The education of our children rightly continues to be an issue of grave concern and heated debate. What we choose to teach and, crucially, not teach the next generation plays a role in how that generation will compare to the ones which have gone before – including our own.
It is therefore logical to want to improve the educational system. Whether this be done by learning from past mistakes, our own experiences as a student, or by accounting for advances in our understanding of the world we live in, it must be done. It must be done because if it is not one generation will follow the other, physically perpetuating the existence of man even while our cummulative knowledge base stagnates.
I see it even now, as my generation transitions from young to old, and our progress is measured with the garish light of retrospect, we have added very little of substance.
My theory is this: there are simply too many people. There are too many vices and too many voices who speak them. Even the brightest minds are hampered, already at a young age, by the lowest common denominator dynamic of our educational policies. So woried are we a child may fail that the margin for error is extended to such breadth that success loses its former significance just so all may pass. So fearful are we of upsetting the parents of the least gifted of children that we scuttle the status quo to inexcusable depths at the detriment of all the others. This does us, as a people, a tremendous disservice. It weakens us and slows our progress. It symbolizes our ironic inability to learn from the most common and time-honored mistake: pandering to the loudest voices as opposed to the more rarely heard wisest voices.
I do not deny the issue of education is complex nor that mending its many problems is extremely challenging. I am merely suggesting that perhaps we would be better able to solve them if we’d catered to the bright students with a higher standard of education thus paving the way for them to raise the bar, improving on the status quo, rather than simply perpetuating it.
The endless debate in politics regarding education is moot so long as we put more emphasis on defeating our opponents than teaching our children.