Right now our education system is doing more to indoctrinate our children than to educate them. In fact, that has been the case for quite some time. Our young minds are being told to accept authority as truth instead of truth as authority, and teachers talk at the students instead of with them.
Teachers have become repeaters of information. They are merely regurgitating everything they once learned from their own teachers, and perpetuating the recycling of information; information that has managed to evade scrutiny for generations. Children are no longer the masters of their own learning, and instead, their minds are being treated as storage containers.
The factory model of education, with its focus on academic and economic elitism, is churning out obedient workers for the system, encouraged to conform every step of the way. We are not being treated as organic, creative, investigative human beings, but instead as parts in the machine. The education system is filtering out the inquisitive nature of our being, with the ultimate goal being to prevent dissent against the system. The system doesn’t want thinkers. It doesn’t want people to question its methods. It wants a population that can be easily manipulated and controlled so as to relinquish all its power to the elite.
There are those who say that critical thinking skills cannot be taught in schools. Socrates would likely scoff at that notion, were he still alive today. It was Socrates who said, “I cannot teach anybody anything; I can only make them think.” If we’re going to solve the problem of indoctrination in our school system, we have to learn to begin asking questions instead of giving answers. Real learning is achieved through the investigative process. Children have to be encouraged to search for the answers themselves. It is up to the teachers to provide the tools and resources necessary for the children to conduct these inquiries and make meaningful discoveries. One well-formed question will do more to inspire than any number of answers. In every facet of our educational pursuits, it becomes crucial to begin an open dialogue with our students, to encourage healthy debate and to have them form their own conclusions.
The importance of teaching philosophy in schools cannot be underestimated. In a world where most of humanity is running on the treadmill with the blinders on, it is paramount that we re-evaluate our own perspectives from time to time, and look at the big picture. What teaching philosophy does is it gets us thinking, it gets us questioning, and it gets us contemplating. Without these skills, humanity will continue to function on autopilot, and we will allow those in power to continue to dominate, oppress and enslave us in every way.
We need to reclaim our own minds…