Melinda Selmys: The 5 Essentials of Education

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Most people tacitly assume that the proliferation of formal education is a sign of social advance. Democratic theorists have always agreed that a working democracy requires an educated adult population, which is why the universal franchise and universal schooling appear at a similar time in the writings of social philosophers. It is less than useless, however, to have a heavily schooled population if students emerge from 13 or more years of school without an education.

There are five essential areas of education that need to come together to make a responsible, complete adult. A quick survey of them should suffice to tell us that there is a crisis in modern schooling that goes well beyond the literacy crisis and the problems of sexual education.

First, an educated adult should have knowledge of the world that he lives in.

This is particularly important in a democracy, where every citizen is expected to be involved in the political life of the country. A basic understanding of the political process, of the history of one’s own country and of the world, of basic geography and a working knowledge of global economics are all essential. These ought not to be the province of a specialized few, and they are easy to teach.

A kindergarten child, for example, can be taught in approximately 10 to 20 hours to identify every country in the world on a map, yet this is material that is not taught at any level of public school in most jurisdictions.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducation

2 Comments
Posted January 28, 2008 at 5:37 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. D. C. Toedt wrote:

The last paragraph seems to refer to a continuing series. Kendall, it’d be a service if you could alert us when new installments come out.

January 28, 8:41 am | [comment link]
2. DonGander wrote:

Outstanding. Simply outstanding.

I would change the order (#4 should be primary), but a concise overview of the importance and object of education.

January 28, 9:54 am | [comment link]
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