Serious Question

How can we tweak the educational system to make it better? To keep people from leaving? To ensure that this blog has no more material?

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Serious Question

9 thoughts on “Serious Question

  1. Better for what?

    The education system in general is designed to turn out good citizens, with learning stuff an important but secondary goal. The Yeshiva/Bais Yaakov system is meant to turn out frum people, and it does that well.

    To reduce the amount of material for a blog like this one, you would have to change the primary focus of the system from reinforcing a set of behaviors to teaching about Judaism, along with the real openness to questions and taking different points of view that would be needed to do that. You would get fewer stories like the ones you have here, and fewer people leaving in frustration/disgust, but also fewer people who have the full set of frum behaviors, and fewer people who take being frum for granted.Once you don’t take it for granted, then *not* being frum becomes an option.

    The real problem for people like us is not that there’s a problem with the system, but that the system is working perfectly.

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  2. KTG says:

    I think that the main problem is that there are too many educators that should never have been allowed to teach in the first place. Some of them just don’t know enough about the subject matter to answer questions, like Rebbetzin Hertz. Some could answer the questions, but are just nasty people that hurt to many students, and turn them off from Judaism. Some could be knowledgeable and nice, but teach ridiculous, incorrect, and even harmful hashkafos to students. We need to get rid of them all, or as many if them as possible, and replace them with proper educators. Schools should only hire teachers who have passed the bar, and have a system to train people that want to teach so that they can pass the aforementioned bar. To many educators are people with no real skills, and only go to teach at yeshivas and BYs because they can’t do anything else, and there are few qualifications to get a job.

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  3. Since this “tweaking” would never be enforced, perhaps we should analyze that which can be changed.

    Children should be taught—by their parents—at a young age that idiots exist. They walk amongst us, every day, and they may be in the disguise of an adult with authority. But they are still idiots. All of us will have to deal with such idiots at some point in our lives, whether it be our so-called educators or our bosses or a power-mad flight attendant.

    These idiots will try to make us, in turn, feel like idiots ourselves. Simple projection. However, parents should remind their children that they were raised with steady values and beliefs, and that just because an idiot says something, it does not mean that it is true. You don’t have to disrespect the idiot, just smile politely and pity their narrow little lives, since winning a conversation with them is unlikely.

    That way, the child learns important lessons in tolerance.

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  4. There’s a slim sefer by R’ Wolbe zt”l (definitely looked up to in charedi circles) called Zeriah u-Binyan (also been translated into English), about raising children. (Full disclaimer: I am in college, nowhere near the age of raising children). Basically, zeriah is when you give children raw materials and let them develop them as they see fit and binyan is when you build what you want your children to be as finished products. Without getting into name-calling, it appears like one major camp of Orthodox Jewry leans a bit too heavily toward zeriah, and one leans a bit too heavily toward binyan. If you just plant you get weeds, and if you just build you get robots.

    Practically speaking? Maybe have a dress code that goes beyond halacha so the girls at least keep halacha (e.g. mid-calf skirts so knees are covered) but when teaching, make sure to differentiate between halacha (e.g. shok b’isha erva, making sure to define the parameters and ramifications of erva), and hashkafa (midrashim, etc).

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