Education is the Key!

 

How can individuals/citizens begin the arduous task of better educating our children in our homes and schools, better educating our young people in our colleges and universities and do a better job of educating our citizens who are literally on a tread mill juggling the affairs of daily life? Most people these days are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to what used to be called doing their Civic Duty and their need to utilize what used to be free hours for extra work in order to maintain themselves and their families. What can individuals who are concerned and would like to see change begin doing during our daily routine that would have an impact upon our communities, our nation, and the world?

Education is a strange thing. It is not just putting together a few facts, learning the principles of mathematics equations or just simple math, stringing together a bit of his story and our story, something that often can’t be verified or understood but just taken for granted, dabbling in the sciences etc. The job of education takes the whole of an individual that is the purveyor of that education. It takes passion, compassion, empathy, sympathy, strong will, courage, and a complete selfless desire to become a catalyst for change. It takes removing oneself from the equation while at the same time being very much present at all times. It is as much about delivery as it is about actual content. It is being willing to be challenged, to remain vulnerable to criticism without taking offense, it is admitting when you are wrong and learning to be able to utilize the aforementioned emotions to prove your case when you believe you are right.

So how do we begin this effort? How do we educate our children using the lesson plan we have been given, a lesson plan that is biased in many ways, outright dishonest in many others, without measuring the content of that lesson plan? How do we avoid the obvious differences in the life experiences of  children? How do we educate adults using a formula that has worked for one group but obviously will not work for every group? Where do we educate these adults? When do we find an opportunity to educate these adults since most claim to and do have busy schedules? How do we remain honest during the dissemination of materials? How do we remove our prejudices from the equation?

Being a purveyor of education is not for the faint of heart. Every person that wishes to become an educator has to give more than they will ever receive from the person(s) they are trying to educate. Every parent is an educator, even parents who do not share the same domicile as that of their children. Every parent is the first educator of every child that has ever been born to that parent unless that child is taken from the parent or the parent is taken from the child during birth. We generally don’t think of this, or at least many people I know don’t think of themselves as educators. Parents lay the foundation for what is soon to become the support the child needs to build his/her formal education upon. So with that said, wouldn’t it be wise to educate the parents before during and after the formal public or private school education of their children? One of my goals in life has been to try to do this on a small scale volunteering with parents and children through the various school systems in my community, now that I am retired from actually doing this full time as a profession. My feeling is that a child is forever the child of his/her parents, no matter how old he/she gets, and that the job of a parent as educator is never done. We as parents go from educating our children to the job of helping to educate our grandchildren or at least that is in my opinion the way it should be. We should all be lifelong learners, so education is a give and take process. As we grow older and hopefully wiser, we become the educator and the student. We not only teach our children and grandchildren, we also learn from them.

Having said all of the aforementioned, I believe we begin to get some idea as to what an arduous task we have before us. How can we begin to educate each other beginning here on this site? How can we begin taking up the challenge of letting our defenses down? How can we begin letting go of some of the bad education we have received first from our parents and later through public or private school education and interaction with other individuals and groups. How can we sift through the information we have stored somewhere in the back of our brains, that information that only comes forward from time to time when we need to draw from past experience…  What if that information is incorrect? What if the information we have been utilizing, keeping safe for one occasion or another is in reality incorrect information? How do we correct information we have relied upon our entire lives? How do we learn to let go of this bad information and begin to replace it with better information? This is what we are going to have to do in order to be able to make a difference in this world. We, I believe, have to begin with ourselves.

How do we do this? We have to get to know each other; we have to begin discussing the experiences that lead us to believe the way we do. Sooner rather than later we will begin to notice when someone is operating from a knee jerk reaction utilizing some of the less than accurate education that remains somewhere in the back of their mind, maybe even in their subconscious. We will be able to confront that person with fact regarding the issue. Changing/replacing bad information with accurate scientifically proven information is the key to education. In this world, on this planet, at this time, we have a huge job before us, a challenge we must undertake if we ever intend to begin to bring change.

This is an arduous task we have before us if we plan to try to come up with solutions to the problem of so much misinformation that has been disseminated by those who would control the populace in order to increase his/her wealth, those that would divide and conquer etc. The problem of greed and division caused by some in order to maintain their position in life is one of the major problems societies throughout the world will have to recognize and deal with before we can make this world a better place. It has to start somewhere, let it be here, let it be now, let it be us, the members of PlanetPOV, let’s take up the challenge.

