Thursday, November 15, 2007

If You Can't Do Anything - Teach!

"And if you absorb everything I tell you verbatim AND pass my exams, eventually you'll end up a dynamic force in society just like me!"

Friends, the photograph shows what is happening in classrooms all over the world. It's hard to imagine students leaving this room with their thinking processes on fire. It is an environment which, demands conformity. It's hard to imagine that an original thought has ever occurred here.

Perhaps our stultifying 'education' system is responsible for the almost universal human inability to think, to join the dots. It might also help to explain why most humans are predictable 'status quoers' who will run a mile rather than consider a new idea or re-evaluate an old one!

Perhaps we need to change the educational paradigm completely, get rid of the brain-dead, the mediocre, the appeasing conformists, the up-themselves academic elitists.

Perhaps teachers should be chosen purely on the basis of the successes they've had in the real world, give students decent role-models for a change.

P.S. I feel a tsunami of 'status quoer' protest stirring. Perhaps I'd better hide under the bed!

Naaaaah. Stuff them! They're small-minded troglodytes anyway.


Renegade Eye said...

PowerPoint is evil.

Daniel said...

Too cryptic for me, Renegade. Must've been all those mediocre teachers I had! Cheers.

Nancy said...

I am a teacher (professor actually) and I like my job very much.
But yesterday I did a presentation in a high school as part of a visiting lecturer series. Some kids talked over my presentation--I immediately stopped what I was doing and asked them to take over (they stopped)
When I was walking to my second lecture hall in the company of a guidance counselor I saw a girl screaming wordlessly, at the top of their lungs, in a hallway. The screamee was two feet away from them. "Is she sick?" I asked. "No, some of them lack all social skills." was the reply.
This was not a 'lack of social skills". This behaviour was either mental retardation or deep, deep stupidity. This is one of the better schools in the area. The school is neat, clean, and the teachers are competent. Some of the best students in our college have attended this school.
To their credit, most of the kids were interested in what I was saying. The second group, which consisted entirely of English majors, was more attentive than the first--no one talked over me. But my main memory of the school was the screaming girl and the group of loud girls who would not return to class even when ordered to do so by a security guard.
My father taught in secondary schools in the Sixties. When I asked him whether he had dealt with screamers in his time, he said "Yes." So the decay has gone on for quite a while. What sort of upbringing do these kids get that makes them think they can act like screeching chimps in a public place (and I heartily apologize to all chimps who might be offended by this remark.) Sometimes its not the teachers who need improvement, you know.

Daniel said...

I used to be a teacher, Nancy. It's not an easy job but then the caliber of many teachers doesn't help either!

In Australia we have the farcical situation of students moving from school to University or Teachers College then back to school again.

They never leave school, never really grow up, never have to compete in the real world!

MarcLord said...

I have a 3 year old son, who is not getting any younger. This forces me to get into the teaching industry, and it's pretty damned scary here in the US.

It makes me want to hire a personal tutor who comes to the house and imparts to us how to say what we mean, and mean what we say. Like Peter O'Toole and Pu Yi in the Last Emperor.

Because there's no effing way kids can get a solid core education in this scuttled public system. They would think Plutarch is the banished planet, a planet I found eternal sustenance and understanding in.

The objective is to free the state from the monetary and philosophical burdens of educating children. Set the clock back 100 years, and it was to pry them loose from the farms and get them used to factory schedules. You guys might be going through something similar now, I guess.

So...if we don't tell our kids the truth, and what to do about it, what embraces our lifetimes?

betmo said...

apparently, this is a western world phenomena. daniel you hit it on the head. the schools were and are designed to build 'worker bees.' there isn't any need for critical thinking skills and parents aren't teaching social skills. the fact that we still function as societies as well as we do- is simply astounding.

Daniel said...

Betmo, worker bees and greedy, non-questioning consumers, that's what our masters want. The largely stolid, mediocre, imitative education system is the perfect breeding ground.

Marc, truth is not something that is welcome in our capitalist world. Creating fantasies based on materialism and conformity is what counts.