With the new education system, Common Core being implemented now, I suggest on some levels, we’ve forgotten what education should really be about. I wonder if a “Liberal Arts Education” which seems nearly archaic, wouldn’t be a better option than where we seem to be heading. This simply means I believe Language Arts: Grammar, Rhetoric, and Logic are important as are the Math disciplines: Arithmetic and Geometry. Additionally, the Liberal Arts include Music and Astronomy in the Math discipline. I know there is much more out there to learn than these subjects like Algebra, History, Science and a host of others, but are we making it more complicated than necessary?
It’s my understanding the new educational technique is designed to make our children better able to handle and function in their future world of college and careers. Much of what I have seen, however, seems more complicated and confusing. Perhaps I’m just old fashioned, but I prefer things simple!
Grammar, simply put, it is the structure of a language, with rules, by which we communicate a complete thought or idea in a logical systematic form. It could be described as a road map which gives direction to the correct way of speaking. My little grandson communicates now without words. Later he will begin with a word or two, followed by more words until he puts together a fragment of a sentence that will usually be understood by those who interact with him daily. As his vocabulary grows, he will put together complete and clear thoughts which he will learn without any proper training.
Once my grandson enters a classroom, he will learn how and why he put certain words in particular places. I will admit as a young person I loathed grammar! Somehow knowing what a conjunctive is, where it goes in a sentence and why, just confused me and didn’t seem worthwhile. Still I learned the fundamentals. What is amazing to me, is in spite of the intense dislike of grammar in school, I learned enough to be able to communicate well on different levels. Ultimately, isn’t this what we all really want? It’s necessary to be able to communicate with friends, family, co-workers and even strangers effectively.
So where does this leave us in the classroom with education? It is changing, and rapidly. The new standards were intended to make uniform national educational goals as opposed to the varied state educational goals which preceded it. Many states were enticed to participate in the program with federal grants and is being implemented in most of our schools through out America.
It seems in the Language Arts sector, specifically in Grammar, problems are arising as to how some lessons are apparently being politically geared. The partisan politics could be interpreted as superseding the understanding of where to place the nouns, adjectives, and verbs in a sentence to make a stronger statement. There is some discussion as to indoctrination rather than education given the students are learning a one sided perspective of some political ideals. According to another article, a lesson through a reading book, depicts white people, as racist, who would not vote for anyone but a white president.
Is this what we want? Do we really want our young people unable to have clear thoughts and the ability to make up their own minds about what they think and learn? It is important to learn, and to learn much; but is teaching bias and bigotry in the name of teaching sentence structure the way to do it?