"Urge them to take on the serious material, the grown-up material, in history, literature, philosophy, music, art, economics, theology - all the stuff schoolteachers know well enough to avoid. Challenge your kids with plenty of solitude so that they can learn to enjoy their own company, to conduct inner dialogues. Well-schooled people are conditioned to dread being alone, and they seek constant companionship through the TV, the computer, the cell phone, and through shallow friendships quickly acquired and quickly abandoned. Your children should have a more meaningful life, and they can."Ross responded by scrapping his carefully planned lesson for the day and reading Against School out loud to all of his classes. What a start to a teaching career! Gatto's stuff really sets school up as the antithesis of lifestylism, a system designed to beat the creativity and self-determination out of generations of children. It's harsh, but definitely provides food for thought.
Friday, August 13, 2004
Life in School
The Experience Designer sent me over to a wonderful writer named Dax-Devlon Ross. I was fascinated by his account of his second day as a public school teacher following his first reading some advice from education revolutionary John Taylor Gatto: