SO, if this is the case, anyone out there with a vindictive boy/girlfriend could end your career over a lapse in judgement & allowing them to video or photograph you having sex. Anyone else think its odd that this is exactly how Kardashian became famous?
Shields, I think we're agreed kids should learn reading & writing; grammar, too, I expect. How about what literature to teach them? You cannot keep teaching kids to spell through junior high just to satisfy your fact-fetish.
Titus, you are asking me to create the entire curriculum for each class, then to defend it from any nitpicky shit you throw at it. I don't really have the time to do that. You can put up any god damned text for all I care at this exact moment and create some sort of standard for grading the interpretation based on grade level. You can do the same with writing a paper, or research or whatever. If it doesn't give you a raging hard on because of some values based bullshit that only Titus cares about, I don't care. If it meets a national/state/local standard for where they want a 9th grade student to be at, then I care.
Oh, Philistine! Your quantifiable criteria are worthless everywhere except in the sciences. Aside from vulgar conventionalism, you cannot teach English without taste & history without a sense for nobility--matters of opinion & sentiment. If it were left to people like you to explain what Washington or Lincoln meant, or Reagan, in that famous address on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, no explaining would get done. Then again, you might like it that way & that day may come soon enough, I fear. It is people like you, but who lack your good sense for staying away from the matter, that are ruining education in all such fields. Hopefully, they do a much better job in the sciences, or else America is rubble!
We've gone down this road before. I don't give a damn about your notion on nobility or taste, coming from you, those words are worthless to me.
That, and you have got to be one stupid fucking idiot. You can teach what a speech meant, it is up to the individual if they are going to agree or not. Unless you would have the teacher make the student a conservative or a liberal.
It is not my taste that matters; it is that literature is a matter of taste. The meaning of a speech must include the form of the speech. That is a matter of style. You would need someone who understands why metaphors are used & what the use of specific metaphors means. Poets write about beauty; Lincoln wrote about nobility. Philistines cannot understand that, do not care to--& are incompetent to teach it.
Lets try this again. How many classes have you had that have NOT had a grade assigned to them? Now in my second year towards my masters, I put my number at 0. Even silly classes like PE or Band had some sort of grade assigned. Quantifications are already in existance for all of the classes. There is already a scale for what is and is not acceptable. It has been and can be done. Tests for professional certifications that I have obtained have had grades. Writing tests for my GMAT, had grades. When I look at a resume for a potential employee, I will assign my own grading system. Hell, when I read posts here in GD, I will mentally assign a level/grade of writing, reasoning, thought, expression and so on. To an extent, everything can be put on a quantification scale.
What you are arguing about is the minutia of what should or should not be placed into the qualifiers, what should or should not be taught. That isn't my argument at the moment, my argument is that it has been quantified, we can tweak the quantifiers to a scale we want, and we can go from there.
End of story, end of argument.
I am with you regarding courses--there are always grades, numerical or alphabetical. These are mere conventions, however. If somebody looked over the years in which I have had very high grades & years in which I have had moderately high grades & compared them, he would learn nothing about my school performance, let alone my ability. If he compared them with other grades, in the same schools / cities / countries--he would learn nothing he could not learn in five minutes' conversation. Grade inflation, a democratic disease, includes an even worse form of democracy: Grade compression.
Grading is not as such worthless. But the truth about grading is merely this: It fosters a sense of competition by acting on reputations.
You can assign numbers to whatever you like; so long as you do it in an arbitrary manner, you are an idiot. If you mean grades in the sense that grading equals performance, or is aproximately equal to performance, that is impossible. The illusion that it is possible is sometimes useful; but dangerous, like in your cases.
Verification in the sciences is almost impeccable; everywhere else, verification in an objective manner is almost impossible. There are parts that can be verified, like grammar / spelling or chronologies or lists; but there are few & of debatable importance.
The Philistine will say: Well, this guy went to this school & got these grades; that indicates good or bad. I believe that it does not; it just means there are conventions & people follow them. Whether those conventions are reasonable or not has yet to be established. Some ways of grading history students are reasonable; most are not. So with everything else not a science. Of course, even in science the grading can be disastrous--but it need not be.
