Pssst… we can write an original essay just for you. For the educational system, this translates as an imbalanced approach to teaching students how to think creatively and authentically. Why is every Crisis in American Education cast as an economic threat and never a civic one? Why an education recovery automatically equals to an economy recovery?

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Thanks for this post. It is so stimulating that I'm having a hard time organizing my thoughts in response. I read your summary and I also quickly read through the original article. To start with, both democracy and science have this in common, that they have destroyed institutions based on an objectified myth of ultimate truth e. Because these institutions -- democratic governments, universities, the bodies of scientific peers -- are, to speak metaphorically, "standing in front of the ultimate truth," they are fatiguing and discouraging to those of the typically human fanatical bent.

In times of trouble, particularly, this fatigue makes the institutions vulnerable to capture by those with a hankering for more objectified solutions.

For myths. So, I think Slouka is spot on with respect to our increasing distaste for risk. But I think he is terribly wrong with respect to his understanding of science and scientific institutions. In particular I think he simply seems blind to how scientists actually feel and think. As far as I can tell, it is not quantification that scientists value -- quantification is simply an extremely valuable tool to get at what they really do value, which is understanding Nature.

To my mind, although I know many poets and scientists would not agree, the wish and act to more deeply understand Nature is just as much Wisdom and oriented in the vertical direction as any department of the humanities. Insofar as quantification has a value of its own, that is mathematics, which is a science in its own right and a kind of Nature in itself.

I think it's interesting that Slouka does not directly discuss mathematics outside of its relationship with science and technology at all. So, I think Slouka obscures the difference between science and technology. I think a society formed according to Slouka's fears would idolize technology and kill science. And I do think the US has gone some distance in that direction.

Nor do I think the other developed countries are immune to this idolization of the economic. Regards, Mike Gogins. Maybe no one has gone to jail for espousing the wrong value of Hubble's constant, but I do remember hearing a story about a guy named Galileo who got into trouble for supporting the 'wrong' astronomical theory. He's wrong if he thinks there are not current day examples of the same. How about stem-cell research in the US as an example? Hi Bee, Mathematical basis as cold and austere Never had a chance to look at your "this and that" articles So reading What we unconsciously acted out, in compressed, almost haiku-like form A philosophy store?

See : Dehumanized: When math and science rule the school Any prospective husband having stood in a position with, and recalls the opinions of the prospective in-laws as a vital link in the relationship building understands well what Mark Slouka is saying? Does society change with them, with such new affirmative style, that it indeed knows what it's talking about? Hi Bee, As a side note, I find the American voting system disturbing for a country which is allegedly considered the "most democratic country of the world".

Here in Brazil, the absolute majority of votes elects the president and period, not a complicated system involving each state of the union. We overcame that as well, and I guess an average Brazilian wouldn't like to hear that one, even though formal education is our most serious issue today. Best, Christine. For surplus to exist, managers secular and religious must not impress circles of Hell for mathematicians, scientists, and engineers.

Politics is proof by contradiction. Totalitarian societies define and enforce the humanities. Enforce Lysenko and everybody real world starves independent of the rights and aspirations of mankind. The US system puts too much value on math and science? We'll see if the higher grades are any better. There is way too little homework and what he does get is pretty dumb. I expected some math HW every day for practice; there is none. But I can tell you there is a definite focus on all things American geography and history in the most ridiculous detail, while the world history or geography are decidedly on the back burner.

For instance, my son will never have geography as a separate subject, WTF? I was born and raised in Europe, and I do not like the idea of my son growing up to be what many Europeans refer to as the "st00pid American.

But perhaps I should stop ranting now Alas, Bee, to its shame, even in "democratic" Germany, scientists are being caged in prisons for obtaining "the wrong result for Hubble's Constant". No need to cite Galileo. It looked scary big.

You should quit looking at it in absolute terms, especially being the smart man that you are. You should look at in terms debt to GDP. Right now we have exported pretty much all manufacturing jobs overseas. This was helped by creating a tax structure that encouraged this. If all we did was return all the manufacturing we now do overseas to this country via a new tax structure that severely penalized corporations for doing it we would increase our GDP enormously.

