The Trouble with Education...

From: Terry W. Colvin (
Date: Sat Oct 20 2001 - 17:27:30 MDT

Excerpts from an editorial by SITU's (Society for the Investigation of The
Unexplained) founder in Pursuit, Vol. 4, No. 1, 1971.

The Trouble with Education...

by Ivan T. Sanderson

The real trouble of course is that we don't have an educational system in
that we are still trying to *teach* rather than *educate*. Teaching is a
technological process suitable only for imparting techniques; education is
or should be a mental exercise, and not just to encourage learning but to
foster understanding. It should be offered in three fundamental aspects--
simultaneously--(1) the provision of factual information, (2) the
principles and methodology of classification, and (3) and most
important of all, the stimulus to cerebration. The last is defined
by the dictionary as: "Action of the brain, conscious or unconscious"
(please note)--in other words, how to *think*.

The primary duty of educators should therefore be to stimulate the pupil,
of whatever age, to use whatever "brains" he or she has to comprehend
reality. The best way to do this is manifestly to gain their interest
by an appeal to their curiosity; and the best way to do this is to
present them with enigmas and paradoxes, which is to say the unexplained.
Parroting the explained is a pure waste of time. This can be looked up
in textbooks. But our so-called system is today collapsing primarily
because the second essential has been wholly ignored. This is taxonomy
or the expertise of classification.

It is quite useless to try to come to a decision about anything unless
you know the facts, and you can't gather these if you can't find them.
What is more, no amount of technique that you may have been taught will
help you if you have never been presented with an overall set of
pigeon-holes into which you can put anything and everything, and
the outer limits of which have been defined, and the division and
subdivision of which have been laid for you. The Three 'Rs' are
techniques. They do *not* constitute education, let alone knowledge.

The best teachers start each semester with a definitive course in
taxonomy, then proceed to the main subject for the rest. Since
competence in the three 'Rs' should be implied by a certain age,
books to read and lab work to be done are listed on a blackboard,
and the educator is then free to devote his or her entire time to
stimulating the interest and inquisitiveness of the pupils. The
collecting of credits is asinine, and defeats its purpose which
is the assimilation of facts. Facts cannot be assimilated in lumps
without reference to all other facts. All subjects should be taught
simultaneously and continuously up to a certain level, and
examinations be held in each and all at the end of each semester.
Above this level only one specialty should be *taught*, and on the
assumption that the pupil is by then educated. The one subject
that should be added to the three 'Rs' is geography, and this
should be continued until degrees are bestowed. This is the
European system; and it *is* a system.

Terry W. Colvin, Sierra Vista, Arizona (USA) < >
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