Education as defined by the SAGES

After reading the following items concerning Education, factor in your own experiences and determine whether our Education system meets your standards. Should you determine that it is not up to your standards, decide what action you should take to make changes and drive forward to accomplish your goals before it’s too late. You can make a difference if you really want to.

This is a Case in point (1990’s AD) I am an adjunct instructor in a small college and I am amazed to find, just within the past three or four years, that college students know very little. The terrible thing about it is that they don't know how much they don't know. For example, I teach a class in which the opening lecture begins with a historical account of the subject that dates to the ancient Persians. Not one of my students knew of the Persians or had never heard of them. We moved on in the lecture to the Roman Empire. Not one of them knew anything about the Roman Empire or had ever heard of it. To my utter amazement I found that none of them had studied American or U.S. history. They did not know anything about the Founding Fathers of this nation or why it was founded. Almost no one knew who Thomas Jefferson was except one boy, who knew that Jefferson had a home in Charlottesville, Va., but he didn't know what he did in life. None of them could tell me who the Pilgrims were. I questioned them about the World War II and about the Holocaust, but their only answer was that they had seen the movie, Schindlers List, but they didn't know if it was a true movie. I finally asked them, "If you don't know the past how are you, the future citizens of this country, going to govern. the country?" Their answer was, 'Why do you have to know the past?" I honestly believe that none of them realize they know nothing and worse still, they don't care that they know nothing. Joe C. Bigony Hinton, W. VA. Education: Confucius (551-479 BC) Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous. Education: Plato (427 – 347 BC) We the spectators of sin have forgotten Socrates’ warning that to commit evil is only the second wrong on the scale of amorality since to “do wrong and not to be punished is the first and greatest of evils.” Education: Aristotle (384-322 BC) All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth. If honesty, justice, courage, moderation, et al represent the road to happiness, why don’t we give our children the road map? If correct, why can’t we teach our children that moderation is one of the necessary ingredients for happiness? Then how about teaching the art of self-discipline? Life consists of choices. If we make the right choices, we find happiness. Selecting good goals is the first step: choosing the right way to achieve them is next. We choose interim goals all our lives, and our actions determine the kind of person we are. Education: Plutarch (45-125 AD) To be ignorant of the lives of the most celebrated men of antiquity is to continue in a state of childhood all our lives. Education: Hegel (1770-1831 AD) The play theory of education assumes that what is childish is itself already something of inherent worth …. The advocates of this method … struggle to make [the child] satisfied with himself as he is. But they corrupt and distort his genuine and proper need for something better, and create in him a blind indifference to the substantial ties of the intellectual world, a contempt of his elders …, and finally a vanity and conceit which feeds on the notation of its own superiority. Education: Einstein (1879-1955 AD) Education remarks made in 1939 AD. There are four major tasks which the school should fulfill. Their failure to fulfill them could lead to a loss of freedom: 1. The school must firmly establish certain moral and social principles and standards, and conduct the character education of youth along these lines. 2. It must develop important intellectual capacities like logical thinking, judgement, art appreciation, creative ability, as well as physical fitness. 3. It must transmit general knowledge and information as skill in routine functions such as reading, writing, arithmetric, languages. 4. It must impart special knowledge and skill in preparation for a profession. In his 1939 statement he said: Teachers, in my opinion, should fight for the right to serve the aims of 1. and 2. with-out let or hinderences. Politics itself, with all its passions, should have no place in school. Education: Dr. Glen Seaborg, Nobel Laureate – ‘Education 1983 AD’ President Reagan’s National Commission on Excellence in Education, issued the outspoken 1983 report, “A Nation at risk”. Its conclusion stated, “If an unfriendly power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves ….” The future of Education is in your hands and always has been. If it’s not according to your standards, don’t look to someone else to blame. You’ve had the ball all along! Take action now before it’s too late!