16 August 2007

Educating for democracy

C-Span's on downstairs, with educators talking about how they can better educate for success.

They're right — we do have to educate for success, teach children the math and language skills they'll need to be good employees. Unemployment and homelessness and shiftlessness are no substitute even for that job at Wendy's.

However, if we're only educating to train workers for the marketplace, we've lost the foundation of democracy, which requires educated and informed citizens able to reason and question, not just follow directions and give the right change.

Voters have to be able to distinguish between fear-based appeals and real threats. We have to understand the moral underpinnings of working for the common good, whether Christian, Muslim, or atheist.

We can't just educate for success.

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