Monday, February 25, 2013

The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America

During the Reagan administration, US Department of Education Senior Policy Advisor was Camden, Maine school board director Charlotte Iserbyt. Iserbyt has long been an appreciated voice of opposition to outcome-based education and Skinnerian methodology. She recently compiled a mammoth, informative expose on the devolution of American education called “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America.” She explains how, “An alien collectivist (socialist) philosophy, much of which came from Europe, crashed onto the shores of our nation, bringing with it radical changes in economics, politics, and education, funded - surprisingly enough - by several wealthy American families and their tax-exempt foundations. The goal of these wealthy families and their foundations - a seamless non-competitive global system for commerce and trade - when stripped of flowery expressions of concern for minorities, the less fortunate, etc., represented the initial stage of what this author now refers to as the deliberate dumbing down of America. Seventy years later, the carefully laid plans to change America from a sovereign, constitutional republic with a free enterprise economic base to just one of many nations in an international socialist (collectivist) system (New World Order) are apparent. Only a dumbed down population, with no memory of America’s roots as a prideful nation, could be expected to willingly succumb to the global workforce training planned by the Carnegie Corporation and the John D. Rockefellers, I and II.” (7)

John Taylor Gatto, author of “The Underground History of American Education,” was New York “Teacher of the Year” for the 3rd time in 1991 when he quit his 30 year teaching career saying that he was “no longer willing to hurt children.” He wrote, "I feel ashamed that so many of us cannot imagine a better way to do things than locking children up all day in cells instead of letting them grow up knowing their families, mingling with the world, assuming real obligations, striving to be independent and self-reliant and free …I don’t mean to be inflammatory, but it’s as if government schooling made people dumber, not brighter; made families weaker, not stronger … The training field for these grotesque human qualities is the classroom. Schools train individuals to respond as a mass. Boys and girls are drilled in being bored, frightened, envious, emotionally needy, and generally incomplete. A successful mass production economy requires such a clientele. A small business, small farm economy like that of the Amish requires individual competence, thoughtfulness, compassion, and universal participation; our own requires a managed mass of leveled, spiritless, anxious, familyless, friendless, godless, and obedient people who believe the difference between Cheers and Seinfeld is a subject worth arguing about. An executive director of the National Education Association announced that his organization expected ‘to accomplish by education what dictators in Europe are seeking to do by compulsion and force.’ You can’t get much clearer than that. WWII drove the project underground, but hardly retarded its momentum. Following cessation of global hostilities, school became a major domestic battleground for the scientific rationalization of social affairs through compulsory indoctrination.”
It is very important for both governments and corporations that schools constantly churn out unquestioning, uninformed sheeple crushed of creativity and individuality, who are emotionally needy, respond in group-think patterns, and find their only reprieve in materialism/advertising. As Gerald Bracey, leading promoter of government schooling wrote in his 1991 annual report to business clients, “we must continue to produce an uneducated social class.” Lifetime Learning Systems, a new corporation helping advertisers infiltrate our schools, said to its clients, “School is the ideal time to influence attitudes, build long-term loyalties, introduce new products, test-market, promote sampling and trial usage – and above all – to generate immediate sales.” Suzanne Cornforth of Paschall and Associates public relations consultants was quoted in the New York Times on July 15th, 1998 saying, “Today’s corporate sponsors want to see their money used in ways to line up with business objectives …This is a young generation of corporate sponsors and they have discovered the advantages of building long-term relationships with educational institutions.”

“The secret of American schooling is that it doesn’t teach the way children learn, and it isn’t supposed to; school was engineered to serve a concealed command economy and a deliberately re-stratified social order. It wasn’t made for the benefit of kids and families as those individuals and institutions would define their own needs. School is the first impression children get of organized society; like most first impressions, it is the lasting one. Life according to school is dull and stupid, only consumption promises relief: Coke, Big Macs, fashion jeans, that’s where real meaning is found, that is the classroom’s lesson, however indirectly delivered … Advertising, public relations, and stronger forms of quasi-religious propaganda are so pervasive in our schools, even in ‘alternative’ schools, that independent judgment is suffocated in mass-produced secondary experiences and market-tested initiatives.” -John Taylor Gatto, “The Underground History of American Education

Scientifically subjecting young children to factory-style seating, standardized testing, and government textbooks bring “order out of chaos,” and make for manageable populations. Modern schools create uniformity, while suppressing skepticism and creativity. They over-develop competitive spirit while undermining compassion and curiosity. They promote cliques, gangs, small group mentalities, and “small-picture” thinkers. Grading and testing procedures hinder “big-picture” understanding of any subject and force students to focus on more simple, gradable aspects. True education and mastery of the subjects at hand are not encouraged or even feasible. Students are merely required to memorize trivial information like names, dates, places, events etc. just long enough to regurgitate for standardized multiple-choice tests. Then after examination, the trivial info stored in their short-term memory disappears along with their superficial understandings of each subject.

