I am headed way off topic today. Education is one of my interests and one of society’s big challenges right now. I don’t claim to be an education expert but I know that our current education system is lacking. We are not teaching nutrition or music or movement, but we are teaching math. Why are we teaching math? I don’t mean basic math that we all learn in grade school or even applied maths like geometry. I mean algebra, calculus, trigonometry, etc. I did a little digging and found that the chief reason experts (read math teachers) claim is that math teaches problem solving. That is logical, but isn’t that also the problem – that math is logical. The kinds of challenges that we face need creative problem solving. So, given the math teacher reasoning, shouldn’t we really be teaching creativity? Since math doesn’t generally apply directly to relatable problems – although they try – it is difficult to interest students. Music, dance, art and theater all have tangible goals and nurture creativity, all of which DO interest students.
The first response when school administrators slash art and music programs is that they don’t have the money. But is it really money, or is it math? Is it a problem of re-distribution of forces? You have schools that are open every day and are full of students. Each of those students go to classes throughout the day. Each of those classes have a teacher. So, if we know (and we do know) that the creative arts are extremely important in the education and development of a child, then why not teach those things? Teach less math, more arts. It’s simple math.
So why isn’t this being done? Is it testing? I think there is more of a root cause: college entrance requirements. As long as colleges and universities require 4 years of english, 3 years of math and 2 years of science, high schools have to require those classes and tests need to be designed to test those skills. Yet, most employers will tell you that what they are looking for are creative self starters with excellent communications skills. None of those requirements for college address any of the needs of employers and much of the liberal arts and sciences programs at colleges continue down this same path. But the argument will be, “but there is more to education than getting a job”. Really? At the amounts being charged by even state schools they better be able to prepare their students for a good job, just to pay back what they have bilked from them.
These are tough questions and I certainly don’t have the answers, but it is obvious that the old model no longer works. Is Dickens important? Yes, but so is Stravinsky and Steve Jobs. Is calculus important? Don’t think so. Is there a formula to answer these questions? Probably not. Is it going to take a creative self starter with strong communications skills to solve these issues? Absolutely.
These snacks are surprisingly delicious and good for you. Real brain food!
- 1 Bunch of Kale
- Sea Salt
- Olive Oil
- Cayenne Pepper
- Non-Stick Cookie Sheet
- Mixing Bowl
- Pre heat oven to 400.
- Wash kale and rip good size pieces of the leaves off of the stems, about 3″ squares. They will shrink.
- Pat dry and place in bowl.
- Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
- Salt and add a pinch of cayenne.
- Spread out in one layer on a cookie sheet.
- Bake for about 5 minutes, until you see the edges starting to brown.