I Know, Let’s Organize the Children!
Once upon a time there was this fellow name of Napolean. Now Nappie was a real bad cat. He raised up armies and invaded countries…real caveman stuff.
One of the countries that Nappie beat up was Germany. The German generals, who had just had their fannies booted so royally, went back home and sulked, and they asked the question, whose fault was it? I mean, it couldn’t be their military mindsets, their battle strategies, or anything like that which caused them to lose to Nappie. It had to be something else. And they finally realized who had caused them to lose…the soldiers.
It was the soldier’s fault, those doggone, dad blasted soldiers, who couldn’t follow orders, couldn’t charge into the face of cannon fire fast enough, who weren’t willing to give…the ultimate sacrifice.
Yes, it was the soldier’s fault, and there was only one thing to do about it. The citizens of Germany had to be raised up, from their youngest impressionable ages, to follow orders, to charge the enemy, to…make the ultimate sacrifice.
So the Germans revamped their schooling, from kindergarten to the highest level of education, and trained…uh, educated their citizens as to how to follow orders, do what they were told, and give the ultimate sacrifice.
Our story would end here, with Germany conquering the world, except for one thing. Those nefarious, dag blasted Americans.
Those durned ‘Muricans were actually teaching their children right out of their own homes. Sure, there were classes and school houses, but these were unregimented affairs with students of all ages in the same room, olders helping the youngers, actually trying to figure things out, reading those stupid McGuffeys, and…durned ‘Muricans!
Now, I’m sure that there are some readers out there who are huffing and chuffing at all the misrepresentations I have offered. After all, the German military changing a country’s educational system? An insidious plot of the Bosch to rule the world, upper edification messed with so that the fragile eggshell minds can be guided into dark alleys that…well, you get the idea.
Well, okay. I’m up with that. After all, this article is based loosely on facts, not like one of those tightly knit juggernauts I usually write. But, there is one little item that I came across that is of much interest.
There is a fellow name of John Taylor Gatto. After 26 years teaching he was nominated New York State Teacher of the Year for 1991. Pretty cool, eh? Maybe even knows something about education. Maybe?
On the night of acceptance for this great honor he stated that education wasn’t designed to educate minds, but to destroy them.
Huh? What’s up with that? I mean…Dude!
His points were rather succinct, and I have paraphrased them here.
1) Too many facts, not enough thinking.
2) labeling and categorizing by ‘intelligence.’
3) Work that can be interrupted by the bell ain’t worth finishing.
4) Children become emotionally dependent upon the teacher.
5) Children become intellectually dependent upon the teacher.
6) Children become dependent upon others for their feelings of self-esteem.
7) Nowhere to hide.
I love that last one. Nowhere to hide. If that isn’t the most dismal concept in the world, taken in conjunction with children, I don’t know what is. The fact that they have been put upon in such a manner that they would have to hide in the first place!
Sitting there in classrooms, mistakes shoved in their faces, never a chance for private thought.
Anyway, Mr. Gatto left the educational system after that…huh, go figure…with the statement, “I teach how to fit into a world I don’t want to live in.’
He then wrote a book, it’s called ‘Dumbing Us Down.’ You can find it on the net.
And, he has made the unbelievable statement that it only takes 100 hours to actually educate children who are eager to learn.
Interesting, when compared to an educational system that is at least 12 years long. But I guess it takes a little longer to make a factory worker, or some fellow who is willing to follow directions, that sort of thing.
Now, I am not saying that your child is going to be hit in the head with a hammer if he keeps getting his book larnin’ at the public coffin. Uh, coffer. The truth of the matter is that we do have some incredible potential in the educational system. We were number one once, and there isn’t any reason why we can’t be number one again.
But…you know…the big but…what are we going to do about it?
Have you been to a PTA meeting? Have you met with the teacher of your son/daughter every week and demanded to know what is going on?
And, here is an interesting idea, if your child’s teacher does happen to be an idiot who sucks ostrich eggs, would you like to do something about it?
1) You go to the local learning store (or just look on the internet).
2) You peruse the multitude of books that will teach reading, writing, mathematics, and just about any subject you might wish.
3) You select a curriculum, and you keep your little darlings home from school and go over their book learning with them.
Interestingly, a couple of hours of discipline in the morning, and the rest of the day is free. Kids are that smart…if you stand your ground and let them be smart.
The idea for this article actually came from a fellow who wrote me and asked about martial arts, which is my business. He said that he wasn’t interested in the social education offered by the school’s P.E. set up. He said that he knew a little karate, and he wanted to get his kid’s to black belt as part of their educational program.
Well, ain’t that interesting? Children who can stand up for themselves, who don’t bow down to peer pressure, who can actually defend themselves if need be. Who are proud of their worth not because a teacher patted them on the head, but because they are strong and sharp minded and physically able! There’s several of Mr. Gatto’s points thrown under the bus right there!
And, if this all works out, this fellow who wrote me may be teaching children for his neighbors, actually starting a business and making a living right here in ‘Murica!
In closing, I’ve been a teacher in a private school. Actually had my own school for a while. I’ve seen children come in from the public sector, seen them go out to the public sector, and while there is much to think about here, Mr. Gatto’s statements, in my own experience, have a tremendous amount of validity. Too much validity.
I don’t think the public system needs be thrown away…quite yet.
But it is close.
I certainly wouldn’t want to go to school in this country.
The drugs, the bullying, the bars on the windows…
So think about it.
Throw a little feedback my way.
Encourage others to look at the educational system, scare the teachers that need scaring, encourage the ones that don’t, start a business, offer an opinion if you think I’m all wet, or if there are points that I have missed or misrepresented.
Personally, I’m a little sick and tired of the bushwah going on in this country, and the idea of building something over again, from the ground up, doesn’t scare me.
Heck, it sounds like fun.
Al Case has a bunch of websites, the martial arts one is Monster Martial Arts. But if you really want to frighten your mind, head on over to ChurchofMartialArts(dot)com.