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ausmthRSGmusicMurphTheSurf3SearingTruthmonicaangela Recent comment authors
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ausmth
Member
ausmth

Very well written! You eloquently expressed my feelings from 34 years in the classroom. I agree that NCLB changed the way education was done. My last year of teaching I turned in my retirement resignation in September. After that I didn’t do any of the NCLB garbage. I taught! My kids and I had class! It was pure teaching as I had imagined it when I started teaching. I would like to share your essay with some of my other teacher friends and some of my former students who are now teachers if you don’t mind.

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RSGmusic
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RSGmusic

HI MA , very nice article a 10 again.

Yes education never stops but there are goals to set and achieve.
Employers look for degrees and artist look for people to respond to their work.
One thing education needs to stress is to think slightly out of box. Apply what is taught as quote basics to new ideas and products that will help every day life.

How this happens in music is to understand the structure of musical keys,scales, intervals, single notes and chord construction. The rhythm tracks are the basics of the creation. You have sections called the theme, the chorus, the Return chorus, and the change and the jam out or solo’s. Each of these things can lead back to the theme or any one of the things listed in the last sentence. TO break into the popular hit sections, compositions are usually short and have vocal sections. TO be semi artistic you may keep it simple so much more of the audience relates to the song. To be artistic and vanguard you use the complexity by joining vocals and hooks a small run that enhances the vocals. lead sections or solo’s some know as the jam to produce a stereo representation of different idea’s and fuse them to the rhythm. These compositions are longer and are layered for a wall of sound coming at the listener. Orchestra are like this and opera. Extended rock, jazz, blues and perhaps country fused at times create the groups like YES, ELP, genesis, Styx, King crimson, Tangerine dream etc , etc, etc,

In playing the sections you can look at the fret board, keyboard and see the structure that you intend to play. Also you can close your eyes and rely on muscle memory to produce your melodies. Again you can hear the music bubble in ranges below and above you and find your path in between these ranges.

In other things in education you can see end but most endure the beginning and the middle.

long life!!

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MurphTheSurf3
Editor

What an interesting exploration of “education” in its global sense. I read it twice….you describe an ecology of learning that is quantitative and qualitative….impressive and impressing.

Parent, child, teachers, neighbors, friends, family all involved in the process of learning

Educate, as I suspect you know, comes from the Latin “educere” – to lead out- Out of what…the common symbol for education was the lamp of learning…thus to lead out of darkness.

Surely this is our hope for each other…

I have a number of teachers who were my students who still communicate with me and their tales of woe in regard to their schools, their student and their families is heart rending.

The growing emphasis on teacher meeting goal objectives as measured by rote testing, of form filling and endless meetings, of accepting abysmally low standards for students from lower middle and lower socio economic strata as the best that can be done coupled with an absence of curiosity about the wider world and far too little engagement with the world of ideas has been a disaster for education as the leading out of darkness into light.

Indeed, one of my former students, now in her mid 40’s and a very well liked and respected teacher whose high demands are in keeping with her challenge to students that they measure up their own hopes and dreams for themselves told me last week that she feels like school boards are turning off the lights for so many and that the goal is to create a large class of the “unknowing” because they are so easily controlled – so easily manipulated.

I sent her a copy of your vision statement. Thanks for it.

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SearingTruth
Member

Well spoken gentle friend monicaangela.

I believe the answer to all of your observations is equality.
ST

“The answer to Americas problems are simply solved. Provide free and equal education for all.

From preschool to the highest levels of knowledge.”
SearingTruth

A Future of the Brave

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Nirek
Member

ST, why not do just that and take the money out of the military budget to do it?

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SearingTruth
Member

I like the way you think gentle friend Nirek. I agree.
ST

“If we were to need money for war it would be given.”
SearingTruth

A Future of the Brave

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Beatlex
Member
Beatlex

Good post Monica.However,to even to begin to do that in a meaningful way,America first has to tackle the problem of inequality.The playing field has to be even. I don’t like to be pessimistic,but I don’t see that happening soon with the country politically split.
Then their are the demented corporations who really are running things.
How does America change that?

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KillgoreTrout
Member

Whoa! I can tell you put a lot of thought into this article Monica. It’s a great subject and you ask some important questions. You’ve covered a pretty broad range considering education, from educating our children, to educating other adults, in general, and educating one another here on the Planet.

