vijayjohn wrote:But it's really not clear to some of us what the point of this thread is.
To have a stimulating discussion on education.
Which can mean pretty much anything you want it to.
You're being excessively negative.
No need for an ad hominem here. Just because I don't agree that this thread was a great idea doesn't mean I'm being excessively negative. Sure, I could be wrong in thinking that it wasn't, but if I don't express what concerns me and nobody addresses those concerns, then of course I'm going to keep having them.
Someone could just as well feel motivated by this discussion to learn more (I was motivated by voron's post to learn more about differential geometry).
Not "just as well," because the more vague the opening question is, the more diverse the answers will be, and the less likely it is that you'll find an answer that has something in common with yours. Someone can feel motivated when they agree that some particular thing is important. In your case, you already said
that you think a well-educated person should know geometry (among other things), and differential geometry is part of geometry, so it's hardly a surprise that you feel motivated to learn more about it.
Otherwise let's avoid talking about cooking, because it might offend people who are sub-par cooks. Oh, and let's make it taboo to discuss parenting, because people who aren't the greatest parents might take it the wrong way.
There's a big difference between talking broadly about a topic and asking what people should know about it (or as a result of pursuing it). Talking about cooking is not the same thing as asking "what should everybody be able to cook?" Talking about parenting is not the same thing as asking "what is the best way to raise a child?" Talking about education is not the same thing as asking "what should a well-educated person know?"
As I mentioned in the OP, I was approaching the question from the perspective of education as a life-long pursuit, but I see nothing wrong in thinking about the question in the context of school education.
Which again is too vague (although at least a little more specific than "a stimulating discussion on education," so thanks). Whose education are you talking about, and what exactly do you mean by "from the perspective of education as a life-long pursuit"? You mean what people (whichever people you're thinking of) should learn before they die? What they should dedicate their whole lives to learning? Or what? And again, if we're "thinking about the question in the context of school education," what kind of educational system are we talking about - an ideal one or an adequate one?