Thursday, August 09, 2018

knowledge in balance...

In the German language, knowledge is described in two forms, Wissenshaft, and Kentniss. Wissenshaft refers to knowledge passed along, accumulated and expressed second hand and Kentniss refers to knowledge gained directly through experience. If you have any practical experience in the real world and have gained skill as a result, you may know the difference between the two, and the way in which one reinforces the other.

Field Marshall Rommel was an example of a general who had both. He was described as having  fingerspitzengef├╝hl, knowledge in the tips of his fingers, that would come from a practical combination of Wissenshaft and Kentniss.

Through the last forty years of American education, the assumption was made that only those children going to college would gain success. This was good for American colleges and universities. It allowed tuition to sky rocket to the point that students, upon graduation, are often encumbered with massive debt, a large proportion of which is for uncompleted studies. Even many of those receiving degrees (like myself) did not take jobs in their fields of study. This does not mean that all college is a waste. But I would like to suggest that it may be a successful hornswaggle in too many cases.

What in the hell is the matter with plumbing and other services that benefit our communities and families? Why are we, as a nation, unwilling to acknowledge the importance of the trades. And perhaps the more important question is why do we put academics on a lofty pedestal, and place such high regard on the artificiality of academic degrees?

I demand that we rethink our priorities. Universal woodworking education in schools was proposed as a means to foster a sense of the dignity of all labor and create conditions in which the barrier of harsh judgement between classes would be eliminated. The great stupidity of American education is that policy makers have no sense of the importance of that. Instead, schools have been made a sorting procedure, pushing students toward college rather than preparing them for real life.

Make, fix and create...

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