By Everett E. Allie
© Copyright 1999, Everett E. Allie. All Rights Reserved.
No part of this publication, in whole or in part, in any form, may be reproduced for profit beyond that of recovered expenses. No part of this publication may be quoted out of context or without full reference given. This book may be reproduced in its entirety, unaltered in content, on a non-profit basis, for educational purposes, with written approval of Everett E. Allie or his assigns.
How would one characterize public education in the United States? A cynical analogy might be that of a patient on a respirator, a pacemaker and all the necessary transfusion and excreta plumbing to keep the body alive, but showing a flat EEG. All the organs are going through the motions but achieving nothing. The patient is brain-dead.
American Public Education does not recognize the main reason Johnny doesn't learn. It does not recognize the pathology of belief systems and the barriers to learning generated by cultural delusions. Our institutions will not publicly recognize their own pathologies and the mechanisms that function to generate the problems, that make possible authoritarian systems within environments of high technical and scientific knowledge. The full nature of cognitive defense mechanisms, in terms of Reciprocal Cognitive Exclusion (RCE), continue to be ignored by the cognitive sciences of academia. Public Education follows cultural ideals, mindless of the fact that they are divergent from objective reality, generate dysfunction, and are mutually exclusive with rationality. It's focus is upon attending to cultural mandates and its own systems and processes, not upon effectively transmitting all available factual knowledge. American public education, is an instrument of the controlling institutions, educates not toward individual effectiveness, but toward maintaining those institutions in their defective forms.
Our public schools are areas of intense activity but little accomplishment. Our high schools are turning out graduating classes, the average student of which will need help filling out a job application.
High school graduates are, on the average, but marginally literate, know nothing of science and having little ability to mathematize. They understand virtually nothing of basic scientific principles and have little or no analytical reasoning ability. They wait for someone to tell them what to do and what to think. They are the issue of a system of diminishing ability to impart even basic literacy.
The defining characteristics of this educational refuse is, increasingly, the inability to reason or to learn, to distinguish fantasy from reality. They have lost their natural propensity to reason critically, to recognize the fallacies. They have had no training in reasoning nor are they inclined in this direction. There is little orientation to their physical environment.
They have been led to pass tests without understanding the subject. They have been taught to memorize data and packaged answers which they cannot relate to external existence or interrelate. They see very little as relevant.
They are trapped between the dysfunction of their social system and the misdirection of their peer groups. They are largely unfit for entry into a technological society, from the standpoint of either knowledge or rationality.
How could it be otherwise? Neither the system nor its functionaries admit to nor accept the basic principles of reality, what the species is and how all things interrelate. Teachers have little understanding of themselves or of the significance of history, in terms of its display of dysfunctional principles and systems, nor of the significance of cultural delusion. They have never had to focus on such things. They have no sense of the cultural insanities they accommodate, instill and reinforce.
The environment within most public schools range between not being conducive to learning and that of largely preventing it. The student who achieves is one of two types: One type is of the rare breed who discovers early on that they do not need a teacher nor the system to learn, yet who want to know and will learn from anyone who has something to offer, educating themselves in spite of the system, feeding a natural drive to know and immersing themselves in subjects they are interested in, largely independent of the insanity around them. The other type has received specific and careful instruction and support outside the school setting and has not been dependent upon the school for a large part of the learning that has taken place.
The single greatest barrier to learning is instilled cultural delusion, the beliefs that function to reduce independent thought and reasoning. Other great barriers to learning, to educating our young, are aversion to a punishing school environments, ignorance on the part of teachers, frustration, anger, loss of respect and mistrust of systems. Naturally, these elements are intermixed. Ignorant teachers, injustice, high noise levels, violence, and assorted official stupidity are all part of the punishing school environment.
By teaching delusion and instilling beliefs, the child is blocked from recognizing or accepting the reciprocal realities. This is the principle barrier to learning, internalized delusion. If the parents have religious beliefs, they are usually passed on to the child, erecting an almost impenetrable barrier to recognizing or accepting the reciprocal realities and distorting the child's perception and reasoning in relation to virtually everything. Since religious belief addresses the fundamental nature of existence, providing a fallacious a priori for all perception and reasoning, there remains no reality basis for human thought. Any reality based reasoning will be implicitly in conflict with the fundamental concepts.
If the parents have little understanding of natural harmonies and how things work, they will inevitably pass misinformation, feelings of frustration, defensive attitudes and habits of rationalization on to the child. By teaching the delusions, the parents build a conceptual fairyland that will always be in conflict with reality and with other delusions. The world becomes a very confusing place where there is very little the child can count on, where little interrelationship is seen, where little insight can be achieved. The idea is implanted that anything is possible.
