As we approach the beginning of another school year, it might be time to reflect, no, to think about what formal education has come to be in these United States
Why do so many young people feel so uninspired by school? Why do so many adults view their schooling, according to the very underrated education writer Richard Mitchell, as the wasteland of their youth? Don't they know how important it is to their success, towards their reaching their potential? After all, the schools are telling them how very serious a good education can be for them, and who better than a special interest to know how very special of an interest it holds in your well being?
Perhaps that is it. Perhaps the students realize that it is only important because it has been made important by the powers that be. Not to say that a certain amount of training, for that is really what it is, training, a preparation for the life to come in very basic and admittedly necessary ways, isn't good. But once we've learned to speak well and write well and do basic sums, what more is there which is not of a more specialized nature? Why must everybody try to learn everything?
Yet even that really doesn't hit the mark. It has more to do with the fact that our approach to education is all wrong, in its core philosophy. We don't try to teach: we propagandize. We teach politically correct views rather than ways to determine the good from the bad, the well said and done from the ill conceived and ill advised, or the worthwhile from that steaming pile of nonjudgmental judgment (yes, that is an oxymoron, but the school people attempt to practice it anyway) which passes for clear thinking in K-12 buildings across the land.
People by their nature want to know, as Aristotle said so non-politically correctly eons ago. Youth especially wants to know: it seeks order and direction, and the satisfaction which comes from a real and true understanding of things.
We know all we need to know about what's wrong with our schools when they have to sell the public on their worth. It means they have the same core values as the potions and elixirs of 19th Century hucksters had real medicinal effect. Which is to say, fleeting and useless once their wagon has pulled out of town.