Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Education's Blind Spot

When we have an unhealthy focus on educational assessment, we begin a sad descent into honing methods of fact delivery and retention. Of course, this leads to the expectation that all teachers adopt this focus, all the while neglecting the foundations of knowledge that lie in disrepair. Thus, students receive (and perhaps, if the teacher is particularly good, retain) facts without any idea of where to put them, what to do with them, and how to evaluate them. An amassment of details hardly prepares someone to understand and sift for the truth among those details. Many are even unsure about how to respond to the harsh reality of truth. Truth, unbeknownst to many, stands cold, detached, and firm; it does not adjust according to our feelings. How much can a student truly learn, then, if her emotions are the primary arbiter of her beliefs? The affect and the mind of such a student will thus be at war, and without a healthy respect for the rigidity of truth, the unanchored heart shall be tossed about by every wave and wake of the educational sea. In contemporary education, there is a great, indeed important, effort to impart facts to the students, but precious little is being done to train the minds who receive and interpret those facts. Of course, teachers still exist who pour their knowledge, heart, and strength into a robust education of their students. May the tribe of those tired souls increase.