“A system of education is not one thing, nor does it have a single definite object, nor is it a mere matter of schools. Education is that whole system of human training within and without the school-house walls, which molds and develops men.
If then we start out to train an ignorant and unskilled people with a heritage of bad habits, our system of training must set before itself two great aims–the one dealing with knowledge and character, the other part seeking to give the child the technical knowledge necessary for him to earn a living under the present circumstances.” W.E.B. DuBois
1. Are we treating the education of our inner city youth as a mere matter of schools, without insisting upon quality in the curriculum?
2. Are we simply ignoring the requirement of training outside the school-house walls?
3. If molding and developing men requires a whole educational system of human training within and without the school-house walls, aren’t our societal shortcomings by definition then both inside and outside the school walls?
4. Acceptance of substandard educational outcomes for our children, an upside down value system that places the emphasis on entertainment, athletics, irresponsible fatherhood, cool…. instead of school, and immediate gratification-instead of a dedication to the study of knowledge and character, ……aren’t these realities, along with so many more, manifestations of a heritage of bad habits?
5. Substantially below grade level reading and writing, unprecedented dropout rates, math and science deficiencies, do these facts sound like possession of the technical knowledge to earn a living under the present circumstances?
DuBois raises issues for our consideration in 1903, designed to assist in the crafting of a blueprint to mold and develop men. Some 108 years later, his words outlining the comprehensive framework for an educational system of training inside and outside the school-house, knowledge and character building, technical training, and avoidance of the heritage of bad habits all seems to ring hollow in a way.
So what do we do……………………nothing?
Read, learn, and share……….Have a Family Meeting!