Hephaestus's Blog

The Problem in Education
December 18, 2014, 17:49
Filed under: Uncategorized

If you pay attention to the news media, you probably are aware of the commonly held viewpoint that our education system is always failing our students in some way or another. Many explanations seem to be offered for this, ranging from bad teachers to bad material to laziness to lack of money, and as many solutions are offered as there are said to be problems. However, I believe that all of this is at its core (Common Core?) doomed to fail, because it fails to take into account one crucial factor: With the right methods, you can make someone do anything they don’t want to, but by no reasonable means can you make someone think something they don’t want to. No student who is convinced math is boring will decide he or she likes it simply because he or she is told to.

At this point, I am reminded of an Isaac Asimov story, where one character says to another:

” It won’t do to say to a man, ‘You can create. Do so.’ It is much safer to wait for a man to say, ‘I can create, and will do so whether you wish it or not.'”

This, I believe, is an observation quite similar to my own.

I believe that something close to this concept has been hit upon by the makers of so-called “educational” games and toys. They know that children will resist learning if it shows their face to them, so they bundle it up in a “fun” package and sneak it to them like carrots in carrot cake.

In closing: the reason homeschooling, if looked at from outside, seems to turn out such profuse artists and geniuses is that it allows an individual to decide he/she wants to learn, to do things, and then to do those things to the best of his/her ability. The fatal flaw of factory education is that it attempts to force-feed learning into people, and fails every time.


1 Comment so far
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Well said Eli. Since public education isn’t going away anytime soon, do you have any ideas for the system to help fix the problem?

Comment by Charli Nauda

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