Monday, October 30, 2006

Cosby Criticizes Parents, Teachers

Cosby Criticizes Parents, Teachers - AP

In general, I am totally in support of the attention and concern Dr. Cosby brings to the plight of Blacks. Notions of self-responsibility and initiative have been far too absent from the discussions of the group's plight.

However, as I read the latest version of Cosby's on-going challenge to Blacks, a few additional thoughts came to mind. The title of the forum where he delivered his latest remarks was Education is a Civil Right. While this statement is certainly true, it distracts and hides the greater truth, taken from George Bernard Shaw, that what we want is a child in pursuit of education, rather than education in pursuit of the child.

To cast education as a civil right, in these days, is to wrongly place its benefit and impact in the context of the 1960's, when Blacks were barred, by race, from entering certain school buildings. This is not the problem of the day. Rather it is that Black kids enter K-12 buildings under-prepared and motivated to 'seize the day' (Carpe Diem), of their future.

The other comment of Dr. Cosby that struck me was the admonishment that teachers must prove relevancy of the subject matter to children, less the young ones use this as a reason to reject it out-of-hand. If ignorance is the void from the wake of education gone missing, then the ignorant mind can only comprehend nothingness, as it lacks the very tools of knowledge to do otherwise. Taken another way, much of what we learn in school only becomes relevant and applicable, well after our first opportunity to ignore it.

The reason for pursuing education can never compete with instant gratification appetites of children, but rather becoming educated, as taught by parents, must say something important about us, to ourselves and the world, that cannot be said another way.

James C. Collier


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