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Raising Standards of Education

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Questions I am asking myself within the context of education:

What would a modern alternative comprehensive online school look like?  

In what context would you be willing to contribute to such an enterprise?  

What does it mean to read a book a day?

What role does humor play in the development of consciousness?  

How does a call to "Responsibility" and "Meaning" affect the rising generation?

How does one develop a balance between ones own body and mind in healthy integration?  

How does one practice speaking in a compelling way that keeps the interest of your audience?  

What is the value of self awareness?  Do others find you self aware in an argument?

How do you hone your skills toward a contentious audience?

How do you organize vital information to recall in crucial situations?  

When you think, do you develop arguments within yourself in order to prepare to meet your opposition?

How much effort have you made to improve your writing skill?

Who is your target audience?  Ayn Rand wrote for herself, but was also reaching toward her ideal man.

Would your ideal man have any critical feedback for the way you conduct yourself in the world?

Do you have some sense of what you don't know?  

Have you set goals for what you want to accomplish?

In what ways do you abdicate the responsibility toward your aspirations?

In what ways do you create meaning in your life?

Are there disciplines that have become corrupt that I think I might be interested in and able to take on?

What are the common conditions that lead to war?  

Are there good ways to direct my skills toward entrepreneurial pursuits?

What have I learned through the phenomena of social media?  Why leave those venues to my adversaries?  

What are the consequences of recent technological breakthroughs?

How can I develop creatively in all aspects of life?

Has the quality of life of the people I value and love (and who love me) been sufficiently improved by my presence in their lives?

Considering Existence and Consciousness are corollaries: What symbolic void is being left in the world by me not attempting living up to my potential?

How do I quantify the education I have acquired?

How can I find a way to travel and visit more of this planet in a more intimate way?

How can a person be taught to read, think, speak, present, and negotiate in a more efficient manner?

What is the Intellectual Dark Web?

Clinical Psychologist, and Evolutionary Biologist Jordan Peterson is working toward the development of a less expensive online school.


Considering hierarchies are biologically linked to achievement, how do I develop my own competence hierarchy that benefits me as an individual?

Edited by Tenderlysharp
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There is a huge amount to discuss here, and the first step is to understand the implication of “What would a modern alternative comprehensive online school look like?”. First, the question needs to be what a school should be, which makes more explicit that schools have a purpose and we must identify that purpose – the ultimate goal of education – before we can say how we will get there. The purpose of a school is primarily to develop a person’s skills in logic. The secondary purpose is to convey factual conclusions which a person needs, in order to survive (qua man, not just morgue-avoidance).

The qualifications “modern, alternative, comprehensive” do not usefully delimit the thing that we seek. Bear in mind that contemporary educational practices are alternative practices, relative to the practices of the 50’s and 60’s. Being “alternative” is not an objective value, but following different practices could be valuable. We can drop those qualifiers, and ask simply “What is the best way to educate people online” (that is what I take to be the essential and reasonable goal behind the question).


A corollary question is, how or why would online education (OE) differ from in-person education (IPE)? In favor of OE is that it largely eliminates transportation, scheduling and physical-facility problems faced by IPE. Speaking against OE is the fact that it makes student-teacher interaction more difficult (huge lag time between question and answer). A partial advantage of OE is that some aspects of the process can be automated; a partial disadvantage is that some aspects of the process cannot be automated, but they are anyway.


I am very wary of claims about online instruction being less expensive. This may be technically true, but not necessarily a good thing. In some instances, this is accomplished through the selflessness of the instructor: I don’t need to tell you why that is not a good thing, though they have the right to self-sacrifice. In many cases, it is accomplished via the false premise “If we just set this up right, we can let the program run unattended”. You can certainly set up a system that doesn’t require significant human intervention (as teaching does), but they have not at all persuaded me that they are providing a satisfactory product. This, I would say, is the major discussion point regarding online education. IMO, the currently optimal approach is IPE with well-structured online supplementary material.
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Thank you DavidOdden for taking time to consider and express your thoughts on this subject.

2 hours ago, DavidOdden said:

First, the question needs to be what a school should be, which makes more explicit that schools have a purpose and we must identify that purpose ... Being “alternative” is not an objective value, but following different practices could be valuable.

The context for alternative I am pondering is a model that reflects the amazing technological advances we have seen over the last thirty years.  By 1918, every state required students to complete elementary school.  These schools were designed to meet the masses of farmers moving into cities for industrial work.  The industrial model of children flowing through school like a conveyor belt hasn't changed much in the last hundred years.

Some ideas.  Bringing together specialists, in many fields, who are learning about how the brain works.  Optimizing windows that open at certain periods of development where the acquiring of specific skills are accelerated.  Flexibility to foster students to move forward more quickly with what they like and are good at.  Skills at sifting through massive amounts of information in order to quickly identify, organize, prioritize information that is useful.

3 hours ago, DavidOdden said:

IMO, the currently optimal approach is IPE with well-structured online supplementary material.

Yes, this has been on my mind a lot.  My son is eleven years old.  He loves learning and hates school.  Something is terribly wrong with that.  I haven't found an online school that seems like a better option.  He has friends he really likes in school.  I would be happy to join or help build a system that has half or a quarter of in-person education while also seeing him much more dynamically engaged in an online education that plays more like a video game than the repetitive drudgery he keeps bringing home for homework.  In the last six years we have only had one teacher who put real thought into her job.  

I've watched hundreds of You-Tube videos about creativity and education.  Many in-person schools seem amazing, but I don't have the money for tuition, and moving expenses.  I am currently working on setting clear goals to figure out how to move into a better life situation, which takes time.  The online resources I am finding are incredibly helpful, while at the same time I am feeling frustrated that this information wasn't available to me in school twenty years ago.

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