Why do we assume that all technology is good, and that our failure to provide children with that technology will doom them to a future where they are left behind?
When we insist on computers being introduced in the classroom, why is it used as a tool in support of other subjects – research and reports – and not a study unto itself? Why is a foreign language more important than understanding binary and programming languages? English is already the language of international business, as are computer programming languages, so why are we not teaching kids how to program in the elementary schools when their brains are more open to new forms of communication?
And why don’t we teach any cultural history, particularly music? Shouldn’t kids know about the different forms of music from the 20th century without having to rely on their parents? Shouldn’t American children learn about the origins of jazz in their own country, or how the blues are linked to slavery? Don’t they deserve to understand the roots of folk music, and protest music, and about rock and roll? Are these the sorts of things that we trust are generally tossed in contextually alongside all the other history, that we assume are given weight and meaning equal with other forms of culture?
Why do we continue to teach world history from an American point of view, rather than a world point of view? If we’re always so right, so good, then why would we fear dissenting opinions? Can’t we trust the conclusions people will draw on their own?
We once had classes where school-aged citizens were taught about propaganda, about the evils of government-generated attempts to undermine our values and worth as individuals, so why has this been removed from our education and left to the media punditry? Couldn’t we include some media awareness, an examination of how commercials and advertising work to our disadvantage? Shouldn’t we know, as citizens, when we are being manipulated into accepting policies and lies that are not in our best interests? Isn’t this the best way to keep our democracy from being abused by corporate and political powers?
Or should we just accept things the way they have been trudging along for the last 80 years, keep our educational system as rigidly in place as it was when designed to train fodder for the military and factory work, and insist we are the model nation for all others to follow on this earth?
What are we so afraid of?