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kgould's picture

 I though our discussion

 I though our discussion about structure and how structure within schools changes over time, was rather interesting. The set-up was thus:

  • Elementary School: little structure
  • Middle school: little/more structure
  • High school: lots of structure

But I think that also depends on what kind of structure we're talking about. Certainly, there is less structure when it comes to activities and assignments for younger elementary students, but their daily schedule is highly regimented, perhaps as much as older students in middle and high school. They have a morning class period, recess, midday class, lunch, and afternoon classes. I know that, for my elementary school, we had the same subjects at the same time everyday, the same recess groups, the same lunch periods, the same library days... 

And someone posited the issue of whether students going into school for the first time need structure, look for structure, or desire structure. If they do, or if they don't, why? Is it pre-school education that shaped them that way? The kinds of schedules they had at home? The anatomy or physiology of their brains? What would kids look like, in school, if we didn't give them as much structure when they were younger?

Or what would we look like, now, if we had started off with a lot of structure and moved toward less through our secondary school career?

Is what Paul said, lining up our transition from undergraduate school, graduate school, and "life" analogous to the latter part? If life is less structured (or perhaps, depending on what you do and how you do it, unstructured) is a highly structured education preparing us at all?

I don't want to make any assumptions and I'm trying very hard to remain neutral, but like I said in class (I think, fallible memory), I'm not a huge structure person. I do better when I'm given room to try out my own ideas and choose my own path to my own goal. That's one of the reasons why I've enjoyed college so much, I think. I get to choose my courses and, thereby, my coursework, my destination, my path...

And, likewise, I think there are people who thrive in structured systems. It needs to be said, and loudly I think, that neither highly structured nor loosely structured systems of education are good or bad or better than the other, it all depends on the student and how they learn best.  

Arguing one way or the other only really speaks to one's personal preference rather than what is "best for everyone."

Here is a link to a test some of you might like to take; it's based off of Multiple Intelligences theory and I think it's pertinent to what we've been talking about in class. 

Lastly, I want to brush on the instance of "seeing a chair as a chair." Yes, we can all look at that office chair and identify it as such. Yes, as it was said, someone who has had no experiences or observations concerning chairs might not be able to identify it for what it is. But are we all seeing the same chair, exactly as the next? Does it matter if we do, or don't? How could we know if we are? You say the chair is red, but how do we know we see the same color "red?" Your red could be my blue, but we would never know. If education is a means of teaching us how to perceive, or TRY to perceive, the same things as other people, to come to a consensus, is that useful? Should we be reaching for a consensus? Is it useful in some cases and not in others?

Question mark. I do not know. What do you all think? :O


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