How to save New Orleans: Grow ourselves.
I have been doing research for some time on the issue of our Education system, with the help of my more educated friends on the topic. The title of this post and the new category I have created for it comes from my friend Robbie's tagline for his Tract 27 project: "Grow Y'er Self." I will begin to post on this issue of Education and on how it is the salvation for this amazing city and the only way we will get the federal assistance to protect ourselves and our Wetlands (notice I did not say rebuild, we can handle that ourselves). Let me begin with this important first rant:
#1: We must learn not what to think but how to think. And we must do it together as a community along with our schools.
How we have been teaching our children in America is under the microscope more and more these days and for good reason. As other countries succeed at educating their populations, as we fail to, we can see our country's jobs, skills and economic control faltering. We are no longer superior. The next 100 years will leave us in very different standing globally. But how can we turn the tide?
Our national school system is based on old methods of forcing our kids into very mechanical and controlling institutions where they learn the ABC's of being a good patriotic cogs in the machinery of Americana. Most of the time it is day-care before placement into the "work force." Within this Prussian model of testing, sitting, waiting and listening our children lose any interest in learning or the ability to creatively problem solve. Accept for the occasional top-notch creative teacher, our class rooms kill the very essence of our competitive edge: A LOVE OF LEARNING & CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING.
We are 18th in the Industrialized world in Reading and 24th in Math and Science. Louisiana is close to the bottom of the bucket if not out of the hole in the bucket (couldn't help myself on that one). And in this state New Orleans is the dregs. That leaves our education system at the level of Third World if not worse. I think Zambia might be kicking our ass. What can be done?
Imagine New Orleans taking the steps, after our upcoming election, to break completely from the national model of manufacturing automatons and investing our collective energy and resources to turn our education system into one that cares for not just the Good behavior and test scores of our children but their PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH and LOVE OF LEARNING in a CREATIVE ATMOSPHERE that is fostered by and engaged within OUR SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES. (I will post more on how this can be done and has been done in the next few weeks.)
In short we need, as a city/community, to raise the intelligence of all of our citizens by understanding "our mission as a city" to help all of us to learn How to Think and How to make this the creative center of the United States. That is a big statement and overreaching goal to some, but not to me or anyone who believes in New Orleans and it's tough as nails people. What follows is technological innovation to compete with China and India and a standard of living that rivals all corners of the globe. And when I say standard of living I am not just talking about having more money, that is the old way of thinking. When I say standard of Living I mean Living Well. Living Fully. Living Creatively. Living Openly. Living Freely. Living Locally. Living Green. Living Fulfilled. And living like that takes, not money, but guts and collective community intelligence.
I think New Orleans already has all the tools it needs to make this happen. It has it's citizens, some of the most creative already in the country and NOTHING TO LOSE SINCE WE ALREADY LOST.
Thus ends my first Education rant.
April 9, 2006 | Permalink
We haven't lost hon... sometimes Life just throws a monkey wrench at you and it makes you realize your true potential.
This is the case when thinking about post-Deluge New Orleans. We are being challenged, and we will prove to the World the value of the people of New Orleans.
Keep on doing what you're doing!
BTW- I've linked you to my blog.
Posted by: Morwen Madrigal | Apr 10, 2006 1:39:40 PM
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