The price of not knowing.
I wholeheartedly believe that the greatest gift someone can give you is knowledge. The more quality and comprehensive the knowledge, the more valuable to be utilized, pursued, or possessed. Knowledge is the game-changer that launches better opportunities in life and the expectation that some specific comprehensions and reasonings are valued to accomplish more in life using that knowledge.
First, let us examine the primary stated definition and purpose for education to better frame what we have been conditionally exposed to with the currently accepted educational system and criteria of academic standards. What is the substance, and what determines the ideology or method of educational delivery but not knowledge? How do we determine what is really taught along with how and why?
According to Wikipedia definition, education facilitates learning or acquiring knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Horace Mann, the former Massachusetts Secretary of Education, is primarily regarded as the father of education in the United States. He initiated a system of professional teachers to teach an organized curriculum of basic content.
A basic level of literacy and inculcation of common public ideas and beliefs deemed standard was the goal. In other words, to develop the mind with a specific intent to meet the standards set forth and standardization of conformity. Education originally was for boys, along with bible study to tame their spirits.
Etymology is the study of words as they have changed over time with a primary focus on their roots or origin as they were derived from words that conveyed their true initial meaning. For example, the etymology of education is “Educare,” which can be translated to bring up or raise as well as in animals it refers to training them.
The etymology of inculcation can further be broken down but essentially means to “force upon, insist, stamp in, impress, tread down, trample on, tread on, or heel.” Inculcation is achieved by using persistent and repeated information to implant, instill, or even admonish or punish if needed. This enforces any ideas, theories, or behavior for indoctrination for acceptance of it.
To further this intent, homework was initially given as a punishment to break resistance to enhance adherence and not enhance learning. Next, to assist in assessing or “grading” to measure your predictability to assimilate to norms and meet expected standards.
Consider the source words and stated intent compared to the stated definition of brainwash which is defined as to make someone adopt radically different beliefs by using systematic and often forcible pressure. It is the human mind being altered or controlled by specific psychological techniques. Let us not forget that corporal punishment in the form of paddling or swats was encouraged for compliance as well.
The use of developmental psychology at the earliest ages increases the efficiency and acceptance of this intent and influence. It would be fair to say that this initiation takes place at the earliest age for maximum impact and efficiency, for example, preschool and kindergarten. This method of educational conditioning is passed down from generation to generation, influencing the surrendered blank slate (the child) for inscription according to the prevailing thoughts and conditions at the time chosen to be tolerated and conformed to.
It becomes traditionally accepted control and training to bend someone’s independence to a desired group’s agenda, determination, and many times personal opinions which are being imposed. Hence, a good percentage of a youth’s time is spent not under the direct line of supervision or teachings of their parents but being entrusted to a societal design that appoints a surrogate who is directly or indirectly forming a child’s reality and capabilities under the trust that you invested in the surrogate, the teacher.
This trust is then by virtue transferred to the child and reinforced by siblings, peers, status, and society. To further that educational goal, social norms as cultural learnings are taught through structural socialization and allegiances. An ideology of a perceived consensus that is not self-determined but assigned primarily through opportunities presented or opportunities denied.
The reasoning and judgment associated with this thought pattern create a root default behavior creating the assigned programed perspective of achievement or limitations. Well, maybe your limitations are greatly influenced outside yourself and predetermined by these outer influences by design. Accordingly, the thought must be put on the table for consideration and probability.
You become what you hear repeatedly and sometimes the loudest from the earliest ages while you are highly impressionable before thoughts really form. That is why it is better to place it there instead of removing thoughts initially embedded. Instead of replacing it with theirs, just putting theirs there first is the objective.
Education began as a social experiment and, on some not so coincidental levels, the belief that education is meant to be a regimen. The age of initiation gets younger as time passes and starts from daycare, preschool, and kindergarten. Nevertheless, the focused processes implant the expectations of an established social standard by specific conformity.
Excelling at achieving distinguished personal absorption of that social standard is the calibration within the educational and social structure on which achievement and personal accumulation are based. Standardized testing was not designed to include but to discourage and exclude in theory and practice. Training or conditioning people for continuity of compliance enforcing the core acceptance in their mind.
That creates conditioning tradition seemingly forever adhered to and defended instead of serious re-examination, adaptation, or overhaul periodically. Standardizing establishes the standard that restricts you from consideration or participation for the less knowledgeable and most disadvantaged. This assures the efficiency of the social structure and the manual or menial task labor force supply and demand.
The swindle of opportunities missed is unknown, but if standardized testing is the tide that raises all boats, then certainly the criteria and historical accuracy of educational teachings should yield the benefits that reflect this. But, unfortunately, the academic teachings often contradict historical accuracy at worst and are suspect at best.
The focus on these inaccuracies is a distraction from the much-needed practical exposure to the knowledge needed for post-schooling preparedness. Acquisition of this knowledge should not be secondary. Instead, the criteria should reflect preparedness for decisions regarding things that are generally learned later in life after making some of the mistakes of not knowing.
Teach the tools that sustain you in life, such as investments, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, etc., to reflect their importance in life more closely. For example, suppose you have 12 years of seven or eight hours a day, eight months a year. In that case, the time available and resources devoted should reflect a more knowledgeable labor force according to the claims of what the educational system represents itself to be.
So, you see, knowledge apparently is not the priority but conformity to even undesirable standards and enough “educational” training to create a functional labor force but not a knowledgeable labor force. Hence, the poverty of opportunity is assured with your consent to lack of knowledge but “educational” breeding. Schooling plants the seeds to become a producer or a consumer, a laborer or a manager always cognizant that it takes more laborers than managers.
The resolution to diminishing returns lies in the overall structure, content, and criteria analyzed and modernized. An educational pause and shift have occurred where the unheard of has happened. Now would be an opportune time to weigh the balances of sticking with the current education system after evaluating the observations of its effectiveness and results.
The harsh reality is there for all to see by how the lowest-paid worker just so happens to be the most essential, especially at this heightened time of danger. Powerless against decisions made that affect you and put you in jeopardy of being penalized for any resistance. Underemployment and economic exploitation is the whip that drives this mule, as evidenced by some politicians deciding to remove unemployment payments to force you back into the system. They remain on the public draw while determining that you must return to being exploited for their special interest enrichment.
The current situation exposes many societal acceptances that cannot be hidden behind the commonly accepted purposes and intent given, extending to collegiate education and college athletics. Thus, those needed for labor are conditioned to offer no resistance, are often knowledge deficient, and without influence, power, or support.
Often rewarded by some conditional incentive or dependency-filled void is what the educational system is structured to produce to promote societal perspectives that invite exploitation and automatic compliance.
Knowledge and education are not interchangeable and are with entirely different meanings and implications. Knowledge expands your known possibilities and wisdom, while education measures your level of absorption and compliance. The freedom of choice and randomness of fate is many times an illusion when the options and opportunities that have already been chosen for you to select from are made available. The choices are limited and controlled while usually being survival-driven.
So now we can rethink our educational system based on real purpose aware of the deceptions or step right up, next in line. Expecting a different outcome may be unrealistic unless we maximize our knowledge to increase our ability to recognize, create, or benefit from the opportunity.
Opportunity depends on awareness, awareness is based on knowledge, and accumulated knowledge is wisdom. Basically, you pay for what you don’t know and find yourself at the mercy of predators, and that is the price of not knowing. Many things may attempt to stop you, but do not let the lack of knowledge of not learning to be one of them.
Thurston K. Atlas
Creating A Buzz