We are students of words; we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

“That erroneous assumption is to the effect that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence, and so make them fit to discharge the duties of citizenship in an enlightened and independent manner. Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all, it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else.” –H.L. Mencken

“A general state education is a mere contrivance for molding people to be exactly like one another; and as the mold in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government…it establishes a despotism over the mind” -John Stuart Mill, “On Liberty”

“The Brotherhood has also structured the ‘education’ system and the media to lock people in what I call the left brain prison. The left brain is the area which deals with the physical world view, ‘rational’ thought and all that can be seen, touched, heard and smelled. The right brain is our intuition and our connection with higher dimensions. This is where you find the artist and creativity, inspired by our uniqueness of thought and expression. The education system and its offshoots, like the media and science, are designed to speak to the left brain and to switch off right brain thinking. This is why spending on the arts in schools is being cut back all over the world and rigid, left brain programs imposed. ‘Education’ fills the left brain with information, much of which is untrue and inaccurate, and it demands that this is stored and then regurgitated on the exam paper. If you do this like a robot you pass. If, however, you filter the information through the right brain and say ‘Hey, this is piece of shit’, you won’t pass even though you will be telling the truth. Isn’t education just wonderful?” -David Icke, “The Biggest Secret” (481-2)

It has been demonstrated if you read the brain-waves of a typical American, left-brain neurons are constantly more active than right. And with the constant suppression of creativity and right-brained sympathies, we crank out a population of students who want to be musicians, actors, artists, painters, and poets, but are forced into the “real world” jobs of accounting, business, economics, advertising etc.

“What's the difference between a bright, inquisitive five-year-old, and a dull, stupid nineteen-year-old? Fourteen years of the British educational system.” –Bertrand Russell

“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” –Vladimir Lenin

”Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.”
–Joseph Stalin

“Schools have not necessarily much to do with education. They are mainly institutions of control, where basic habits must be inculcated in the young. Education is quite different and has little place in school.” –Winston Churchill

“A tax supported, compulsory educational system is the complete model of the totalitarian state.” –Isabel Paterson

Every day all over the world, millions of bright young minds are spending the best years of their lives being herded around by governments like cattle, responding to bells, whistles and other Pavlovian/Skinnerian conditioning.  Millions of children are locked into this program Monday to Friday from 9-5 performing boring/arduous tasks against their will because society has deemed it necessary.  Just like the workplace, only unquestioning compliance is rewarded and your only reprieves are snack breaks and lunch time, which are withheld from you like salivating dogs until the bell rings.  Meanwhile you anxiously sit in rigid rows all facing the big boss and the blackboard, focused on fantasy objectives, conditioned to view other students as competitors and hindrances.   

“By bells and other concentration-destroying technology, schools teach that nothing is worth finishing because some arbitrary power intervenes both periodically and aperiodically … Love of learning can’t survive this steady drill. Students are taught to work for little favors and ceremonial grades which correlate poorly with their actual ability. By addicting children to outside approval and nonsense rewards, schools make them indifferent to the real power and potential that inheres in self-discovery reveals. Schools alienate the winners as well as the losers … By stars, checks, smiles, frowns, prizes, honors, and disgraces, schools condition children to lifelong emotional dependency. It’s like training a dog. The reward/punishment cycle, known to animal trainers from antiquity, is the heart of a human psychology distilled in late nineteenth-century Leipzig and incorporated thoroughly into the scientific management revolution of the early twentieth century in America. Half a century later, by 1968, it had infected every school system in the United States … Each day, schools reinforce how absolute and arbitrary power really is by granting and denying access to fundamental needs for toilets, water, privacy, and movement. In this way, basic human rights which usually require only individual volition, are transformed into privileges not to be taken for granted … [school] teaches how hopeless it is to resist because you are always watched. There is no place to hide. Nor should you want to. Your avoidance behavior is actually a signal you should be watched even more closely than the others. Privacy is a thought crime. School sees to it that there is no private time, no private space, no minute uncommanded, no desk free from search, no bruise not inspected by medical policing or the counseling arm of thought patrols.”  -John Taylor Gatto, “The Underground History of American Education” (245-6)

