Today's Education 

Ordinary schools are designed to churn out people who can read and write, haven't set their ambitions too high, and will be able to fit into the working world where they will carry out a menial and bureaucratic function for average pay. Increasingly, employers have a big say over what education should be about i.e. education now serves industry rather than its true purpose of the improvement of the individual. Universities are not academies of wisdom, but institutions for the needs of industry. Industry wants compliant, dutiful, obedient workers who don't think too much and never challenge the hierarchy. It doesn't want rebels, heretics and freethinkers. It craves "Yes" men who do what they're told and never complain.

One of the worst mistakes the state can make is to shovel all children, no matter their differences, into "one size fits all" schools where they get a standardised curriculum that is never tailored to any child's particular needs and talents. If you provided everyone on earth with a one-size-fits-all set of clothes, most would look terrible, while, for a lucky few, they would be a perfect fit. So it is with education. For a few, the education system is just right - for everyone else it's a lesser or greater disaster. People are individuals. They have strengths and weaknesses. Incompatible personality types don't get along well. Bullying is seen as normal in our schools. The teachers never see anything, or deliberately turn a blind eye.

The pupils with the best grades are often not the most intelligent ones, but the ones with the best short-term memory or the best at rote, robotic learning. After an exam, they usually forget most of the material.

In contrast to state schools, exclusive private schools for the privileged elite are about providing the best education money can buy, about grooming the leaders of the future, about providing a tailored education that plays to their strengths, about teaching them to set their ambitions as high as possible, about building powerful social networks for them that will secure them the best jobs and guarantee them the best things in life. When it comes to the education of the elite, everything is done to ensure the best possible outcomes. Life, in short, is a rigged system where a small network of elite families profit from the efforts of the majority.

Education ought to be about discovering what children are good at, and what they're not. If you teach mathematics to a person who has no mathematical aptitude, you will shatter their confidence and self-esteem. They say in the military that you should not "reinforce failure". Neither should schools. Don't keep making people do things for which they have no glimmer of talent. It's pointless, counter-productive and psychologically damaging.

Some children possess artistic talents, others practical skills, others logical skills, and so on. Some children "think" their way through life, others "feel" their way. Some are highly intuitive while others rely on their senses. Some children like to learn through visual means, some like to be taught via a teacher talking to them from the front of the class, while others like to be continually moving around and interacting with objects.

We need schools that respect different psychological types, different aptitudes, different ways of learning. The "one size fits all" approach is ridiculous. In order to get a highly educated and productive society, we need an education system tailored to getting the most out of each and every one of us. We should be encouraged to "think" properly - in the way most appropriate to us, in a way that allows us to grasp the bigger picture and to develop our unique set of talents.

Education is the basis for a well-functioning society and everyone deserves to have access to knowledge. An excellent education should be free. Education is the bedrock of an advanced society, hence requires the most investment. But where will the money come from? From the 100% inheritance tax on the rich initially and a massive redirection of funds from the military-industrial complex, and then from the enormous increase in productivity, in GDP, that will result from a properly educated society. What are we waiting for?