Sunday, April 22, 2007


Stanselsen has an interesting post about schooling

I hated how it was so impersonalised, boring and repetitive, how the stuff we were learning had been repeated for years and years before, the rules had no reasons for being there other than they were the rules, the technology was always behind, the text books were dated and unimaginative and the punishments handed out for pathetic offences insulting and often unfair. Even then I knew this. And I’m guessing that not very much would have changed in the last 10-15 years since I have been out of school. Except it seems the rules have tightened on alot of things.I stayed at school through till the 7th form, but my passion for learning, and I was quick at this, in fact too quick for the school to cope with, was completely depleted by then and I had no other desire than to spend the next year (after leaving) smoking pot and drinking myself silly. Common with many young people. Can we only guess at the need for measurable escapism from the every day reality of teachers, homework and boring long hours spent behind desks in ugly classrooms.

I was home schooled till I was 14 and went to high school for 2 and a half years. I found high school mind numbingly boring and the social cliques were soul crushing for anyone let alone someone that thought the entire system was fucked. At about 15 I read Ivan Illich's deschooling society and spent a lot of time reading about alternative schooling and the problems with our current school system. Its quite obvious that school is not about learning, instead its key role is indoctrination and teaching young people to accept and gradually come to work within hierarchical systems. It also divorces young people from the natural world and people of different age groups.

Like most home schooler's I found high school students empty and rather silly, I think the immaturity that school creates in young people is part of keeping us reliant on authorities. The work we spent all our time on was unstimulating enough to turn off anyone and not coincidentally it crushed critical thinking and analysis. I missed school 20% of days overall spending days at home reading or just doing what I wanted to do. For more about schooling I would highly recommend John Taylor Gatto's six lesson school teacher.

I could rant about why I hate the school system forever but I think its enough to say that it needs to be abolished if we are to ever create a non hierarchical society which honours the natural world. I will write about home schooling and my experience at some point soon....


jo said...

My sister is an early childhood educator/uni lecturer/college of ed past tutor and has a masters in Early childhood and Environmental studies..they were sharing some space within a building where College of Ed students training to be High school teachers were having a tutorial, she was in the next room and overheard the lesson. She relayed to me how the tutor was instructing the soon-to-be teachers about current teaching methods for Highschoolers, it was appalling, they were being taught how to malnipulate and control, how to make them do what you want, how to punish and humiliate, basically how to bully the students..and they wonder why there are such high levels of bullying at 'schools'..personally I think it starts with the teachers. Most of them are authoritarian pricks, thats what they're trained to be.

Marcy said...

I was one of those really good students. I sat still, did what I was told, didn't even think about how stupid and useless it was.

But now, however, I know different. I'm childfree, but if I had children, I would homeschool them. Highschool is a nightmare for a lot of kids. And people don't grow up. The working world is just highschool all over again. It's sickening.

And when I think about how much I was required to learn that wasn't good for anything...

It's all just busywork like Daniel Quinn says in My Ishmael. Just stuff to keep the students out of the job market for a while. Blech.