Thoughts on the Western Education Model
I found this quote online and it made me laugh. You know what they should teach kids in school? Meditation. Self love. How the stock market works. Or maybe each kid should just get to choose what they’re interested in and STUDY THAT.
The current standardized American grade and high school models literally condition children to think that it’s NORMAL to do things they dislike and have no interest in all day long. It teaches them to suck it up and do what they’re told. How convenient that this setup then dumps them right into university and the corporate work force. “Suffer 9 hours a day till I’m 65? No problemo – I mastered the skill of grinning and bearing it back in elementary school.”
The traditional American education model conditions people to believe that “getting through” and “getting by” is what they can expect from life. Not to mention the one-size-fits-all learning prototype. We all need different types of diet and exercise, does it really make sense to think that we’d all learn the same way? We know that some people are auditory learners. Others are visual. Some are experiential. Others need extra time.
My take on this subject is a simple one: CHANGE. STAT. We need to stop telling our children to silence the little voice inside of them that feels oppressed. We need to teach young people to listen to themselves. BECAUSE LISTENING TO THEMSELVES IS WHERE AUTHENTICITY, ORIGINALITY AND INNOVATION COME FROM.
As adults, our job is to provide a nurturing structure within which our children can flourish. But that’s different than encouraging them to give themselves away, to discard their inner knowing. We are all familiar with that feeling of “there’s gotta be more than this” so many kids report feeling throughout the school day. And we also know that this sentiment isn’t really obstinance or disobedience on their part… It’s an existential piece of truth they’re tapping into.
I’m afraid to say that I believe they don’t teach self-awareness in our public schools because then we’d be a risk, we’d grow and be free. We could potentially find ourselves outside the range of authoritarian control. Knowledge and autonomy are dangerous to a structure that depends on our ignorance and complacency to thrive. Our independence and personal agency are but a necessary sacrifice to keep the machine up and running smoothly.