Sorry I'm falling behind in my quest. Maybe I'll finish this April challenge some time in May.
Please excuse me while I step up on my soapbox.
Education, or the frequent lack thereof, is one of my major pet peeves. Uneducated education can come in several forms: home schooling, religious schools, private (often elitist) schools, and substandard public schools.
My problem with home schooling is twofold. First, I honestly don't believe there are many people out there who are truly qualified to teach a child everything he needs to know. As a reasonably well educated person, with an associates in Computer Science and a BA in English, I would never presume to believe I could teach a child, for example, higher math. Yes, I had quite a bit of math in college, but that doesn't make me an expert. And as for the sciences, forget about it. I am a “literary” type of person and, although I know enough about most of the sciences to appreciate them and (hopefully) discuss them intelligently, I could never answer the more in-depth questions that could arise – nor would I have adequate access to other educators who would have the needed information. Second is my distrust of home schooling. Almost everyone I have known who home schooled their children has done so in an attempt to control the information they receive, whether that is ideological, social, racial, or any other “al” you can think of. I've heard people who home schooled their children say they don't want them exposed to “unacceptable” ideas like evolution, other religions, racial equality, etc....
Next on my list is religious schools. For the most part, religious schools exist for the sole purpose of indoctrinating their students in the guise of education. In many of these schools, science is considered evil unless it can be presented in a way that promotes the religion of the founders of the school. I dare you to find a Southern Baptist school that teaches evolution instead of creationism – or a Catholic school either, for that matter.
On down the list of non-educational education is the elitist private school. In some of these, the children are so insulated against other “classes” that they have no idea what real life is. In their world everyone has a vacation home and a trust fund. This can be as bad as, if not worse than, religious or racial separatism. By virtue of their elevated financial status they may well be some of the leaders of our future, which does not bode well for lessening the gap between the haves and have nots.
Last, but not least, on my list is inadequate public schools. While there are quite a few magnet or charter schools out there that provide an excellent education, there are also many schools that are hanging on by the skin of their teeth, educationally speaking. If a child lives in an area with inadequate schools and his parents aren't motivated or, in many cases, able to personally transport their child to a better school, that child is cheated. On top of that, we have all heard about the push by certain groups to eschew teaching evolution in favor of creationism. Personally, I don't think that creationism has a possibility, at least equal to evolutionism rather than a sole fact-based concept.
I have one last point to make. Isn't our job as parents, grandparents and/or educators to teach children to think instead of just telling them what to think?
Think about it, then encourage them to think for themselves.
OK. I'm off my soapbox now,