Since reaching the point of political sophistication to understand that there are hidden forces behind most all overt public events, policies, and institutions which often have very little, if any, connection with the ostensible substances and purposes of these initiatives and entities, I have been no supporter of public education as we know it. It is clearly a device of indoctrination rather than the vehicle for good which it purports to be and likely was at one time. It also has become a bastion of mediocrity defended with the cry that (unlike private schools) it must contend with all comers including the worst of students, which does have an element of truth, but also reinforces the notion of the need for reasonable standards. I will fall back on the statement of Benjamin Franklin that a man who is good at inventing excuses is seldom good for anything else.
A good idea went off the rails in a huge way when one John Dewey made a trip to Prussia and fell in love with its system of education. This system was not based on providing a solid general foundation upon which a person could build when and if he/she were to continue to higher education, but rather raising up the people that those in charge felt that society needed. It taught not only knowledge but also social indoctrination and served to train from early childhood the notion that the people existed for the state rather than the state for the people, which was a cornerstone of our republic. I say 'was' rather than 'is' by virtue of the fact that it is readily obvious that our government and approximately half of the people have either forgotten or never learned in the first place the idea of the government existing for the people as established in the Constitution.
This article explains very well what is wrong with our system of education and gives some good ideas for correcting it that will strongly appeal to the thinking person who understands the value of individual initiative and will simultaneously be anathema to those who turn to government rather than the people for solutions.
This post was modified from its original form on 26 Dec, 11:39
Well those in charge have certainly, through their indoctrination, done a supberb job in dumbing down our present students from early childhood education through our colleges and universities.
How many kids today can recite the Declaration of Independence - know what the words really mean and can spell all the words. We did! We had what we called the "Declaring of the Declaration." We all had to say parts of it in front of teachers and parents.
Not to mention the "Constitution of The United States of America." We learned all of this from some very remarkable nuns in private school.
The words from both are still ingrained in our minds. We learned about it in Civics Class. Don't think they have "Civic Classes" any longer.
I don't think kids today even know what "Civil" means much less "Civics".
Well, Tara Jane, what they know is that "Civics" are Hondas!
Tara Jane, it is even more simple than that, they don't know other basic information such as where Washington D.C. is located. You are right, they do not teach Civics in high school any longer, at least not in this school district where I live. My granddaughter is taking AP US History and is a junior. And that is another interesting concept; U.S. history in high school as I remember it was much more intense than what they are taught. She has no clue regarding some of the very basic information regarding the colonization of the U.S. She cannot tell you why the early colonists came here. She had no knowledge of the fact that there was any issue regarding taxation unfairly being imposed on the colonies by the King of England and what taxation without representation even means. She is a very bright young lady, but she is not being taught the basic U.S. History.
Linda, I would share that my original career goal was to teach history and by the time I turned in a different direction I was well aware of the tripe which children are fed these days called 'history'. The focus seems to start at the Civil War, grossly oversimplified to emphasize it as all about slavery (which as anyone who is both knowledeable and honest knows, the war would never have happened without tariffs which were very punitive to the south, making the southern states function as mercantilist colonies rather than equal states) and work it to serve as a buttress for leftist themes, particularly imposing modern leftist thought as a yardstick on the culture of a different century. Same deal with the Indian wars (not that I condone all that was done, but again accounting for the fact that people are a product of their times).
If I had to speculate regarding the reason for signally failing to teach the children about the run-up to the Revolutionary War, I would say that given the government's present method of operation, the last thing that a government school would want to do is give young people that revolting over such abuses is a viable idea. Same deal with the Declaration of Independence. It just wouldn't do to have the young people see that we fought a revolution over the same things that are being done to us today. Goodbye honest history/civics!
The salvation for my granddaughter is that my daughter graduated from university with a history major and she works with her to make sure she is getting the whole picture and the truth. You are right, they skipped through the Revolutionary War and got more into things at the period of the Civil War and yes, the whole emphais was slavery, so my daughter corrected that misconception.
And, soon, if not already, that part of our history will not be taught in our schools.