Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Education, The Great Seawall

How many of you have ever seen a Sea Wall.  A sea wall is a large structure built in areas where larger waves are present and prevent waves from moving inland into the communities they protect.  Just as Sea Walls are barriers to prevent waves from sweeping away civilization, the same is true with Education.  Education serves as a great wall against waves of ignorance, confusion, and misinformation.

Education today is something that I personally care deeply about.  The reason I care about this is because I truly think that knowing about the world around you can be a mechanism that creates peace, understanding, tolerance and world stability.  So, it disturbs me that math and science have gotten all the attention when  really, it should be reading and comprehension that get the attention more than any other field and discipline.  Just some simple examples of why:

1) You cannot do math if you cannot read and understand instructions or situations.

2)  You can't describe your findings to others if you can't write in coherent sentences with some basic organization.

3)  I truly believe that the US falling behind in the world through education is in large part because our society doesn't focus enough on reading and comprehension skills.

4)  Reading and comprehension skills are also to blame, in part, for people being ignorant about issues.  If something is "too hard", no one wants to do it.  Its too hard to read a voter initiative because it's long and uses big words.

So, what should schools focus on instead?  They should focus on drilling and dogging students to read and understand what they read more.  They should focus on teaching reading techniques to empower students with skills that teach them how to retain information and take notes.  Furthermore, money needs to be invested into spotting and offering special services to students with ADHD, Bipolar disorder, and dyslexia...as well as other learning disabilities.  The current focus on math and science has sacrificed money that should be devoted elsewhere...and that "elsewhere" is the foundation to all other learning schools.  Without reading and comprehension skills...most people can't learn well at all, depending on their learning styles.

Reading is the foundation upon which all other learning schools and disciplines are built on.  If you don't take care of the foundation, then you end up with a broken, and wobbly building which may fall on it's face.  We should be devoting our education dollars to reading, comprehension, and most importantly civics.  It is astonishing to me how few people truly understand even a basic functioning of the government.  Teaching people about how government works is pivotal to preventing usurpers from taking over the government and spoon-feeding the public interpretations of law that is and isn't legal.

Education is the best defense against the possibility of powerful people manipulating us as a nation.  Education gives us opportunities for self-improvement, self-enrichment, and self-discovery.  Education equips us with the knowledge to challenge people's assertions, and finally...education gives us the means to grow and understand the world around us.

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