In modern societies, the very young child is usually punished for most learning activities. These activities are comprised of the natural way the child plays, following its own interests, the objects it will put in its mouth, pound against something, throw, sit on, snatch from a shelf or table, make noise with, break, etc., in short, the process of exploring it's environment, becoming familiar with and gaining self-confidence and enjoying a feeling that it can do things and discover things in the process. This is the needed foundation for gaining a propensity for learning throughout life. Punishment and frustration soon make learning something to be endured, not something to be eagerly devoured with pleasure. How often is the child scolded instead of being shown something more interesting, allowing it to reach for the new instead of having the old snatched from its hands?
Punishment suppresses learning, curiosity, questioning and thinking. One of the main culprits is being overly protective of the child, a sure way to make the child fearful insecure when alone, reluctant to try new things.
Most parents and teachers are ignorant of the fundamental nature of a human being, the nature of existence, even the subject matter and how a specific topic relates to other topics and to the society, the species and existence itself. Parents and teachers, alike, will implant delusions and other barriers in these areas.
Cultural delusion comes into play here, as well as resultant ignorance. Any belief instilled in the child will generate resistence to the acceptance of reciprocal knowledge. If the teacher does not recognize, understand or has a distorted concept of the reality, he or she will not teach that reality and will be instilling material in such a way that it will be in conflict with reality.
Mistrust comes from lying to the child, providing a poor example for the child, not showing interest in the child, not loving the child or not recognizing the child's needs. In this society, as in the case of most human societies there is not much for the child to respect. Typically, the parents are heavily deluded, displaying a lot of inconsistency, injustice, ignorance and indifference to the child's wants and needs. In the community, the school and the institutions of the society, the child sees little integrity, fairness, justice, wisdom, honesty or rationality, but is exposed to, and/or is a target of, large doses of ignorance and blatant stupidity. This is inevitable when the fundamental premise structures of the society are fallacious.
By the time the child reaches school age, it is heavily damaged and comes with well established learning barriers and little helpful motivation. In short, most children, when entering first grade, are emoting, ignorant, insecure and frustrated little savages. The child reflects the pathologies of the society. The fundamental problems of educating our children are pretty simple. All of them are the inevitable result of cultural delusion.
The education system is not to blame for everything. Typically, the preschool child is already severely damaged by the time he or she gets to school, having been functionally lobotomized by the teaching received at home. Typically, there will have been heavy indoctrination with fantasy material, little or no preparation for literacy and no enjoyment or expectation of routine learning. There will be a formidable barrier to the child's acceptance of organized behavior, there already being a growing disrespect for the adult world and its systems. There will also be resistence to factual information that conflicts with an already extensive and complex system of delusions.
In a family where there are several siblings and most learning comes from interaction with other children, there is seldom nurturing toward learning the things an intelligent life form will need. The child will also have been exposed to an environment that largely insulates it from the real functions and necessities of existence.
Where does the early damage begin? In most cases it begins with the mother. Although both parents will have their effect, it is the mother who has the greatest influence on the very young child. It is the mother who is the primary conduit for society's myths and fantasies.
Unhappily, this society is particularly devastating to the mentality of the fairer sex. She still remains less educated in terms of factual knowledge than the male (although this appears to be changing) and, typically, has accepted most, if not all, of the major cultural delusions.
She is more likely to be unsure of herself, and more involved in astrology, mysticism and religion. The modern technological society encourages women to be 'bubble heads', more interested in the 'soaps', daily trivia and following the endless ebb and flow of their feelings than to activities that would lead and move one toward a clearer understanding of existence and her rightful place in it, to move her to function within any area that interests her. As the level of delusion increases, she is boxed more tightly into preoccupation with delusional diversions.
Typically she has little interest in considerations which have serious consequences, such as the real effects of what the child is learning and the problems of seeing through the delusional material of the culture. She clings to her own comforting idealizations, preconceptions and delusions with little awareness or concern as to whether they reflect reality. She loves fantasy. She has no sense of the effects of false teachings and the pathologies they generate and support.
This is not to say that men are not exposed to, and accept, the same cultural poison, but the expected male role lends itself to the male child taking more of a hands-on approach to activities. This aids in reality orientation to some unknown but significant degree. Even so, I have seen no evidence to indicate the male is inherently more rational than the female. The cultural fantasies are devastating to both.
