I didn’t mean to turn the previous post into a discussion about the state of education, but the ensuing conversation headed that way.
Particularly, my friend Laurie had a very pointed observation about what knowledge must be instilled in our children, even if you have to force them to. Here’s what she said:
Should students be required to learn things they don’t want to learn. Absolutely. For one thing, many students would pass on learning things that are the foundations for other later learning.
What if your child didn’t want to learn to read? Would you make her anyway? You bet.
How may of us had toddlers that didn’t want to learn to use the potty? Well I’m thinking there comes a day when the partents don’t really care if their child doesn’t want to learn. They are learning. It might be that you make them want to learn by having them wipe their own poop off thier bottom, but you are still forcing them.
Kids need to learn how to persevere through things that are not what they would choose. How often have we persevered though filling out our income tax forms? Always having choice is not real world.
Kids need to learn to tolerate being uncomfortable, having to do some things they don’t want to do, learn things they don’t want to learn, persevere, be bored. To allow them a pass everytime is setting them up to be dysfunctional adults.
If your boss asked you to learn a new software for your job, can you say no thank you can keep your job?
(Paragraph breaks are mine, purely for readability)
Today, instead of getting up on my soapbox and preaching what I believe, I want to invite you to answer this question for yourself.
What must our children know?
What knowledge is so important that we have to force it to them, even over their objections and lack of interest?
I do have my own answer to these questions, but I’ll post them later in a follow-up. I am very much looking forward to reading what everybody else has to say. Whether I agree with what you have to say or not, I think it will make me think and either solidify or modify my beliefs.
There are many parents and teacher-types in my readership, and I think virtually everybody conscientious is concerned about the state of education.
So please take a moment to ponder this and jot down your answer here.
I really don’t think I have to tell my readers to be civil, do I? We have some of the most mature, thoughtful and conscientious people here on this site. It is a safe environment for saying what is on your mind.
One hint: I think the question is not whether it’s right to force children to learn or not.
So — fire away! 🙂