II. Education, Religion & Insight
THE EDUCATION I RECEIVED starting from about 3rd grade up though grad school seems oddly irrelevant to much of what I need today, and mine was fairly deep and broad, partly what I received at MIT and partly what I have learned since then from various careers, books and good newspapers like the NY Times. Amd I believe this appplies to nearly everyone on this planet.

THE TWO PARTS THAT ARE WRONG ARE RELEVANCE AND BREADTH. How the content of my education was determined has been decided by a remote, anominous group of "educators" mainly from Texas which by the circumsstance of buying more books than almost anyone else, has more influence over what goes into them than anyone else. And whether it is Texas or anywhere else, viewpoints are too narrow.

There are two many to list here, but two stand out: first is I cannot concieve of understanding the world without a reasonable knowledge of science (and not necesssarily the kind I received at MIT) and content that reflects culture (especially religion and politics) more than depth of understanding.

A ridiculous example happened in the wars in the middle east. Young men in the embattled countries did not know anything but how to shoot a rifle so their occupation was war. But there are multitudes of others. About two thirds of Americans believe in satan. Texas politicians have argued against courses in "critical thinking." History is taught two or three times but all I remember about the start of WWI was the shooting of Archduke Ferdinand and remembering I had to learn a lot of dates I have now forgotten.

I recently read about what is taught about blacks and black history in souther US and it is so biased and shallow it made my head spin. And then comes science and math. About twenty years ago our I sat in a fifth grade class where, I believe in order to pass some standarized test, he was being taught electrical engineering, but with no insight that was probably impossible to teach at that age. And the average of high schoolers who complete a physics course is about 1 out of 3. And if their textbooks were anything like my son's math books, there would be no hope. The design of the books was to fit as much materizl on each page that could be made to fit. "Coverage" overwhelmed comprehension.

And I will end this rant with the objections raised by evangelicals that anything resembling eveolition or the big bang could not be taught either at all or without the Christian point of view getting equal time.

Finally, I have been appalled by the coverage given by the New York Times over the last 10 years or so. It seems obvious that their editors knew virtually no science.

Then surveys are done to find what the citizenary believes about global warming.

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In