- Pronunciation: \ˈsō-shə-ˌli-zəm\
- Function: noun
- Date: 1837
1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done
The definition above is courtesy of the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, and I post it so that we can see first hand what this term that has been bandied about over the last several days really means. Now from what you read, where does education come into play? Where does advising children that the best path in life is one that includes studying hard, and preparing yourself for the future fit into that definition?
President Obama prepared a speech to give to Arlington, Virginia high school students, and the mission of this address is to motivate students to commit themselves to preparing for their futures. He wants them to take an active role in their own destiny - where then is there a problem? In reading the speech I was pleased to see this passage, which I think speaks volumes about the problems that we as a country face in schools, "I've talked a lot about your government's responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren't working where students aren't getting the opportunities they deserve. But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world - and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed."
Helping students understand that they have a key role in their own success is a good thing. It is something that needs to be reiterated by parents, teachers and community members. Thinking back to my school days, I don't know if it was presented to me in this manner, but I was always aware that my "job" was to go to school and to do the best that I could. I wonder if this message is being communicated in enough households today, and if not - then I wonder how will this message be communicated?
One of my strong views is that we must first educate many of our parents. Unfortunately, we live in a society where a number of our parents were not prepared for the role that they took on at the birth of that infant, and they continue a cycle of that includes under-achievement, self-doubt and satisfaction with mediocrity.
To have a President concerned enough to speak to students about their role in their futures should be an event applauded by all, because if we work in a trickle down theory - the top is saying education is important and that should be spread throughout the ranks.
Criticism is a part of the job, but aren't we all interested in a better prepared and educated America? How is this a bad thing?
As always, I would love to hear your feedback, so if you have an opinion please post it in the Comments section.