I still remember my first day at school. A quite dramatic experience I recall. I was crying and screaming, and I just didn't want to go. But I had no choice.
It's a well-proven fact that kids shape the majority of their personality until the age of five, and then another large part of it, until the age of seven or eight.
Moreover, besides our family, school is the second biggest source of influence during the most important years of our lives, our puberty. During these delicate years, our personality is quite fragile, and the emotional ups and downs are severe. That's why it's of paramount importance living in an environment as stable as possible from which you'll be able to absorb only the things and ideas of highest quality.
I have already stated my opinion about formal college education, and so does Patrick Bet-David on his excellent video post here. So today's article is my little rant about the modern schooling system and what's the biggest difference between public and private schools.
The schooling system in general
Unless there have been tremendous changes in the schooling system since I've been a pupil, this is how things work in an elementary school (private or not).
Parents at the age of five or six force their kids into a social arena together with other children, primarily to learn and socialize. In my humble opinion, none of those goals is achieved. Let me explain why.
During our evolutionary background (some 3 million years) people learned to survive and thrive in groups of other people. In the beginning, it was the family, and as we progressed, we finally formed micro-communities of 150 people on average.
This number of 150 is not just an arbitrary number, but we derive it from the theory of the British anthropologist Robert Dunbar. The theory explains that:
"Dunbar's number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. These are relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person."
Dunbar theorized that "this limit is a direct function of relative neocortex size, and that this, in turn, limits group size. The limit imposed by neocortical processing capacity is simply on the number of individuals with whom a stable inter-personal relationship can be maintained."
Instead of that, what happens in modern schools is that most of the times the kid is instantly introduced to a micro-community of a lot more than 150 other people.
Depending on the social skills and capabilities of each child, this can have from minor to major repercussions. For the majority of children, this "violent" and instant introduction to a system so un-natural has serious traumatizing effects. Effects that might take them years to recover from, if ever.
Unfortunately, I am no expert on the subject, but what I know for sure is that there has to be some better way of doing this. I'm not certain what the optimal solutions could be?
Maybe smaller more confined schools with fewer kids, slower introduction, and expansion of the social circle of each child? Who knows? But, one thing's for sure, the way schools operate and make kids socialize these days is completely wrong.
As if traumatizing conditions weren't enough, modern schooling system has another huge drawback as well.
Unfortunately for the most of it, it's useless.
Do you remember what the name of that general, who conquered that village during the second world war, was?
Neither do I. You know why? Because it's a useless piece of information. Nobody in real life/world gives a fuck who this general was. Nobody cares when Alexander the Great conquered some cities in Asia some thousand years ago. You know why? Because it's sterile information that has absolutely zero practical use in our everyday life.
You can't use it, you can't make money with it, you can't even feed yourself with it (unless you're a poorly paid history professor).
Then why the hell are we taught such useless pieces of information that take up valuable brain capacity and give us nothing in return?
Again, I'm no expert, but if I had to bet, my educated guess would be that all this useless crap we learn in school, is the perfect way to create an army of lower to middle-class rats. Desperate rats with no expertise, no ambitions and indeed no chance of achieving something significant in their lives.
So you got any shortcut to this man?
Unfortunately, my knowledge of the alternatives available is limited, because I don't intend to have a kid anytime soon. But when the time comes, one thing's for sure. I will make an exhaustive research on the matter before I ever trust my child's future to an inefficient and obsolete schooling system.
I will make sure that my kid will learn all the basic stuff, like reading and writing, basic mathematics, physics, etc. But that's it.
By the time he/she will be able to read and understand, I will teach them to invest heavily in self-education, to study how the human nature works, all the social skills they will need, and I will try to depict for them the best evolutionary strategy they can choose depending on their sex.
Hell, this book alone would suffice for the whole history training they will ever need. The most important events of our planet in less than 500 pages. That's it.
I will teach them all these skills, that would be useful in their lives, and they would armor them against the hard conditions our society will put them through. Instead of teaching my kids, which works of art Leonardo Da Vinci designed, I would like them to learn, how to create value for the society, how to negotiate, how to successfully interact with other human beings, or how to sell and buy.
I would bet, that by now you don't agree with most of what you've read. But take a moment and honestly, think. How much of the information you got yourself from school was actually needed throughout your life?
Is it more than ten percent? I highly doubt it. The school is okay if you want to get only this ten percent. But for the *love of God*, you don't need 12 years to do so.
