Local Schools Should Take a Worldly Approach to Education
by Daniel Smiechowski
In perhaps one of the greatest ironies of our time, the new information age has yet to unleash a torrent of personal desire in advocating for a broad sweep of worldly knowledge.
Fighting against the grain of human history is not for sissies. When hundreds of movie goers line up in the freezing rain to entertain themselves in the newest rendition of the Star Wars flick with most of these folks unlikely interested in current events, world history, geography and philosophy, we as a society have a problem. That is not to say some movie goers are disinterested in worldly events, but arguably most of these folks have no stomach for global issues.
Public education must promote critical thinking skills together with a mix of the humanities in order to better understand human behavior across the millennia and beyond. Local schools must foster historical comparisons to recent events in problem solving and opening young minds to new frontiers in the quest for knowledge. Epistemology is just a fancy word for the study of knowledge. It’s safe to say that with knowledge comes a certain degree of wisdom and we subsequently cure the ills of ignorance by seeking truth. The more things change, the more things stay the same may be an old French saying but in reality, human behavior has changed little during the past ten thousand years.
While the federal government cannot seem to make up its mind in the mandating of standardized testing, local schools should be given more autonomy in how they educate and test our children. Does anyone really believe that some bureaucrat inside the beltway knows best for your children? I have never been a big fan of rote learning and filling in some silly bubbles in order to be judged intellectually adequate through the lens of some testing committee. Some of the smartest folks I know have only a high school diploma. Public K-12 education still brings college graduates and post graduates into mainstream society. This is to be expected. Children and adults undergo natural change in acquiring knowledge and learning with the passage of time. But all of this learning should lead to the betterment of society with the recognition that we live in a simplistic culture without much grounding in intellectual curiosity.
By incorporating the humanities into K-12 education and stressing a worldly curriculum, many of our society’s problems can be mitigated and perhaps we can just plain get along better.
Be nice, do good deeds and don’t be stranger as we at the Clairemont Times value your participation.