TCS Daily


Will Creativity Rule the World?

By Bill Costello - February 3, 2010 12:00 AM

While researching education systems in Asia, I had the opportunity to visit schools and universities in China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan. What I observed was a scarcity of creative thinking. While students in those education systems achieve some of the highest scores in the world in math and science, they have problems when it comes to "thinking outside the box."

This is problematic for the future of these Asian nations because creativity is increasingly becoming one of the most important skills in the global marketplace according to several distinguished authors.

In The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Thomas L. Friedman states: "On such a flat earth, the most important attribute you can have is creative imagination—the ability to be the first on your block to figure out how all these enabling tools can be put together in new and exciting ways to create products, communities, opportunities, and profits."

In Five Minds for the Future, Harvard professor Howard Gardner describes five kinds of minds—or cognitive abilities—that he believes are critical to success in the 21st century. Among them is the ability to think creatively.

In A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, business guru Daniel H. Pink outlines the four major historical ages: agricultural age (farmers), industrial age (factory workers), information age (knowledge workers), and conceptual age (creators and empathizers). Pink argues that while logical thinkers ruled the first three ages, creative thinkers will rule the upcoming conceptual age.

The scarcity of creative thinking in many Asian education systems bodes well for U.S. students, who score lower in math and science but tend to think more creatively.

This is not to say that knowledge in math and science is not important, because it is. However, knowledge alone is not enough. It must be combined with the ability to apply knowledge in new ways. As Einstein put it, "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

Applying knowledge in new ways is how innovation occurs, and innovation is critical to any nation's economic and national security.

For centuries, the U.S. has been the world's innovation leader. It's critical that the U.S. maintain that position.

As U.S. factory jobs and back-office jobs continue to move overseas, Americans have fewer and fewer skills to offer the global marketplace.Several Asian nations now know how to make products and provide services on their own; however, they are still relying on the U.S. to decide what those products and services should be. These decisions require creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation. This is where the U.S. still holds an advantage.

To ensure that American workers will be able to compete globally, educational efforts in the U.S. should focus on strengthening creative thinking skills. Contrary to popular opinion, creative thinking skills can be cultivated with time and effort.

In addition, the rewards from creative efforts should not be taxed at higher rates in the U.S. than in other countries. Otherwise, the most creative, entrepreneurial, and innovative Americans will be tempted to move overseas to work for rising countries like China and India.

As the land of opportunity extends beyond the borders of the U.S., highly educated and skilled immigrants are returning to their home countries in greater numbers to work and start new businesses. Who will fuel innovation and economic growth in the U.S. if highly educated and skilled citizens also leave the country?

The next generation of leaders will have strong creative thinking skills that will enable them to command a premium. Whether or not they will reside in the U.S. depends largely upon U.S. economic policies.


Bill Costello, M.Ed., is an education columnist and blogger. He can be reached at www.makingmindsmatter.com.
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191 Comments

Add another book: Sovereign Individual
Creative people can live in whatever government jurisdiction that provides the best deal for them.

The people who wrote that also wrote The Great Reckoning
...and they were off. Way off.

One of the things they were so bullish about as an enabling factor for the soveriegn individual was non-state controlled eCash. But the State has clamped down pretty harshly on all attempts of eCash providers whenever they cross the line necessary for that to come about.

Not even the Swiss are safe any more, for crying out loud.

As a consequence, it will take more than eCash to enable true individual soveriegnty. At the risk of sounding RoyMarxist, it will require personal control over the means of production the individual needs to achieve a level of personal autarky enough to be able to truly flip the bird to the unions, governments, large corporations, etc. Of course before that becomes affordable to the individual, it will become affordable to groups of people -- Nano Gault Gulchers, Seasteaders, etc., if you will. I plan on joining one of those groups when the technologies become good enough to Flip Da Bird.

