Gonzo Karate Apocalypse
- Oct 30, 2003
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Personally, I like the idea of people contributing to society. I would, however, be inclined to make it mandatory, but also recognize that there are other important, valuable ways to contribute to society than just military service.
We've discussed this in passing in other threads. I'd love to see 2 years of compulsory public service after high school, where upon graduation, kids could choose to serve their country in one of a few different ways. Off the top of my head, I think that military service, something like the peace corps for foreign service, and some domestic equivalent, such as Americorps are all great ways in which kids can truly do some good for their country. And by offering a few choices, it allows kids to serve their country without compromising their own principles.
In addition to helping instill a sense of service, it would also create a venue for pulling kids out of the nest and establishing themselves as functioning adults. Other possible benefits would include job training for the kids, potential tuition assistance, and an opportunity to live outside of their childhood homes for a while before making any long term career decisions.
As martial artists we understand that skill development = will + effective technique + repetition. When you remove will from the equation, the most important factor in skill development is removed. It doesn't matter how effective the technique is, it doesn't matter how many times it's repeated, if the will isn't there, the skills aren't going to develop long term. This actually bears out in retention research. If you measure how much information a student retains after taking a course, on average 90% is forgotten after one year. When studying the exceptions, the qualitative factor that appears most often is that the student is interested in the subject and wants to learn it.
This is why oppose all forms of mandatory education or service. It's a waste of time and money from an institutional educational standpoint. This debate is so frustrating because educational researches have known this information for fifty years. Yet, the march toward mandatory standards, service, and compulsion is stronger than ever. Teacher education programs think that the way to counteract the retention problem is by creating more entertaining teachers. The very best teachers are able to increase overall retention by 10 to 15% over one year and are very effective at maximizing initial engagement.
In the students words, they say, "We love our teacher! He cares about us and makes the subject interesting, but it's not something that I'm passionate about."
We cannot instill a sense of anything in anyone if they do not have the seeds of passion for it in the first place. Or as I always say, "education is not something that happens to you, it is something you do for yourself."