Where the mother is predominately rational, she will tend to pass it on to the child, providing intellectual tools which will boost the child in the direction of enlightened rationality. Such a child will be better equipped to cope when later confronted with the crippling insanities of the society.
We encourage our women to be led by their emotions and to avoid reasoning. Mother will inundate the child with fairy tales and teach the child to say a prayer rather than to help it understand how things work and gain some feeling of mastery over the physical environment, a sense of mastery she, too, is lacking.
By the time the child reaches school age, it is suffering serious levels of conflict and confusion. The child's mentality is well on the way to being blunted by the necessity of maintaining fantasies in a real world.
The preschool child is typically conditioned to spend large amounts of time in passive diversions and escapism, such as watching cartoons on T.V. These programs range from the magic, fantasy and violence of programs like 'Masters of the Universe', to 'educational' programs such as Sesame Street, where the child learns the alphabet and to count to ten, week in, week out, year after year. The child comes to resist anything which would provide a challenge, nurture critical reasoning or draw it out of the fantasy world of young childhood.
Where the child is of the urban poor, the problem is virtually hopeless. In the black sub-culture of our cities, ignorance of science, math and the real nature of existence is almost complete. Understanding the accomplishments of technological man approaches zero and fundamentalist religion is rampant. "Momma doan' know how anything work and she doan' wanna know, but she see to it that her babies learn bout' Jesus." This propensity for ignorance and superstition is passed on to the children as surely as if it were a communicable disease, which, of course, is exactly what it is. (Sweet Jesus!, did I write this paragraph? I'm not supposed to say things like this in print!)
"Minority" groups saturated with religion constitute the greatest problem areas in education. Otherwise, the greater diversity tends to be a boon to this melting pot of a nation, preventing unilateral social structuring. But intense levels of involvement in primitive religion will be reflected as dysfunctional levels of ignorance, superstition, high levels of crime and low levels of reasoning ability. Educational materials that would threaten belief will typically be avoided. Levels of delusion will be high enough that virtually any information beyond providing a shallow or minimally functional level will be avoided. This is a long-abiding problem, the roots of which are protected by our Constitution and every institution within the society.
Whether you are programming a computer, doing a complex mathematical analysis or teaching a young child, the "Garbage in, Garbage out" rule is always in effect. You cannot get an output of sweetness and light after having put in bile and slop. The child will come to reflect what it has been taught and has come to believe.
A lot of parents believe that you can impose upon the child any code of behavior and any belief, without repercussions. Obviously, you can't. A child becomes what it thinks, what it learns and fails to learn. A parent or a society cannot evade the consequences of what it believes and what it teaches. Every individual is a reflection of cognitive content.
This is a lesson humankind refuses to learn, for the most part because of instituted irrationality. We keep trying to impose fantasy-based systems on a real world. It doesn't work. Ignoring the realities neither makes them go away nor prevents the unpleasant consequences.
Much of the potential of humankind cannot even be imagined because we are so immersed in perception-distorting delusions. What is supposed to be healthy human conduct is largely unknown. If we are to make progress, we can only grope toward reality, reasoning and experimenting and, if progress is to be made, rejecting our beliefs and most of our cultural imperatives in the process.
Public schools tend to be chameleon-like, taking on the color of their individual locale, even in the face of a general dumbing down by the Department of Education and the National Education Association. Thus, you will find variations in the type of material taught, as well as in the levels of success achieved from state to state, from urban to rural, and from school to school. Public schools, however, are locked into many common irrationalities and will exemplify the resultant dysfunctions.
One telling example of systemic pressures for mediocrity is a middle school in Texas that was located in one of the worst intercity areas, yet had a black principal who had forged the school into being one of the best in the country. This school, in 1991, was turning out students who were functioning several grade levels above the national average, particularly in math. The School District had stonewalled the school for years, in terms of its needs, and routinely passed over the principal for advancement. His tactics did not fit accepted guidelines.
In kindergarten, the child learns the joys of standing in line, unquestioned rules, the delights of authoritarianism both in school and on the playground, and coping with the irrationalities of other damaged children. The child learns quickly that quality matters little. Any kind of work is acceptable. It's just a routine to go through so you can have something to show Mommy. The thing is to look busy and be quiet. It is easy to avoid focusing on the details of tasks being assigned. There is a marked absence of teaching foundation material directed toward getting the child to be literate, considerate and accommodative toward others and oriented to factual reality.
I can remember my own first day of school. This was the first grade, as I lived in a rural community where there was no kindergarten. For a first assignment, we were told to go to the blackboard, one at a time, and write our names. There was nothing unusual bout this. It was expected. Nearly all of the children could write their names. Today, we see children in the third and fourth grades still printing, unable to do cursive writing.
