Security, which I do not recall as having ever been needed while I was a student, has now become a requirement. Teachers and administrators now need security officers to provide safety for students. …
Security, which I do not recall as having ever been needed while I was a student, has now become a requirement. Teachers and administrators now need security officers to provide safety for students. Nurses are needed to care for ailing students. Whereas students drove the school buses when I attended, now adults do the driving. A school teacher, or teachers, was designated to check books out of the library at certain times during the school day, now certified librarians are placed in charge of the library. Inclusion allows special students to attend public school classes, allowing them to have a caretaker assist them throughout the day. Speech therapists are used to correct speech problems. On we could go in describing differences between my school days and where we are now in education.
It is very difficult for me to rise to the level of higher education in this discussion. In this category I am fully aware that in some areas, probably most as I view it, my assessment of the route that higher institutions have taken is contradictory to what I think constitutes a quality well-rounded education. When only one side of a subject is presented, or an opposing view is not allowed to be presented without ridicule, this does not constitute a well-rounded education. When all the facts and information on a subject are presented in an impartial way, the students then have the ability to make an informed decision as to the merits of both sides. It is my perception that many teachers of today’s young people enter the classroom to indoctrinate students in accepting their perceived ideas, especially in institutions of higher education when a student is out from under the tutelage of parents. Many times these concepts are opposite those that have been instilled in the child an early age. This results in an inevitable conflict in the student. Both sides of an issue should be fairly taught, which would allow the student to reach a knowledgeable decision as to what should be believed.
I can discuss this thought on a personal basis. My four undergraduate were spent at Harding College (now Harding University) which is a conservative Christian university located in Searcy, Arkansas. Daily chapel attendance was a requirement, and so were Bible Classes for each semester that a student was enrolled. The Bible classes were taught using the Bible as a textbook and were taught free from doctrinal views which allowed the student to interrupt the studies based on the text. After receiving my degree there in 1965, I was employed for a period of time before going back to a state school, in the mid-seventies, to earn my master’s degree in Correctional Counseling and Human Development. This involved taking psychology courses. In order to graduate, a thesis paper was required on a subject, in that field, of the students’ choosing. Having a background in Bible I proposed to write the paper using Psychology in the Bible as my topic. I thought that it would be interesting and informative to show how psychology was used in the Bible to achieve certain purposes. When I presented my topic request to my designated advisor I learned that the student’s choosing did not include the Bible. My request was immediately vetoed and was informed that I must choose a different one. The reason given; “I have never read the Bible, I do not intend to read the Bible, and I would not know how to evaluate your paper. You must choose another subject.” I sensed that the word “Bible” was enough to trigger a negative response. After being accustomed to the wide range of thought encouraged for discussion in a Christian environment, this reply came as a shock. So much for diversity in a Master’s degree from a state school! The outcome of the rejection and the subject of my second choice, Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System, proved satisfying as I received a top score with “Good paper Suitable for publication” written on it when returned. However, I was still upset over the fact that I was not able to wrap up my master’s program in a manner of my choosing to get the well-rounded education that I felt that I deserved.
I dare not try to take a peek into the future of education. There can be no denying that we have made great strides in some areas such as mathematics, science, medicine, and other important areas, and there are reasons to believe that the future will lead to even greater accomplishments.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if after eighty more years have passed, at the turn of the century, we could take a peek as to how history evaluates the interim from now? History might tell a different story than expected unless there is more being taught regarding mistakes that history has revealed to us which brought down mighty empires that were considered, at that time, to be able to stand forever. To ignore the pitfalls that resulted in the collapse of nations, such as the great Roman Empire, means that we are subject to such a fate. I realize that I may be laughed at for even suggesting that such a disaster might befall the country we love, but we must be diligent and avoid the pitfalls that might confront us.
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