Ever notice how ninety percent of the people you meet on a daily basis are fucking morons? It’s kind of a no-brainer to assume most of society will be functionally retarded if your entire educational system is broken, designed to produce perfect citizens, instead of developing a love of learning and fostering intellectual growth in a youngster.
America, you want your kids to stop growing up stupid? Here’s your solution:
1. Stop letting idiots teach your kids.
This one’s pretty friggin’ obvious, America. You can’t stick your kids in a classroom for eight hours a day with someone who spent eight hours a day in the same broken system and expect results. Now, the optimist might hope that those future educators pick up the knowledge they didn’t gain in high school during their stay in college, but unfortunately, young teachers are usually education majors in their larval stages.
Have you ever taken a look at the curriculum in most education departments? How about spending a little less time teaching people how to teach, and a little more time teaching them what the fuck they’re talking about. Call me crazy, but I suspect the English teacher who spent her four years in college writing big-ass papers and reading big-ass books will probably know a hell of a lot more about teaching kids to read and write than the English education major who took as many hours in courses like Educational Psychology as in actual English classes.
2. If your test is a Scantron, you didn’t learn anything.
I’m not against standards, or accountability, or any of the other buzz words educators use to defend federally mandated tests. I’m just against the whole idea of a multiple-choice, Scantron-type test. Yes, it makes for easy grading for a teacher. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t show that your students learned a damn thing.
The ability to memorize facts and formulas is only half of education. The other half is your ability to put all those pieces together and formulate actual ideas of your own. Otherwise, your ‘education’ is useless. Essays, short answer questions – hell, even oral exams – demonstrate a hell of a lot better whether or not a child has actually learned anything in school.
Accountability tests are a good thing. Multiple choice tests are not. And speaking of accountability…
3. Teachers are students too.
And I don’t mean this in the hippie “a teacher always learns from his students” way. Yeah, no shit, a teacher always learns something from his students. More importantly, a teacher should still be learning from friggin’ books and classes.
If students have to take constant federally-mandated tests, then teachers damn sure should. Fields advance, conversations progress, and society evolves. Why should our teachers be a relic?
You ever wonder why your college professors were a hell of a lot more intelligent than the majority of your elementary and high school teachers? Well, more schoolin’ helps, but the other reason is because your college professors are supposed to continue educating themselves throughout their career. Most university teachers won’t acquire or maintain a job at a good school if they don’t continue to research, write, and advance their knowledge of the field. Why do we not expect the same out of teachers at lower levels? It’s bogus. Don’t just replace the old ass books in shitty schools, replace the old ass teachers, or expect them to keep up with the field.
Should we even have to explain this to our school boards, our education departments, and our government leaders? These solutions are common sense. Will this solve all the education woes of America? Of course not, but it’s a start. Next week, I’ve got a few more suggestions in the area of education: more dialogue, shorter school days, and the dreaded removal of sports from school.