Re: DSM: Message from []

From: Scott David Gray (
Date: Sat Nov 03 2001 - 11:04:58 EST

On Sat, 3 Nov 2001, Jerry wrote:

> In a message dated 11/2/01 8:08:43 PM, writes:
> << My position on this debate is a matter of opinion of
> course -- I can't "prove" that being systematically lied to
> is worse than being forced to make my bed, any more than a
> person on the other side can "prove" that getting used to
> the language and forms of democracy is more valuable than
> honesty. This is an aesthetic judgment, about the kind of
> life one wants to live, and the way that one wants to see
> others treated.
> >>
> Ah, but Scott, there IS research about whether people from progressive
> schools fare better than students from regular public schools: Have you heard
> of the 8 year study? It predates SVS, and proved beyond any statistical doubt
> that students from progressive schools did better by every measure.

Frankly, Jerry, I don't know what the big deal is about the
8 year study. For years, proponents of progressive
education have been touting it as "proof." But what, in
fact, is the 8 year study "proof" of?

1: That in the early 1940s, a greater proportion of students
from "progressive" schools went on to college than students
in "traditional" schools. Of course, this correlational
study was not an experiment -- and no effort was even made
to weight the results based upon the income or parental
education level of the parents (these two factors are
_known_ to correlate with both a child's likelihood to go to
college, and with a parent's likelihood to send her/his
child to a "progressive" school.


2: That more than 20 name brand educationists were happy to
clasp their hands to their chests after looking at a few
progressive schools, and declare that all schools would be
better if more progressive.

Well, in fact, I don't care for college. I don't think that
going to college is a sign of success _or_ a sign of
failure. It is a sign of a particular choice -- and one
that in our culture is almost always made for the _wrong_
reasons. I question the methodology of the study. Even if
I take the "results" at face value, I don't see "going to
college" as proof that a student has "fared better."

And I certainly don't care about the gut reactions of
various professors of education more than 50 years ago.

I think that this may point up a deep philosophical divide
between you and me... I don't think that it any arbitrary
measure of human success is meaningful outside of an
understanding of what precisely the human being in question
_seeks_ -- this is why I reject _both_ schools that have
curriculum (be they progressive, or overtly authoritarian),
and proponents who claim that college attendance is
"evidence" of a good educational system. If those
educational systems are so good, than why do so many young
men and women from "progressive" schools decide that they
haven't had enough education?

> Jerry

--Scott David Gray
reply to:
Tyrants are tyrants, and tyranny is tyranny, whether under
the garb of law or in opposition to it.  So thought and
acted our ancestors, and so let us think and act.

-- Charles Robinson ============================================================


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