Kitchen Table Rant: The Dumbing Down of America was first shared on Medium. Here is the link to that story: http://bit.ly/2m4TxJ6
Every so often something happens that makes you sit back and go, “what in the world am I listening to?” As these have been happening more and more often, I sat back and wondered what was actually going on, and the final result was mind blowing.
Now, before you think I don’t know what I am talking about — rest assured, I most certainly do. As I gain new classrooms full of students each year, I always hope that there are some in there that are free thinkers. I love free thinkers. Most of America does not, and here is why. Most teachers do NOT know how to keep personal biases out of a classroom. Instead of teaching things as they SHOULD be taught, we are teaching as we THINK they should be presented. Let’s take American History for example, just for fun.
American History: Dumbing Down of America — Tragedy In The Making
Now, we know our history, right? But do you really. That should make you sit back and think for a minute. Go back to any history class you had in elementary school, high school, or college and compare what they are telling you. Chances are — you got a glossing of what happened, and then you got their bias of what happened. This happens a lot more than people think. We have a bunch of people running around right now with grand ideas, but where did those ideas originate? In a classroom!
If you are a teacher who cannot separate bias from historical accounts, get your butt out of the classroom and find something else to do. Because this is part of our problem. We SEE our history, but we do not KNOW our history. We only know what we are being told. Most students will not go out and research something on their own. They base their feelings and their ideas off what they are being told, both in the classroom and at home.
Want to blow a students mind? Tell them that many of the Founding Fathers really didn’t get along. They didn’t like each other. They had different thoughts and ways they thought things should be done, but they came together, working for something much bigger than themselves.
World War I and World War II
This is my favorite — I get students each year saying, “well my high school history teacher said…” and I stop them right there. They might have told you some of the facts, they might have given you the majority of the facts, but there is some part that is going to have a bias, and those shine through mighty clear when they start talking. I challenge each of my students to take one item they learned in history, and really research and read on it. They have an assignment on this that spans the entire semester. The results are always surprising. The majority of them come back with, “I never knew that. I was shocked when I read the accounts.” And that is what I am going for.
We want to ignore and hide from the horrific things that happened. But we can’t. Why? Because by ignoring and not learning from our past mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them.
It’s happening. We have not learned from our past. We are already starting to repeat some of our history, and that should be a scary thought for most.
Our Bias and The Classroom
You see, its hard to pull biases out of the classroom. Do I have my own thoughts on what happened? Sure. But I am not going to form my students thoughts by those, because they are their own people. They have their own minds. I present the facts — whether I like them or not, and let them make their own informed decision. THIS is one of the biggest issues I see with young people today. We have professors spouting out ideals that they themselves believe in, and molding minds that are coming after — but they are ignoring the blatant obvious — if you give them the facts, they CAN and WILL make their own informed decisions.
As we head further into our future, and the futures of our children, we really have to think about what we are giving them. Are we giving them the full facts, or are we only giving them parts of it.
Sure, there are things in our history that we wished never happened. They did. Its over. We have to teach it, and learn from it, so that we are not repeating these same mistakes down the road, and remove the dumbing down of America now.
2 Thoughts to “Kitchen Table Rant: The Dumbing Down of America”
Can we just clone you and put you in every classroom in the country? My kids have had a variety of teachers over the years. Most haven’t done much in either good ways or bad ways to draw my attention, but a few have really irked me in some really bad ways. To the point I was ready to contact the school administration about the situation. Turns out other parents got there first. I can probably only name 2 teachers, across nearly all grade levels for 3 kids (one now in their 20s, a senior and a sophomore) that have encouraged them to think for themselves and to question what is in front of them. One is a science teacher. The other teaches math. I’m certain some of this is based on district and where we live, but I have seen too many teachers think it is okay to push their opinion into the classroom where it doesn’t belong (and not always on the subject they are teaching). Because teachers are considered authority figures and those with knowledge, kids more often than not, take what is given to them by those teachers as just the way it is. Sadly, it is the same with parents. And… I’ll stop there before this becomes a soapbox.
LOL well, thank you! My kids have had some awful teachers, but we are blessed that right now, they have some super amazing ones! If we are not teaching our kids (and young adults) to think for themselves, then we get the sheeple, and that scares me!