Glenn interviews futurist David Gelernter about the future of education

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On radio this morning, Glenn introduced David Gelernter, a futurist who people go to for consulting on upcoming trends in technology and other key institutions and elements of life. Where are we going to be in five years? Ten? Those are the things people need to know when crafting big plans.

“David explain just a little bit first the damage that you see that is being done by our educational system,” Glenn said after introducing him.

“Well the damage is enormous. It’s damage in the sense what’s omitted and damage in the sense of what’s taught. And that’s why part of America-Lite I have to admit is a prophecy of doom. Although we can escape this doom using the Internet.”

“Colleges they’re failing to teach children and students how to be Americans. Who they are. They’re failing to teach who they are. Who this nation is. What your duties are to this nation. What it is to be a citizen. What’s your responsibility to the community and to the world and what it means to be an American. Why it’s a historically unique thing to be an American,” Gelernter said

Gelernter also said that teachers today are not only forgetting to teach how America can be a force for good, but they teach that America is possibly a danger to the rest of the world.

“It’s not the patriotism means nothing to them. It’s not they don’t know any history. What they do know is wrong. They see United States as part of a danger,” he explained.

“Students and children learn as much as they can at the right level, and under the supervision of their own parents more than teachers and schools. So it seems to me first we need local Internet schools. We need to combine the global reach of the Internet which allows me to choose courses for my children or allow my children to look for courses themselves from all over the country wherever smart people have something to say.”

“But we can’t merely globalize things. Because neighborhoods and communities are tremendously important,” he explained.

He explained it was important to focus on the local community bonds, and to do so the children need to be sitting together while engaged in class – even if those teachers are coming mainly through computers and the internet.

He also explained that there need to be a new profession of people who also directly mentor students to make sure they are learning the material and staying on track, but not necessarily Harvard, or Yale or these big progressive institutions.

  • http://www.artinphoenix.com/gallery/grimm snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    He is right, changes have to begin at the most basic levels of a foundation – family and neighborhood. One by one, then city and community on up to the national level.

  • http://youtu.be/ff8jDkOHp3U Sam Fisher

    I love futurist. Read one of their books and you can see the
    future of what we in this country can be. The only way we can have the future
    is by voting out Obama. You don’t even have to vote for Mitt as long as it not
    the socialist a chief. What has socialism invented in the last 100 year besides
    a crapy system never work? Capitalism gave us everything from the car to the
    computer. Buy this man’s books I did not read any but these guys know what they
    talk about.

  • Anonymous

    My wife and I raised 3 daughters and 1 son over the past 40 years. I can attest to the poor education they are receiving because we took interest in what our kids were taught. Public school history is taught that America is bad and misrepresents our true history. Social studies are taught that show our system is broke and minorities are kept down on purpose. Over those years Math went from teaching correctly to holding people back because of their teaching to morons. They forget the bright students and these kids have to do it on their own. Now they are more interested in pandering to minorities, forcing children to learn Spanish (Mexican) instead of English and grammar. Finally, my son was in the top 99% of nationwide testing. He waited for a college offer because he was rated a genius in math, he couldn’t even get a grant. Why, because he wasn’t a girl or minority and he wasn’t gay. That’s the true state of our school system in trouble.

  • Anonymous

    1ST LESSON – 30 DAY’S LEFT FOR GAY BABBY BARRY TO BE VOTED FROM OFFICE – AMERICA – IT’S MILLER TIME.

  • Anonymous

    As an educator one of the problems I see on a daily basis is teachers do not have enough time to teach the basics. Our kids are being prepared for state test that don’t really measure what our kids need to know. If children cannot read well they do poorly in all subjects, we are speeding so much time and money on technology versus putting some of that into working with struggling readers computer programs targeting reading are helpful but a child needs to read out loud with someone listening to him. If we could raise reading scores I think we could see an improvement in our children. It is pretty much a fact that if a child is a poor reader by the time they reach 3rd grade they will usually drop our of high school. So instead of investing more $$ in math and science lets get the kids to reading then focus on the math and science. Do away with all the stupid state test and let teachers get back to teaching, while we are at it lets lower the size of the class to no more than 18 or put aides in the room with teachers so they can help the kids more. BTW I work with computers teaching kids computer apps so if this is coming from a tech person you know I might know what I am talking about.

  • Anonymous

    The heck with class size. I went 1st through 8th with 43 other children in my class and one teacher each grade, no teacher assistants and no parental assistance. Upon leaving grade 8, the average reading level was freshman college. Our teachers had very high expectations and it was not even a consideration that we didn’t meet their expectations. Discipline was strict and unrelenting, but no child was abused. No child was allowed to fall behind. I know, I tried. My teachers punished me when I was wrong, hugged me when I did good, laughed and played with us. I remember long heartfelt discussions, especially at recess about boys and stuff. We studied music, put on plays, learned languages and literature. Nothing we wanted to learn was out of bounds. Our books were old, but well cared for. We had no special equipment, just books. I LOVED many of my teachers. The worst thing a teacher could do to us was call our parents. My classmates are doctors, lawyers, captains of industry. What did we have differently? Nuns, priests and especially, God. Every day in every class. What’s the only thing we didn’t have? Teacher’s unions.

  • greywolfrs

    The left has been using the “education system” to dumb-down our children for several generations. This is one of the major problems in this country today. The only way to change this is to do the same thing, in reverse, for several generations. The problem is, we are in deep shit right NOW and these generations of dolts are not helping it, but rather worsening the problem. These are the same people that voted a community organ grinder to president. I agree with him that it can be turned around, but it doesn’t look good because of those indoctrinated dolts.

  • greywolfrs

    OK, I have been a computer guy for 18 years and I am disputing what you are saying. Class size has nothing to do with it. No teacher can teach a child that is not there to learn, regardless of class size. The problem here is accountability of the children themselves. Their parents do not hold them accountable, so how can a teacher? There is a complete lack discipline. Parents are not allowed to discipline their children because they may be thrown in jail. Schools certainly do not have the means to discipline the children. There are some good parents that do monitor their children, but let’s be realistic, for every one that is the case there are 10 that is not the case. Here in CA, it’s not about class size. There are many problems, but one major one is the illegals in our schools and the fact that these teachers are being forced to teach in other languages also. Those same illegals increase class size and lack the discipline I was speaking about.

    In conclusion, computer person or not, you can not force these children to learn. You can lead a horse to water….

  • lynn

    I went to private school & my parents were involved in my education. My classmates & friends are the same as yours. There is something to be said for traditional “retro” education.

  • Anonymous

    Good points as I wrote on my own comments. I don’t belong to a union never have never will. I live in TX we are a right to work state so don’t lump us all together and our teachers don’t make money likes those in Chicago most here make 36,000 starting out and have to teach a long time to hit 50,000. If I didn’t have to see the same kids everyday that an average teacher has in her class I might agree that class size doesn’t matter but try teaching 22 kindergarteners per class who don’t know how to use a computer and yes they do exist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/memau.mom Cherry Hanz

    Exactly, God promises in the scripture that scripture will strengthen your mind!

  • Anonymous

    Good point you bring out, class size as well as lack of desire to learn both matter. But kids are not held accountable here kids get a 70 when the deserve what they make say a 35, but hey we don’t want to damage their self-esteem, so what does a teacher have to do make them do it over and over and over and then throw in the towel and give them a 70. So how do we fix it and the non English speakers why aren’t we making them learn English instead of trying to teach them in their language we have so many refuges that they lower our scores on our state mandated test. If I were the sec. or ed. I would make it mandatory to learn English or they have to pay for a tutor to be able to learn in their language. That’s just my thoughts on it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/memau.mom Cherry Hanz

    I am sorry, but I came to Texas in 1974 from Mexico, a private Catholic school. Prior to Mexico I had gone to school in Africa, to a private school. I was a senior in 1974 and entered the Texas Public School system. I had no idea what we were doing, but it was not LEARNING, not SCHOOL! Once President Bush implemented testing and accountability, then Texas public schools became places of learning, real schools. You must have testing to have accountability!

