"Teaching has attracted many persons who have undergone the uncertainties and deprivations of lower- and working-class life. It has provided a significant step up the social class ladder for many Americans."
It would be unbecoming for academics, policy-creators and opinion leaders to say, hey—why would we listen to low-rent scholars who went to fourth-tier state universities and don’t aspire to anything more prestigious than teaching? So they don’t. Instead, they suggest that it makes sense to endorse the winners of a best-and-brightest competition to obtain a two-year starter job in education.
The various disciplines each offer a different lens through which students can view the world. You learn something different from literature than you do from math or science, and you learn it in a different way. But the 21st-century skills movement seems bent on reducing a wealth of knowledge and diversity of perspectives to a simple, business-minded set of skills. This would be great, obviously, for the corporate world. But since literature, art, music -- much of what defines the human experience -- are not useful in the boardroom, they won't be given much space in our public schools.