"It seems to me that much of what we call education is really socialization. Consider what we do to our kids. Is it really a good idea to send your 6-year-old into a room full of 6-year-olds, and then, the next year, to put your 7-year-old in with 7-year-olds, and so on? A simple recursive argument suggests this exposes them to a real danger of all growing up with the minds of 6-year-olds. And, so far as I can see, that's exactly what happens. Our present culture may be largely shaped by this strange idea of isolating children's thought from adult thought. Perhaps the way our culture educates its children better explains why most of us come out as dumb as they do, than it explains how some of us come out as smart as they do.”  -Marvin Minsky

“There has never in the history of the civilized world been a cohort of kids that is so little affected by adult guidance and so attuned to a peer world. We have removed grown-up wisdom and allowed them to drift into a self-constructed, highly relativistic world of friendship and peers.”  –William Damon, Stanford University Center on Adolescence

“Don’t let a world of funny animals, dancing alphabet letters, pastel colors, and preachy music suffocate your little boy or girl’s consciousness at exactly the moment when big questions about the world beckon.  Funny animals were invented by social engineers; they knew something important about fantasy and social engineering that you should teach yourself.”  -John Taylor Gatto, “The Underground History of American Education” (298-9)

Does all this age-graded, childish “edutainment,” serve to make education more fun, or more trivial and superficial?  As cute as they may be, are Disney, Barney, Sesame Street and others what are best for our children?  Are textbooks with bright color pictures helpful or distracting?

“Men had better be without education than be educated by their rulers.”  –Thomas Hodgskin, 1823

“Take at hazard one hundred children of several educated generations and one hundred uneducated children of the people and compare them in anything you please; in strength, in agility, in mind, in the ability to acquire knowledge, even in morality - and in all respects you are startled by the vast superiority on the side of the children of the uneducated.”  -Count Leo Tolstoy, "Education and Children," 1862

“My schooling not only failed to teach me what it professed to be teaching, but prevented me from being educated to an extent which infuriates me when I think of all I might have learned at home by myself.”  –George Bernard Shaw

“Samuel Johnson entered a note into his diary several hundred years ago about the powerful effect reading Hamlet was having upon him. He was nine at the time. Abraham Cowley wrote of his infinite delight’ with Spenser’s Faerie Queen—an epic poem that treats moral values allegorically in nine-line stanzas that never existed before Spenser (and hardly since). He spoke of his pleasure with its ‘Stories of Knights and Giants and Monsters and Brave Houses.’ Cowley was twelve at the time. It couldn’t have been an easy read in 1630 for anyone, and it’s beyond the reach of many elite college graduates today. What happened? The answer is that Dick and Jane happened. ‘Frank had a dog. His name was Spot.’ That happened …There are many ways to burn books without a match. You can order the reading of childish books to be substituted for serious ones, as we have done. You can simplify the language you allow in school books to the point that students become disgusted with reading because it demeans them, being thinner gruel than their spoken speech. We have done that, too. One subtle and very effective strategy is to fill books with pictures and lively graphics so they trivialize words in the same fashion the worst tabloid newspapers do - forcing pictures and graphs into space where readers should be building pictures of their own, preempting space into which personal intellect should be expanding. In this we are the world’s master.”  -John Taylor Gatto, “The Underground History of American Education” (252) 

George Washington attended only 2 years of formal schooling in his life.  Abraham Lincoln had only 50 weeks of schooling and even that was seen as a waste of time by his relatives.  In 1840 the rate of complex literacy in the US was incredibly high, between 93 and 100 percent.  The Connecticut census showed only 1 of every 579 people was illiterate.  Over a century and a half later in 1993, the National Adult Literacy Survey reported that 1 in every 5 Americans was illiterate!  The 1993 survey represented 190 million US adults over age 16 with an average school attendance of 12.4 years.  42 million were completely illiterate, 50 million read at a 4th – 5th grade level, 55-60 million read at a 6th – 8th grade level, 30 million at a 9th – 10th grade level, and less than 10 million at a University level.

“All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education.”  –Sir Walter Scott

“In 1882, fifth graders read these authors in their Appleton School Reader: William Shakespeare, Henry Thoreau, George Washington, Sir Walter Scott, Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Bunyan, Daniel Webster, Samuel Johnson, Lewis Carroll, Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and others like them. In 1995, a student teacher of fifth graders in Minneapolis wrote to the local newspaper, ‘I was told children are not to be expected to spell the following words correctly: back, big, call, came, can, day, did, dog, down, get, good, have, he, home, if, in, is, it, like, little, man, morning, mother, my, night, off, out, over, people, play, ran, said, saw, she, some, soon, their, them, there, time, two, too, up, us, very, water, we, went, where, when, will, would, etc. Is this nuts?’”  -John Taylor Gatto, “The Underground History of American Education

Dr. Seuss, the children’s author, wrote many best-sellers admittedly using a controlled "scientific" vocabulary supplied by his publisher.  He said in a 1981 interview that, “I did it for a textbook house and they sent me a word list. That was due to the Dewey revolt in the twenties, in which they threw out phonics reading and went to a word recognition as if you’re reading a Chinese pictograph instead of blending sounds or different letters. I think killing phonics was one of the greatest causes of illiteracy in the country.  Anyway they had it all worked out that a healthy child at the age of four can only learn so many words in a week. So there were two hundred and twenty-three words to use in this book. I read the list three times and I almost went out of my head. I said, ‘ I’ll read it once more and if I can find two words that rhyme, that’ll be the title of my book.’  I found ‘cat’ and ‘hat’ and said, the title of my book will be The Cat in the Hat.”

“Far from failing in its intended task, our educational system is in fact succeeding magnificently, because its aim is to keep the American people thoughtless enough to go on supporting the system.”   –Richard Mitchell, "The Underground Grammarian"

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Anonymous said...

Many students, especially those who are poor, intuitively know what the schools do for them. They school them to confuse process and substance. Once these become blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better are the results; or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby "schooled" to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. His imagination is "schooled" to accept service in place of value. - Ivan Illich
These words seems to echo ur thots. have fun cya

Anonymous said...

This is a Great article, i go to highschool and every school in fulton county is a brain washer school. Were being traught how to obey authority and put our heads down when our rights are challenged. Were learning retarded crap and getting in trouble way to harshly but all we do is take it up the ass. Schools are for evolution, not mind pollution... AG

Craig said...

Hey Eric,

I live in the UK and have been on the fringes of learning about these theories. Every so often I get a really strong compulsion, usually brought on by something I see in the media or on the internet, to learn about the things that you are saying in your blogs. Then its seems as quickly as this urge arises it just dies down and goes away and I no longer search for the truth with as much zeal. Why is this?? It is getting really frustrating as I know this is really important info, yet it seems I am conditioned to just stop thirsting for this knowledge. I have tried talking to my friends about the things I have learned and they either look at me as if I am crazy or humour me until I have left the conversation. I just need some people to bounce some ideas off, as I feel we are at a crossroads and I want to take the correct path.

Dante McAuliffe said...

The problem with schools, as this article mentioned, is the fact that they promote uniformity and perpetuate the idea that there is such a thing as an "average student." In an environment where everything is catered to the performance of the "average student," it is often overlooked that individuals learn differently. There are plenty of smart people who were bad in school, and there are plenty of not so smart people who performed awesome in school.

Unfortunately, "school" is merely another institution used to indoctrinate us. They like to get us young.

Eric Dubay said...

Hey Craig, thanks for the message. I'm glad to hear you've been researching all this stuff and I know how difficult it can be to share with friends/family:

Roger Dubay on Waking Up Family Members

It's probably because you're talking to people who aren't ready to listen that you're feeling discouraged and disinterested in pursuing your research. Don't give up though, keep searching for your own truth and express yourself as honestly as possible. Listen to people for common ground then plant seeds... if the seeds don't take root then move on and find more fertile ground. Good luck man. Peace

Anonymous said...

And the worst is when they profess disinformation about the most important aspects of life. And suppress historical events and that aren't politically correct, and the schools have war memorials glorifying war for bogus reasons like 'freedom'. And they punish thought crimes and Truth about all things. And the students themselves are fanatically anti-intellectual, from 12 or so and right up to grade 12 and continuing thinking literally hurts their brains. And their entire identities are wrapped up with other people. I have an IQ of 150 and I can tell you school was boring and stressful. A huge part of my education came from reading on my own.
And I've kept journals since 3rd grade.

seekjusticenotrevenge said...

