Thoughts on education and the media in free-market capitalism-simple reform

The fact is that given the challenges we face, education doesn’t need to be reformed — it needs to be transformed. The key to this transformation is not to standardize education, but to personalize it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions.”

– Sir. Ken Robinson

The media

Information: Genuine Facts about what’s happening or what has happened

Misinformation: Facts presumed as such but are incorrect

Disinformation: Facts provided with the knowledge of falsehood

The mainstream media is currently fully controlled by vested interests in the interest of advertising their products, it’s abundantly obvious to the immediately learned man, they regularly practise disinformation in the interest of their corporate owners and hence the interests of the competitive market, with detrimental effects. To the layman stuck in its charm I feel sympathy. But again, this is not a piece on criticism; there is ample work on this.

I only wish to postulate briefly on a simple reform technique at the national level:

  1. Provide a national media outlet, run by the people for the people
    • No private interests allowed or tied to this organisation
    • EG: The Irish National Media Organisation (INMO)
    • Organised as a cooperative, not-for-profit, answerable to viewers
    • National ‘freedom of speech’ rating provided by the people
    • National ‘transparency index;’ provided by the people
    • National ‘unbiased index’ provided by the people
  2. Provide incentives to encourage community based media outlets
    • Control the concentration of capital to maximise quantity of outlets
    • remove the advertisement incentive for media outlets, subsidise if necessary
  3. Any media organisation is required to be fully transparent and answerable to the people.
    • Private ones can continue but must be fully transparent on who owns them, their balances etc.
    • Each time the INMO finds they have provided Mis or Disinformation they will be reduced in rating until they are shut down.
    • The people will then know the quality of information

Education

Currently we have (in the west anyway) an education system that is more like a factory line up with robots dictated to with no genuine life skills learned. Finally to be punished when they can’t operate effectively in the ‘market’. The more money your parents have the better the school you go to, the more opportunities you have, the better the job you get. The cycle continues with social mobility ever decreasing. Is it rigged in this manner to maintain a stock of worker drones? Probably, but again I’m not here to criticise. See this piece for that.

But let me talk on simple reform here.

Firstly:

NO PRIVATE EDUCATION, always not-for-profit, answerable to the parents/people

Flip the education ideals

  1. Homework should be online ‘khan academy’ style, information dictated to them directly under parent’s supervision, obviously in a fun manner.
    • Children that can’t afford a home computer, the government will provide a ‘learning tablet’
    • One can imagine super cheap ‘learning tablets’, solely with the curriculum downloaded.
  2. Teacher briefly quizzes them on content knowledge from homework and groups accordingly
    • Children who didn’t watch it, don’t get grouped and it’s solely the parents fault
  3. Then class is solving problems related in groups
    • Promotes critical thinking and problem solving
    • Make them be wrong and reward being wrong

Should Children be grouped by age or capability?

  • Age to start with but as they grow older they join groups of like minded children OR unlike-minded ones BUT in an ever refined grouping strategy to make the most effective problem solvers
  • The teachers will require training on how to notice young children’s strengths and weaknesses and scale and group them accordingly

Everything one needs to know about proper schooling can be found by listening to lectures by Sir.Ken Robinson.

Bottom line, this mans education ideals need to be enacted at national level.

With this simple switch in strategy one can imagine a child ever increasing her capabilities in areas that she is strong in until finally graduating with a strong confident knowledge in her strong field, which she can be of maximum benefit to society in.

Check this lecture out on corporate attack on education

Have a look at these great people promoting democratic schools

Sir. Ken Robinsons lecture

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