On Education

A lot of this essay was inspired by Ken Robinson, whose video we have posted in this blog. So watch his TED video and also read this. 

Perhaps it has become a cliché to assert that the most important issue of our generation, but, like most clichés, it is completely and absolutely true.

The purpose of an education is to inspire. Inspire growth, inspire knowledge, inspire generosity and altruism. Our current education system is about as inspiring as black mold. Each and every child’s mind is drilled for the same resources: math and literacy. These subjects are given highest priority all over the globe.

Okay, I’m going to ask you to go on a little mind-journey with me. Take yourself back ten years, to the year 2002. I was eight. The Internet had just taken off, no one had ever heard of an iPhone, and not even Facebook was widely used. In other words, the world was very different to how it is now, and no one could have imagined what 2012 would look like.

We are educating the current generation to live and work ten, twenty, and thirty years into the future. No one can imagine the challenges we will face, or what will give one student a leg up over another. While math and English classes are very important, isn’t physical activity important? What if 2012 ends in an apocalypse and people have to run around, fighting aliens and foraging for the last edible substances? Those people would have a better chance of surviving if they knew the basics of how to care for their bodies and were in reasonably good shape. Steve Jobs, who tragically died this year, could not have created the iPhone without a stupendous creativity and passion for good design. Yet, I struggle to fit an art class into my schedule.

Our world and our education system are shifting under our feet. Everyone in my generation understands the term “Academic Inflation.” A job in which an undergraduate degree was once sufficient now needs a masters degree, a masters now needs a Ph. D, and so on. My parent’s didn’t understand why people would sit around and block up Wall Street for months, but I empathized with the protestors, though I didn’t agree with their methods. Occupy Wall Street was a cry for help from the overqualified, over-educated members of my generation who were in debt from student loans but couldn’t find a profession job worthy of their education. We generally discourage students from working with their hands and are trained to consider plumbers, welders and electricians to be a lower form of being, while they are paid well and have the opportunity of growth and independence in the work place. What more could you ask for? Being a plumber is certainly more fun than having a Ph. D in English and being unable to find a job.

Shakespeare didn’t go to college, but his grammar school taught him how to read and think for himself, and so he became the most successful playwright…ever. We need to stress well-roundedness and independence in our education system, we need to give good teachers a chance to do their jobs, and we need to give bad teachers the boot. Most of all, students should be encouraged to do whatever they like best, because people doing what they love best are the people who make the world go round. 

Luck and Love, 

E

(Pictures from http://www.scificool.com/roland-emmerich-posits-the-end-of-the-world-in-2012/ and http://money.cnn.com/2011/10/10/news/economy/occupy_wall_street_protest/index.htm)

This is an official blog entry for the YourLocalSecurity.com <a href=”http://yourlocalsecurity.com/scholarship”>Blogging Scholarship</a>. If selected, I’ll receive $1000 towards my college expenses in 2012. This scholarship is sponsored by <a href=”http://yourlocalsecurity.com”>YourLocalSecurity.com</a&gt;

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s