Is school bad for kids?

According to Roger C. Schank

school is bad for kids

and

Schools should simply cease to exist as we know them. The Government needs to get out of the education business and stop thinking it knows what children should know and then testing them constantly to see if they regurgitate whatever they have just been spoon fed.

and

We need to stop producing a nation of stressed out students who learn how to please the teacher instead of pleasing themselves. We need to produce adults who love learning, not adults who avoid all learning because it reminds them of the horrors of school. We need to stop thinking that all children need to learn the same stuff. We need to create adults who can think for themselves and are not convinced about how to understand complex situations in simplistic terms that can be rendered in a sound bite.

Just call school off. Turn them all into apartment houses.

According to Jamshed Bharucha

Education as we know it does not accomplish what we believe it does

The more we discover about cognition and the brain, the more we will realize that education as we know it does not accomplish what we believe it does.

It is not my purpose to echo familiar critiques of our schools. My concerns are of a different nature and apply to the full spectrum of education, including our institutions of higher education, which arguably are the finest in the world.

Our understanding of the intersection between genetics and neuroscience (and their behavioral correlates) is still in its infancy. This century will bring forth an explosion of new knowledge on the genetic and environmental determinants of cognition and brain development, on what and how we learn, on the neural basis of human interaction in social and political contexts, and on variability across people.

Are we prepared to transform our educational institutions if new science challenges cherished notions of what and how we learn? As we acquire the ability to trace genetic and environmental influences on the development of the brain, will we as a society be able to agree on what our educational objectives should be?

Since the advent of scientific psychology we have learned a lot about learning. In the years ahead we will learn a lot more that will continue to challenge our current assumptions. We will learn that some things we currently assume are learnable are not (and vice versa), that some things that are learned successfully don’t have the impact on future thinking and behavior that we imagine, and that some of the learning that impacts future thinking and behavior is not what we spend time teaching. We might well discover that the developmental time course for optimal learning from infancy through the life span is not reflected in the standard educational time line around which society is organized. As we discover more about the gulf between how we learn and how we teach, hopefully we will also discover ways to redesign our systems — but I suspect that the latter will lag behind the former.

According to John Taylor Gatto’s website

John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction focuses on mechanisms of compulsory schooling which cripple imagination and discourage critical thinking.

Here is a demonstration that the harm school inflicts is quite rational and deliberate. The real function of pedagogy is to render the common population manageable, remove the obligation of child care from adult workers so they are free to fuel the industrial economy and to train the next generation into subservient obedience to the state.

John Gatto shows us that Ivy League schools do not produce the most successful graduates, some of the world’s richest entrepreneurs are high school drop outs and Thomas Edison, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie didn’t finish elementary school. An education matters desperately, but spending a fortune on college fees will not get you one.

Filled with examples of people who have escaped the trap of compulsory schooling, Weapons of Mass Instruction shows us realization of personal potential is not possible within the system of compulsory schooling. That requires a different way of growing up and learning, one Gatto calls “open source learning.”

According to Joseph Marr Cronin and Howard E. Horton

With tuitions, fees, and room and board at dozens of colleges now reaching $50,000 a year, the ability to sustain private higher education for all but the very well-heeled is questionable. According to the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, over the past 25 years, average college tuition and fees have risen by 440 percent — more than four times the rate of inflation and almost twice the rate of medical care. Patrick M. Callan, the center’s president, has warned that low-income students will find college unaffordable.

and

Consumers who have questioned whether it is worth spending $1,000 a square foot for a home are now asking whether it is worth spending $1,000 a week to send their kids to college. There is a growing sense among the public that higher education might be overpriced and under-delivering.

According to Don Tapscott

Back in 1997 I presented my views to a group of about 100 University presidents at a dinner hosted by Ameritech in Chicago. After the talk I sat down at my table and asked the smaller group what they thought about my remarks. They responded positively. So I said to them “why is this taking so long?” “The problem is funds,” one president said. “We just don’t have the money to reinvent the model of pedagogy.” Another educator put it this way: “Models of learning that go back decades are hard to change.” Another got a chuckle around the table when he said, “I think the problem is the faculty — their average age is 57 and they’re teaching in a ‘post-Gutenberg’ mode.”

A very thoughtful man named Jeffery Bannister, who at the time was president of Butler College, was seated next to me. “Post-Gutenberg?” he said. “I don’t think so! At least not at Butler. Our model of learning is pre-Gutenberg! We’ve got a bunch of professors reading from handwritten notes, writing on blackboards, and the students are writing down what they say. This is a pre-Gutenberg model — the printing press is not even an important part of the learning paradigm.” He added, “Wait till these students who are 14 and have grown up learning on the Net hit the [college] classrooms — sparks are going to fly.”

Bannister was right. A powerful force to change the university is the students. And sparks are flying today. There is a huge generational clash emerging in these institutions. It turns out that the critique of the university from years ago were ideas in waiting — waiting for the new web and a new generation of digital natives who could effectively challenge the old model.

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