Wednesday, September 5, 2012

strong & mackey - be the solution

i'm reading be the solution by michael strong and john mackey (founder of whole foods)
Insofar as the goal of education is the transmission of culture, direct contact with humans who know how to live is crucial. Although innovations in educational technology may help teach the academic component of education, innovations in the human element of education are the only means by which we will be able to make a fundamental difference in the lives of the poor.

Televisions and radios, refrigerators and washing machines, cell phones and pagers, have all become cheap and ubiquitous even among the poor. Why haven’t we created a society in which thrift, industriousness, intellectual curiosity, academic focus, self-discipline, respect, and courtesy are equally cheap and ubiquitous? K-12 education ought to be the leading vector for transmitting good habits from one generation to the next and for adapting new norms and habits to the times. Instead of creating amazing institutions for the transmission of the best cultural habits, our schools have suffered...

Our existing educational system is designed to support education as training and/or curriculum coverage. It is not designed to support education as enculturation. Insofar as professional success in the twenty-first century depends on the development of critical thinking skills and intellectuality, the traits of innovation and entrepreneurial initiative, and mastery of upper-middle-class social norms, enculturation is the crucial species of education for social mobility.

The poor are particularly harmed by the lack of a market in education in a world characterized by cultural erosion.The upper classes can afford to either protect their children from cultural erosion by means of their choice of private school or public school in upscale neighborhoods, or they can more readily remedy the problems after the fact by means of therapies, detox centers, vacations, lessons, plastic surgery, retreats, spas, and a thousand other options available to those who can pay. The poor, however, are often simply the victims of cultural erosion, and a poor parent has little recourse...

this is too important... and we know too much not to..