Welcome to today’s Monday Muse! Sorry this is almost late. I’ve been enjoying a great conversation on Twitter about the necessity of a good education.
I won’t be going into details–they’re not mine to share–but I want to share with you the crux of our discussion:
- Public education in this nation is a shambles.
- This is in large part due to the reining in of teachers’ creativity and individual approach to teaching, very often brought about as a result of budgetary crises.
- These crises are brought about by the fact that we, as a society, have decided that an education–that learning–is not only unnecessary, but untrustworthy (in that people who are educated are not to be trusted). As such, the point of schooling has become the rigid conformity of students to a particular behavioral ideal.
- It will not be fixed until funding is not contingent upon tests scores but allocated entirely due to need. We need to decide that the education of future Americans is worth money from our pockets, AND that the money needs to go to students instead of administration.
- An education is necessary to a strong population who won’t fall for propaganda. A population of people with knowledge, critical thinking skills, etc. is a population that cannot be manipulated.
- Higher education is not what we’re talking about, though no one should begrudge someone who wants to go to university PURELY to learn. A higher education, and education in general, should not be seen merely as a means to an end, but as the end itself.
- Being educated doesn’t necessarily require a formal education beyond the basics. You do not have to go to a university to be educated. You do, however, need to read–and read voraciously.
- As such, never trust people who don’t read.
- Also… pants are optional. (That was after we started talking about homeschooling, mind. Pants are not optional in public. Pants=trousers, for anyone reading who learned the Queen’s English.)
- And go ahead and punch Nazis.
That was the outline of our conversation. We have since decided to figure out a hashtag and discuss the means by which we can facilitate an education outside of the public education system, how we can improve the system, and the ways we can convince the non-readers in our lives how much they are suffering for their choice. The world is always brighter, less frightening, and easier to change when you educate yourself.
The intellectual elite is only worth fearing if you won’t bother to join us. We’re open to anyone willing to learn. And the goal is to make it so we’re no longer elite, just part of a grand tradition of intellectualism in America.