Education is an overemphasized, and largely misunderstood phenomenon in our world today, as I see it. It is the goal of parents to bring their children to the socially-prescribed standard of the society around them. If the money is there, then a special, more privileged option presents itself in the form of boarding school. This is the luxurious alternative for the presumed “more gifted” of young pupils. And among private schools, there are the prestigious elite, top schools the offer the best primary education money can buy. Hold on, since when does money “buy” learning? Money can buy books, a teacher's wages, facility usage, curriculum development, extra-curricular activities, but not learning. Learning is a voluntary action made by the individual. The educational process has become a business, with those who have become superconductors of more academic knowledge then they need, to promote theory, and much of which is not proven, and even incorrect history.
Primary education is about developing the character of the child. Logistical knowledge should more or less be determined by the status of the society, though it is certainly not essential for a full life in the literal sense of the word. Yet the norm of a young person's life from ages 4 till 18 is spend with about 6 hours sanctioned out of his day for “school”. What happened to the parents “raising up the child in the way he should go?” It is ironic that not to long ago, these Biblical principles were understood as the correct format. So the child experiences the formulaic subjects of schooling, and asks that iconic question, “Why am I learning this stuff?” I wonder just how often the answer is a revolution back into the past, “It will help you later in life...” It is the ethical answer that the child has no trouble understanding at his age. But how much is the character of that person being developed by Mathematics, by Geography, and English Grammar? Where is the homeroom that teaches the moral framework that the human functions by?
The Child undoubtedly makes the best of this “prescribed” location of his day by befriending others who he shares a common bond with. They sit together in the lunch room, they exchange comical gestures during class, and share in the events that their friends are involved in. These young individuals are learning what life on in society is, but more then that, they are learning what life is in general. And they are not imbeciles. They often understand when something does not line up. How much of their life is prohibited because they know that “the rules” are to stay in the boundaries? To stay on this side of the fence at recess. To choose the books that everyone else is reading. To use kind words that wont offend, and that they have to share... They are being confused by these parameters. Forcing one to share is not really sharing, being told which book to choose is not choosing, and suggesting the wise choice of staying inside the fence at recess (implying a great consequence if it is not adhered to) is not freedom. Don't get me wrong, there must be boundaries given to children, as they do not yet understand where the bounders are yet, and logical consequences need to be cemented in their heads. But is too much emphasis being placed on the subject of “Political Correctness”?
These kid's make it all the way through Public school and come out of it mostly unscathed and are still enthusiastic enough to move out into a college setting. Often times, the work of applying for an advanced institutions acceptance is not an easy one, and needs to be done on or before the season of High school graduation prep chaos. A lot of times, the child has done well academically, but has done even better athletically, and colleges offer scholarships for action that is not very scholarly at all. Though a wholistic education should include more then simply textbook and lab work, much could be said about the generous encouragement that counselors, parents, school staff, friends and family give to the individual who is about to engage in what is officially understood to be academic more then athletic. As the young adult enters his parent-free life for the first time, he encounters a whole new way of life. And the dormitory is not the healthy experience we would consider on anyone for scholastic endeavors. Additionally, the tuition is generally a technicality for the brand-new freshmen who has or hasn't received a grant. He can rely on either his parents or relatives money to take care of the cost, or loans, which are essentially forgotten until a year after graduation, when they begin to really take affect accumulating interest. Let's not forget deadlines.
The young adult has located his classes, purchased his books, moved into his room, and now class introductions have ended, and assignments begin to drop on the students itinerary. This young adult may or may not take a liking to the intellectual depth of the course material, but finds that his grades are in fact crucial. So he secures (as was the case in elementary school) friends with benefits. Still not having really experienced the hardships of life yet, he attends the meeting Fraternity or Sorority club (if she is a girl). The experience proves to be a satisfying transition from the politically-correct Windsor-clad professors that model what appears to be the career-driven world for which they will one day face. As finals approach, stress accumulates, and anxiety reaches nearly a shattering point. The Java store then fills up with procrastinating students who have their textbooks ready to put all night into cramming the necessary material into their heads for the big exam. They manage to get a couple hours of sleep before they have to arrive at their early morning lecture for the exam. Their mind is swirling, but somehow managing to recall the answers from within their well-traffic'd neural pathways from the caffeine flurry of the night before.
The smaller crowd of Bachelor-degree badged individuals, having enjoyed the endorphin rush of their intellectual senses being slammed with degree-requiring information, now advance onto the next stage. They enter into internships in their field of choice (or degree). Though some actually maintained a passion for the degree they chose, others have found that they know have information to equip them for a field they really could care less about. For these individuals, the continued schooling proves to pave a way to a lavish, salary paying career option that more then takes care of the bills. But the internships for which they have entered do not pay the individual what he expects, or maybe not at all! In all likelihood, the employer in the field actually expects to train the new prospective employee's. What was learned must be unlearned. The classes that felt pointless ironically did little more then develop the character of the individual. The exposure of life up to this point for the individual could be said to be isolated. It is a bit secluded from a lesser-educated quadrant of society's “socially-developed class system”. These individuals are encumbered with a perspective that is largely foreign to one who chose to move right into the workplace after high school.
The inundation of lectures has become commonplace to the point where the students have the ability to teach from the knowledge base. They are the product of over a half-decade of institutionalized “career indoctrination” exposure. They now receive the heaviest burden in their academic life – the Dissertation assignment. The stress starts small as the time left before the deadline reaches far into the next quarter of the academic year. The now proficiently-initiated individual knows what is expected of him by the institution, and has not only the knowledge irreverently lodged in his brain, but also his textbooks, and the institutions name to log onto scholarly databases for more of his caffeine-driven 'ubber-long' research sessions which are no doubt laden with music and interspersed with breaks in-between for maintaining sanity. Having finally arrived at that water-mark day of his Doctorate-receiving ceremony, what can he expect but to spend much of his future utilizing the extensive research he has done in a non-active fashion?
Reality of Society
The education system of our day is marginally pigeon-holed in my view. Although it does offer the individual a perspective of life they would not otherwise have had, that can be said of any other direction they could have taken, and likely not much to to their detraction of excellence. It is the philosophy that education makes the person enigmatic, that it leads to the real potential of jobs that are worth having. Institutional Education could more simply stated, be the service rendered for the money to paid into it. It's no different they going and buying a new car. The results linger, but what about the negative effects that inevitably go along with living with other “wet-behind-the-ears” young adults who are trying to figure out what they want to do in life, and encounter cataclysmic circumstances in their college life that leads them to take drastic turns indirectly due to the formal atmosphere that does it's best to maintain a politically-correct image, while trying to help the real people it is in existence for.
The concept of informational education remains as it always has been, an option to the individual. While society cannot afford to let individuals go without acquiring the deep and internal moral characteristics that were present in the hearts of those that founded the nation of the United States of America, knowledge is learned in a variety of different ways, and can and should be let up to the self-governing individual to determine if he needs it. Logical moral and physical consequences will reveal the gravity of their actions. Education is simply the information the individual chooses to take in and belief as true. By this definition, education can be categorized into two categories: Experiencial, and academic. Society is made up of soul-bearing human beings. As such, Morality should extend beyond the logistical and empirical mechanics.