The Folly of Education

hat is the matter with education? ... starts with ... the refusal of those involved in it to accept and acknowledge its real purposes and the order of importance of those purposes. Let us then proceed to enumerate.

  • To diseminate knowledge
  • To inculcate a desire to learn
  • To indoctrinate
  • To warehouse
  • There are probably a few others (like teacher acquisition of a sense of fulfilment, to punish children for the deficiencies of their elders, to feed them lunch, physical development, to steal money via kickbacks, to create make-work jobs, to keep the schoolbook industry going, etc.) , but the former covers 95% of it.

    In a totalitarian state ...

    The order becomes :

  • To indoctrinate - 80%
  • To diseminate knowledge - 15%
  • To warehouse - 5%
  • To inculcate a desire to learn - 0% (they kill it)
  • They want you to be obedient to der fuhrer, so indoctrination is foremost. You must know something to be of use to der fuhrer ... and you need to be kept in school while your parents serve der fuhrer ... but they don't want you to learn what der fuhrer is actually up to.

    In a culture of plastic, cooky-cutter philosophy ... Our culture

    The order becomes :

  • To warehouse - 40%
  • To diseminate knowledge - 30%
  • To indoctrinate - 20%
  • To inculcate a desire to learn - 10%
  • The order and percentages vary widely depending on where and when you are, but you get the point ... there are definite reasons for the existence of the educational system which are not subjects on the formal school board agenda.

    No one will entertain the idea that teachers are -today- merely glorified baby sitters. Yet that is what they do ... unacknowledged. What a student should be told first and foremost is "TRUTH" ... and that foremost truth of schooling is that he is there because his parents have to work and he's in the way.

    "You are here to be warehoused and exercized and entertained and indoctrinated and ... hmmm ... maybe we can teach you to read ... just a bit."
    If a kid is told the bare truth, he will adapt much better to an irrational situation ... but to tell the truth is to acknowledge it. This is too ego-deflating for most teachers who believe that they are preparing the next generation to take civilization to the next level. Actually, the TV is doing that.

    Going to school is mostly just what the children say it is ... a waste of time. They ought to be out playing (or working!) ... doing something constructive.

    By my own experience

    What did I learn in school ... ???

    My fifth grade teacher made me write the times tables 57 times (equal to each unauthorized piece of paper in my math book). Consequently, I learned to multiply better than the others ... by rote ... a discredited but thoroughly efficient means (when applied to the right subject).

    Other than that, I believe I learned nothing beyond reading and writing.

    So, my experience says "Drill in reading, writing and arithmetic and forget the rest". In fact, I see no reason to keep any kid in school past 5th grade without his consent. But then ... what do the parents do with him while they're at work? I mean, who can afford to hire a baby sitter every day? ... "Yah! Let's teach 'em some more stuff!"

    And ... it so happens that the time needed to teach a child enough to get by on is exactly the same time necessary for parents to work each week to pay the bills. Wow! What a coincidence ... just like the moon covering the sun just right to make an eclipse!

    In a culture of rational philosophy ...

    The order becomes :

  • To inculcate a desire to learn - 50%
  • To diseminate knowledge - 50%
  • To indoctrinate - 0%
  • To warehouse - 0%
  • After the child has been grilled in the three R's, he is asked if he would like to continue to learn ... or ... go play all day. Most will choose to stay on ... because it's a free choice and they know that they must get more education to have a better life.

    If they horse around in class, they just get kicked out "... just until you mature Johnny".

    Imagine what school would be like if each kid was there by his own choice and could leave at will. What an atmosphere to learn in!

    Now, as everyone knows (excluding most teachers perhaps) is that if you can somehow get the kid to WANT TO LEARN ... the battle is won. Nothing more is required of the teacher or school. The kid will find a way.

    However, it would be of assistance to him if the materials were made readily available ... and ... if someone who could explain the sticking points were readily available. You see then what relationship the school has to the student in a rational culture ... it provides a place, some stuff (books, laboratory,etc.) and a HELP desk. Nothing more is needed. They don't need a "director" to tell them what to do ... they can follow their nose. Everyone learns and everyone turns out different.

    Yes, if they're gonna' acidentally blow up the place with their chemistry experiment someone will stop them.
    Two or three hours per day (or more if they want) should be sufficient to educate anyone. Most learning is non-academic anyway.

    I leave you to ponder this question:

    Assuming a person has learned to read, rite and rithmetize ... do you really think that that person needs to put in a 40 hour "learning week" to become a functioning citizen?

    As I have explained elsewhere ... to maintain this civilization requires actually about 5 hours work per week per person ... the rest is pure waste.


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