[FoRK] Harmony Schools

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Mon May 14 11:23:16 PDT 2012

On 5/14/12 8:50 AM, Damien Morton wrote:
> ‘Give me the child for his first seven years, and I’ll give you the man,’

Exactly the tragedy here, as I see it.

> On Mon, May 14, 2012 at 11:11 AM, Gregory Alan Bolcer<greg at bolcer.org>wrote:
>> I'm going to have to completely disagree with that comment. We have
>> Servite, Mater Dei, and Rosary here in Orange County at the high school
>> level and several academies like St. Margarets and St. Francis. They are
>> some of the best academic and sports programs anywhere as measured by
>> academic standards and university acceptance anywhere.  Both my kids avoid
>> both the very good public schools in my area for the Catholic school
>> because it's higher academic achievements, accelerated learning, more
>> personal teachers, and smaller class sizes.

Sounds good.  I'm sure they're impressive.  And, they're probably not too strong on the indoctrination spectrum.  Additionally, 
Catholicism seems to have some built-in conflicts that make it difficult to fully adhere to, which seems to make it socially 
acceptable to partially adhere to or abandon temporarily.  Which is a good thing.  Pretty much like Judaism from what I can tell.

This is in sharp contrast to fundamentalist religious schools and groups, Christian or Islamic.

In any case, I appreciate the contrast when an Islamic cleric / imam of some kind has created a large number of schools that 
strictly avoid any religious content.

>> Do you have a lot of experience with religious-group sponsored schools?

Very little directly.  A lot indirectly with people who had that sort of education.  Including some in key government positions.
I only have various anecdotal evidence, particularly for the extremes.  A comprehensive study would be useful.

I'm not an authority in this area at all, just a somewhat well-read observer equally biased against all irrationality and irrational 

>>   Not your position specifically, but I see a more general reactionary
>> movement to describing public schools as harboring indoctrination more than
>> the religious ones.

The people making those kinds of statements (which should be examined very specifically) usually take it as a given that religious 
indoctrination is good, at least their kind is.  There are a few categories of things I can think of where those kinds of statements 
have been made.  Some are definitely problems with kid culture (drugs, gangs, bullying) or the occasional nutty teacher.  While 
those should be addressed, simply adding religion isn't a good answer.  Others are social evolutions that conservatives are lagging 
on.  Those are a lost cause and a misuse of the term to confuse the fact that conservatives tend to lag on these things and nearly 
always "lose": racism, sexism, prohibition, religious tolerance, porn, video games, free speech, ...  The worst religious groups 
attack science, "liberal education" objective history, and critical thinking in general.  The Catholic church seems to be making 
good progress toward rationality just as other groups are spiraling into the abyss, slightly ironic since they have been the icon of 
such irrationality due to various historical events.


>> Greg
>> On 5/14/2012 7:31 AM, Stephen Williams wrote:
>>> At the college / university level, I think there are good examples,
>>> although it isn't universal. At the high school level and below level,
>>> most religious-group sponsored schools seem to have indoctrination as a
>>> major component and goal.
>>> sdw
>> --
>> greg at bolcer.org, http://bolcer.org, c: +1.714.928.5476

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