  • greywolfrs

    You can not test a child that has dropped out because of a lack of discipline. You can not teach a child that is not there to learn. I am not sure what your point is, other than testing. To think that teachers are doing anything but prepping for a test would be foolish. They are not teaching the critical thinking skills that are required in this computer/internet age. Showing a kid how to pass a test does not equate to “teaching.” There is more to it than just passing a test.

  • greywolfrs

    Well, one point is clear. Making a national language would be helpful. Since those people can go to any government office and get paper work in their choice of languages, why should they learn English? They can go to the DMV and get anything in spanish, no need to learn English. They can go to any store and get someone to help them, in spanish, no need to learn English. I really do understand your point about class size. The more kids a teacher has, that don’t want to learn, the harder it is to get the rest to learn. Then again, if those same kids had any discipline, you could make a class of 90 and succeed. Unfortunately, one has to understand that these kids are learning from their peer group and if that peer group includes a bunch of kids that do not want to learn…

  • greywolfrs

    Well, to think that the only thing different now is teacher’s unions would be false. Look at the lack of discipline. Parents are not allowed to discipline their own children without fear of going to jail. When that is the case, what position do you think the teachers are in? It is not only about a lack of god and teacher’s unions, there is far more in play now. The left wing idiots have made our children into a bunch of undisciplined pansies.

  • Anonymous

    When this country puts to rest our oldest generation of voters this country is screwed. We will be so out numbered by 40 yrs of liberal teaching in our schools that we will be out voted. Personally I don’t think the USA is going to last that long, but if it should we are screwed anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Kipp Academies and the Harlan Children’s zone and several other schools are able to make it work.
    The kids maybe a problem but we can’t afford to accept that as a reason the schools can’t be fixed. It’s a problem that has been shown can be overcome within the schools themselves and that’s what you’ve got to do.

  • Anonymous

    Testing does need to be a part of accountability, but the problem with testing is you do teach for the test, and failing school districts lose money they need b/c they are failing school districts and can’t pass the test. Also kids who shouldn’t move up a grade are forced up grade levels due to no child left behind and other initiatives. Teachers and school districts are also more likely to fudge the numbers so they don’t get shutdown or lose funding.
    You have to have accountability, but testing is an imperfect way of doing it. Peer accountability and enabling principles and administrators to fire failing teachers is the way to go.
    Newer techniques is also good, studies show that just the promise of a financial reward for good grades or perfect attendance just wonders for children’s performances in school.

  • Anonymous

    sounds like you were lucky enough to be able to attend a private school

  • Anonymous

    It’s not fair to the kids or the problems in education to even include discipline as any sort of a real problem. Many of these “undisciplined” kids in rundown school districts come from abusive homes where discipline is definitely put out.
    Are some of the laws against child abuse over the top? hell yes, but psychology shows that physical discipline is in fact one of the least effective ways to discipline your child so it is hardly handicapping to not be able to use it. The issue is environment, both at home which we can’t control, and at school which we can control. We use outdated teaching techniques and the unions are a serious problem as well.
    We need to model schools after charters and private schools dealing with low income areas that traditionally have had failing schools and have managed to turn things around.

  • Anonymous

    tenure ruined schools they keep bad progressive political correct teachers and spread rumors to get rid of Good teachers! they don’t teach Morals any more. that’s why We The People Want To Elect For President The Person With The Most Morals Not The Man WIth The Most Money…we lost GeoWashington God Morals!!

