Raymond Arthur Waugh, Sr.
A Journey in Writing

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Letters to the Editor: Education & Einstein
Raymond A. Waugh, Sr.
[Midland Reporter Telegram, Midland, Texas]


I wonder, perhaps, whether it may be that our educators are so much involved with "the trees" that they may be failing to grasp the nature of "the forest"? In the process, our educational administrators are able to enslave a multitude of teachers -- who live in fear of being fired -- who in turn, then, enslave a multitude of students. It seems that creative education really is put on hold while inconsequential statistics are compiled.

This compiling, needless to say, has at its heart the gaining of political and financial advantage -- not educational! The students, then, become but the pawns in an unholy game of chess that has been designed to ensure the perpetuation of greedy gain that seems to be basic in the hopes of most parents, educators, educational administrators, and politicians.

In what Albert Einstein sometimes referenced as his biography that he delighted in calling his "obituary," we are provided a measure of insight into that of which I speak. In his reflection, he attempts to get us to see something of the folly of getting students to think by the means of forcing them "to cram all this stuff into one's mind for the examinations . . . ." He goes on to note his experience, "This coercion had such deterring effect [upon me] that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful to me for an entire year."

Thankfully, he was able to study finally in a school in Switzerland. There, he says, "there were only two examinations; aside from these, one could just about do as one pleased." He continues, "It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wreck and ruin without fail." Hence: violence!

Though most educators and most politicians -- along with parents who have come by way of "the coercion process" -- will arise in holy opposition, the mind which was behind that "abstract" concept, "E = MC 2," has a final word of wisdom for all of us. He says, "It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty." It would seem, then, that our "statistically-oriented" educators and politicians have arisen in opposition to the ultimate search for truth. Sadly, without any apparent conscience of the wrong in which they are involved, they reject with malice aforethought all education that is at all creative!

Raymond A. Waugh, Sr.
Last update 17 October 2008


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