Education's Arc

SUBHEAD: These facilities will emerge as sites for collective communal projects for people of all ages. By Juan Wilson on 27 March 2012 for Island Breath - (http://islandbreath.blogspot.com/2012/03/educations-arc.html) Image above: Food growing in the garden of medieval Spassky Monastery in Murmom, Russia. From (http://depositphotos.com/5869026/stock-photo-Medieval-Spassky-monastery-in-Murom-Russia.html). College is not for everyone The statistics that you will have higher income and chance of employment with a college degree (or two) is based on a historic pattern that creates a false impression. Sure, those educated as doctors and engineers will likely have a meaningful job with good pay, but most people going off to college are doing so for the same reason they went to high-school - because they were expected to do so. The problem is that the the majority of HS seniors heading off to the university of their choice are merely getting on a debt treadmill that is not leading to work they are likely to be do - not in the economy of the future. Getting a degree in business administration or social work will be meaningless in a low-consumption, agrarian economy focused on food production ecological revitalization. It will soon be more important for most people to know how to manufacture, maintain and utilize a variety of handtools than to update their Facebook page, balance their checkbook, or write spreadsheet macros for their employers. One hundred years ago high school was what college is today - as far as most intelligent youngsters went in their education. High school curriculum then consisted of a broad liberal arts education that resulted in literate graduates with reasonable grasp of history and culture. Up until the last generation of Americans high schools provided courses art, music, science and geography that are quickly disappearing. Most HS grads entering college need remedial work in simple reading, writing and arithmetic that was once the area of concentration in grade school. Due to federal/state debt, we apparently cannot even afford to provide a high school education to all our children. That may be just fine. As it is, with programs like No Child Left Behind, we have abandoned the purpose of educating our children in favor of testing them. It was almost half a century ago, back in the days of the military draft and the Vietnam War, that high-school has became a track to get kids into a college - not educate them. Once matriculated at the state university, with the safety of a draft deferral, people my age could go on with their lives and avoid the stupid carnage overseas. Public education was cheap then. As long as you kept your grade-point-average up it was time for the toga parties. As the future rolls out, high school will likely regain the primary place to get the skills needed to live your life. I'm not talking about how to take a SAT test, but what's learned in the wood shop, metal shop, home economics kitchen, print shop and library. The universities will continue the college tradition of higher education for certain professional specializations. These institutions will also be able to support advanced study in philosophy, religion, theoretical mathematics, but at a smaller scale for a smaller audience. Eventually they will likely be more like guilds and monasteries. As for the old high school campuses? They won't be just for the teenagers and their handlers anymore. Away from the cities the high schools are the most valuable communal invest in their communities. This is particularly true of the rural countryside. These sites usually include substantial structures with a wide variety of special features like sports fields, pools, gardens, auditoriums, specialized shops, and garages. These facilities will emerge as sites for collective communal projects for people of all ages. .

1 comment :

  1. When was the last time the county government on Kauai sent a small group (consisting of maybe 3 or 4 teachers) to a country where education is on the highest level like in Finland, Korea, Canada, Japan, New Zealand instead of sending 14 county council member to the Philippines "to promote travel to Hawaii", and when will the governor of the de facto state of Hawai`i send a group of education experts to study the leading education system of Switzerland or Finland instead of her traveling to Israel to promote hardly existing and hardly probable tourism from there to Hawai`i? When it happens we will be able to say that we have made the first step in the right direction. When the grade and high schools in Hawai`i do a serious year-end testing of the students with absolutely no multiple choice questions on the tests, we will have made the second most important step, and when the teachers in our schools are rescreened and selected by their ability to teach and educate instead of being administrators, we will have made some progress. And when discipline is taken seriously in schools, then we will have made good progress. Then the next step will be easy - to restore the respect of the public towards the teachers, who used to be the most respected and on the long run the most important people of the community.
    János Keoni Samu

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