Unschooling memes for the week 17
The essential thing measured by school is whether or not you are good at school. Being good at school is a fine skill if you intend to do school forever. For the rest of us, being good at school is a little like being good at Frisbee. It’s not nice but it’s not relevant unless your career involves homework assignments, looking through textbooks for answers that are already known to your supervisors, complying with instructions and then, in high pressure settings, regurgitating those facts with limited processing on your part. – Seth Godin.
I’ve noticed a fascinating phenomenon in my thirty years of teaching: schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprise of the planet. No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civic classes or poets in English classes. The truth is that schools don’t teach anything except how to obey orders. – John Taylor Gatto.
The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. – H. L. Mencken.
Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, first we have to make them feel worse? Think of the last time you felt humiliated or treated unfairly. Did you feel like cooperating or doing better? – Jane Nelson.
They believe that education is something children (and people of all ages) do for themselves, not something done to them, and they believe that education is a normal art of all of life, not something separate from life that occurs at special times in special places. – Peter Gray.
Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. – Fred Rodgers.
Children are born passionately eager to make as much sense as they can of things around them. If we attempt to control, manipulate, or divert this process…the independent scientist in the child disappears. – John Holt.
If we wanted to, we could easily and inexpensively jettison the old, stupid structures and help kids take an education rather than merely receiving a schooling. We could encourage the best qualities of youthfulness – curiosity, adventure, resilience, the capacity of surprising insight – simply by being more flexible about time, texts and tests, by introducing kids to truly competent adults, and by giving each student what autonomy he or she needs in order to take a risk every now and then. – John Taylor Gatto.