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#1 2002-06-27 21:32:52

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Reading & Writing & 'Rithmetic - Schooling children on Mars

*Yup, I'm looking a bit further into the future on this one, but here goes:

Mars has been settled.  Roughly 100 adults now live on Mars, permanently.  Children have already been born, the eldest of which is 4 years old.

Each "civilized" nation has its own school regulations, education requirements, etc.  Let's say of the 100 adults on Mars, there are 3 nations represented [USA, UK, and France].

After the recent flaps here in the USA of a California judge declaring our Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional [yesterday] and today's ruling that public tax money is to be given to private religious schools as "vouchers," I'm wondering about education for children on Mars.

Let's say all 100 adults live in the same settlement.  How best to educate the children?  Collectively, following guidelines set forth by, say, the United Nations on Earth?  Perhaps classroom teaching sessions by computer, with an adult "supervisor" hovering nearby?  What if parents want to teach their children in the privacy of their little hab, claiming the children are not missing out on the socialization process [and perhaps they aren't] by "home-schooling" them?

How will Marsians ensure that ALL children are getting adequate and proper schooling?  By what standards, guidelines, etc.?  Would it be best to have perhaps 4 hours of "formal" education, and then perhaps 2-3 hours of hands-on education [cooking, gardening, tool making -- anything useful and productive for the settlement with an adult willing to guide and oversee the child or children]? 

I'm thinking there will have to be some uniform guidelines, expectations, standards, etc., for the education of the first few generations of native Marsians especially.  Their parents will be highly intelligent and educated people [scientists, engineers, etc.], but that is no assurance of motivation, ambition, or a like level of intelligence in their offspring.  Their parents will probably be very busy people, too, working on many different challenges.

These will also be children who will grow up hearing mother and father speaking about swimming, watching a lightning storm, riding bicycles, jumping to huge raked-up pile of autumn leaves on a warm Indian-summer day, rolling around in the grass, casually walking outdoors, etc., etc...and never experience these things for themselves.

So, any ideas?  I'm thinking a combination "old-fashioned country school" scenario plus computer plus hands-on [vocational-technical] training right there in the settlement [which would entail purposeful interaction with adults other than a teacher and parents] in combination might be the best bet.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#2 2002-06-27 23:34:55

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: Reading & Writing & 'Rithmetic - Schooling children on Mars

After the recent flaps here in the USA of a California judge declaring our Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional [yesterday] and today's ruling that public tax money is to be given to private religious schools as "vouchers," I'm wondering about education for children on Mars.

I don't think it's necessarily bad that parents want to send their kids to private schools, even to religious schools, with vouchers.  After all those parents pay taxes to.  If they feel their child will get a better education at X Catholic school and can actually educate them at less of an expense  to taxpayers than would be incurred by enrolling them in a public school, it could be a positive thing.

How will Marsians ensure that ALL children are getting adequate and proper schooling?  By what standards, guidelines, etc.?  Would it be best to have perhaps 4 hours of "formal" education, and then perhaps 2-3 hours of hands-on education [cooking, gardening, tool making -- anything useful and productive for the settlement with an adult willing to guide and oversee the child or children]?

I think you have a pretty good teaching model.  If the colony is at a severe shortage of adults who have time to teach maybe they could look into importing some teachers from Earth.  It could get interesting to see what happens when those kids get to be college age and it proves impossible for their bodies to withstand Earth's gravity (assuming they were born on Mars.)  Some people have banged around the idea that the first Martian colony could actually be something like a college town that trains future scientists, engineers, etc.  In any case,  hopefully those Martian children will have advanced educational opportunities when they get to be of age if they can't come to Earth.


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

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#3 2002-06-30 17:59:46

Palomar
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From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Reading & Writing & 'Rithmetic - Schooling children on Mars

In any case,  hopefully those Martian children will have advanced educational opportunities when they get to be of age if they can't come to Earth.

...yes, especially for the future surgeons of Mars.  I suppose it would be possible for an aspiring surgeon to learn the basic [and more complicated] techniques via video, intensive instruction/tutoring from Earth, etc. [if there's no experienced surgeon on Mars to assist in hands-on, personal training]...but I'm not sure I'd want to be the first person to go under the knife of a person so trained.  ???

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#4 2002-06-30 18:09:21

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: Reading & Writing & 'Rithmetic - Schooling children on Mars

...yes, especially for the future surgeons of Mars.  I suppose it would be possible for an aspiring surgeon to learn the basic [and more complicated] techniques via video, intensive instruction/tutoring from Earth, etc. [if there's no experienced surgeon on Mars to assist in hands-on, personal training]...but I'm not sure I'd want to be the first person to go under the knife of a person so trained.

