Many systems of education have deteriorated, over the years, to a point of destroying the learner’s opportunity to develop. This is a radical, extreme statement, but it has been an observation that I have made over at least 50 years of my 62 years of life. Today, we practice a form of bulimia-style learning where students will binge on facts before an examination and then regurgitate them. Unfortunately, retaining these facts is not always present. This does exercise “left brain” activity, but the “right brain” is ignored. The value of music, art, drama, and other humanities have been devalued, as “not profitable” directions. The question of developing reasoning, imagination, critical thinking, and other aspects were discussed in a recent meeting I attended. There is minimal attention placed on these. We have the minimized the value of history, and on the individual life stories people have. I remember hearing about a “classical education”, there becoming versed in a range of classical knowledge was required. Over the years, I have sought to develop this, and have found that it contains the essence of surviving in this world. The classical works of Plato, various literature, Greek plays, fine arts, music, and the stories of elders, have provided the basis for understanding a repeating pattern. It provides the valuing of history and looking beyond the immediate stress and struggles of the acquisition of money and material possessions.
We are faced with an end of some mythologies relating to the value of money and finding that the things of value, are not found in a computer or in technology. Based on theoretical sciences, we are faced with having to deal with multiple dimensions which sound very much like the stories of the spirit world and the battle of good against evil. In this realm, the rote memorization of facts, which can prove that we are “good producers” and “effective consumers”, are of little value.
In these areas, music, arts, philosophy, valuing ancient writing, and finding value in faith, are all of much more value in seeing the connections between this reality and what is yet to be discovered.
Is rote memorization and “regurgitation” of value? The answer is yes, but only to a point which provides basic information to understand other more important concepts. The secret to education is balance between different materials and learning styles which promotes not only recalling data, but also to reason and make humane decisions.