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!