Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Problem of Education

When one discovers something for themselves -- and teaches it to others, that action and language is very powerful.

When one merely learns to repeat the jargon one is taught as though they really knew something, only a roomful of people with that same “education”, reporters, and lawmakers may be “impressed,” because they too think that what is impressive to others -- is to speak as much as possible without meaning anything -- which of course, is not critical thinking, or thinking of any kind but only putting each other to sleep in exasperation.

Unfortunately, that’s what contemporary education has become -- this learning and teaching of education jargon and explanations that don’t mean or amount to anything that can be measured or demonstrated. It is just enough to claim they know something that the rest do not.

And so in creating the education degree and curriculum, to learn this, they have contrived a shortage of (qualified) people who really do know something -- and could teach it, if all this phoniness was not propagated in its stead.

That kind of b.s. is unlimited -- while as you may know, the “basics” are just the basics that everyone could learn quite quickly and easily -- if that was clearly their focus and they were not forced through all the mental gymnastics -- one hopes to forget as soon as possible from those with nothing else to do in life but impress us with how “knowledgeable” and “worthy” they are.

So this huge money-draining industry of “education” has replaced the simplicity and most basic instinct of learning -- as though that is impossible to do except for the existence of such professionals. Because of the pervasive of information and newness, exposure and learning is pretty nearly impossible -- unlike the days of the pioneering frontier days when the school room and newspaper were the only contact with the larger world. But such institutions have not evolved to remain relevant -- but are instead insisting that the rest of society cannot go ahead beyond them.

This is the very manifestation of dysfunction -- the dependency of one on another. The great fulfillment of every society is the liberation of every individual from this dependency on others. But now the institutions that were created to promote this freedom, cannot let go of their own codependency, and are insisting that they are needed more than ever before. That just “does not compute” with today’s realities -- in which only minimal supervision is now required for individuals to direct their own learning, according interests, at their own pace.

Of course the most frustrating and futile undertaking in today’s world, would be trying to keep a group from the diversity of lifestyles, aptitudes and exposures, in lockstep adherence to the singular political correctness one has received directives from imagined superiors who know these things better than each is capable of determining for themselves. That is the whole purpose of real education.

4 Comments:

At May 21, 2007 5:44 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

I think it would be more accurate to state that an education degree and curriculum doesn’t make superior teachers -- but marginally qualified ones, and what is needed, are the superior teachers who are worth all the rest combined.

A teacher who is not a great master of their field, is not going to command the respect accorded to those who actually work with and create the knowledge. The meaning of “teacher” in traditional cultures, is “master, ” and not just somebody pretending to know, which is what the education curriculum is about -- how to seem professional and credible.

And if they can’t, they have to be promoted to some administrative position -- because they are entirely ineffective in the classroom, so that the students sense this inadequacy and taunt them mercilessly. So they learn more jargon -- to fool those that can be fooled and are so easily impressed, because they cannot tell the difference.

That’s what all that jargon is all about -- to intimidate and exclude everybody else from the discussion. But when we look at it very simply and earnestly, we recognize that learning is the natural inclination and reason for being of all humans in every society, and we really have to pervert it grotesquely, for people not to want to learn -- which the “education profession,” has apparently managed to do.

Yes, it would be a wonderful ploy to get paid $100,000 a year to invite everybody else in the community to volunteer to do their jobs for them -- but one would think, that the reason we pay these people in the first place, is not so that they tell us they cannot do the job, and that it is impossible to do the job, but they’ll need more money next year, and the year after, for the same old story and results.

 
At May 22, 2007 11:40 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Learning is a simple thing if all that is taught is the basic skills -- to learn and think for oneself. But this is no longer possible in "modern" education, because it is necessary to create an artificial need for more education, more teachers and higher pay for teachers. That's when things get complicated.

Otherwise, learning has always been the basic function for all humans -- and for all life forms for that matter. Because of this learning, behavior is not random -- although the methodology for the study of behavior insists it must be.

Because of "learning," every subsequent behavior is less random than the previous. In the study of exercise, every repetition is not identical to the previous -- but there is this bias to improve, and the natural objective of learning -- and not simply to repeat oneself, as the objective in itself.

That manner of learning (conditioning) was quickly seen as useless, to those with a personal drive to improve -- and not simply go through the motions uncomplainingly, day after endless day.

But for many people, including many "teachers," how much learning had changed, was never any objective of theirs. They were in it just for the money -- hiding among those who had such purposes, of which they were quickly disabused.

Subsequently, all discussions about education, became almost exclusively about the money. And their "leaders" in these discussions, cynically mock, "Is there anything else?"

 
At April 23, 2008 9:19 AM, Blogger M and M said...

mike--It is hard not to judge someone as undereducated and perhaps naive when their English is so bad.

 
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