We Need More Education Not Less
Over and over and over again we’re being asked by one person in power or another whether Americans need to attend college in the 21st century.
Even as intellectuals, scholars, experts, researchers, and creative problem solvers are struggling to be taken seriously by a largely uneducated public, we’re being told that education is a waste of time and money.
Even as fewer and fewer people choose to learn a second language while they also read less and less in their own language, we’re asked this question. As Americans struggle to write a complete sentence or differentiate between fact, fiction, disinformation, and propaganda, education is being pooh poohed. Even when we are no longer able to identify a charlatan, snake oil salesman, or influencer in a crowd, knowledge is being presented as a waste of time.
What is wrong with us? Maybe the hatred of education is a cultural thing.
I can’t help but think about how hard the great Christian GOD worked to keep his creation ignorant. After all, out of all the fruit-bearing trees in the Garden of Eden, the only one Adam and Eve were prohibited to eat from was ….
You got it! The Tree of Knowledge.
Which makes me wonder if ignorance isn’t a Christian value so deeply engrained in Americans that we’ll never overcome this cultural bias.
As our knowledge base increases, however, so does our responsibility.
Maybe some Americans are trying to avoid that pitfall. After all, if we can claim ignorance then our abhorrent neglect and disgusting behaviors might not be our fault.
You can’t know what you don’t know. So let’s keep it that way.
Or maybe this cultivated disdain for knowledge is a result of well-developed propaganda. Keep the peasants stupid and they’ll vote against their own best interests.
Maybe we don’t understand that everything about our modern lives of convenience has to do with a growing knowledge base.
We can thank scientists and researchers that we no longer blame epileptic seizures on demon possession but rather on a physical disorder that may some day even be cured.
Are we really willing to entrust all information and collective knowledge to AI?
Are we that lazy and ignorant? That’s not a futuristic goal any longer. AI is already the keeper of our accumulated knowledge. Soon AI will be making decisions for us.
And maybe robots should be making the decisions since humans are too lazy to think for themselves.
The fact of the matter is, we live in a much more complicated era and rather than less education, we need more. I suggest that everyone needs to be lifelong learners in order to survive in our swiftly changing world. We probably should be mandated to enroll in at least one course a year where we exercise our grey cells lest they atrophy. Most people need to be forced to learn a new skill or read material that they’d never read if left up to their mindless devices.
Once a person graduates from their last place of formal education, be it high school or college, most rarely learn any new skills again.
Shocking, isn’t it? Unless their employment mandates taking a class or the government insists upon training in order to maintain a license of some sort, most choose to stagnate. Very few people choose to learn to play an instrument or master a second language or even learn a new manual skill like carpentry once they complete any level of formal education.
Sit down and turn on the TV is our answer to almost everything.
I’ll not be left behind and neither will my family. That’s a conscious choice I made as I attempted to lead a very deliberate and well-informed life. You and yours can remain ignorant if you choose, but you’ll soon be left behind in this technologically advanced age. Pretty soon, you’ll feel like a neanderthal and it’ll be too late. You’ll never catch up. And, you’ll feel like someone cheated you out of something, but you won’t know exactly who or what, so you’ll blame immigrants or universal health care or any other politicized target designed to distract you from thinking.
I see more and more neanderthals every day.
Anyone who tells you that college is a waste of time is working to insure that a class system remains intact whether they realize it or not. The very fact that we discourage education is a sign that we’re not very well educated and our critical thinking skills may have never been activated.
Making the price of higher education unaffordable is just another way to slowly but surely facilitate the demise of our institutions of higher learning. We haven’t quite arrived at the point where we’re putting professors and teachers in prison, but we’re working on it. Florida is proudly leading the way with legislation that prohibits teachers from doing their jobs.
It’s moving swiftly! Regression is always faster and easier than progress. Hello, Dark Ages, here we come.
We need more doctors, scientists, researchers, professors, teachers, nurses, inventors, creative problem solvers than ever before. We need brilliant minds, curious individuals, analytical brains, deep thinkers, articulate communicators, committed lifelong learners, well informed voters, global problem solvers, and people who can bridge cultural divides and diverse world views.
Unfortunately, the current movement by fascist right wing Christian republicans and their candidates who will give them whatever they demand in exchange for a vote will end up degrading the modern life we now enjoy.
How do you produce future doctors, for example, if the Americans hate education. Import them from other countries? Hey, don’t we hate immigrants, too?
It’s a quandary that’s going to backfire even on the very people who have been duped into supporting the hate education rhetoric, hell, especially those people.
We need to think smarter and know more than ever before. This is not our parent’s world where nobody knew anything and life just happened. We DO know more than our parents and our children will need to know more than us if they want to compete in a quickly changing world.
Education is and always had been the gateway to EVERYTHING.
It must be stage center to any evolving society. If we’re to ever achieve a Star Trek world rather than return to the Dark Ages, we need more education not less. I THINK the Chinese get it. The Koreans, Fins, and Germans seem to get it. Why?
Because the competition is keener than ever.
Teresa Roberts is a retired educator, author, world traveler, and professional myth buster. You can find her books on Amazon.