The internet is an enigma. So is youtube. While having the power to distribute information with immediacy to all corners of the world – The shortcuts sometimes ignore legitimate research. But today we will use youtube to demonstrate the troubles with American education.
My own experience with American education comes in four basic contexts: my own education, my children, my grandchildren, and some part time work as a high school substitute teacher. I’ll give a couple of examples.
I talk with one of my grandsons regularly (almost every day). We chat about everything from football to history to the National Football League (NFL). (It occurred to me to spell out National Football League lest some young scholar in American not know what NFL stands for). Last evening we talked about the abbreviations used in modern internet chatting and texting. I encouraged him to type the correct word to practice his spelling and diction. He is more than ready to talk about his school subjects – so I am reliving the fall of the Roman Empire. When I was a child Pluto had just become a planet – now it is reduced to a dwarf planet. Even truth seems to change with new knowledge. My efforts reflect my concern with modern education in America.
When my son was eight years old (a long time ago) he came home from school to report: “Dad,” he said, “In the revolutionary war the Colonists wanted freedom from England. So they put together an army and the British sent their soldiers. The British soldiers were call red coats because that is the color of their uniform. The Americans were afraid so they called their greatest general, Abraham Lincoln….” His recounting of the revolution was actually quite accurate, right up to the point when he sent me into a fit of laughter. I composed myself and congratulated him on his new knowledge.
The following youtube video reflects some fundamental problems with American education. We are left to assume these children participate in their school classes.
This is hardly a comprehensive study of the American education system – but I think it does give pause. In my former life I dealt with Medicare Auditors. (They were auditing the reports I produced). Their rule was that for every error uncovered there were ten more not discovered. My point is that the students in the video do represent a larger segment of the student population.
I am not one who believes that throwing money at problems provides the ultimate solution – but I do believe that teachers are as important as accountants, those working in Information Technology, and a number of other fields that are paid much more than our teachers.
We are happy to entertain any other thoughts on improving education in America.