Thanks for these "Forced Government Indoctrination Camps" posts. You have much appreciation from me Eric. When i was in elementary school; my teachers would wrtite letters to my mother saying i was "distracted" too often. That's what they call an imagination. They wanted to put me on A.D.D pills but my mother didn't believe in that so I never used them (thank God). As i got older i had even less interest in school as i started to read and listen to alternative media. I Got my G.E.D at age 16. If it wasn't for my interest in reading the truth about history i never would have changed my F's into A's in my history and English class. And i completley agree with you Anonymous. I feel like most of us researching these topics have similar experiences with school and have self educated ourselves, we are truley blessed to be so free.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Eric, one of my favorite blog writers in the world. This is right on the money.

I'm writing a blog myself called "What I learned from school." I dropped out in the 10th grade just a month after my 17th birthday and I don't regret it at all. I think I learned more outside of school than I did in school.

As far as it being grade by age, this is the biggest bullshit of all. You know, I struggled in math. They said I had a "learning disability". My own mother used to scream that at me "How do you memorize all that nonsense bullshit about music but you can't do Algebra blah blah blah".

I remember my Algebra classes in highschools. I failed it TWICE then they came up with the BS I had a learning disability. I could pass every class but that. But here's the other part of it; over half of my class failed too both times. Did all those other kids have a learning disability too? Every math class from middle to high school, it would be at least 40-50% and sometimes even 60% of the class failed, and they basically labeled us as stupid for not being able to do it.

Learning disability my ass, that was when I dropped out. When I was in middle school, I failed the 6th grade, and they put us in "Gender classes" and the teacher basically told us we were too stupid to be in a normal class with girls, cause we failed the 6th grade. All the kids that passed were put in normal classes, but if you failed, you got stuck in a gender class with teachers that told you how stupid you were "you aren't good enough to be in a normal class, you're special"

I also want to say that the majority of kids in special education that supposedly have "learning disabilities" usually don't have a learning disability at all. Some of the smartest kids I met in school were in those classes, they just didn't learn by the age I guess.

They try to dope you up with medicine and come up with BS like ADHD. When I was young my teachers begged my parents to put me on medicine to help me focus. My parents never did that to me, but my peers and class mates that were on those meds, you should have seen them. it's like they were being punished just for being kids. They were like zombies on those medicines. They didn't act the same, it was almost scary being in the same room with them, but oh "their grades are so much better now!". I think those meds destroy creativity. If I was stuck on those meds as a kid I probably never would have learned creativity as much as I did.

I had a teacher that John Taylor Gatto reminds me of. She taught for over 32 years. I had her in the last 2 years of high school. She basically would tell the class plain and simple that the school won't allow her to teach the correct way. She claimed that ADHD was a "joke" and that "kids are kids, they are going to act hyper". One of the biggest controversial things she did was tell the class she thought the CIA and FBI murdered John F Kennedy. She was black too, and would tell us how racist our history books are towards American Indians. She was always fighting the school. She was just an amazing person that told it like it was. The same year I dropped out, she died of cancer right after her retirement. She was an amazing teacher that gave you space to use creativity to figure things out, and when she died, I was really devastated.

I actually told this teacher of mine, I wanted to drop out and here's the crazy part; she told me to do it. I felt I could trust her, and I just said one day "I don't want to do this anymore, I feel I'm wasting my life". She just nodded her head and say Gary do it, you're intelligent, you don't need all this. She thought the school was stupid to try and label me with a 'learning disability' because I bombed in Algebra twice. She told me to drop out.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Eric, I've written half of my article today. Well I'm splitting it into 2 sections. First one details my experience in school, the second one is the conclusion of it all.

I wanted to know how you got that "Join this site" thingy on the right hand side of your page. I wanted to add that to mine so people could join mine, that's if people do read my writing overtime.

Ines said...

yes, it's deliberate dumbing down.

Do you need a handbook to life?

What good would it do.
Can you teach higher mathematics to an infant?
You must learn and organize yourself.

It's not about power, this is the same power like a foot squashing an ant. It means nothing.

Dont't think they don't want to be exposed.
They want to be exposed.

