Moi has received two comments that in a couple of ways are intertwined. In the first comment which is about the blog post, Why We Need to Fully Fund Basic Education Tom S. Says the following:
Tom S. 4 weeks ago
Great words from Dr. King. Education should teach knowledge and how to think, not what to think. Just want to mention there are scientists, however, with closed minds. Give me someone with a philosophical mind, someone who searches all angles including science. We need good teachers, and money isn’t the answer. We spend plenty on education and get little bang for the buck.
These are the comments which inspired Tom S.’s post :
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote an insightful essay about the purpose of an education when he was at Morehouse in 1947. In The Purpose of Education Dr. King opines:
As I engage in the so-called “bull sessions” around and about the school, I too often find that most college men have a misconception of the purpose of education. Most of the “brethren” think that education should equip them with the proper instruments of exploitation so that they can forever trample over the masses. Still others think that education should furnish them with noble ends rather than means to an end.
It seems to me that education has a two-fold function to perform in the life of man and in society: the one is utility and the other is culture. Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the legitimate goals of his life.
Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking. To think incisively and to think for one’s self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda. At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose. A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.
The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.
The late Eugene Talmadge, in my opinion, possessed one of the better minds of Georgia, or even America. Moreover, he wore the Phi Beta Kappa key. By all measuring rods, Mr. Talmadge could think critically and intensively; yet he contends that I am an inferior being. Are those the types of men we call educated?
We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. The broad education will, therefore, transmit to one not only the accumulated knowledge of the race but also the accumulated experience of social living.
If we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts. Be careful, “brethren!” Be careful, teachers!
Bottom line is a good education allows an individual a chance at their particular dreams and a chance to provide a better life for their family.
In the second comment which is about the blog post, More Tacoma School District Students Are Wearing Uniforms Kdawn makes the following comment:
kdawn 8 hours ago
I think the whole idea of forcing students to wear, and parents to buy, school uniforms is militaristic and disgusting. Dress codes can be written in such a way that freedom of expression isn’t trampled the way it is by Tacoma schools. In my view, this is one more step in our nation becoming a police state. My 7th grade daughter and I are (unfortunately) moving to Tacoma shortly, and DREAD the idea of her being foced to comply with some idiot’s idea of what makes children more easily controlled and more apt to toe-the-line. My child is more than capable of dressing herself and has ample appropriate attire to wear to school. Furthermore, we both strongly feel that forcing children to wear uniforms violates students’ right to freedom of expression, are a financial burden for poor families, and are an unfair additional expense for parents who pay taxes for a free public education. It really angers me that my daughter has plenty of appropriate school clothing, but I will nevertheless be forced to buy a bunch of ugly and plain crap because someone says that we have to. I’m with George Carlin: “(School uniforms are) not even a new idea; I first saw it in old newsreels from the 1930s, but it was hard to understand, because the narration was in German. But the uniforms looked beautiful. And the children did everything they were told and never questioned authority.” Come on, THINK people!! Why is this being forced down the throats of our children?
The two comments are related because at the core is the question of a “dream” or “calling” and who that particular dream or calling belongs to. Of course, parents have the right to instill in their children their values, but isn’t one of the primary duties of a parent to help the child achieve THEIR dreams, even if it might not be the dreams of the parent? As parents are parenting THEIR child, of course they have to be realistic about guiding the child in the achievement of the child’s dreams. So, I suppose the question for Kdawn is whose dreams are you promoting, yours? Are you giving your child every opportunity to succeed in this society? At the time Dr. King was living, an African American male dare not dream to be president. Should President Obama’s dream of the presidency have been limited because naysayers just couldn’t see the possibilities? Like it or not, there are certain rules of the game that President Obama played to get to his current position. Sorry, but one can be ever so smart and ever so talented, but unless you want to limit your child to hip-hop stardom or that one in a million chance of sports stardom, Dr. Wilda says to you, get with the program. Honestly, an old broad like Dr. Wilda making a rap song on YouTube has a greater chance of stardom than most kids.
Moi loves Picasso and one of the great treats of moi’s life was to go to the Picasso Museum in Barcelona. This particular museum contains the masters early works. What you will notice is how great a technician he was. He fully mastered the fundamentals of drawing, design, and perspective. He could realistically draw figures. In other words, he knew what the rules were and understood them before developing his own unique style. Schools consider adopting uniforms to maintain discipline in the school and to focus the student’s attention on education. So, the question to you is what is more important, your child’s education and future prospects or your political agenda.
Recently, the Swiss banking giant UBS issued a dress code for its employees and moi posted the following blog post, Should Public Schools Have Dress Codes Like UBS Bank?
Particularly in the elementary grades it is important that teachers model appropriate behavior and appropriate attire. Given the number of children in distressed circumstances in contemporary society, it is important that schools be one institution where appropriate behavior is modeled. Another purpose of a good basic education is to equip children with the skills and the ability to make choices about their life. It has been my observation that many in education, not all, like to “rage against the machine” or what they perceive to be the dominant political dynamic. That is their right during their off hours. If a child wants to grow up and lead JP Morgan Chase, that is THEIR choice and THEIR right as well. The teacher is there to equip the child with the skills to follow THEIR dream. Many children come from families and backgrounds who are not as equipped to nurture and promote the child’s dreams as other families are. All children deserve a chance and a teacher modeling professional dress is an important part of the education of these children.
Moi supposes that after “business casual” probably degenerated into P.J.s and flipflops, banking giant UBS put the brakes on and delivered a dress code to its employees. Huffington Post has a good synopsis of the code along with a link to the actual document at the post, UBS 43′ Page Dress Code Warns Employees Not to Show Underwear
Of course, employees don’t have to work at UBS, they can work else where. BUT, given global competition, some one will be happy to work there. That is the point, your child is competing internationally. You have the right to instill your values, but if moi were advising you and moi is, give your child every chance to succeed in this culture and beyond. Like Picasso, once they have mastered the rules of the game, if they want to go their own way, then wish them well as they go for THEIR dreams.
Methinks the benefits far outweigh the costs.
Is Appropriate Attire One Characteristic of the True Teacher Professional
Ready to Learn: Hygiene for Kids
Dr. Wilda may be contacted at [email protected]
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