I can't believe I am saying this...but I do agree. I have known many people who have repeatedly made great grades, and after talking with them for minutes, they leave me wondering how the hell they made those grades.
I will even go as far as to agree that grading is not THE ideal method, esp not universal grading. It just gets to a point where then if we do not have something like this, we start judging based on the arbitrary on to the opinions of the person.
You might think that Great Expectations was a great novel, while I can appreaciate what happened and can recognize how it influenced other literature, I would rather stick a red hot poker up my ass than read that book again. Some people out there creamed their panties when they saw the Dodge Farmer commercial, I personally thought it was pandering horseshit. But, I can at least pick out the symbology and why they did cream about it, what went it to it all. It becomes what actually do we want them to learn.
Was Lincoln the best president ever or what exactly did Lincoln do and what were his influences and thoughts while doing those things? They are two significantly distinct things, but sometimes the way you phrase your responses, I don't know if you are truly asking them as two different things, and why the first would even be needed to be asked or graded other than can the kid give a unique personal answer based on the second question. And then, can we insure that the teacher does not bias the students answer or grade based on the teachers own bias.
1. We agree on the fact that conventional methods of judgment are inevitable, necessary--excusable, therefore--but not good. The results they produce may be tolerable in the aggregate, but that's because of what people are in the aggregate: Faithful democrats. Various exceptions to these conventions always need to be tolerated, or else judgment is stifled, replaced by conformism.
You just say it in your cocky American way: You'd judge would-be employees for yourself. In the American way, you fail to say what you ought: That you trust in your judgment; you pretend that you trust in categories & quantities. Maybe that's the American way... Let me add that I suspect you of judging your employers in the same way...
2. I don't think any of Dickens's books should be read under the threat of torture. I think a man who learns his English may joke in the way you do, but he ought to think that, were any of his friends in whose judgment on literature he trusts to suggest it, reading Dickens, even re-reading Dickens, holds some promise. Of course, one who believes Dickens is always worth readings & rereading must invite skepticism, more or less polite.
I did not see that commercial, but I read some people's reaction to it; yes, grown men confessed they might have shed a tear listening to Paul Harvey talk. But these are men who show a sensibility that I think you lack. Knowing what that sensibility is, or what the farmer means in this case, & why it matters to Americans, is indeed sufficient; agreement is unnecessary.
3. I also wonder about professors' bias, not whether it's there, but whether it might do me harm. I have learned talking with you that I might be infinitely patient; but that that might not make me good at explaining what I mean. I think that that's a quality students lack, but I believe it is necessary to professors. If the way teachers of all kinds are educated can supply it, even in a middling ways, that should counter the bias of judgment.
Now, I agree that a man's intentions & his actions are different things. His thinking & the political situation are also different things. But I try not to distinguish them. I have seen what insistence on that distinction does to people: They forget that politicians are human beings, whose intentions & actions have to be put together to understand them.
The banal purpose of teaching American kids English & history is to have American kids reasonably able to judge character & circumstances wherever they find themselves, or at least in America. There are other ways of achieveing this, but none available to kids, I think, or at any rate to all kids more or less at once.
History teaches Americans things they would not notice, either because they take them for granted, or because the democratic kind of thinking is simply uninterested in them. Specifically, understanding how judges & presidents think, by moving from the banal case to the extraordinary, of which almost no one has direct experience. Without that, they will never be able to think reasonably about America. They would always depend on pundits, on regurgitated general ideas, which are too popular in a democracy anyway.
When you discuss "teaching American kids English & history is to have American kids reasonably able to judge character & circumstances wherever they find themselves", for someone like me who uses different phrasing, is this the same as saying that it is important in that it creates context to things we/they will encounter in life?
Yeah, context is one thing. The other thing is recognizing people as what they are. Literature builds judgment by showing you many types of people, their typical actions--as well as what they are like in extreme situations. Also, literature teaches you that people think. Experience may supplant that, but if that was enough, education would simply omit anything non-scientific! You learn to talk at home anyway...
When I was a kid, I wondered why some professors thought much of me & others did not; who was right? How did they do it? That's the thing. Who's good at figuring people out; how do they do it? Call it scouting; I like to call it chasing the beings. Either way, it teaches you to see appearance as appearances & to look for other things, even things not readily apparent.