Sunday, February 26, 2006

As Promised - My Education Budget

When I originally posted a blog with a request for people to allocate a $100 education budget among a number of subjects I did so with an intent in mind. The intent was to gauge the placement of emphasis individuals placed on poetry. While there were several comments posted, I never really was able to achieve some idea of where poetry fit into the importance of a curriculum model. One person gave 100% of the budget to poetry. The rest lumped things together making it impossible to assess it as an individual item. While in my heart, I too want to give poetry 100% I know that is not realistic.

So alas, here is my effort at placing priorities on the education curriculum pie.

  • English - $15
  • Math - $15
  • Science - $15
  • Social Sciences - $16
  • Poetry - $07
  • Physical Ed - $06
  • Music -$07
  • Art - $07
  • Shop/Home ecc -$06
  • Team Sports -$06

In defense of my budget let me say that I believe that English is of critical importance. While it may look like I am treating it the same as Math and Science, by separating poetry funding outside of the English Department, it really is in essence getting more than the rest. I view language skills, reading and communication critical educational elements. Without which, further education including self-education later in life is hindered.

Math and Science are core subjects of importance - in the long run, they are enhanced by laying a good foundation of reading and communication.

Social Sciences (history, social studies, civics, government) actually receive a dollar more that the other core subjects. This is because I believe we don't place enough emphasis on understanding where we as people fit into a vast pool of world cultures and different governments. It is hard for people with ignorance to the outside world to be expected to achieve any kind of reasonable understanding of others and what their needs, motivations, and cultural experiences are about. If we are to achieve greater world harmony, we need to better understand the rest of the world and not become so entrenched in the, "It's all about me" mentality.

Poetry- had as it might be, it gets only $7. And equal amount to the other arts, but it truly in my book is a valuable educational experience. It is not only a fine are, but it helped develop excellent thought process, enhance communication skills and open even more doors to other cultures. I know not every appreciates poetry to the extent that some of us do, but I believe this is their loss. It is so much about life and personal knowledge that is is far more than just memorizing poems for a class. It has real therapeutic value and opens the door to relieving stress and anxiety.

Music and Art are each getting the same allotment amount. While both of these share some of the same benefits as poetry, they deserve their owns separate funding. They add to our over all appreciation and enjoyment of life, but without nearly as much emphasis on the communication components.

Physical education is important and for may years has been perhaps hit hard in education budgets just as the arts have. It gets $6 out of my budget, but that is the daytime school program and not included is after school sports. That receives a separate $6 budget allotment.

Shop and Home Economics receive a $6 budget allocation as well. These are elective programs that have some importance but I believe I am be especially generous to them at six bucks out of the total budget.

So there you have it, and I'm sure some of you will want to pick it apart, but what I am trying to say is that poetry is in my opinion a critical part of any educational program for youngsters. I wish I had had more exposure to it in school. I believe at the time I was in school, there was not near the emphasis that I believe in hindsight it should have had.

Some of you may look at my $7 figure and think that it fails to reflect the level of importance that I verbalize. I agree that in some respects, for example saying that it gets only 7% of the total budget seems paltry. I think on the other hand that when you consider that the core subjects get 15 to 16 dollars each, this is about 47% of a core subject.

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