And we would simultaneously close the loophole that now allows megacorporations to pay little or no taxes. Like I said before, you should never, never, never have economic policies that contract an economy while you are already in recession.

To me it seems like that is what you are advocating with your scare tactics. And I also did attend the A. Thank you Mom, wherever you are. It's all about Civics, and worship of The State over Individuals. Where have we heard that before? I believe it involved a nation whose flag had a sickle and a hammer.

I don't know where this guy says Math and Science is pushed. He must hate them, so eff him. In high school, Math and Science IS pushed, but it's too late for many,no, most. They kill the love of math here in the 4th grade, particularly. More on that later, but essentially we teach our children from pre-school to 2nd grade very very well, but starting in third grade we test them to death and essentially kill off any love of learning, for the majority, from there on out, save the exceptional and passionate.

The math-haters won. America has a serious problem teaching its year olds, and by then they reach puberty, and it's too late. Have a nice day. Eric, " you should never, never, never have economic policies that contract an economy while you are already in recession. How can you not detect a fundamental national economic flaw there? Germany has fewer people than America has remoras. Did Frank Ghery design the US economy? Steven, "[ the A. But if you step back and look at the big picture all biological entities, cells, proteins etc form entangled systems which interact with each other non-locally.

That just seems to be the way the universe works. It is quantum interaction on large scales. It cannot be stopped. Governments purpose is to channel the energy of those interactions so they meet constructive rather destructive ends. If you didn't like what you were taught in school it might be because they were teaching crap.

Governments will form at all levels in human interactions and you can't wish it away. But you can make it better and make it less intrusive for the largest group of people. So it is well worth studying. We are all part of a larger system and it can't be helped. All we can do is try to make it work better for all of us. That means education about it - good education. Hi Michael, Sorry, your comment got stuck in the spam filter, not sure why.

Yes, the question of institutional organization is of course central. Not only in this regard. I'd argue global politics is suffering from our lacking understanding in this point as well.

Though there's actually been quite some research done on that, but I doubt much of it actually made it into reality. In any case, I share your impression that Slouka doesn't seem to have spent much time with scientists. I am also vary of people who go around and just claim 'you can't measure this' or that. Fact is, in most cases you can measure it, and the cases where a system does indeed have observables that are not measureable I don't think are relevant here.

What is usually the case is that you can measure 'it' whatever it is, once you have defined it, but it's pointless or even makes matters worse. Thing is that Slouka actually doesn't have anything to come up with why the success of humanist education can't be measured. What he says is that it's a long-term effect and one that doesn't directly impact the GDP, ie it's difficult to measure and not with currently used procedures.

Which is arguably true, and I think the shortcomings of the GDP are now very well known. But of course he couldn't say it that way because it doesn't fit with his philosophy of the unmeasureable value. Best, B.


DEHUMANIZED – when math and science rule the school by mark slouka

Covering a story? Visit our page for journalists or call Get more with UChicago News delivered to your inbox. Making a stirring argument for the deep value of a humanities education, Professor Mark Slouka has provoked debate with an extended Harper's Magazine essay that critiques the widespread focus on education's economic benefits to students. An education in the humanities should help students form values and understand what it means to be human, Slouka writes in "Dehumanized: When Math and Science Rule the School. The heart of Slouka's argument is familiar - that the study of literature, history and other subjects in the humanities is essential to shaping an independent-minded, compassionate citizenry.


An Analysis of Mark Slouka's Argument on the Lack of Humanities in American Education

Among the many thought-provoking papers and panels was one on the contribution that Humanities might make to the scholarship of teaching and learning. During the session Mark Slouka's recent article in Harper's Magazine was discussed. Many of the issues raised by Slouka the impact of Humanities' disciplines, the privileging of STEM subjects and the increasing importance of an employability agenda will resonate strongly with UK audiences. The article is powerful and thought-provoking and deserves a wide academic readership. In his essay, Dehumanized: When math and science rule the school, Mark Slouka takes the unnecessarily adversarial relationship between the humanities and the sciences to a new level. He represents science and humanities as two non-intersecting sets. This naive and isolated representation goes a long way to explain his conclusions.

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