Contemporary (circa 2007) education is failing in three blatant ways:
1. Failure To Impose Discipline: Clear thinking is the result of disciplined thoughts. If pupils are not forced to discipline their behaviour, then they will not discipline their thoughts and so will be unable to think clearly; this is the very opposite of the purpose of education.
2. Failure To Demand Respect For Teachers: If a lesson is to be heeded the teacher must have the respect of the pupils. In the year 2000 the awed respect that children of my generation (1950s) had for their teachers has been replaced by the opposite. School children no longer fear their teacher, for their erstwhile master is now their servant. The cane has been discarded to be replaced by the panic button. Teachers no longer command and demand, but amuse and appease. This must undermine the whole purpose of education.
3. Failure To Teach Essential Subjects: The most important lesson for every child is that of learning to read and write, for the use of language is the ability to think. Nonetheless, the education system has abandoned the traditional teaching of reading and writing, with its fixed spelling and grammar, so no longer teaches citizens how to either communicate or think clearly.
A Public Declaration Of Ignorance
On Saturday November 11th, 2000, the Brisbane paper The Courier-Mail reported that a Harvard history student did not know that there had been two world wars. In an article titled "History lost in the past" journalist Peter Charlton claimed that in answer to a question posed by distinguished historian Simon Schama to his history seminar about the different foreign policy of Italy in World War I and World War II, one student replied:
"Was there more than one world war last century?"
An answer that contradicts any claim of historical education about the twentieth century, as well as revealing an inability to perform simple arithmetic. The nature of the two world wars has so dominated the twentieth century, that not to know there were two world wars is not to know twentieth century history. While claiming in the year 2000 that the years 1914-1918, or 1939-1946, belonged to the last century, is to expose an inability to perform simple arithmetic. Either error contradicts the notion that this student has been educated, while the student's presence in a prestigious American university that demands an entrance exam, must raise grave doubts about the integrity of the American education system.
The enormity of the student error raises doubt about the quality of education, and this suspicion is confirmed by the large number of works condemning the abysmal state of the education system in the western world.
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