Education: It Ain’t What It Used to Be |

Dumb… Dumber… Dumbest!! These are the adjectives that best describe what the educational system in America has become.Dumb is when teachers started teaching to tests instead of teaching to educate. When they no longer cared about exposing children to the wondrous world of learning; they only cared about getting funding from the government based on the school’s performance of the standardized tests. Of course, nowadays the teachers aren’t too well educated so it’s almost a moot point. How can you teach something you haven’t learned or don’t know very well?Dumber is when we, in our infinite wisdom, decided that no child should be left behind regardless of the fact that he couldn’t read, couldn’t grasp mathematics, couldn’t identify his state on a map, and couldn’t bother handing in his homework assignments or attending classes. “Dumber” is that it’s more important for the student to feel good about himself than studying and learning.Dumbest is where we are now. I’m still reeling over this latest example of dumbness. How can we, once the leader in education, have sunk so low that even the ranking of “Dumbest” is being too magnanimous. I don’t shock easily but this news item has me almost catatonic.Almost every state in this country has opted to drop teaching cursive writing from the curriculum. They claim that it is more important for a child to learn how to type because everything is now geared toward the computer and texting. They say that cursive writing is time-consuming and not as useful as the keyboard skills that students will need for junior high school and high school.I won’t even go into the obvious factor that you learn more effectively when you write something in longhand than when you type it on a keyboard. Your memory kicks in more quickly when there is a correlation between your brain and your written word; you recognize it more easily, you commit it to memory more easily and you can access the information more easily. Ask any student from the old days when learning was the backbone of his social skills, when his whole world revolved around study partners, taking notes, and preparing for college.Forget the tie-in to neuroscience that backs up this theory. The scientific community wants us to see the importance of writing things in longhand as opposed to keying it in on a typewriter. My reasons are much more basic.In modern society, we tend to be fascinated by the meaning of our dreams. Ask anyone who has ever tried to remember his dream how he managed it and more often than not, you’ll find that most people keep a pad and pencil by their bedside so that they can record it while they still remember it. Without knowing how to write, are these children, in later years, supposed to sleep with their laptop to record their dreams?Many years ago, I had a dream where I saw a beautiful poem of many stanzas and in my sleep, I tried to remember the words. When I woke up, the only thing I remembered were the last two lines. I wrote them down and put them away for future reference. I did nothing with what I had written down but the words played over and over in my mind for several years. And then one day, I turned on the radio and there was John Denver singing this captivating song and the last two lines of that song were the same two lines that I had written down and tucked away in my box of assorted notes. Needless to say, that song became an overnight hit.I’m still trying to imagine future generations of doctors who want to prescribe medications to their patients. Will they do this by thought transference to the pharmacist or texting it on their cell phone? At least they won’t have to worry about their legendary illegible handwriting.And then there are the times that we all have when we need traveling directions and we’re standing on a street corner asking how we get somewhere. I generally reach for my notepad and pen and write everything down. Even if I had my laptop with me, what if the battery gave out and I couldn’t plug in my adapter to a power source? Or if you were at a social event and wanted to give someone your telephone number and itinerary and you didn’t know how to write and your pocket wasn’t big enough to hold your palm pilot?But I think the biggest deterrent to not learning cursive writing is that someday, perhaps in the not too distant future, our electricity will fail us and there won’t be any time for scientists to find an alternate source of electricity for us to use our computers. It might start out with several hours of blackouts and then extend for weeks and months of blackouts.Right now, there are 41 states that have opted for not teaching children cursive writing, Georgia being the latest one. Massachusetts and California are still teaching it. I wonder how long it will take for a mass exodus to those states by the parents of young children who want their children to have all the advantages of a good education.

