A few days ago I complained, in part, about our tendency to treat education as vocational training.
I think we all know that education should be much more than that. Our economic lives, while important, vital, and often enriching in ways far beyond filthy lucre, are still only a small part of what it means to be a fully realized human being. This is especially important in a democracy, a political form that requires a well-educated populace in order to function properly. As Epictetus wrote, “Only the educated are free,” and without free people democracy ceases to function.
Over the course of the past 30 years, increasing pressure has been put on our educational system to produce workers rather than citizens. This has short changed our children and, I believe, damaged our democracy.
I was going to make this post be about my reaction to Mark Slouka’s recent article entitled “Dehumanized: When Math And Science Rule The School” that appeared last month in Harper’s Magazine, but it’s really such an incredible article that I would rather just share it with you whole.
It's long but a worthy read for anyone concerned about teaching our children to be more than just workers.