“Don't let schooling interfere with your education.”
~ Mark Twain
In our society, at this time in our history, education is highly valued. This matches my own view of education…it is one of the things I value most in my life! Unfortunately, in our current society, we have come to, erroneously, equate education with schooling. A very dangerous practice!
It is my opinion, and that is important to keep in mind as you read this – it is my opinion, that our school system is set up to create easily controlled drones, who will suffer through their lives serving our society in any way that is dictated to them.
Okay…okay…I can hear you, “But Don, that’s a pretty harsh thing to say. It’s a pretty hard stand.” And you are correct. But I make no apologies for it.
What Schooling Does
Our schools, all formal education, is set up to “teach” us what those that have come before us have deemed worth knowing. What’s wrong with that, you ask? For one thing, when you teach something, you are saying, “This is how it is, no question about it.” And our students are expected to learn it…just like that…just like it was taught. So what we are saying, in essence, is “This is the absolute truth!” Bull Hooey!
There are no absolutes, especially when it comes to TRUTH. If this were so, then we would still know that the earth is the center of the universe. It would be an absolute truth. It once was taught as such, and since it is absolute, it cannot be changed.
Our school systems teach these absolutes, and they discourage the questioning of these truths. The students who question what is taught are punished, ostracized, and labeled as social deviants. Our school system deters, stifles, and discourages creativity and independent thought. After all, independent thinkers are dangerous. There is no way to control them. There is no way to make them like everyone else…and heaven forbid that everyone is not like everyone else. That would allow for variety and choice in our lives. It would allow people to take their own path. Who would want that? It would lead to total chaos…to anarchy!
What Schooling Should Do
Our education systems should provide the opportunity, resources, and situations – the environment – which will allow the students to discover and learn – to grow and develop – to move thought forward, rather than keep spouting that which has been known before. It should allow us to become individuals rather than clones. This is the only way that our society will move forward.
If we were to unleash the creativity that is within each of us by encouraging people to learn rather than being taught, we would surely find that the pace of change would increase. The development of the human experience would soar so far and so quickly that we would have a zest for life that has been missing for a very long time. It would be exciting. We would be happier and more productive, and we would allow our perspective to expand to include that which we now view as impossible.
It is unfortunate that our society has learned to equate being taught with learning. The two are at opposite ends of the spectrum. But you needn’t settle for it. You can change. Question what you are “taught.” Question everything. Approach all aspects of your life with a curiosity that will deliver a much more rewarding experience that the dull, monotonous life we are so carefully trained into by our schools.
I encourage you to value your education…but don’t fool yourself that an education can be gained through the study of what others have done. A true education can only come from experience and drawing your own conclusions. There are no absolute truths.
Does my perspective bother you? Does your opinion differ? I certainly had a lot of opposing viewpoints come through when I played with this on my personal Facebook account. I was very surprised at the reaction, but in hindsight, since these people have been trained into their perspective, I should not have been surprised by their concern about my independent thought challenging what they have been taught.
Let us know what you think. Leave a comment and read what others have to say.