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The Prevalence of Mansplaining vs. the Rarity of Apesplaining
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As you all know, Mansplaining is the worst thing ever. For example, if you have a broken device and no clue how to fix it, on Youtube there are no doubt multiple videos of volunteer guys (and they are almost always guys, unless they are doing it for money), who will show you how to fix your gizmo.

It’s wonderful that there are so many people out there who do this for basically no compensation.

Men like to explain stuff.

For example, countless philosophers and scientists have explained to us that one big difference between Man and Monkey is in our stronger ability to learn. And that is no doubt true. But these teachers seem to be somewhat overlooking the human urge to teach.

Chimpanzees, in contrast, do not feel the urge to teach much at all. (We’re chimps, not chumps appears to be their attitude toward Apesplaining.) I give Carl Zimmer a hard time now and then, but his new book She Has Her Mother’s Laugh has some good stuff on the fairly profound division between the strong Mansplaining urge and the weak Apesplaining urge. From 2011:

“It’s certainly true that teaching comes naturally to us humans,” Carl Zimmer blogs for Discover magazine. “There’s no culture on Earth without teachers. But just because something’s easy doesn’t mean it’s not special. And in the animal kingdom, teaching is exceedingly rare. In fact, it’s not clear that any other animal can teach. I know this may come as a surprise, but it does so because we tend to mix up teaching and learning. A young chimpanzee can learn how to smash nuts on a rock by watching an older chimpanzee in action. And when she grows up, her own children can learn by watching her. But in these situations, the students are on their own. They have to watch an action and try to tease apart the underlying rules.”

 
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  1. In his memoir of growing up in a family with medical and scientific research backgrounds, “Uncle Tungsten”, Oliver Sacks provided a good example of the education he received from his mother and uncles in witnessing their, respectively, pathology work and factory experiments. But he contrasted that with his own obsession with expanding his understanding of chemistry by his own unsupervised research and experimentation.

    A great book.

    I got a similar vibe from the great Ted Neild book “Underlands” on how he developed his interest in geology.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
  2. Teaching is a natural part of being human.

    Yet “experts” in the education racket constantly try to reinvent the process. There is money to be made convincing the naked ape that he doesn’t already know how to do something instinctively human.

    That happens sometimes in sales — convincing people that they need something they actually don’t. Sales and education are a bad mix.

    Let’s be fair to women, though. They can be great teachers. They should be encouraged to do some ‘splainin:

    • Replies: @AndrewR
    Attempting to comfort and heal the ill and injured is instinctively human too. But we have learned a lot about how to do these things more effectively over the centuries.

    This comment is not necessarily a defence of the latest fads and trends in education. Just pointing out that our natural instincts are only one part of the equation.
    , @anon
    women dont teach much naturally ( we appoint them teachers in schools and pay them) they will teach a daughter or maybe a daughter in law, mostly they keep their trade secrets secret. After all women are building nests men are building civilizations
  3. Notice also the same women that don’t like mansplaining also complain women don’t get access to mentorship in corporations and law firms.

    Of course a lot mentorship is learning by hanging around more experienced guys who explain a lot.

    I’m a guy but I always let other guys in industry mansplain to me. 9 out of 10 times they say what I know. But it helps to be reminded and that 10th time I do learn something new.

    How much of mansplaining complaint is just professional women with chips on their shoulder?

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    I’m a guy but I always let other guys in industry mansplain to me. 9 out of 10 times they say what I know. But it helps to be reminded and that 10th time I do learn something new.
     
    Me too. I listen to all that people say. Sometimes I learn things, but I always say thank you even when I know I am being shined on. Life is easier if you don't argue every damn thing.
    , @Bard of Bumperstickers
    Manlistenin' to femsplainin' (or is it complainin'?) is the actual problem. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sandman+shit+testing
    , @Antlitz Grollheim
    Like everything else these days, it's a power-play in the feminine power style: obviously women are going to need explaining from men how things work if they want to get ahead, but the wicked ones enjoy the thrill of power being able to hold the vague and ambiguous threat of being outraged and the man is institutionally handicapped from responding commensurately.

    I know from jobs where I've worked with women, a great portion of my time is spent, annoyingly, explaining how stuff works. I am constantly amazed by the lack of practical knowledge some women who have been coddled by the educational complex and the government have.

    The "mansplaining" complaint is a sick joke, and it's a further parasite on earnest and productive people so a few maladjusted harpies can get undeserved power and privileges.
  4. As you all know, Mansplaining is the worst thing ever. For example, if you have a broken device and no clue how to fix it. On Youtube there are no doubt multiple videos of volunteer guys (and they are almost always guys, unless they are doing it for money), who will show you how to fix your gizmo.

    It’s a wonder anything ever got fixed before 1965. Now, we have Handy Manny to come and fix things for us. It’s a good thing too, because poor, clumsy Mr. Lopart can’t even walk to the post office without dropping his packages three times.

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
    Enter the cheat code "N-I-P-P-O-N" and Mr Lopart will invent a van. Put the boxes in the back and complete all 10 levels in 2 minutes with no risk at all. Manny will have to do something decent with the whole of Mexico - one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
  5. ‘…But in these situations, the students are on their own. They have to watch an action and try to tease apart the underlying rules.”

    To be fair, that’s been my experience among humans.

  6. I don’t mansplain to women who complain about mansplaining. I try not to talk to such women altogether.

  7. Not so. I’ve learned a great deal from my cat, and so have other people: https://www.amazon.com/Need-Know-Learned-Then-Some/dp/0761147667

    • Replies: @Lot
    Don't felines all teach hunting to their young by bringing them maimed animals to practice on? Does anyone know if they progressively maim them less as the kits/cubs get older?

    Herding dogs teach members of the herd to stay with the group.

    Those are the examples I can think up of animals teaching, outside of teaching by example.
    , @Buzz Mohawk
    Other people have learned a great deal from your cat?

    (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

  8. @Jimi
    Notice also the same women that don't like mansplaining also complain women don't get access to mentorship in corporations and law firms.

    Of course a lot mentorship is learning by hanging around more experienced guys who explain a lot.

    I'm a guy but I always let other guys in industry mansplain to me. 9 out of 10 times they say what I know. But it helps to be reminded and that 10th time I do learn something new.

    How much of mansplaining complaint is just professional women with chips on their shoulder?

    I’m a guy but I always let other guys in industry mansplain to me. 9 out of 10 times they say what I know. But it helps to be reminded and that 10th time I do learn something new.

    Me too. I listen to all that people say. Sometimes I learn things, but I always say thank you even when I know I am being shined on. Life is easier if you don’t argue every damn thing.

  9. Lot says:
    @International Jew
    Not so. I've learned a great deal from my cat, and so have other people: https://www.amazon.com/Need-Know-Learned-Then-Some/dp/0761147667

    Don’t felines all teach hunting to their young by bringing them maimed animals to practice on? Does anyone know if they progressively maim them less as the kits/cubs get older?

    Herding dogs teach members of the herd to stay with the group.

    Those are the examples I can think up of animals teaching, outside of teaching by example.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    You are quite right about cats, of course. I don't buy this idea no other animal teaches either. An enormous part of teaching is demonstration. Does the chimpanzee in his example not get credit for teaching simply because she doesn't say "Do it like so, children" as she smashes the nuts? Was my drill instructor not teaching me the correct form for calisthenics when he demonstrated an exercise by simply performing it himself rather than providing a detailed verbal explanation? Since humans are the only animals teaching each other trigonometry or Latin, I expect we are indeed the only ones teaching via involved speeches and writing. What more do you want an otter smashing a mussel with a rock for her young to do: work out the velocity needed to crush the shell with a given weight and scribble Newtonian equations in the sand? No, she smashes the damned mussel and eats it. The pup observes and imitates the behaviour. Teaching is achieved.

    Cf. Do Animals Teach?: Researchers Are Discovering How Some Species Actively Instruct Their Young for exampels involving meerkats, ants, cheetahs, and more.

    , @AndrewR
    My middle-aged, spayed cat maims mice then plays with them until they either die or I take pity on them.
    , @YetAnotherAnon
    Don't raccoons teach their young?