Public vs private schools
"I don't know what the hell you talk about, I went to a public school, and I turned out fine!" The petrolhead guy said.
"Sure, no question about it," I replied smiling, as I was watching him picking his nose and wearing a $29 watch and a $7 t-shirt.
"As fine as things can get," I thought to myself.
Now, I don't mean to be judgmental on anyone. Poor or wealthy.
I've been wearing cheap clothes (but not a cheap watch) myself as well. But what makes me sad, is that this guy truly believes that getting paid $600 a month for doing something he hates, "is fine."
His opinion about public schools reminded me of the countless similar conversations I've had in the past with various people, regarding schooling systems.
Whether public schools or private schools are better, and what are the advantages or disadvantages of each one.
I didn't grow up in the U.S., and my family could be considered a middle-class family. "Slow laners" as MJ. DeMarco would call us.
Despite the fact that my mother wasn't a rich person, she always tried her best to send me to a private school. So besides the pre-school class at five years old, for the rest of my schooling career, I've only attended private schools.
Unfortunately, almost all my friends couldn't afford such schools, (yes I grew up in a poor neighborhood), so I had a crystal clear image of what the conditions in public schools are.
In fact out of the five schools nearest to my house, none of them was a private one.
At this point you might be wondering, what the hell do I care about schooling systems, or what's the difference between private and public schools? I just want the little bastard to learn how to spell and count.
Like I said earlier, modern schooling systems fail on so many levels, but when worst comes to worst, at least try to send your child to a private school. Here's why.
Do you know what the biggest difference between private and public schools is?
Well, if your first guess was the quality of education, you'd lose.
Try again. Was it the beautiful and clear classrooms and the well-dressed teachers?
Well...Not really. Although on average the whole hygiene conditions and the level of the teachers are superior in a private school, that's not the most significant difference either (just be patient, we're getting there).
You got one more chance...
A-h-a, I got it. Kids that attend in private schools are smarter, more disciplined and better educated. Right?
Well, I don't think so.
Okay, enough with this game.
Although all of the above stand true to some extent, this isn't the zest of it.
The real difference between private and public schools lies deeper within and it's not that obvious. It took me several years to realize myself as well, and only after I swallowed the red pill.
The actual difference between a private school and a public school is the socioeconomic background of the customer, aka the parent.
Although I wouldn't argue that you can meet parents in average socioeconomic levels in public schools, the odds are that the majority of the parents that send their children to public schools cannot afford them.
So, like I said earlier, kids form the majority of their personality in their first five years. And guess whose mainly responsible for this character? Right, their parents.
Don't get me wrong about that, but no matter how elitist this might sound, I wouldn't like my children to be influenced by some randoms kids of a family that couldn't take responsibility for the most important things in life.
I wouldn't like my kids to copy the habits of a guy that rusts in front of a tv for six hours a day after he comes back from his day job.
Again, I don't argue that there are very mature and responsible kids in public schools, but if I had to guess (and I am a big fan of the probabilities), I would bet my chips on the fathers that could afford to invest a few thousand dollars for their kids.
Moreover, because of those dynamics, I firmly believe that my family would have far better chances of meeting more reliable, responsible and educated people in a private school meeting rather than in a public one.
Sure, that's a guess. But I think it's an educated one.
Between a sample of about 10 to 20 people, we went school together, and another sample of 10 people I had in my neighborhood (that all attended in a public school), the difference in progress the both groups made in their lives was on average very dramatic.
Truth to be told, there are a few random exceptions to this, but they're just a small random deviation.
Private or not, modern schools fail at so many different levels when it comes to education and socializing. The whole approach is very archaic, and even so, the system fails to deliver even in the most basic premises.
The way it's structured is entirely unnatural, and it's not based on a solid evolutionary or anthropological background. It can have serious repercussions for many children, that might take years to recover from.
To be on the safe side, I would highly recommend helping your kids indulge in the self-learn and self-development mentality as soon as possible. This way, they will learn things that are actually useful, and that will help them create and build value instead of consuming it.
According to many well-known and successful people, this is the best way to accomplish great things in life and give your children the best fighting chance for the harsh and competitive environment of the modern society.
As a secondary choice, if you absolutely must send your kid to a school, at least try to choose a good private one. The chances your child (and you) will meet better people are much better. So make yourself and your kid a favor and invest the extra money to secure a slightly better educational and socializing environment for your offsprings.