Expectations of learning have largely been eroded away in the process of accommodating 'students' of lower abilities and academic inclinations. Nor is correct grammar or the social graces taught. The class is tied to the pace and the materials of the least capable, the result of attempting to give equal education to all, a failure to discriminate.
By the time the child is in fourth grade he or she is still printing assignments and is having trouble spelling four letter words. The submission of practically anything for an assignment is enough to get by. The child is off the hook for just by showing evidence of participation, and is passed from grade to grade with virtually no learning having taken place.
There is little concern on the part of the teachers for this lack of learning. After all, the same material will be presented again next year. Time after time I taught my youngest son basic math skills he was not learning at school, only to have him loose those skills from lack of use.
As the children pass through the grades, to the rise of decibel levels, increasing amounts of energy is expended by both students and teachers just to cope with the wild animals that roam the halls, make going to the bathroom a truly dangerous undertaking, and who make a side show of every classroom. The participation of students at the lower end of the academic achievement scale becomes increasingly felt in the educational process as the child moves up through the grades.
By the seventh grade, the teacher's chief concern is just to keep the noise down to a level where she can be heard. By the eighth grade, muggings are a rising threat in the toilets. By the ninth grade, drugs and alcohol are as common as pencils and paper. Graffiti covers the walls faster than it can be washed off or painted over. Also, by this time absenteeism is a serious problem. Many students will have already dropped out, even though they may still show up every day. And then there is the gun thing....
Above all, there is an almost universal absence of respect for the system in general, and the things that are being taught in particular. Well, why not?
From the ninth grade on to graduation, the schools are fighting, for the most part, a holding action, in an attempt to prevent drop-outs and to get students to barely squeak by the drastically reduced competency standards required for graduation. It is also a time of ever-increasing crime, vandalism and physical danger, for both students and teachers.
This increasingly typifies the American Public School System, particularly in the metropolitan areas. This is also the only possible way it can be, given its goals, directives, premises and the National Education Association, the teacher's union.
The American Public School System is an abject failure, the natural result of attempting to actualize the society's polydelusional premise structure. The failure has nothing to do with school budgets. Pouring more money into the system will do little or nothing but waste resources. Until the basic premises and problems are addressed, public schools will remain little more than an expensive way to baby sit, teach students to avoid thinking and to read, write and do arithmetic below functional levels.
As this book is being readied for publication, the Religious Right is continuing its rampage, attempting to make confetti of all educational material which even hints at the physical nature of existence. They are not reality oriented enough to realize that the job has already been done by an educational system dedicated to preserving cultural fantasies, with relativity as a philosophy, never insisting on literacy or reasoning ability. For the most part, the nation's textbook censors are hysterically hacking and sawing at sawdust.
Educational material, in the United States, has not only lost most of its teeth, but its relevance, as well. It is an assemblage of open ended questions, postulations and disassociated facts, leading the student only to confusion and boredom. Even in the area of mathematics, where a progression of relationships cannot be avoided, the material is given very little relevance as being a more accurate, calculable way to deal with reality. Mathematics is usually taught as a 'hard' subject which is expected to be boring, torturous and understood only by the best students. Naturally most students accept this attitude very early, the attitude of parents and teachers. Such expectations tend to become self fulfilling.
The publishers of textbooks are highly sensitive to the pressures of irrational society. After all, they are in the business of selling textbooks. Publishers characteristically cave in at the least hint of controversy. Controversial material, even though it be necessary to the portrayal of a real universe, is deleted seemingly at the first sign of resistance.
The results are teaching materials which can be likened to Pablum, or is 'mush' a better word? They are collections of largely disconnected facts and fantasies, presented tentatively. Teaching of the real nature of existence, and that of our root problems, is carefully avoided.
The student is effectively taught to avoid critical reasoning. Too much 'controversial' material would be addressed. Too many of the society's beliefs would be brought into question. Our institutions would not like that.
Teachers rarely have good reality orientation. Not only do they subscribe to the mainstream delusions, they are usually deficient in knowledge of the subjects being taught and have little understanding of how the factual material relates to the rest of reality or to the dynamics of society. Where they don't recognize reality, they can't teach it.
Few have the ability to reason accurately, because of their own beliefs to defend. They rarely have the capacity to teach students to think. What they do have is an ability to infect the student with their own difficulties with the subject matter, as well as their own confusions, superstitions, fears and delusions. To a majority of students, school is a place of degradation, boredom, authoritative stupidity and punishment.