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/06/150630-raccoons-science-animals-mothers-babies-climbing/
    , @David
    It may be that cats bringing home maimed prey helps their kittens learn to hunt and kill, but I don't think they do it with the intention to teach. Cats bring undead prey into the house whether they have kittens or not.

    Chickens, on the other hand, make a long low note when a large bird appears in the sky, but only when there is more than one chicken. From that, I believe that the chickens actually intend to warn, because when there's no one to warn, they don't make the sound.

    I don't buy that herding animals intend to teach the members of the herd. When a member of the herd is isolated, it simply becomes an attractive target. Eventually it learns to avoid that risk.

    Minnows along a river bank appear to seek out shady spots but really two simple instincts give rise to that appearance. Minnows want to stay together, and they swim slower in darker spaces. So when a part of a school enters shade, it slows, and the parts not in shade double back to be closer to the slower fish. The effect is, minnows congregate in protected spots, but they don't intend to.

    , @ia

    Don’t felines all teach hunting to their young by bringing them maimed animals to practice on? Does anyone know if they progressively maim them less as the kits/cubs get older?
     
    Cats will kill and eat anything if they're hungry enough. The mother cat will let her kittens eat some of the kill and they would learn by watching her do it. Outdoor mother cats will bring their kittens to your window or door if she thinks you'll feed them.

    Well-fed house cats like to show off and will bring back whatever they catch to other cats. They don't eat the catch because it doesn't taste as good as cat food (generally).

  10. Sometimes, teaching what not to do is just as important. Here’s a heartwarming clip with some sage advice:

    “Don’t be stupid you moron.”

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    Why did Howard Schultz come to my mind, instead of Stern? Maybe someone should have written "Don't be stupid, you moron!" on his grande cup.

    As it is, that clip featured two Howards.

    And Stern admitted to being a Howard with a small Johnson.
  11. “It’s certainly true that teaching comes naturally to us humans,” Carl Zimmer blogs…

    We’ve always got Corvinus to crowsplain it to us.

    • Replies: @U-Bahn
    Reg Caesar says:
    "We’ve always got Corvinus to crowsplain it to us."

    My corner lamppost has much crowsplaining on the pavement.
  12. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    Sometimes, teaching what not to do is just as important. Here’s a heartwarming clip with some sage advice:

    “Don’t be stupid you moron.”

    https://youtu.be/sWjPBi4NXJI?t=1m37s

    Why did Howard Schultz come to my mind, instead of Stern? Maybe someone should have written “Don’t be stupid, you moron!” on his grande cup.

    As it is, that clip featured two Howards.

    And Stern admitted to being a Howard with a small Johnson.

  13. Steve, your second sentence is an incomplete sentence and really makes no sense. Please just delete this comment after noting.

  14. I’m almost certain you guys have never had a conversation with a woman

    That is why you hate them so much

    You guys need to read Rachel Held Evans

    • Troll: IHTG
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I prefer Evan Held Rachel.
    , @Rosamond Vincy
    I've dealt with plenty of Elementary Education majors.

    •Men tell you how to do it, give you a drill to practice, and you move on to something harder that builds on what you've learned.

    •Women give you a busy-work project that's supposed to help you figure it out by yourself, then you spend most of the class period fighting over who has a partner and who doesn't, cheating off the kid who walked in knowing it already if you're popular, or making random guesses if you're not. At the end of the class period, the teacher talks about how it's supposed to be done, screws it up, gets corrected by the kid who walked in knowing it already, and changes the subject so she doesn't have to acknowledge she's been doing AND teaching it wrong. Kids who heard the kid who walked in knowing it already will get no time to practice the correct method and will probably remember the incorrect method they used for most of the class period on a test. Kids who didn't hear the kid who walked in knowing it already will definitely get it wrong because the teacher certainly won't announce to the entire class what the kid who walked in knowing it already said, because she doesn't want to acknowledge she's been doing AND teaching it wrong. In both of the last two cases, this eventually could lead to flunking and another year of being deprived of an education by Mrs. Moron.

    •Popular kids who cheated off the kid who walked in knowing it already may actually learn something, or just cheat again for the test. Either way, they pass with flying colors, even if they can't write a grammatically correct sentence or figure out how many gallons of gas they need to get from town A to town B if the car uses X gallons per mile. But they'll be well-equipped to be Education Majors themselves!

    (BTW, these may not be genetic traits, since older teachers and teaching Sisters did not exhibit them, but the folks currently running our Colleges of Education tend to weed out anyone who doesn't.)

    , @Stebbing Heuer
    Your mansplaining is showing.
    , @Ragno
    Tell the truth, Tiny....you're either an 800-lb black kid they can hear breathing two tenements down, or you're a self-harming white neurotic online-vacationing from pretending you're a woman by pretending you're an 800-lb black kid they can hear breathing two tenements down.

    It's okay, we get it - it's fun to pretend.
  15. @Rosie

    As you all know, Mansplaining is the worst thing ever. For example, if you have a broken device and no clue how to fix it. On Youtube there are no doubt multiple videos of volunteer guys (and they are almost always guys, unless they are doing it for money), who will show you how to fix your gizmo.
     
    It's a wonder anything ever got fixed before 1965. Now, we have Handy Manny to come and fix things for us. It's a good thing too, because poor, clumsy Mr. Lopart can't even walk to the post office without dropping his packages three times.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TVIwtMDIT5I

    Enter the cheat code “N-I-P-P-O-N” and Mr Lopart will invent a van. Put the boxes in the back and complete all 10 levels in 2 minutes with no risk at all. Manny will have to do something decent with the whole of Mexico – one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

    • LOL: Autochthon
  16. @Jimi
    Notice also the same women that don't like mansplaining also complain women don't get access to mentorship in corporations and law firms.

    Of course a lot mentorship is learning by hanging around more experienced guys who explain a lot.

    I'm a guy but I always let other guys in industry mansplain to me. 9 out of 10 times they say what I know. But it helps to be reminded and that 10th time I do learn something new.

    How much of mansplaining complaint is just professional women with chips on their shoulder?

    Manlistenin’ to femsplainin’ (or is it complainin’?) is the actual problem. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sandman+shit+testing

  17. China peepa ha’ ancient cure for mansplain ankle:

  18. Liberals are the great Apesplainers.

    Contradict an elite liberal narrative and they figure you’ll eventually get the message.

  19. A young chimpanzee can learn how to smash nuts on a rock by watching an older chimpanzee in action. And when she grows up, her own children can learn by watching her.

    I see what he did there….

  20. Well, it’s not the “teaching” skill that apes don’t have – they are weak at causal reasoning.

    Judea Pearl has a nice book for the general public on this, “The Book of Why”, wherein cognitive skills are arranged in a ladder:

    – Systems which can do Associations at the bottom: Those that can distinguish patterns around them and act on them; the newfangled Deep Learning things (“Self-Driving Cars”) are of that class.

    – Systems which can do Interventions in the middle: Those can additionally think about the consequences of manipulations (“How can I make something happen”)

    – Systems which can do counterfactual reasoning at the top: Those can additionally think about how changing something earlier might have lead to a different outcome (“What if I had done”)

    Until “AIsplaining” is a thing, there is no AI. There may be killer bots that are good hunters though.

  21. @Lot
    Don't felines all teach hunting to their young by bringing them maimed animals to practice on? Does anyone know if they progressively maim them less as the kits/cubs get older?

    Herding dogs teach members of the herd to stay with the group.

    Those are the examples I can think up of animals teaching, outside of teaching by example.

    You are quite right about cats, of course. I don’t buy this idea no other animal teaches either. An enormous part of teaching is demonstration. Does the chimpanzee in his example not get credit for teaching simply because she doesn’t say “Do it like so, children” as she smashes the nuts? Was my drill instructor not teaching me the correct form for calisthenics when he demonstrated an exercise by simply performing it himself rather than providing a detailed verbal explanation? Since humans are the only animals teaching each other trigonometry or Latin, I expect we are indeed the only ones teaching via involved speeches and writing. What more do you want an otter smashing a mussel with a rock for her young to do: work out the velocity needed to crush the shell with a given weight and scribble Newtonian equations in the sand? No, she smashes the damned mussel and eats it. The pup observes and imitates the behaviour. Teaching is achieved.

