WE ARE NOT GIVING STUDENTS THE SKILLS THEY REALLY NEED
We are not teaching our children the skills they will need in future crises.
It should be apparent to Americans that 2020 was not just a horrible year but also a warning about the future. Scientists tell us there will be more pandemics. We all know that there will be more wars, economic downturns, attacks on democracy, and unemployment in the future.
We have not handled 2020–21 very well. But to do better in the future, and create a happier citizenry generally, we need to change the way we educate children so that they will possess the maturity and vision that we, in general, failed to demonstrate in 2020.
A Different Kind of Teaching
Remember what school was like for you? Here’s an example of a different kind of education.
It was February in Milwaukee. You probably have to have lived there to know just how cold it gets in Milwaukee in the winter. People would leave blankets over their car engine every night, and the engines would still be frozen when they got up in the morning.
On this Friday, twenty-one senior history students were gathered in the high school gym with their two teachers. This being the North Shore (where the money is), there were a couple of Black kids, a handful of Jewish kids, and the rest were the children of the Beer Kings (Pabst, Busch) and Tech Moguls (Koss).
The children did not know what was in store for them, except that it had something to do with a story they had just read.
One of America’s greatest writers was a man named Ambrose Bierce, who was a journalist, humorist, poet, and writer. His book, The Devil’s Dictionary, is generally acknowledged as one of history’s greatest works of satire.
“BIGOT, n., One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.
BORE, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
BOUNDARY, n. In political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of the other.
CHRISTIAN, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor.”