Thursday, March 14, 2019

one in twelve...

The scandal of rich folks using bribery and fraud to get their kids into college has brought to light some of the pressures that children and parents feel. No one could fault a parent for wanting the best for their children, even if that parent is delusional about what a child might actually need (like character and the self-respect one earns through doing real things of value to their communities as examples). Perhaps you can excuse a few folks for not imparting to their kids what they have not earned or learned themselves.

On the other hand, one in 12 students go off to college with suicide plans in hand. The pressures are enormous. Parents want bragging rights they can claim from their children's success, and success in this disrupted society requires college.

They've advertised and promoted this for years, even on TV. How many times have you heard that college graduates make twice as much money as those who do not get college degrees? And so the solution they propose is that all kids, by necessity, must go to college whether they are ready and mature enough to be successful at it, even if that means elbowing more deserving kids out of the way.

We might take a different approach like that taken in the Nordic countries. Incomes are more uniform, so that all (even teachers) make reasonable incomes, and parents have much less to worry about. Here in the US, college graduates make twice as much and corporate CEOs make up to a thousand times more than that.

In Educational Sloyd, one of the objectives was to foster a societal sense of the dignity of all labor. This was not to create a two or three tier society, but to build a society in which all människor,  (human beings) would be treated with respect, and democratic principles would thrive. We seem to have gone willingly in the wrong direction, and our children pay the price. Suicide, drug addiction, and student debt.

It interests me, that manual arts training in schools would build that sense of the dignity of labor, but also provide a path toward the development of character in all our youth. Between senseless degradation of our natural environment, suicide and opioid addiction, our children suffer, and few see that the answer is at hand.

The photo shows one of my students with an airplane he made in yesterday's class. The working propeller is a special touch.

Make, fix and create...

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