    Cf. Do Animals Teach?: Researchers Are Discovering How Some Species Actively Instruct Their Young for exampels involving meerkats, ants, cheetahs, and more.

    • Replies: @Rosamond Vincy
    Mother apes spot their babies like a gymnastics coach (not the pervy kind) when they're starting to climb, so they don't fall and hurt themselves. It's actually really sweet to watch.
  22. @Buzz Mohawk
    Teaching is a natural part of being human.

    Yet "experts" in the education racket constantly try to reinvent the process. There is money to be made convincing the naked ape that he doesn't already know how to do something instinctively human.

    That happens sometimes in sales -- convincing people that they need something they actually don't. Sales and education are a bad mix.

    Let's be fair to women, though. They can be great teachers. They should be encouraged to do some 'splainin:

    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/5b/a2/de/5ba2de1d18a60b380ad485f61f16a2ca.jpg

    Attempting to comfort and heal the ill and injured is instinctively human too. But we have learned a lot about how to do these things more effectively over the centuries.

    This comment is not necessarily a defence of the latest fads and trends in education. Just pointing out that our natural instincts are only one part of the equation.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    I won't argue with you because I have observed that your heart is generally in the right place, as it is in this instance. I will just say that improvements in medicine have been real, physical science, while education fads are in the realm of the social-pseudo sciences or just blatantly political.

    Most of it is an effort to make it easier for NAMs to pass and to get away with lack of discipline and bad behavior. Aside from that, the technical, physical things that have been sold to taxpayers are mostly the latest manifestation of the old teaching machine idea -- faith in "technology" that still cannot replace the human interaction called teaching and learning that was perfected by nature over the course of thousands of years.

    My own suggestion for improvement in education is what I call the 3S system: Sit down, Shut up, and Study. There needs to be more of that, and there is no substitute.
  23. @Lot
    Don't felines all teach hunting to their young by bringing them maimed animals to practice on? Does anyone know if they progressively maim them less as the kits/cubs get older?

    Herding dogs teach members of the herd to stay with the group.

    Those are the examples I can think up of animals teaching, outside of teaching by example.

    My middle-aged, spayed cat maims mice then plays with them until they either die or I take pity on them.

    • Replies: @Sean
    Never having seen seen you catch anything, your cat has come to the conclusion that you are a useless hunter, and it is taking time out from napping to try and teach you.
    , @Chrisnonymous
    That comment explains so much.
  24. Just remembered the story a friend told about her older brother (on vacation in Europe with his girlfriend) sending their dad a plaintive mooching cable
    “No mon. No fun. Yr son.”
    Dad’s reply was very educational:
    “Too bad. So sad. Yr dad.”

  25. In the old days if you knew an older person who was good at mansplaining useful things, you might call that person a mentor. But that kind of relationship has been near outlawed in an attempt to draw more women into whatever field they aren’t well represented in this week.

    At my company they put a woman in charge of the mentorship program and she built a system similar to Facebook. Mentees look at mentor profiles and sign up for the ones they like the best.

  26. @AndrewR
    Attempting to comfort and heal the ill and injured is instinctively human too. But we have learned a lot about how to do these things more effectively over the centuries.

    This comment is not necessarily a defence of the latest fads and trends in education. Just pointing out that our natural instincts are only one part of the equation.

    I won’t argue with you because I have observed that your heart is generally in the right place, as it is in this instance. I will just say that improvements in medicine have been real, physical science, while education fads are in the realm of the social-pseudo sciences or just blatantly political.

    Most of it is an effort to make it easier for NAMs to pass and to get away with lack of discipline and bad behavior. Aside from that, the technical, physical things that have been sold to taxpayers are mostly the latest manifestation of the old teaching machine idea — faith in “technology” that still cannot replace the human interaction called teaching and learning that was perfected by nature over the course of thousands of years.

    My own suggestion for improvement in education is what I call the 3S system: Sit down, Shut up, and Study. There needs to be more of that, and there is no substitute.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
    Your system works well for some people but perhaps not for most, and certainly not for all. One notes that writing/reading and books are relatively new things that were developed well after our instincts to teach. Someone in a pre-literate society would view your 3S system with as much confusion/disdain as you view the latest education fads pushed by the education kommissars. "Why are those young people just sitting there staring at that paper when they could be hunting/fishing/gathering/building/wood-cutting/stone-chiselling/etc?"

    Personally I don't think any time in school should be spent quietly studying to oneself. One can do that at home. School time should be spent interacting with others, particularly the teacher.

    As I said, my comment wasn't to defend any given fad or the "education" industrial complex in general. But society changes and so does our understanding of the world. Your advocacy of your education model is understandable, but there's plenty of room for disagreement.

    , @YetAnotherAnon
    "faith in “technology” that still cannot replace the human interaction called teaching and learning that was perfected by nature over the course of thousands of years."

    Yup - a naive faith in the interactive whiteboard and the iPad app - just as their 60s predecessors thought the tape recorder and the slide projector was a cool way to deliver French grammar (it wasn't).

    I was "IT advisor" to a primary school for quite a while and while they were happy to listen to me about best value hardware, operating systems, networking etc they ignored my main advice to "keep keyboards and pads as far away from the kids as possible so that they can actually write legibly and read books". Wasn't what they wanted to hear at all.

    , @Rosamond Vincy
    Amen, amen, and amen.

    CS Lewis spelled it out in Screwtape Proposes a Toast. I don't believe it's at all an exaggeration to depict education fads as doing the work of the Devil:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/screwtapeblogs.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/screwtape-proposes-a-toast/amp/
  27. @International Jew
    Not so. I've learned a great deal from my cat, and so have other people: https://www.amazon.com/Need-Know-Learned-Then-Some/dp/0761147667

    Other people have learned a great deal from your cat?

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

  28. @Buzz Mohawk
    I won't argue with you because I have observed that your heart is generally in the right place, as it is in this instance. I will just say that improvements in medicine have been real, physical science, while education fads are in the realm of the social-pseudo sciences or just blatantly political.

    Most of it is an effort to make it easier for NAMs to pass and to get away with lack of discipline and bad behavior. Aside from that, the technical, physical things that have been sold to taxpayers are mostly the latest manifestation of the old teaching machine idea -- faith in "technology" that still cannot replace the human interaction called teaching and learning that was perfected by nature over the course of thousands of years.

    My own suggestion for improvement in education is what I call the 3S system: Sit down, Shut up, and Study. There needs to be more of that, and there is no substitute.

    Your system works well for some people but perhaps not for most, and certainly not for all. One notes that writing/reading and books are relatively new things that were developed well after our instincts to teach. Someone in a pre-literate society would view your 3S system with as much confusion/disdain as you view the latest education fads pushed by the education kommissars. “Why are those young people just sitting there staring at that paper when they could be hunting/fishing/gathering/building/wood-cutting/stone-chiselling/etc?”

    Personally I don’t think any time in school should be spent quietly studying to oneself. One can do that at home. School time should be spent interacting with others, particularly the teacher.

    As I said, my comment wasn’t to defend any given fad or the “education” industrial complex in general. But society changes and so does our understanding of the world. Your advocacy of your education model is understandable, but there’s plenty of room for disagreement.

  29. I wouldn’t say all teaching is easy. Especially in college, I came to see some people have a gift for breaking down complex information while others did not. There were brilliant professors who obviously knew their subjects but who just plain sucked at explaining things (as one would find out in retrospect after teaching the material to themselves).

    • Replies: @3g4me
    @30 Senator Brundlefly: " . . . I came to see some people have a gift for breaking down complex information while others did not. There were brilliant professors who obviously knew their subjects but who just plain sucked at explaining things . . . "

    I've managed fairly well teaching history and literature to my sons and other children; I obtained more limited success working with math. But trying to teach my younger boy to drive has been exceptionally difficult. I genuinely do not recall how I was taught more than 40 years ago, and trying to break down the minutiae of steering radius and inches traveled to best navigate the intricacies of parking (when to turn, how much, at what speed, so as not to have to back up and readjust and try again) - something I do pretty instinctively now - has been frustrating for both of us. That my boy lacks the advanced spatial awareness of his brother further complicates matters.

    Thinking of my own teachers and my boys' teachers, the best were not necessarily the smartest or most learned. True teaching and transmission of complex subjects may well be an art, but the majority of self-proclaimed "educators" are cretins.
  30. Mimesis.

    René Girard is thought-provoking on this topic. Gives you an entirely new perspective on.ehat Christ was doing, too.

  31. @Lot
    Don't felines all teach hunting to their young by bringing them maimed animals to practice on? Does anyone know if they progressively maim them less as the kits/cubs get older?

    Herding dogs teach members of the herd to stay with the group.

    Those are the examples I can think up of animals teaching, outside of teaching by example.
  32. @AndrewR
    My middle-aged, spayed cat maims mice then plays with them until they either die or I take pity on them.

    Never having seen seen you catch anything, your cat has come to the conclusion that you are a useless hunter, and it is taking time out from napping to try and teach you.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
    She ain't wrong...
  33. @Jimi
    Notice also the same women that don't like mansplaining also complain women don't get access to mentorship in corporations and law firms.

    Of course a lot mentorship is learning by hanging around more experienced guys who explain a lot.

    I'm a guy but I always let other guys in industry mansplain to me. 9 out of 10 times they say what I know. But it helps to be reminded and that 10th time I do learn something new.

    How much of mansplaining complaint is just professional women with chips on their shoulder?

    Like everything else these days, it’s a power-play in the feminine power style: obviously women are going to need explaining from men how things work if they want to get ahead, but the wicked ones enjoy the thrill of power being able to hold the vague and ambiguous threat of being outraged and the man is institutionally handicapped from responding commensurately.

    I know from jobs where I’ve worked with women, a great portion of my time is spent, annoyingly, explaining how stuff works. I am constantly amazed by the lack of practical knowledge some women who have been coddled by the educational complex and the government have.

    The “mansplaining” complaint is a sick joke, and it’s a further parasite on earnest and productive people so a few maladjusted harpies can get undeserved power and privileges.

  34. @Reg Cæsar

    “It’s certainly true that teaching comes naturally to us humans,” Carl Zimmer blogs...
     
    We've always got Corvinus to crowsplain it to us.

    Reg Caesar says:
    “We’ve always got Corvinus to crowsplain it to us.”

    My corner lamppost has much crowsplaining on the pavement.

  35. @Buzz Mohawk
    I won't argue with you because I have observed that your heart is generally in the right place, as it is in this instance. I will just say that improvements in medicine have been real, physical science, while education fads are in the realm of the social-pseudo sciences or just blatantly political.

    Most of it is an effort to make it easier for NAMs to pass and to get away with lack of discipline and bad behavior. Aside from that, the technical, physical things that have been sold to taxpayers are mostly the latest manifestation of the old teaching machine idea -- faith in "technology" that still cannot replace the human interaction called teaching and learning that was perfected by nature over the course of thousands of years.

    My own suggestion for improvement in education is what I call the 3S system: Sit down, Shut up, and Study. There needs to be more of that, and there is no substitute.

    “faith in “technology” that still cannot replace the human interaction called teaching and learning that was perfected by nature over the course of thousands of years.”

    Yup – a naive faith in the interactive whiteboard and the iPad app – just as their 60s predecessors thought the tape recorder and the slide projector was a cool way to deliver French grammar (it wasn’t).

    I was “IT advisor” to a primary school for quite a while and while they were happy to listen to me about best value hardware, operating systems, networking etc they ignored my main advice to “keep keyboards and pads as far away from the kids as possible so that they can actually write legibly and read books“. Wasn’t what they wanted to hear at all.

  36. @Buzz Mohawk
    Teaching is a natural part of being human.

    Yet "experts" in the education racket constantly try to reinvent the process. There is money to be made convincing the naked ape that he doesn't already know how to do something instinctively human.

    That happens sometimes in sales -- convincing people that they need something they actually don't. Sales and education are a bad mix.

    Let's be fair to women, though. They can be great teachers. They should be encouraged to do some 'splainin:

    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/5b/a2/de/5ba2de1d18a60b380ad485f61f16a2ca.jpg

    women dont teach much naturally ( we appoint them teachers in schools and pay them) they will teach a daughter or maybe a daughter in law, mostly they keep their trade secrets secret. After all women are building nests men are building civilizations

    • Replies: @Rosie

    women dont teach much naturally ( we appoint them teachers in schools and pay them) they will teach a daughter or maybe a daughter in law, mostly they keep their trade secrets secret. After all women are building nests men are building civilizations
     
    This is a serious error. Women have been primarily responsible for cultural transmission since long before the first primary school opened its doors. The modern homeschool trend is really just a rediscovery of a much older tradition.
  37. @AndrewR
    My middle-aged, spayed cat maims mice then plays with them until they either die or I take pity on them.

    That comment explains so much.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
    Not really.
  38. @Tiny Duck
    I'm almost certain you guys have never had a conversation with a woman

    That is why you hate them so much

    You guys need to read Rachel Held Evans

    I prefer Evan Held Rachel.

  39. I’ll say that almost all of the better threads and commentary arguments in Unz are all “explanations” by men, sometimes with drastically clashing perspectives, attempting to “educate the other.” Of course it never really succeeds, but by exhibiting grasp of information and by manipulating symbols of what is seen as objectively correct, it helps demonstrate some degree of competence and often elucidates perspectives pretty well, even of course, it never reaches consensus at the end.

    And yet somehow we manage to do this mostly without accusing each other of “gaslighting”, “emotional violence” or “trivialing the lived experience” of one another.

    • Agree: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    I dunno. I feel micro aggressed every time I come here, but the new drugs are helping.
    , @ThirdWorldSteveReader
    Indeed.

    We come here sure that our ideas are right (otherwise, why would we hold them?), but also expecting that there will be some disagreement, even if on minor points. Everyone here believes he has something relevant to contribute (otherwise would not be commenting), but we all know our opinions are not unanimous and not unchallengeable, and crucially, we know that people may challenge them in good faith; conversations here (and in most places) are not just status games. So I guess when people start confronting each other, nobody is surprised or feels like being personally attacked.

    In contrast, many women who complain about "mainsplaning" seem to believe that any chalenge to their perceived knowledge is just an attempt to diminish them.
  40. TG says:

    Actually teaching is pretty common in the animal kingdom – it’s just mostly restricted to a mother and her own infants.

    But it is kind of weird just how compelled we are to explain what we’re doing to other people – even when we might be giving away important information. Certainly the police understand and use this instinct when questioning suspects. So often we just can’t help ourselves. So yes, maybe humans are different from the other apes (we are apes, technically, you know) not in how well we learn, but in our social instinct to share our knowledge. Excellent point.

    A note though, that some of this may be an artifact of the relative prosperity of the industrial revolution. Before that, we had guilds, that jealously guarded their trade secrets. As the world’s population grows, and competition for jobs gets tougher and tougher, I predict that guilds will make a comeback, and our current openness may be curtailed. Why explain your special trick to fix a leak today, when the person you are explaining it to may take your job tomorrow?

    Although I personally prefer the term “Nerdsplaining” myself. It’s gender neutral! 🙂

  41. @Daniel Chieh
    I'll say that almost all of the better threads and commentary arguments in Unz are all "explanations" by men, sometimes with drastically clashing perspectives, attempting to "educate the other." Of course it never really succeeds, but by exhibiting grasp of information and by manipulating symbols of what is seen as objectively correct, it helps demonstrate some degree of competence and often elucidates perspectives pretty well, even of course, it never reaches consensus at the end.

    And yet somehow we manage to do this mostly without accusing each other of "gaslighting", "emotional violence" or "trivialing the lived experience" of one another.

    I dunno. I feel micro aggressed every time I come here, but the new drugs are helping.

  42. @Tiny Duck
    I'm almost certain you guys have never had a conversation with a woman

    That is why you hate them so much

    You guys need to read Rachel Held Evans

    I’ve dealt with plenty of Elementary Education majors.

    •Men tell you how to do it, give you a drill to practice, and you move on to something harder that builds on what you’ve learned.

