There are many reasons why our education system is in crisis. Prospective educators are subjected to a trendy oppression-obsessed, feel-good and esteem-ridden curriculum with little emphasis on mastery of subject matter. Note some college courses offered to prospective educators: Social Diversity in Education, Oppression of the Disabled, Diversity and Change, Lesbian/Gay Oppression and Multicultural Education.
Some educators prefer to be called “facilitators” and consider themselves bystanders as they guide the self-educating child. Requiring and abiding by a curriculum is considered cramping the human spirit.
Another factor in the decline of our schools was the elimination of music education programs. Learning to play an instrument is an unforgiving endeavor: You cannot hide a wrong note or a missed beat. Demanding rigorous, disciplined repetitious drills are indispensable for the development of a variety of skills, musical or otherwise.
But such drills are frowned upon and, in some schools, considered corporal punishment. There is evidence of the efficacy of this approach, though: Just ask any student to perform the latest rap hit. The National Commission on Music Education reported that “in 1987-89 students taking music courses scored an average of 20-40 points higher on both verbal and math portions of the SATs ….”
I suggest all education professors and prospective educators begin learning how to play an instrument, perhaps the violin. The benefits of disciplined repetition will soon become apparent to them as well as their neighbors.