One of the most effective moves made by those people who wish to control our society was to get themselves labeled as “experts.” However, having a lot of statistics or past observations in the data bank only makes someone a resource. There is no way for one human to be the expert authority on someone else’s life. Still, the supposed experts tell us everyday what choices we should be making about everything. Never mind the number of times these self-appointed experts have been wrong or just changed their minds…
To take control more firmly, these professed experts have created systems, then gained power to push the systems on us as legal requirements. Possibly, it occurred to them that we might discover that they are not truly experts. Their actions, if they want to keep their expert status, are logical. First, make it criminal to disagree. Next, find avenues to teach the populace who the experts are. From there, you can lead the people anywhere. Society ends up with unsuspecting people being taught that they, too, are experts, when they are really only chanting back what they’ve been taught. Meanwhile, those in power continue to be puppeteers.
That is how we got the currently predominant system of education. Education has been painstakingly defined for us so that 1) parents think they are incapable of teaching their own children, or 2) parents think there is no way a mere mortal outside of the system can successfully prepare their own children for adulthood. The government educational experts have taken advantage of common parental concerns, all while usurping the parent’s role in children’s lives. But education does NOT mean what they say it means. It also does not happen the way they say it happens.
None of this is to say that any particular teacher is good or bad. All of us who have passed through an institutional school setting have had a variety of teacher experiences. Some teachers were knowledgeable. Some were kind. Others were lazy, mean, or ridiculous. There is a cross-section of humanity in every job setting. The fact is, that even those who think they are bucking the system by using private schools or teaching their children at home are often, knowingly or unknowingly, operating according to what the dictatorial experts say. The children suffer from it and society as a whole is retarded by it.
There are three main educational goals that I can think of. I present them here with contrast:
- Don’t confuse training with uniformity. That might be good for the military, but I must point out that the military actually gives us an idea of what the government really thinks perfect education looks like.
- Don’t confuse learning with compartmentalized subjects. The more life is separated into sterile categories, the less meaning it has.
- Don’t confuse good character with outwardly imposed behaviors.
Real and enjoyable learning is inherently relational. When there is trust and depth of understanding, it is incredibly easier to pass on information, engage in discussion, or guide in areas of unique interest. I don’t say there is no work involved. There is certainly work in building relationship and in developing good habits. If the learning is adult to adult, it requires patience from both parties. For a parent to child scenario, the first steps are always to train the child in character and to foster respect. A student without proper attributes in these areas will be trouble as an adult, with or without learning to read. If anyone disagrees that it is the parents’ job to train their children in this regard, the State has won by default.
A student who has internalized basic self-control and care for others is ready to learn other things, provided that natural tendency to learn is not squelched. It is smothered in many ways with the institutional approach. Even where there is a one-to-one teacher-student ratio, the institutional mindset sucks the life out of the relationships and the learning experience.
We have been taught to think that the best ways of learning are frivolous and irresponsible. That’s sort of like saying healthy food doesn’t taste good. Well, maybe that’s not the best example, because the “experts” have converted people on that front, too. Okay, it’s like saying the test for something being worthwhile and effective is that it be tedious. If this is true, life is surely a dull affair!
Learning is much more happily achieved when:
- Creative materials are available.
- There are limits on less creative activity, such as TV. However, even with this, maybe your child is fascinated by the projectiles and explosions because of a love of what is called “physics.” It is the teacher’s job to see what interests the student and stimulate thinking!
- There is freedom from excessive (or any?) testing. Why do we test? If we are teaching well, we will have a very solid understanding of what the student has mastered. Sometimes it’s best to simply look at test taking as another skill that can be useful in some circumstances.
- There is license to explore and experiment without concern for scores. Each person’s work is their own. The marketplace (or the government screening processes) will test them soon enough, but home (or the learning environment) should be a place of security.
- There is a personal goal in the student’s mind, often including dreams of actually applying the knowledge in real life. There is no way everything can be learned, but it is also possible for things to be learned later in life, too. We are taught that we can’t, partly because those in control don’t want us to step outside their thinking. They also want to keep parents from thinking they can teach and learn at the same time.
- There is a lot of discussion. This will illuminate assumptions, biases, and preferences. It is much more likely that the discussions will dig deep when there is established, dependable relationship.
Did I mention a good relationship between student and…. parent? Yes, let’s just go ahead and say it. The parents of a given child have the highest potential for effectively preparing that child for adulthood. This includes guiding the child in being prepared for making a living. The more time a parent spends as the main teacher, the better. Independence as the child matures doesn’t need to be traumatic, because it will be a natural part of a good NON-INSTITUTIONAL relationship. In fact, the government insists on unnaturally reigning in the child’s maturity much longer than parents do. It’s laws about this put unnecessary strain on family dynamics.
Don’t let the propaganda mislead you. Don’t let the self-described experts rob you of the joy of educating your children. Like all responsibilities or achievements, there will be some sweat and tears, but education isn’t what they say it is. Go ahead and decide what it is for your children. Your children will thank you.