Monday, 4 May 2009

problems with school

It seems that Im not the only person who thinks the world is on its head.

“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more “successful” people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every shape and form. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these needs have little to do with success as our culture has defined it.”

From his speech What is Education For? by David Orr

From “The Dangers of Privilege and College Admission”, an editorial by college consultant William Caskey in the Chicago Tribune:
As they near college, we drive exhausted teens toward milestones of success ruled by grades, standardized test scores, and the ultimate mark of achievement these days: a brand-name school. Spent and busy parents expect me, their college consultant, to nag, drag, and, if necessary, carry their reluctant, exhausted, and often passionless kids toward the finish line and a “top-tier” college. When I ask what would happen if their kids were left alone to complete this process without parental fuel driving them, they are often confused by my question.

I see many teens of means with few interests and little idea how to pursue those mild passions they do have. Ironically, many are successful academically. Rarely, however, is their success driven by a quest for knowledge. Rather, they tie academic achievement to eventual financial success.
Is there, as Ghandi said, more to life than increasing its speed?

What did my education do for me?
Yes it made me do things I didnt want to do which is actually a useful thing to learn.
Yes it allowed me to get good marks on tests
It taught me to integrate socially, it gave me some good experiences, it gave me the ability to work to a routine.
Yes there were some good teachers who taught me more than this but still within that framework.

But it didnt stretch me as far as I could have, it made me tick boxes and go at everyone elses pace, even a better school would have done the same but maybe at a higher level with more stress. It didnt prepare me for life. It didnt teach me about my emotions and what to do with them. It didnt teach me about settling my soul and finding the things which make me happy to just be. It didnt teach me to follow my thirst for knowledge in the direction I want to.

It didnt teach me how to live the life I want to live as an adult.
Where AM i supposed to learn that?

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