Education Is one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.” Bertrand A. Russell (1872-1970) English philosopher, mathematician, and writer.
I would like to touch on the subject of education. As you are all probably getting familiar with my columns, it is not going to be a traditional viewpoint, but more of a pragmatic view.
It has come to my attention that much of education as we know it – formal schooling and the like – has fallen very short of the goal of actually educating someone as defined by the dictionary, which is to instruct or enlighten. How many of us know people who are highly “educated” and don’t have the first clue about how to treat people. Nor do they ever apply the education that they have paid tons of money to acquire. Instead, they squander it as a trophy, a title or a trinket to prove their worth.
“Education is one of the few things a person is willing to pay for and not get.” William Lowe Bryan
Education, unless directed toward our own predetermined outcomes, is a waste of time. Our school systems have become a bastion of political warfare and feel-goodism that adults are waging among themselves. We have forgotten that our children at the epicenter of the fray, especially in the minority community, are paying the price. We don’t want kids to feel upset if they get a bad grade, lose a game or have to reach inside of themselves to tap the character building point of going through a difficult test of any kind, be it a mental, spiritual, physical or moral test.
Education happens as we learn the right and wrong way to spell, add, speak, throw a ball, talk to our peers and respect our elders. We are losing all of these invaluable lessons one day at a time with the current attempt by career politicians to educate our children. The base starts with the parents – involved parents, caring parents, parents who are not afraid to look at circumstances and call the emperor’s clothes for what they are.
So what is the answer Jason? We hear complaints all the time we know the system is failing what do we do?
The answer is knowing the goal of our kids education. Currently, it is designed to teach our kids how to get a job and be good little soldiers marching to someone else’s drum. The climate has changed. How many of you reading this right now are doing what you went to school for, or even in the same profession that you were in 5 years ago?
Our times demand a new type of teaching that is based on outcome and focused on leadership – if not a leader of others, at least a leader of ourselves. Leadership does not mean waiting around for a government to take care of you. Leadership is not living at home until you are 30. Leadership is not blaming others. Leadership is not doing the least you can for the most return. Leadership is not how many beers you can drink or how we can escape the pressure of growth through modern pharmacology ( Xanax, Prozac, etc.).