Updated: Jun 19, 2022
Schools do not train children to be great thinkers, but instead to be good citizens.
Specifically good employees.
While there is nothing wrong with the concept of "being a good citizen," there is definitely something wrong with training the vast majority of children to stream themselves into a dependent role within the workforce. In government-funded schools, children are not being actually educated for the future, but trained for the working world.
I have not yet found a better or more concise explanation for this out there than the one below, found on Instagram with @gillian_education:
Regardless of what school system you place a child into, they will be told:
- what they will learn
- when they will learn
- what tasks to complete
- when they need to complete them by
- where they will sit
- who they will sit with
- what time they will eat at
- when they need to go outside
- when it's time to take a break
Why is this a problem? Don't children need to be taught how to listen, how to function as part of the system?
My answer to that is no. They don't need to be taught how to listen, but instead to hear. They don't need to be taught how to function as part of the system, but how to create their own system, take charge of their own decisions, and work collaboratively within a community.
How are we building and preparing our children for a future of change and uncertainty, when we are only training them to listen to and follow orders in school? Tolerance and respect for other's ideas, as well as standing firm on the certainty of one's own opinion while still having the capability to absorb and reflect upon others' opinions are not skills taught in school.
Are you educating your child by putting them into a government-funded school? Perhaps academically, but that's something easily done elsewhere. Curriculum control is acceptable, in most boards and schools, but the methodologies of teaching are often geared towards just one framework. This is not doing your child any favors if they don't fit the majority.
Even if they do, the vast majority are not learning any skills, besides socialization, that will be genuinely useful to them in becoming extraordinary. In the working world and in life. True education means children have a say in what, where, when, and how they can learn. Within guided parameters, because let's be honest, you do need to know the basics of math & English, but they should have a voice in their own learning. Giving children a choice, and following an inquiry-based learning model, from an early age fosters creativity, ambition, and drive. These are inherent traits that can only be nurtured; they are difficult to teach through anything other than self-discipline.
The desire to learn trumps all other factors involved. If you have a child who wants to learn, the sky is the limit. Encourage that learning, because there will come the day when your child must make a choice - to sit satisfied and static with their knowledge, or to continue to reach for more, even as a young adult and adult. You can not choose for them, but you can guide them in the right direction.
"You can lead a horse to water, but you can not make it drink." Similarly, you can lead a human to knowledge, but you can not make them think.
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