Libs education bubble
Here in the US the Unions have the largest portion of education in their death grip. Having spoken with some young folks on this they sometimes tell me that creativity, learning and independent thinking aren't that important when compared to the public schools 'socialisation' skills. No kidding. 'Kids who don't go to public schools are weird' so learning intensive methods such as home schooling and private schools are to be marginalized. The Progressive instinct seems to be imbedded in these guys making 'unity' and the collectivist vision thing the main objective. They seen more about standing in the way of creative thinking than anything else. No diversity of thought and ideas need apply. Democrats for life?
No wonder the MTV Rock the Vote for the Dems is such a big success.. comes on right after their next installment of Jackass.

" it is widely held by experts that creativity can be taught....and learned"
" Creative people are different from the rest of us, but not very different, according to Winston Fletcher, a British advertising executive who writes about his extensive experience managing creative people. He has found that creative employees are most often motivated by recognition, not of themselves, but of their work. And about their work, they are passionate. Confirming this is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, psychology professor and former department chair at the University of Chicago, whose 30 years of research identified the most consistent trait among creative people as "an ability to enjoy the process of creation for its own sake." As for their personalities, Csikszentmihalyi describes them as complex, often exhibiting opposing qualities. "Creative people tend to be smart, yet naive...they have a great deal of physical energy, but they're also often quiet and at rest...[and] they alternate between fantasy and a rooted sense of reality," he writes. They are nonconformists more often than not, and frequently, they are perfectionists.

Whoever you think of as creative, chances are that they fit this mold, whether they are modern-day stars like Madonna or Michael Jordan, legendary creative geniuses such as Leonardo DaVinci or Albert Einstein, or a misfit coworker or relative with an invaluable, redeeming talent for innovation. "
" Sadly, the natural creative spirit inherent in children is too often snuffed out at an early age - many believe by first grade. Teachers are poised to counteract this by infusing creativity exercises into their classrooms. The Autonomous Learner Model, developed by George Betts, and educator Joseph Renzulli's Enrichment Triad are two models in use. Both leverage students' natural interests to develop their curiosity and creative thinking through focused experimentation.

For Bellringer's own creative development, she says it took four intensive years of reading about creativity, experimenting with mind-freeing, playful activities, and learning art techniques to access her creative ability. "
""People are not born creative," writes Industry Week's Marino. "It takes practice, but it requires no special skill." Thomas Edison would agree with that. "Genius is 99 percent perspiration and 1 percent inspiration," he is known to have said. "

http://www.lesley.edu/news/publications/magazine/spring2000/creativity.html

Creativity can certainly be killed by governments and society.
China had created many modern inventions, like a clock and gunpowder, but were suppressed by the Emperor.

Creativity can be killed or fostered
I agree creativity can be killed.. by parents and peers mostly.. They can also be an important key to the very creative mind.
John Stewart Mill's father, the brilliant James Stewart Mill forced a complete classical education down his son's throat, and while this total emmersion would be frowned up today... It worked marvelously. It reminds me of what a jazz musician told me about true creativity... Learn the classics first.. then you won't find yourself making the dumb mistakes of the past or repeating what came before out of rote.He disparaged the jazz musicians that had no classic foundation as random noise makers or 'show offs'.
I don't put any weight to the public school argument that home schooled kids suffer mightily from being 'socialially retarded' by their insularity.

Liberal diversity does not want these types to become a force and so seeks to destroy the home schooling method and personality. They do this instinctively, from my experience. They usually can't say why they don't want home schooling except for the thinnest of reasons.

Both are correct
I think what those kids may be telling you is that well socialized people think poorly socialized people are a pain in the ass. Or, in a word, "weird".

Vice versa, I'm sure. Too bad there isn't an extra continent lying around, so we each could have our ideal country to live in.

But there isn't.. so we should probably learn to live with each other (that is, become socialized to one another).

See my post below about 'weird' people.
Mostly it is the 'weird', independent people that are the most creative.
Statists hate independent, creative people as they are like cats and won't be herded.