It is understandable why school means punishment and endless boredom to a majority of students. No wonder the majority drop out early, even though still in their seats. Unless the student has learned be self-propelled, to think and do research on his or her own, meaningful learning is, for the most part, blocked by the system. There is hustle and bustle but little progress.
When programmed learning was introduced in the late fifties, it was heralded as the long sought answer to the teacher's prayers. It was supposed to be the answer to the problem of effectively teaching a body of students who had a wide range of aptitudes and interests. The individual student could progress at his or her own rate, being immediately rewarded for correct answers and assured of being able to pass the test at the end of the course.
Programmed Learning feeds the student subject material in small bites. The student is asked a question after each 'bite' and learns immediately whether the answer to that question is correct. It takes advantage of the learning principle discovered in operant conditioning, where learning is more effective when a correct response is immediately reinforced. Programmed learning displayed how little educational professionals knew about educating and how abysmally low they were in their own reality orientation.
What the student learned was to fill a workbook and pass tests without gaining an understanding of the subject at hand. Programmed learning works just fine as a means of providing a preliminary exposure to a given body of information. However, the filling of blanks in a workbook, providing a word, a number or a short phrase, does not begin to give the student the ability to reason, express and become intellectually productive with the material. Nor does it allow the student to relate the material to broader fields of inquiry, the society and to existence. Programmed educational material is a beautiful idea. Too bad there still seems to be little understanding of how to use it, and cognizance of its limitations.
Many parents have recognized the futility of the public school system and have opted for the parochial or private schools in the belief that the child will be subjected to higher standards, better discipline, etc. Generally, there are gains in the basic three R's. However, delusion permeates the society, from the lowest to the highest strata. Parochial schools can be more dementing than public schools, in terms of instilled delusions, but at least the child usually comes out more literate than the issue of public schools.
Parochial and private schools fair a bit better than public schools in the teaching basic skills because they can weed out some of the problem students which the public schools must accommodate. They are able to exclude students who would otherwise reduce teachers to the roll of baby sitter.
However, the product from parochial schools, for the most part, are heavily exposed to religious delusion, which has been instilled along with the factual material. Religion remains the greatest barrier to learning. Indoctrinated students show a marked helplessness when confronted with problems which require reasoned solutions or an insight of relationships. They appear to have a poor sense of connectivity.
There are various private schools which advertise that they teach Discipline or American Tradition or Respect for God, Country, Law and Order, or teach the student not to burn the flag, etc.
In each case, they represent a sub-group which is trying to grapple with the problem of functionality while maintaining, or propagating, cultural delusions in support of its own tautological pathogens. Again, they are trying to have their cake and eat it, too; trying to turn out an intellectually competent product while ignoring the requirements for intellectual competency. I have yet to see a school advertise that it orients the student to objective reality, teaches them how to reason and test for validity, pressing the student toward becoming objectively rational.
The Public School System is fatally flawed by goals which do not reflect reality. As such, it can never be effective in educating toward a truly functional social system. Under its present premise structure, both the system and its product will forever be at odds with reality. In addition, both will continue to ferment conflict, internally, as well as externally with other irrationalities.
Harmony with nature, as well as among groups and individuals, can come only through dealing in truth and reality. The attempt to abridge reality is the root cause of all destructive human conduct. Ignoring this fact will not make it go away.
As has been indicated elsewhere, our Government is a fair representation of the society. Its' irrationalities reflect ideas held by an overwhelming majority of citizens. Government cannot be expected to determine what would constitute an effective public school system, or any other system, where it attempts to insert, instill or operate on delusions. Its functions need be limited to the tasks that it can perform effectively, and there must be accountability in terms of feasibility and effectiveness.
In the realm of Public Education, it could be made effective in the teaching of the basic functions of literacy, mathematics and science, provided a couple of areas of delusion are cleaned up, those which prevent the schools from discriminating among students and those which destroy discipline by failure to isolate the disruptive student.
The schools would have to be allowed to remove the disruptive from the classroom, immediately, placing them in a controlled environment.
It would require a wide-spread recognition of the savagery present in our schools and a wide-spread recognition that effective learning can not take place in such an environment.
At first it would be a heavy task because of the numerous students who would disrupt the teaching process. Never the less, the disruptive students would have to be immediately extracted from the classroom and contained during the class period, otherwise they would disrupt the community.
