Friday, August 6, 2010

The “Gary North” Curriculum

[an abridged article]

Technical skills are learned best on the job. The apprenticeship system is the way to go. If a student finishes high school at (say) 16 or 17, then it's time to find a mentor who will apprentice the high school graduate locally. The student gets a technical skill that has a market.

Meanwhile, the student takes AP, CLEP, and DSST exams to quiz out of college. By age 20, the student is a collage graduate, which the student has paid for with wages from the apprenticeship job. He is ready for a career.
[Education] should be geared to teaching students a love for self-taught knowledge and [it] should immunize students against nonsense. Show them how to spot bad arguments and how to think by teaching them basic logic. Teach the fundamentals of each field so that an intelligent student does not get fooled or conned by the mainstream media. He can learn enough to say: "I've heard that line before. It ignores the obvious." A few basic rules would be taught, with many case studies of what happens when people refuse to think straight.

An ideal high school curriculum should have a track for a major and a separate track for non-majors. The student chooses as a freshman: math/science track, social sciences/humanities track, home business track, or fine arts track. The non-track electives should be for immunization, not mastery.

I could teach economics this way, with one basic premise and two corollaries. Basic premise: a free market economy is a giant auction. Corollary #1: supply and demand. Corollary #2: high bid wins. This is all you really need. I wish most Ph.D. economists believed these two corollaries.

I would teach with images. Badges and guns (government). Bulldozer, shovel, teaspoon (capital theory). Wallet, gun, IOU, printing press (Keynesian economics). If a person comes up with the right image, he can't be fooled easily. Images are easier to recall than formulas. You can't teach chemistry this way, but you can teach the social sciences this way, and should. Formulas in the social sciences are mostly fake: crude and misleading imitations of physics. Teach with images.
Formal classroom or home school education should be for inspiration and ideological immunization. Homework should be devoted to two things:

1. Analyzing historical documents and literature.
2. Posting the results on a blog and a YouTube channel

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