In my opinion, public education has never been particularly conducive to a strong development of the mind. When you utilize the same method of
instruction for each child, regardless of his or her idiosyncratic learning style, you are bound to fail in the endeavor.
The current attitude in education is that children will learn all that they need to know during the hours spent in the classroom. Parents feel no
obligation to continue academic instruction at home, choosing instead to allow entertainment to take the reins. Most people would be appalled at the
suggestion that they should exert energy towards teaching their children at home, but this is what is needed if a child's potential is to be met. *I
do not deny that there are many exceptions to this. Indeed, many parents do a commendable job, but they are certainly a minority.
In the area of behavior and attitude, parents are again in the primary role. The impudence you find with a child is a reflection of his upbringing. As
an individual ages, personal responsibility must be addressed; by doing so, many disagreeable behaviors can be eliminated. Unfortunately, most
ill-behaved teenagers are either unaware of or indifferent to their own responsibility and power in the matter. One can only hope that they will be
able to address these issues as they mature.
I was educated in a public school until grade eight and attended a private secondary school for one year (grade eleven). During grades nine, ten and
twelve I studied independently. During my single year of private schooling at a distinguished institution, I found the curriculum to be dull and
unchallenging, maintaining a 4.0 with ease. Is this an indication of prodigious intelligence
? Though I wish it was, it is instead an indication
of an educational system that requires very little of students.
I am a firm supporter of independent education, in which the needs and abilities of each child are addressed. When implemented properly, this type of
curriculum is exceptional. I believe humanity would experience far greater advancement if we allowed ourselves to be truly challenged intellectually,
but this cannot be done if we are reliant on the public educational system.
METACOMET, I do understand your feelings in the matter. However, I must take issue with your denial of responsibility. You state, "who do you think
taught us to be self absorbed, self indulgent, self serving, hypocritical, materialistic, lazy zombies? You did...How are we young Americans to fix
the mess the boomers got us into? We will probably 'do whatever we want and screw you if you don't like it.' After all, we learned this from you."
While you lambaste your elders for failing your generation, you admit that you are likely to continue the behavior. You hold them accountable for the
ills of youthful society but ostensibly deny your generation's own responsibility to overcome these problems. If you continue the pattern of
behavior, how do you imagine your own children will behave? And would you entertain the thought that perhaps the parents who failed you were failed by
their own parents? It is a cycle, and one worth breaking. Those who choose not to do so are truly abhorrent.