Friday, September 10, 2010

Are Kids Crazy? Is their patience pathological?

What adult would sit through the boredom and the trivia of most basic education if they could avoid it?

My son, age 11 at the time, once complained to me that there was too much to think about in his elementary school, too many subjects. And just when things got interesting, the topic would be changed. So, you ended up memorizing a lot of things that didn’t really hang together because you had to take tests. (Sounds like college education to me!)

The reality is that you can’t blame classroom teachers for this. Certified educators are trained and expected to follow standardized curriculum developed by people who are a long distance from any classroom. Of course, the classroom teachers are supposed to “make it interesting.” This is like trying to feed oatmeal to a cat.

Adults will sit through boring, even incoherent classes. But not if they don’t see a more-or-less imminent pay-off. Kids are supposed to love “education” for its own sake, or for the sake of some very distant and improbable future reward.

Kids aren’t crazy. They are just immature, overly trusting and intimidated.

To examine these issues further, see Problem Solutions: 
uncommon schooling, amateur teaching and paying students to learn

-- EGR