  • Anonymous

    FOURTY YEARS IN THE DESERT OF LIBERALISM!! TEACHERS UNIONS RUINED OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM! SIXTIES RADICALS OF FREE LOVE GENERATION,NO DISCIPLINE BEING FRIENDS WITH OUR KIDS..REMEMBER WHEN WE WERE CHILDREN, KIDS WE BABY GOATS.. THEY CREATED ANIMALS in McD’s ball cages! (but now we can’t have McD’s because they are a big corporation of 1%! Liberals Are Just oxyMORONS! they do not stand for anything, have NO morals!! they are children rebelling against The Man! they change their jeans for suits their radical pose for radical means. their bible is the book RulesForRadicals which was dedicated to Lucifer..that is who controls them that is why We The People Need To Get All Back To GOD and HIS Church and HIS Teachings, For God Will Be The One To Save US!!

  • Anonymous

    Thomas Jefferson said, “The harder I work, the luckier I seem to be.” We weren’t lucky. My sister, brother and I went to our local church school. My dad worked off our tuition by doing chores around the rectory and church, cutting the grass etc. Mom bought us second hand uniforms. We kids had a huge paper route to supply our own allowance. My dad went over our homework EVERY night before bed and if it was wrong, we did it again. My parents were far from perfect but they were willing to do ANYTHING to get us the education they thought we needed. Simply put, they took responsibility for their own children. This seems like such a foreign idea today. Simply put, they had their priorities straight. Really, that’s all it was.

  • Anonymous

    Discipline is not physical. My parents never raised their hands to me. I don’t have kids but I raise Rottwielers. You can’t hit them either. Discipline means, “I mean what I say, and I say what I mean”. When I refused to eat my vegetables, I stayed at the table until bedtime. Then I got them again for breakfast (we didn’t waste food in my house). I got that stinking broccoli, heated up for 3 days. Guess what? I ate it, and ate everything on my plate from that day on. Mom never raised her hand or her voice. When I threw the de rigueur temper tantrum, she stood there watching me. “Are you finished? Here’s the broccoli, I put some butter on it, you like butter.” Why do people always think discipline means hitting? My parents could out stubborm me any day of the week and twice on sunday. Its called backbone.

  • Matt Driscoll

    Funny you all mention that Republicans put a higher value on education. This graph seems to suggest that traditionally Democrat leaning states have higher high school graduation rates. I believe the top five highest states voted Democrat in the last election. Another interesting aspect of this graph is that the bottom ten states are all traditionally right leaning. Very interesting indeed. Hmmmm. Makes you wonder.

  • Matt Driscoll
  • Matt Driscoll

    Also please read this article. It is from the Smithsonian Magazine so please do not begin crying out mainstream media.
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/Why-Are-Finlands-Schools-Successful.html

  • greywolfrs

    Except the part you missed, I never said it can not be fixed, but to ignore the true problem means it will never be fixed. To say that class size or teacher’s unions are the only problems would be disingenuous. Until we identify all the problems and have the balls to say it, nothing will ever be “fixed.”

  • greywolfrs

    OK, discipline is not just getting a spank when a child does something bad. Mental discipline is far more important than any phsycal punishment, not that a spank once in while doesn’t help. To say “many” of these children come from abusive homes would also be false. Are there some that do, sure, but the labels we have put on abuse are over the top. Teaching mental discipline is on the parents. I am not talking about mentally abusing a child, I am talking about teaching them mental discipline, big difference. You are assuming that I am meaning using psychological discipline in the sense that it should be used to punish, which is not at all what I mean.
    In conclusion, the point was simple, our children are not being taught mental discipline.

  • greywolfrs

    That was my point, it has nothing to do with punishment. It has everything to do with mental discipline. Take a martial art, for instance, they are not mentally disciplining anyone, from a punishment stand-point. They are teaching mental discipline from a personal stand-point and how to have that mental discipline.

  • Anonymous

    the problem isn’t that there are progressive teachers or that morals aren’t being taught. It’s that there are bad teachers who don’t adequately teach. Lots of options for why they are bad, started out good but lost the will to keep fighting or maybe they were never cut out to be teachers.

