In my previous blog about recipe driven lives I dealt mainly with the recipes around general living. But there is a much more pervasive recipe that affects all of us. This is the recipe for educating people.
Take one young child and place them in socially acceptable kindergarten. Indoctrinate slowly with the foundations for serious study and academic achievement in later life. Ensure that the qualities of conformity and subservience to teachers are instilled.
Baste with a heavy dose of mathematics, science and languages with just a small pinch of art, music and other creative subjects for twelve years. Grill lightly in university with increased emphasis on theoretical knowledge before decorating the dish with a degree. For extra embellishment the dish can be further decorated with a masters or a doctorate before being placed in the shop window.
A number of things strike me about this recipe. Firstly, this is a long and protracted recipe that can take between twelve and twenty or more years to complete. This is also a recipe for fitting someone for later life. However, we cannot predict the world in five years time, or what should be in the shop window to cope with it, so what chance is there that the recipe is going to be right for 20 years time?
More importantly, the use of such a standard recipe that was written so long ago and is not implemented by the creator is bound not to have passion and creativity within it. This as borne out recently by a UK survey that discovered that only 28% of students thought their lecturers were enthusiastic and only one in five thought the lectures interesting!
Another worrying thought is that if this is the only show in town then the ladder from 2 years to 20+ is also a measure for success or failure. This may, and I emphasise the word may, be good for those that climb Everest, but it is a real put down for those that only make base camp! Mind you, even those that get to the top and end up in the shop window will have short-lived pleasure if no one wants them.
Why not throw away the recipe book and experiment with what we have in the cupboard? Why not start asking questions like ‘Why do we have six periods of mathematics a week but only one of art?’; ‘Why do we have an education timetable based around the planting cycle of crops?’; ‘Why do all children have to start school in September?; ‘Why do we have to sit and listen all day rather than exploring and discovering?; and many other questions?
In part three of this blog I will look at why this is so much better an approach than the one used at present when people don’t fit the recipe.