Education, What’s It Good For?

Back in the days when I was younger and more energetic I did some lecturing….I was a popular dude to talk about US foreign policy and wars……especially since it was common knowledge that I spent 2 tours in Southeast Asia…..well I was talking with a class of college freshmen and I began by handing out a blank map of Asia and asked the students to label the countries of China, Vietnam Cambodia and Laos……..after looking at the results I was sadly disappointed because of of 17 students , one knew where Vietnam was only because he also was a vet of that war……more recently I was talking with a group on the same subject and asked them to pick Iraq and Afghanistan off of a blank map….of the 9 students, ZERO could point them out on a map.

I found these results just sad……I mean Vietnam was basically a 10 year war and Afghanistan is going on 13 years and yet it is not important enough for Americans to care……

I decided to do a little research to see if it was just geography that we Americans have a problem with or if it was a symptom of a bigger problem………and in my research I found these things…..

To put the brightest possible spin on this story is to say that three-quarters of Americans are fully aware that the Earth revolves around the sun. The downside, of course, is that means 1 in 4 are in the dark about what Discovery calls “probably the most basic question in science.” The National Science Foundation asked that question and nine others of 2,200 Americans, with the average score on the quiz coming in at 6.5, reports

Some other results noted by NPR:

  • 39% answered correctly that “the universe began with a huge explosion”
  • Fewer than half—48%—agreed that “human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals”
  • 51% knew that antibiotics don’t kill viruses

Meanwhile, about 90% of respondents were enthusiastic about science, and 1 in 3 thought it should get more government funding. The poll was conducted in 2012, but the results were released yesterday at a conference. See page 23 on this PDF for the full survey, which includes older results from other countries.

Or click to read about Bill Nye’s recent debate with a leading creationist.

Studying the data….to me it looks like it is the educational system that is failing…….IMO because we are not teaching students…..we are coaching them on the test process…..there seems to be little to NO emphasis on the retention of data…..and for that I blame the DAMN stupid idea of the privatization of education……we are purposefully dumbing down the population…..privatized education is about the profit not the education…….maximize profits with least amount of effort….that is why it is called capitalism and not a day at the beach……

Now is it intentional?  Or is it just an unfortunate side effect of the privatization process?

Please give me your thoughts……..

Side note—–watch the Bill Nye debate….very interesting……..chuq


10 thoughts on “Education, What’s It Good For?

  1. “The downside, of course, is that means 1 in 4 are in the dark about what Discovery calls “probably the most basic question in science.”

    These are likely from the christian home-schooled who were taught in Joshua 10: 12-13 that the sun can be made to stop its revolution around the earth

      1. Sheesh Chuq. I was being facetious. You weren’t kidding when you said you don’t have much of a sense of humor, weren’t you my friend. We need to get you drunk and laid. 😀

  2. Every Kid should have a world map up on their bed room wall, they do in my house.

    I think the problem is that Americans are just not interested in “abroad” Oh, they Like our Queen, and Paris and Rome are Romantic places they have seen in the movies and would be good for a Honeymoon; but all the rest are just the enemy either current or potential; as demonstrated by US foreign policy.

    Somehow the whole world falls into one of two camps being either in compliance or at variance with American interests, whilst America has no interest in the world in general, especially many in positions of power.

    Add to all that geographical ignorance a growing right wing anti science trend, anti evolution pro superstition, pro ignorance things are only going to get worse.

    Last week, one crack pot minor politician in the UK blamed the floods that have decimated much of our countryside on the recent gay marriages he was loudly and decidedly laughed out of town by the entire population. His career is finished

    In Amerrica he would have been hailed as a hero.

    1. Bill, the one thing I am most proud of in my long life is my daughter…..I had her reading and asking questions from an early age and she is still doing that in her 30s……I hate to blame the internet but it can be used to learn or to reinforce ignorance and I am afraid the latter is winning that tug of war…….chuq

      1. Ah yes! Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Give him the internet and he won’t bother you for weeks.

        Don’t blame the internet, it is a place where many ignorant propositions can be propogated well beyond the confines of a bar room. I try to teach my cxhildren to be decerning in what they read (andf believe) on that medium.

        As Mark Twain said, a man who dosen’t read a newspaper is ill informed, and the man who does is misinformed

      2. People use the internet, not a bad way to learn, to feed their world of ignorance and stupidity…..some do not want truth just a reinforcement of their beliefs…….it can be used for good or for ignorance…..and ignorance seems to be fed more readily than truth….

        “Seek not greatness, but seek truth and you will find both.” Cannot remember who said it……

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