Sunday, December 9, 2007

The "Real World"

Schoolers (people employed in government schools) like to think of their school as "the real world." However, it is anything but real. It is artificial and synthetic; it is unnatural and contrived in every way. In fact, it is separated (segregated) from the real world. It is coercive, petty, rule-infested, and forced. It is dictatorial, dishonest, and fear-driven. In his book, "School Corruption, the betrayal of children and the public trust," Armand Fusco, Ed. D., writes, "Public school is a culture of dishonesty and corruption."

Many adults who have been through several years of public school admit that they did not get a good education there. Would they go back and try again? Hell no. Why not? Because what they often remember best is that they hated being there. Their only enjoyment was that they had made friends with other children there. They were bored by most of the classes; they disliked many of the teachers; they were bullied by other students; there were no breaks in the stress (no recess).

In addition, they know that it is still a place that is not suited to learning. It is suited only to teaching, which is definitely not the same as learning, just as prisons are suited to warehousing people, but not to rehabilitating them. Indeed, just because teaching is happening in a school is no reason to believe that any learning is going on. School is designed for the schoolers -- for hiring lots of people and letting lots of contracts. It is not designed for the learners. How come? Because what schools and schoolers do is not what encourages or relates to how children learn.

Put simply, children learn by doing things they enjoy or are interested in. Schools force them to sit still and listen mostly to things that do not interest them.
Thus, schools fail by forcing children to deny their own interests and instead pretend to be interested in what teachers like to do.

Yet, the public schools continue to use the same failed methods such as "fuzzy math" and "whole language." The system is now set up, not by educators, but by the teachers' unions in order to satisfy union demands to get more money for less work, and those demands work against what is needed for learning to happen.

Children need the opposite of what schools offer. They need safety -- not just from violence (bullying) but safety from bad programs such as Transformational Education and Fuzzy Math, and bad methods such as Whole Language; and protection from wasted time and unreasonable demands on their time such as most homework is; and from demands for learning outdated and often counter-productive information, such as DARE and "Values Clarification." They need safety from poorly educated and wrongly trained teachers; they need trust, freedom, time, good food, sleep -- in short, decent parenting.

What they don't need is school as we know it. They need the real real world.

Ned Vare

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