K-12: Like Taking Candy From Babies

Reblogged with our added emphasis (guest post)

K-12: Like Taking Candy from Babies
Posted by Bruce Deitrick Price Columnist EducationViews.org
By Bruce Deitrick Price –

This cliché usually carries a double message: something is easy to do but shameful. No decent person would do it. You know, like the emotional and intellectual abuses all too common in our public schools. (To designate the full range of counterproductive practices, educator Siegfried Engelmann coined the term (“academic child abuse”)

The authorities have control over a huge number of defenseless children. Instead of preparing them for smart, responsible decisions, our public schools tend to keep them in an ignorant daze.

It’s all so easy. Kids don’t know enough to complain. Parents don’t understand what’s going on. Local media and community leaders stand uselessly aside. Who will protect the children if school officials won’t?

Actually, the situation is worse than that. It’s the school officials themselves who are taking candy from babies. In that way, infants are kept infantile, no matter how old they become. The “dumbing down of America” is best understood as the infantilization of America.

Don’t suppose that the babies are having any fun. They’re crying more than ever, it seems. On the internet, parents complain poignantly about the suffering of their children. Imagine students frustrated and limited wherever they turn. Would happiness even be a possible outcome? No, you would predict exactly the pains that children are feeling and that parents are lamenting.

11 signs your child may not be happy,” an article published in the U.K., presents quite a misery list, including mood swings, thumb-sucking, refusing to eat, tantrums, and bedwetting.

Educator David Gribble writes, “When children are unhappy at school it is the schools that need to change, not the children. There are so many children who are unhappy at school … that some schools are introducing lessons in happiness. This is like giving cookery lessons to the starving.”

A parent writes: “Without going into too much detail, our little boy recently became very unhappy in preschool and was becoming very upset and anxious about going to school every day. He was complaining of feeling sick in his tummy and had started crying every day before school.”

Seriously, what kind of degenerates are in charge of public education in the U.K. and here?

Everybody remembers when Common Core Math (thanks, Bill Gates) was first introduced. Parents lined up across the country to complain. Shockingly, the most common complaint was simply this: “It makes little kids cry.” (Here’s a list of the 10 major complaints.)

That’s the thing about babies: they can’t fight back. That’s why it’s so easy and so much fun, if you’re inclined toward sadism. Well, kids are not likely to figure out how to fight back next month or next year. Parents have to fight back. All the people who should naturally be leading a community have to fight back. You can’t expect the Education Establishment to do the right thing. My impression is that they will always do the wrong thing.

To show what that looks like on a grand scale, here is an eloquent letter from Texas:

My school district had its own curriculum that the teachers ‘presented’ but had no input in making. The teachers like myself felt it was a total guess if the students would do well or not on each test. The information was presented in a non-chronological, non-logical sequence. Instead, a thematic approach was used, which made understanding history difficult for the students with no memorized facts as a foundation. The method seemed garbled. The schools are going almost exclusively to small groups, projects only, and no lectures. The students are too lost to even begin to do the assignments. Bad behavior naturally followed and increases through the year like a cry for help before giving up.

It’s not just bad education; it’s cruel education.

Let’s look back at the good old days. The school – all of its personnel and resources – was focused on self-evident goals that everyone understood and embraced. Children should be taught to read as quickly as possible, taught to do basic arithmetic as quickly as possible, taught to write simple sentences as quickly as possible. Children needed to learn elementary geography, basic history, general science, essential information. The whole point was to carry all the children along on a tide, a fast-flowing tide. Each year, the children knew a great deal more than the year before. All the children, even the slower ones, experienced progress and the satisfaction of acquiring knowledge. Children moved quickly from learning to read to reading to learn. They could check out little books from the library and read those books by themselves.

That’s the good old days. Thanks to our progressive educators, the good old days are mutilated and dead. But wouldn’t you say that those traditional goals are as obvious as putting on socks before you put on shoes, as obvious as cutting up steak before you eat it, as obvious as letting coffee cool before you drink it?

Here is the epitome of obvious: first you teach the simpler parts and pieces that every child can understand, then you systematically build toward more complex knowledge. If you do the obvious, you can create an educated citizen. If you don’t do this, you will see continued ignorance and growing frustration.

How in the world could an entire school system move away from the obvious? What kind of people would pervert schooling into what we have now? Who enables this nonsense? Who would want to?

You almost have to imagine an old-fashioned villain in a silent film. He has tied a young woman to railroad tracks and now chortles as a steam locomotive approaches. The damsel will surely die when her head is chopped off. Clearly, the villain finds this entertaining. He’s always having a grand old time. For one thing, killing off damsels is so easy, like taking candy from babies.

As in our educational system, you can inflict vast damage, and you hardly have to lift a finger.

What we have now is wall-to-wall stagnation and frustration. Kids don’t learn the easiest things. They can’t have a sense of progress. How can they be proud of wasting all this time day after day?

Note that in all those silent films, villains went on being villainous until someone stopped them.

By Bruce Deitrick Price explains theories and methods on his education sites Improve-Education.org. For info on his four new novels, see his literary site Lit4u.com

 

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