Killing With Conformity

by Megan M. on March 22, 2009 · View Comments (Blog) |

Bob Poole asked me about my take on America’s educational system and in my attempt to provide him with a coherent response, I blew a gasket. It popped out of my left ear. I have no idea how to put it back. Where the hell does it even go? (I don’t think I have enough cash in my account to hire a mechanic, either.)

I decided to give it pride of place on top of the TV set. It’s kind of a memento, you know? Of frustration.

When I first watched Sir Ken’s TED presentation I just about burst into tears. I was lucky, man. I went to a great school that had a pretty reasonable slot in the budget for arts and theater. (What? You didn’t know I was an arts & theater kid? Have you even been paying attention?) Oh, there were boxes, there was plenty of math and science and there was plenty of “You’d be a Good Kid IF…” But I made out better than most. I was educated in a private, Catholic institution for almost all of my pre-university schooling—there were nuns. There were a lot of smart people, too.

I can’t even grasp what most kids grow up with these days. Kids in public schools deal with way more bullshit than I can even really grasp. (My one year in public school in seventh grade was QUITE enough for me, thanks.) I hear more horror stories about misguided teachers wantonly crushing the spirits of brilliant, creative, unorthodox-and-amazing children than you could shake a stick at. But it’s the school system I want to shake a stick at. Because we’re all but living in the dark ages with this industrial crap. We’re not training kids to work in factories anymore, people. They need to be prepared for the real world—the one we have now, and the one after that, and the one after that. They need to be flexible and wise. They need to be strong and compassionate and brave. They need to be warriors of the soul, leaders who take us forward, voices that challenge us to grow.

And we’re teaching them to put down their brains and do everything the same.

It makes me itch all over just thinking about it. And I could rant forever, but I’m going to stop here and point you to Bob’s post (wherein the rest of my diatribe is contained). Go read what we had to say.

You haven’t seen the end of this one.

  • James | Dancing Geek
    I'll do maths. But it has to be maths with an 's' on the end, ok?! And dance, obviously. :)

    Cause I have my silent scream playing in my head every time I even think about education. It's such a major atrocity and right now I just don't know how to even start doing anything about it.
  • Michael Vanderdonk
    This is one of my regular bugbears.

    Instead of giving you my rant on the issue, I'll point out some solutions (books to read) to the problem...

    "Work hard. Be nice." by Matthews.
    "A healthy classroom." by Grinder.
    "The art of learning." by Waitkin.
    "Liberating everyday genius." by Jacobsen.

    I know there are more, but I can't think of the right now...
  • James
    How about we start a school? If you want to fix the education system, the first way to provide a working alternative? What do you say, Marty on Art, me on Science, and you dressed up as a Nun (or teaching English and such).
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