A lifetime in education taught me the lesson of deferred gratification, which is really foregone gratification. It taught me to accept the unacceptable; to detach from the screams within; to pursue the academic without feeling, well not without: sometimes with boredom, sometimes with fear, very, very rarely with exhilaration at an idea that resonates. That kind of learning seemed only to happen in genuine connection to others or with books freely chosen. The years spent in tedious lectures, on pointless lessons- most of the information was lost the minute the exam is over, if it was ever there in the first place.
This is a one sided argument that wouldn’t gain me any credits in an academic institution, but having spent way too many years in such institutions, its time for me to break free. But there is balance- this is to counterbalance an overwhelming weight of pro-school propaganda from all parts of the political and social spectrum that, even when it acknowledges that there may be some problems with some schools still argues that schools are essential socialising machines for the young, to deny them even a day of this wholly positive experience is to rob them of life chances, to neglect their needs and hamper their development. It is to expose and dissect this cruel lie that I decided to write this book. This is the other side of the story….
What’s wrong with school?
Flies in our eyes
In Catch-22 there is a running joke about a soldier who has flies in his eyes, but he can’t see them because he has flies in his eyes. When we have been through a school system, we all have flies in our eyes and can’t see clearly what it is that put them there. To remove those flies we have to ask important questions: What sort of society and planet do we want? What sort of children and adults are we creating by the education we are giving? Who or what benefits most from the type of education that exists in schools? These are some of the questions I am trying to answer in this book (blog). Read More