every
> year), and the only schools that don't have basic materials are the ones
> where the bureaucrats intercept all of the money before it reaches the
> classroom. The constant complaints about funding are another natural result
> of bureaucracy - we could spend $1,000,000 a year per student, and they
> would still claim to be short of money.
> Having worked as a teacher, I would say that money is largely irrelevant.
> Once you have a classroom, furniture, books and a teacher, you have
> everything money can buy that is actually helpful. Spending vast sums on
> computers, multimedia tools, field trips, and so on produces very little
> benefit - what really matters is what the teacher and students do in that
> classroom.
> Billy Brown, MCSE+I