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Sunday, October 26, 2008

The philosophy of education

How do we educate today's children to become tomorrow's adults with a sense of personal responsibility, value and community pride? I think the education system in the USA is lacking some fundamentals. It seems that it is consumed right now with theories on how to teach but lacking in any true direction about what to teach. It seems there needs to be a shift in the whole educational process which better educates the children for the future. Creating well rounded people is noble but not attainable. It is better to create well thinking people who can stand on their own two feet and make it in the world. I think we need to concentrate on character development at a younger age, and then on critical thinking in the middle school grades. I also think science and the arts need to be balanced. The teaching of theory needs to dovetail with practical experiences.

The promotion of university as the pinnacle of education needs to be done away with. There are valid reasons to continue on with education, but it should not just be "the thing to do." For this reason, trade and technical schools should be created, funded and promoted as equally valuable avenues of education. Let us prepare educated, thinking and well trained people.


Unknown said...

I agree with most of what you wrote, especially the parts on trade schools and having less people obtain college education. It is ridiculous, one that most jobs require a college education and two that everyone is somehow entitled to a college education.
I question the balance of teaching art and science. How do you teach art? My best friend in high school is the most artistic person I have ever met and he was never taught. In fact he made fun of all of us working hard and in his words “All I did was play with paints and I got way more in scholarships than any of you!” He has a point though, art is one of those intangibles that you either have or you don’t. Whether it is the ability to play the piano, take a picture or direct a movie, no amount of education is going to give you that ability. I can see if you are encouraging people to appreciate the arts, but I think that is natural. Meaning people already enjoy artwork for no other reason than enjoyment. Are you saying people are not exposed to art enough?
Maybe you can explain to me why they have commercials that say art makes people smarter, as if it is a cause and effect relationship. Wouldn’t the more likely reason be that ultra capable people are good at both art and science and lack of art education wouldn’t affect their ability to understand in the least?

Daav Corbet said...

I guess I meant humanities, not just art. And I meant appreciation not only application. I think we need culture to bind us together. We are a diverse nation. This last year I celebrated Cinco de mayo, 4th of July, Octoberfest, and soon Halloween. But I dont know the culture behind them. They are just part of my American heritage. Art, dance, theater, cinema, are all part of our heritage and I think they are just as important to society as the sciences. Not all of us have the apptitude to be scientists just as we dont all have the apptitude to be artist or screenwrites, but that does not mean we should not know how to assess and think clear thoughts about those subjects.