We hear the horror stories about propaganda that passes for education today. Our schools seem to be engaged in a battle against civilization. They demonize industry in the name of environmentalism, they perpetuate the myth of the “noble savage” in the name of multiculturalism, and they exalt sacrifice of the individual to the tribe in the name of “public service.”
Such propaganda is toxic. Because it is explicit, however, it is easily removed from a curriculum (or rejected by a student who is open to rational counter-arguments). In other words, these elements of the curriculum are like a malignant tumor that can be cut out. If this were the only problem, then the solution would be obvious: Eliminate the false ideas that constitute a frontal assault on civilization and individual achievement.
Unfortunately, the real problem is subtler and deeper. It is implicit rather than explicit, and insidiously spread throughout the curriculum. The laws of natural science are taught in the same way as the lies of environmentalism and multiculturalism. The conclusions are to be accepted on authority, not grasped by reasoning from evidence. The child does not develop the ability to distinguish between true and false ideas; instead, both are passively memorized and repeated back on tests. The damage is done regardless of whether the ideas are true or false; either way, they are empty assertions that serve as clubs to beat young minds into submission.
A healthy child hungers for real understanding, and our schools starve his mind until it atrophies. We ache with empathy when we see the emaciated bodies and protruding ribs of hungry children. But is a starving mind less painful than a starving body? In one sense, cognitive starvation is worse because the child does not even know what he needs — so his screams are silent. Yet we need to hear them.
How to nurture a child’s body is well understood; how to nurture his mind is being discovered at Falling Apple Science Institute. We are developing a curriculum that does not merely tell children what is known — it shows them exactly how we know it. The student grasps every step of the reasoning process and arrives at the conclusions independently. He is an active discoverer, not a passive memorizer.
We have completed our first astronomy books and outlined the entire science curriculum. But there is much more work to be done. With the modest budget required to support a small team of experts, we can provide children with real knowledge and help them become successful, creative thinkers.
Please contact us (at www.fallingapple.org) for more information about our curriculum and how you can help us achieve our goals.