Placing them in a detention study room would appear to be the first step, requiring them to sit quietly and work on material provided for them in this room or on material from another class. They could redeem themselves by complying. If they chose to remain disruptive, they would be immediately removed and placed in the next detention step. Perhaps placing such students in locked cages for the remainder of a class period might convince them, some at least, that it is more pleasant to be students. Portable cages on wheels, like circus wagons, might be the answer. These could be towed around town to the various schools as needed. The students could be let out of the cages at the end of each class period and given the same option in their next class, to be students or to be treated as animals. Skipping classes could be prevented by all entry ways being closed and guarded during the school day to all except adults and students with exit passes.
Starting here, the system could get some teaching done, gradually becoming effective as the dysfunctional fantasies drop away and the real nature of existence, of the human animal and of human cultures is increasingly displayed.
As for the problem of parents performing what, in effect, amounts to preschool lobotomies on their children, there is no immediate solution to this one. This problem reflects the level of delusion within the society, and is amendable only through individuals becoming reoriented to accept a rational Cosmos. The cultural delusions are easy to point out, and no source of these fallacies should be shielded from this fact. As the delusions become widely recognized as such, the dementing of the preschool child should diminish.
It would help considerably if we let parents know what is causing the problems and what they are doing to their children. And, it would help a bunch if government, our other institutions and especially the media, were not so bent on instilling delusions. There is the possibility that we may be able to get a grass-roots movement going toward popularizing truth and reality. After all, it is the sort of thing that grows on you.
Another area which would help greatly is that if public officials were not allowed to officially lend credence to religion. I can think of few acts as damaging to mass rationality as the President of these United States proselytizing religion or goals based on religious premises. Nor is there anything more frightening than seeing our chief executive with his head bowed in prayer! If he really believes this way, he is unfit for office. If he is not a believer, the implications of this act are even more disturbing.
Another basic fact which must be recognized before any real education can take place is that effective learning occurs only under certain environmental conditions. Learning requires that the student and the subject matter must meet in an environment which permits a large amount of privacy and intimacy. It does not occur to any significant degree in a carnival fun house. In order for learning to take place, the student has to be allowed to think, to focus and become absorbed in the material. There needs to be as few distractions as possible. There needs to be quiet. I know this sounds old fashioned, but reality doesn't seem to be concerned with such classifications.
To be effective, the goals of education, as with any other system, must be objectively rational. They must reflect reality, adhering to nature's principles, laws and systems. They cannot be idealized. They must reflect the real nature of the students that are being taught, taking into account the individuality of those students and their damaged condition. As is usually the case, the nature of the problem suggests its own solution.
One device that should be introduced early in the education process, is making knowledge gained through independent study given commensurately the same weight as the classroom subjects. More learning takes place when the student is reaching for information, than when the material is mandated. The student should be encouraged to follow his or her own particular interests, learning and reporting, the product given recognition. This process would insure the exercise of both reasoning and literacy.
The goals of education, to be rational, would be to orient the student to reality. They would be toward preparing the student to function within a peacefully progressing society and world community. They should support the logical goals of the species, those specific endeavors directed toward the safeguarding and enhancement of human functions and environments.
Schools should not be involved in the teaching of false information. If it isn't supported by objective indices, there is no objectively supportable rationale for teaching it or accepting it. In fact, the rational goals of education should be one aspect of the natural drive of the species to educate for survival. Such goals reach beyond society and culture. They are universal. One does not consciously educate one's young toward dysfunction.
No false material should be taught as truth. Objective evidence should be required to support any and all material, at least in terms of best evidence. Also, no material or subject should be sacrosanct. Everything should be open to question and reevaluation.
Such a system would recognize the variation between students and the fact that they are not created equal in their aptitudes or predispositions. Public Education should also provide a forum for descent and the hard questions. Education could take on some relevance. All it takes is a little honesty.
Careful discrimination would take place throughout the entire process of education. Disruptive students should immediately be isolated. Classes should be segregated as to functioning levels. Students would be provided the tools and assistance to immediately progress at their optimum speed.
Emphasis should be on the understanding of principles, critical reasoning ability and the ability to be productive within a body of material. There would be absolute standards in grading. Either a student has learned and understands a subject to a functional level, or has not. Students who fail to learn the material would be reassigned to levels and areas in which they can function effectively. Learning would gain the respect it deserves. It would be something to reach for, not ridicule.
The system would not attempt to educate every child. A student would have to function at a particular level to be allowed entrance into that class or that grade level. Functionality would be the single criterion.
In the restructuring of our Education system (or any other system we become serious about making functional) arbitrary public opinion would not be allowed to alter determinations. All determinations would be based on objective indices, not arbitrary opinion or popular wish fulfillment. Objective indices would indicate what is to be done, but not dictate the ways to achieve it. To govern toward truly effective populations, control systems must be based on the principles of nature, not upon opinion, political determinations or force.
