“Learning happens throughout the entire day. Some of it counts as formal schoolwork and gets logged for “accountability” purposes. Other things don’t. Is it all pretty arbitrary? Sure, but I have to work within the constraints of the situation I’m in. Isn’t that a big part of life?”
That’s something CW said here followed by something Lori found and linked, which taken together moved me to write today for Thinking Parents everywhere, as another new season of learning begins.
Sacred or secular isn’t the big issue I see. When it comes to learning and thinking, if it’s School rather than Education then I say we can do better and we ought to get to it. Both at home and as public policy.
On the heels of examining how Sonlight’s curriculum teaches kids to think and whether that’s suitable for secular home education or just for church school at home, I hope to remind us all that Church and State have a common educational interest both public and private, in controlling how kids learn to think and inquire — indeed in preventing much of it.
And that means the hidden curriculum of both Church and State is similar in effect, thus more Schooling or even Training (shudder!) than true Education.
I’m not one for absolutes and can’t imagine any learning program could be all one, none of the other. Learning is always somewhere in between School and Education, but it’s a lo-o-ng way from one pole to the other along that continuum! So it’s well worth thinking about which we’re serving up for our kids and then regularly rebalancing along the journey — at least as often as we rebalance the tires, right?
[Excerpted from earlier Snooking around]
. . .Do you know parents struggling to balance Education and Schooling because their own children for whatever reasons, are cobbling together their learning environments between the two? Maybe you ARE one of those parents?
. . .[For just one example] this settled and happy mom faced a difficult divorce and the need to find a family-sustaining career for herself, which meant getting different kinds of educational “support” than we typically dwell on in independent unschooling circles — child care and legal advice and putting the older kids in public school after custody challenges and even “going back to school” herself. I know there were times she agonized about her kids, but not whether they mastered the state learning standards and passed algebra — it was what they were learning about life!
So I dug this post out for her and so many thinking, learning, hard-working moms we all know like her. Read at the links, know that “you are, because you think!” . . .and the rest will take care of itself, one way and another, no matter what anyone else thinks. 🙂
Institutional schooling has taught our fellow citizens so much about duty and failure and tedium, conforming their own internal life to external demands, that most inevitably become workaday parents and teachers (and voters and politicians) who simply follow and enforce and further entrench society’s rules and restrictions, rather than rethinking them.
They pass all this on in turn. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be . . .and they soldier on.
How controlling and conservative, how hidebound, what a monstrous millstone for progressives to drag behind ANY political bandwagon. Maybe that isn’t entirely School’s “fault” but public education could do much better at preparing the next generation to be Thinking Citizens. Imagine what a culture that could be, and what kind of politicians would thrive in it, rather than what we know now.
There’s even an educators’ argument coalescing around the idea that education IS democratic engagement”.
No one — not student, teacher or parent — is excited or inspired (or educated) by standardized, Bowdlerized textbook and workbook pabulum, or a student’s dutiful five-paragraph essay, any more than politics or culture can progress via poll-tested stump soundbites and dime-a-dozen American Idol warbler wannabes.
And fighting the last war instead of the next one, well, we’ve seen what disasters follow.
Message discipline is for mindless troops under orders, led by those with absolute faith in their own “right” answers. To me that fits the bones of (conservative) school and church, the military, industrial quality control and factory production. Not the supporting structures of (liberal) education and innovation, R&D, creative design, risk-taking, and social progress built on the pooled but undiluted, uncompromised wisdom of a multitude of diverse individuals.
. . .So why doesn’t our school system prepare kids to grow into adult citizens who embrace and celebrate difference, and succeed as originals rather than clones (I thought conservatives were AGAINST human cloning??)
It’s not a trick question or test question, it’s immediate and real-world: which way does your own education and intellect “compel” you to lean on the issue of school compulsion and coercion? Does school meet its own huge ideological burden anymore? Is it perhaps time that “liberal-leaning” thinkers re-think what education is and how to create it, to test our own beliefs and expert analysis under our own intellectual standards, in light of new evidence and old disappointments?
. . .Schools teach the last test. Education writes the next one. Which is better for progressive politics? The answer to that is easy, but getting activists to understand and ask themselves the question in the first place is hard.
I attribute it to too much schooling . . .