Thomas B Edsall wrote for the New York Times Opinion Pages, “It has been widely recognized that the premium on cognitive skills stems from the shift to a knowledge-based economy driven by the decline in manufacturing employment, the growth of the technology and financial sectors, and labor recruitment from a global talent pool. . . Whatever you think of the educational reform movement — in its charter-school form or its district-takeover form — the forces contributing to contemporary class stratification are beyond the reach of the classroom alone.”
We must understand that there has always been a premium on cognitive skills however the shift was from a concentration on cognitive skills to physical and learning abilities due to an increase in the number of college graduates flooding the intellectual market in the 60’s and 70’s.
Once behavior became an issue in education, the initial intent of education, to create knowledgeable, concerned, actively engaged and productive members of society, was changed to the creation of a workforce that was capable of following directions without question.
This application of manpower had to be as standardized as the machines they were to operate.
Technology reduced the necessity for standardized manpower which lead to an increase in our military forces since this also requires standardized manpower.
It is only by changing the language of education that we can change education back to its original intent, the creation of a knowledgeable, concerned, respectful, actively engaged, self-governing society.
It is only by changing the language of education so that it concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all of our children regardless of their parents socio-economic status that the promise of “freedom and equality” for all can be achieved.
It is only by changing the language of education so that every child receives a developmentally appropriate, arts based, experiential, curriculum delivered by knowledgeable, caring, dedicated adults that recognize and respect their own gifts and talents and the gifts and talents of everyone in the school community that we can “get more people to have good lives.”
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