Core curriculum: (n) a collection of courses with a central theme
I tend to run out of the room in a bit of horror when I hear voices raised and people begin to stomp around sharing their opinions with more energy than wisdom.
I know it may be popular to be sold out on your convictions, but too often I see people’s convictions sell them out, leaving them ignorant or inept.
Every once in a while, you’ll stumble across a discussion laced with some humility—and the participants will admit that the reason a conversation is necessary is because knowledge is lacking.
For instance, what does an eighteen-year-old American teenager need to know, think, believe and feel upon graduating from high school? Candidly, college offers new choices the student can take advantage of if he or she is so inclined, but I do think we should be very interested in what the average eighteen-year-old already knows upon completing the core curriculum in the American educational system.
And in a sense, it does boil down to “reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic”—but may I add a fourth “R?” Rationality.
Reading is necessary because if you’re eighteen years old, and you insist that everything you need to know you’ve already learned, then you are certainly a danger to those around you.
‘Riting because if you’re only going to use words in vague half-sentences or tweets, then you will often leave the world around you bewildered as to your intentions. Can you write a decent paragraph that conveys what you’re trying to say?
‘Rithmetic—because entering the adult world, you must understand that things need to add up, and if they don’t you must subtract something and learn to divide up your efforts to grant you the possibility to multiply.
And finally, rationality. Teaching an eighteen-year-old that most of the time, he or she is either wrong or deficient of the data necessary to make a good decision will calm things down, with a bit of needed uncertainty, instead of becoming overwrought, chasing unrealistic dreams.
Yes, there is a need for a core curriculum—where we start out agreeing on common sense principles.