  • Anonymous

    sounds like you were lucky to have really good parents.
    Many of the low income parents in failing school districts are doing everything they can, but outside of getting lucky enough to get their kid into a charter school and most charter schools aren’t even very good.

  • Anonymous

    There’s nothing we can do about the at home situation. You just have to work through the schools to create an environment that performs well in spite of that.

  • Anonymous

    I assumed you meant physical b/c that’s the only kind of discipline that would have parents worried about being thrown in jail.
    Parents don’t pay for charters, and I’m talking about adopting techniques that get kids from problem situations and in spite of that still perform well.
    The problem with 3 is like you said we can’t do a damn thing about it. Other school’s, the Harlem children’s zone being the best example but not only one, have overcome it without changing the parents.

  • Anonymous

    i assumed physical b/c fear of being sent to jail was brought up along with discipline.

  • Anonymous

    that’s weird, i’m not even close to that good and i’m white as a ghost and i still got scholarships and financial aid

  • greywolfrs

    I was not talking about any one form of discipline, I was more generalizing. Sometimes a spank is what is called for. I think teaching mental discipline is probably the biggest thing. (or lack there of)

  • greywolfrs

    I think that might have moderate success, but to truly have a serious impact, the parents would need to be involved and teaching the children critical skills that our education system is not. Again, the problem is, we can not force those people to do that. Believe me, I hear what you are saying and I do not think nothing should be done. I am simply thinking “aloud,” so to speak. I’m just trying to dig and find out your (and others) ideas on how to go about it.

  • http://twitter.com/CounselorCarol1 Carol Morgan

    I bet you walked thirty miles through the snow to get to school too, right?

  • Anonymous

    As
    a retired public school teacher I am convinced that our only hope is to rescue
    our children from the public (government) schools and raise a godly generation.

    Please see “Call to Dunkirk” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRGZLSVph3A.

    Public
    schools cannot be redeemed. Saying we should not abandon them is like saying the
    passengers of the Titanic should have stayed aboard because the band was playing
    good music and the captain was a good man.

    Please
    also see IndoctriNation at http://indoctrinationmovie.com.

    Additionally,
    please see http://insectman.us/exodus-mandate-wv/index.htm.

    We
    must RESCUE OUR CHILDREN!

  • Anonymous

    LOL! Only in the summer. In the winter we had to dig tunnels under a mile of ice! Up hill both ways. Nah, the bus picked us up at the end of our street. Sorry, not so dramatic. Then we decided we were WAY to cool for the bus and walked the 1/2 mile on nice days.

  • http://twitter.com/Snowie451 Anna

    I agree with Glenn and Mr. Gelertner. The educational system in our
    country is worthless. We no longer give our children the tools
    necessary for success and innovation. I think back to the way
    communities began in westward expansion(yes, American history!) and Mr.
    Gelertner is right. Communities came together and they began schools
    for their children at the local church, where they were not only taught
    reading writing and arithmetic but also the virtues necessary to be a
    good citizen – honesty, integrity, hard work, compassion, and most of
    all faith and Judeo-Christian values. The teacher was accountable to
    the parents who would oversee their children’s education. I have done
    this with my kids – although they do attend school, we read many books
    independently, especially the classical authors who are very relevant
    today. They have audited classes at a local seminary on the Great Books
    – since 6th grade they have read Plato, Aristotle, St. Thomas,
    Machiavelli, Hobbes, DeTocqueville, Thucydides, Dostoevsky, Nietschze
    among some, and from a biblical perspective, being taught right from
    wrong. They have a complete grasp of history and how America fits in,
    how it is different! This is extra work for my kids, but I see the
    difference. Thankfully, home schooling and a handful of Classical
    Christian schools are on the rise, and are dedicated to training up
    citizens using the classical methods of learning. The results are
    unbelievable! I encourage everyone to research these schools and there
    are some that now offer classes online as well – this would be a great
    beginning to Mr. Gelertner’s revamping of the system. There is hope,
    but it is up to us to do the hands-on hard work and properly educate our
    children.