Overschooled but undereducated

“Overschooled but Undereducated: How the Crisis in Education is Jeopardizing Our Adolescents” is an interesting book by John Abbott and Heather McTaggart. I merely borrowed the title that is befitting this string of thoughts somehow.

I found this slightly disturbing.

It’s a snapshot of a chat among mothers that chose to be full time moms instead of pursuing a career, even though they have university degrees. I applaud their decisions of course. I too hope that I will be able to be a full time mother when I have children of my own. Yet this reasoning (or excuse) is foolish:

“At least my children are educated by a university graduate at home [aka me], not by elementary school graduates or drop-outs.”

What is this? Being a university graduate is superior to mere elementary school graduate or even drop-outs? Is this the result of that higher education? Elitism?

Of course, having better schooled means better equipped, hopefully, in shaping the future generation. But what’s powerful about their choice to be a full time mom is that their children can be educated by their own mothers, who are naturally more nurturing and caring of their own children, regardless of their level of education. Some of the best mothers I know don’t get the chance to go far in formal education yet they raise wonderful children who grow up to be strong and responsible adults. I also know some that, despite their high education, raise children that copy their mothers’s less flattering qualities.

No need to get snobbish about our education. Let’s not pass such snobbery on to the children either. Let’s teach them to treat people with deference and respect regardless the level of education people have gone through.

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