It can be argued that to understand the world around us, we must first understand ourselves. From an early age, children are capable of learning the concepts we have amassed throughout our history as a civilization. Perhaps the issues we face as a society can be addressed by the manner in which our children learn. For argument’s sake, we can formulate an optional progression of education from childhood to college level. The idea will reveal itself through the explanation of each level of the progression.
Vocabulary and Literature
Language, vocabulary and literature are the staples of human learning. The first two years of education are ideal for the development of a child’s understanding of these principals. The child may not yet be able to grasp, math and sciences, yet and arguably should not be required at this level . The focus on reading and comprehension establishes the educational foundation upon which all future learning will be based.
Biology and Natural Sciences
Children are already students of the natural sciences. They explore the world around them and the creatures within it. Reading and learning about nature and biology will come easy for the child. The focus during this stage of the child’s education is to build an understanding of their physical development. The child learns about the creatures of the world and their place in it. They also come to understand themselves and their own place in the world. The concept that to understand anything one must first understand self cannot be denied.
Mathematics and Physical Sciences
With the structure and foundation of learning firmly established, a child can now begin to explore mathematical concepts. Math has typically been difficult for some children to grasp as a result of their failure to relate to how math is useful to them. The child’s background in biology and natural sciences now provides the basis for their need for mathematics. Also, their education is no longer divided among the different fields of study. These 2 years are devoted totally to the understanding of math and how it applies to the world they live in.
If we now review the child’s understanding of the world thus far, we see that the child has a vastly superior grasp of the world than the typical sixth grader. Knowledge is not jumbled together, but built upon in an organized manner. Each field naturally compliments the next in the child’s educational development to this point. As we continue, we further build upon the child’s current educational development.
History and Civilization
The following two years are devoted to the study of the history of civilization. Some would argue that history and civilization would have perhaps been better taught after language, vocabulary and literature. The issue that arises with teaching about history too early in educational development is the concepts of religion and politics that can adversely sway the child’s future objectivity in these topics. Also, the progression of each of the fields of study the child has learned thus far is addressed in its historical context. Coincidentally, the child is not hindered by the pitfalls of bias suffered by the great minds that discovered the concepts throughout history. With their background thus far, children begin to see clearly the mistakes of the past made by those in history who leap too far ahead of their understanding of themselves. We can also begin to ask the children what they would decide if faced with the controversial decisions made throughout history. Would they enslave an entire race of people to secure their own freedoms? Would they oppress their own people to suppress the progression of knowledge? We now begin to see the significance of this hypothetical educational model. Keep in mind as well, these are only eighth graders.
Philosophy and Religion
These fields are taught with the emphasis on philosophy within the first year and then religion during the second. The child comes to first understand the progression of thought and how it evolved into religion over the course of human history. They learn about the various religions of the world as well as those of their own society. The religions are compared upon their similarities and differences. While we may have developed predefined notions of religion, we must keep in mind, these tenth graders possess a depth of understanding of the physical universe we do not. They know what is possible, even likely, and what is not. When tested on what religion is to them based upon what they have learned about creation thus far, their objective answers may vary significantly from that of our own.
Political Science and Government
The last two years of this educational model addresses the current political structure and government. Current issues are discussed and debated among the students as well as visiting political leaders. National and world issues are addressed and debated as well. The seniors utilize their knowledge and understanding of these issues to formulate possible solutions to the benefit of mankind. Their papers addressing these issues become the basis of their college theses later. Ironically, the best colleges in the country apply to these students for the honor of their attendance.
From the first year until graduation, each field of study is progressed so the child continues to use what has been learned toward the next field of study in the years to come. Each two year segment is highly specialized to focus on the subject matter. The child must use all of what they have learned toward the development of the current required curriculum. This culminates toward the last two years in which they are required to use what they have learned to address real world issues.