I feel that teaching philosophy and sociology as standard building blocks in the public educational system (including in college) is crucial. From philosophy (where I would encourage an equal learning of both Eastern and Western philosophy with others thrown in which includes Native American philosophy), students can ponder the big questions and learn about truth, the meaning of life, and ethics. From sociology, students can learn about societies, group dynamics, and develop an awareness of power structures (in the world and in their immediate environment). All of the factors listed in sociology are crucial in that many organizations, companies, and governments in the world are out to bamboozle and fool the people out of greed and power. Having an understanding of group dynamics will allow each student to be a self-reflecting and skeptical participant in any group situation – this allows for not getting manipulated as often and to question large power structures.
Current education focuses on educating students in a very specialized field and then having them work for the system (economical or political) to keep it running without having them: question the usefulness and effectiveness of the system, pondering the big questions as far as how the plying of their trade will have a positive impact on the world, and also what is their place in the world and what direciton would they like to take their trade.
All of these ideas and questions are important and seem to be lacking in the educational system. With the addition of a philosophy and sociology centered program, students can be ensured to not be an ordinary citizen that can be fooled by propaganda (“United We Stand”, “I Heart Radio”), the causes of social inequality and institutioanlized racism, and will have a broader understanding of how their trade fits into a system and influences society.
Have a great day!