Looking Out For The Next Generation

I am a youth advocate. Many are. Perhaps most. This advocacy requires that we help young people learn how to think, not just what to think. Critical thinking skills and the art and science of problem solving must include how to frame a debate…how to consider all sides… how to see an argument and its counter argument(s) and how to arrive at a conclusion. Regardless of our own positions, it does next generations no good whatsoever to indoctrinate. The only real way someone can make an informed decision is for that someone to actually know how to get to an informed decision.

The article linked below touches this much needed conversation/ debate/ corrective in both today’s academic and journalistic circles. It’s a recent tale of a teacher, her students, the Walkout on Behalf of the 17, and, apparently, her desire to seize the day during a teachable moment to help her students truly understand the dynamics inherent in such decisions and actions. Her story is creating ripples in a big pond. Folks are taking sides. Read the article. You’ll get it. Unfortunately, with the scope of information available in the article, one can hazard only a couple of conclusions.

1. If the information presented is truthful AND complete, it seems this teacher tried real education and was unfairly shut down. Something to which my experience would cause me to respond, “I’m not surprised considering the direction American academic institutions have been trending for several decades now.”

2. If the information is less than truthful OR incomplete, then any reader’s comment on this teachers situation would be pointless since the article is either unintentionally incomplete and therefore poor journalism or intentionnally misleading and therefore yellow journalism. To which my experience would cause me to respond, “Either way, I’m not surprised considering the direction American journalism institutions have been trending for several decades now.”

My point? Both are cause for concern. So quit looking to the pundits, the politicals, and even the professors for solutions. Do what YOU can and all YOU can to be a youth advocate who knows the difference between true education and indoctrination.



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