Do Educated People Undervalue Education?

I received an interesting comment in response to one of my posts over at LifeWithoutSchool. What do you think? Does she have a point? Is there a benefit to keeping everyone in the middle to avoid deprived environments?

The thing that most educated people like to convenintly believe is that “education” is not necessary.This is some sort of self congraulatory buffeter against the idea that they didn’t get where they are due to there own prowess and not undeserved fortunate circumstances and provisions wich they had no merit for receiving. The proposal here in this treatise is that the person learns everyday in whatever there imediate reality seems to be.But it’s quite apparent that if ones perpetual,persistant reality doesn’t consist of anything constructive or of any appreciable enriching value,the persons so called “life education” would be totally worthless and of no bennefit whatsoever outside the frame of reference in wich the person finds themselves.In other words,someone who is trapped, “learning” in an environment of deprivation and underprivilage would be woefully deficient in the qualities neccessary to enter a higher quality of life.Essentially confining the person in a state of maladjustment and inadequacy to enter “higher” levels of existence wich most people take for granted.These sorts of states have other ramifications bothe physically and emotionally wich are deterents to happiness and quality of life.Existence basically consists of banign or malignant self perpetuating cycles,so it can be sa id that just to be safe,it would always be better for the human being to exist within the most beneficial standardized perameters of educational society as opposed to residing in some subnormal,removed from the main stream, condition of suffering and worthless “learning”.


13 Responses to “Do Educated People Undervalue Education?”

  1. sunniemom Says:

    For starters, and in my opinion, this person completely missed the point of your post. Secondly, I am not sure what *their* point is. But if the idea is that everyone needs to be in the middle… where’s the middle? Don’t you have to have extremes to have a middle? If *everyone’s* in the middle, there is no middle. 😉

    If this person’s comment is meant to address children whose home lives consist of poverty and abuse, and thus their ‘life education’ would leave them bound to those parameters, then that’s a valid point. But that is a parenting issue, and not an educational one. If a parent provides a safe and nurturing environment in which a child can fully satisfy their innate curiosity, as well as instilling character and courage, then that child is going to benefit tremendously and be productive in society without the standard ‘formal education’.

    The Bible says that the poor will always exist. There will always be tragedy, sloth, and greed. There isn’t enough legislation in the universe to eliminate human nature’s unseemly side. The point of law is to ensure that those who refuse to correct their own behavior cannot by their actions deprive others of their life, liberty or property.

    This gives families liberty to create the home environment that they believe to be most beneficial to their children. It isn’t about elitism- it’s about freedom.

  2. Luke Holzmann Says:

    Yes, I would agree that it would be better to give everyone something “better.” That is obvious and a truism. Therefore, I too, wonder what the point of the comment is.

    The issue is not that some people believe that it is better to give people something worse. People generally agree that it would be great to improve the lives of everyone. The question for me is one of pragmatism: How do we go about doing this? It certainly does not make sense to make life “worse” for someone so that everyone can exist in a “merely bad” environment.


  3. Hil Says:

    >But it’s quite apparent that if ones perpetual,persistant reality doesn’t consist of anything constructive or of any appreciable enriching value,the persons so called “life education” would be totally worthless and of no bennefit whatsoever outside the frame of reference in wich the person finds themselves.<

    You can learn science, math, reading, etc through most activities. I don’t know if people believe that until they’ve seen it, but I’ve seen it (and the tests prove it) … unschooling works.

    My older son spends most of his time playing video games, and they’ve helped him with reading, spelling, math, history, etc. More importantly, they’ve gotten him interested in things that wouldn’t be in a traditional “enriched” environment that he’s had the gumption to study on his own.

    I agree wholeheartedly that this is a parenting issue, and that the results apply whether a child is unschooled or loaded down with a full curriculum.

  4. wrongshoes Says:

    I’ve noticed that when someone says that school (as we know it) is not the best way to educate, people assume you mean *turn the poor kids loose in the streets.*

    I can imagine community centers and children’s museums replacing public schools. Places where kids can go, learn and play, work with mentors, and get meals if they need them. It is possible to allow children to direct their own educations while providing community support at the same time.

  5. Lynn Says:

    No, I don’t agree that children need to be kept in the ‘middle’ to succeed; however, I do believe, from theory and experience, that children do excel within a more structured environment.

  6. Zayna Says:

    It is hard to tell, between the big words and the poor grammar and spelling, exactly what the commenter’s point is.