    •Women give you a busy-work project that’s supposed to help you figure it out by yourself, then you spend most of the class period fighting over who has a partner and who doesn’t, cheating off the kid who walked in knowing it already if you’re popular, or making random guesses if you’re not. At the end of the class period, the teacher talks about how it’s supposed to be done, screws it up, gets corrected by the kid who walked in knowing it already, and changes the subject so she doesn’t have to acknowledge she’s been doing AND teaching it wrong. Kids who heard the kid who walked in knowing it already will get no time to practice the correct method and will probably remember the incorrect method they used for most of the class period on a test. Kids who didn’t hear the kid who walked in knowing it already will definitely get it wrong because the teacher certainly won’t announce to the entire class what the kid who walked in knowing it already said, because she doesn’t want to acknowledge she’s been doing AND teaching it wrong. In both of the last two cases, this eventually could lead to flunking and another year of being deprived of an education by Mrs. Moron.

    •Popular kids who cheated off the kid who walked in knowing it already may actually learn something, or just cheat again for the test. Either way, they pass with flying colors, even if they can’t write a grammatically correct sentence or figure out how many gallons of gas they need to get from town A to town B if the car uses X gallons per mile. But they’ll be well-equipped to be Education Majors themselves!

    (BTW, these may not be genetic traits, since older teachers and teaching Sisters did not exhibit them, but the folks currently running our Colleges of Education tend to weed out anyone who doesn’t.)

    • Replies: @Rosie

    Men tell you how to do it, give you a drill to practice, and you move on to something harder that builds on what you’ve learned.
     
    The problem is that this method can often do more harm than good. Drills can help a child master a skill, but they can also destroy any natural curiosity a child has about a subject, which IMO is the worst possible outcome. Buzz's 3S method may be great for learning stuff, but it may not be that great for awakening a passion for learning.

    This is a trade off and there's no easy answer. You see the same problems in youth sports, where parents feel they have to push children so hard so soon (in order to keep up with the competition) that they come to hate their sport and give it up.
  43. @Autochthon
    You are quite right about cats, of course. I don't buy this idea no other animal teaches either. An enormous part of teaching is demonstration. Does the chimpanzee in his example not get credit for teaching simply because she doesn't say "Do it like so, children" as she smashes the nuts? Was my drill instructor not teaching me the correct form for calisthenics when he demonstrated an exercise by simply performing it himself rather than providing a detailed verbal explanation? Since humans are the only animals teaching each other trigonometry or Latin, I expect we are indeed the only ones teaching via involved speeches and writing. What more do you want an otter smashing a mussel with a rock for her young to do: work out the velocity needed to crush the shell with a given weight and scribble Newtonian equations in the sand? No, she smashes the damned mussel and eats it. The pup observes and imitates the behaviour. Teaching is achieved.

    Cf. Do Animals Teach?: Researchers Are Discovering How Some Species Actively Instruct Their Young for exampels involving meerkats, ants, cheetahs, and more.

    Mother apes spot their babies like a gymnastics coach (not the pervy kind) when they’re starting to climb, so they don’t fall and hurt themselves. It’s actually really sweet to watch.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Our female cat is actually quite adorable with the baby; she tries to babysit the baby and attempts to soothe him when he's crying with purrs. She's also oddly tolerant of him grabbing her and "hugging" her - mostly consisting of whacking her and pulling her fur. The male cats, on the other hand, vacate to the second floor and into the guest room where they can sleep in peace from baby crying.
  44. @Buzz Mohawk
    I won't argue with you because I have observed that your heart is generally in the right place, as it is in this instance. I will just say that improvements in medicine have been real, physical science, while education fads are in the realm of the social-pseudo sciences or just blatantly political.

    Most of it is an effort to make it easier for NAMs to pass and to get away with lack of discipline and bad behavior. Aside from that, the technical, physical things that have been sold to taxpayers are mostly the latest manifestation of the old teaching machine idea -- faith in "technology" that still cannot replace the human interaction called teaching and learning that was perfected by nature over the course of thousands of years.

    My own suggestion for improvement in education is what I call the 3S system: Sit down, Shut up, and Study. There needs to be more of that, and there is no substitute.

    Amen, amen, and amen.

    CS Lewis spelled it out in Screwtape Proposes a Toast. I don’t believe it’s at all an exaggeration to depict education fads as doing the work of the Devil:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/screwtapeblogs.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/screwtape-proposes-a-toast/amp/

    • Replies: @Rosie

    CS Lewis spelled it out in Screwtape Proposes a Toast. I don’t believe it’s at all an exaggeration to depict education fads as doing the work of the Devil:
     
    This may be true at least some of the time, but education fads are also a reflection of the natural human tinkering instinct. Think of auto manufacturers that put out new cars every year. For the most part, it's just profit-driven. They want to sell more cars. But there is also some innovation, or at least improvement, going on. Homeschoolers are always putting our heads together at conferences. We talk about what worked that year and what didn't and speculate about the reasons. This is normal and healthy. I fear teachers would be criticized as complacent and uncurious if they didn't want to try new things.
  45. @Lot
    Don't felines all teach hunting to their young by bringing them maimed animals to practice on? Does anyone know if they progressively maim them less as the kits/cubs get older?

    Herding dogs teach members of the herd to stay with the group.

    Those are the examples I can think up of animals teaching, outside of teaching by example.

    It may be that cats bringing home maimed prey helps their kittens learn to hunt and kill, but I don’t think they do it with the intention to teach. Cats bring undead prey into the house whether they have kittens or not.

    Chickens, on the other hand, make a long low note when a large bird appears in the sky, but only when there is more than one chicken. From that, I believe that the chickens actually intend to warn, because when there’s no one to warn, they don’t make the sound.

    I don’t buy that herding animals intend to teach the members of the herd. When a member of the herd is isolated, it simply becomes an attractive target. Eventually it learns to avoid that risk.

    Minnows along a river bank appear to seek out shady spots but really two simple instincts give rise to that appearance. Minnows want to stay together, and they swim slower in darker spaces. So when a part of a school enters shade, it slows, and the parts not in shade double back to be closer to the slower fish. The effect is, minnows congregate in protected spots, but they don’t intend to.

  46. @Rosamond Vincy
    Mother apes spot their babies like a gymnastics coach (not the pervy kind) when they're starting to climb, so they don't fall and hurt themselves. It's actually really sweet to watch.

    Our female cat is actually quite adorable with the baby; she tries to babysit the baby and attempts to soothe him when he’s crying with purrs. She’s also oddly tolerant of him grabbing her and “hugging” her – mostly consisting of whacking her and pulling her fur. The male cats, on the other hand, vacate to the second floor and into the guest room where they can sleep in peace from baby crying.

  47. @Sean
    Never having seen seen you catch anything, your cat has come to the conclusion that you are a useless hunter, and it is taking time out from napping to try and teach you.

    She ain’t wrong…

  48. And in the animal kingdom, teaching is exceedingly rare. In fact, it’s not clear that any other animal can teach.

    Only someone with no actual acquaintance with animals could possibly make such an absurd statement. Unless Zimmer is adverting to the (correct, but in this instance unnecessarily doctrinaire) point that, since they lack the faculty of reason and the divine nous, such concepts as learning and teaching, while properly defined for human beings, can be applied to animals only analogously, then he is simply engaged in tendentious hairsplitting. But that more technical point seems out of place in the context of the quoted paragraph, and I rather doubt that Zimmer was attempting to steer the discussion towards those rarefied heights. On a looser definition of teaching, wherein an animal gestures or demonstrates in order to produce an impression on other animals, it is clear that animals teach all the time and that this occurs throughout the length and breadth of the animal kingdom. Indeed, once we take note of the obvious truism that there is no firm frontier between teaching and communication, then it becomes unthinkable that animals shouldn’t teach since they clearly do communicate. From the dancing honeybees on up, there is teaching going on all around us.

    But to speak to another point, I really hate this word ‘mansplaining.’ It is one more in a long list of kitschy neologisms that I will never, ever add to my dictionary simply due to the banality of it. It is disappointing that the Alt-Right has been no less guilty than the Progressive Left when it comes to generating this plethora of verbal inanities, and I would no more speak in terms of the “counter-signals” or variously colored pills of the boys at The Right Stuff than I would adopt the gender-neutralized, deconstructive protest-speech of a Harvard harridan. I would remind my fellow Unzers here that Sapir-Whorf is a two-edged sword: Continue to think in these terms, and you will soon find yourself inhabiting a lexicographical Levittown of pastel pseudo-profundities and pop-cultural detritus. We have to do better than that.

