If STEM curriculum is replacing social studies–the way that writing and reading have taken priority over music, art, and library studies–which direction are we heading? We do still want our children to be literate, don’t we?
But if we thirst for technology and yearn to have our students embrace it, why are elementary school technology classes fizzling out. Why are school districts outsourcing their IT departments and requiring the general education teachers to substitute the basics with software? This replaces the human element of teaching? The teachers who still have contact with their students can’t help but convey their value for traditional instruction. Students are staging sit-ins to save the library. That doesn’t happen at online schools.
The focus is on math and science so that we can compete with China. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) are the priority in education, while risking other fundamental studies. Pulling resources and emphasis from one subject area to allow time and mastery of another area has it’s consequences. We’ve omitted a student’s interest in lieu of what is needed to make this nation “great again.”
Meanwhile, China has dumped their way of life by embracing capitalism. The communist demand for churning out students who could excel has evolved into embracing a capitalist culture (akin to classic-American culture) that can adapt, produce, and outsell any other nation in the world. The population explosion that resulted in stringent reproductive regulation, stripping families of their professional choices, squashing comfortable accommodations ended with communism. Freedom has conquered fascism in Asian lands (for the most part) while other regions of the world continue to fight over property rights and religious dogma.
And our nation waves its flag of democracy! Freedom has always reigned here–well as long as you don’t spend too much time reading pre-1865 history OR post-WWI jargon…OR scoot quickly through the other controversial wars of the twentieth century…OR that dreaded Civil Rights movement… Don’t worry excessively about the impending presidential race that will certainly cast our nation back into a moral war of freedom, religion, and eventual dispute over eastern European/pseudo-Asian territories. Heck, it’s nearly 2016! We are right on track to mimic the past 150 years.
And the rest of the world is taking notes, sculpting their socio-economic manifestos, and capitalizing on Americas downfall.
When that happens, what will our position be? When we have become the least producing, most dependent, and less viable nation, will our lust for wealth diminish? Will our greed subside? Or will we steal another nation’s riches? Will we (again) bomb another country and defend it as righteousness??
EDUCATION PLAYS A ROLE
So as the education system evolves (or devolves) based on the foreseeable socio-economic needs. We need high school and college graduates to be able to gain sustainable jobs, earn a livable wage, and contribute to a increased gross national product. If we can’t effectively do that, we need to start training them to be soldiers right? After all, it’s not so bad nowadays with drones doing most of our grunt work. We can maximize civilian casualties while minimizing our soldiers of fortune.
If education were truly our goal as a democratic nation, we’d be focusing on raising more critical thinkers. We’d generate thinkers who would certainly challenge the merits of our Constitution, legal and justice systems, and policies forthwith. We’d rewrite the history books to reflect a true account of what brought out nation to it’s height and conversely dropped it to it’s knees. Instead we are cultivating a nation of fear, albeit though righteousness and entitlement. It’s that division that will destroy us though.
We are gambling!
And if it’s not fear of losing our rights that propels us, it’s fear of poverty that motivates us. Becoming akin to a third world nation is simply unacceptable.
We’re using investment portfolios and profit futures! But the economists that give us financial advice have already moved their own money to undisclosed locations.
The politicians who promise education reform have already enrolled their kids into private institutions.
The private industry (that wants to display its altruism) invests its profits into high-stakes testing and charter schools with inconclusive results. Meanwhile, they write off their losses and get a tax break when it doesn’t work out.
What we AREN’T doing is looking at where we’ve been successful. The wars we’ve won…
How do we replicate success? Looking to other nations and distant cultures is helpful too, but our young nation has evolved in ways that couldn’t be mirrored by other dynasties. Our nation is rich with analysts, researchers, and academics. Our production value is on par with our customer service ethics though.
However, we do have a lust for entertainment, information, and luxury. Can’t our want for the finer things motivate us in ways to learn more than battle? Well if we were educated (properly) we’d have an answer. But are we looking for an answer or are we seeking a solution?
There’s a distinct difference.