education

education


Are the American People Stupid? Sort Of.

Are the American people stupid? August 22nd, 2018

You watch the news on almost any given night and, even subtracting something for sensationalism and the 24-hour news cycle, it seems plain that my countrymen (and women) are really pretty suspect. The question, Are the American people stupid? is not an inappropriate one by any means. In this blog I will entertain the question and try to be fair but honest.

Read More

Americans Aren’t Stupid, We’re Lazy and Misled

Americans aren't stupid August 21st, 2018

In a recent blog entitled “Are the American People Stupid?” I entertained the thought that yeah, we pretty much are. Americans have never been particularly high-brow, are more religious than most other leading countries, and are being swamped by a politics out of control and social media that is abysmally bad. So I wanted to attempt to paint a larger picture, to add some context to my depressing conclusion. In this blog, I explore the idea that Americans aren’t stupid, we’re lazy and misled. Many powerful and pernicious forces act upon us. I will get an assist from hip-hop artists Black Star and their song “Thieves in the Night”, believe it or not.

Read More

Mister Rogers Teaches How to be Good, Tolerant, & Kind

good, tolerant, kind July 15th, 2018

Shea Tuttle is a freelance writer who believes that the host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood taught kids critical emotional and social skills that are still relevant to adults today. I agree that the show focused on the good, tolerant, and wholesome, and is sorely missed in this political climate. Tuttle writes: “It seems we sense that Mister Rogers, whom we used to know so well, who used to seem to know us so well, may have something to say to us in our divided, contentious, often-painful cultural and political climate. [This blog features seven] of Mister Rogers’ teachings that could “help us weather today’s ups and downs, stand up for what we believe in, and come together across our differences,” as Tuttle puts it.

Read More

What is the Point and the Value of Education?

the value of education May 29th, 2018

I was reading a piece about the value of education; in other words, what its point is. As the story goes, “As a child, Freddie Sherrill had difficulty learning to read and write, and he began skipping school. As a teen, he became addicted to drugs and alcohol and started breaking into homes. After several stints in prison and rehab, Sherrill became sober in 1988, and rebuilt his life, repairing his relationships with his wife and children, learning how to read and write, and eventually, earning an associate’s degree.” It’s a wonderful story, one that goes a bit deeper. Read on to find out more about Mr. Sherrill and his wonderful story exemplifying the value of education, and why one should ideally engage in the process.

Read More

Christian Capitalism and American Ignorance

Christian May 24th, 2018

Did you know that 55% of Americans believe that Christianity was written into the Constitution and that the founding fathers wanted One Nation Under Jesus (which includes 75% of Republicans and Evangelicals) (USA Today)? It is true that Puritan pilgrims came here seeking religious freedom, and that today we are one of the most religious of industrialized nations. But the fact that the vast majority of Americans think we are and are supposed to be “a Christian nation” is disconcerting, for two reasons. One, we certainly are not; America has slowly come to accept that religious pluralism and toleration and separation of church and state are ideals worth striving for. Some of the founding fathers were deistic and not particularly religious. But perhaps even more so, how can we be considered a Christian nation when we have this level of political chicanery, poverty, militarism, materialism, and greed? Those counter-ideals are literally antithetical to the message we believe Jesus was trying to convey during his brief time on Earth. This is a blog about the ignorance many Americans have, and even court.

Read More

Income Inequality: Right or Wrong?

income inequality May 1st, 2018

Thomas Piketty, a French economist, made a big splash in 2014 with his book Capital in the 21st Century. It piqued my interest in regard to social justice. Specifically, social mobility, status quo, and economic freedom. I believe that America has a serious issue with wealth inequality, and income inequality, and has for quite some time. We are now less of a socially-mobile society than many countries in Europe are. Cross that with some of the standard of living/life satisfaction measures in which Europe and a few other countries do well, and you have a fairly grim assessment of the United States. Here are some thoughts on income inequality by Thomas Piketty.

Read More

Teaching Virtue & Character Education (V&E-20)

character education April 2nd, 2018

This blog is excerpted from chapter 20 of the book Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom and explored character, and a phenomenon called character education. We’ve all seen examples on television – and many of us on our very streets – of children and adolescents who are somehow “off-track,” selfish, crass, violent, careless. Obviously, this has a lot to do with the family, community, political and socioeconomic environment in which the child is embedded. Should schools be teaching children how to be good, responsible adults with integrity and ethics? Or does that step on religious institutions’ toes? What would it look like to teach something as hard to communicate as virtue? Jason interviews character education expert, former professor, and author, Bernice Lerner, Ed.D. to find answers to his questions.

Read More

Is Education 2nd or 3rd Place at Elite Universities?

education February 17th, 2018

I am on a liberal education trip these days. I have zipped through books with titles such as In Defense of a Liberal Education; Education’s End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life; and Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters. It’s a fascinating subject, considering I like things ancient, think Good Will Hunting and Dead Poet’s Society were fantastic movies (can you tell that I miss Robin Williams!?), and spend a heckuva lot of time reading and recording fantastic quotations about values. My latest acquisition is by scholar William Deresiewicz and is entitled Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite. In this blog, I highlight some interesting quotations about education and reflect a bit on the Ivy League, America’s values, and what education means.

Read More

The Absurd Race to Get Accepted at the Ivy League

Ivy League February 1st, 2018

This blog about the absurd race for high school graduates to gain acceptance at one of the top 50 colleges and universities in America – especially at the Ivy League institutions – is a continuation of the blog entitled “Is Education 2nd or 3rd Place at Elite Institutions?” In that piece, I look at education through a critical lens based on some very interesting stuff in a book entitled Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite. The book is an alarming indictment of the state of U.S. higher education, stretched and bent out of shape by money, the quest to “get ahead” (and avoid sinking), and the desire to separate one’s family from the great, unwashed masses, if you will. In this continuation, I go a bit more into a truer and more authentic purpose of education, and share many education quotes, and I ask what the purposes of gaining more money and getting ahead are anyway.

Read More

Liberal Education is About Learning to Think

learning to think January 2nd, 2018

This is a summary of chapter three of Fareed Zakaria’s book, In Defense of A Liberal Education. It is entitled “Learning to Think.” The main takeaway from this enlightening third chapter of an impressive book is critical thinking. There is a fundamental difference between the teaching and learning of facts such as names, dates, formulae, and vocabulary on the one hand, and the more basic, utilitarian, fundamental approach of critical thinking. Indeed, learning to think is a profoundly valuable asset we would do well to inculcate in our children. To facilitate understanding of this precious outlook on learning and life, I will intersperse this review of chapter three with trenchant quotations by an array of philosophers, psychologists and experts.

Read More