I have long been fascinated with education and feel like a lot needs to be changed in both our public and private schools. Listening to talks by the likes of Sir Ken Robinson, Neil deGrasse Tyson, John Medina, and others has only encouraged this passion and sent my mind reeling on what can be done. I've spent many hours on the phone with my high school teaching mom discussing ideas I've had and studies I've read.
I am more and more hopeful that something good will come, that education will not just be reformed, but transformed. This recent Report from the 2010 Aspen Institute Ideas Festival shows that increasingly greater numbers of educators are concerned and thinking of ways to improve education. The author makes the great point that comparing cars, clothing, tools, even buildings from one hundred years ago with the same objects from today would result in a multitude of noticeable differences. Yet, if we compare the classroom of that era with the classroom of today, not much has changed at all. We have not evolved from the industrial model of schooling to a more modern approach to education.
Yet, one thing that bothered me about this article, was a line that few people would take issue with.
"[T]he urgency for change has greatly intensified. For example, whereas the United States was once first in the world in college graduation rates, we are now 14th."
The tone is one of despair. "We're now 14th, oh the horror!!" What I want to know is why the crap are we damn Yankees so intent on being Number One in everything! For goodness sake, we are one of the wealthiest countries in the world! We have, arguably, the highest standard of living among all of humanity, and we're worried because we dropped a couple ranks in college graduation ranks. GIVE ME A BREAK!
Take a look at other countries who aren't number one on any list and tell me if they are suffering. Switzerland isn't even ranked #1 for cheese, yet they seem to be just fine.
The problem I see with education isn't that we're ranked lower than other countries on an scale, it's that we keep producing educated morons who give a crap about such numbers and don't open their eyes to the fact that the majority of our species is decaying because of our college-induced ignorance.
Wake up and raise your consciousness.