  49. @Chrisnonymous
    That comment explains so much.

    Not really.

  50. ia says:
    @Lot
    Don't felines all teach hunting to their young by bringing them maimed animals to practice on? Does anyone know if they progressively maim them less as the kits/cubs get older?

    Herding dogs teach members of the herd to stay with the group.

    Those are the examples I can think up of animals teaching, outside of teaching by example.

    Don’t felines all teach hunting to their young by bringing them maimed animals to practice on? Does anyone know if they progressively maim them less as the kits/cubs get older?

    Cats will kill and eat anything if they’re hungry enough. The mother cat will let her kittens eat some of the kill and they would learn by watching her do it. Outdoor mother cats will bring their kittens to your window or door if she thinks you’ll feed them.

    Well-fed house cats like to show off and will bring back whatever they catch to other cats. They don’t eat the catch because it doesn’t taste as good as cat food (generally).

  51. @Tiny Duck
    I'm almost certain you guys have never had a conversation with a woman

    That is why you hate them so much

    You guys need to read Rachel Held Evans

    Your mansplaining is showing.

  52. When I saw “apesplaining” I thought this was going to be another post about Tennessee Coats .

  53. @Daniel Chieh
    I'll say that almost all of the better threads and commentary arguments in Unz are all "explanations" by men, sometimes with drastically clashing perspectives, attempting to "educate the other." Of course it never really succeeds, but by exhibiting grasp of information and by manipulating symbols of what is seen as objectively correct, it helps demonstrate some degree of competence and often elucidates perspectives pretty well, even of course, it never reaches consensus at the end.

    And yet somehow we manage to do this mostly without accusing each other of "gaslighting", "emotional violence" or "trivialing the lived experience" of one another.

    Indeed.

    We come here sure that our ideas are right (otherwise, why would we hold them?), but also expecting that there will be some disagreement, even if on minor points. Everyone here believes he has something relevant to contribute (otherwise would not be commenting), but we all know our opinions are not unanimous and not unchallengeable, and crucially, we know that people may challenge them in good faith; conversations here (and in most places) are not just status games. So I guess when people start confronting each other, nobody is surprised or feels like being personally attacked.

    In contrast, many women who complain about “mainsplaning” seem to believe that any chalenge to their perceived knowledge is just an attempt to diminish them.

  54. @Tiny Duck
    I'm almost certain you guys have never had a conversation with a woman

    That is why you hate them so much

    You guys need to read Rachel Held Evans

    Tell the truth, Tiny….you’re either an 800-lb black kid they can hear breathing two tenements down, or you’re a self-harming white neurotic online-vacationing from pretending you’re a woman by pretending you’re an 800-lb black kid they can hear breathing two tenements down.

    It’s okay, we get it – it’s fun to pretend.

  55. For example, countless philosophers and scientists have explained to us that one big difference between Man and Monkey is in our stronger ability to learn.

    And of course, most of these philosophers and scientists were men. Men just have to go around explaining things just to make women, minorities, and monkeys feel unwelcome.

  56. @anon
    women dont teach much naturally ( we appoint them teachers in schools and pay them) they will teach a daughter or maybe a daughter in law, mostly they keep their trade secrets secret. After all women are building nests men are building civilizations

    women dont teach much naturally ( we appoint them teachers in schools and pay them) they will teach a daughter or maybe a daughter in law, mostly they keep their trade secrets secret. After all women are building nests men are building civilizations

    This is a serious error. Women have been primarily responsible for cultural transmission since long before the first primary school opened its doors. The modern homeschool trend is really just a rediscovery of a much older tradition.

    • Replies: @Rosie
    BTW anon, you may be correct that women, in general, don't seek out opportunities for mentoring outside the home, or at least not as much as men do. I don't really have an opinion either way on that. All I can say is that we do have to mentor each other in the course of our voluntary work. Let's say your son is in Little League, but he'll soon age out and will be playing for the local high school next year. You've been responsible for coordinating concession volunteers for five years. Your last year, you will work with someone who will take over the job. Obviously, this is a very trivial example, but it makes the point. A lot of this goes on, because alas, our kids grow up and make transitions.
  57. @Rosamond Vincy
    I've dealt with plenty of Elementary Education majors.

    •Men tell you how to do it, give you a drill to practice, and you move on to something harder that builds on what you've learned.

    •Women give you a busy-work project that's supposed to help you figure it out by yourself, then you spend most of the class period fighting over who has a partner and who doesn't, cheating off the kid who walked in knowing it already if you're popular, or making random guesses if you're not. At the end of the class period, the teacher talks about how it's supposed to be done, screws it up, gets corrected by the kid who walked in knowing it already, and changes the subject so she doesn't have to acknowledge she's been doing AND teaching it wrong. Kids who heard the kid who walked in knowing it already will get no time to practice the correct method and will probably remember the incorrect method they used for most of the class period on a test. Kids who didn't hear the kid who walked in knowing it already will definitely get it wrong because the teacher certainly won't announce to the entire class what the kid who walked in knowing it already said, because she doesn't want to acknowledge she's been doing AND teaching it wrong. In both of the last two cases, this eventually could lead to flunking and another year of being deprived of an education by Mrs. Moron.

    •Popular kids who cheated off the kid who walked in knowing it already may actually learn something, or just cheat again for the test. Either way, they pass with flying colors, even if they can't write a grammatically correct sentence or figure out how many gallons of gas they need to get from town A to town B if the car uses X gallons per mile. But they'll be well-equipped to be Education Majors themselves!

    (BTW, these may not be genetic traits, since older teachers and teaching Sisters did not exhibit them, but the folks currently running our Colleges of Education tend to weed out anyone who doesn't.)

    Men tell you how to do it, give you a drill to practice, and you move on to something harder that builds on what you’ve learned.

    The problem is that this method can often do more harm than good. Drills can help a child master a skill, but they can also destroy any natural curiosity a child has about a subject, which IMO is the worst possible outcome. Buzz’s 3S method may be great for learning stuff, but it may not be that great for awakening a passion for learning.

    This is a trade off and there’s no easy answer. You see the same problems in youth sports, where parents feel they have to push children so hard so soon (in order to keep up with the competition) that they come to hate their sport and give it up.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Learning the basics of any activity is never fun. Only after you know the basics can you begin to enjoy it.
  58. Anon[961] • Disclaimer says:

    Part of the problem with mansplaining is context. For women, mansplaining is a work-related thing. They don’t want to hear it when they’re off the job. They want recreational talk when they’re relaxing, not mansplaining.

    Another problem is age brackets. If you’re 40 years old and mansplaining to a 40-year old women, you’re going to tick her off. If you’re 40, you should be mansplaining to 20-year olds and teens. If you’re doing it to your age peers, that means you’re treating them like they’re mental children who are utterly ignorant, and they get angry because it’s insulting. This leads to another problem.

    Mansplainers quite often don’t bother to assess the educational level or achievement background of the person they’re lecturing to. Thus they fall into the trap of telling someone about Chemistry 101 to someone who has a PhD in Chemistry. If someone is your age peer, their general knowledge level is often close to your own, so you’re not telling them anything new. It’s only specialized technical knowledge that your peers may lack, and as I said, many people, especially women, don’t want to hear it off the job. They’re tired when they get home, and they want to focus on something else.

    Another problem about mansplaining is that it’s often dull. Teaching is a skill that needs to be developed, and a lot of people are not very good at it. They don’t know how to make their talk interesting. If you do a lot of mansplaining and other people don’t want to listen, you’re a lousy teacher and a bore. You need to up your game.

    Finally, some people are just never going to be receptive, and what’s more, they don’t have to be. Most people don’t have to know how bridge trusses work because they’re never going to build bridge trusses. They will yawn in your face if you go on about it. Mansplainers quite often don’t bother to find out if their audience cares about the topic. If you’re mansplaining about how bridge trusses work to a woman whose main hobbies are cooking and decorating the house, forget it. She is never going to care. You need to be smarter about picking your audience. You should only mansplain to someone who is genuinely interested.

