Difference between revisions of "Talk:Homeschooling"

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I've also changed references to homeschooling in the prominent people list to "educated at home" or "taught at home" (as some entries already were) for all persons whose education preceded the formation of the homeschooling movement.  By the way, the entry for Leonardo doesn't actually say that he was taught at home.  [[User:Philip J. Rayment|Philip J. Rayment]] 07:09, 20 March 2008 (EDT)
 
I've also changed references to homeschooling in the prominent people list to "educated at home" or "taught at home" (as some entries already were) for all persons whose education preceded the formation of the homeschooling movement.  By the way, the entry for Leonardo doesn't actually say that he was taught at home.  [[User:Philip J. Rayment|Philip J. Rayment]] 07:09, 20 March 2008 (EDT)
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: Nobody uses the phrase "educated at home," Philip.  Have you ever heard anyone use it?  An encyclopedia should use common and easily understood terminology, first and foremost.  "Homeschooled" is the term that is used.  Also, I'm not aware of a category that is "outside the traditional school system" but not homeschooled.  Homeschooling is not dependent on the ''physical location'', but on the approach.  Again, I object to the overly literal and [[materialistic]] approach.--[[User:Aschlafly|Aschlafly]] 10:50, 20 March 2008 (EDT)
  
 
== Read an interesting article ==
 
== Read an interesting article ==

Revision as of 08:50, 20 March 2008

Archive 1 (20th March 2008)


Snipping George Bernard Shaw and Mark Twain

I'm removing

Both men had complex opinions that varied during the course of their lives, but calling them "Christian" is a stretch. My reasons for excluding Shaw are given above. As for Mark Twain, he did write a sympathetic book about Joan of Arc. However, his writings are replete with sarcastic and dismissive remarks about organized religion. He refused to let "Letters from the Earth" be published until after his death. In Mark Twain's Letters, we read:

From a gentleman in Buffalo Clemens one day received a letter inclosing an incompleted list of the world's "One Hundred Greatest Men," men who had exerted "the largest visible influence on the life and activities of the race." The writer asked that Mark Twain examine the list and suggest names, adding "would you include Jesus, as the founder of Christianity, in the list?" To the list of statesmen Clemens added the name of Thomas Paine; to the list of inventors, Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. The question he answered in detail.

Twain's answer was that if the compiler of the list added Jesus, he should also add Satan: "From A.D. 350 to A.D. 1850 these gentlemen exercised a vaster influence over a fifth part of the human race than was exercised over that fraction of the race by all other influences combined. Ninety-nine hundredths of this influence proceeded from Satan, the remaining fraction of it from Jesus."

Twain has been labelled "deist," "agnostic," and "atheist." Gary Sloan suggests (Mark Twain's Covert War with his Maker) that he believed in a malignant God, and says "Viewing Satan as a heroic rebel against the real Archfiend, Twain came to identify with the fallen cherub and often used him as a mouthpiece." Perhaps his views were so complex that he was all of these things and a Christian at the same time, but he was certainly not a Christian as the term is ordinarily meant. Dpbsmith 20:03, 11 April 2007 (EDT)

But if they were homeschooled, shouldn't they be in the "other" section of the list? Human 18:21, 4 May 2007 (EDT)
Sure. That section didn't exist when I removed them; it was a single list of Christians. Dpbsmith 20:32, 4 May 2007 (EDT)
Doing. Human 21:25, 4 May 2007 (EDT)

The part on Mark Twain doesn't even discuss him being homeschooled, only him completing five grades of school. Also the majority of the people on the list were born before state sponsored public schooling. Rellik 22:56, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

You're in the wrong place if you want to censor information from the page.--Aschlafly 23:09, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

Marx, Himmler, Oscar Wilde...

I would love to see a good, non-ideological reason as to why these names were eliminated from the list. AliceBG 20:08, 13 March 2008 (EDT)

Why is a non-ideological reason necessary? DanH 20:10, 13 March 2008 (EDT)