Delusions of grandiosity
Children who have failed to successfully establish social bonds with their peers normally gravitate toward inward pursuits, becoming bookish and withdrawn. In time this wall of mutual exclusion (which is reciprocated by the other children) evolves into a compensating feeling of superiority.

An inordinate number of these individuals become academically gifted, and rise to positions of power and fortune-- from which they are often able to exact vengeance upon those they feel had slighted or ridiculed them in childhood.

In other words the misanthropic outlook combined with the studious bent created numbers of individuals of the Karl Rove type, whose vengeance was control over the peers they despised (and often were disliked by). Rather than turning sour, getting Dad's hunting rifle out of the gun closet and showing up at school one morning, they turned to the more positive pursuit of controlling the world.

In this pursuit they are quite often successful. The more successfully socialized children, conditioned to the societal norm of the neighborhoods they grew up in, tended toward the median occupations: bus drivers, welders, nursery managers and the like. They had no inner impulse to rise above the norm they felt at home in. And, not possessing any strong bent toward intellectualism and growing up in a sense naive, these average folk were vulnerable to artful manipulation.

As the outcast children had these feelings of personal excellence and intellectual superiority, while at the same time retaining an awareness that the other children considered them to be "weird", it's only natural that the resulting tensions and hostilities become translated into the political and philosophical arena. AND that having had normal social relations cut off, they completed the refocusing of their internal goals toward the pursuit of money, power, possessions and control over others.

In summary, they felt themselves to be independent, creative people... like cats that won't be herded. Or, as one of them once put it, they were like intellectual mountain goats, leaping from crag to crag.

Your thoughts on this perspective would be invited.

Home schooling
"Liberal diversity does not want these types to become a force and so seeks to destroy the home schooling method and personality. They do this instinctively, from my experience. They usually can't say why they don't want home schooling except for the thinnest of reasons."

You may be sensing more antipathy than is actually there. My take would be that most liberals might reject home schooling for their own children on the grounds that it would tend to insulate those children from the world of other people. Which would be seen by them as being a poor way to produce fully rounded individuals.

Very few people would doubt that children growing up and being educated behind closed doors might become more immersed in their academic studies. They would be much more reaily focused on their work, and less distracted by the presence of other kids.

So the two kinds of schooling would, in my imagining, produce two kinds of personalities: a mainstream personality and a personality feeling itself at some level "under siege".

I'm just extrapolating, though, from slight direct evidence. The only home schooled kids I've ever known personally though were those of a rural hippie community in northern California, in the seventies. They seemed sad and left out, telling me that the "townies" considered them backwoods hillbillies. A fuller life, in their minds, was becoming harder and harder to reach due to their social exclusion.

So I'm curious. When you say "They usually can't say why they don't want home schooling except for the thinnest of reasons", who, specifically, are "they" and what, specifically, are their reasons? You say this observation comes from your own personal experience... please enlighten me.

One room schools and home schools
In 'socialized' government schools, children only learn to deal with their childish peers.
In the old days of one room school houses, children worked at home on the farm, worked with and for adults and with older children in school.
Home schooled kids learn how to 'socialize' with adults and have more opportunities to interact in the real world than their peers locked up in government schools every day.
'Children' as young as 11 used to work as midshipmen on naval ships.
Today, 25 year old 'adults' are as childish as pre-teens.
How do government run institutions teach children how to socialize in the real world?

I heard an interview with Beyonce. She was performing at a very young age and didn't have to put up with all the public school crap most kids have so much angst over.

Don't know much about home schooling do you?
Most kids spend much less time on academics and can advance much faster not being limited by the slowest kid in the class.
They also have more time to interact in the real world.

Define the 'mainstream' personality and why that is superior?
I suspect you prefer such an indoctrination so they will fall in line with the state control you prefer.

