Posts Tagged ‘Hannah Arendt’

Cookie Cutter Education: The New American Dream?

My partner brought this article to my attention. It was written by Chris Hedges at Why the United States Is Destroying Its Education System. The article talks about how our system of education continues to be dumbed down by corporate sponsored government interference to the point where test scores are more important than critical thinking and literacy.

Hedges points out that our current system of education encourages conformity through standardized education, and is systematically producing a generation of  worker bees who know little else than to serve the hive that is corporate America.

The article is dead on; our school systems are nothing more than diploma mills, churning out consumers and workers. Principals and superintendents have been reduced to CEOs, encouraging their teachers to reward those who have the ability to regurgitate the watered down lessons handed to them. Meanwhile, those students who dare to ask questions and think outside the box are labeled as special needs children, and medicated until they fall in line.

I’m currently working toward my BA in History: My goal one day is to become an educator. However, I will not waste my time, or my students’ time, conforming to some corporation’s ideals of what a proper education should be. Learning is about more than just taking tests; it’s about understanding what something means, and successfully applying that understanding to solve problems, or come up with new and creative ideas. It’s about expanding a student’s ability to critically think for his or her self. An education should expand one’s mind; it should encourage our young to have the confidence to ask questions, and form their own conclusions based on the answers they find. Our schools do not do this.

I often speak in my blog of how America is becoming a closed society; our standardized, underfunded and understaffed system of education is both a symptom of and a contributor to that closed society. If you don’t believe me look at some closed societies from our not so distant past. Both Nazi Germany and Communist Russia discouraged critical thinkers; individualists were punished by death or imprisonment, not rewarded. Their school age children were brainwashed to be loyal servants of their regimes. How is our system any different from those regimes anymore? I’m finding it more difficult by the day to discern any difference at all.