Thursday, January 28, 2016

What Trump and Sanders Indicates About Education

Donald Trump is the front runner in the national poles. He is leading the pack for the Republican nomination. It's interesting and it points to something in our education system. On the other side of the aisle, it's Hillary but Bernie Sanders is closing the gap. The Socialist candidate is popular with the young voters. It's a telling situation. Even the election of our current President says a lot about where we have come with public education. Don't see the connection? Let me explain.

The founding fathers of the United States sought to put in public education. The reason is simple, America is a Republic with elected officials, voted on by the people.  We also vote on laws and measures and bonds, etc. As citizens, we must make complicated decisions and to do so, we must be informed and educated. The system of public education exists to make informed citizens, capable of making decisions to run the country.

Early on, the education system stressed teachings ethics, civics and government. We taught students how to be part of a community. We stressed community and the people understood that the good of the many outweigh the needs of the few. We taught, lived and believed in working diligently, serving others and making good choices. We made hard choices, and we sacrificed for those choices. The entire country came together during WWI and WWII, we didn't protest and we didn't argue over petty issues while our young men were spilling their blood.

Today, we don't come together, we protest and cry "raciest, sexist, homophobe" and demand a safe space. We are not the same people, and part of the issue is our education system. We have begun to educate children for the sake of education. They are learning facts, but not how to think or make good decisions. They are coming out of school lacking the ability to think critically. They don't think about the community, they don't think about effects or long term realities. They have no concept of supply and demand, of trade off and the fact that everything has a cost or a consequence.

It's time we need to start teaching common sense and ethics and community again. We have focused too much on teaching kids to feel good about themselves and trying to build self esteem. The humanist movement has produced it's fruit and it's not good fruit. Maybe it's time to return to the roots of the founding fathers. We need to focus on making good citizen and less about making kids who feel good about themselves.

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