Because if they were only deleted for ideological reasons that is an admission that the article is intentionally misleading. --Merriweather 20:13, 13 March 2008 (EDT)
Well, this is an encyclopedia article about homeschooling, right? And a section of that article is dedicated to listing prominent persons who were homeschooled in one way or another, right? And a noted political/economic theorist, an important figure in the Nazi regime, and a great Irish writer all fit both parts of the prominent/homeschooled criteria for that list, so there is no reason to take them off the list...unless including them on the list somehow makes homeschooling look bad; in that case the removal is strictly ideological....which brings into question the intellectual honesty and integrity of the article, and thus the project writ large. AliceBG 20:16, 13 March 2008 (EDT)
I undid the ideological deletion as it runs counter to Conservapedia's ethos of censorship of facts see Conservapedia:How_Conservapedia_Differs_from_Wikipedia, Item 9 - "Wikipedia editors who are far more liberal than the American public frequently censor factual information. Conservapedia does not censor any facts that comport with the basic rules." Brixham 14:44, 14 March 2008 (EDT)
DanH, so if you won't provide a non-ideological reason can you tell me why you blatantly go against the Conservapedia differences with Wikipedia? I always thought you seemed a reasonable guy. Brixham 15:19, 14 March 2008 (EDT)
The removal was no less ideological than the inclusion of the names. I mean, Himmler? DanH 19:24, 15 March 2008 (EDT)
Touché :) 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 19:28, 15 March 2008 (EDT)
If they are to be put in, I would at the very least ask for a citation. DanH 19:26, 15 March 2008 (EDT)

Where are the citations that Karl Marx was homeschooled? I'll look further for them, but haven't found any yet.--Aschlafly 22:56, 15 March 2008 (EDT)

Problems with this page

I think there are some major problems with this article; not in terms of the content being wildly inaccurate but rather being rather narrow in its focus. If you look at the opening line, it defines homeschool as "a movement consisting of 1-2 million students in the United States". That's problematic because for a start, because homeschooling is not a "movement" (at best, it's a subsection of the conservative movement) and it's definitely not isolated to the United States.

Furthermore, I think you're striving a little too hard to give homeschooling as much credit as possible. Don't get me wrong - I have nothing against homeschooling. But at no stage in the article have you clearly and accurately defined what homeschooling is, because as I noted, the opening definition is extremely flawed. Consequently, when you get to someone like Charles Dickens, I reckon you're drawing a bit of a long bow. To take the Dickens example: as a history teacher, I feel that we should be quite clear that Charles Dickens was never formally homeschooled in the manner that the article implies and the fact that he didn't receive an education for much of his childhood had nothing to do with such things as "a different, often better, education environment with different, often better, opportunities" or "freedom from liberal and/or atheistic bias and culture in schools". To simplify things as much as possible, he ceased to have a formal education because his father was imprisoned for financial reasons. And I can tell you that his mother was no great believer in Dickens getting an education: she was the one that forced Dickens to work in a factory. In short, there is no evidence whatsoever that Dickens received any active home education. Dickens is just one example of the wider problem with the entire article, in that you suffer from a poor definition which consequently makes many of the names that you list as "arguably homeschooled" look silly. Even under a solid definition of homeschooling, I don't think people such as Dickens qualify. PeterS 05:36, 19 March 2008 (EDT)

PeterS, you may be an expert in history, but your logic does not follow. The entry does not care why someone was homeschooled in listing who was homeschooled.--Aschlafly 21:55, 19 March 2008 (EDT)
I think PeterS has a valid point, at least in his first line. As he points out, the article describes homeschooling as "a movement consisting of 1-2 million students in the United States". So for starters, how many on the list were homeschooled in the United States? Clearly, however, homeschooling is not confined to the U.S., so it's the definition rather than the list that should be changed (as far as my argument goes so far).
I don't agree with him that it's not a movement; I think that's probably an apt term. But that raises the next problem with the list. Homeschooling as a movement is a relatively recent phenomenon, over the last forty years, I would guess. So anybody on that list who was educated at home more than around forty years ago does not fit the definition.
There's more that I could say, along the lines of PeterS' second paragraph, but perhaps I'll leave it there for the moment.
Philip J. Rayment 22:14, 19 March 2008 (EDT)
Similar to my comment below, this criticism is overly literal. But to play that game, "homeschooling" is the movement, while those who were "homeschooled" is a broader category that can go beyond the movement.--Aschlafly 22:17, 19 March 2008 (EDT)
My immediate response to that, without thinking through it, is that that might make sense, but if it does, at the very least that distinction should be made clear in the article. Philip J. Rayment 22:19, 19 March 2008 (EDT)
Perhaps the opening part of the article could refer to a general, specific definition of homeschooling. That would clear up some of the conceptual difficulties that become more evident later in the article. Then you could branch out after that and comment on the "homeschooling movement" in the United States. PeterS 00:46, 20 March 2008 (EDT)
An addendum to my previous post: I still think my dispute with the Dickens example stands. Just because someone does not receive a formal education at a school, it does not mean they were homeschooled. The facts are these: Dickens was educated as long as was financially possible. When his father was jailed, he was sent to work in a factory, like many financially disadvantaged young people at the time. To my knowledge (and the minutiae of the personal histories of English authors are not my strongest point), there is no evidence that his mother actively homeschooled him. Indeed, all the evidence points to his mother being firmly in favour of him working at a boot-blacking factory instead of getting an education. If you have evidential proof that this was not the case, feel free to cite it. Once again, if you think my argumentation over this is not valid, then you've got to sort out the definitional problem ASAP. PeterS 00:58, 20 March 2008 (EDT)

I've reworded the introduction to:

  • Remove the United States as part of the definition.
  • To define homeschooling as being educated "primarily at home", rather than "outside the traditional school system", as the latter could include non-traditional schools. The existing text later in the article expands on "primarily at home", to explain the parts that are not at home.

