Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Conference on Education

The Founding Fathers warned that a "free people" would not remain free without information, or education. Did the Founders mean formal education or information forthcoming from the government (or leadership)?  And what is eduation after all? It seems that today, we have had those that have "set a new vision" for change, that is to globalize the "nation-state". And globalization has been done in the name of the environment, poverty, and education.

This conference was led by elite educators, a community college President, a representative from a minority group, an innovative thinker, authors, and administrators concerned in general for our country and citizens's  future well-being.

The discussion covered aspects of the changing needs of our society, and the world and the change of the student population. Questions concerning tuition costs, and state budget strains were driving the innovative ideas, as well, as the ethical questions of business taking over such aspects of our culture.

The concern for the students of today, costs of education, the needs of society, and the preparation of the future work-force are all of grave concern. There were no solid solutions, except for the possibility of university "patronage".

University "patronage" is not a different concept, as the university was a "patron" of the Church in the Middle Ages. But, I just wonder how liberal an education might be under the auspices of the Church. We do have historical accounts as to how "open" the Church was to modernity/Enlightenment thinking. And how free are certain forms of learning, such as theology, law and medicine, when they are done under Kant's "form" or structuring of the university?

On the other hand, education under the auspises of government oversight is a centralization, beauracrazation and nothing unlike China's. The Church is a "patron" to the nation-state, as is education, itself in this "model".

Kant believed that the academics in other disciplines, the philosophers, made judgment over these three "higher forms" of education. The practical aspects of 'life', theology, medicine and law were to benefit society's "good", while the leisured philosopher was to "take his time" to understand the "finer things" of life.

Reason or the intellectual aspects of man are what make man different from the animal kingdom, and is to be cultivated, if we believe that civilization is of value. Otherwise, humans are prone to be a pawn of their lower passions. And so it is today, for the most part. The disciplined mind is not valued in our society anymore.

The generation that is facing the university today has been over-stimulated by many media "forms" and information outlets that have impacted how the brain recieves information. The previous way of teaching and learning, via 'content" dissemination is "dull" and "out of date" for most of today's students.

Europe is already establishing "standards" across borders, where information./ education can be shared. This is an 'ideal" concept, but what of the security of the West? How are we to protect against certain information that might be dangerous in certain segments of the world? Or do educators believe that education can be "co-erced" and recieved by these segments, so that change to the students might happen? And what of the governance of education, itself, if it is to be globalized? We see how "mass production" has affected education in our own country, so how do we "do" education in such a "global" context"?

I believe that research has proven that without stimulating the student where he volutarily desires an education, the information is "lost". The information will not be internalized, but disregarded out-right, or defensive strategies of rationalization will occur that support an irrational "worldview". This is what religions do all the time to support their "life".

The recent release of classified information has put many in danger of their lives, because to betray a 'faith" is a betrayal of 'god" which is blasphemous. And such behavior demands accountability and judgment! One will not overcome terror through a naive view of education. Terror is a 'worldview', and an experience of life. Cult de-programmers are needed to overcome such a mind-set.

Perhaps, the view that medicine, law, and theology, as a practical disciplines, should be "useful" under government auspices, since it is to benefit society, instead of individual physicians, lawyers, and individual theologians. Does this mean that those in these disciplines are "pawns of the State" and the philosophers? '

I believe that setting up such a "caste system" does disservice to philosophy itself, as well as underming certain segments of society, because it makes the "elite" more pompous about their certain discipline. And wasn't it the scenario that Nazi Germany set up to do their research? or the Roman Empire? Medicine, law, and theology supported such national ambition. Today, the problem is not with nationalism, but globalism. Whenever a universalization is sought there is a discrimination against another group. This is why the "individual" is important to America's understanding of liberty in individual conscience. A globalized world will be a world run by an identified elite, which will be "out in the open" oppression, because it will be considered "legal"!

I am afraid we are playing into the hands of those that want to destroy America's exceptionalism, as it concerns individual liberties and it will be done in the name of society, or "morality". One will be a communistic leaning, the other will be a theocracy under Shairia.

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