Monday, January 18, 2010

Education, and what I think it should be

We teach traditional subjects, proper grammar, and ancient mathematics. We need to stay conservative with topics that should be liberal (such as sex education). Our history teachers sometimes don’t explore changes in historical facts. Our arts teachers sometimes refuse to teach aesthetics they don’t agree with.

Now, let me state my philosophy on “truth”. Those truths that we learn are facts created by conformity to the norm. What that means is that we make our truths. “They’re”, “there,” and “their” are different because we make them different. Now, if the entire world misspelled the sentence, “Their going to the mall” rather than “they’re going to the mall,” is it wrong to spell it the first way? That is, if the entire world makes the same mistake?

OK, where I’m going with this is here – Today’s world is structured by the internet. Our students know Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Deviantart, Flickr, Skype, AIM, Youtube, etc. There are people that will say that students spend too much time on these things and need to read Catcher in the Rye more or something to that extent. While I do agree, understanding the meaning behind the story is more important than saying that you’ve read the book. You don’t NEED to read these materials. However, I know just as many middle-aged people that spend their free time on Facebook and Youtube as us younger generations, and don’t deny it.

What do you mean? Are you insinuating that what I learned in the 70s in school is obsolete and we need to resort to teaching Facebook and things to our students?

That’s EXACTLY what I’m saying. Cursive writing? I was in school and spent two years, first and second grade, practicing cursive writing, at an age that I didn’t know what words really meant. I had no business writing or reading back then. I wanted to use my imagination and do art and music, but curricula only limited the amount of time that I could do that.

What is happening to students, reading old literature without comprehending it? (Quite frankly, it’s because they don’t care). They’re putting themselves in situations with the wrong people on Facebook.

Now, I’m not saying that we should replace Science with Facebook. What I’m saying is that while there should be time spent on these classical subjects, there should be equal time spent on real-world scenarios. I’m sorry, but FBLA and the “Careers” course that I took in high school are NOTHING like what the world is. Such a thought is pure mindwash. Why not have a course called, “Safe internet practices” or “How to not ruin your life.”

We need to adopt the real world into schools and stop holding things away from it because they’re politically incorrect. Guess what, the world is very politically incorrect.


  1. I would even say rather than have a course in "Safe Internet Practices," teachers should be integrating that topic throughout. Just as first graders learn to spell in all written work, not just spelling class, so should tech safety be woven through everything. (Apparently I have an old Google Account out there somewhere - ha ha - it's actually Oh_the_Places)

  2. Thanks for the comment! You're right. These are everyday scenarios that need to be instilled in people's mind. Security on the internet should be as instinctive as security walking through a bad neighborhood at night.

  3. I do feel strongly about students learning real world issues. I never remember learning much about balancing a check book, staying out of debt, smart money practices, or how to communicate effectively on ICTs. All these are real issues I faced throughout my life and had to learn by taking electives and self-study. I think one reason there is so much debt is because we are not taught these skills.