Is what is taught in the Western education system useful?

Knowledge is only useful if it can be immediately practically applied.

I have a simple grasp of the subject of alchemy: the philosopher who turns lead into gold.  I understand the use of alchemical ideas of becoming a better person from the one before in Freemasonry.  I can convert the ideas of alchemy into concrete terms of the acorn converting into an oak tree, just as lead becomes gold; that this same acorn draws from all the four basic elements (fire from the sun, carbon from the air, water from the rain, minerals from the earth) to become the oak tree.

I read a blog by an academic who teaches alchemy at a university.  This academic is asked by his superiors to try and spin his subject into a manner that fits into a syllabus, and then he goes on to give an intellectualised set of lectures to meet that goal.  Often academics and the education system heads off into intellectualism that is uninspiring and impractical.  This brings me to practical wisdom, if something cannot be immediately practically applied it is useless knowledge.  I wonder if any of those students are practically applying knowledge given to them by that academic? Knowing the modern Western education system, not many.



4 responses to “Is what is taught in the Western education system useful?

  1. No (in response to the title). It is an industrial model designed for an industrial education system and industrial workers. Creativity is not part of the recipe. Practical wisdom, indeed 🙂

  2. SynthesistChronicles

    I embrace the notion that the primary duty and role of kindergarten through twelfth grade instruction is to support each individual in becoming the most functional and effective democratic citizen that we can help them become. This is distinct from the notion that the purpose of public education during these grades is an accrediting and sorting institution. The consequences of this view are many. It means that inclusion is a necessity because it provides a higher probability that differently abled students will learn the skills that they require to maximize their potential to be functional and independent. It also means that public schools have a duty to teach basic vocational and life skills that are necessary for citizens to be minimally functional in a highly technological society (i.e. curriculum should include skills such as balancing a checkbook and creating a budget to typing and navigating the internet). It also means that curriculums should be focused on the development of higher-level thinking, especially problem solving skills, instead of focusing on a narrow set of skills that are easily “testable”, as the American system has become overly focused on.

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