Anonymous said...

A Hunger to learn part 1 of 5

On the road searching for the American dream, a family of 3 drove from Tampa, Florida towards Atlanta, Georgia during the month of September in 1995. Miraculously, a life changing event occurred and the trip was halted by an immediate trip to the hospital. This was no ordinary event. This was the beginning of my life as Alexander Wren Gordon and inevitably through time my purpose for being here would change the entire world as we know it.

From a young age I had a hard time being interested with what I learned in school. After I learned the basics such as reading, writing, and arithmetic I felt like some of the other subjects were not very interesting. Over time I felt like there was something important missing from my education. When I asked people why they thought school is important, people always personified doing well in school as a necessary and divine way to succeed in life. However I only truly understood why school is important when I realized the purpose of education several years later in my life. After hearing everyone’s perspective of school, as a young student I did not feel like my purpose was being fulfilled. I felt like I was participating in a ridiculous and pointless process. I increasingly felt boredom year after year until I reached a tipping point. I wanted to find a way to do more than memorize information to pass the next test. I wanted to actually understand what I learned in school and use it to become independent in my life. My goal became to find how to experience a meaningful education. This was my goal and the adventure that I set out on would ultimately flip my world inside out.

I had very high educational expectations coming into middle school and they were not satisfied in the 6th grade. I was so disappointed that I felt incomplete and I began to search for a meaningful education. When I was 12 through 16 years old I had the opportunity to move around switching schools between my divorced parents. Over the years this freedom surprisingly enabled me to go to 7 different public schools around north metro Atlanta. While pursuing my goal, I consistently experienced dissatisfaction with the USA public school system. I was dissatisfied because the focus at all of the schools was to cram information into students in order to achieve high test scores. Relevant or not, this ensures that the school’s cost of operation is continually funded by the government. This formula is intended to give all students a better chance to pass in school and to give all students a fair education. But in my mind, I could not understand why everyone would want to memorize short term information and gradually forget most of it year after year just to pass tests to get closer to graduating or to go to college. School became a very negative environment for me because I felt that it might not be for me. I was not sure at the time so I continued to search for the truth.

Anonymous said...

A hunger to learn part 2 of 5
During my time of discouragement, I noticed a lot of flaws in the public school system. One of the obvious flaws I saw is that a massive amount of students lose focus when they are required to memorize facts and broken down steps using their short term memory. Very often students in school become bored and do not pay attention in class. Perceived as disrespect, disciplinary action for students who get distracted or distract others is increasingly becoming a new phenomenon across USA public schools. This conflicting process gradually contradicts the likelihood of students learning in school as this artificial disciplinary system makes learning superficial and unnecessarily stressful. I noticed that most students who want to succeed do as their told without questioning why they are in school. Many of these disciplined students found themselves bored and confused about what they are doing with their lives further down the road. Another strange new phenomenon is that students as young as 8 years old are creating a huge market for the drug called Adderall (a pharmaceutically prescribed or illegally bought psychoactive stimulant for reducing attention-deficit disorder). Regardless of the drug’s popularity and purpose, students still get distracted, distract others, and then they often get in trouble with teachers which creates an endless cycle of disciplinary conflict. If drugs and discipline do not keep students focused, than what does?
When philosophizing about several educational philosophies in school I often made many theories. One of the theories I questioned was, ‘’rather than breaking every study down to a fraction, why not show the bigger picture in order to make the curriculum coherent? From my experience, memorizing facts and steps does not improve one’s ability to logically understand information; ergo if you do not constantly use it, you lose it. Memorizing short term knowledge is truly sad in my opinion because logically understanding knowledge is the only way to fully develop the mind, but the school system is intentionally designed for students to pass and go. Understanding these systematic flaws allowed me to go deeper into the problems I faced. The current demand to pass a plethora of fact based tests consequently forces most students to memorize and regurgitate dates, facts, and steps rather than to logically understand the information taught in the curriculum. Most of the teachings in school are forgotten by students a couple of years later since most students end up not using the memorized facts and steps in their lives. Inevitably young adults lack the ability to solve and answer the same problems they supposedly learned in school. Statistically proven and from my experiences, an increasing amount of students are failing, are forgetting most of what they knew a couple years back, are losing interest to attend classes, are getting in trouble, and are dropping out of school. I could not believe that the standardized curriculum was completely flawed and I also could not believe that the teachers in the USA are all bad. So I searched for something that can be done to improve my learning experience and generally speaking our declining public education system.

