Monday, June 24, 2013

American Education Today - "Curiouser and Curiouser"

I am beginning to get the feeling that Americans don't really care about the future. We tend to dismiss climate change as folly. Gun violence as an issue of the taking away of our rights and not about the taking of lives. And education not an exercise in learning but preparation for test taking.

Somewhere early on we yank away from our children their ability to be curious. Yes, of course it can be said this is done out of love, to protect them from harm and danger. But what do we save them for? A life of mediocrity, a life where their brains lie flaccid within their skulls. What a sad existence.

Our educational system does not encourage our children to ask questions. Look at this example:
"... a 9th grader raised her hand to ask if there were any places in the world where no one made art. The teacher stopped her midsentence with, "Zoe, no questions now, please; it's time for learning." (1) 
Just reading this exchange causes me physical pain. Why would a teacher cut off a question like this? Perhaps because she did not have an answer. But my guess is it is deeper than that, I think because the teacher herself is not curious. 

Education is empowerment and it will be the curious ones that will grow to become the problem solvers of the future. As with many things, we can't afford to wait to begin to change how we do things with our educational system. Those students from kindergarten on up are our future.

Read the article below from which I take the quote given above, it's a good one. Aren't you even a little bit curious?

(1) The Case for Curiosity


  1. I used to rail about this all the time on my blog. It's the number one problem in the US: we don't educate our kids. How can we expect them to run the country when we're old? It's a very sad joke. Good for you, for focusing on it. Won't do a whit of good, though. We've got a nation of know-nothings and it's going to stay that way.

  2. If I only focused on things where I could "do a whit of good" I'd stay on a beach some place drinking Mai Tai's (or something like it). While I was cruising I really didn't care about any of this, amazing how content one can be a times.