Schools don’t teach things as tools to do other things anymore. Poetry is taught as just another boring part of English class, rather than as half of a song. Most people never realize that songs are poems set to music, because nobody ever pointed this out to them. Which is a shame, because that’s how poetry SHOULD be taught: as a part of English class that connects to music.
The problem is that subjects are monolithic in the American “education” system. They are separate, and never the twain shall meet. English should bleed into music and art and history, English should bleed into music and art and history, math into home ec and science and music, history into everthing including daily life, and science into everything as well.
Oh yeah, and music and art are increasingly getting the shaft. Two of the most important subjects in the curriculum, and they’re being phased out.
Even math is taught as a monolithic fact; X + Y = Z because I said so, that’s why. And you can only do things one way and one way only; you did something different and got the same result, consistently? You’re PUNISHED! And the “problems” to solve in math are ridiculous, pointless, have no bearing on reality (when is anyone ever going to need to know when two trains going different speeds are going to collide with one another? Who the hell trades apples for oranges and needs to sit down and do the math to figure it out, when you can just count as you’re trading them? Where are the problems like “Jenny earns $9.25 an hour at her job. If her rent is $700, her power bill is $50, her food budget is $200, and her phone bill is $40, how many hours will she have to work this month to have enough money to cover these expenses?”?), and are boring. Learning needs to be fun, for it to actually be learning, otherwise it’s just monotony that goes in one ear and out the other. If you’re going to do the stupid trains problem, at least phrase it like “how much time does Batman have to rescue the people before the trains collide?”
Everything interrelates to everything else, but the way schools teach subjects, the subjects never have anything to do with one another. Nor do they appear to have anything to do with the real world. Who the hell, other than a scientist or a mathematician, is ever going to need algebra or calculus? It is ABSURD that shit like that is taught in school, when most high school graduates don’t even know how to balance a checkbook.
And the propaganda they teach as “history” in school is never shown by teachers to relate to our current world. If it were, they’d be teaching how the civil rights movement of the 60’s relates to the current Ferguson issue and all that’s come from it. Or how “company stores” relate to the current shady practices of corporations like Wal-Mart trying to pay their employees with debit cards that only work at Wal-Mart. Or how our nation is becoming a fascist plutocracy. Or how the history of the Nazi rise to power relates to similar things that are happening in Europe again right now. But no, in the US history is propaganda made to make the US look good, and history is taught as its own thing that does not relate to anything else.
It isn’t education at all. It’s brainwashing.
This was cross-posted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org/1269298.html
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