Training The Slaves
It was the same thing day in and day out. Go to school and follow the material that had boredom written all over it. I wanted something more; something with substance.
Years later, I was in a program in prison and had to see a counselor. This counselor felt a desire to explain to me why I quit school in 9th grade and why I had the boredom and turned to drugs. We went through my test scores and at this point I had gone and took the tests and passed my high school diploma with outstanding scores. Remember, I only went to school until 9th grade. The rest of my education was on the streets of Denver, Colorado. I did work at a hotel, The Cherry Creek Inn as a banquet person and later moved to hotel maintenance. This whole time I was also doing crime too.
The counselor explained that I was just way above 9th grade; I was too smart for it. It happens to many kids she said and that is why the prisons are full.
I ended up taking college courses in prison and in the long run, I became a worthwhile citizen.
The reason I am writing this hub and the meaning of the title will become clearer soon. I was never totally clear in what that counselor had said, but it is clearing up now; the reason is I am reading a book. It is called Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto. This book makes so much sense that I will probably read it more than once.
The book explains education in the United States and why it isn't so much education, but just a prison for kids. It is a slave training program. I won't explain the whole book. Get your own copy and read it for yourself; there are links below. What I am going to do is explain how I feel we could do it better.
The Problem with Today's Education System
In the early day's school came second to home; not anymore. I remember during harvest, my uncles would be to school late or not at all. It was always more important to have the corn and soybeans in the silos. My uncles always did fine with their grades even when they missed for harvest. The television didn't take a big part of their day and work was a part of life. They learned math, reading and science at school and they learned life at home.
It seems these days children don't learn life at home and they don't want to learn many of the other things in school.
In my school days a student would be in trouble if you brought a calculator to school; now students get in trouble if they don't bring a calculator. We wonder why the kid working the register at the store can't count change back to us; they don't have their calculator.
As said in the book, and this has been happening for years, a child just starts to "get it" in math class and the bell rings. Off to science; just forget about that math thing until tomorrow. Confusion; mass confusion.
I don't know if it's planned, but it seems so. By keeping the majority of students confused, you create many blue collar workers because they have no self-esteem to go higher. They have no dreams or ambitions. Just work the factory job or a cashier at Walmart the rest of their lives.
The book goes into deep details on this and reinforces home-schooling. The problem in the home-schooling jungle is you have parents both working and/or they don't have a clue how to force their child to learn either.
I have my ideas about the public school problem. Scroll down and see if you agree.
Greg's Ideas on Solving the Education Issues
Many in politics seem to think privatizing schools is the answer. I see that as a new set of problems.
I have my ideas and they consist of first taking changes slowly. Make sure you have the proper teachers in the proper places.
You need to give more time to each subject and have the children put their learning into action:
- 1 week on each subject, not 1 hour. 1 day spent either in a community service or working at a place that uses what they are learning. An example would be science: a laboratory; math: an accounting place; so on and so forth.
- Listen to the kids: more student input.
- More one on one. Every student is different and not of the same mold.
- Grades are baloney--pass or fail. No ifs, and's, or buts. Either you make it or not.
- More family less school. Whatever it takes, make it happen.
I don't have all the answers, but instead of using the bureaucratic approach, maybe we should look at how the communists did it. Some children are great at some things. Help them to master what they are good at; don't take it away from them.
The system seems to think they need to control the masses and what they are going to cause in the long run is mass hysteria.
We need to step back. We need to look back on what worked and start doing that again.
Children have a desire to learn. We don't need more burger flippers, we need Doctors and Scientists and other professionals that really do care and want to change the world. We need more Ben Franklins, Thomas Edisons, and Edgar Allen Poes. Instead, we are creating more Charlie Mansons and Son of Sams.
I hope this hub will get somewhere. Gatto's book has been out for some years and has it really changed anything?
I was told a little earlier today that we need to just keep throwing seeds out and some will grow. That is what this hub is: a seed.
The education system is in a messed up state of affairs. It seems to be many people in it just for the money instead of in it for the children.
Let's get involved in the school systems. Let's hold them accountable and we must hold the students accountable too! Remember when you are old and senile, these are the ones who will feed, bathe and change your Depends. Will they be smart enough to do those things?
© 2011 Greg Boudonck
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