1b) What is it about our approach to education and our way of living on this planet that has caused this crisis?
"This crisis" (whichever one in particular we are referring to) is caused by the same thing that got Adam and Eve ejected from the Garden. Eve wanted to "be like God" judging good and evil for herself by her own standard rather than God's. We judge by our standards rather than God's, hence the entire crisis of the human condition.
I had to answer that part first, because it really contains the problem and the solution in each of these questions.
1) Why are we so ignorant?
We see through a glass dimly, at best. We are ignorant because we choose to be. There is no other reason. No matter your background, if you choose not to be ignorant, resources are available to educaate yourself. We will cease to be ignorant of a great many things when we stop looking to other people to bear responsibility for our own ignorance, sins, choices, shortcomings, etc.
2) What is it about how we have been educated and continue to educate that is not working?
I actually have a great deal on this particular issue I wish to share later this week. But for now, a summary: Education is about training the mind and the habits of youth. We don't do either. We condition for
responses, but we do not train character and we don't train reasoning. Without character, it doesn't matter how well you can operate that calculator. You will still be more likely to steal from the till. Someone with a solid character can be trained and can be trusted in a position of
responsibility. Our nation's philosophy of education has shifted
dramatically, and until that is changed, we will see no change from our current condition.
3a) How can we create learning environments that prepare students for their futures when we are not even certain what the future will be like?
We cannot. We are to subdue the environment, not make ourselves subject to it. Hence, no "learning environment" is suitable to the task. That is approaching the task from the outside in and is very similar to what Horace Mann did to education with his belief in the perfectability of man. The basic idea is that, "if the environment were perfect, man would be perfect." If it didn't work in the Garden, it isn't going to work for anyone in the home or classroom. The reasoning behind this question (altering the environment to improve the individual) is the same reasoning which allows many to view the individual as a product of society rather than the society as a product of the character of each individual within that society. It is a socialist worldview.
What education did George Washington, Patrick Henry and Benjamin Franklin receive that prepared them so well for a world so very different from anything that had ever been before?
3b) How can we overcome the "crisis of ignorance" and become educated to meet the economic and environmental challenges we are facing?
This question cannot be answered directly because it is based on faulty
reasoning. The purpose of education is not to meet the economic challenges we are facing (as Bush seems to think it is). The purpose isn't to meet the environmental challenges we are facing (as Mann and apparently Dewey seemed to think). The purpose is to train the mind and the character. Through this training, we can be truly free from external oppression, because we will be capable of governing ourselves (as opposed to just choosing our rulers as we currently do). Once we take responsibility for ourselves, our families and the welfare of our neighbors (being anyone in need), it will be fully irrelevant how much formal education we have.
4) Why do so many children lose their uniqueness and joy of learning?
Easy. Because they are being conditioned rather than inspired.
Extra Credit: Who's responsibility is it to educate our children?
I rebelled against multiple choice in school, and I rebel against it now. I think I overwhelmed one of my college professors with the number of annotations to the multiple choice questions I put on the back of the test. So I will NOT answer a, b, c or d.
First and foremost, it is our responsibility to educate our children.So, do I graduate?
Remember that education has more to do with character than any particular fact or skill. And where we fall short, it is the duty of our churches to assist in any way possible. If the parent and church fail in any or all respects, they bear responsibility. However, if the child persists in his ignorance once he is an adult, he bears responsibility for his own ignorance and actions. It isn't "society's fault." And he will stand one day before God to give an account of his actions, not his parents'
(SB are the initials for the department hosting the class, Spunky's Blog. 200 level courses are those requiring prerequisites and are generally taken sophomore (second) year. The five denotes that this is an honors class.)
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