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Topic: A question about straight lines
Replies: 103   Last Post: Feb 8, 2014 8:28 AM

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GS Chandy

Posts: 7,603
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
Re: A question about straight lines
Posted: Feb 2, 2014 3:42 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

Robert Hansen (RH) posted Feb 2, 2014 8:18 PM (http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9377896) - GSC's remarks precede and are interspersed:

See my post dt. Feb 2, 2014 5:27 PM (http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9377902), which responds directly to various issues raised.
>
> (RH): On Feb 2, 2014, at 1:10 AM, GS Chandy
> <gs_chandy@yahoo.com> wrote:
>

> > GSC: I guess the times may demand that scientific
> > studies be done about the relative values of PUSHING/
> > GOADING students to learn versus ENCOURAGING them to
> > do that.

>
> So, you have encouraged your child to study, yet they
> continue to put it off. What do you do next? Give up?
>

Let me clarify what I WOULDN'T do: I WOULDN'T PUSH or GOAD or THRASH him (or her).

You have posed me a theoretical question that I really don't know how to answer. My own two sons were generally conscious of their 'working responsibilities' (i.e. their learning responsibilities at school), which was mainly NOT to bring shame upon their parents by failing. This they never did. I believe the early ENCOURAGEMENT given to them by my wife (and by me, I guess) must have had something to do with them developing such healthy attitudes.

I must confess that neither of my sons during their schooldays or later ever did quite as well as I believed they were capable of, and I did on occasion let them know my feelings on it. In general, they said [respectively], "Sorry, I'll do better next time" - and sometimes they did do better and sometimes they didn't; usually they did at least try (they said, and I had no reason to disbelieve them).

In general, their mother who was a school teacher those days took care of all such matters: she was then training to qualify as a Montessori teacher, and she wouldn't PUSH or GOAD them. In fact, most of what I know about the learning abilities of children (and about the Montessori system) I have picked up from her.

Likewise, my 'adopted grandchildren' also are most responsible about what and how they study and about their personal responsibilities around their home, helping their mother, etc.

(Backgrounder: These adopted grandchildren live, with their mother, in a separate house at my son's farm. Their father - who used to work on the farm - died when the youngest, a boy, was still in his mother's womb, I believe. After the man's death, my son stepped up to adopt the children as the mother was quite desperate. That boy is now around 14 years of age. [I wasn't in Bangalore those days as I was working in Mumbai, Hyderabad, and elsewhere and I met these children and their mother only about six months later, during a short visit I paid here]).
>
> And scientific studies aren?t going to help because
> every kid is different, even in the same family.
>

OF COURSE every kid is different! What do you think I have been saying all along? (!!!) AND, of course, science (including 'management science') knows rather little about human beings, how they think, how they motivate themselves, etc, etc. [Recall, for instance, Hamlet's words to Horatio, which I've often quoted here]. I do find your above claim about "scientific studies" to be quite a revelation, as a demonstration of profound ignorance about what I have clearly stated here time and time again!!!
>
> It
> is pretty hard to make a comparison between elephants
> and humans.
>

Did I EVER make a 'comparison' between elephants and humans? Where did I do that?
>
> A baby elephant has only one fate in
> life, to grow up to be an adult elephant. But a human
> child can grow up to be just about anything and that
> takes a lot more than just encouragement.
>

ENTIRELY untrue and incorrect (your claim about human children)! A human child cannot (for instance) grow up to be an adult elephant (or an adult frog, for that matter): the human infant has only one fate in life: to grow up to be an adult human being - just as that elephant calf has only one fate: to grow up to become an adult elephant.

If you know of anything else that the human child can grow up into, I'd be happy to know just how you manage to accomplish this veritable miracle. (You may like to contact Craig Ventner or some such person - I'm sure he'd pay at least a couple of million dollars for such knowledge).

Hopefully the human child will grow up to be the the best adult human being he/she can be. That's it! NOTHING ELSE IS POSSIBLE! But that is plenty.

And that is precisely what our educational systems (including management schools) know rather little about: it is possible to understand how to motivate individuals and groups to work to become the best they can be. However, despite the ignorance of our educational systems about such matters, quite a few business leaders are able to motivate their people by way of personal magnetism, charisma, other qualities. (Adolf Hitler was able to motivate his followers to become the 'worst they could be'. Presumably Pol Pot and other such monsters likewise).

Unfortunately, our 'traditional educational systems' do not enable individuals or groups to discover the best within themselves. (Nor, for that matter, do most of the 'reform educational systems'. The Montessori system does accomplish this, for primary school children [see below]).

