Monday, April 16, 2007

Children are not performing poodles

Teachers reflect on disciplining this week, according to the BBC news at the NASUWT conference in Belfast, by outlining several ingenious ways of bribing and blackmailing children to obey them.

It makes me weary to rant on about this again, because it seems so blindingly obvious that I really shouldn't have to, but is this it? The pinnacle of modern civilisation?
"A system through which behaviour that is above and beyond what is expected is rewarded with bonus points which build up into vouchers for stores like WH Smith and Argos." ?

This is not education, by any understanding of the word. Surely, teaching is not just a matter of having a bunch of kids compelled to stay in a room with you, while you bribe them to fulfil a paperwork quota, earn a salary and go home again? It doesn't exactly further the sum of human knowledge, does it?

I dunno, maybe I'm wrong about all this, but what about a natural love of learning? The basic curiosity about life all children are born with and never lose - at least not until someone tells them they HAVE to learn. Did this country lose touch with its children so much that it forgot they love to learn anyway?

If education wasn't compulsory, you'd have to pay children to stop learning, not pay them to start.

The emporer has no clothes on! What happened to that little boy anyway? Hmmm.. something horrible, I bet! ^^


Blogger Ruth said...

Humm - reminds me- some secondary schools here paid pupils if they attended and if they passed GCSE's. I did wonder what happened to self motivation in all of this and why children hated school so much they needed bribing to go in the first place. Also why no one could see it was wrong that such measures had to be taken?

3:59 pm, April 16, 2007  
Anonymous Clare said...

Do they really think a truant is going to actually internalise anything he is 'taught' if he doesn't want to be there? If so, then they're deluded. If they know he won't genuinely learn the stuff (as opposed to memorising it for an exam), then why aren't they questioning the actual point of school?

4:09 pm, April 16, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Very good question! There has to be a better use for all those school teachers - like, real teaching for example. Of people who want to learn.

6:58 pm, April 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think compulsory education was never about children's inate ability to learn, although that certainly was mixed in by pedagogy.

Education is compulsory because parents were not trusted to give their children an opportunity to learn. Not far back in time and still today in societies less wealthy than our own, parents make their children work for them.

9:03 am, April 19, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

So why not just ban child labour and open free schools for those who want to attend? Then there's no need for education to be compulsory.

9:39 am, April 19, 2007  

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