What is the Original purpose of education? I grew up in a home where the Socratic method was encouraged, meaning we learned by asking questions. My parents encouraged us to think, rather than tell us the conclusion and skip the process of deduction. Here is a comparison of the definition of education from two sources. As we know, words matter. Clinton tried to redefine the word “is”. Let’s see what affect post-modern influence has had on the word EDUCATION.
Definition 1. Education in its general sense is a form of learning in which the knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to the next through storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and or research. Education may also include informal transmission of such information from one human being to another. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of others, but learners may also educate themselves (autodidactic learning).  Any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. Wikipedia. (a more liberal and recent “definition of education, including “habits” and social issues that I would not have used in defining “classical education” )
COMPARED TO MERRIAM-WEBSTER DICTIONARY:
Definition 2: ed·u·ca·tion noun \ˌe-jə-ˈkā-shən\
: the action or process of teaching someone especially in a school, college, or university
: the knowledge, skill, and understanding that you get from attending a school, college, or university
: a field of study that deals with the methods and problems of teaching – Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
These two definitions use very different words and meanings to describe the same word, “EDUCATION”. This fact alone helps us understand the enormous disconnect in modern “public education”. Over-regulation and allowance of Administrative Bureaucracy that has grown to enormous proportions and has stunted due process of the individual parent, student and teacher and local school board, has been the malignancy of our generation. It has dangerously metastasized to a point where the next generation of American youth is at serious risk.
Let’s get to the heart of the matter, particularly from a constitutional perspective. Why don’t we think government run education and government spending on education is good? I say that it’s because government should not be telling its adults, let alone its children, what is true and what is false, and what is right versus what is wrong – and that a curriculum cannot be created without first deciding true/false and right/wrong. Do we want the government telling us whether evolution or creationism is right? Do we want the government telling us whether climate change is real or not? Do we want the government telling us whether Jesus or Mohammed or atheism is right and true? If the government tried to force adults to believe one way or the other on these (and many other) issues, we would rightly call that censorship. So how much worse is censorship, if done to unsuspecting children who have not yet learned to think for themselves, and who are put in the government’s care precisely for the purpose (supposedly) of learning how to think?
When you look around and see people who are unthinking people, this is the reason. Whether it is intentional or not is irrelevant: what the government does to unsuspecting and defenseless children in its schools is brainwash them with whatever the government believes is right and true. It is no coincidence that the growth of Big Government and its acceptance by the populace in America has coincided with the government’s increased role in education. It is one way the government perpetuates itself.
The idea that we can compel people to think is silly. When we use compulsion, we are demanding that people give up thinking for themselves and respond only to the compulsion. This is why compulsory government education is an oxymoron.
The purpose of government compulsion is to get people to submit, Allah style, to ever present authority to which they are supposed to unthinkingly submit. Why? Just because. Recently California banned stores from distributing bags with groceries to force people to bring their own. Why? Because. Many localities force people to recycle, even though businesses don’t find enough profit incentive to make it worthwhile. Why? Because. The federal government’s CAFÉ standards are forcing us into smaller, lighter cars made of plastic which are less safe. Why must we drive such cars? Because. Why can’t we have the health insurance we want and the doctor we like? Because. Why can’t I have enough water in my toilet so that it flushes, and why can’t I have the lightbulb that I want in my own house? Because. The purpose of all of these tiny government edicts is to condition us to stop thinking, stop questioning, and just obey. Because the government told us so.
Government mandated schooling operates the same way. Why are kids supposed to go to school? Because the government told them so. Why is a diploma valuable? Because the government says so. Why must future auto mechanics study calculus, and why must future mathematicians study wood shop? Because the government says so. The results are plain for everyone to see. Most people today have no idea why an education is important to them, other than that they have been told by others that it is important. That is a big reason why so many children graduate high school barely able to read and write, and that’s why so many people get college degrees for no reason other than that they were told to do so – and without any thought as to whether a degree in subjects such as feminist Islamic studies provides them with any valuable job skills.
And sadly, the results are also readily apparent to anyone surveying the American electorate today.
Using government compulsion to force people to think doesn’t work. People need to see the value of thinking and education for themselves, and achieve them on their own – with guidance that they seek out when necessary. Welfare is no more effective in education than it is in anything else.
Here is the educational background and abilities of some famous people in History who had very little formal public education, if any:
Benjamin Franklin ended his formal education at 10 years old. By 12years old he was apprenticed to his brother, a printer. His first enthusiasm was for poetry, but he soon turned to prose. He achieved much of what was to become his characteristic style from imitating the writing in Joseph Addison and Richard Steele’s famous periodical The Spectator. Around 1729 he became the printer of paper currency for Pennsylvania and other American colonies. In 1729 he purchased the Pennsylvania Gazette, which would become generally acknowledged as among the best of the colonial newspapers, and in 1732 he founded Poor Richard’s Almanack, whose proverbs and aphorisms emphasizing prudence, industry, and honesty would become part of American lore for many decades thereafter. He became prosperous and devoted much energy to promoting public services in Philadelphia, including a library, fire department, hospital, and insurance company, as well as an academy that would later become the University of Pennsylvania. In 1748 he gave up management of his publications to devote himself to science and inventing; his inventions would include the Franklin stove and bifocal spectacles, and his famous experiments in electricity led to the invention of the lightning rod. He helped draft the Declaration of Independence.
