Sit down and pay attention. I am going to tell you what you need to know to pass the upcoming test and then we can proceed to the next set of stuff for the next test. Does this sound familiar? If so, you more than likely attended an American public education institution. The current form of education is analogous to a cow’s processing of food. Cows eat grass, regurgitate it for some further processing, then expel it so new grass can be consumed. In education, students are fed, more likely force fed, information that is regurgitated for a test, maybe for some further processing in a test review then expelled so information for the next test can be administered. THIS IS NOT LEARNING!!!!!!!!!!!! This is memorization or a learn and dump system that could be better termed bovine educational systems. So we can safely say our current education system produces dung. Our current educational system creates a herd of sleeping cattle that thrill seeking teens could easily tip over. So how do we become “woke” from the mind numbing, use and dump form of education. Well Bell Hooks has a way to elevate learners and memorization systems to that of thinkers and question asking people. That is what allows a society to flourish. That will help any nation or community become great. Want to make America great again? Well create a system of thinking, not just learning.
Bell Hooks states that thinking is an action. Any drone worker can sit and listen for an hour but can they think for an hour? Currently, students sit in rows and columns for time blocks while the teacher disseminates information necessary for passing a test. They are not challenged to think and come to fear thinking. Early college students exhibit this characteristic very early. The look of panic mixed with dread and unadulterated fear is a discomforting sight to a college professor. This look is witnessed the first time you cold call a student and ask what they “think”. How do we get students to think and expand their practical understanding of a topic? The action of thinking is precipitated and perpetuated through systems of critical pedagogy. Get students to embrace thinking in class. Use current, practical examples in the classroom. Work with students to understand how the subject of discussion applies and all the different ways it could apply. As a professor of Foreign Policy and Diplomacy, I am provided with a wealth of practical examples for class discussion. It is not good enough to walk students through the discussion. We must walk with the students through the discussion. Don’t give the relevance, work with students to find the relevance. The “aha” moment is a very rewarding event. The rapture of an expanded mind is a powerful tool a student can utilize throughout their entire life. The bottom line is this, teachers should not teach specific details of test material, instead, they should teach how to think. To do this, one must not stand in front of the class and dictate the terms and items of learning. One must be with the class and be a part of the discussion. That is critical pedagogy that will make a difference.