Wednesday, November 25, 2009

must make the whole "riding a bike" thing problematic

A reader writes that I should offer a blog entry on "Why schooling sucks and sucks the life beautiful out of all kids."

Well, okay. That's an interesting statement.

School doesn't just suck. It does worse things than that. In school, the teachers will actually cut your child's head open, remove their brain and personality with an ice cream scoop, and replace it with a quivering ball of lampreys, ticks, and leeches.

I've seen it happen.

School isn't indoctrination to the state, it's cooptation to averageness in disguise as achievement. We've averaged out and neutered our kids for the last thirty years. It's why college undergrads don't know the difference between their and there. It's why boys buy in to the idea that reading and writing are feminine pursuits. It's carried out five days per week as the institution of education bows down and sacrifices our youth on the bloody altar of Saint Jane Schaffer at the Church of the Immaculate Chunk Paragraph.

It's homework. Has there ever been anything less useful, and more destructive to a kid's development? Teachers assign it by the metric ton, expecting it to do something. But what it does is teach kids to get by. Yeah, that's what we want: the next generation, and the one after that, trained, programmed, in non-creative ways to just get by.

It started happening in the 1970s and hit its peak in the last ten years. The new Theology of of the Immaculate Chunk Paragraph stressed numbers, data, raw scores, and standardization, so not only would we leave No Child behind, we would compress the achievers into the mediocrity of the pack and tweak the scores of the stragglers so we could churn out this big, cohesive, and uniform blob of kids who had gotten by.

Is that what you mean?

Real teaching, genuine schooling, only requires two things, and nothing more: a teacher and a student. Maybe a tree for them to sit under.