I was listening to a radio talk show (a link from GMO Free Jackson)and realized that sometimes we have to consider the value of knowledge. In this case, the value of knowledge is the difference between the knowledge (perhaps call it learning? memorization?) that goes on in government schools in contrast to the knowledge, or learning, that might go on in real life experiences, such as what happens with homeschooling or working on the family farm, or in apprenticing in a trade.
And I think that’s just about the point. Somehow our cultural focus has shifted from making our way through life to preparing our children for more education so they can get white collar employment. For the most part, real life is continual education. Somehow, our value system has been corrupted and external ‘others’ tell us material wealth is all that matters. So our education systems have been skewed to focus on learning that will net us higher pay checks with no consideration to the quality of life in pursuit of that paycheck. Simultaneously, our culture has devalued the skills that create the goods or provides the services that make our white collar lives comfortable.
I question why learning from a classroom or structured setting is more valuable than the knowledge gained from direct experience? We live in a time where there is so much information to be had, that specialization is de riguer and yet our happiness quotient has fallen perceptively. Consider, too, that most people in our society do not have an inkling of how to grow food, build shelters, or even cook from scratch for themselves. It is a sad fact that we are seeing a generation come in to maturity that doesn’t even know what real food is let alone know where food comes from or how to make it happen.