Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The paradoxical problem with education is that humans are competitive. A consequence is this: many kids at school loose interest in education (especially sciences) not because of low confidence in learning the curriculum, but because of low confidence in competing with nerdy kids in glasses. They would rather enjoy social superiority over the nerds.

It is easy not to pay attention to this from a progressive-institutional point of view. But on a massive behavioral scale, the value of education is its competitive edge rather than rational competency. Armchair progressives should better start paying attention to this.

Intellect is generally a higher status characteristic for humans. How else did our outsized brains evolve? The modern society and universal education messed up this linkage somewhat. But with glorious times of swift progress and ample resources apparently ending, the future is with masses that do not particularly value education (especially knowing the recent screw-up in high education). People, especially men, will rather look for narrow mastery than broad education. And they will be comfortable with selection by inequality.

by das monde on Sat Jul 16th, 2016 at 01:15:31 PM EST
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 "And they will be comfortable with selection by inequality." That is the problem. And what we call 'civics' needs to be thoroughly reformed so that students get a clearer idea of how the world really works and what influence they can have upon it. But, were teachers to start doing this en masse there would likely be great public outcry about 'polluting the minds of our youth." Imagine if I were to expalain money with Warren Mosler's example from British African Colonization; to paraphrase:
The British went in and established plantations to grow crops for export: indigo, sugar, bananas and coffee and established mines for available minerals, but the natives did not want to work on the plantations. They lived in thatched huts, grew food crops, did some hunting - all on their own terms - and were self sufficient. So the British Governor established a hut tax - pay so many shillings per month or the colonial army would destroy your hut!

Now there were plenty of workers available. They needed to earn shillings to pay the hut tax. And, best of all, actually paying the workers with actual coins was optional. The plantation owners could just report that the required work had been performed for each family that provided so much labor. (End of Mosler's example.) Of course they could also establish a colonial store that carried items the natives wanted which English manufacturers made and pay the natives more than just that required for the hut tax, which they could then use at the colonial store. And they could also offer to but things the natives could obtain by hunting or foraging such as ivory, feathers and furs.

This would offer a clear example of how money can be made to work and how power relationships operate. But it would likely be a bit too clear for many parents in the community. Damned Communist teacher!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jul 16th, 2016 at 08:33:18 PM EST
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