Everywhere the hidden curriculum of schooling initiates the citizen to the myth that bureaucracies guided by scientific knowledge are efficient and benevolent. Everywhere this same curriculum instills in the pupil the myth that increased production will provide a better life. And everywhere it develops the habit of self-defeating consumption of services and alienating production, the tolerance for institutional dependence, and the recognition of institutional rankings. The hidden curriculum of school does all this in spite of contrary efforts undertaken by teachers and no matter what ideology prevails.
Critical thinking and an understanding of the frameworks that guide our political and financial institutions would really help the citizenry to understand the complexities of what is happening. It sure beats listening to politicians and pundits in 30 second sound bites. Unfortunately, it’s what many have been conditioned to accept, because they’ve been told that these systems is beyond their understanding.
Is the financial crisis really an educational crisis?
Will Richardson offers a different perspective and sees all that is happening as one big teachable moment:
I’m sure there are more, but how about these topics, just for a start:
- How mortgages work
- What credit is
- What the tax code is
- The intricacies of borrowing money
- Investing in the stock market
- Balanced budgets
- What debt, both personal and national, is
- The political process (or lack thereof) of the two Houses of Congress
- The electoral college
- Truth in advertising
- Vetting of expertise (as in talking heads)
- The “Global Economy” and our effects on it