    “But it’s quite apparent that if ones perpetual,persistant reality doesn’t consist of anything constructive or of any appreciable enriching value,the persons so called “life education” would be totally worthless and of no bennefit whatsoever outside the frame of reference in wich the person finds themselves.”

    Well, who gets to define what is “constructive or of any appreciable enriching value”?

    My daughter spent almost 7 years in the public school system and the experience only served to undervalue her potential, label and accentuate her weaknesses and leave her feeling like she wasn’t good enough.

    How is this “safe”? How is this better for everyone in the long run?

    The bottom line is, I don’t really care what’s best for everyone if it means my child suffers. I homeschool because I can and I want to do what’s best for my child.

    It has nothing to do with meeting the needs of society as a whole or about making sure that everyone is on a level playing field.

    That’s the concern of those who write and enforce educational policy…I’m not out to change the world.

    I’m just trying to provide my child with the best the world has to offer…and from our experience, public school just doesn’t fit into that picture.

    I hate that people make homeschoolers out to be anti-public school. Most of us aren’t…we’ve just found another way that makes us happier as individuals and as a family.

  7. Lori Says:

    ouch ouch ouch, the spelling is hurting my head. ;^)

    i think they are saying that if you unschool but you live a “middle” life that doesn’t include reaching for the highest and best — music, art, science, philosophy? — then your children will be doomed to stay in the same spot. i think.

  8. Obi-Mom Kenobi Says:

    Hahahahahaha. Oh wait, she was serious.

    I think the fear that some people have over “unusual” education methods translates into “impossible” educational methods. I agree with wrongshoes’ statement that most people see unschooling as “unlearning” or, worse, maladaptive learning that could encourage illegal activity. I admit that I did, until I met some fantastic unschooling kids and families, really saw how they lived and learned on a daily basis and moved further in our own homeschooling (some might even call it school at home – although it’s not really that way) journey.

  9. schqc Says:

    The fascinating thing is the presumption of knowing what a “higher” state of being is. The more I learn, the more I am unsure of what “being” is.

    We are presumptuous of nature (and/or God if you’d like to phrase it that way) to dare say what “state of being” anyone “should” be.

    I find unschooling to be a more natural and humble way.

  10. Laura A Says:

    I think it would be easier to understand what this person is saying if we could see him/her face to face and ask questions. The first time I read it, and perhaps even now, I saw the statement from a completely different angle than most of the commenters have seen it. I thought it was a plea from someone who had experienced this deprivation first hand.

    I saw this person as saying, ‘Well, it’s all fine and dandy for you educated people to unschool your kids. You have a great environment for learning in your homes, even without formal academics. But what if you were like me? What if you grew up in a home where no one cared? Perhaps even in a dysfunctional, unsafe home? Then living without school would mean that not only would you not enjoy learning as people in happier circumstances do, you’d even be deprived of the most basic skills. I’m glad that schools exist if only to serve the segments of society in which daily life is dangerous and criminal records are common. At least that way a poor kid could work his or her way up.”

    I didn’t see it as some bureaucrat saying that conscientious parents shouldn’t be trusted with their own children’s education so much as I saw it as a simple reminder from someone who grew up deprived that yes, some people need extra help. Should everyone be forced to take this sort of help? Of course not. John Taylor Gatto even makes a pretty good case that inner city schools actually hobble students who are trying to improve themselves. (He even thinks it’s conscious and intentional, while I think it may simply be the unintended consequence of a bloated bureaucracy that can no longer deflate.) This may not have been the case 100 years ago, but I can certainly believe it’s the case now.

  11. Saille Says:

    Everything I’ve seen in public schools, private schools and home schools indicates that interest-led learning is best. I think this person does not disprove the merits of unschooling, so much as highlight the benefit of an enriched environment. However, I can think of many ways this could be made available to all children without the current highly bureaucratic, testing-oriented public school model currently employed.

  12. Crimson Wife Says:

    I don’t think all families have the resources to “unschool” successfully. Those resources don’t necessarily have to mean having a lot of money or that the parents have a high level of formal education themselves. But they do have to have the motivation to create an environment for their children that is conducive to learning.

    But the recognition that not all parents are good candidates to “unschool” their children does not mean that we have to stick them in traditional schools either. Wrongshoes’ comment mentioned some good alternatives.

  13. Learning Technics Says:

    i cant believe how many people are so unfortunate in such a great country we need to start helping our country first then worry about the rest of the world

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