Why does our Education Establishment hate Knowledge??
Does knowledge cause cancer, schizophrenia, or suicide? Is it the sort of thing you wish on enemies?
Does knowledge make people less human, and more likely to fail at work and marriage? Does knowledge drive you mad, and to raving at the moon?
Is knowledge our existential enemy? Do some people suffer lethal doses of knowledge? Should the thought of acquiring knowledge keep us awake at night?
In short, is knowledge a bad thing?
We know for sure that our Education Establishment hates knowledge. Hates it, hates it, hates it. Whenever possible, these people drive it out of the schools as if it were nuclear waste. Why?
Hostility to knowledge is perhaps the defining theme of American public education, and the trickiest to explain. But we need to try.
It’s nothing but startling to see the biggest educators of the 20th century attacking knowledge with cold-hearted aggression. Here’s John Dewey, often said to be the father of American education: “I believe that we violate the child’s nature…by introducing the child too abruptly to a number of special studies, of reading, writing, geography, etc., out of relation to his social life. I believe, therefore, that the true centre of correlation of the school subjects is not science, nor literature, nor history, nor geography, but the child’s own social activities.” (My Pedagogic Creed, 1897)
Two of the biggest names (Thorndike and Gates) announced in a 1929 textbook for teachers: ”Artificial exercises, like drills on phonetics, multiplication tables, and formal writing movements are used to a wasteful degree. Subjects such as arithmetic, language and history include content that is intrinsically of little value.”
In 1951, a principal named Lauchner summed up this odd orthodoxy: “Through the years we built a sort of halo around reading, writing, and arithmetic. We said they were for everybody… The 3R’s for all children, and all children for The 3 R’s! That was it. We’ve made some progress in getting rid of that slogan but every now and then some mother with a Phi Beta Kappa award or some employer who has hired a girl who can’t spell stirs up a fuss about the schools and ground is lost… When we come to the realization that not every child has to read, figure, write and spell… and that many of them either cannot or will not master these chores… then we shall be on the road to improving the junior high curriculum.”
The tone is bitchy. Their minds are closed. Knowledge is poison. Where does this bizarre conviction come from? Most people using common sense will not see a threat in knowledge. But the elite educators surely did.
The very reason, historically, for building schools was suddenly a bad idea. And with this logic, they could begin to unbuild (i.e., dumb down) the traditional school. If you hate knowledge, you will necessarily hate any method or curriculum that instills knowledge. That’s the pattern we see throughout the 20th century.
What exactly is this thing they hate so much? Suppose I talk to you about the Danube, and you know it is a river in Germany and Hungary, are you worse off?
If someone says a plane is flying at 20,000 feet, and you think, that’s almost four miles, are you diminished?
You’re told to buy a gallon of milk but there are only pint containers, so you buy eight. A tragedy?
Let’s say you work on an assembly line, is your job more difficult because you know the capital of Idaho? Suppose you drive a tractor, plowing fields all day, is that work made more onerous if you can quote a speech from Shakespeare?
Suppose you’re listening to the radio and hear a report that E. coli is in lettuce near the city where you happen to be traveling. Are you worse off for knowing what this thing is?
Knowledge is just stuff you know. A rock knows zero stuff. A human being invariably knows lots of stuff. Why is the rock better off?
Our Education Establishment, rigid and full of contempt, disdains knowledge the way a Puritan disdains sin. But what, at the end of the day, is our Education Establishment hoping to achieve? Here’s a more recent expression (circa 1995) of their thinking:
“The authors of Everyday Mathematics do not believe it is worth students’ time and effort to fully develop highly efficient paper-and-pencil algorithms for all possible whole number, fraction, and decimal division problems. Mastery of the intricacies of such algorithms is a huge endeavor, one that experience tells us is doomed to failure for many students. It is simply counter-productive to invest many hours of precious class time on such algorithms. The mathematical payoff is not worth the costs, particularly because quotients can be found quickly and accurately with a calculator.”
That’s candid. It’s clear that at the end of the day these quacks want less math. They are talking about long division, something that hundreds of millions of people have learned to do quite easily. But this, we are told, is mission impossible. Let’s not even try.
What will schools do with all that empty time? Our so-called educators created make-believe work that goes on all day and all week. The students learn little. Worse than that, they end up confused and hostile to math and basic skills.
Demonize. Discard. Dilute what’s left. That’s the formula for dumbing down the public schools; and in order to get away with it they have to tell us that knowledge is unnecessary and probably evil. Not worth a student’s time!
What motivates these prophets of dumb? John Dewey and virtually all the top people in education for the last hundred years have been Socialists, Marxists, Communists, of some variety. Ultimately, they wanted to transform society. They surely didn’t want people finding their own answers and thinking their own thoughts. It’s simpler if children are limited and circumscribed, docile and dependent, ignorant and illiterate.
If you are not a socialist, just pretend for a minute that you are. Then you’ll know with total clarity that the only way you could ever gain control of this society is to make everybody dumber and more passive.
This vicious project becomes easier if you simply declare that knowledge may be appropriate for aristocrats but now, in this democratic age, it’s an obsolete concept. Facts are not something that children have time to bother with in their busy school day. Just consider the tone of those “authors” in Everyday Math, as they write off as impossible what millions and millions of children can do (i.e., arithmetic).
When this crusade against knowledge was first concocted, Henry Ford et al needed millions of workers to do fairly simple jobs. Perhaps one might conclude that only a limited education was required. But as the 20th century moved along, everything got more complicated. Already by World War II, it was clear that our public schools were not making the young people literate enough to serve in the armed forces — 1 million had to be rejected.
In the second half of the century, information and machines kept getting more elaborate. In came computers. Now we are living in The Age of Complexity . But the Education Establishment, long fossilized, made no adjustment in its thinking. Their one goal was social engineering. That was their vision, the Kool-Aid that ran through their veins. They were more and more at odds with this new age.
So the failure and pain they inflicted on individual children became greater and greater. Now, in 2012, almost 1/3 of all children drop out of school. Another third is hardly educated at all. Why doesn’t this offend everyone?
source : http://www.edarticle.com/