Public schoolyard mass produce bully mentalities
There seems to be a widespread Lord of the Flies type of organizing going on in public schools. The schoolyard bully is but the tip of the iceberg. Pecking orders and political correctness add to all the social skills taught.
The self esteem movement inflates the ego beyond what achievement warrants into a world of pc identity politics.
Teaching and knowledge become politically oriented and plagued by faddish nonsense and educrate deck chairs games.
All quite predicted in Orwell's and Aldous Huxley's books.

Let's hear it for child labor!
Thomas Malthus believed that children should be set to earning their own keep by the age of four-- so they might learn the habits of industriousness! I sense that same sentiment in your nostalgia for the days when children of eleven found work as ship's boys in the merchant navies of the world.

How instructive for them to be tutored in the ways of men, by being buggered at sea as a poor man's substitute for the flesh of woman. Ah! Those were the days.

No Subject
The public school and other unions are huge to destroy both private and home schools. I have sat in on conversations with these people and the hatred is palpable for these movements. Fighting vouchers is a life and death issue for them, and Obama's destruction of private school voucher programs wherever he can reach out for them is ongoing. The unions and public school establishment tried to outlaw Home Schooling by requiring the mother or father to have a teaching degree... and I believe some lib judges ahve even tried to sick the law on these home schooling parents. Its all very predictable union anti-competitive behavior really. Ideological enemies must be prevented from forming up seems to be their marching orders and plan for the children.

I learned a great deal at home as well as in school
I took some pains to write my comment in such a way as to not imply any judgment between the gregarious, socialized personality and the inward, solitary personality. What I was doing was drawing a distinction between them, as each tends to develop a certain kind of person. Each style has its limitations, and any value judgment you bestow on this distinction would be your own.

I would also come out strongly against ANY kind of education as indoctrination, whereby a child is urged to unthinkingly adopt a given set of ideas or values as being the only correct ones, and not urged to inquire into the worth of any other set.

But such a condition can equally be the case with either the home schooled, public schooled or even expensively private schooled child. It depends on the worth of the individual teacher. Some teach like Socrates. Others confer on their pupil the limits of their own narrow mindedness. There's no general rule.

In fact, for the transmission of narrow minded dogma by rote, none can equal the teachings of the average Holy Church. Or for that matter, the mosque. In this respect the synagogue clearly wins out, by offering the teaching of the methods of the Torah, and the worth of precedent, logic and rhetoric in forming valid argument.

As for being held back by the speed of the slowest kid in class, I do favor tiered education. Otherwise you have a situation akin to the one room schoolhouse, where the teenager dawdles and thinks about sex while the six year old struggles with his sums. Or at least in the hands of a mediocre teacher that would be the ways things went.

Teacher certification
Quite an antipathy you've built up against teachers. But I think you must admit that any group must assert themselves and collectively bargain to some degree, if they are to retain their hard-fought rights in the marketplace. Even capitalists. Do you think they expend no money or effort to convince the rest of us of their worth? They lobby us more strongly than do any other group in society!

And so teachers have created a national association to define and protect their profession-- as have Realtors, book dealers and nearly everyone else.

And I think you exaggerate when you say that they've tried to outlaw home schooling by requiring that moms "have a teaching degree". They have, for sure, noted that there should be some sort of minimal competency on display before someone can take on the role of teacher. Which is a premise I'm in full agreement with.

Public teachers must undergo certification, and I'm sure you're thankful that they do. Is there some good reason why free-lance, self-appointed teachers should not have some test for minimal competency? Even barbers and beauty shop operators should be required to pass some sort of certification process before they can touch a hair on your head.

And if that is so, why not for that head's content?

Working with parents
I used to ride with my dad in his truck picking up milk on dairy farms, watching him work and, if lucky, getting a dixie cup of ice cream.
Later, when we moved to a dairy farm when I was 6, I did chores, helping my dad until I graduated high school.