    Another who’s ever taught in school will tell you most of the kids are just warm bodies in a chair, and the really interested, good learners are only a small portion of the students in any classroom. Those are the ones you should be talking to, because those are the students who are going to be building the bridge trusses for the next generation, etc.

  59. @Rosamond Vincy
    Amen, amen, and amen.

    CS Lewis spelled it out in Screwtape Proposes a Toast. I don't believe it's at all an exaggeration to depict education fads as doing the work of the Devil:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/screwtapeblogs.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/screwtape-proposes-a-toast/amp/

    CS Lewis spelled it out in Screwtape Proposes a Toast. I don’t believe it’s at all an exaggeration to depict education fads as doing the work of the Devil:

    This may be true at least some of the time, but education fads are also a reflection of the natural human tinkering instinct. Think of auto manufacturers that put out new cars every year. For the most part, it’s just profit-driven. They want to sell more cars. But there is also some innovation, or at least improvement, going on. Homeschoolers are always putting our heads together at conferences. We talk about what worked that year and what didn’t and speculate about the reasons. This is normal and healthy. I fear teachers would be criticized as complacent and uncurious if they didn’t want to try new things.

    • Replies: @Rosamond Vincy
    The things you discuss here and in your other post might work very well for homeschoolers, since these are generally motivated parents with limited class size. In the case of larger families, the older ones do some supervision of the younger, just as they did in pioneer homes and one-room schoolhouses.

    In a public school, there can be thirty-odd kids of the same age with varying abilities, and few teachers have the dedication of a homeschooling parent. Many want a one-side-fits-all method. Rather than being open to new ideas or methods, they often resent having what they learned in teacher college questioned. The fads they are most likely to embrace are the ones echoing the same old John Dewey progressive crap that's been reinvented every generation since the early 20th century.

    Yes, rote learning can be boring, but I'd rather memorize something, memorize how to use it, pass the test, and get on with my life than have some progressive teacher reproaching me for not Having Fun. "This could be fun if you wanted it to!" did a lot more damage to my ability to focus than "I don't care if you like it, young lady: you do it now, or you're getting a zero!" Git 'er up and git 'er done, I say.
  60. @Senator Brundlefly
    I wouldn't say all teaching is easy. Especially in college, I came to see some people have a gift for breaking down complex information while others did not. There were brilliant professors who obviously knew their subjects but who just plain sucked at explaining things (as one would find out in retrospect after teaching the material to themselves).

    @30 Senator Brundlefly: ” . . . I came to see some people have a gift for breaking down complex information while others did not. There were brilliant professors who obviously knew their subjects but who just plain sucked at explaining things . . . ”

    I’ve managed fairly well teaching history and literature to my sons and other children; I obtained more limited success working with math. But trying to teach my younger boy to drive has been exceptionally difficult. I genuinely do not recall how I was taught more than 40 years ago, and trying to break down the minutiae of steering radius and inches traveled to best navigate the intricacies of parking (when to turn, how much, at what speed, so as not to have to back up and readjust and try again) – something I do pretty instinctively now – has been frustrating for both of us. That my boy lacks the advanced spatial awareness of his brother further complicates matters.

    Thinking of my own teachers and my boys’ teachers, the best were not necessarily the smartest or most learned. True teaching and transmission of complex subjects may well be an art, but the majority of self-proclaimed “educators” are cretins.

    • Replies: @Rosie

    That my boy lacks the advanced spatial awareness of his brother further complicates matters.
     
    Yes indeed. I feel this way about spelling. It is beyond me how a person can not know how to spell!

    What do you think of common core math? I have mentioned before that I am a big fan. I can't abide rote math. Why memorize that 12 times 12 is 144 when you can do the calculation in seconds with a bit of "number sense"?

    10 x 12 = 120
    2 x 12 = 24
    120 + 24 = 144

    Parents complain that it's not "age appropriate." Often that's true, but if a child isn't ready for interesting math, the solution is not to bore them with dull math but to wait until they're ready for interesting math.
  61. @Rosie

    women dont teach much naturally ( we appoint them teachers in schools and pay them) they will teach a daughter or maybe a daughter in law, mostly they keep their trade secrets secret. After all women are building nests men are building civilizations
     
    This is a serious error. Women have been primarily responsible for cultural transmission since long before the first primary school opened its doors. The modern homeschool trend is really just a rediscovery of a much older tradition.

    BTW anon, you may be correct that women, in general, don’t seek out opportunities for mentoring outside the home, or at least not as much as men do. I don’t really have an opinion either way on that. All I can say is that we do have to mentor each other in the course of our voluntary work. Let’s say your son is in Little League, but he’ll soon age out and will be playing for the local high school next year. You’ve been responsible for coordinating concession volunteers for five years. Your last year, you will work with someone who will take over the job. Obviously, this is a very trivial example, but it makes the point. A lot of this goes on, because alas, our kids grow up and make transitions.

    • Replies: @U-Bahn
    Rosie says:
    "You’ve been responsible for coordinating concession volunteers for five years."

    First rule of volunteer groups is: Why make one telephone call when ten will do!

    There is a tendency in volunteer organizations, using that term very loosely, to reinvent wheels whenever necessary, meaning routinely. When labor of others is free, then assume that their time is as well. How much of that excessive telephoning, or texting as the case may be, is inertial or path of least resistance, and how much is conscious effort?
  62. @3g4me
    @30 Senator Brundlefly: " . . . I came to see some people have a gift for breaking down complex information while others did not. There were brilliant professors who obviously knew their subjects but who just plain sucked at explaining things . . . "

    I've managed fairly well teaching history and literature to my sons and other children; I obtained more limited success working with math. But trying to teach my younger boy to drive has been exceptionally difficult. I genuinely do not recall how I was taught more than 40 years ago, and trying to break down the minutiae of steering radius and inches traveled to best navigate the intricacies of parking (when to turn, how much, at what speed, so as not to have to back up and readjust and try again) - something I do pretty instinctively now - has been frustrating for both of us. That my boy lacks the advanced spatial awareness of his brother further complicates matters.

    Thinking of my own teachers and my boys' teachers, the best were not necessarily the smartest or most learned. True teaching and transmission of complex subjects may well be an art, but the majority of self-proclaimed "educators" are cretins.

    That my boy lacks the advanced spatial awareness of his brother further complicates matters.

    Yes indeed. I feel this way about spelling. It is beyond me how a person can not know how to spell!

    What do you think of common core math? I have mentioned before that I am a big fan. I can’t abide rote math. Why memorize that 12 times 12 is 144 when you can do the calculation in seconds with a bit of “number sense”?

    10 x 12 = 120
    2 x 12 = 24
    120 + 24 = 144

    Parents complain that it’s not “age appropriate.” Often that’s true, but if a child isn’t ready for interesting math, the solution is not to bore them with dull math but to wait until they’re ready for interesting math.

    • Replies: @3g4me
    @62 Rosie: "What do you think of common core math? I have mentioned before that I am a big fan. I can’t abide rote math. Why memorize that 12 times 12 is 144 when you can do the calculation in seconds with a bit of “number sense”? "

    I'm not really familiar with common core; both my boys attended Christian schools. The older one began with Abeka math and then switched to Saxon; the younger had only Saxon. As math is not a subject that comes entirely naturally to me, I find the step-by-step breakdown in Saxon lessons very helpful and logical and a clear progression for solving increasingly difficult problems. And contrary to your view, I consider a certain amount of rote memorization absolutely essential. Math (and for some, spelling) requires a certain amount of memorization and drills.

    The only issues I had with the older boy was I'd be orally reviewing/explaining lesson "x" and he'd intuitively make the connections and leap ahead mentally to lesson x+5. The younger one doesn't think like either me or his brother, so I had to learn to approach things from different angles. As far as what you term "number sense," I refer to that as mental math shortcuts and Saxon definitely teaches those as well . . . AFTER the student has memorized the relevant facts or mastered the concept and the longer or more precise form of the calculation. Ironically, that mental math is exactly what my younger one has more problems with. He's fine following the formula he's learned and writing out a problem step by step, but despite being reminded repeatedly, just doesn't seem to retain or utilize the mental shortcuts that appear so easy to me. Now ask him the details of some obscure Byzantine battle or birth/death dates for a particular European ruler or a particular modern football player's yards in a particular game, and the answers are immediate.

