- Do not talk unless given permission to do so by an authority figure.
- Do not ask questions in the middle of a lesson.
- Do not figit, wiggle, sit cross legged, kneel, or lie on the floor while completing work.
- Do not hum, tap your fingers, or use other concentration aids while completing work- it will distract others.
- You will eat only at designated times, regardless of distraction or discomfort.
- You will use the restroom only at designated times, regardless of distraction or discomfort.
- You are not permitted to get up from your seat unless directed to do so by an authority figure.
- Your worth is judged on how you perform on standardized tests
- You will be segregated based on level of performance in a particular subject.
- You will complete tasks as directed by an authority figure within a specified time frame. Failure to do so will mean an increase in work at home and a reduction of leisure time.
- You will move progressively through content regardless of mastery or readiness.
Looking at a list like this its not difficult to understand why students hate school. The average day in a typical classroom setting works against a child’s natural rythms. Instead of trusting themselves, their bodies, and their minds, they must become externally referenced within an institution that might work in opposition to the way they live and learn best.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that public education has been given the monumental task of educating a generation on a shoestring budget. I understand the challenges that teachers face everyday, with 30+ students, 6 IEP’s, 2 angry parents, and a bucket of standardized assessments to distribute. I understand that the majority of parents don’t have any other option when it comes to educating their kids. I know that on a whole the system tries.
And maybe it’s naive of me to want better, to want more. Maybe this is just how public education is, and I should just deal with it- …but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
As you can probably tell from the name ‘Lifelong Learning’, I am passionate about fostering a love of learning, and I think creating a love and hunger for knowledge, discovery, and exploration is the highest purpose of education. But right now I think its failing. To put it simply, our educational environment does not facilitate a love of learning- and its making our kids hate school.