This past sunday, I watched this video:
Now, I posted the whole video and it’s interesting and refreshing but I was struck by this section most:
I’m actually not concerned about where we rank in the world so the follow-up question was not a connection I worry about however, Professor Chomsky’s response is important. The education system in the United States is changing because the world is changing. Nationalism is a notion that is being clung to by the generations that were brought up with it being central to their survival but those generations are dying. The world is smaller now. Did the educations system that enabled the United States to become what it was have limitations that were unforeseen at the time that they were developed? If so, are we in that end time now?
I am a beginner in this whole arena. In fact, I’m a fan sitting on the sideline watching the people who get paid to face off against each other, battle it out. However, this isn’t something that I am comfortable with and I’m trying to find a way to walk out of the arena and move with those who’ve already seen the arena for what it is–a symbol of something that’s becoming less relevant by the day.
I have no interest in the politics that go on in the arena between the different factions of education, politics, and religion that seem to be doing their best to tell us what the best idea for our kids is when in reality, their ideas come down to what is the best idea that serves their own interest. They fight all the time, carrying the banner of “the kids can’t wait” but assign blame to one another as the main reason that the system is a mess. The system is a mess because that’s how it was going to end.
The United States and other aspiring nations worldwide, are not interested in educating their children any further than necessary to keep the status quo. The areas of thinking die if they are in areas that society doesn’t approve of. Philosophy is ridiculed and dismissed as unnecessary in this age of science and technology while social sciences and studies that emphasize interaction on anything less than an economic level are shrinking. We are told to be grateful for the lives we lead and not to question things too much–the statement “if you don’t like it here, you should move” comes to mind…as if there is no alternative to ignorance, stupidity, and brutality but to abandon hope and those that can’t see that hope yet. It hurts to hear that last phrase because watching people give up and accept that as a mantra, which is what they are doing when they express that, tells me that growth is no longer necessary and people are not worth the effort.
These notions are symptoms of a bigger problem, something that education itself is only part of an answer to. In fact, it’s not a direct answer but a conduit to building answers. This problem is multifaceted and will take serious consideration and work being done simultaneously by people who may not even know that they are working towards solving that bigger problem. I’m choosing education because I think that I can bring something to the table through teaching others to learn, teaching others that it is their responsibility to create environments around them that can enable and empower others to grow together. They aren’t going to be alone, no matter how much “worry about yourself first” that is pressed upon them. That world, although being clung to desperately by those it benefits, is dying out.
Then again, It seems to me that I’m writing the same thing over and over, so maybe it’s not dying out. Oh well, I’ll just listen to what Mr. Chomsky and others are saying and turn it over to those that want to learn.