March 11, 2009

Education - not indoctrination

Education. We spend more money per student in this country for education than any other country in the world and we still fall below most other major nations in the world by virtually any standard that can be used. I postulate that money is not the issue and more money is not the answer. I could go on and on and on about what I think is wrong with our education system in this country. And someday I might get inspired to do so…but for now I am just going to throw a few one line ideas out there:
1. parents no longer parent
2. Teachers no longer know or are trained how to teach
Some teachers have no interest in TEACHING they want to indoctrinate and there is a difference

We have lost the ability to teach the fundamentals because of all kinds of wacky new age ideas. Teaching a kid to read, write, perform basic math functions, and understand the basics of the world around them has not changed since…oh I don’t know…the time of the GREEKS. Let’s do what they did. Heck, let’s go back to what we did when we taught kids something. Then skip all that stuff that doesn’t matter. By the 8th grade a kid should be able to read the newspaper (not that there is anything worthwhile there), balance a bank statement, figure percentages, make change, explain some basic scientific principles, and tell you the basic timeline of US history. My kid does not really need to know about the ancient civilizations in India. Not really relevant to anyone unless they are moving to India. I want my kids to know why our country was started, why we fought and died in several wars, the ideas that kept us free and made us strong, and how our government works (or is supposed to). They should be able to identify the 50 states on a map, especially the one they live in. High school should teach things like, computers, speech and debate, higher mathematics ( we really need to update how this is taught though), World History through the context of how we got to where we are, not from the beginning of time, chemistry, biology, physics. Music, PE, and Art in there too. But why do we teach the same stuff in High school that we teach in JR HIGH, and the same stuff in college that we teach in HS? Everything should be a building block. And if you flunk out…well I am sorry to say, but Johnny may not be the next Nobel prize winner. We should identify people’s basic predispositions and work toward preparing them for a career that they can be good at. If you show a strong ability to be an Architect and you think that you would like being an architect then that is what school should teach you to become…along with Civics, and History. But if you are destined to be a truck driver, let’s make sure you can read and write, read a map, keep a checkbook, stuff like that, but let’s not waste time trying to teach a person who will never use it…calculus. That is just silly. This is not to say that I believe in social Darwinism I do not. I just think that all we do when we declare “no child left behind” is to slow down the whole group to where no one excels. Everyone is not going to be an A student. Some are going to be F students. It is the way of the world. If that were not true we would all have the brains of Stephen Hawking and the athletic prowess of Santonio Holmes. I wish I did, but I do not. Earlier i asked the hypothetical question: why do we teach kids the same thing in High School that we teach kids in Jr. High? Well, ponder this little quote from the US senate committee on education with me for a moment: "we believe that education is one of the principal causes of discontent of late years manifesting itself among the laboring classes"

yeah, read it again...i will wait. Let's review it together now. The United States Senate Committee on Education...senators we have elected...said... of the main reasons...that the working unhappy later in because of education. no, I promise that is the quote and no they didnt mean that a Lack of education. If you read it in the context of the report what they are saying is that when you learn too much it causes discontent because you understand that things are broken. Still don't believe me? well let's go back to the early days of public education. Here is what the education board said back then: "We shall not search for...great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors,preachers, politicians,or statesmen all of whom we have an ample supply of. the task we set before ourselves is very simple, we will organize children and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way." let that sink in and make of it what you will. I think this lends proof to my thought i have had for quitwe a while. in this country as good as we are. As many things as we have invented and with our standard of living and the amount of money we spend the ONLY logical explanation is that they dont WANT to teach our kids. they are really getting the result they want. I mean that is what they SAID. I didn't make it up.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin