( To view other Pages and Posts please click on 3 horizontal lines
in top right corner. )
The American classroom is mainly about words, language, and the academic subjects. Is something missing here! What about the arts, culture, music, dance and movement? What about the mysteries of human non-verbal communications, our natural instincts? What about learning more respect for those who may differ, or come from another country? Why don’t we teach empathy and the Golden Rule and how to understand and respect the other one? We live in a technologically complex world while we gradually lose our human qualities. What is the proper balance for the K-12 classroom?
Our great universities are also transforming our world into one of mere numbers, data, statistics, words, and surveys. It is not filling the needs of students. It is not creating a better outcome for adults. It favors the brightest students. It favors the Status-quo controlled by the elite. It maintains Survival of the Fittest. This country has no secure future for the vast majority of its citizens. Our America is losing its human environment. It is now a country of Winners and Losers, and America is not kind to losers. We are like a house of cards, and the deck is stacked against us.
We need to teach the subjects that people will need as young adults. These include communication skills, friend and relationship skills, family life, character building, personal finance, logic and reason, self-awareness, critical thinking, and skepticism. We need to learn how to sort out truth from lies. We can discard hype and distortion from advertisers and politicians.
These are the subjects which will hold the attention of most students compared to some boring math or academic subjects. Students cram down the boring stuff to pass tests and there it ends. Such a waste. Knowledge of interesting subjects will be retained longer also. The boring subjects can be picked up later when the student shows a real interest in them. That can happen at any advanced age.
Almost all of the important history learned between grades 5 and 12 ,we could probably find on Wikipedia and understand within a few weeks now. And pretty much any basic scientific knowledge we could ever want to learn is explained with videos on YouTube. Currently we have the most uncertain job market since the 1930s. Technology is developing so rapidly that robots will be doing half the work in another decade. Jobs will become scarcer yet. College degrees will become less valuable for securing a good job. Technological changes are too fast for teaching to keep pace.
Yet we’re still pushing kids through the same curriculum their grandparents went through. You don’t believe that? Well here is what President Truman said about the schools of the 1890s. ( from An Oral Biography of President Harry S. Truman by Merle Miller).
“The thing I found out was that there was damn little information in most schoolbooks that was worth a damn. … And you had to find out for yourself that no two smart men ever agree on anything. Never. No two historians ever agree on what happened, and the damn thing is they both think they’re telling the truth.”
Walt Disney serves as another example of needed teaching reforms. His 3rd grade teacher complained that Walt’s attention wandered in class and his reading of classroom assignments was perfunctory, yet at the public library he read all of Mark Twain and Horatio Alger and many other famous authors of his times. He also was not served well by the school system.
We can safely say that the most important things you learn in life you don’t learn in school. We are left to figure out the important things on our own as an adult. Many adults come up short learning these valued lessons. They become our future voters; woefully under informed.
Schools need funding for a greater variety of subjects and students need to participate in their choices. Five useful subjects (from Mark Manson) which schools should teach are listed below.
1. PERSONAL FINANCE
Teach about credit cards, interest rates, credit ratings, retirement accounts, and why you should start saving like $100 per week when you GET YOUR FIRST JOB because by the time you’re 50 you’ll be likely become wealthy through the magic of compound interest. But now you are poor instead because nobody ever taught you this. Financial illiteracy is actually a really big problem in America.
Communicating your feelings without blaming or judging the other; how to recognize manipulative behavior and to cut it off; personal boundaries and how to handle them; honest discussions about sexuality and how it may relate to love; consent and how the experiences of men and women differ.
3. LOGIC AND REASONING
In school we’re rarely taught how to actually think or solve real problems. Instead, we’re taught how to copy and memorize things — and then promptly forget them after the test. This system poorly prepares us for sorting through the complexities of adult life.
Self-awareness is about getting in touch with your feelings; To think about how you think; To have feelings about your feelings; To have opinions about your opinions.
WHO AM I , … REALLY?
A high degree of self-awareness has been found in research to benefit just about everything. People who develop meta-cognition skills are better planners, more disciplined, more focused, more attuned to their emotions, better decision-makers, and better able to foresee potential problems ahead.
Self-awareness is possibly the most important trait in making a relationship work.
Why is most everything we believe likely wrong to some degree? Why are our memories so unreliable? Why are mathematics and physics subject to uncertainty. Why are we such poor judges of both what made us happy/unhappy in the past and what will make us happy/unhappy in the future. Why are the most important events in history always so unpredictable?
What are we to think about commercial advertisements? Do they ever tell the truth? Do they always exaggerate the value of their products? What are we to believe anymore? Who can we trust? … The answers may be “Compared to what? … Or, Compared to whom? …
Children need to know how to ask for another viewpoint. Get a second opinion and never fall for a one-sided statement. Be skeptical, ask questions, and think things through on your own. Look for the ulterior motive of the sales person.
ENCOURAGE CHILDREN TO ASK MORE QUESTIONS!
We are rarely taught in school how to actually think or to solve real problems . We need to learn skills in critical thinking. Instead, we’re taught how to copy and memorize things, and then we promptly forget them after the test. No wonder we are often so ill prepared for the complexities of adult life.
The spiritual life is important to some, but not to all. Some may benefit from the practice of meditation or tai chi. Each healthy soul can follow his or her own special life-path.
GOALS: ADULTS WITH EMOTIONAL MATURITY
Infants have emotional needs to be satisfied as they go through the many stages towards adulthood. Too often they stumble and get lost, scared, and scarred along the way. This need not be. A modern and progressive education program starting with the parents before birth, and with early stimulus of the growing infant in the formative months and years, is essential to optimize brain development. By second or third grades the child can gain skills in self-awareness and sorting out logic and reasoning from fears and fantasies. The child will be better guided by rational thinking while on the path of adulthood and High Emotional Intelligence. That is the goal. A better world will follow.
TEACH the NEW CULTURE
First, it is important to let go of the old American culture. It is too crude and aggressive for modern living. At our Nation’s founding, the world population was less than one billion people and is now approaching eight billion people. To maintain peace and harmony on our planet of limited size, it is essential to let go of the past cultural values and embrace a New Culture with some of these sustaining qualities. … Teach them to first-graders.
- Respect and empathy for all of our brothers and sisters.
- Each person contributes to the whole according to training and ability.
- Group participation skills and group cooperation.
- Communication skills with respect and civility.
- Rejection of materialism, greed, and violence.
- Dishonor will follow lying, cheating and stealing.
- Universal brotherhood will produce abundance for all in the modern age of robots.
Children will learn these new norms and usher in the Twenty First Century of sustainable harmony for all.
THE CENTURY OF HUMAN VALUES
We need to include the importance of Voting.