Thursday, November 11, 2010

Flaws In The System

I have been spending a good part of my days compiling letters written by 5th and 6th graders thanking our company for programs and goods sent to their classes and I often chuckle at the silly things they say or draw. But more often than that, I shake my head in disappointment at how children of that age seem to lack basic knowledge I remember having and my peers having when I was that age. You know, common stuff like how to write a proper letter. Some refer to us as "Dear *** people". People. That's a little rude. I snicker a little at the innocence of children signing letters "love" or "your friend". Because really, they are our friends. But the sad part is when you see a total inconsistency in grade levels. One school will have kids draw a picture and write a letter inside of a home-made card. They look like they were done by kids half their age and the spelling and grammar goes along with that theory. Then you will see another school with the same age students writing proper letters, addressed and formatted, written with good penmanship or typed. It just makes you wonder why places where there are kids who are doing the same program and following the same state education correlations have such huge scholastic differences. Not sure what to think at this point. It's just pretty bleak out there.

1 comment:

Mantan Calaveras said...

Kids get stuck in school 8 hours a day, bored out of their minds, subject to the authoritarian treatment of their emotionally stunted teachers. The school system itself is designed to be authoritarian, to impress statist values on the kids, to coerce them into not questioning, to squash their creativity and curiosity. Everything about the school system is intended to elevate mediocrity and conformity.

But, I think also there is a quality of fascist impulse in your expectations of these kids. Your desire for consistency, formality, conformity to a standard, are all indicative of a set of insecurities.

Ultimately, I think it's best to want every kid to have access to the very best education possible, and that implies self-directed study and creativity. It's not what you want, it's not what the teachers want, it's about the kid figuring out and pursuing what she wants, regardless of authority or arbitrary standards.