Posted by: nativeiowan | April 24, 2015

Mike’s Bikes… thinking about education

I have been succesful because I have had loads of better than good luck, I received (was forced to endure) a very good education, and I was never given a choice in the matter, but I learned what hard work was at a young age.

My literacy level, my willingness and ability in varying workplace venues, plus loads of luck lead me to a succesful life. Perhaps it is the vanity of the aged to think we were better, or harder, or smarter, or less timid. I have been thinking about the topic…

The education system failing the adults of tomorrow…

I hear it often: – the system just is not good enough, -the system is not working-, the system is failing the “kids”-. –I home school because I don’t want to expose my kids to “all that”-.

I think the blame here is being misplaced. May I ask, is the system failing the kids, or are the parents failing the kids? Perhaps both are failing, or all three are failing? Isn’t the educating of the child a joint responsibility? All stake-holders bear an interest and a responsibility.

When a parent/ family decides to “home-school” there is a statement of economic fact being exclaimed. Only those who can afford to home-school have such an option. They must be able to afford the time, the actual out-of-pocket cost, as well as the emotional and energetic expense of being a teacher, an educator, and a parent.

Most parents/ most adults fail to recognise that “school” is only a part of education. The majority of the “system” in use is based on a guideline of training students to be social, agreeable, thoughtful, cooperative and respectable contributors of society. Teaching the basics of education; reading, writing and ‘rithmatec. And, importantly, to spend 8 hours a day in one place, doing as you are told. It is as much conditioning as it is educating.

Yet I would table that parents oft-times think they can dump their responsibility of educating their children on the “system”. And when their kids turn out to be dumb, or lazy, or illiterate, or shit heads… well the system failed, didn’t it?

Home schooling has traditionally been the bastion of the well to do. Tutors, lecturers, nannies, and private schools have been where the educated sent their off spring to be educated. The modern (was modern about 60 years ago) education system is based on a need to move from an agrarian to an industrial society. We were sent to schools to learn to conform, as training to go to work at a factory. Only the well to do “educated” their children to be thinkers.

Of course, rare exceptions are known where a backwater boy or girl turned out to be a genius. Yet the majority of our thinkers and shakers and doers came from and come from privileged backgrounds.

But, as I see the society dumbing down, the trend of children turning out “better educated” than their parents is a pipe dream. We all appear to be accepting a downgrading of our intellect.

It sounds harsh but lets measure the vocabulary of my Father vs the vocabulary of my grandson. My father had a powerful vocabulary. What about languages? My mother was fluent in 2 languages. Music? My grandmother was home schooled in music but could teach music.

Throwing rocks at the system, which we insist upon, ain’t a valid answer. I feel it would be more productive to rethink, revamp the antiquated system, answering first and foremost: Why am I educating my child? What am I educating my child for?

The American Dream/ Scheme?

Once, long ago; in a land of wilderness, darkness, deprivation; There was a light.

And that light was “Learning”.

One was “Learned”, or not.

To be “Learned” one would have studied the “classics” of the day; the curriculum of language, arts, science, and religion of the day. All modern societies had Institutions Of Learning.

Ancient societies had classical learning as well.

Teacher or Shaman?

Priest or Sorcerer?

Scientist or Alchemist?

Where is our modern society’s classical Learning?

Who are our modern society’s classical Learned?

The Library or the Mall?

Plato or Bill Gates?

Biance’ or Vivaldi?

Not sure what is being taught or learned these days but I fear the overall standard-reducing trend we have become accustomed to may be the way of the future…


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