(In general, it really is up to the human child to make of himself or herself the best he/she can do. A fair bit of that (not everything, by any means) is determined by his/her parents and teachers and schools and how they ENCOURAGE him/her to realise his/her personal capabilities. PUSHING or GOADING doesn't do it.

Our educational systems generally fail quite considerably in accomplishing any of the above desiderata.
>
> In your
> theory of encouragement only, have you taken into
> account competition?
>

Yes, I have. As noted in my other post referred above, there is 'constructive competition' and there is 'destructive competition'. There are significant differences between the two. To explain the difference between the two would demand that one learns to use and apply 'prose + structural graphics' and convince yourself via a variety of models one make for oneself, relative to your specific circumstances faced and the interests that one has in life. As you have firmly determined to ensure that your mind is hermetically sealed to prevent the ingress of new knowledge, it is unlikely you will ever understand these differences.
>
> Why do you think there are so
> many coaches?
>

Let me venture a few 'thoughts' as you've asked me for them:

- -- Because diff'rent folks want diff'rent strokes, don't you think?

- -- Because some coaches are better and some are worse? (Competition, you see).

- -- Other reasons?
>
> Often, encouragement alone doesn?t get
> your son or daughter far enough.
>

*Effective* ENCOURAGEMENT - developing from an adequate understanding of the learner's real skills, talents and interests - would enable the learner to learn how to put his/her best abilities to work. The learner (and his/her teacher or parent) may well make significant errors in the understanding and evaluation of those skills, talents, interests. The processes I suggest ensure that such evaluation is effectively done, without the huge wastes of time and effort - and consequent frustrations - that often occur via the 'conventional processes'.
>
> It would be far
> different if later life didn?t depend so much on your
> skills and knowledge of things. But it does.
>

Did I ever claim that it didn't?

You believe that PUSHING and GOADING will do the trick for you? Feel free to do all of the PUSHING and GOADING that you want. I believe differently from you.
>
> As far as the un-school schools like Montessori. If
> the pedagogy they practice is so damn good why are
> they so unpopular?
>

I don't know the 'Montessori situation' in the USA. I DO know that - in India - the 'Montessori pedagogy' is claimed to be in use by a GREAT MANY (perhaps a sizable majority) of schools here! Is your statement above another instance of false claims from you?

[It is another matter that barely 1 in 10 of 'so-called 'Montessori schools' in India are *actually* using the 'Montessori system' (though many of them do have all the expensive equipment with them)].
>
> People aren?t buying it. What
> little popularity they have seems to be with very
> young kids, 3rd grade and younger.
>

It is true enough that the 'Montessori system' has been developed only for 3rd grade and younger children. There has been far too little development of the 'Montessori system' for higher grades.

This is largely true, I believe, worldwide - and it has been the major failure of the 'Montessori system': probably there has never been anyone with the understanding of the 'learning processes' and the vision of Maria Montessori to take forward her original vision (developed in the early parts of the 20th century). It is a HUGE task. Montessori people would need to get interested in doing the very hard work of developing such a 'Mission'.
>
> After that the
> parents move on to a more traditional and driven
> curriculums. It is rare enough to see a Montessori
> primary school. It is very rare to see a Montessori
> middle school or high school.
>

True enough, here in India also. (As readily acknowledged above).
>
> Do you at least acknowledge that most of the world
> both encourages and pushes their children in school?
>

I do indeed acknowledge that "most of the world believes in PUSHING children to learn". Does the world ENCOURAGE learning? Not much; not effectively; there are no systematic processes in education to do any of that.

The fact that "most of the (people in the) world PUSH and GOAD their children in school" does not make it the right way to help children develop. (To provide you with a 'analogy' of sorts: A minority of people in Germany were functionaries in the Nazi Party, and they were responsible for the horrors of those Nazi Camps; the majority of German citizens of that time just stood aside; looked away from or through those Nazi Death Camps as though they were non-existent! That didn't make it the 'right way' to treat the Jewish and other people identified by the Nazis as 'untermenschen').
>
> Regardless of whether you think it is right or not.
> Isn?t this your point? To change what the world is
> doing now.
>

Yes. That IS indeed the point: "to change the foolish way that the world works today". (This will surely happen - or we [human beings] are doomed. It will happen over a a generation or two, of course - or even longer - to accomplish such a Mission. Obviously I shan't be around to see this happen).

GSC
("Still Shoveling! Not PUSHING!! Not GOADING!!!")


Message was edited by: GS Chandy


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