Monday, January 21, 2008

Education's Turmoil

There is a problem with education in my country (the United States). The problem is that it doesn't happen. People in this country are very happy to take whatever someone tells them and believe it all day long without ever trying to find out if it is true.

I personally am still in high school, so I get to see first-hand the youth of today having a hard time thinking critically. I am in almost all AP (Advanced Placement, it's college-level work) and honors (higher than normal work, but not quite college-level) classes. However, I have a few classes with the "normal" students.

These classes involve "Business Law", "Engineer Drawing", and "Algebra II". In these three classes, I get to mingle with the normal-level students (as well as some upper-level students in some cases). Seeing these normal-level students in action astounds me almost every day.

These students are part of what I propose as being the 90% of the world that society will not allow to think. Onto this theory of mine: I believe that society as a whole will not allow more than 10% of its population actually know what the hell is going on. At least, not a normal society. Some places actually encourage free-thinking and critical thinking.

This 10% usually ends up being the lawyers and the judges and the CEO's and the other "leaders". Some of them go on to be bums with dreams (artists, musicians who are never "discovered", et al), but overall these people end up being the successful leaders of society.

The 10% generally, however, limits the rest of the society's ability to critically think. They do this for various reasons. One of the most obvious that leaps to mind is that they wish to retain the power that they have carved out for themselves. Those who have power are afraid to lose it the old Sith maxim goes.

The problem with this model for a democracy (or a republic) is that well over the majority (think 90% instead of the magic 51%) is not able to make an educated decision about who should be running the country.

The point I am trying to make is that in a republic like America, we should allow more critical thinking and more individually tailored classes to help educate the masses.

I know what it is like to be talking to somebody and make an allusion to something (a Greek myth or one of the founders of this country or anything like that) and have the person stare blankly at you, only to, a moment later, say "Huh?! You shouldn't use such big words with me."

Would increasing that 10% to 20% be such a bad thing?

Would further increasing it later to 50% (through gradual steps) be a bad thing?

I have never before heard of a society who fell into decadence because its members became too enlightened or too open-minded, have you?

Please leave comments of your own opinion. If you wish for me to talk about something in a future post, please be sure to email me at Please include the words "Tolerance and Peace" in the subject line, so that it is not kicked back by my SPAM filter. Thank you.

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