I’ll take the easy aspect first, and that is your question about educating each other, right here on the Planet.

For me, my experiences here have contributed greatly to furthering my own knowledge. Several members here (including you) are pretty good researchers and have, and still do, provide wonderful links that we can use to learn more about the world we live in and what goes on daily in this world.

I have learned a good deal about more than just current events and global relations between countries. Learning about the lives of other members adds a great perspective on the trials and tribulations that other people in this world go through. I think the Planet is a great place for a layperson’s understanding of the humanities in general. To me, the Planet has always been a place of learning.

As for educating our children, I believe there are a few distinct requirements, for them to learn, putting aside for a moment, the matter of our ability to teach them.

I believe that interest and an honest desire to learn are essential. If the interest isn’t there, it’s likely that the desire will be absent also. There has to be some sort of relationship to their lives and what they are being taught. The basics, of course, the three cornerstones are reading, writing and basic math. Obviously this should be undertaken at a very early age, and it has been for decades and decades. Without such a basic foundation, anything beyond these has little chance of being understood. OK, so much for stating the obvious.

Parents, assuming they are around and not consumed by serious personal problems of their own, must do everything they can to encourage a child’s desire to learn. I don’t believe parents need to have university degrees to accomplish this. Encouragement is a huge thing in getting a child to take an interest in learning. Parents should also take an active role, by participating with their children, in basic education. Playing number games, reading to them and with them. Spark their interest in different things.

This sounds all so simple though, doesn’t it? Many children do come from loving, nurturing home environments, but sadly, many do not. Far too many children are born to people who really aren’t capable of providing such a place. Money troubles, marital problems, absentee spouses, alcoholism, hard core drug use….etc. All or any of these things lead to an uphill battle in trying to properly educate our children.

Then there are the schools themselves, some good, too many not so good. Teaching children test questions and answers, in order to show those that fund the schools that kids are learning is a terrible thing. When taught the questions and answers, they are not being taught much at all. There is no training in problem solving, critical thinking, artistic appreciation….etc. No fun.

Now, as a far as we adults go, there are many things we have learned that we should unlearn. Selfishness, inflated egos, always thinking we have to be #1 (a very American thought) constant desire for crap we don’t need, jealousy, and on and on.

Far too many people simply emote, without thinking. I believe there is a pretty solid wall between our emotions and our intellects. People who give in to strong emotions such as anger, fear, hatred, jealousy and the like, stop using their intellects, even though they may be very intelligent people. We have all been guilty of this, probably more times than any of us would care to admit.

I don’t think it’s ever “too late,” to learn, nor do I believe the old saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” But the willingness to learn is essential. Without the willingness and desire, not much learning will ever take place.

Whoa! I guess I’ve rambled on quite a while now. I hope I didn’t get too pedantic throughout all this. Thanks for the article Monica. It should provide plenty of food for thought.

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Kalima
Admin

A few months after launching The Planet we were taking about the importance of education, and I remember saying that if every child had access to a good education, and a computer to grow their knowledge of the world and it’s people around them, there would be a greater understanding of our differences and similarities that could lead to less conflict and eventually even peace among nations. There is no such thing as a bad country, there are only bad leaders. We need to understand the difference, and that the majority of people around the world, are good people. It’s ignorance and the fear that ignorance brings that leads to unnecessary aggression and wars. The more we know about the world and the people who populate it, the less likely we are to want to harm them or kill them.

Children are our future, we need to give them every opportunity to learn, and in turn do what is right and just.

The greedy will always be there to steal from us, but there are more of us than there are of them.

Together we stand. Divided we fall.

Happy Labour Day weekend, monicaangela, and thank you for your post.

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Nirek
Member

Monica, sorry I was rushed when I responded before. Had to cut my answer short.
We need to make greed a bad thing again. Remember that GREED is one of the deadly sins. Corporations, many of them anyway, seem to think that greed is a good thing. They’re wrong of course. The point is we need to educate Americans about the evils of greed. Corporate greed especially.

So I agree that education is key in making the changes to the country. Change the attitude of people, change the economy so that nobody is left in the poor house. Math and science are very valuable for people to know and understand.

Monica, thanks for the article. You are correct.

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Nirek
Member

Absolutely Monica, let us here at the Planet start the re-education of people. Science is the key. Facts are the basis for science. I’m all for science.

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