Philip J. Rayment 06:54, 20 March 2008 (EDT)

I've also changed references to homeschooling in the prominent people list to "educated at home" or "taught at home" (as some entries already were) for all persons whose education preceded the formation of the homeschooling movement. By the way, the entry for Leonardo doesn't actually say that he was taught at home. Philip J. Rayment 07:09, 20 March 2008 (EDT)

Nobody uses the phrase "educated at home," Philip. Have you ever heard anyone use it? An encyclopedia should use common and easily understood terminology, first and foremost. "Homeschooled" is the term that is used. Also, I'm not aware of a category that is "outside the traditional school system" but not homeschooled. Homeschooling is not dependent on the physical location, but on the approach. Again, I object to the overly literal and materialistic approach.--Aschlafly 10:50, 20 March 2008 (EDT)

Read an interesting article

I generally don't follow "homeschooling politics" but I recently read an interesting article. Apparently CA has recently placed a de facto on homeschooling. Does that sound like something appropriate for this article? (It would be nice to have something not in list form.) HelpJazz 16:20, 19 March 2008 (EDT)

"Nearly every great mathematician"

Can I object to the statement that "nearly every great mathematician" was homeschooled? It is patently ridiculous, even to a supporter of homeschooling. Here's just a few of the many famous mathematicians from the last few centuries who were not homeschooled: Isaac Newton, Leonhard Euler, George Polya, Carl Friedrich Gauss, John Venn, several of the Bernoulli family, Pierre de Fermat and Johannes Kepler. Off the top of my head, August Möbius was homeschooled only to the age of 13, and some mathematicians were born into European aristocracy who would never even think of allowing their children to be taught in a normal education system, which at the time would have been grossly inferior. Less hyperbole, please! PeterS 21:00, 19 March 2008 (EDT)

Fine, let's look at your examples, several of whom would not be described as "great mathematicians"; others in your list who were homeschooled; and still more who were schooled but achieved despite it. Spell out the schooling of each of your examples and you'll find that nearly all of them fall in one of the categories I just identified, and hence my reversion.--Aschlafly 21:54, 19 March 2008 (EDT)
That last category ("were schooled but achieved despite it") is of people who were not homeschooled. Correct? Philip J. Rayment 22:04, 19 March 2008 (EDT)
Well, yes, you are literally correct, but figuratively that category reinforces the thesis.--Aschlafly 22:13, 19 March 2008 (EDT)
How does "people who were educated in a regular shool and did well" (to rephrase it) support the thesis? (The phrase "despite it" presumes what the thesis is trying to demonstrate, so is a circular argument.) Philip J. Rayment 22:19, 19 March 2008 (EDT)
Right, so let's have a look at the first criterion. In other words, "several of whom would not be described as great mathematicians". Actually, I don't think that's my job. I think if you want to make a statement claiming that "nearly every great mathematician" was homeschooled, you need to prove it. You need to identify exactly who you would classify as a "great mathematician" and name them all: or have you already done that? What are your criteria for great mathematicians? Then you need to identify what percentage of those were homeschooled. Then you can assert that "nearly every great mathematician" was homeschooled. Now: "others in your list who were homeschooled". Again, it's a meaningless statement because you have never defined exactly what constitutes a homeschooled person - how many years they need to have been homeschooled - and when people have asked on this talk page, you haven't answered. Next: "still more who were schooled but achieved despite it". Hmmm... so you're making the assumption that because they were high achievers but attended school, they must have achieved despite their education? And you're using that justify the contention that homeschooling is better than a regular education? Which means that those who achieved highly did so despite their education? Which means that homeschooling is better than a regular education? Where does the circular nature of that argument end? Can I reiterate: I think that homeschooling is great if people are prepared to do it, and I think that you personally have done a lot of good things in terms of homeschooling. But I don't think it helps our conservative cause if we make silly hyperbolic statements all over the place in a futile gesture to stick it up to the liberals/atheists. PeterS 00:35, 20 March 2008 (EDT)