A Student Question: Is public education a lost cause?


I want to ask you if you see our primary public education system as a lost cause?  Do you feel like our government policies are enforcing rules to create drones rather than free thinkers?

Great question. I actually think that we do a pretty good job in elementary school, if that is what you mean by primary. If you mean the “main” or “typical” education system, I think that the job of a public education is more it’s implied education and less about the overt subjects that are taught.

For example, we teach English in the same 55 minute period in high school as we do for field hockey as we do for chemistry as we do for introduction to Spanish, right? So the subjects we are to be learning are implicitly contextualized to be of the same importance. Another way of seeing it is that nothing is important if all things are the same. We must want people to accept this method as “learning” even though most of the important things we learn are outside of school and don’t follow this pattern.

We must want drones. Free thinkers are a pain in the butt, frankly and the school system, as I see it, even though it claims to want “free thinkers” or “critical thinkers,” would be loathe to accommodate the thinking that would happen and the ideas that such thinking would bring with it. So we want to have students who are compliant and dissatisfied with themselves and waiting for an expert to show them the way. What great consumers that lot would make.   No, I think we have the system we have for a reason.


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