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How Would You Make a Kid Dislike Learning?

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limitgov Posted: Fri, Apr 8 2011 1:22 PM

I think as humans, we naturally love to learn.  I see it in my children all the time. 

Yet, as a teacher, I'm surrounded by kids who don't want to learn.

 

How would you get a kid to dislike learning?

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I. Ryan replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 1:26 PM

limitgov:

How would you get a kid to dislike learning?

Force them to learn something they find useless, and do that enough times.

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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I would condition them Clockwork Orange style, by mixing learning with lots of unpleasant things.

For example, I would restrict bathroom breaks and meal time and insist on unnecessarily early hours to cause sleep deprivation.

I would also make learning as hard as possible, focusing more time and effort on things the children find too challenging.

 

Did I take the bait?

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I. Ryan replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 1:31 PM

thorell9:

Did I take the bait?

What bait?

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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z1235 replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 1:36 PM

Teach him/her (through words and action) that geeks (learners, thinkers, readers, four-eyes, etc.) are sissies that no one respects and everyone beats up. 

 

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I. Ryan replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 1:40 PM

z1235:

Teach (raise) him/her (through words and action) that geeks (learners, thinkers, readers, four-eyes, etc.) are sissies that no one respects and everyone beats up. 

Can't you be a learner, thinker, and a reader without being a sissy geek that nobody respects and everybody beats up?

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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The original post read to me like an invitation to characterize state schools. Mission accomplished!

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I. Ryan replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 1:48 PM

thorell9:

The original post read to me like an invitation to characterize state schools. Mission accomplished!

I see.

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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z1235 replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 1:48 PM

I. Ryan:

z1235:

Teach (raise) him/her (through words and action) that geeks (learners, thinkers, readers, four-eyes, etc.) are sissies that no one respects and everyone beats up. 

Can't you be a learner, thinker, and a reader without being a sissy geek that nobody respects and everybody beats up?

Yes, but you underplay that possibility if your goal is to make the kid dis-like learning, as requested in the OP.

 

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Learning what?

If we are talking about what I'd call "formal education" (Formal sciences, Physical sciences, Life sciences, Social and Behavioural sciences and  Applied sciences) I don't think there's a way to make people like all of them.

I do like the idea of classical education: a good teacher, some expository tools, interested students and rigorous testings. If that bores some people to the point that they don't want to study anything, they can always go mow a lawn or some other thing that doesn't require formal knowledge

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As stated by the troll above, by associating learning with unpleasantness.  I agree, people are naturally curious and eager to learn.  By forcing learning on them you associate negative things with learning rather than positive.  By telling them to finish their homework before they can play you are associating restriction from play with learning.  Repeat this pattern enough and you build a hatred for learning.

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"As stated by the troll above, by associating learning with unpleasantness.  I agree, people are naturally curious and eager to learn.  By forcing learning on them you associate negative things with learning rather than positive.  By telling them to finish their homework before they can play you are associating restriction from play with learning.  Repeat this pattern enough and you build a hatred for learning."

 

Oops, didn't mean to be a troll. I actually agree that state schools function as propaganda centers, with lessons in obedience and our civic religion eclipsing any lessons in utility.

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I. Ryan replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 2:22 PM

z1235:

Yes, but you underplay that possibility if your goal is to make the kid dis-like learning, as requested in the OP.

Yeah, I get it now.

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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Micah71381:

As stated by the troll above,

Troll? Why are you calling me that? I think that what I said is pertinent and actually adds to the discussion.

Micah71381:
  By telling them to finish their homework before they can play you are associating restriction from play with learning.  Repeat this pattern enough and you build a hatred for learning.

Playing brings a set of benefits and doing the homework brings a different one. It's up to you to choose. If you think that's possible to understand bank credit by playing monopoly rather than studying carefully and rigorously Huerta de Soto's Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles, that's ok by me, but don't complain when you get less knowledge than I.
 