Under such a system, academic achievement would gain the respect and recognition it deserves. It would lead to an aristocracy of objective rationality and knowledge. Such would be the face of a rational educational system.
The ability to discriminate is the very basis of intelligence and learning, yet, the American culture has made discrimination a dirty word. Instead of examining the basis for discrimination, the act itself is suppressed.
One of the greatest defects in our system of education is the failure to discriminate, attempting to educate them all and mixing the dullards with the high achievers. It is a fatal flaw.
It destroys education in two ways. First, it ties the good student to the pace and thinking level of the least effective. In doing so, it makes education intolerably punishing for the motivated student. Secondly, it allows disruptive students to control the classroom, reducing classes to the functionality of day care centers, wasting huge amounts of resources which should logically be used to boost the best students on to greater heights.
One absurd idea that has been institutionalized in recent years is that every citizen has a right to a public education. The materials and resources which have consequently been diverted to 'special education' is staggering. Billions of education dollars are spent on individuals, getting them to do little more than dress themselves.
A few days ago, I was at Miami's Cedars of Lebanon Medical Center. I had some time to kill and decided to go to the museum down town. Not wanting to drive, I walked up to the Metro train station. My attention was caught by a young black woman with a child in a stroller. As I walked past I noticed that the child was a microcephalous idiot, what used to be called a 'pin head'. This child appeared to have little more than a brain stem. The cranium was very small.
I stopped a short distance away, disturbed by what I saw but wanting to know more. The child looked to be perhaps five or six years old, its arms and legs atrophied (there was not enough functioning brain material for the child to effectively use the limbs), the arms were held like those of a praying mantis. The one bit of cognizance I noticed was that the child did recognize the presence of the feeding bottle and would hold its mouth open, bird-like, when the bottle was brought near. The look of hopelessness on the young mother's face was heartbreaking. She held the bottle mechanically, staring into the distance, escaping within her own daydreams.
The child was clean, well dressed and obviously well fed. She was playing her role of mother amazingly well, considering the circumstances. I could not help but think that, in a truly civilized society, such a monster would have been painlessly destroyed at birth. Its life could only mean heartbreak and slavery for the family and endless expense for both the parents and the society. And for what? It could never become a functioning human being, cognizant of its surroundings and capable of any independent life. The idea that such a being has a "right" to life cannot be supported by any objective rational argument.
One of the hard facts of existence is that all species have their share of defectives. In all but the human species, these dysfunctional individuals get deleted. For any species to remain healthy, defective genes must be discriminated against. The percentage of defectives are increasing in virtually every society. Whether the problem be physiological, as in the case of this child, or functional, as in the effects of delusion, these are danger areas for the society and the species, and these problems will be addressed, either deliberately or by default, with commensurate consequences.
In earlier and harsher times, man could not afford the luxury of such absurdity. Neonates which were obviously defective were not allowed to live. Repeat criminals fared little better, often at the hands of their victims. Regardless of the tender emotions of the 'humanitarians', et al, education, public or otherwise, cannot be for everyone. The proclaiming of the right of every citizen to an equal public education, in the absence of responsibility and minimal requirements, (such as by assuming the position of a functioning student, e.g.) does not make it even a possibility. It destroys the educational environment while providing a rationale for wasting vast amounts of resources and increasing the stress upon the cement which holds the society together, the economic structure.
Individuals who can never become self-supporting do not have an inborn right to maintenance by the society, simply because, not owning another's life, they cannot make a valid claim upon the resources of other individuals, for maintenance or for any other reason. Fantasy can never be effectively justified, legislated, or forced. It will always be in conflict with reality and it will always be dysfunctional.
In our system of education, the brightest students soon become 'turned off'. The education of all students suffer as school districts stagger under the load of trying to educate everyone while a growing percentage of students try to 'burn down the school house'. Eventually, the system loses the respect of everyone. A system based on fantasy is not respectable or acceptable.
The accommodation of fantasies is a flaw of such magnitude that it will always insure the ineffectiveness of a system. Its foundation is the refusal to accept the real nature of existence and of ourselves. From this basic irrationality, endless secondary insanities spring. It is a large part of the failure to discriminate, resulting in such policies and practices as 'affirmative action', equal education, failure to segregate the achievers from the trouble makers, failure to provide valid classroom material, etc.
This Nation is gripped in a fear of the truth. Pitiful, considering our brave beginnings. The Media is at center stage in the propagation of this fear, as well as the propagation of the cultural myths and popular falsehoods.
