29 July 2005

When will they ever learn?

What would an effective educational system look like? What sort of curriculum would it teach, and what sort of person would be in demand as a teacher?

As far as curriculum, I was pleased to come across the works of John David Garcia, formerly of the Eugene, Oregon area. Here is a link to his curriculum for young children. I think you will be impressed at the possibilities. I was visiting friends in the US Pacific Northwest when I first discovered Garcia's writings, and was fortunate to visit with him before he died. He was a powerful personality and a wonderful teacher in spite of himself. For the truly curious, here is a link to John David Garcia's books that are online.

If you take the time to look over Garcia's curriculum, you will be struck by the same thing that struck me--very few instructors, even at the college level, are qualified to teach this curriculum for young children. Thinking back on my intellectual curiosity from my earliest memories, I am convinced that the curriculum would not have been too advanced, given a suitable instructor. That is the rub. A suitable instructor.

Factual knowledge is important for providing a grounding and point of reference for further discovery. Procedural knowledge, or learning to do things, is just as important if not more so. Knowing useful facts and being able to recognize patterns is crucial for a young mind. A sense of competence, though, comes more from being able to perform skill tasks well. Especially tasks that older folks might not expect the young one to be able to perform.

Children have an infinite capacity to surprise adults, but are too rarely allowed to exercise that capacity due to the stifling dumbing down of the typical upbringing of children. Moronic incompetency is the norm among teachers and professors. What do these fools know about real life, on average? What do these tenured clowns know about the real world? Almost nothing.

Children want to learn, they crave knowledge and skills. The adult world disappoints them with its banality, its lack of real challenge or excitement.

Who are the villains here? For the culture of security-craving and risk-averseness we can blame the trial attorneys and the lawsuit cabal. For the dumbing down of what should be an amazing intellectual journey, we can blame the "multicultural" and political correctness cliques, that try to force a "sameness" on all cultures and philosophies, while demonizing western culture--the most seminal and inclusive culture of them all. By trying to eliminate western culture from modern education these morons have made education impotent. Of course, the masculine metaphors describing the potency and power of western culture only make the badly sagging feminists all the more furious and determined to obliterate the traces of western culture from schools.

Today's posting has dwelled on more of the aspects of "living among morons" that I touched on last week. Next time I will try to be more positive.

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