What is Education?

WHAT IS EDUCATION?

Viewing all of life on Earth, education of the young is simply preparing them with the knowledge, tools and talents to survive and thrive in the environment they’re going to inherit.  Any species that doesn’t prepare their young condemns them.

Is the above how we are educating our (human) children?  Is sitting at a desk for their entire formative, growing-up years, preparing them to thrive?  Oh, sure, they can (hopefully) get a job.  Is that what this is all about?  Adulthood = $$?  If it is, then we’ve got to ask the question “How well is that working?”  We don’t need to look far to see that it isn’t working too well.  Here in the U.S., suicide is the 2ndgreatest killer of youth.  And our young adults today are facing a future where they are less educated than their parents; earn less; and (amazingly) won’t live as long.  Is this the legacy we want to leave our kids?

It wasn’t always so.  Humans have been walking the Earth, on 2 feet, for 3 million years.  Lucy, Australopithecus, dated at over 2.3 million years ago was a little shorter than us but with a skeleton identical to ours, raising children and doing what was needed survive and thrive, living 100% human lives.  We today live lives that are 30% lives at best.  We’ve lost much of the purpose and passion of life, or (better said) we’ve given away our purpose and passion.  But the good news – if we gave our very birthright away, we (and only we) can and must take it back.

In his book The Abundant Community, Peter Block cites a study which found that the greatest single indicator of safety and security in human lives comes not from big central governments or huge, deadly militaries.  Instead, it comes from the support of a strong community.

Having been a teacher myself, I have the greatest respect for good teachers, and I have observed and worked with many of them.  But teachers are not responsible for raising kids – that responsibility falls squarely on parents, extended family, and community.  Kids that haven’t been taught basic people skills are difficult-to-impossible to teach, and as they create chaos at school, they undermine not only their own education and future, but the educational quality of their classmates.  Many kids have not been taught to value education, nor have they learned the social skills to function in school or (later) in the work world.  This teaching is best administered by a family, extended family, and a supporting community.  Kids who have been deprived of this vital support, are likely at risk.

We can change this educational malaise.  Human beings are designed to live in groups (villages, communities), and it is in these groups that successful children are raised and prepared.  Hang your hat on our global grassroots movement here at A Return to Peace, as we unite to take our power, passion and purpose back

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