Educators, parents and grandparents, communities and businesses all share a common interest. Each entity has a stake in the education of our youth, our children. In these circles we might here terms like the school of today or preparing children for jobs of tomorrow. Sadly, we continually to fail our children and ourselves. We continue to miss the mark. Why? As Ken Robinson (2010) so beautifully illustrates we are using a 200 year old model based on separation by class status and restriction (https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms). This ancient school system is not prepared for the digital natives and cannot manage to its satisfaction the speed and multi-channels through which information flows. So in retaliation as Robinson illustrates it medicates the digital natives and keeps them in a stupor. This stupor is referred to as the stupefying of America (Caruba, 2009). Like Robinson, Caruba notices that our children are controlled by drugs and kept in states of medical boredom during the school day. Media entertains our children with ridiculousness Caruba notes and idiocy like Family Guy and Sponge Bob are proffered as entertainment. Some experts show the U.S. as 14 out of 40 countries on a ranking scale of school systems and others at 23. Our children are failing in science, math, and literacy. Additionally, other countries embrace multi-lingual education and their students are required to speak and comprehend at least 4 of the 8 top world languages. Workers in China and India now speak English as well as the natives of the United States, yet these same natives shun the idea of learning another language. A popular sentiment can be heard, "if they come here they need to learn English, this is my country I do not need to learn another language." This anti-educational sentiment is a real force with which to reckon. So much so our national census statistics indicate that the Hispanic population is the fastest growing demographic, therefore I argue that Spanish is our second national language. Yet, Spanish instruction is not embraced across the board in our educational system. Caruba notes the shining stars that are highlighted in the media, those winning spelling bees often are home-schooled or come from the best private institutions in the country. We know the solution to this dilemma. The solution is to toss out the model and build a new one based on the digital narrative of this century. So why would we not implement this when business is crying for skilled workers. Simply because we are our own worse enemy. Our school boards controlled by local political machines is obstructionist. The cost is too high or we really do not need to recreate the wheel. What is the true cost when our masses cannot think critically? What is the true cost when businesses have to issue H1B visas to immigrants from India to fill skilled jobs in this country? What is the real cost when children who are controlled by drugs for 8 to 12 years graduate to the penal system? When will we move out of our own way and stop the bleed. If America is to be great again as it was fifty years ago; we have to truly educate our youth which means we wake them up and get them out of their stupor. We reward their curiosity and inquisitive nature so they will develop a love for learning. We learn to flow with the fast pace of information and perhaps allow their true nature to guide us along the way.
Caruba, A. (2009) Stupefying America. Retrieved from http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2009/05/stupefying-america.html
Jacobs, H. Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World
Richardson, W. (2016) Stop innovating in schools. Please. Retrieved from http://willrichardson.com/post/140338223225/stop-innovating-in-scho...
Robinson, K. (2010) Changing education paradigms. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms