Thoughts on Parenting, Education and preparation for the Future.

There is a middle ground of ideals that we use to raise children.  In that space we find to the right more conservative parents who forecast and plan out an exact path a child will take.  Imagine being told “what you will be” in adulthood.  There are, I suspect, a few pitfalls with the practice to these ideals.  Stylistically they are conservative because they are ardently traditional.  The doctrine of a “preordained future” is a relic from a former era when vocations were a family’s lifework.  Farming being the most obvious abstraction from this theory–this was during a time when few even considered options.  Most likely you were very fortunate to have an inherited destiny as a matter of piece of mind.  Less experimental and more pragmatic, the agrarian ideology said we must grow, harvest, and preserve the seed for the coming spring so as to yield the crop that we know with certainty how to cultivate, and would brand itself as the “American Hope”.  That kind of thinking continued on through the next stage of our cultural development and stays on today, the age of information-postmodernity.  Surely amongst us are Baby Boomers and their begotten who were and are raised with the subtle and not so subtle conditioning that their future had already been written.  Their creative input would be accepted so long as it remained within the bounds of the structures provided.

To the left of this middle ground, I would say is where my parent’s ideas are found, over to the left, however, not extreme.  The extreme would put all responsibility of choice in their child’s hand, save for the necessary structure and tutorial guidance a parent provides a child.  My parents were something of a Lackadaisical Left.  I received structure and tutorial, however, in hindsight it is obvious that it was not enough.  For example, it never occurred to me, nor did the desire beset me to demand help with mathematics.  Eventually, my mother did place me in the hands of others for which she knew she and my father did not and/or could not provide, however, by that time in Middle School I was already three years behind my peers…

Regardless of right or left, conservative or liberal, traditional or postmodern, the middle ground which these perspectives operate in fails to recognize, at some level–lacking the range of view, the limitless potential of Future.  Education as we know it today at most only provides a basic investment for the near future.  Our age of rapid information, in ever shorter expanses, sees growth in greater increments than ever before.   If you look at education and the skill sets associated with the telephone and computer, I think it highlights this idea. The telephone we knew fifty years ago is basically the same phone we know today–it accomplishes the same task with very little user interface changes, save for the time consuming spin of the clackety rotary dial banished from our midst.  That would be the former challenge facing education.  Whereas today’s education faces computers and the computers we knew fifteen or twenty years ago are for most purposes outmoded.  The user interface technology has changed so drastically that if a computer user did not advance along with technology, a new computer today would render most of their knowledge obsolete as the rotary dial.  We can’t afford to take the chance that our children today, might be rendered obsolete in the very near future. They must be prepared for new experiences and realities and technologies and most importantly, Moral Integrity…

*[this follows the strand that Moral Integrity for the 21st and 22nd Centuries requires a deeper understanding of the world we live in today.  How else will we deal with ecological problems? For example, like ones that have grown out of the Industrial Age.  Certainly, as we have seen, the knowledge, willingness, and Moral Integrity of the Industrial Era’s leadership has no interest in believing in Global Warming….]

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