Only home schooled children have an opportunity to help and observe their parents at work.

That's Roy's idea of socialization.
Children need to learn their place in his socialist order.

Crime stats for Public vs Home Schoolers
Just wondering if their are any stats for Public schooled pathologies we can compare with private and home schooled types.
I understand home schoolers are at the highest ranks in SAT and college entry levels.
Could be however that public schooled kids have parents who lack educational interest, at least in comparison to parents who take charge of the project and become teacher-facilitators of the educational process. No doubt.
If a dumbing down process is going on no doubt also the public school system will benefit from that pathology as well.
Encouraging intensive educational experiences will not benefit each person equally so the levelers find reason to become alarmed (or fein it) and must seek to quash private efforts.. as the public school unions have done.
Not forgotten is the money and retirement packages they seek by coercing students and parents to pay to play in their system.

Scouts, soccer...
Home schooled kids have many avenues for your 'socialization': Scouts, AYSO, Little League, 4-H, church schools, etc.

"In fact, for the transmission of narrow minded dogma by rote, "

Have you been paying attention to the PC indoctrination in government schools today?

As for quality teachers, teachers' unions fight every attempt to rate teachers or to demand testing of teachers.

One room school houses WERE tiered and older kids helped teach the younger, reinforcing their education.

Certificate of what?
I am against certificates.. you found me out. I prefer teaching and knowledge to certifications of justification by statist groups. That is my bias. Yours is plane too of course.

How many home schooled children have shot up their school?
Or have had to pass through metal detectors to attend class?

A bit of history
"Only home schooled children have an opportunity to help and observe their parents at work."

In North Carolina, until the 1950s most kids were kept out of school for at least part of the year so they could help Daddy drive the mules. Or work stacking peanuts, or suckering the tobacco. It was not a really good pathway to prosperity.

You'd have valued the worth of public schools much more if you'd been around then, and noticed the difference they made in people's lives.

A public good
Most informed people would differ strongly with you on the worth of having some kind of certification process for the professions. Without it, anyone can be dumb as a stump and still teach their kids everything they know.

Once that child applies for college, with his or her handwritten diploma by Mom, the school would probably assess its value at zero.

But if you prefer, please look for a self-described doctor to cure your complaints. Or a storefront dentist to pull your teeth.

morning or evening creativity?Autodidactic superiority complexes
Creativity depends most on the person, each person's proclivities. Am I a morning or evening person? Paul Johnson says he is most creative in the am.
Teaching to adapt to any person is my ideal method then.
One size fits all statism is my last choice... perhaps there are worse choices, but they are estimable and not threatening to kill creativity and learning in-toto.
By the way, PJ wrote a book on intellectuals which excoreates the idea-centric personalities proclivities.. Russell's, Rousseau's, Sartre, Marx, Bertold Brecht etc. as rank 'users' of others. Johnson's bio sketches confirms this notion. A very selfish bunch of cads and louts.

Marx impersonal treatment of others and impregnation of his housekeeper (with Engles voluntarily taking the blame... reminds me of a recent Democrat Presidential candidate) in his mis-useage of statistics was very interesting... Marx's dishonesty went very deep indeed.
I have been hearing from quite a few former Marxist neo-cons of late. Right now is the time to listen to them and not fall for the leftist forgetfulness syndrome, allowing history to repeat its most horrific episodes on current generations.

Some obvious facts
The big distinction between home schoolers and public schoolers is that many parents have to work. That activity precludes being able to stay at home six hours a day to tutor one's child.

There's little doubt but what a well educated and intelligent parent, freed from the need to earn a living, can transmit more "book" learning to the child than can a professional in a public classroom. The obvious reason for that is that in the one classroom, the teacher-student ratio is one to one, or perhaps one to two. In the other, it's often one to thirty.

As a practical plan, we can't do without public schools. Or at least we would do without them at the cost of consigning everyone who has to work for a living to the fate of trying to raise ignorant children.

