Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How Education Should Work

Education should not be anti-intellectual, pragmatic, experiential (in the sense of being concrete-bound), etc. It should teach students to reason. It should follow Dr. Leonard Peikoff's definition of education, which he presented in his Philosophy of Education lecture series.

It should receive comments like these (which came to me from a parent and a student):

"So what do you think Ryan said in the car on the way home today? After I asked him how he liked class? 'I really like how I have to think about the "how" and the "why" of the problems. I've never really been asked to think like that before.' Wow. It gets better, though, with 'and it just makes so much more sense that way'. You only get the kid a few hours a week so you might not get to see the difference you make, but I get to hear these little gems almost daily. Cool." --Helene G, parent

"You taught me where it all comes from and the importance of the fundamentals. You were always prompt, well-prepared, and thorough." --Laurie P, student (college)

We need to give more attention to education -- if people cannot reason, cannot reason well, and don't care, then intellectual activism we engage in will be wasted; it will fall on deaf ears.

Michael Gold, B.S. Mathematics and B.A. Philosophy, is owner of MGTutoring.com, a math tutoring service. He has been involved in education for over fifteen years, teaching in public and charter schools before starting his own private tutoring service. He also blogs on education and related issues at MGTutoring.com/blog.