realitycheck(dot)ie

Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Odds and Ends

Richard Waghorne has post criticising Shane Coleman’s Irish Times review of Harvey Mansfield’s Manliness.
Maybe Mansfield didn’t mention Bush by name in the book, but I’m sure Shane will be delighted to learn that Mansfield said the following in an interview with NRO back in April –
Lopez: Who's the most manly politician today?
Mansfield: George W. Bush. Bush is bold and determined, two manly qualities, and his critics consider him over-manly, not unmanly. But don't forget that manliness is not all of virtue.
I blogged about Kay Hymowitz and Christina Hoff Sommers’ reviews about it a while back. I didn’t buy the last time I was in the States – must buy it now.

[Correction - as pointed out by copernicus at the Midnight Court, Shane Hegarty wrote the IT article, not Shane Coleman.]


Sarah Carey has a link to an article on the Evils of School, while a little strong, it is worth mentioning with regard to my previous post on homeschooling.
And with reference to my other previous post on title-as-motif blogging, I will now add the next line of Bob Dylan’s Odds and Ends - Lost time is not found again – I guess that’s what motivates many homeschooling parents.
In the comments, Simon mentions social skills and Treasa creationism and state curricula.
The National Home Education Research Institute has some “scholarly” articles about socialisation and home schooled children – apparently they don’t have a problem.
Henry Cate, who also commented on the post, runs a homeschooling blog.
I did my Junior Cert Home Economics Childcare project on homeschooling – I don’t really know why (my teacher thought I was mad and that homeschooling was illegal). The following year my aunt began homeschooling her children for a year – they are both gifted children and the teachers in their school didn’t understand them. The amount of cool stuff they did that year as 8 and 6 year olds made me madly jealous.
The homeschooling families I contacted as part of that project were not crazy Christian types (but I have met them too) but parents who felt they could offer their children more. One of them didn’t teach their children to read until they were 6 or 7 and “felt ready for it”. Within a year their children were reading the newspapers perfectly. That sort of free and easy upbringing with loose timetables and organic curricula certainly appeals to me. Even the self-directed learning appeals after 6 years of occasional PBL projects and lecturers using it as a some magic cure-all buzzword.
The Irish homeschooling group is Home Education Network. This Farmer’s Journal article features a family, whose schoolteacher mother decided on homeschooling because “school socialises children at the cost of their uniqueness, and that some children are just not suited to being educated in large groups”.
As for creationism – the sort of evangelical Christian who believes in creationism (Catholics shouldn’t as faith and reason are never at odds – the search for the Truth through theology or science is all the same) is hardly going to be affected by what children are taught in school. Should parents have to teach their children certain basic things? I suppose they should, but given that all homeschooled children have to do the Leaving Cert or other state exams to enter further education, they’ll probably learn what they need to know, along with more. Guidance from the state should be welcome, but forcing the children back to school if they’re not taught something as nebulous as respecting the respect for the fundamental human rights and the cultural values of the child itself and of others is hardly sensible.

7 Comments:

Blogger ploughman said...

I'm the homeschooling Dad of 5 daughters and the socialisation quick bowl really amuses me.
The picture of the shy, withdrawn, social inadequate that they say your child might grow into is a hoot !
I ask ' the examples of that type which I agree do exist, what education system did they travel through', and every time the only examples of that 'type', are ones that went through the factory farm school system. Also socialising is great, most homeschooled children are far more proficient at it than their schooled counterparts, having been exposed to a greater amount of diverity than the all of one age aparthied system. Now socialisation, that is another thing!

June 19, 2006 9:29 p.m.  
Anonymous EWI said...

Mansfield: George W. Bush. Bush is bold and determined, two manly qualities, and his critics consider him over-manly, not unmanly. But don't forget that manliness is not all of virtue.

On the subject of Dubya's "manliness", I feel the need to point out that he was a high scholl cheerleader(!), a Vietnam War-dodger and the famous ranch was only bought in 1999.

As for creationism – the sort of evangelical Christian who believes in creationism (Catholics shouldn’t as faith and reason are never at odds – the search for the Truth through theology or science is all the same) is hardly going to be affected by what children are taught in school. Should parents have to teach their children certain basic things? I suppose they should, but given that all homeschooled children have to do the Leaving Cert or other state exams to enter further education, they’ll probably learn what they need to know, along with more.

Why do you say that? They could choose that their children simply not do geography and biology, after all.

June 19, 2006 11:48 p.m.  
Anonymous winds said...

Point of information: I referred to creationism only to highlight a point. You state that homeschooling should not be denied any reasonable parents. I pointed out - and this was what I was driving out - that the question of being reasonable was a subjective point, and used creationism/religion/science to illustrate that in this case, what can be considered reasonable may differ from one person to another, and specifically, from the parents themselves to the state, who still has a minimum duty of care to the child under children's rights conventions.

In this case, I would say you missed my point.

June 20, 2006 12:30 a.m.  
Blogger ploughman said...

The right to free association and freedom of information, will allow the Abortion nurse into the playground to clear up the mess that premature sexualisation of the young has caused.
Childhood is that period of innocence that is the human right of every child and the refuge of every adult , it is the taste of eden before the fall.
Science and theology searching for truth ? different truth's different places.

June 20, 2006 6:46 a.m.  
Anonymous EWI said...

Science and theology searching for truth ? different truth's different places.

Surprisingly, a significant debt is owed to scientists who were Catholic religious (this goes for biology as well). This is a significant point in favour of the RCC versus the superstitious US evangelicals (the ones trying to dismantle scientific knowledge in Kansas and elsewhere with the ludicrous 'Intelligent Design').

June 20, 2006 9:17 a.m.  
Blogger Auds said...

Winds, I got your point alright and on re-reading see that I did focus a little too much on creationism.
True that reasonable is a broad subjective definition (albeit one that's used in law all the time) and there are some parents who would not be in good position to teach their children at home - but I don't think the state should ever be able to force children back to school for what amounts to, in this case anyway, political correctness.

As for science and theology reaching different truths - I disagree. Science seeks the truth of the world. Theology seeks the truth of the creator, God - these cannot disagree. the Catholic Church's position on evolution being a case in point.

June 20, 2006 1:13 p.m.  
Blogger ploughman said...

Science and theology cannot disagree eh ?
Theology seeks the truth of mans invisible , spiritual, interior, eternal and moral dilemas, While science probes the temporal external, material and provable aspects. They operate in completely different spheres and as such are not even asked to agree.Science seeks the truth in creation, while theology seeks the mind of the creator.
The fact that it is scientifically possible to suck a living preborn baby out of it's mothers womb because it was scientifically proven that she had a hair lip does in no way make the truth of being able to do it fit the lie that it was morally acceptable to do it.
Scientists reply to moral objections by asking, 'If we can do it why should'nt we do it?.Without a moral compass we have no answer.
Science and theology must agree ?
I beg to differ.

June 20, 2006 2:14 p.m.  

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