School – Is It Doomed?

Filed under: — Bravus @ 12:55 pm

Alex stayed home from church while Sue and I went this week, and messed about on the computer. She developed her own new MySpace page, and added a template and changed the font colours, created a custom avatar for herself in MSN Messenger, web-chatted with a Canadian friend my age and taught him how to use videoconference (which she had never used herself, so she figured it out on the fly and taught an adult).

She also did some of her school computer course, but said ‘It was so boring!’

That’s the problem we face as educators: because of a whole variety of constraints of budget and curriculum and social pressure and large classes and wide range of interest and ability and behaviour management/discipline, school is never going to be as compelling as kids discovering new fields and ideas for themselves, based on their own interests.

I know Alex is a bit exceptional, and not every kid is doing the same things in the same ways – she tends to just go and ‘research’ any topic that interests her, in detail, just because she wants to know – but the issue remains: what school does best, according to our research, is switch off kids’ innate desire to learn and know.

I don’t have the solution.

More Drums

Filed under: — Bravus @ 10:11 am

I posted not long ago about the rising drumbeat for the US to attack Iran. It’s still rising… and the evidence is about as dodgy as the evidence for the Iraq war

Edit: Glenn Greenwald considers the parallels in detail