Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Another Failure of the "Education" System

We need to come to grips with the fact that we will have several generations of very ignorant adults. This article is yet another example of the abysmal results wrought by "educators" with their experimental methods since the 1960s.

In their desire to make everything "fun," the education establishment has only lowered the bar to the point where the Americans are the butt of the planet's jokes - all the while we congratulate ourselves on our intelligence, education, and wit. In the end, ignorance is not "fun."

Why not give young children maps of the world and of the U.S.? How about buying children a globe?

I believe the secret is to learn geography (not to mention foreign languages) when the child is still curious and learning names for everything is truly fun - not artificially "fun" with all sorts of over-the-top gimmickry. For some reason, I was surrounded by atlases and maps as a child: the world atlas, the road atlas, I even had a globe of the moon! By the time I started school, I knew the continents, the major countries of the world, and all the states. Nobody taught me. I learned geography in a completely painless way - by satisfying my curiousity. Young children are naturally curious, but the American education system seems to sap all the curiousity out of them before they're even old enough to read. "Fun" has replaced curiousity, and the children are burned out on fun. They are "fun" addicts in search of bigger fixes - and mindless fun is not condusive to learning.

I also think TV has a lot to do with it. Very young children are dumbed down by watching hour after hour of stupid cartoons at the very point in their lives when learning where Africa, Iceland, and the Amazon River are is a source of great fun. A flat screen kinetic television can't replace a three-dimensional spherical non-talkative globe. As a teacher of junior high kids, learning the basics of geography at age 12 is about 8 years too late.

And this is where we are in this country - playing catch-up. University students actually have to learn to find the states on a map, and find the U.S. on a globe. And this doesn't seem to be a priority.

And just think! We have universal suffrage in our "Republic." Oh my! But that's another rant for another day.


Rosko said...

I made my parents buy me a globe when I was a kid, I really wanted one, i thought they were cool. I had that globe until my brother pushed me on it and crushed it in a fight when we were 14. At grandmother's house, we also had an old (1959-ish) US map (right after AK and HI were added) puzzle that we put together, and then there were places to mark largest city and state capital. We did it because it was fun, we were curious and we enjoyed it. Once we got to school, even the attempts at "fun" were boring. Now I'm in University, and hearing the level of education of some of my peers astonishes me. I'm disappointed. Thanks for pointing this out.

Pastor Beisel said...

There was a great Simpsons episode the other day on something similar to this. They made a mockery of the idea that it is more important to "feel good about yourself" than to learn something.