Wow! He did not go to further formal education after 10 years old. That knocks out Junior and Senior High School in our modern generation of traditional K-12 pubic education. Billions of dollars that follow our teenagers, revisionist textbooks, Standardized tests and social progressive interference in the way our children perceive the world. Think of the money alone in education that is not helping our students be competitive thinkers and entrepreneurs. We find our children the subjects of public education that has now partnered with non-profit and for profit corporations that have certain agendas for which they have a conflict of interest in truly teaching children to be seekers of the Truth for themselves.
Here are some examples of other successful people who did not have formal mandatory education from Joseph Kelly in an Article written in 2013.
1. Before becoming possibly the richest man in history (taking inflation into account), John Rockefeller was the lowly son of a dodgy con artist and high-school student in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. Although he had some education, by the time he was sixteen, Rockefeller decided it was time to shirk school and begin a career—with the goal of earning $100,000 in his lifetime.
It’s pretty safe to say that he accomplished that mission and then some. Rockefeller made his mark in the oil industry, starting Standard Oil and ultimately creating a monopoly on the entire industry. By 1902, Rockefeller was worth $200 million, and before his death he would amass a fortune of more than one billion dollars. And high school was supposed to be important . . ..
2. Horace Greeley, except maybe a fleeting mention here or there. Born in New Hampshire in the early nineteenth century, Greeley would go on to become one of the most influential newspaper men in American history. He also became a Congressman and—I nearly forgot to mention—one of the founding members of the Republican Party.
Greeley did this all without any formal education to speak of. By the age of fifteen, he had already left home to take an apprenticeship with a printer in Vermont. By the time he was twenty he had moved to New York City and begun working for The New Yorker and the New York Tribune. It was his work with the Tribune that made him famous, and he would actually go on to help found a town in Colorado that bears his name. To this day, he is thought of as one of the most influential journalists in history.
3. Arguably the most beloved American writer and humorist in history, Mark Twain gained fame after creating the classic characters of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. In fact, his Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is considered by many to be “the great American novel.” Not bad for a guy who had only a minimal formal education, and who was already in the midst of an apprenticeship at the age of eleven.
When Twain was eighteen, he worked as a printer in cities such as New York, Philadelphia, and St. Louis, while spending his evenings in the public libraries. That’s as close to a formal education as Twain would come, as he read everything he could get his hands on before becoming, of all things, a steamboat pilot. He continued working in that capacity until the Civil War broke out, and after a brief stint in the Confederate army, he began to travel across the country, writing all the while. Twain serves as clear proof that wit simply cannot be taught.
4. One of the most towering political figures of the twentieth century, a famous wit—and, frankly, a quote machine—Winston Churchill was born into aristocracy. It should therefore come as no surprise that he rose through the ranks to eventually lead the United Kingdom to victory during World War II. What probably does come as a surprise—or at least would, if he wasn’t included on a list with this title—is that he achieved this with a limited education.
Churchill, coming from such a good family, was given access to the best education available. That didn’t mean he was any good at it, of course. Churchill found education difficult and did very poorly in school, often being punished for his dismal academic record. His military service was also hindered by his poor performance. He had to apply three times to the Royal Military College, and was only accepted after applying for the cavalry rather than infantry because the grade requirements were lower and it didn’t involve math. In fairness, though, no one likes math.
5. Yes: the man whose name now equates to “genius”; who published more than 300 scientific papers; the man behind E=MC2; the man who came up with the theory of relativity; and the man who won a Nobel prize—was in fact a high school dropout. He attempted to get into university, but initially failed the entrance exams.
Einstein eventually made it into college and earned a degree, of course, because men of his staggering intellect always find a way in the end. But the simple fact of the matter is that the greatest mind of the twentieth century was in fact a high school dropout.
I just went to the Federal Department of Education and was overwhelmed with “laws, regulations and Guidance”. The system itself is overwhelmed and in my opinion creates more obstacles for students to overcome rather than going straight to the foundations of education as defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. We do not want to raise a generation of youth that obeys whatever mandate du jour comes their way. As Americans we want thinking people who seek Truth and Justice in the land of the free and brave.
Friends—go into your public schools and find out what they are teaching the children, how, why and who benefits financially from the curriculum. A pioneer in asking questions and getting answers is Alice Linahan
Join her on the Web!
WomenOnTheWall™ has launched the #CanISee™© Campaign calling on Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Tax payers to give the gift of American Exceptionalism to the next generation by going into their child’s classroom to ask these three questions.
- #CanISee™© WHAT you are teaching my child?
- #CanISee™© HOW you are teaching my child?
#CanISee™© WHO is benefiting financially from the curriculum on which my child’s teacher is being evaluated?
Also, I am honored to know and work on many issues with this wonderful American- Special thanks to Ed Mazlish who assisted in the preparation of this article. Ed can be reached via email at EdMazlish@aol.com or you may contact him on Facebook as Ed Mazlish.
Lauren L. Martel
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