Education in this country is over politicized. way too enamored with technology, and generally very confused about what should be taught. In an age where the onslaught of computers threatens our ability to handle the stress caused by the fearsome rapidity of technological change, our educational system increasingly downplays, or even hides, the side effects of such change.
Schools should be forced like our drug companies to list those side effects on their homepages: loss of the ability to read or think deeply, a rise in ADHD and other focus related problems, behavioral issues, online bullying, video game and social media addictions, the loss of social skills, the lack of civility caused by anonymity, and on and on.
Then, Common Core emphasizes standardization at a time in our history where standardization is absolutely the wrong way to go. The decision to emphasize data management and information gathering and at the same time downplay the role of literature will go down in history as one of those "What the hell were they thinking" moments when our descendants are picking through the ruin and rubble to find out what happened and discover that we were training our kids to act like computers, to be cold and dispassionate collectors of data "with minds that magnified the smallest matters."
And imagine their surprise when they find out that, at the same time, we also thought it wise to remove the very guidebooks that would have helped show our students a way into, across, and out of the forest of confusion that real life, not virtual life, actually is while, at the same time, telling them that the guidebooks were obsolete anyway because of the GPS they had on their phones.
To top it all off, we also stripped our schoolyards clean of any spiritual meaning, preferring instead to indoctrinate all into the cult of pretending to be concerned and value signaling.
We have placed the wrong emphasis on telling our elementary school aged children that they must first solve the problems of the entire planet well before they have even begun to understand that they have problems in their own lives that need attention. Any school that chooses to advance an ideology
over doing right by their students should be shuttered.
Why stop at the planet, why not teach them to seek out and solve the problems of the entire universe? I mean if you really want to screw kids up. And don't bother accusing me of not caring about the planet just because I think it's more important for a child to learn to put his or her own house in order before venturing out to save the world. I think they would do a better job of protecting the planet if they first learn to prosper in their own skin.
Human beings don't develop along the lines that group think tells us that we do; they speak of the life of ants or bees. Good humans develop in the solitude of their own suffering. Psychologists know that we need to adjust ourselves to deal with our own demons before we can grow up to become good humans. I'm not saying that we don't learn as we go, both how to be ourselves and a member of a group, but learning to be a group before you learn to know yourself makes both yourself and the group weaker.
There is a reason why the ancients told myths of cultural heroes who mustered up the strength and courage to rise up from the ranks of the discouraged, mediocre thinkers all, to challenge the dragons who, above all, taught their victims to behave and think as victims. The heroes didn't teach their people to count the dead as needed sacrifices to the cause; the hero taught his people to slay the dragons.
Parents are placing their children's future into our hands with the expectations that we teach them how use their wings, so that they might learn to fly upwards and gain a proper perspective and to envision far off horizons. It is criminal for us to turn these nascent angels into flightless Dodo birds in a foredoomed effort to resurrect that extinct species.
It serves us well to remember that the Dodo went extinct because they lacked the natural defense mechanisms that would have helped them deal with the cold, hard realities of life. They couldn't fly. Hiding behind signs that showed how much they cared for the men who killed them wouldn't have helped them all that much, whereas a fully functioning pair of wings might have.
Before my words get twisted, all that I'm trying to say is that people need to to a better job of learning to love themselves before they can really learn to love others. That, and also that schools have only paid lip service to the idea of treating trauma issues by only focusing on the big ticket issues. It is a rare kid who has not been traumatized. Teaching victimhood is not a good strategy to combat the effects of trauma.
I shudder at the thought of our cavemen ancestors teaching their children that they were victims of an unfair ecosystem, or that they had a duty to clean-up the environment before they eliminated the things that made them weak in the face of adversity. Teaching them that the animals who sought to eat them had feelings and emotions of their own would have just led to the unpleasant experience of being converted into dung.
Which, according to many a current way of thinking, perhaps would have been better for the planet after all. Wait a minute, aren't these the same people who took the spiritual matters out of the schools and replaced God with Darwin? I'm confused.