    The brain and its complexities and differences is an amazing thing.
  63. @Rosie

    That my boy lacks the advanced spatial awareness of his brother further complicates matters.
     
    Yes indeed. I feel this way about spelling. It is beyond me how a person can not know how to spell!

    What do you think of common core math? I have mentioned before that I am a big fan. I can't abide rote math. Why memorize that 12 times 12 is 144 when you can do the calculation in seconds with a bit of "number sense"?

    10 x 12 = 120
    2 x 12 = 24
    120 + 24 = 144

    Parents complain that it's not "age appropriate." Often that's true, but if a child isn't ready for interesting math, the solution is not to bore them with dull math but to wait until they're ready for interesting math.

    @62 Rosie: “What do you think of common core math? I have mentioned before that I am a big fan. I can’t abide rote math. Why memorize that 12 times 12 is 144 when you can do the calculation in seconds with a bit of “number sense”? ”

    I’m not really familiar with common core; both my boys attended Christian schools. The older one began with Abeka math and then switched to Saxon; the younger had only Saxon. As math is not a subject that comes entirely naturally to me, I find the step-by-step breakdown in Saxon lessons very helpful and logical and a clear progression for solving increasingly difficult problems. And contrary to your view, I consider a certain amount of rote memorization absolutely essential. Math (and for some, spelling) requires a certain amount of memorization and drills.

    The only issues I had with the older boy was I’d be orally reviewing/explaining lesson “x” and he’d intuitively make the connections and leap ahead mentally to lesson x+5. The younger one doesn’t think like either me or his brother, so I had to learn to approach things from different angles. As far as what you term “number sense,” I refer to that as mental math shortcuts and Saxon definitely teaches those as well . . . AFTER the student has memorized the relevant facts or mastered the concept and the longer or more precise form of the calculation. Ironically, that mental math is exactly what my younger one has more problems with. He’s fine following the formula he’s learned and writing out a problem step by step, but despite being reminded repeatedly, just doesn’t seem to retain or utilize the mental shortcuts that appear so easy to me. Now ask him the details of some obscure Byzantine battle or birth/death dates for a particular European ruler or a particular modern football player’s yards in a particular game, and the answers are immediate.

    The brain and its complexities and differences is an amazing thing.

  64. Abeka is quite good. I don’t have any experience with Saxon, though I know people who swear by it.

    As for this

    As far as what you term “number sense,” I refer to that as mental math shortcuts and Saxon definitely teaches those as well . . . AFTER the student has memorized the relevant facts or mastered the concept and the longer or more precise form of the calculation.

    This strikes me as perfectly backwards. I find that long-form computations are best mastered and retained when you do one of two things:

    (1) drill, or
    (2) explain why they work.

    As I said above, number 1 risks creating an aversion in the child to the subject, and the best way to accomplish number 2 is with mental math strategies.

    I never recommend fixing what’s not broke, though, and as I said Saxon certainly has worked great for lots of kids.

    Now ask him the details of some obscure Byzantine battle or birth/death dates for a particular European ruler or a particular modern football player’s yards in a particular game, and the answers are immediate.

    That’s remarkable. I don’t have that facility. I don’t forget words, what they mean, how to spell them, etc., but I do forget facts and figures.

  65. Men like explaining stuff

    Well, that’s part of it. Men like being experts at stuff…whether they’ve earned the status of expert or not. Explaining is just part of the expertise experience. The feminists aren’t totally wrong on this one. Men are often not good judges of their own competence. The feminists problem is that they inflate an annoying tendency into a form of oppression.

    I’ve benefited from the YouTube videos that have helped me change the valve seals and update the brakes on my old Ford, and they will help me later this summer when I rewire the whole car. The other side of all this, however, is that bozos on the street who don’t even know me are always trying to give me advice. Their brother’s father-in-law had a Ford just like mine, so they know what they’re talking about (even though the bro’s f-i-l’s car was 30 years newer.)

    Women rarely do this, which is part of the reason why I love women more than men. Of course, there are a few women out there who might try to do this…and they’re probably feminists.

  66. @Rosie
    BTW anon, you may be correct that women, in general, don't seek out opportunities for mentoring outside the home, or at least not as much as men do. I don't really have an opinion either way on that. All I can say is that we do have to mentor each other in the course of our voluntary work. Let's say your son is in Little League, but he'll soon age out and will be playing for the local high school next year. You've been responsible for coordinating concession volunteers for five years. Your last year, you will work with someone who will take over the job. Obviously, this is a very trivial example, but it makes the point. A lot of this goes on, because alas, our kids grow up and make transitions.

    Rosie says:
    “You’ve been responsible for coordinating concession volunteers for five years.”

    First rule of volunteer groups is: Why make one telephone call when ten will do!

    There is a tendency in volunteer organizations, using that term very loosely, to reinvent wheels whenever necessary, meaning routinely. When labor of others is free, then assume that their time is as well. How much of that excessive telephoning, or texting as the case may be, is inertial or path of least resistance, and how much is conscious effort?

  67. @Rosie

    CS Lewis spelled it out in Screwtape Proposes a Toast. I don’t believe it’s at all an exaggeration to depict education fads as doing the work of the Devil:
     
    This may be true at least some of the time, but education fads are also a reflection of the natural human tinkering instinct. Think of auto manufacturers that put out new cars every year. For the most part, it's just profit-driven. They want to sell more cars. But there is also some innovation, or at least improvement, going on. Homeschoolers are always putting our heads together at conferences. We talk about what worked that year and what didn't and speculate about the reasons. This is normal and healthy. I fear teachers would be criticized as complacent and uncurious if they didn't want to try new things.

    The things you discuss here and in your other post might work very well for homeschoolers, since these are generally motivated parents with limited class size. In the case of larger families, the older ones do some supervision of the younger, just as they did in pioneer homes and one-room schoolhouses.

    In a public school, there can be thirty-odd kids of the same age with varying abilities, and few teachers have the dedication of a homeschooling parent. Many want a one-side-fits-all method. Rather than being open to new ideas or methods, they often resent having what they learned in teacher college questioned. The fads they are most likely to embrace are the ones echoing the same old John Dewey progressive crap that’s been reinvented every generation since the early 20th century.

    Yes, rote learning can be boring, but I’d rather memorize something, memorize how to use it, pass the test, and get on with my life than have some progressive teacher reproaching me for not Having Fun. “This could be fun if you wanted it to!” did a lot more damage to my ability to focus than “I don’t care if you like it, young lady: you do it now, or you’re getting a zero!” Git ‘er up and git ‘er done, I say.

  68. Anonymous[181] • Disclaimer says:
    @Rosie

    Men tell you how to do it, give you a drill to practice, and you move on to something harder that builds on what you’ve learned.
     
    The problem is that this method can often do more harm than good. Drills can help a child master a skill, but they can also destroy any natural curiosity a child has about a subject, which IMO is the worst possible outcome. Buzz's 3S method may be great for learning stuff, but it may not be that great for awakening a passion for learning.

    This is a trade off and there's no easy answer. You see the same problems in youth sports, where parents feel they have to push children so hard so soon (in order to keep up with the competition) that they come to hate their sport and give it up.

    Learning the basics of any activity is never fun. Only after you know the basics can you begin to enjoy it.

    • Replies: @Rosamond Vincy
    That's pretty much what CS Lewis said about learning an ancient language. You have to get the boring drills over with before you can start to enjoy Homer or Virgil in the original.

    It is also true of ballet, where you have to master the basic pliés and tendus before you can use them as the building blocks for all the fun jumps and turns.

  69. @Anonymous
    Learning the basics of any activity is never fun. Only after you know the basics can you begin to enjoy it.

    That’s pretty much what CS Lewis said about learning an ancient language. You have to get the boring drills over with before you can start to enjoy Homer or Virgil in the original.

    It is also true of ballet, where you have to master the basic pliés and tendus before you can use them as the building blocks for all the fun jumps and turns.

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