There is something wrong with our present educational system, I think most would agree but how did it get to be in this condition? Some would say that it is because of the involvment of the federal government to which I agree, but I think it's decline started even before that with the ideals of a few pushed on us by the institutions or foundations of wealthy men seeking to deliberately dumb us down and make us automatons yielding to their desires. Is this another conspiracy theory or are there facts and events in history that can prove it? I just started reading this book...The Leipzig Connection: Sabotage of the US Educational System by Paolo Lionni. The book starts out this way. Chapter 1. A New Domain "Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt was born in 1832 in Neckarau, in a small town in southern Germany. Wundt entered the university at Tubingen when he was 19, transferred to Heidelberg after half a year, and graduated as a medical doctor from the university in 1856. He stayed on at Heidelberg for the next seventeen years, working first as a professor's assistant, and later as a professor himself, in the field of psychology. Psychology, at that time, meant simply the study (ology) of the soul (psyche), or mind." "In 1874, Wundt left Heidelberg to take a position as professor of philosophy at Zurich. He stayed there for only a year, and then accepted a chair in philosophy at the University of Leipzig, in Germany. He was to remain at Leipzig for the rest of his academic career, eventually being appointed rector of the university. Wundt died in 1920." "Those are some of the vital statistics. What they omit is that Wundt was the founder of experimental psychology and the force behind its dissemination throughout the western world." "To Wundt a thing made sense and was worth pursuing if it could be measured, quantified, and scientifically demonstrated. Seeing no way to do this with the human soul, he proposed that psychology concerns itself solely with experience." "Wundt asserted that man is devoid of spirit and self-determinism. He set out to prove that man is the summation of his experiences, of the stimuli which intrude upon his consciousness and unconsciousness. "Wundt established the new psychology as a study of the brain and the central nervous system. From Wundt's work, it was only a short step to the later redefining of the meaning of education. Originally, education meant the drawing out of a person's innate talents and abilities by imparting the knowledge of languages, scientific reasoning, history, literature, rhetoric, etc. - the channels through which those abilities would flourish and serve. To the experimental psychologist, however, education became the process of exposing the student to "meaningful" experiences so as to ensure desired reactions: " ...learning is the result of modifiability in the paths of neural conduction... The situation-response formula is adequate to cover learning of any sort, and the really influential factors in learning are readiness of the neurons, sequence in time, belongingness, and satisfying consequences. "If one assumes (as did Wundt) that there is nothing there to begin with but a body, a brain, and a nervous system, then one must try to educate by inducing sensations in that nervous system. Through these experiences, the individual will learn to respond to any given stimulus, with the "correct" response." "Wundt's thesis laid the philosophical basis for the principles of conditioning later developed by Pavlov (who studied physiology in Leipzig, in 1884, five years after Wundt had inaugurated his laboratory there) and American behavioral psychologists such as Watson and Skinner; for lobotomies and electro-convulsive therapy; for schools more oriented toward the socialization of the child than toward the development of intellect; and for the emergence of a society more and more blatantly devoted to the gratification of sensory desires at the expense of responsibility and achievement." Isn't this exactly how children are being taught today? How we ourselves have been taught and our fathers before us?