Sunday, March 16, 2014

Why Educate?

Easy question; we educate to prepare for the job market, right?

That’s one perspective, of course, but perhaps not first in importance.  Among other things, education introduces knowledge that makes sense of the world and particularly, it moves ignorance and flawed thinking off the table.

A child’s ethics and worldview are initially shaped at home.  Education’s contribution, whether at home or in school, continues the process, filling in the details with language and literature, history and geography, science and math, philosophy and the arts.  Skills come along separately.  There are keyboard and computer, hammer and saw, scalpel and suture, and all the focused capabilities that enable us.

It’s the knowledge, though, that lays the foundation for understanding and perhaps for wisdom  for our children. As they’re equipped for the more demanding concerns of the marketplace and workplace, or the council chamber, then comes career.
In the longer term and far more important, education isn't about jobs and income -- it's about having an educated public. Before we know what jobs kids will need to do, we have to give them the basic skills that will serve them across the board -- reading well to acquire information; communicating effectively both orally and in writing; and importantly, enjoying the process of learning, whether it's for intellectual or vocational purposes, or just for enjoyment.

America's founders understood the importance of public education and allocated land and money for it before 1800. Alexis de Tocqueville observed how Americans believed their education, whether it came from school or hard work on their own, made them the equal of any fellow citizen, and America the equal of any foreign land.
Friends of ours in school in Kenya,
fine fellows all.

Life is more complicated now than in 1800, and every issue facing us has well-funded ideological champions trying to persuade/convince/snooker us into supporting their positions. From the Ukraine uprising to where we should look for our nation's enemies, from affordable healthcare to the budget deficit, smart and educated beats dumb and ignorant every time.
                Thanks, and a hat tip to Glen Lineberry, High School Teacher

It's a poignant picture;  for many,
resources and teachers, costs and
transport, all are more difficult.  For
their children though, education is
the key to the future.
Apart from our own children, many of us support education projects in other communities and elsewhere in the world.  Our hope is that education will help them do well with health and skills and employment, of course. More than that, we hope and pray they’ll grow in wisdom as well, because like us, they need an educated citizenry, a knowledgeable workforce, and wise governance at every level, none of which can be externally imposed.

Feel free to join in the fun.  Email me or go to www.TexasEx.Org

No comments: