The United States education system has changed significantly since 1975 when the country ended the Vietnam War. Baby boomers and the generations that follow benefitted from an effective education system that encouraged freedom of speech and independence. Students who began learning after these generations, particularly since the 2000s, engage with a different kind of system.
Education in modern America is now about the indoctrination of values and principles, with few opportunities for students to learn concepts that are essential for life. Critical thinking and civic duties are two major areas that speaker, author, and former educator Dr. Tom Rowley covers in his two highly acclaimed books.
Rowley’s first book, Blame It On 'Nam, covers the gradual shift the education system has undergone in the last decades. It also gives parents clear instructions for how they can protect their children from the adverse effects of this broken model. Dr. Tom’s second book, Empower Your Children, is an expansion of the first. Dr.Tom explains how children should be encouraged to ask meaningful questions, recognize bias, and stand up for themselves.
Dr. Tom Rowley is deeply passionate about the power of education and civic engagement. He is a high school dropout who enlisted in the Air Force shortly after. His aptitude for learning led him to pass his GED and later obtain several Master's degrees and a Doctorate.
After leaving his position as a university professor in Atlanta, Dr. Tom noticed how students were less likely to be taught certain topics than he was. Confused and frustrated at this problem, as well as at the fact that decisions made at the beginning of the COVID pandemic weren’t evidence-based, Dr. Tom began researching what had happened to education since the 60s.
He discovered that political protestors during the 1960s proclaimed that if they were to control political agendas they had to control university education. He believes that they became successful at doing this, which has led to the downfall of the American education system. Unfortunately, federal legislation hasn’t combatted these systemic issues; instead, it has created a huge bureaucracy. There are more compliance workers on campus than professors. Modern teachers are overworked and overburdened too and that stifles initiative and creativity. Dr. Tom’s findings were what inspired him to write his books.
When addressing these longstanding problems in US education, Dr. Tom references Mark Rashid who said, “Trying to solve a problem without understanding the cause is like trying to keep water in a bucket with a hole in the bottom.”
After leaving US academia in 1994 and moving to Costa Rica and then Panamá his students refer to him as Dr. Tom, he continued his desire to instill critical thinking and independence in his students. Dr. Tom taught college freshmen business communications and also spent time teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) as well as accounting concepts. Now settled in Panama, Dr. Tom focuses on his speaking events and equestrian therapy with special needs children. Since beginning his career as an author, Dr. Tom has spoken at several prestigious conferences. He was the lead speaker of a live virtual leadership summit. Dr. Tom focused on the leadership lessons humans can gain from horses. He tells a captivating story about building trust between humans and horses that can carry over to human relationships and management. The non-verbal behaviors of horses allow them to be very sensitive to the people and things in their environment. If leaders focus on this non-verbal communication, especially trust, Dr. Tom believes organizations will be able to become more effective.
“I’ve always been passionate about connecting with youth through education,” says Dr. Tom. “When I was in their shoes, I made some immature decisions like dropping out of high school, but with the help of several mentors, I learned the power of education. My work at universities, as an entrepreneur and pilot, and in private settings throughout Latin America has enabled me to leave a positive impact on young adults who need what I like to call ‘common sense’. My books are avenues for me to express the things I know and have learned from working in education. I wrote them to speak directly with parents, teachers, and mentors who are confused and troubled by their children’s inability to solve problems or understand the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. While the United States education system has the perception that it is better than others, I feel that much could be done to give kids a better shot at a productive life.”
Dr. Tom's two books are available for purchase on Amazon and in other book retailers online and in-person. If you’re interested in learning more about his story as well as his services, visit Tom Rowley Books.
Name: Thomas Rowley
Email: [email protected]