By the time a true Mars colony is up and running it might be possible that robotics have evolved to the point that machines could pretty much do surgical procedures on their own.  Anyways, I didn't think about the idea of "distance learning" on Mars.  Martian students could easily receive broadcasted educational material from Earth.  Of course the amount of time it takes for a signal from Earth to reach Mars would make instantaneous interaction with a teacher impossible.  You'd probably have to just send them a question and wait until morning to receive an answer.


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

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#5 2002-06-30 18:17:18

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Reading & Writing & 'Rithmetic - Schooling children on Mars

By the time a true Mars colony is up and running it might be possible that robotics have evolved to the point that machines could pretty much do surgical procedures on their own.

<gulp>

Erm...I think I'll stick to taking my chances with *human* error solely...thanks anyway...

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#6 2002-07-07 14:53:40

Byron
Member
From: Florida, USA
Registered: 2002-05-16
Posts: 844

Re: Reading & Writing & 'Rithmetic - Schooling children on Mars

Mars has been settled.  Roughly 100 adults now live on Mars, permanently.  Children have already been born, the eldest of which is 4 years old.

Let's say all 100 adults live in the same settlement.  How best to educate the children?  Collectively, following guidelines set forth by, say, the United Nations on Earth?  Perhaps classroom teaching sessions by computer, with an adult "supervisor" hovering nearby?  What if parents want to teach their children in the privacy of their little hab, claiming the children are not missing out on the socialization process [and perhaps they aren't] by "home-schooling" them?

How will Marsians ensure that ALL children are getting adequate and proper schooling?  By what standards, guidelines, etc.?  Would it be best to have perhaps 4 hours of "formal" education, and then perhaps 2-3 hours of hands-on education [cooking, gardening, tool making -- anything useful and productive for the settlement with an adult willing to guide and oversee the child or children]? 

I'm thinking there will have to be some uniform guidelines, expectations, standards, etc., for the education of the first few generations of native Marsians especially.  Their parents will be highly intelligent and educated people [scientists, engineers, etc.], but that is no assurance of motivation, ambition, or a like level of intelligence in their offspring.  Their parents will probably be very busy people, too, working on many different challenges.

So, any ideas?  I'm thinking a combination "old-fashioned country school" scenario plus computer plus hands-on [vocational-technical] training right there in the settlement [which would entail purposeful interaction with adults other than a teacher and parents] in combination might be the best bet.

--Cindy

Hey...I think in the situation you've described, the future Martains would use the "one-room schoolhouse" model, with a single teacher responsible for the children's education.  Your idea of 4 hours classroom instruction, and the remaining time spent on "hands-on" activities seems to make the most sense...that's a model of education I'd like to see here on Earth.. wink 

As far as guidelines go, I think a lot of it would depend if the settlement/base/colony was funded by a nation or group of nations, or established through independent means.  If the settlement is a research base like they have in Antartica, much of the education would be closely related to what is taught back on Earth (for whatever nationality the child is a part of), with the expectation that the children would go back with their parents at the end of their contract or whatever.  However, in the case of a permanent, independent Martian settlement, in which the children would most likely stay on Mars for life, I think a whole new educational set of educational guidelines would need to be developed best suited for the Martian setting, and a curriculum heavily weighted in the maths and sciences, as well as various forms of engineering, would likely be the focus of a Martian child's education.

B

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#7 2002-08-16 00:19:47

RobS
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From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
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Re: Reading & Writing & 'Rithmetic - Schooling children on Mars

This topic has been dead for a while, but it interests me. . .

1. The length of the school day has a lot to do with labor shortages and how many hours people work. If people work ten hours a day, the kids will probably be in school and supervised activities much of that time. It is cheaper to have one person watching ten kids than ten moms and dads doing it.

2. Similarly, I doubt there will be three-month long summer vacations from school. If the parents have to work, the kids have to be somewhere. Day care may start when the child is six months old, maybe less.

3. If colonists speak different languages at home--and this is likely--they'll want education in those languages as well. A kid who speaks French at home but goes to school in English will have relatively limited French; s/he will be able to talk about household stuff in the native tongue and will be limited in other topics.

4. No doubt, for efficiency, one will want to do a LOT with educational videos and distance learning. Kids get their education this way in the Australian outback and lots of other remote places. The speed of light will mean that conversations will have to deal with delays of 6 to 45 minutes, but voice mail and videomail can work reasonably well that way if you learn how to deal with the delay. Email typically has delays of this or more already on earth, and we use it fairly well.

