I believe increasingly that this should be the task of education. Current education is nothing but a sentimental attempt at maintaining the status quo, churning out industrial product in the shape of consumers who know how to do, more or less, what they’ve been told, more or less. Education has become fragmented where children fill in the blanks in predrawn paper sheets, imagination chewed and offered up semi digested. In the States public schools follow Houghton Mifflin scripted lessons where the teachers read from books, “Good Morning Class” and the day continues in a prefabricated monologue with no room for autonomy let alone thought. The children sit staring, their systems full of high fructose corn syrup, food colouring, additives and chemicals, or all this plus drugs to keep them focused and docile.
Rather let education be revolution, a circle spiraling forward, revolving, evolving creating new generations of thinking, loving, unique individuals.
Why do we still teach to what was needed 2 centuries ago? I’ve been in the classroom for 12 years and I can see a difference in those now entering school from those children now graduating high school. People are evolving, the world is evolving at a heightened rate. The world in physical ways, the human in social, psychological, psychical ways, in consciousness. Education is not keeping up. The most important things I’ve ‘taught’ in my time have not been reading, writing, arithmetic (children learn these almost always by themselves), but rather social skills; communication; community and trust building; observation and respect for human and natural environments; care of each other, animals, nature; imagination; self expression and self trust, and love. The things that don’t appear much in teacher training establishments, let alone scripted lessons. As family recedes and
the importance of the individual continues, children have to learn how to be part of a community. What was taken for granted 2 centuries ago in social terms no longer exists and it must be taken up elsewhere.
Academics are important, yes of course, but they need to be seen in a larger context. The word education comes from the Greek root ‘educare’ meaning to raise up. This is what education must become again. We must serve the children a diet that will sustain them throughout their lives, not just through college entrance exams. We must feed their souls, their minds, their imagination, their creativity, their self expression, their love as much as their bodies. Not a sentimental love song conferring loss. A song of revolution.