I think many of these concepts are taught in school, at least when schools work properly. They were to me in at rate.
Mathamatics teaches logic and reason. English class, specifically writing and literature teach abstract thought, interpertation, and about people. Of course this is all in proper schooling...or atleast that is what I feel proper schooling should be. The memorazation, facts, and figures are not the most important things learned. The chances are no one is going to walk up to me on the street and ask about unifacation of the Holy Roman Empire, but in learning it I learned skills in notetaking, writing, and linking concepts. That's what's important, not that the Empire was once the strongest in Europe and claimed Devine right passed down through the Romans.
I don't think many of these things are taught in college. That is more focused on learning to live on your own and on and actual job or professtion. And prehaps in todays less than perfect inner city schools these things are not taught, but they should be.
And I totally agree thank god for those parents who do teach where schools fail.
>I think everyman should be able to think, reason, and understand abstract though on his own.
good lord, i hope that is never realized. can you imagine a world in which everyone thought for themselves--complete and total anarchy, and i mean the bad kind of anarchy. there was a line from the movie fight club i liked: something about how the worker bees can leave when ever they want, but it's the queen that's slave. (voltaire's candide takes this line of thought: just put your head down and work and one day you'll die content.)
i, of course, don't mean to crush your idealism; it's very commendable and i wish i still had mine. but, i think, education in it's classical sense is lost and will be for sometime to come for the very reason you pointed out: saturation.
i know what you're saying though: some people have a special kind of awareness about what goes on around them. they'll work or converses with people who, while perhaps inteligent in all other respects, are incapable of bridging the gap between their self-identity/self-reflection and the abyss of thought and emotion that lies _underneath_ what we might actually percieve on a daily basis. (if you're interested berkley and hume talk a lot about this: berkley draws a nice image of god in a labratory with the brain of every person ever alive floating in its own ether (if stevey's reading, this is another refernce the matrix made that i liked)--most of us could never hope to 'look' beyond our own jar, but a few can just skim an 'realer' reality).
but i digress. good topic, thanks for bringing it up :D