Honestly, the idea of someone wanting to study in depth , for example, Rothbard's MESwPaM through music, youtube videos, jokes, or some other non-classical method sounds like a preposterous joke by me. I'm not dismissing the power of some of these tools to spread knowledge, but in depth knowledge can only be acquired by sitting down, reading/listening to something carefully, taking notes and checking if you got the facts correctly.
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MaikU replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 3:07 PM

Most public schools should do the job.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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I. Ryan:

Can't you be a learner, thinker, and a reader without being a sissy geek that nobody respects and everybody beats up?

Sure.  I was smarter than any other kid in my high school, and also managed to be pretty damn fine and get laid a lot.  But everything's a trade-off.  If you spend more time reading, that's less time to spend having a social life.  If you spend more time philosophizing, that's less time to spend prettying up.  The key is to just be naturally slim and attractive -- then you can devote all your free time to being a geek, and get a date whenever you want.

"Whoever will be free must make himself free. Freedom is no fairy gift to fall into a man's lap. What is freedom? To have the will to be responsible for one's self." ~ Max Stirner
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Student replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 3:18 PM

maybe you teach an uninteresting subject

Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine - Elvis Presley

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Frederique Bastiao:

Learning what?

If we are talking about what I'd call "formal education" (Formal sciences, Physical sciences, Life sciences, Social and Behavioural sciences and  Applied sciences) I don't think there's a way to make people like all of them.

I do like the idea of classical education: a good teacher, some expository tools, interested students and rigorous testings. If that bores some people to the point that they don't want to study anything, they can always go mow a lawn or some other thing that doesn't require formal knowledge

I like the classical model, too, but I am not sure how appropriate it really is for learning to do most jobs. It's more a humanities and possibly technical school, but for money making education I think that a twelve year old will learn a lot more working in a saw mill than he will reading about management.
 
The classical model is also highly dependent on having good teachers who can actually discuss (not parrot or prosthelytize), which is not exactly a common thing.
I will break in the doors of hell and smash the bolts; there will be confusion of people, those above with those from the lower depths. I shall bring up the dead to eat food like the living; and the hosts of dead will outnumber the living.
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filc replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 3:55 PM

@OP 

Send child to public education.

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Frederique Bastiao:

Troll? Why are you calling me that? I think that what I said is pertinent and actually adds to the discussion.

That wasn't directed at you, it was directed in jest at another poster regarding his comment of "taking the bait".  It seems the humor didn't come across.

Micah71381:
  By telling them to finish their homework before they can play you are associating restriction from play with learning.  Repeat this pattern enough and you build a hatred for learning.

Frederique Bastiao:

Playing brings a set of benefits and doing the homework brings a different one. It's up to you to choose. If you think that's possible to understand bank credit by playing monopoly rather than studying carefully and rigorously Huerta de Soto's Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles, that's ok by me, but don't complain when you get less knowledge than I.
 
Honestly, the idea of someone wanting to study in depth , for example, Rothbard's MESwPaM through music, youtube videos, jokes, or some other non-classical method sounds like a preposterous joke by me. I'm not dismissing the power of some of these tools to spread knowledge, but in depth knowledge can only be acquired by sitting down, reading/listening to something carefully, taking notes and checking if you got the facts correctly.

After many years of not being forced to learn anything I have finally rekindled my natural curiosity.  Now I study in depth on a wide array of topics ranging from physics to biology to economics.  This natural curiosity for these topics was taken from me during my public education and I can say from personal experience that it is possible to desire education for curiosities sake alone.

Giving a point to studying also helps a lot.  Learning to do multiplication for the sake of doing multiplication seems pointless to a child.  However, if they are naturaly curious about some other topic that requires multiplication to understand they will be more likely to want to learn how to multiply.  If I want to run a lemonade stand to make some extra money to spend on video games I need to be able to add/subtract with relative ease.  This gives me a reason to study arithmatic.   In school though we are often just told, "you'll need this one day" without any real explanation of when.  Often we really don't need those skills one day which just exasperates the problem.  I learned calculus in college and even as a software engineer (a field that originated in mathematics) I never use anything more than basic algebra.  History facts: I haven't used a single one of the dates I had to memorize.

