Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

For johnnyb: How intelligent design can help with the education crisis


Here johnnyb talks about “Intelligent Design and the Education Crisis,” assuring us, “No I’m Not Talking About Evolution Today”. No need, johnnyb. I used to work in educational publishing, and heartily agree with this:

Want to start a revolution in education? Start by looking at what motivates kids to love learning. Money can motivate kids to *do* the work, but that’s not what education is. Loving learning is what will make kids educated, whether they go through college or not. None of the standardized tests will tell you if your child loves learning. None of them will say, “this person wants to get to the bottom of things, and won’t stop until he finds it.”

But here are some problems:

1. Education in North American and Europe is a tax-funded compulsory enterprise. One inevitable outcome is the throngs of mediocrities and failures that infest the system, spending hours each day with your kid. (Please, commenters, don’t write to me to tell me about hero teachers. I was taught by some such people; I even know a family of hero teachers. That does not remove from reality the vast throngs, whom I also know too well.

Look, it’s the same in the criminal court system. Slack employees are common because the accused can’t take his business elsewhere.

If intelligent design has any contribution to make, it would include restoring reason to these matters, instead of perceiving everyone as a meatbot.

2. The system – a captive money pot – is hostage to ambitious pseudo-intellectuals’ trendy ideas. It doesn’t matter if your kid is literate or numerate; it matters if the pseud’s ideas on the subject get fronted.

3. The school board system is an antiquated drag on society that popular piety refuses to reexamine. Back in the 19th and early 20th centuries, school boards got started because farming folk often refused to send their kids to school. (My own grandfather squabbled with some of them; he was a schoolteacher.) Their motives were understandable, of course.  People lived off hardscrabble farms, and the thing to teach a kid was how to do that right. Anyway, the kid’s help was needed on the farm.* Now, those people were eventually wrong, but they had no crystal ball for a much later day when education vastly improved opportunities and earning power.

The system that was then put in place to ensure that children have those opportunities has degenerated into a publicly funded bureaucracy that is – in practice – largely unaccountable because so few people even know who the school board trustees are. In these situations, the bureaucracy usually makes a deal with the unions, and everyone except the kid matters.

Solutions? Charter schools, vouchers, lotteries for private schools, scholarships to private schools. A stopgap for now. Later, we have to reorganize the system to serve all students better.

* Lines from my father’s life give you the fast fading picture of those farming days, circa 1923:

My father’s first job was when he was four years old: His mother told him to follow a turkey hen into the hills and find out where she was laying her eggs.

Well, the hen would walk maybe 30 metres, and stop and look sideways behind her. Dad was there. She was taller than he was.

He persisted, and found her nest, and ran and told his mom. She rushed up and gathered the eggs and put them under a broody hen (not a stupid bird, not like the turkey).

Coyotes could have got the turkey eggs if they were left in the hills. They could have got the hen too. They’d wait for her, of course. So my grandma had a good reason for doing what she did, even if the turkey hen didn’t like it. But that was how people lived in those days.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

As to the decline of American education, the following video is fairly direct in establishing the necessary 'spiritual' link to man's ability to learn new information, in that it shows that the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) scores for students showed a steady decline, for seventeen years from the top spot or near the top spot in the world, after the removal of prayer from the public classroom by the Supreme Court in 1963 (not by public decree!). Whereas the SAT scores for private Christian schools have consistently remained at the top, or near the top, spot in the world: The Real Reason American Education Has Slipped – David Barton – video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4318930 The following video is also very persuasive to a establishing a 'spiritual' link in man's ability to learn new information in that the video shows that almost every, if not every,founder of each discipline of modern science was a devout Christian: Christianity Gave Birth To Science - Dr. Henry Fritz Schaefer - video http://vimeo.com/16523153 Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. bornagain77
The very term, 'evolution', signifies, not a statement of the origin of life, generally or locally, but is a reference to physical processes - a synonym for 'changes', for 'development'. Chalk and cheese, but the secularists somehow manage to inveigle intelligent Christians and theists into accepting the way they frame the meaning of evolution, whether true or mythical. I believe they talk in terms of 'the survival of the fittest' in discussions of natural selection; but we need to be clear here, that the term, 'natural selection', is a double-edged sword. It begs the question why don't the secularists then talk of Mother Nature? So scientific -sounding, isn't it? We worship Christ (unless agnostic), but they believe in Mother Nature. We come back to their incomprehension of the limitations of what our human language, irrespective of specific national languages, is able to convey. Their thinking is fundamentally confused. 'Unintelligent design', for instance, is an oxymoron, since 'unintelligent' is the antonym of 'intelligent.' How could the universe in all its majesty and power, its intricate complexity, and, indeed, beauty, be composed and directed by interactions between different molecular configurations of dumb, inanimate matter? pbecke

Leave a Reply