Friday, August 13, 2010

Rage against the machine

A young person clearly wise beyond her years. I was particularly struck by her clear evaluation of the ties between public education and corporate interests (ie; the steady production of uninspired generations of workers/consumers).

I would only add that the system she rails against can be seen in another way. A wise person I know once told me: school is a game where the object is to get A's. The young lady who told me that (my daughter, by the way) understood the drawbacks/limitations of the system in which she found herself and succeeded regardless. I submit that she was able to do this because she also understood that the primary locus of her education was inside herself.

Is American public education less than an ideal system could be? Well, sure. On the other hand, a student's real education is not bounded by a school building. Education is mainly a function of the student. His/Her motivation and effort (and access to first world materials, I would argue) are the primary components.

My propositions:

What if public education can never be the ideal?

What if our expectation of the ideal is based upon an incorrect initial assessment of the machine's potential? (That is to say, lacking any other plan, we have asked too much of a system with inherent limitations.)

What would we do if that were the case?

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