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It's Time to Educate our Children for Them, Not the Corporations

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Donna Sims       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   11 comments

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I was fortunate to have spent a lot of my youth on my grandparent's small farm learning how to grow and preserve food along with an appreciation of the plants and animals and their importance in the cycle of life.  Living near nature lends a completely different perspective on life.
The experiences I had as a child have put me in the position of knowing how to survive in case of a breakdown in our system or complete loss of income.  I am a part of a minority in this country. I know children who never drank well water or walked in the woods or spent a day without TV, the internet, electronic games or a microwave.
Considering all that's happening with the world and with our government now, I think that survival skills of all sorts should be mandatory curriculum in our public schools.   I think children need to understand the difference between "need" and "luxury" and that purchases should be made based on the merits of the product and not advertising or a pretty package. This is just getting started. If we could begin to educate the children, all of the children, to discern reality from a sales pitch, the mistakes we've made can be learned from and the negative consequences of them reversed, MAYBE. 
I keep hearing talk of privatization of schools, all schools. That's worrisome on so many levels that I don't know where to start. I can predict with confidence that a corporate owned school system would NOT be teaching any of those things. Without knowledge of real science, agriculture, horticulture, and a lot of other things that our schools don't teach, our children will lack the proper education to evaluate what the government and the corporations are doing.  
I feel strongly that these changes need to take place. Our schools aren't reflecting the kinds of values that I believe will lead to a healthier and saner planet by any means. They are teaching our children how to take tests and how to be patriotic and how to be good consumers.  They are teaching that football is more important than grades and that joining the military is a good option in a time when our country is perpetually at war. Even in the few schools that still teach home economics, they're teaching the kids how to cook and sew and clean with electrical and gas appliances.  No one knows how to cook on an outdoor fire or a hearth now. 
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Our county has gone to a 147 day a year school calendar in an attempt to cut costs. Their only real focus right now seems to be money. The curriculum is already stretched to the boundaries of the available resources. The expectation that they would be willing to consider adding anything to the curriculum and requiring teachers with the qualifications to teach them seems pretty low. In light of that, I've been wondering about ways to incorporate such things as survival skills and environmentally responsible buying into the existing lessons. A re-write of the school books would be required that would, for instance, have reading books that relate stories of surviving in various situations. Changing books costs money though and many would oppose teaching anything outside the box.
I  believe that the future lies in how we go about educating our children now. One problem to overcome in making our educational system better suited to our present circumstances  is how to work around the perception that there isn't enough money. I believe there is enough money but that it's wasted shamefully and spent to perpetuate bad policies and procedures. 
I'd immediately discard football, basketball and soccer and ROTC and take that money and teach survival skills and related subjects. Cross country hikes with teachers to point out wild herbs, both medicinal and edible first hand and not in a book or on a computer screen.  Our disconnection from nature has contributed to ignorance about environmental issues. 
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It's our job to teach our children how to survive in the world, be self sufficient  and to make positive contributions.  I see that we are, instead, perpetuating an unhealthy and destructive mind set along with unrealistic expectations of what the world is going to be like for them when they're grown and on their own.
Education is increasingly being given short shrift in funding and it's time to use what little we're given in more realistic and efficient ways. 

 

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