It's About The Kids, Stupid
Just a few (brilliant) thoughts on educating kids and what the future will look like.
The problems within our schools cannot all be blamed on the lack of discipline in schools. If a child comes to school already in need of discipline, it isn't the school that is responsible. If a child is not disciplined at home, there is no punishment the school can mete out that will be meaningful. If education is not valued at home, it will not be valued in the schools. Read Mamacita here, about that. Read Mamacita every day.
If education and appreciation for learning is an integral part of the educational experience, the committment to excellence is assured. In homes and communities where that is a part of tradition, excellence is assured.
Schools are not places where religion should be taught. Not because religion ios a bad thing, but rather, because religion is important and meaningful to people in different and personal ways. Insisting schools teach religion is like insisting schools teach and reinforce a particular political agenda. It is wrong and ought not be done.
In learning about religion, it bears remebering that sadly, nowadays, religion is preached, and not taught. Religion has become more about dogma, ritual and rules, all seemingly imposed. Religion should be taught in a way that emphasizes character, personal relevance and the commitment to living lives of inclusiveness, love and caring. Real faith is not determined by a veil, hijab or yarmulke. What goes in the head is far more important that what goes on the head.
Religion that is imposed is religion that is programmed, mindless and disconnected from the soul. While 90% of Americans feel some attachment to spirituality, less than 40% feel religion to be relevant.
To be clear, these ideas are equally applicable to secularists and secularism. Those beliefs, when imposed, are no more valid than the beliefs of those claiming faith in God.
In fact, while secularists like to point out that religion is the cause of all evil, in fact, just the opposite is true.
Religion, when practised as intended, is a force that unifies and does not divide. When religion is used as a justification for divisiveness and hate, that religion is being manipulated by those who worship evil more than they worship God. That is a kind of religion that has turned it's back on real spirituality in favor of ideology.
The same can be said for 'progressive' secularism. There have been untold millions of deaths atributed to 'progressive' ideologues, when in fact, real progressive ideologies are about bringing the universal family of man closer. When 'progressive' secularists abandon the principles of man's common good in favor of the common good that favors only the few select over the common good of others, that kind of secularism has given way to bigotry and hate.
Education is about a lot more than teaching facts, information and ideologies. Education is about empowering students to deal with life on their own and equipping students with the tools they need to find happiness and meaning. If teachers believe that indoctrinating students with political and social ideologies are more important than teaching kids how to live life, they will find their efforts have been for naught. The teachers that are remembered by students are ones that elevated their students to think for themselves. Teachers that indoctrinate children are quickly forgotten.
Education that demands conformity in thought and idea is a weak education, always fostering a dependency . Education that develops and encourages self expression and independence will ensure each child rises to the occasion, whatever that might be. Self actualization is only possible when students are free to find their own way.
Educating a child means igniting a passion in that child. Real passion is about exploration and possibilities. Indoctrinating young students to a particular ideology is not about exploration or possibilities. It is about manipulation- and manipulation is nothing more than stealing the future from a child.
Real passion is discovered, developed and experienced through trial and error. It cannot be imposed.
We need to discuss education, because our tomorrow depends on the conversation. There are some things that work well and there are somethings that need to be fixed- not just by an agendized few, but by all of us.
How we live our lives depends a great deal on how we are educated, not just with the ABC's and numbers, but in the environment and with the values and morals we are taught.
For the vast majority of us, our lives reflect the quality and kind of education we received.