After watching this video,
I am more sure than ever about my distaste for education as it exists today.
I developed my distaste over the years as I have pursued my own formal and informal education. I have observed first-hand some of the degradation of children by a system built to reward only a certain few, while punishing the rest.
I have also considered the positions of my educator friends, my wife among them, who have given their entire working life to the education of our children. Most of these probably disagree with the stand I have taken. They tend to view education from the vantage point of their experience rather than from a "stand back and look at what is happening" consideration.
I readily admit that there are many good teachers functioning within an ever-increasingly bad system; but their efforts cannot stop the tide of destruction destined to engulf our children. Good teachers cannot save this system.
Neither can an overhaul of the current system save it or our kids.
We continue to tweak, prod, rearrange, reorder, and play with the current antiquated model, hoping to discover some missing piece that will bring salvation and healing for our leprous condition. Every adjustment serves only to reveal yet another weakness without bringing the promised health.
The litany of what is wrong with education is long: standardized tests, compulsion, crowded classrooms, lack of funding, parents who don't care, poor teachers, drugs on campus, lack of discipline, federal involvement, teachers' unions, the NEA, grading systems, religion, et cetera, ad infinitum ad nauseum.
In the interest of FULL DISCLOSURE, allow me to state that I highly value my formal education. It served me well, because I am one of those for whom the system was designed. I am keen on learning. I will be a lifelong student of life, the world, and people thanks to my education. I wouldn't have it any other way.
I do become distressed, however, when I see kids who are being shortchanged by the system--those who "fall through the cracks" if you will."
I eventually became a teacher of students with "special needs" or "learning disabilities." They were being forever stigmatized simply because they "learned differently." In actuality, they were being taught things that absolutely did not matter to them or their future.
Did they need to learn to read? Absolutely. Did they need to learn basic math? You bet. But teaching those things within the sterile environment of the classroom was no way to engage their mind or their brain.
Subjecting them year after year to standardized tests that only reinforced their "failure" image helped to further disengage them from the class activities. We were instructed to tell the students that the test "didn't matter," but kids know better. I knew better.
Our current system is built upon the premise that if you are exposed to a certain number of facts within a 12-year period, then you have a basic education.
It is scheduled around an agrarian calendar with the goal of preparing students to be capable workers within an industrialized society.
Both of these aspects have come under the tweakers domain, and have been played with--with no discernible increase in learning.
What can be done? Nothing.
Nothing to change the system, that is.
The system is a dead horse. It's a dog that won't hunt. It's a boat that won't float.
What should you do if you have children or grandchildren whose education you care about?
If you can't get out, then at least put them in a high-quality private school.
There are plenty of alternatives to a formal education in today's world--home school, cyber school, unschool.
The Bible says that we are to "train up a child in the way that they should go" (Pro. 22:6). That is a parental responsibility. Our schools are now woefully inadequate for the task.
Consider your responsibility as a parent/grandparent to fulfill this scriptural mandate.
This is an incomplete post. It is an ongoing and emerging concept. However, I welcome ALL comments, criticisms, and/or questions. Thank you.