5. At the university level, I can envision Martian geologists, horticulturalists, and (hopefully) exobiologists delivering distance-learning courses in their fields at terrestrial universities. If they videotape their lectures, students could even gather to watch the presentation together, then ask questions live. If the delay is fifteen minutes or so, you could have a queue of a dozen questions wending their way to Mars and the professor at the other end answering them one at a time, as they arrive. Software that lets you pause the incoming signal, respond to something in it, then continue playing the incoming signal would help. Bulletin boards and listservers would work fine for education (I teach distance learning courses over the web; it is a petty effective teaching medium). Mars might export all sorts of courses, and the profit earned would cover the cost of Mars students studying economics, English literature, and other courses offered by distance learning from Earth. Mars may also have quite a range of local experts happy to get a break from reactor repair or horticulture or whatever their profession is to teach violin, Latin, anthropology, or whatever. Martian ballet would be particularly interesting to cultivate. Let us hope nthe settlers develop an active artistic life fairly early as well.

                     -- RobS

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#8 2002-08-16 10:39:12

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Reading & Writing & 'Rithmetic - Schooling children on Mars

Similarly, I doubt there will be three-month long summer vacations from school. If the parents have to work, the kids have to be somewhere. Day care may start when the child is six months old, maybe less.

Mars may also have quite a range of local experts happy to get a break from reactor repair or horticulture or whatever their profession is to teach violin, Latin, anthropology, or whatever. Martian ballet would be particularly interesting to cultivate. Let us hope nthe settlers develop an active artistic life fairly early as well.

                     -- RobS

*I'm not sure a 3-month break from schooling would be a good thing for Marsian children, considering they'll need to have their time filled; also, having a group of children with few structured activities for that length of time would put a strain on parents and guardians.  Sure, the kids will need to have a day off here and there; I don't mean to imply they should be task-mastered all the time.  Four hours a day, 5-6 days of the week, of "textbook" learning should suffice, and then helping/learning around the colony/settlement.

And I'm glad you mention matters such as art and ballet.  I think we can safely assume that not all children born to the earliest Marsian settlers will all be math whiz material or deeply absorbed and interested in engineering.  Children need play time, as well.  I guess they won't miss a swingset or teeter-totter if they've never had one, but they should be provided with crayons, water-based paint, putty, and the like.  I know paper will be at a premium on Mars, but I'm sure some other medium for drawing, coloring, whatever, can be provided...and I don't mean just via computer.  sad  I mean HANDS-ON stuff; things they can manually manipulate. 

It's also important for children to be praised for their accomplishments, and to allow them to display their handicrafts.  I like to think of a community "show and tell" time, wherein children are allowed to display what they've colored or sculpted or whatever, and get feedback [honest feedback, not simple flattery] from adults regarding same.  :::Constructive::: criticism will also be very important for Marsian children, IMO.  It would be a disservice to either spoil them completely and flatter them because they are deprived of many things Earth children enjoy; encouraging level headedness with a good dose of modesty will probably serve Marsian children well.

And no, I'm not trying to get off on the "nature versus nuture" thing...  wink  But nuturing is important.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#9 2019-09-26 09:37:23

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,101

Re: Reading & Writing & 'Rithmetic - Schooling children on Mars

For SpaceNut re this topic ...

This topic may be worth returning to view for a moment or two.

Could you take a look at it?  It seems to have issues, but that's not surprising since it goes back to 2002.

I was looking for prior topics dealing with education on Mars.  My interest was inspired by the recent appearance of an advertisement for computer games, which was removed by kbd512.  The advertisement included an assertion that children may view computer games as a social experience.  I suppose that may be possible, if the games are multi-player.  It occurs to me that well designed computer games, with highly developed AI equivalent coding to monitor and shape player experiences, might serve functions similar to highly functioning human teachers, who observe students closely and interview to draw out the potential of each while managing the transfer of knowledge, skill and moral philosophy to the students.

Any code developed for Mars should also work for students on Earth, vast numbers of whom are receiving no education at all, or very limited education, or poor education, or (perhaps even worse) socially negative education (as is provided by gangs).

The contributing population of NewMars forum does not appear (as nearly as I can tell) to include anyone actively engaged in education, and particularly of pre-college education.  I salute GW Johnson for recording his experiences and recommendations, and would like to see those augmented by current practitioners (a) and by those who are developing automation to assist teachers (b).

(th)

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