Entering the Level of Tertiary Education |

You’ll find teachers in all fields of education from beginning till the end. They are referred to as professors when holding a special degree, doctorate for example, along with research capabilities. A lower level of academia does not pay as much as a higher one, in schools and colleges generally. Due to this, university level teachers have a higher pay than primary school teachers. This is a justified method since the time and effort gone into becoming a university level teacher is more than that of a primary level teacher.One can find no law saying that the amount of degrees and accomplishment determines whether people are better or worse than one another. Teachers at primary and tertiary levels have different agendas to fulfill. Those at primary must provide a child with the three R’s of Reading, writing and arithmetic while tertiary level teachers put a strong finishing touch so children can finish basic education and become good individuals. Both teachers therefore have an almost equal amount of hard work which they must execute to make sure the child is to their credit.Entering the level of tertiary education can be terrifying for those who encounter strict, scary teachers. However, most teachers only intend to teach well. Students sometimes misunderstand a teacher’s strictness as their hate but that really isn’t true in most cases. Teachers have the heady job of constantly imparting education and finding new, better ways for children to absorb it. It is important also, in this fast-paced era of technology, to keep adding certificates and degrees to their name. A university teacher’s salary may eventually be dependent upon deliverables like the amount of passing and failing students.If the future holds such measurements then a person will have to totter between education’s price and its prize. Parents will have to be extremely careful about the choice they make.

An Entrepreneurs Life Without Higher Education |

I was probably about 22 years old when someone first told me I was lucky, it was the first of many times that a lot of different people have referred to me as lucky. I started my adult life in a hostel for homeless teenagers so I believe the truth of my young life was very far from lucky and I have had to make my own luck by spotting opportunities, taking risks and putting in the effort, I didn’t win the lottery!Most of the times this has occurred (and in the first instance too) it came during a conversation about education and the person or persons telling me I was lucky are university graduates explaining to me that the reason I am further ahead than them and earning more money at a younger age is because I am lucky. They believe that this could only be possible through chance or luck and could not possibly be down to the fact that I found an easier and better route to success that is free and quick to implement.I can’t generalize too much but a great deal of the college graduates that I have met have a small chip on their shoulder that the world owes them a better life because they earned a degree. I had 3 years head start on these guys and made things happen for myself, by the time they had graduated and were looking for their first rung job I had gained 3 years experience in my chosen field, I was earning good money and was considering starting my first business. If you are a graduate I suspect you probably dislike me don’t you? You are not happy reading this and you think I am a smug idiot who got lucky?If you knew me you would know I am not smug at all and I dedicate most of my time now to helping people achieve new things, to better their situation and make a wealthier, more enjoyable life for themselves. I like to show people that it is not your background, your education (or lack of it), the money you have now, your disabilities, what you have got or what you haven’t that shapes your future. It’s you, your attitude your enthusiasm and your commitment to being brilliant and remarkable that can change your life. Self belief that you can make it happen and the drive to do it, is really all you need.I obviously realize that certain professions dictate that a university education is mandatory e.g. doctors, engineers, architects, lawyers etc. I also think that it is a great thing to do if that’s what you want but don’t believe it’s your automatic ticket to success because it is not.What I have written here is an over simplified summary of what I believe and teach but the principle exists and it works. Most of the entrepreneurs I know never went to university or they dropped out before they graduated. I suspect most of the entrepreneurs you know of did the same. I would make a bet that a good deal of the worlds richest people never graduated from university unless they already came from a wealthy background.If you look at a lot of sport stars and athletes that come from very poor backgrounds, they never told themselves that they can’t make it to the Olympics or the world cup because they are poor and come from a bad neighborhood. They tell themselves: “WHATEVER IT TAKES, I can do it, I will do it, I have to make it”. When I left the homeless hostel and took my first steps to becoming an entrepreneur I told myself every day that I was never going back and I was going to make it whatever it takes! I had nothing to lose and I put all my chips down. There is a saying I heard the other day “Drive it like you stole it” in other words put your foot down and hurry up as if the police were chasing. It made me smile and I thought that should be a metaphor for how people should live their lives; we get too comfortable with very little and worry about what we might lose but if we lived like we had all just left a homeless hostel with nothing to lose we might all achieve 10 times more in our lives.