Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The purpose of education in the USA

This just in from a friend:
You don't have free speech rights in the workplace, why should you have them in school? school being socialization for the workplace.

The average college graduate reads one book a year. If education means inquiry then there's something wrong with education. If education means socialization for the workplace, education works okay. What is the purpose of education, learning facts but stifling thinking? Enquiring minds want to know.
I think my dad is onto something here. Long ago, education became a burden for the average student. Stifling creativity and expeditionary spirit that is usually laced into the inquiry of scientific study, exploration, and experimentation. Instead, the purpose of education in the USA has become a grand socialization tool, to remedy the faults of parents, and instill some kind of values...even if those values are really a watered down version of thou shalt nots.

What we get instead of creative and insightful individuals is isomorphism - the grand gravitation to the middle. That is, most students come out of their pre- and secondary educational experiences feeling like they had spent the last 12 years of their lives enveloped in wonder bread under a cold drip from a faucet. Not that wonderbread isn't nutritious, but it is bland. It is the rare and tenacious few that embrace education as it is served up today. And oddly enough, those folks are the ones who excel and pursue higher diplomas beyond undergraduate degrees - which is why we end up with more of the same rather than inventive and exciting new modes of teaching.

Wouldn't it be great if we reinvented education from the Kindergarten up to unleash the child explorer in all of us such that we sought new knowledge with the same kind of spirit that we used to collect iron filings with magnets from sand as children?

There is a solution and I have one, but most folks are not willing to make the sacrifice for good, high quality and adventurous education. It is a lot of work and requires the commitment of the whole of society, not just resting the education of our children on the dedicated few who are steeped in the antiquated practice that is education in America today.

let me know if you want to hear more and I will type more along this line - I have brewing in the back of my head a manifesto for the reshaping of American education as we know it...and it is time for the revolution to begin.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tell me more, because you've got it. Yes, I know I'm about three years late.

windspike said...

Anon,

Thanks for popping in. I haven't dredged that far down my blog in a long while. I've come a long way since then. Didn't even know how to block off quotes then...and I don't think I was using a spell checker.

Rather than blurt out my whole philosophy or solution for education in America, what say you? Do you have any question in particular? Perhaps we can spark a dialog even if it was three years ago.

Blog on friends, blog on all.

warfighter1212 said...

Anybody notice that the United States government is supposed to be a democracy, but at the same time, it is totalitarianist. This meaning, we have to go to school, we have to do the work, if you dont go to school and you are underage you can be placed in juvenal detention centers. This country needs underachievers, not everyone can be doctors, not everyone can be police, somewhere along the line somebody has to fail, we need janitors, food workers ect ect. Sorry if this is deviating from the original topic, but it does need to be addressed.

...But what are some of your ideas in the kettle windspike? and wow i am 2 years late.

windspike said...

Warfighter - where ya been? If you surf around my blog, you will find a great deal of ideas pitched about.

Start here: http://educationalwhisper.blogspot.com/2005/04/common-sense-on-public-education.html

or here:

http://educationalwhisper.blogspot.com/2004/11/how-about-we-remove-superintendents.html

Or here:

http://educationalwhisper.blogspot.com/2005/04/each-one-teach-one.html

Curious to see what you have to say about these ideas.

Blog on friend, blog on all.

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