Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

16 June 2012

The Objectivist Oasis Blog by Maggie Van Aken

Maggie Van Aken is an Objectivist who has left a career as an educator to care for her two daughters and to write.  She recently started a blog called Objectivist Oasis.  She has been a regular reader of my blog and asked me to take a look at her blog.  I read several of her posts and found that she has many good ideas.  I plan to read more of her posts.

An example of a particularly interesting post was
She makes a number of good points in this post.  One of her particularly good points pushed me into thinking about the trade of values that she discusses between teacher and student.  My own formulation of this important idea is given below, and it owes much to her insights:

Education properly requires a number of complex trades. Properly, parents would pay teachers to teach their children, who would also reward teachers by developing their knowledge and critical thinking skills. The government-run schools (note I do not call them public schools because that suggests that the schools serve the People, rather than the government) dilute the control and the investment of parents in the education of their children by transferring their funding role to the electorate and taxpayers at large. The teachers then have a much lessened relationship with the parents of the children they teach. The teacher's responsibility to the parents to teach their children is much reduced and the parents lose control of the education of their child. The child has a responsibility to his parents in a proper education system to make sure that their family money is well-spent, but in the government-run school this responsibility is replaced with a very vague one to the taxpayer, which will mean little to a child and not much more to even most adults.

If the teacher belongs to a union and the union leadership says that they do not care about the education of the child, then some teachers are likely to adopt the same attitude. But it is also true that some teachers will make a genuine effort to teach children and they should be rewarded by students who learn. The students in government-run schools will often learn that "free" education means that they are owed an education and that those who pay for it are not deserving of any gratitude. But, if the payers are not worthy of gratitude, why would the teacher be worthy of gratitude either? The payers do not get anything in return, so why should the able teacher get anything in return? As a result, the government-run schools destroy the entire hierarchy of value exchanges upon which education depends.

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