In fact there would be no one even to supervise them during the day, when parents were at work. Good plan.

Learning how to work is a bad idea?
Working at any job teaches valuable lessons.

In the 50s in NW Washington, local kids used to pick strawberries and other fruit. They earned money and learned how to work.
Now the kids can't be bothered so the farmers hire illegals or plant raspberries which can be mechanically harvested.
Our modern welfare state has worked wonders elevating so many to prosperity.

Can't win on the quality argument.
Most home schooled kids don't spend 6 hours a day studying. They spend much less time since the teacher does not have to share their time with other children.

"When I began the university, I was eleven years old. My parents had home schooled me from first grade through high school and had taken every precaution to shelter me from the corrupting influences and dangerous peer pressures which are part of the public education system. Consequently, they would not even have considered sending me to live on campus at a university. Without an external degree university program, I would have had to wait many years before my college experience began.

Today, ten years later, I can appreciate the many benefits my family and I have realized from our experiences with higher education at home. Because I studied at home, I was able to complete all of the course work for my undergraduate degree in two years, nine months. Yet, on the average, I studied no more than 15 hours a week. "
"At a traditional university, if I had taken 15 credit hours per semester, I would have spent 15 hours each week in class. Most experts agree that for each hour a college student spends in the classroom, he or she should allot two to three hours preparation time. For me that would have meant 45 hours a week of studying. At home, because all of my study time applied directly to my assignments, and because reading is a much faster way to take in material than sitting in lectures, I was able to cut my study time by two-thirds and still complete a great deal of work. "
http://www.home-school.com/Articles/StudySchedule.html
This is a college program, but she started college at age 11.

Colleges do not require teaching certificates.
But they do require a master's degree as a minimum to teach in that subject area.

Choice for 'liberals' is only good if you want to kill your baby, not to educate the babies.
"Homeschooling, properly understood, is education designed by parents. This automatically makes it a whole different animal from "public" education, which is education designed by government bureaucrats. It also differs sharply from "private" schooling. Regardless of their talk about parental authority, in practice private schools reserve curriculum design for teachers, administrators, and textbook designers."
"So, homeschool is not "school" when it comes to who is in charge of curriculum design. Having parents choose or design the curriculum is radically different from what happens in any school.

Amazing as it may seem, parent-designed and parent-chosen curriculum yields better results than school-designed-and-chosen curriculum, as many research studies have shown. Then again, how amazing is it that curriculum chosen from the entire universe of options (rather than the small list "approved" by the state or school board) and targeted to the exact child for which it is intended, should result in more learning taking place faster? Especially when the parents in question have the ability to hobnob with other parents and find out what's working for them . . . and when they can easily obtain detailed reviews of all their curriculum options through homeschool magazines and books.

Homeschool also is not "school" when it comes to scheduling and priorities. We do not have "announcements," ringing bells to mark the end of a class period, football teams that soak up the budget that would otherwise go to art and music lessons, or endless classes geared to the latest politically correct fads. Unless we want to, that is!

This means that homeschooled children in general have a much greater attention span and ability to "focus" than children who attend school, where they are continually interrupted in the middle of their projects, math papers, writing assignments, and so forth."

""What about socialization?" What they really mean is, "Can your child grow into a strong adult just sitting around your house doing lessons and projects?"

Alas for our poor neighbors. They are mistaking homeschooling for schooling that happens at home, when it's really education under the authority of the home.

What a wild thought: all those parents who pay for art, music, and ballet lessons . . . who chauffeur their kids to soccer team and karate class . . . who sign them up for a YMCA course or who join the local Jewish community center . . . are homeschoolers, too! To the extent that they provide educational opportunities for their children solely because they want to, not because any authority "makes" them, these are homeschool parents.

