Friday, June 22, 2007

how children view school

I'm reading a book by John Holt called How Children Fail when I came across this passage about how children, in general, approach school.

For children, the central business of school is not learning, whatever this vague word means; it is getting these daily tasks done, or at least out of the way, with a minimum of effort and unpleasantness. Each task is an end in itself. The children don't care how they dispose of it. If they can get it out of the way by doing it, they will do it; if experience has taught them that this does not work very well, they will turn to other means, illegitimate means, that wholly defeat whatever purpose the task giver may have had in mind.

Most of my classes I just "got through". I was one of the nerds, blowing the curve, getting good grades, answering the teachers questions, but rarely did I enjoy a class. School was what I did, something to do. I even got good at it. To the point that after high school, I couldn't imagine not being in school, so I went to college. I didn't have a purpose in mind, no goal to obtain, just knew that I was good at school and that's what good students did after highschool- they went to college.

What bothers me, is that I see my own children approaching school this way. As something to get through. Something that stands in their way of doing the things they love to do. An obstacle preventing them from living life to the fullest.


Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Good preparation though for work afterwards, which I think is the general purpose of the school system

Fiery Ewok said...

:-) I think that is precisely their intention.

I really do want more for my kids than drudgery and rote work.

I've got a whole lot of thinking and reading to do this summer, see if I can't get the kids more excited about learning or learning something they are excited about.

Hound Doggy said...

They don't know yet what they will love. By learning the basics and being able to go to college they will get more exposure to things they didn't even know existed. When I was in high school I took an interest test. It said I was interested in everything. That didn't help. Of course my interests have changed through the years but the solid base of knowledge always comes in handy.