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Thread: Education and Learning

  1. #1
    I'm now 63 years old and enjoyed a very long and successful career first in journalism and now in advertising. I have a bachelors degree and graduated cum laude.

    Looking back on my years in school, the most useful thing I studied in high school was personal typing. I've been tested at around 110 words per minute.

    In college the most important thing I learned was simply this: you can't be late for the 6-o'clock news. That phrase "you can't be late for the 6 o'clock news" was a truly important life lesson. It means, first of all, you can't be late. As my professor Stan Alten at Syracuse University told us, you can't come on TV at 6-PM and say "we're not ready yet... we'll start the news in two minutes." And that's the way it is with life -- you can't set your own time schedule because the rest of the world has a time schedule too.

    And that brings me to the point of this post.

    Linda has a 15-year old son who goes to a top-rated school here in Ventura that doesn't have a structured class schedule. While I had to be in classes at 8-AM or 1-PM or 10:30-AM, he doesn't. He gets assignments for the week or for the semester, does the work at home on his schedule, and shows up at school several times a week for tests. Test times are open -- for example today he can show up anytime between 10am and 2pm to take a test that will last about 15 minutes.

    He is doing well and getting good grades. He is even taking some college level classes at the local community college. That's pretty impressive for a 15-year old.

    But except for the college class which does have a set time, there is nothing "set" for high school.

    I think that's going to create a problem in the future.

    I learned you can't be late for the 6-o'clock news, but without a set time schedule in high school, when will he learn that he has to be on the job at 9-AM or that the deposit must be in the bank by 2-PM, or that he can't sleep till noon?

    When I was in school I remember one of my teachers telling me that the most important thing we were learning was not about the French revolution, or tangents and square roots -- but how to grow and mature and function in society.

    How does a 15-year old learn to grow and mature and function in society when there is no classroom with other students to interact with and no structure for being in classes and for paying attention to teachers who are writing on chalkboards or blackboards or white boards?

    Sure these kids in this high school might excel in their studies, and this school might continue to pump out scholars who achieve great scores on standardized tests, but what kind of functioning adults will be developed from an unstructured school life?
    It's all about quitting when ahead.

  2. #2
    I'd say, chances are if he's going to an un-structured high school, he may be more likely to end up in a similar un-structured career/job. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Lots of jobs aren't structured. Many can work from home. Others don't have to be at work from X-Y times, 5 days a week. They are given a task and they have to get it done by some time/date. My dad doesn't have to show up at work at some specific time in the morning and leave by some time in the afternoon. No one at his work does [well, there are a few that have to, like opening the building, closing the building, meetings, etc.]. They all have different tasks and get them done in the required time frame. My dad has very little he actually has to do on-site, most of his work can be done from home.

  3. #3
    RS___ understood. But this is a 15 year old, in a school with other 15 year olds, and 16 year olds, and 17 year olds, and they don't know what their future careers will be.

    Wouldn't it be unfortunate if because of their unstructured lives now that they aren't prepared for a structured career later?

    Today, I have an unstructured life and career -- to a certain extent. Yes, I have to be at shoots with clients, and yes I have to deliver my shows on time to closed-captioning and then to the TV stations and networks. But here I am at 12:04pm writing on my forum. I can do this because for 33 years I worked a scheduled shift with TV and radio stations and with CBS when I was a producer, then assignment editor, then reporter. I didn't have the luxury of getting work done when I wanted to get work done -- so the habits I learned in high school prepared me for those jobs.

    Today my job, my work, is different -- but I still use the "skill habits" I learned showing up at high school at 8am to be in my seat in "home room."
    It's all about quitting when ahead.

  4. #4
    Off the cuff:

    Iq tests, etc, are based solely on what worked well in the past. But, ultimately, we have to go with what works in the future. My guess, a (right) mix of everything.

    "Be not the first by whom the new are tried, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside." Alexander Pope

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