A Reader’s Column comment in the Dec. 7, 2014 Pennysaver called for “digital classrooms” which could “save enormous amounts of taxpayer dollars.” While I agree, the public school system is unlikely to go away soon; despite the advantages of self-directed learning and the informative ease of access Internet technology has afforded individuals.
According to the Digest of Education Statistics (2011), the U.S. spends $607.2 billion per year on public schools and employs 3,099,095 teachers. These figures are immense and prove the institution is big business. A bureaucracy of this magnitude will not disappear without a fight; regardless of it’s ineptitude.
Even with such large sums, there are three scenarios imaginable which could bring the school machine to a halt.
1. The collapse of the dollar resulting in lack of school funding. 2. The disintegration of the State, voiding school attendance law. 3. The acquisition of mass social awareness culminating a movement of numerous parents withdrawing their children from school henceforth trusting the children to capably self-educate in their choice of subject matter.
Catastrophe one and two isn’t likely to happen presently. The third proposition is equally discouraging.
Eight consecutive generations of State worship indoctrination within the confines of a church called School has rendered American society maniacally dependent. A nation addicted to experts and authority figures, waiting for them to determine every person’s worth.
Americans no longer trust themselves or their ability to learn. From an evolutionary perspective, the survival of the species requires that humans continuously self-educate.
Countless studies have shown that instructing people what to learn and when to learn it does not result in gaining insight. Rather, it is an exercise in short term memorization for tests, rewarded or punished with grades. Each factoid is promptly forgotten making room for the next series of lessons, the cycle repeating throughout the school year.
Basing the premise for school on the notion that learning can only happen within a brick building, segregated by age, barely allowed to speak, move or question without teacher’s permission is preposterous.
As the comment stated, self-directed learning “will be opposed by the teaching cabal” and also by 150 years of generational brainwashing. Unfortunately, social discord concerning school is not widespread enough to change the perception of knowledge and learning.
Until children are free to learn what they wish, the complex social problems endured will continue. Forcing minors into a prison environment, disguised as education, for the infraction of being young and helpless to change their situation, is nothing less than child abuse.
A Hopeful Voluntarist,