I think we all agree the problem in America extends far beyond police violence. The protesters are calling for a systemic cultural change. I agree such a goal is needed, but despair at what concrete changes (not a bunch of platitudes) should be implemented. I have a couple of ideas and would be interested in what thoughts others may have.
1. We hear all the time that education is the answer. That sounds good, but provides no real solution given the current educational model. Students, especially those from high stress environments, just aren't interest nor do they see the value in much of the curriculum they have to sit through. Frankly, neither do I. I can recall endless hours learning how to use logarithms, puzzling over secants and cosecants, memorizing the progression of English royalty, and tons of other stuff irrelevant to my life then or now. Teach the kids stuff they need to know and they will thirst for more knowledge. How to get rich and money management (the real cost of a credit card, the power of compound interest on savings, investment techniques, how to get a loan, etc.) come to mind. Throw in some entrepreneurial skills (selling stuff on ebay, setting up a co-op, etc.) Real sex education (although most probably resistant due to religious bias) should be taught at an early age. History, real history, that humanizes historical figures and not a mishmash of dates. And so on and so on.
2. Television and movies are powerful media to influence cultural change. Happily there are more and more minorities represented, but they often appear as stereotypes or white people with black skin. I suspect the black women idealized on our television screens are packaged to meet white tastes and not what most black men find attractive. I'd like to see that changed and more Queen Latifahs and Oprahs in our living rooms.
3. I've just reread this and realize it's way too long. I'll stop now and hopefully others will add their input.
- Posts: 18000
- Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
- Location: Thailand
- Has thanked: 1 time
- Been thanked: 957 times
In my opinion one of the worst things ever to happen to education was textbooks. Who came up with textbooks in the first place? And who writes them? I always found most of them useless, boring, irrelevant, and by the time you get to the college level often difficult or impossible to understand. Someone handing out a textbook and saying read pages 136 to 147 and answer the questions on page 148 - that's not teaching.
I still remember the title of the textbook from my freshman chemistry class. "Introduction to Semi Micro Qualitative Analysis". Not only did I not (and still don't) understand the title of the book, but it was even worse trying to understand anything that was in it. Do I need to reveal just how well I did in chemistry class?
I do think some subjects that may seem irrelevant at the time, take on relevance later. But none of my teachers ever explained why we needed to learn some of these things. To this day I still have no idea why in high school I had to spend a semester learning geometric proofs. I've never needed that for anything in my life. Some say those kinds of things teach you how to think. All it ever taught me was figuring out how to copy off of Sally Hartman's test answers without getting caught.
It would have been much more relevant if they taught about how to use the stock market. I've never invested in the stock market for one simple reason - I never knew what to do or how to do it. To this day I understand almost nothing about the stock market.
If education is the answer, or at least part of the answer, the USA's dysfunctional education system needs major change. And the first thing they can do is get rid of Betsy DeVos and replace her with someone actually competent.