All that we "real" homeschoolers do in addition to what most parents do, is add academic lessons at home. Or via a tutor. Or an online academy. We just exercise that additional dollop of choice."

http://www.home-school.com/Articles/phs35-marypride.html


Education Departments should be eliminated.
That was the sentiment of my high school English teacher who was a very good friend for many years after graduation.
Again, to teach in a post secondary school does not require a year of 'eduction' classes or a state teaching certificate.

I had plenty of 'certified' incompetent teachers in high school.
My friend had a MA in English +18 hours putting her at the top of the district pay scale.
And she enjoyed teaching.
She had a colleague who, was just biding her time to retirement.
The district had to treat the incompetent teachers the same as the competent.
The point is teacher certification certifies nothing except the teacher has taken the required education course on how to run an overhead projector.

The pajamas school of sociology
Good comments. Gifted, bookish, maladapted... those comments could well have applied to me at one point. But I rose above it, and socialized myself to the degree I could meld into the throng. Even today, I'm quite capable of carrying on a conversation with a typical person. :)

At the extreme, you're right. Thugs and skinheads, white power people and plain old bullies are examples of thoroughly socialized people. In fact through peer-group bonding, they submerge their own personalities into the safety and anomie of the herds they have chosen alleegiance to. They've taken an impulse that might be patriotism on one level, and turned it into something malevolent. And by effacing themselves as individuals they feel no blame, no guilt.

On the other hand, not every outcast little dweeb who looks like his momma dressed him to go to school turns out to be a Karl Rove. In adult life (unlike middle school), adept socialisation is not an absolute requirement. And they can become ordinary co-workers, the private ones who don't say very much.

One the one hand we shouldn't stuff people into rigid categories. Many of us don't fit into any of the boxes on the survey. On the other hand, though, there's very little we can say about anything in the world of sociological thought if we don't create SOME kind of categories. To think without categories would just make of our ideas an amorphous mass.

Let's just be aware that it's not an exact science, and is full of wiggle room and inconsistencies.

Meanwhile I will cherish your image of the well adjusted bully, which calls to mind the most popular kid back in 11th grade, who everybody wanted to be like... and five years later you bump into him, taking your order at Mickey D's.

Leanring good work habits early
"Working at any job teaches valuable lessons."

You're right, of course. Working, as opposed to playing or going to school, does teach a child a lot about life's realities.

In West Africa, in fact, there's quite a trade in young children from impoverished families. Well dressed contractors will go around to the villages, offering to sponsor a child for a scholarship in some elegant school in the capital. Magnanimously, they will say the boy holds such promise they'll pay his tuition and uniform allowance. And they'll even give the parents $25 to compensate for the loss of his work at home.

Then they sell him to the bauxite miners.

Teaching them PC values
"Have you been paying attention to the PC indoctrination in government schools today?"

I have no first hand knowledge of that... and neither do you. All you know is what you read about breathlessly, in places like Reason Magazine.

You'd be better informed if you asked some young people what their own experiences were. And my teenage neighbors tell me the local high school is a zoo, with cliques that evolve into gangs at the low end of the scale. Friendships are organized along racial and class lines. And the best kids mostly want to evolve into bad kids ("gangstas").

So in that context, a major goal in addition to actually teaching the subject matter, is to offer the students a mindset whereby they understand that everyone deserves equal respect, even the riff raff and the Mexicans.

Which, of course, is the kind of "PC" thinking that upsets you so. But to me, it's tax dollars well spent.

Too bad those African countries...
have such corrupt governments that don't protect individual's property rights.

But the ONE category (of men) who want GOVAGs to ONLY punish and NOT nourish, is a big NO NO
..

What the schools need is discipline.
That is not PC.

Colleges don't accept home schooled? how about high scoring SATs?
Roy, You have colleges rejecting a kid who has a good education but his mother doesn't have a teaching degree(despite having perhaps a superior or passing SAT LSAT etc. This would be really dumb if academic institutions did this. Dumber than they have been acting I mean.