Anonymous said...

A hunger to learn part 3 of 5
I struggled to find a solution, but I came to a conclusion through an interesting observation. In the rare case of a teacher that can give examples and find out what students know and do not know, a logically derived solution can fill in the missing knowledge rather than the memorization of dates, facts, and steps. When this happens a teacher can explain why specific information is relevant and important in our lives. Students interested in the subject tend to become passionate about learning and volunteer to be captivated by the meaningful information their subjected to. When students are interested in a subject rather than dreadfully memorizing information, an energetic desire to learn appears. Every once in a while this pattern repeated itself throughout my years in school. I thought that this pattern proved that all students are capable of learning different studies but they do not have the freedom to focus on whatever studies that they are interested in until they get into college. This also made me believe that students could be much more prepared and skillful in life if teachers were given the support and resources for a curriculum where optional hands on application through various optional skill/study developing workshops would be supported. I think if these work-study curriculums, logically based learning styles, and optional studies were implemented than the entire USA public education system would be reinvigorated and going to school would become fun again. This in my opinion would allow students to not only understand knowledge, but it would allow students to actually use specific knowledge in real life for real reasons.
My dreams became stronger, but I could not change reality unless I found an alternative direction for myself. At that point, my goal became to figure out what I wanted to do in my life and I had a pretty good idea about where to start. Since I like a challenge, I have made a method for figuring out what an individual wants to do in life and the best part is the method’s simplicity. Anyone can start by figuring out what the worse problems in the world are, in other's lives, and in their own life. Then they choose the most meaningful problem to them and research what fields of work are trying to solve their problem. If nothing is meaningful then they need to be true to themselves and do what they feel they need to do in the mean-time till the day it comes. When they have it, they simply pursue that field of work that is solving the problem and the first step towards pursuing a meaningful life has been taken.

Anonymous said...

A hunger to learn part 4 of 5
I found that I have a passion for healing environments and revolutionizing agriculture because the current industrial agricultural system has impacted my health and the world tremendously. I lived in bad health for years because of global environmental erosion, human pollution, ignorance, and the metabolically toxic foods that I consumed which all stressed my early respiratory system and my overall health throughout my childhood. I struggled to breathe for several years which affected my ability to function dramatically. I could not exercise easily, I slept a couple hours a week, and many other functions became extremely difficult. I searched for medical help from many doctors for over 2 years and none of them could help me. I finally figured it out on my own and the problem was mainly that I had a physical fragmentation in my sinus passageway. My problem was verified by a doctor and I received the appropriate surgery but after it was over, my sinuses had become infected, inflamed, and I could not breathe through my nose at all; which was worse than before. I almost gave up searching for medical advice from doctors and trying holistic methods because all of the pharmaceutical drugs and holistic remedies either was a waste of time or made my health worse. When I could barely breathe and when I was unable to sleep for more than one night or two out of a month on average, I became extremely frustrated. My frustration built up and I began to exercise nonstop and I experimented with my nutrition by eating a plant based diet along with several alternative remedies. I noticed that my sinus passageway began to heal. I stopped getting sick all of the time and I found several other methods that helped to improve my health through trial and error. My life changed a lot during that experience because I recovered and I am very healthy now which could be considered a miracle, but to me it was a breakthrough in understanding my life. From my recovery on, I became inspired to help solve the environmental and agricultural problems of my generation so that toxic substances do not continue to spread. These massive problems are going to get worse and affect us all but rather than waiting for an answer I decided that I will make one. As a part of my role, I will help remediate a toxic global ecology, find ways to create more functional agricultural systems, and reduce world hunger caused by unsustainable systems so that humanity can start moving forward again. Implementing sustainable agricultural systems was in my mind the bridge to healing environments and healing humanity’s unsustainable lifestyle. In order to reach my objectives I made my life purpose to understand all of the knowledge I need to know and to master the important skills I need to have so that I can help recover the beautiful home that sustains us all.

Anonymous said...

