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Wednesday 07 August 2002

High School

An excellent op-ed column in today’s USA Today:

But if the goal of education is nurturing independent minds, spending more time in the current system is not the way to do it. Consider the all-American high school. You’re warehoused with 1,000 other students, herded like cows in the hallways, forced to move like Pavlov’s dog with each bell. After Columbine you’re anxious for your safety; many schools operate on the prison model in which you can’t just leave.

Posted by tino at 16:01 7.08.02
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Man, I hope this idea catches on. I really do. That high-school-as-prison analogy is disturbingly apt. Gives me the willies to remember it.

If I ever end up with kids, I doubt I’ll make them go to high school. It was almost a complete waste of time. I was ready to leave home for college at sixteen, and could have taken college courses at home before that. And I love the apprentice idea for kids with talents and abilities that aren’t academic ones.

Actually, I’d like to just get rid of the entire “teen” concept — which, IIRC, didn’t even exist before WWII — and start turning young people into responsible adults a hell of a lot sooner. I can’t help thinking that a lot of the problems we have with teenagers would disappear if we stopped treating them like they were still babies.

Posted by: Evelynne at August 15, 2002 03:49 PM