The unions are way ahead of you however. The missing teaching degree technicality was the legal excuse the unions sued the state to stop ALL home schooling going on here in California. I remember them winning in court.. (Leftist judge are always standing by) then the outrage pouring forth from home schooling supporters and a reversal of the ruling eventually coming forth.
The unions proved themselves rather selfish, greedy, dumb and evil I would say.. showed their true colors once
again.
Unions have used every excuse to prevent experts in their fields from teaching their expertice. This, to me sounds like yet another chapter from the new edition of "Suicide of the West".. James Burnham's book on the progressive project.

So you're in favor of coercive forms of government?
"Too bad those African countries have such corrupt governments that don't protect individual's property rights."

You'll have to admit they do an effective job of protecting the property rights of those contractors who've bought children... and hold them as their property.

Under YOUR system it would be better to have a coercive government, one that FORCED those people to give up their property. Right?

I was a victim of child labor
As a child, I was made to labor for an oppressive, cruel mean spirited, ignorant and hypocritical liberal newspaper. I had to deliver heavy loads of papers from the early dark hours of the morning untill nearly noon on somedays. Return to fill back up and leave again. I was attacked by dogs and had to go door to door to collect the money for the greedy bastds I worked for.
All the while they railed against child labor on their editorial pages, and congratulated themselves on preventing exactly what they were doing but in other industries!
Makes you wonder just what it takes to be a liberal... in the real world I mean. Not in the one they seem to live in.
What can it be like being one of them?

Could you please rewrite this comment?
...in English?

The ability to communicate ideas effectively through language is a skill you really ought to learn. As it is, no one knows whether you have an good ideas or not. Because you don't put them in a form we can understand.

Ahhh... the use of FORCE
That's good, coming from you.

Have you given any thought to what happens to lessons taught through the use of force, when that force is no longer applied?

Such lessons rarely are carried into later life. They teach instead anger and resentment... less than positive lessons.

I said a government that protects property rights, for ALL.
That is a legitimate function of government I can accept for now.

Why must force be used to discipline?
Follow the rules or leave school.

Unions control the certification process.
I'm all for right to work laws.

Child labor laws ignored
As I reported above...The liberal newspaper that stole my labor and my youth is still in business.. The Sacramento Bee.. A BIG Obama supporter and hypocritical dissiminators of lies about their own culpability in child labor practices... but more than willing to demonize others for their own ideological and for profit reasons.
Not only do they escoreate others for hiring young folks they paid me far less than minimum wages.. FOR PROFITS.
Damn their lying hypocritical eyes...
The progressive fix for this is to remove the profit motive from their REAL news operations and recieve government taxpayer's subsidies. That's 'progress'

Public school prep for real progressive "Change"
Having listened to a lot of young men and women tell me about the importance of socialization skills vs classical learning, I now think that public schools are preped well for what progressives such as Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren, Wells, Shaw and others wanted.. Preparing themselves for Real Change. Such as what James Hanson is suggesting... Ehrlich, Wells et al.
Perhaps a massive die-off or sabotage induced depression.. such as would result from NASA's James Hanson's deliberate, planned 'dismantling of industrial society'.

This would realize the long sought 'dream' of progressives since Richard Wagner, Hitler and Lenin of vastly less cluttered landscapes. Clutter meaning people of course.

But that's what we have now
Your brilliant solution is exactly what's being practised in the public schools right now. They have a choice: follow the rules or leave school.

And one third of them leave school. That is, one third of all eight graders in NC, for years now, fail to graduate from twelfth grade.

That's a big part of the problem. Instead of having a backup plan, with corrective schools or trade schools for the problem students to become engaged in, we let them go on their own until they're picked up on felony charges.

KIPP schools
Charter schools like KIPP have discipline: dress codes, academic rigor, long hours and waiting lists.

Children need and want boundaries but our wimpy public school administrators and school boards are afraid to set and enforce such boundaries.

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