A hunger to learn part 4.5 of 5
Throughout my experiment, I ruthlessly analyzed the importance of how students learn and how teachers teach. I took this to a new level and over the course of 4 years I researched and attended 7 different public schools while constantly increasing my understanding of education and my understanding with many other aspects of life. I concluded my educational experiment with an important understanding which is that the current public school curriculum does not create opportunities to understand or apply knowledge through various skill developing opportunities. In my opinion, public school education has lost its purpose; which is to help kids grow and to give them opportunities to become brilliant and skilled people who contribute to society. In my mind, focusing on test scores was completely neglecting true education and I felt like I was wasting my time. With 10 and half years of attending school, I could solve an algebraic equation and tell you the amount of ions that are in potassium but I could not build a greenhouse if I was given simple dimensions or make my own soluble potassium fertilizer to grow plants. I could explain to you Newton’s theory and explain that H2O equals two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule, but I could not build a solar generator or install an irrigation system if my life depended on it. I solidified that I wanted to know knowledge but more than that, I wanted to stop regurgitating a text book and apply knowledge to learn skills rather than to achieve high test scores.
When I was 16 I had discovered my inevitable destination. I had completely lost my interest in learning at high school because I felt that I needed a different kind of education. I studied a variety of interesting subjects on my own which made some of my school studies seem arbitrary at the time. I was studying knowledge that could be applied for uses other than achieving high test scores and I had created a curriculum that was meaningful which felt right. I heard about the GED diploma and I thought that it would be an interesting option for me since I would need to go to college eventually in order to advance in my studies. I also thought that getting a GED would be interesting because it would give me a great opportunity to explore an experiential education. I had studied sustainable agriculture, history, philosophy, renewable energy, government systems, politics, economic systems, renewable energy engineering, horticulture, and environmental sciences for about 6 months prior to 2012. When I felt that I was ready to move forward, I dropped out of high school to study subjects that were not taught in high school. I left with the ambition to learn useful skills and to ultimately learn how to recover the world’s environments and agricultural systems. I quickly felt the responsibility that I had placed on myself, but to this day I continue to say, bring it on!
I dropped out of high school at age 16 because I wanted to learn skills and apply specific practical knowledge. A year later: I have gained a wide variety of skills, I have worked several jobs, I have studied many subjects, I have grown up in many ways, and I had made a bit of money to fund an education. I have a GED diploma so I am eligible to attend a college or university. I am particularly interested in environmental recovery, environmental sciences, and applying scientific knowledge to agriculture to create better systems and practices. I am 17 now but don’t let that fool you; I am ready to further expand my knowledge in college and fine tune my skills so that I can grow.

Anonymous said...

A hunger to learn part 5 of 5
Some things I did when I left school were: I built a small scale Verti-gro system (vertical hydroponics) at age 16 and my employer and I successfully grew hydroponic strawberries. In conclusion I experimented by keeping a full analysis of the different strawberry varieties and we found the best strawberry variety for the growing conditions in Atlanta’s environment. I have started a couple of small scale gardens. I help maintain a master gardener’s quarter acre garden and I sometimes do some landscape work on the property as well. I worked a landscaping job for a while which allowed me to learn some useful landscaping skills. I worked supporting a farm to table program for a couple of months at Milton’s cuisine & cocktails in Milton, Ga. For a few months I maintained the restaurant’s productive acre garden, intensely studied horticulture, I brought fresh produce into the restaurant’s kitchen routinely, and I also built an irrigation line for the garden. I expanded my knowledge of the food industry while working a bit in the kitchen which also improved my cooking skills. I have learned some handyman skills (indoor/outdoor) painting, plumbing, electrical work, basic construction, etc... I have done a little volunteer gardening work. I volunteered to be a foreman and help build a board walk at a local elementary school for a children’s gardening educational program. Generally speaking, I have learned various skills in my experiences while applying knowledge. Most importantly, I have barely scratched the surface and I am eager to excel throughout my college education and in life until I accomplish my goal.

Eric Dubay said...

Wow, that's a great inspirational story 17 year-old Anonymous! :) I totally agree with your critiques of the public school system. Gary, your story about that awesome teacher was inspiring too. Thanks for sharing. To get the "Join this Site" and other widgets just go to the "Layout" section of your Blogger Dashboard and click "Add a Gadget," you'll see several gadgets like the blog subscription one and others. Peace!

Anonymous said...

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
― Mark Twain

Thanks for reading my story; as of yesterday I am a college student- AG

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks so much for sharing that! Old post, I know, but I just had to coment. You are a wonderful Human Being 17 yo anonymous! < spelling?