I have a middle schooler and someone at high school. It has been impressed upon my mind in the last several years that somehow we have deviated from the original purposes of education. School has become;
a daycare center
an indoctrination center
a social club
a sports team
Whatever learning taking place there is not preparing our children to make intelligent, informed decisions in their lives. Children are in school longer, more hours a day more days a year, than ever before. There is more violence, more sex, more bullying, more stress and less learning going on than ever before as well.
Now don’t get me wrong. The teachers are not the people at fault in most cases. Are there bad teachers? Are there bad policemen, politicians, doctors, lawyers, preachers ad infinitum. Of course, there are bad people everywhere. That cannot be helped. With education however the problems are varied and difficult and the one size fits all cadre along with the zero tolerance Nazi’s have taken over the asylum. Here’s an interesting question. If children spend 33% of their day sleeping (8 hrs.) an another 50% engaged in education (going to and from, sitting in class, doing assignments) how much time do the spend being taught by their parents? 27%?
Think about what goes on in your home after school. Don’t forget to take out the hour or two it takes to prepare, partake and clean up after dinner, then there are baths, some children even have time to play before they are packed off to bed. Of course not all children have parents who care for them. Some are neglected and abused. To them school may be a sanctuary, but for most children it has become a prison whose tentacles invade the sanctuary of home ensuring no rest from the stress that marks their every waking moment.
Well, some say, we are just preparing them to be adults. This is hogwash. People who say that are miserable in their lives and seek to make other as miserable as they are. Children are no longer allowed to be children. They are over scheduled, over booked, over worked and over stimulated. They are not content with what they have but are always looking for the next new thing. I Pod’s, Game Boys, Computers, and TV have isolated our children from each other and from the adults in their lives. Some children without are willing to kill to get what they feel they “deserve”.
At school they are ruled by the agenda book, driven by standardized test scores and encouraged by society to grow up faster than is appropriate for their mental health. We now have dances, yes dances for 10 year olds. What exactly are they supposed to learn from this? Children are now encouraged to have “a significant other” in elementary school or they are assigned the “gay” label. Once children begin to indulge in adult behavior that genie is out of the bottle and good luck stuffing it back in.
Why you might ask has this come to my attention. My son (who is a pretty good kid, has some homework issues, but all in all he’s a good boy) got detention. Why? Because every child in the school has to wear an ID badge with their picture and name on it. He’s forgotten his 4 times, so now he has detention. I believe in obeying the rules, so he will go and do as he’s told but…… It occurs to me that a really good way to get around this whole issue is to take a leaf out of the Nazi handbook and just tattoo their Social Security Numbers and names on their forearm or maybe on the back of their hands like in the 5th Harry Potter movie. That way they would be always recognizable and the school/prison would always be able to reach out and touch them, or there are micro chips that vet can place under an animals skin These are just a couple of other options.
Mr Orwell was wrong. He should have titled his book 2008, instead of 1984.
We have met the enemy and he is us.