by Arjun Walia
Prior to the late 1800’s, education was a private practice which took place in private institutions or through home schooling. That all changed in 1902 when John D. Rockefeller created the general education board in conjunction with Frederick T. Gates, Rockefeller’s business and personal adviser and good friend. The general education board was responsible for funding the American public school system, and provided over one hundred million dollars in 1902; they continued their support in a lesser capacity beyond that date. The board was responsible for the creation of the American public school system and has been used as a model globally for more than a century.
“I want a nation of workers, not thinkers.” – John D. Rockefeller
Let’s think about this for a minute. Not long after the day we are born we are enrolled into a school, spending the majority of our days there for approximately thirteen years, eight hours a day. We are told how the world functions according to the curriculum guidelines set forth by the government, which teachers are supposed to follow. We do this so we can earn a piece of paper in order to move on to ‘higher education’ to get another piece of paper that qualifies us for some type of job.
Modern day education does indeed have its benefits, but many seem to believe that the negatives far outweigh the positives. Sure, we are indeed learning, but we are not (as the video below emphasizes) necessarily taught how to question the world around us or the very material we’re being taught. Furthermore, the world is changing at a rapid pace and new information is constantly emerging in all subject areas. Despite this fact, children are left learning the same, decades old material that they’ve been taught for years, and questioning certain ‘facts’ or information is not always welcomed.