For Rousseau, its very important that the populace is well educated in order to have democracy.Now a days, people have the opportunity to become more educated with the use of the internet. Just like Isaac Asimov predicted in the interview, the internet is that “gigantic library”that most people can access now a days.
However, most of the population do not use the internet or other ways of communication in order to inform themselves about current political issues. In the last 2012 election the voter turnout was only 54.62% in the USA which is low in comparison to countries such as France (71.18%),Italy (68.33%) and Germany (66.04%). Just like in the USA, voting is not compulsory in either of the three countries listed above. My first impression after observing this statics was…Wow ! People don’t really care about who is charge. This brought my attention to how civic education is taught in the USA.
Now a days , there is practically no interest in teaching civic education in primary and secondary schools. In todays education, everything is based on scores … SAT scores, GCSES scores ( General certificate of secondary education which is given in the UK). We are taught how to solve mathematical problems faster, how to read faster and more accurate, but we lack discussions of current political issues in the classrooms. I remember when i was in high school in Peru, my history teacher was afraid of teaching us how the government fought against the Shining Path in the 90s . We couldn’t even argue about the subject !
The problem is that discussion is the main ingredient in a good democracy, but kids nowadays don’t even have a clue on what to discuss about since all they are worried about is their SAT scores which will determined their college future. In the last national civics test, the overall score was 151 of 300 possible point. In some states , due budget problems, some high schools have decided to eliminate social science classes in order to prioritize math and language. Although now a days we have the internet as a major source of information, i believe civic education must be taught in a didactic way in which students have a chance to discuss between each other and explore what the society is going through. Democracy needs to be in constant evolution, and the best way to do this is by teaching kids the essence of discussion .
On the other hand, i believe that civic education is not prospering because most students have the idea that they go to school so they can go to college , study , get a degree and finally buy a house. However, we constantly forget that although it is important to have the best education possible, we must also use that knowledge in our today society so we can help our country prosper. Higher education is now justified almost entirely by economic returns , however, we must look beyond that idea and think about our surroundings.