What’s the big deal with education?

Education vs. intelligence

Earth’s creatures are on the brink of a sixth mass extinction. One person every four seconds is dying of hunger. Habitats and ecosystems being ripped apart for the sake of big bucks and corporate profit. Human existence is being taken for granted with foreign countries slaving families to make our products. Melting ice caps are beyond human control and the political basis that governs more than it leads is no better. And the worst part about all of this is the fact that our children are not being educated to do anything about it. Instead, my generation is being educated out of intelligence and into standardization.

Many say education is no longer about intelligence and instead about passing tests. That creativity has not been nurtured throughout the aspects of divergent thinking. Looking deeper into, most standardized tests are formatted into a set of multiple choice questions which are considered to be “quick and easy”. Simply regurgitate information onto a piece of paper that will determine what your future will look like.This is in fact, far from reliable because it does not measure the ability to think creatively or deeply. What advocates creativity is the preparedness to be wrong because without the fear of being wrong, original ideas will be more prevalent. School works to embed this fear of being wrong into our skulls. It is ironic how we are told that mistakes are where improvements come from yet schools are teaching us that mistakes are the worst thing to make. There is also the “measurement error” which is known to exist. The accuracy of such an arduous method is based on many different aspects of a developing minds such as emotional state, atmosphere and more. If the mind is not sheltered in a correct environment, it will not be performing at its optimal level. While our understanding of how the human mind operates has progressed tremendously, standardized tests have not. Many cognitive and developmental psychologists understand that knowledge is not stored in separable bits or categories. Instead, people learn by connecting what they already know with what they are trying to learn. If there are no connections made with the material they are learning, they will not remember or learn it. This is a known fact yet in little to no way has education worked to make this better.

To really understand the degree of indoctrination, we really have to look at the time when the modern model of education came about. Back in the early 1800s, our economy was booming, products being innovated and there were many advancement. Our society had one image for our children, and that was to mold them in the image of our economy. We wanted a well sustained working class and through this idea we developed what is now known today as the modern education. Our economy needed a method of education for factories and thus the separation of religion and education came about.What’s interesting about this is the fact that schools are even modeled off of factories. Author and education revolution advocate Sir ken Robinson brings up an interesting point about this. He points out that we have ringing bells, distinct schedules, separate facilities, classes and more. We still even educate our children in batches determined by our age. I have met far more children that don’t belong in their grade than I have that do. Instead of educating children we are educating production lines of tools that will later be used for economic growth. We are not tools however. We are human beings with emotions, pursuits, passions and a multitude of interests. John D. Rockefeller, who created the general education board, said, “I want a nation of workers, not thinkers.” At a young age, we are taught how to read, write, basic math yet we are not taught how to think for ourselves. It is taboo to be taught in school the principles of logic and how to question an ideology. We are instead taught to regurgitate answers that those in authority demand. Knowledge isn’t something to compress into a small pamphlet, it is something to experience. And after thirteen years of this, we are given a piece of paper that most employers don’t even bother to glance at.

This isn’t just by coincidence either. It is a social tactic. If the public is dumb enough to manipulate, then it is far easier to govern. If we had a nation of creative thinkers, many basic government concepts would quickly crumble. Education is important because it is in the individual’s childhood in which they are most easily influenced. Nelson Mandela once said, “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate. and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” Hate exists in the world not because humans are naturally hateful, it exists because it is taught.