Tuesday, January 18, 2011


         One would think that the country that put men on the moon,who has sent probes, to explore the wind blown plains of mars,and the far flung planets of the solar system,would have an educational system second to none.Well you would be wrong.Up until the mid-seventies we were number one in almost every area of education. Then slowly ,almost undetected, our schools and educational system began a decline that has only accelerated. To understand why this has occured we need to travel about fifty years in the past.
        This subject is very personal to me since I have been a teacher,math and history, a tutor I know what the problems are, how they came to be,and this one time only, just how to solve the problems in education, and in our schools.So bear with me for this will be,dare I say it, educational.
        From the 1940's to the mid-70's, this country produced some of the finest minds in,science,engineering, math, that the world has ever seen. In the late 1940's and into the 1950's this country not only rebuilt a world torn apart by war, but produced every type of comsumer goods that the mind of man could conceive.Then when the russians sent the first satellite circling the world in 1958 we turned our attention to space.In the short span of time,we landed a man on the moon in July of 1969.This was concrete proof that our schools and our educational system was the finest in the world.So what happened to send our educational system into such a tail spin.The answer is my generation.The generation of drug using,feel good,all about what makes us feel good generation.
       The generation that came of age in the 60's,was the receipient of the finest education in the world,thought that because we explored our innerselves,through drugs,meditation,had college degrees,that we discovered how to insure that our children would be free of perjudice,be infused with self esteem,and therefore be happy.The ways of our fathers,the work ethic,the belief that anything that was worthwhile was a goal to aspire to and through hard work attainable, were not what we believed.A new age was dawning, and we would be the ones to teach a new generation the way.Success,and failure, winning and losing no longer mattered.We took over the leadership of the educational system.The only thing that mattered was that the pupil felt good about thereselves.Grades meant that someone would be classified as a failure if they received a D or F. Unacceptable. In team sports or activities,the idea of winning or losing was replaced with just participating.Everyone received an award,no one was told they needed to try harder.It didn't matter if they couln't read or do the subject matter, for if they were held back to repeat a grade,they would have a bad self image,and that was not allowed.At least that is what we told ourselfs.It was not our teaching or the methods we use to teach,after all we knew that given time,our methods would be proven correct and superior.And so sure of what we were doing, we were blind to the utter failure of what we were trying to do.Educators,New Age baby doctors,and psychologists all preached and taught methods and systems that they were positive were superior in every respect.And thus,our schools and educational system began its slow slide to the bottom.
      Now if you think I am placing all the blame on my generation for the sorry state of affairs we find ourselves in, your right I am.First of all be true to ones self,and when you are you can see reality.Now the assumptions my generation relied on,has proven to be fallacious.The only good think is ,that the way to correct the problem is oblivious. Go back to the teaching methods that are proven to work. The way students were taught in the 1940's and 50's. Demand and settle for no less than the best each student is capable of.That sometimes you will win and some times you will lose.should be taught. That there is no true failure,is the lesson to be taught 'That if you fail in something its just a step closer to success. The wisdom of Thomas Edision should be drummed into the mind of every child. When asked how many times he failed  in his attempt to find a workable filament for the light blub, he replied, none, I have found out 2000 different ways that will not work. The road to success is paved not only with hard work, but also with failure.
     I apologize to the reader if this post is different then the others I have written, but this subject is close to my heart.And I wanted to make sure that the blame for our educational system was put on the true culprit., If we start teaching like we did  in the 40's and 50's we can turn thing around in less than a decade.Lets hope our educators wake up. Otherwise our country will soon be illiterate.Harsh, but true.Tell you local board, of education, show up to meetings,write them and let them know just how our children need to be taught.

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of education, Richie, there is a lot of great points you make here, but you can not only blame you generation.