Anyone who tries to tell the truth is immediately censured. Politician and private citizen, alike, dare not point out anything of real significance. Such a position discourages addressing the dysfunctionality of any group, culture or system.
In the public school setting, the student is discouraged from accepting the idea of absolutes. Everything is kept tentative. The tactic of 'open-end' questions discourages conclusions. The student is not shown how to reason or upon what basis to reach a conclusion. The student quickly gains the idea that nothing is known for sure and our endeavors are just guessing games. Everything is considered 'relative' and all live within the fog of opinion where one opinion is just as good as another. Is there any question as to why our system of public education is a failure? It could be nothing else.
Naturally, much of the material is not seen as interesting or relevant by the student. It has been turned into dust. There has been absolutely no emphasis or special respect. given to measurable evidence, no teaching of the thought processes required for making valid determinations. There is no questioning of authority in a society where there is something amiss with every authority. A student is made to go through the motions without achieving insight or a sense of mastery. Whether one is speaking of official authority with the power of law, or a "recognized authority" of subject matter, there is no authority that can be depended upon for leadership or truth, so long as the fundamental premises of a society are delusional.
In the meantime, the culture and peer group of many students represent the very antithesis of learning and rational living. These are not just problems in the educational system but represent belief system problems of mainstream society. A school system does not exist in a vacuum.
As for discipline in the public schools, there can be none until the system made respectable, is allowed to discriminate and is reality based. Corporal punishment should not be used, simply because it reaffirms violence and brutality. Isolation makes a better first line of defense. The disruptive student is simply extracted from the classroom and isolated in according to the seriousness and frequency of disruptive behavior.
It would range from being placed in detention, being placed in a remedial class or being confined with other problem children. The student who is not going to function as such would be quickly removed from the system, being placed under operant conditioning. Nor would such a student lose anything by removal from the classroom, since only negative learning is taking place anyway. In an objectively rational system, the school would have the authority and the rational procedures to routinely deal with any discipline problem.
What does the system do when it can only fail? Why, project the blame onto something else, of course! And, most important, ask for more money! Academic standards have been lowered below minimally functional levels for a technological society. The low levels we have achieved has been accomplished by passing students from grade to grade, whether they have learned or not, propping them up, often given special 'help' and consideration. Curriculums are modified, often deleting certain subjects which may be difficult for the low academic student to grasp. I recall the principle of an all black middle school in Miami, at a teacher's meeting, telling us, "I don't wanna hear about grammar!"
Academic achievement diminishes as the years wear on. The product, however, reflects the dysfunction and cannot be disguised. When the student enters the real world where he or she is suddenly required to function, the real level of academic achievement becomes evident.
The numbers of unemployable grow. The numbers of welfare and food stamp recipients grow. The society carries ever increasing numbers of misfits, becoming a little weaker with each and every new crop. Drugs and crime proliferate. The vast majority lead lives of little meaning, many escaping into drugs and alcohol. The whole education system loses the respect of its own members as well as the society and the rest of the world. It becomes an object of derision and humor.
When faced with the very real prospect that the school is going to functionally retard your child, that the child is going to, in all probability, have his or her academic behavior shaped toward low motivation and mediocrity, what do you do? If you can afford it, don't send your child to public school. If you are serious about your child's rationality and literate functionality, find an alternative. If you can find a good private school, at least you can be fairly certain that the child will be literate.
Remember, always, Pubic Education serves the controlling institutions. It educates to maintain fallacious premises and authoritarian control.
If you can't afford a private school, you CAN educate the child yourself. Of the home educated children I've encountered, they are invariably more effective and knowledgeable than those educated within the public system. They are also a lot quieter, more motivated and are more respectful of others. They have a greater ability to concentrate and focus on a task. They test higher on their SAT college entrance tests. The highest achievement levels I have seen have been the products of home schooling. They are almost invariably highly motivated, secure and confident. One factor that appears to have a lot of influence on the child educated at home is support groups for the children and parents. They tend to make friends among other children who are being educated at home, children who are more humane and junctional than the public school crowd.
Educating at home is rapidly growing in popularity. There are certain standards which have to be met for educating at home, provisions for testing, etc, but nothing that can't be easily dealt with. Where one parent has the ability to maintain the family, economically, home education is the usually the best way to go.
Even if you send your children to public schools, understanding the shortcomings of the system and your society places you in a better position to supplement or counteract some of the negatives the child is being subjected to. But, first and foremost, as a parent, you need to recognize the real reasons for our failure to educate.
Home | Contents | Introduction | Chapter: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11