Does anyone remember how to think?

I have an IQ of somewhere around 146.

To those who care about such things, that means I am on the lower end of the genius scale. I am not saying this to toot my horn, but to make a point. I am supposedly genius, which supposedly means “very smart”. So would it shock you to find that I flunked out of college once? And then when I managed to get back in I graduated with a GPA one hundredth over the acceptable bottom limit? If we define ability and smarts by our grade point average, I am smart as the proverbial rock.

Yet that is exactly how our education system works in this country. How we do on a test is more important that what we are actually being taught. Students have become a statistic to determine who gets funding. They are not children. Not people wanting to learn; to grow. They are simply a statistic.

Worse yet, the so-called knowledge that one needs to know is defined by our government. They write the tests. This is the government who helped crumble the foundations of a world economy; driving our own country to near bankruptcy in the process. A government that systematically strips away freedoms in the pursuance of defending freedom. A government who is of the people, for the people, and by the people … that is if we define The People as those in charge. Those with power.

Do we really want a group of people who has so thoroughly made a mess of things determine what our children should know?

The true power of any culture sits in how children are educated. And what they are taught. This is a fundamental lesson of power for any governing force. Why else are the soldiers of fanaticism that we fight frequently children?

So what does this mean?

Basically it is up to teachers to change the world.

Now I am defining a teacher in the simplest way: one who teaches. This could include parents, older siblings, mentors … pretty much anyone who is willing to impart a lesson to a child. I do not mean what we call a Teacher in todays eduction system, someone who frequently has been indoctrinated in a model that places statistics over quality; who values the curriculum over the student. If the Teachers can not even think for themselves, how will the students ever learn to?

I understand that many Teachers are stuck, that they are forced to work within bounds of a flawed and rigid system, but that is really no excuse to stop caring. In what sane society is it ok to make an eight year old child feel stupid and incapable because they cannot  handle the TWO HOURS of homework they get a night? Even with their parent’s help. Most of which is ultimately designed to get the child to pass tests of questionable value.

In the cultures we are warring against, they frown on teaching their children anything that will allow the children to think for themselves; allow them to question rigid tradition and dogma. Actually frown is a severe understatement. Fanatics  will actively torture and harm children to make their point.

I am not seeing what we are doing as significantly different except in degree. Is it not harmful to make someone believe they are not good enough because they don’t fit in the designated mold? How is that not torture?

The patriots of our country love to say how we are the forefront of social change. So I present a challenge to the teachers, and the Teachers. Prove it! Let’s stop simply giving up and bowing down to a flawed system! Remember what freedom means. Teach our children because they are our next generation, not the key to a budget!

Freedom means nothing without freedom of thought. Which means we need to know HOW to think.

Let’s start actually TEACHING our children again!

0 thoughts on “Does anyone remember how to think?

  1. Your points are important. Regulating has become more important than actual teaching and we can see the consequences of that. My wife’s a teacher and every year she becomes more frustrated with new crap the controllers on top add. She has to comply to keep her job and it is enormously stressful for her.

    I think if I were a teacher within the system teaching upper grades my focus would be teaching students how to pass the tests. A lot of kids these days don’t seem to care much about learning and many parents have no idea what’s going on and they’re too wrapped up in just trying to get by themselves.

    Government needs to stop pushing agendas, playing with ridiculous experimental programs, and catering to unions and corporate influence and just let teachers teach.

    Excellent post.

    Tossing It Out

    • I think part of the reason kids don’t care is because they are forced to learn things that they have no interest in. Maybe if they got a little more choice in what they learn they would be more invested in their own education. 😀

      • YES!
        I can’t believe we had a huge social studies test for our 2nd grader that was about urban/surburban and maps. He could care less
        “He has difficulty focusing in class.” Really, perhaps it’s the tests he has to take EVERY DAY. Spelling/vocab/math/writing
        …maybe find a way to tie in a discussion with Star Wars or baseball/soccer and you’ll captivate him. Simply teaching “dry” – of course he’s going to play with his eraser. He’s checking out because he’s bored. YET, he certainly knows how to “fill in the bubble” on a scan tron. Too much emphasis went on that., you think? We gotta make sure they fill in the bubble just so to make it easy on those correcting the tests.

    • I think many just don’t know what to do. In this economy especially. When the option is putting up with nonsense vs losing a job, your choices are limited.

      • yes, when we had our parent/teacher meeting, we indicated it was TOO MUCH work. too much was expected of our 2nd grader and of course, she agreed. However, we were told it is “district standard” and they too are feeling the pressure to produce high test scores.

        In 1st grade, those teachers were told that 1st graders had to learn to fill in scan trons and they laughed. The kids had a difficult enough time figuring out how to answer a “test” and now they were supposed to find that number on the scan tron and fill in the proper bubble? It was so absurd, and the staff were afraid of what would be the repucussions if done wrong, which more than likely would be the case. SO, one teacher had the kids take the test, and then took their answers and filled in the scan tron for them!

        Well, that’s fine and dandy, but now those with that BIG IDEA (the powers that be) think the 1st graders are capable of doing that just fine…when in fact, they can’t. BUT NOW IT’S THE STANDARD. So lame. Schools need to be honest, and risk “failing” or “low-test scores” so that the people above realize when enough is enough…

  2. “Government needs to stop pushing agendas, playing with ridiculous experimental programs, and catering to unions and corporate influence and just let teachers teach.”

    love love love

  3. Thank you, Steve!
    this was well done. I’m still too frustrated to even put together a well written piece that wouldn’t just come out as one big COMPLAINT. I’m so frustrated and my son’s self- esteem is being damaged every day.

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