I like this little writeup on Nine Dangerous Things You Were Taught In School from Forbes. It pithily gets into the consequences of having a system that’s so standardized that is responsible for educating–a fundamentally intimate and nonstandard task, if you do it right.
I find myself in a place of tension on this topic. I believe in public education, and I believe we’re better off with it than without it for sure. On the other hand, I’m aware of the follies of a creaking factory-age education system and its numerous failures, including it’s capacity for producing a kind of ignorance distinctive in those who have been systematically “educated.”
This comes down to some deep questions for me: is it possible to make space in the system of education for the real work of education? And if you do, how do you ensure that what needs to happen actually happens? And what actually is necessary?
Maybe this is a good time to mention that some people—like John Bennett, below—would go so far as to say that math, as it’s taught, isn’t particularly necessary. What do you think?