I think one of the major shortcomings of the education system overall is that it has not adapted to the skills needed to be successful in the information age. Most classrooms spend a lot of time in the indoctrination of information. The model is that someone (i.e. the teacher) presents information, and the student “learns” this information and demonstrates their “knowledge” by spitting it back. While that may work for the basic fundamentals, once you get past those fundamentals it really serves very little purpose.
More important than the ability to regurgitate “facts” is the ability to critically analyze the information that is presented to you. We’ve all heard the axiom that there are two sides to every story. In fact the comments left on this blog over the years by those that disagree with me on given policy positions is a good example of that. Personal attacks aside, most of the for and against arguments on a given issue have some merit.
So, what does this have to do with the new APS Recruitment Policy? Well, the debate over the recruitment policy demonstrates the shortcoming of an education by indoctrination:
The presence of recruiters also must be logged, to determine whether they are spending more time at certain schools than others. The logs will also track groups that requested access to schools and were denied.
One central complaint of peace activists remains unchanged. Several anti-war groups have requested access to campuses to provide counter-information to military recruitment and say they have been denied. They would still not be allowed on campus under the new policy, which would allow only groups that actively recruit for a job or service program, not those that simply advocate a point of view.
If critical thinking and the ability to make well-rounded decisions were taught, then the peace-activists complaints would truly be moot. Students would take the information given by recruiters (military, business or community groups) and then do some of their own research to determine if what was “being sold” was in their own best interest. But, of course, in the age of the ever-growing nanny government, the assumption is that the citizenry is really not capable of thinking for themselves.
Worse, the newly adopted policy demonstrates the classic government bureaucratic solution in all its glory. Let’s create logs and task someone with administering and analyzing those logs. Yeah, in a time of growing budget shortfalls, that’s going to add value to the education of our children.