Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Perils of Zombie Education

I am sharing an article about education written by William J. Astore, the editor of the Opinion Section of Consistent with, Truthout's guidelines for  re-printing articles, I'm sharing only three paragraphs of the article. The rest can be viewed in the link I've provided below this blog.

If we view education as an ephemeral commodity in a world of goods, so too will our students. They'll lump it together with all the other trivial, product-based, corporate-funded information with which they're constantly bombarded. Critical thinking? Informed citizenship? Boring. And could you shut up a minute? I need to take this call/send this tweet/update my Facebook.

Staring vacantly into electronic gizmos as they shuffle to and from class, students are already halfway to joining the zombie ranks. Let's not infect them further with commodity-based zombie education.

What is to be done? History is a guide. Consider the words of John Tyndall, eminent rationalist and promoter of science. In “An Address to Students” in 1868, or 145 years ago, Tyndall opined that:

"The object of [a student's] education is, or ought to be, to provide wise exercise for his capacities, wise direction for his tendencies, and through this exercise and this direction to furnish his mind with such knowledge as may contribute to the usefulness, the beauty, and the nobleness of his life." 

Link to the article:

photo courtesy of



  1. So true, and I, as most in my generation were so fortunate to get an education in an age where writing longhand,taking notes and one on one interactions with professors were the key. Critical thinking demanded it before there was the internet. Thank you Ariel!

  2. Sadly, our world calls for a significant number of bodies to join the 'zombie ranks'. And these little electronic gizmos are an excellent means of preparing that legion of mindless followers. But, these electronic gizmos also are a conduit to all manner of enrichment, entertainment, and enlightenment for those who wish to seek and tread their own path to education. If we expect human endeavor, sans Divine Guidance, will always end in failure and depravity, then we can expect the zombie ranks to swell. If we expect human endeavor to result in enlightenment and enrichment, then these electronic gizmos may just be the ticket to the next paradigm. As my friend Willy used to say, "Sit back, eat your popcorn, and watch the show!"