Saturday, October 5, 2013

Day 218 - Waiting for Superman - Double Standards

I just read the blog Self-knowledge is the only basis of true knowledge - Day 415 and I would like to add to that perspective. 

I have also watched the documentary Waiting for Superman as well as the follow up The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman - and noticed another interesting point as to how to investigate the information being shared instead of eating it up blindly.

What I noticed within the first documentary is that they were essentially blaming the teachers and the tenure system as the cause for all problems in the education system, and thus, they bring a solution in form of charter schools which provide the best teachers for the best student experience. What I found peculiar is the double standard it represents. Have a look, they were sharing their approach with students, and how, with the right tools and support each student can be the best, which I agree with, and that the failure of students within the public system does not indicate the lack of the student but rather their failure is indicating and pointing towards a bigger problem in the schooling system - but here comes the double standard – if this is true for students, wouldn’t it be just as true for teachers?

Is it not true that if we realize that by giving each child the support they need to become the best that they can be each child can excel, and thus, if students are failing we must realize there is a problem in the education system instead of placing the responsibility solely on the students, wouldn’t  the same common sense be applied with teachers, where if we see teachers that are disengaged and don’t do their best, teachers that have given up on education and just sit around waiting for the day to go by, not giving their students all that they need, wouldn’t that indicate that those teachers have been failed by the system?

The documentary blamed the teachers for being the problem in education, not realizing the bigger picture that bad teachers are showing us, as a symptom, a greater problem of the entire education system in its totality.
They bring up the problem of tenure, and expressing it to be the reason why teachers don’t care – but who of us wants to be doing something we don’t care about, wouldn’t all of us prefer to apply ourselves in our chosen profession and do our best, knowing that we are supported and encouraged to be the best that we can be?

The point of tenure is in a way a fantastic system of protection, in a world where people lose their jobs left and right, what would the teachers focus on if they were threatened daily that if they do not perform they would lose their job, what would their starting point of teaching be? not the children, but rather their own self interest, survival and fear – how would that solution create a better education system? This point obviously brings up once again the greater picture of the economic system, where people are not looked after within the system but rather are treated merely as a human resource, that can be disregarded and replaced when the new and improved model comes in, this is true not only in education, but in all fields, and thus, within this economic system where we use and treat people as commodities, we are setting the ground for indifference and disregard towards others, while enhancing self interest and personal gain at all costs, in spite of the consequences we bring to those around us.

So, here, im not saying that there are no problems with the tenure system, we can plainly see that it has been used to manipulate the system for interests and power rather than being a force that ensures that the education system as a whole will always be in the benefit of all children. But here again we must not forget to look at the greater system in which we all live in, and have accepted as such.

They show in the documentary the approach schools take to handle these bad tenure teachers where they just rotate them from one school to another instead of finding solutions to support them to become the best they can be, it is almost like the system doesn’t want to support them in bettering themselves, the system has given up on them, just as they have given up on children, just as children that have given up on learning and on themselves.
It’s all the same, as above so below – and the solution must be found for all levels of the problem, isolating the problem within the realm of the students will inevitably target the teachers as the problem, but that would be looking at it through tunnel vision rather than actually investigating the problem and situation in all its dimensions and finding an actual solution that will stand the test of time and that will support all individuals involved. 

Bottom line, when inequality and double standards are being presented, there is always more to the story that is not being shared, and in most cases this is done within hidden interests in order to gain power and money through the control of public opinion. And thus one must take responsibility and practice critical reasoning, and to deliberately look for the double standards within the information that is being presented, and not to watch / hear the information passively, one must question and investigate in order to ensure that the information is aligned with reality and not promoting a one sided interest, otherwise we will always remain as commodities, as tools in the game in which others are playing, and powerless to influence or change.


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