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I was smarter than any other kid in my high school, and also managed to be pretty damn fine and get laid a lot.

I lol'd.

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;)

"Whoever will be free must make himself free. Freedom is no fairy gift to fall into a man's lap. What is freedom? To have the will to be responsible for one's self." ~ Max Stirner
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Neodoxy replied on Fri, Apr 8 2011 10:02 PM

Wow, the second  that I read this question I literally just though "oh..."

So basically just copy the public school model except slightly more boring, or just simply lecture and doing problems. But still, the public education system is close enough as it is.

However, I have always wondered whether or not human beings actually naturally enjoy learning or not, and I think that the answer is yes to some degree, although of course some are much more curious about things than others. The problem in my mind is whether or not the interest that people display in learning is greater than the interest that they display in other things. For most of the people here the answer is yes, for many I'm not so sure, however if people began learning in a more intriguing and encouraging environment throughout their first several years of schooling or education I'm certain these numbers would skyrocket.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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TBH, there is no answer to the question.  I recently did a personality assessment.  In the Inquiring, Organized, Authentic, Resourceful temperaments I scored 19, 7, 10, 14.  (That is the most rare combination; only 3% of people have 1 and 4 the highest.)  That is after several truency charges and court appearances beginning at age 13, being carried into the classroom with my feet over my head, being driven to school in a police car, extreme punishment driving me to suicidal/homicidal depression/rage, being forced into a group home, being forced to see psychologists and making a "hit list" and plotting to assassinate key figures in those events.  I'm fundamentally exactly the same now as I was at the start.  It's just my opinion of others that has changed...

The fallacy behind this question is the same as the fallacy of the "good school".  Teaching has virtually no effect on learning.  The "best" and "worst" schools/teacher myth is a correlation fallacy where teachers and administrators attempt to take credit for the individual success of the demographically random student body.

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Caley McKibbin:

TBH, there is no answer to the question.  I recently did a personality assessment.  In the Inquiring, Organized, Authentic, Resourceful temperaments I scored 19, 7, 10, 14.  (That is the most rare combination; only 3% of people have 1 and 4 the highest.)  That is after several truency charges and court appearances beginning at age 13, being carried into the classroom with my feet over my head, being driven to school in a police car, extreme punishment driving me to suicidal/homicidal depression/rage, being forced into a group home, being forced to see psychologists and making a "hit list" and plotting to assassinate key figures in those events.  I'm fundamentally exactly the same now as I was at the start.  It's just my opinion of others that has changed...

Your school life sounds like mine. When they started sending out their truancy gestapo to my house to make me go I'd get up extra early in the morning and army crawl through a dry trench behind the house until I got to my friend's place. 
I will break in the doors of hell and smash the bolts; there will be confusion of people, those above with those from the lower depths. I shall bring up the dead to eat food like the living; and the hosts of dead will outnumber the living.
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Ricky James Moore II:

Your school life sounds like mine. When they started sending out their truancy gestapo to my house to make me go I'd get up extra early in the morning and army crawl through a dry trench behind the house until I got to my friend's place.

From How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World: A Handbook for Personal Liberty by Harry Browne:


     Then there are all the little irritants of governmental regulation—compulsory schooling laws, zoning laws, licenses, etc. If you gripe about them or campaign against them, you probably won't get anywhere. But use a little imagination and they don't have to control you.


     For instance Karl Hess decided he didn't want to attend high school—despite the compulsory schooling laws. So he registered at two different schools, then filled out transfer slips from each of them. Authorities at each school assumed he was at the other and no one ever bothered him about it again.2
 

              
 2. National Observer, March 1, 1971, p. 18.
 

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Nielsio replied on Sun, Apr 10 2011 6:34 PM

Education (by Aaron0883)

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