Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Education for a Democratic Society: where does this happen?

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. -- Winston Churchill
Those things that individuals in a democratic society need to know are just not taught in the public schools; for example, the basics of law, techniques of organizing groups, or basic modern economics. History, which used to be selectively and biasedly taught, is now a multicultural mishmash that emphasizes victimization rather than the overcoming of difficulties. And what negotiation skills kids get are picked up under duress as "conflict resolution."

What about the results? The general public demonstrates its satisfaction with the status quo by resisting change in the content and form of public education. And what are they satisfied with? Check their reading matter: tabloid newspapers that tell us that gorillas have mated with humans, that Presidents have met with extraterrestrials and that space aliens control higher education (on that last point I am tempted to concede some credibility).

We have communities with a concept of public morality which brings them to pass laws increasing punishments for prostitutes -- no doubt, a major social threat -- while licensing gambling establishments in which they can fritter away their own and their children's sustenance. (A typical casino in Atlantic City takes in more money per week than the yearly budget of all but the biggest school districts.)

To examine these issues further, see Education for Democracy:
Is this more than rhetoric?

--- EGR

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