Thursday, April 12, 2012

E is for Ed-U-Ka-Shun– April 2012 Blogging from A to Z Challenge

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,


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. As you said, my blog is my opinion as your comment is your opinion.

    I'm not saying that all home-schooled students are deprived, intellectually. Just like I didn't say that all private schools are bad or all public schools are bad. There are good and bad in every area. I do, however, know a number of people who have chosen to "home school" their children as a way of not allowing them to be properly educated so that they, the parents, felt somehow superior.

    I understand about some of the to-if-the-line homeschooling books, but some people don't seem to want to give their children the best possible. I also believe that socializing children with a wide variety of people makes them more tolerant, but that's a different topic.

    I have also personally met a student from the honors English program in a "good" public school system who, as a freshman in college, could not put together a sentence properly. Her first essay in Freshman Lit I was so abysmal that the teacher refused to grade it. It took two solid weeks of intensive tutoring before she was able to put a coherent thought on paper even though she was obviously an intelligent girl. I know this for a fact because I am the one who tutored her to get her up to college level. It was a grueling task, as she had always been told she was so much smarter than others that it was hard to get her to accept that she was less than perfect.

  3. This is exactly what I was talking about in blog yesterday, both sides to the story are never shown. I do agree there are some home school parents who home school for selfish reasons. Anyone who disagrees with home schooling automatically lumps them into that category. I do challenge you to look into actual statistics when it comes to testing. I think you might be surprised at how well most home school students do! As far as socialization, that is one of the weakest arguments against home schooling! I can personally vouch for that one. How many home school families do you know personally? I mean really know....not just what you have seen, but have an in depth knowledge about. Unless you have more than just a few examples of bad apples that you have witnessed from afar, then there isn't much room for judgment. Your post also leads one to believe that home schoolers are all religious, and home school in order to indoctrinate their children. This is also highly inaccurate! You are always promoting "thinking", and checking out facts before basing an opinion, so I would ask you to look further into these forms of education before you form an opinion, based only by the bad stories you've heard or seen.

  4. Plum....Why did you choose to delete your comment to me? Note that I haven't deleted any. Nor will I. I believe in honest discourse and reasonable disagreement when an accord is not reached.

    You rail at what you consider to be my misconceptions and lack of honest thought, but you have no idea of my experiences.

    Also, please note that I have followed your blog yet have never felt the need to rail at you when I did not agree, which is often, nor will I ever rail at you for speaking your mind. It is your right to speak your mind as it is my right to speak my mind.

    I was speaking, in my blog, of the general tendency to put education a second to money and/or indoctrination.

    You may think you know me, but you have no idea who I really am or why I am the way I am.

    I fully expect you to ready the torches and sharpen the pitchforks when you see a blog I have planned for the very near future.

    Love you. Cleta

    P.S. Note that I feel no need to hide behind a pseudonym.