12 years old brains have adult capacity, but ...
The results of that attitude can be seen every weekend on the streets of New Zealand. Young adults who are still kids are killing each other, and themselves.
Not educating kids for adulthood is not preparing them for life in the adult world, and for some especially tragic cases, it's killing them. Why shouldn't kids be stretched in the safety of classrooms and the home, especially when "new research suggests some of the brain's basic building blocks for learning are nearing adult levels by age 11 or 12." [Story here.]
So by the age of 11 or 12, children's brains are at adult capacity, "suggesting a foundation necessary for higher learning is in place by puberty," says John Gilmore of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Yet modern educationalists steadfastly refuse to use that capacity; they fail to fill that enormous capacity for knowledge and and for learning, leaving these young students (even as they reach adulthood) adrift in a world they can barely understand and with brains that have never automatised the skill of actually thinking. George Reisman berates educationalists for this signal failure.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans of the brain and other tests to determine IQ, verbal ability, mental processing speed, spatial ability, memory, fine motor dexterity, psychosocial function, reading and calculation ability, and other measures of psychological function were conducted revealing that a child’s grasp on such cognitive tasks improves rapidly between age 6 and 10, but levels off thereafter and improves very slightly or not at all during adolescence because before attaining the age of 12 years the brain makes more connections between nerve cells that in turn enlarge vital regions. After puberty, the process slows and the brain "prunes" itself, focusing less on installing new wiring than on programming and refining what is already there.
"The basic building blocks seem to be in place by the time someone reaches 11 or 12," [said Dr. Deborah Waber of Children's Hospital Boston, who led the analysis published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.]
Now, properly, education is a process by means of which students internalize knowledge: they mentally absorb it through observation and proof, and repeated application. Memorization, deduction, and problem solving must constantly be involved. The purpose is to develop the student’s mind – to provide him with an instantaneously available storehouse of knowledge and thus an increasingly powerful mental apparatus that he will be able to use and further expand throughout his life. Such education, of course, requires hard work from the student. Seen from a physiological perspective, it may be that what the process of education requires of the student through his exercises is an actual imprinting of his brain.Simple uneducated men and women who have very little ability to understand the world in which they live and, in a world awash with moral relativism, few moral signposts along the way to help them understand how to act in this world. (This is exacerbated by the fact that, as Jordan Grafman of the NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke points out, "the region responsible for things such as impulse control and moral judgment is the last to mature, sometime in the early 20s.")
Yet, under the influence of the philosophy of Romanticism, contemporary education is fundamentally opposed to these essentials of education...
With little exaggeration, the whole of contemporary education can be described as a process of encumbering the student’s mind with as little knowledge as possible. The place for knowledge, it seems to believe, is in external sources – books and libraries – which the student knows how to use when necessary. Its job, its proponents believe, is not to teach the students knowledge but “how to acquire knowledge” – not to teach them facts and principles, which, it holds, quickly become “obsolete,” but to teach them “how to learn.” Its job, its proponents openly declare, is not to teach geography, history, mathematics, science, or any other subject, including reading and writing, but to teach “Johnny” – to teach Johnny how he can allegedly go about learning the facts and principles it declares are not important enough to teach and which it thus gives no incentive to learn and provides the student with no means of learning.
The results of this type of education are visible in the hordes of students who, despite years of schooling, have learned virtually nothing, and who are least of all capable of thinking critically and solving problems. When such students read a newspaper, for example, they cannot read it in the light of a knowledge of history or economics – they do not know history or economics; history and economics are out there in the history and economics books, which, they were taught, they can “look up, if they need to” ...
Properly, by the time a student has completed a college education, his brain should hold the essential content of well over a hundred major books on mathematics, science, history, literature, and philosophy, and do so in a form that is well organized and integrated, so that he can apply this internalized body of knowledge to his perception of everything in the world around him. He should be in a position to enlarge his knowledge of any subject and to express his thoughts on any subject clearly and logically, both verbally and in writing. Yet, as the result of the miseducation provided today, it is now much more often the case that college graduates fulfill the Romantic ideal of being “simple, uneducated men.”
In the words of the poet, contemporary educationalists have left young adults "alone and afraid in a world they never made," and are unable to understand. Little wonder then that so many lost teenagers try to find whatever they can in drugs, emo, delinquent driving, gangs and whatever else they can find. Modern educationalists and their factory schools have a hell of a lot to answer for.