Thursday, November 3, 2011

I want to see what you can do, not what your neighbour can do

The central lesson of the traditional school: how to be alone in a crowd.

This might sound something like this:
I want to see what you can do not what your neighbour can do.
This turns out to be code for:
I want to see what you can do artificially deprived of the skills and help of the people around you. Rather than seeing how much more you can accomplish in a well functioning team that's more authentic like real life.
This of course is not the way teachers and parents put it, but it is precisely what we mean and so we shouldn't ever be surprised that this is what kids hear.

Is this really what school should be like?


* This post was inspired by a presentation given by Alfie Kohn.

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