an education system that dislikes individuality?

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woo
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Mar 10 2005 21:03
an education system that dislikes individuality?

i'm not going to pretend to have vast political knowledge like many on here, because to be honest, i don't. i'm 15, and haven't read up on lots of different political views, but am gradually learning more, and becoming increasingly against the way our society is progressing, with so many people being repressed if they do not conform. If you aren't strongly individual, then by the time you leave compulsory education, you've been largely drained of the ability to have unique thought. I'm not saying that education is purposefully a way of brain-washing at all, but it can effectively act as that; most people think of getting a job so you can earn money, and are actually taken back if this isn't your aspiration in life. How has something that is meant to teach people about the world around them, and open their minds to life, be something that creates such closed-minded civillians? Are we really here just to live a 9 to 5 existence, and be closed in by following all the rules we have created for ourselves? aarg it just frustrates me, opinions anyone? 8)

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Jacques Roux
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Mar 10 2005 21:34

Sounds abotu right smile

Welcome to the forums!

Oh yeah check out these links:

http://www.enrager.net/organise/resources/schools.pdf

http://www.enrager.net/thought/topics/school.php

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cantdocartwheels
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Mar 11 2005 14:27

I think one of the porblems is that the school is not presented as something we live in, it is presented as something you go to, sperate from your home and the rest of your life, i think this institutionalisation is a problem. This relates to the day to day running of a school also, not just in educational terms, i mean the ways in which cleaners are now hired out by private contractors means they are paid less wages and also contributes to the de-structuring of communities. Its just one example of the countless ways in which this is done.

Schools are turned into a compulsory service, making both students and teachers passive. The student being the passive receiver of knowledge and the teacher being the passive channel by which the curriculum (another key problem...) is delivered.Obviously this is huge generalisation, and doesn't apply to everyone in the same way, but it is part of the problem with modern education.

I don't agree with thinkers like illich, because i think their conclusions are ridiculous, but ivan illich is still worth reading because he actively challenges every educational orthodoxy, although i think its fair to say some of his observations are now outdated.

Under capitalism, i think we can only hope for changes in education achieved by the actions of teachers and students, afterall its the people who change society. Or perhaps i just said that because i actually do want to be a teacher, who knows. wink

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Rob Ray
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Mar 11 2005 14:58
Quote:
Or perhaps i just said that because i actually do want to be a teacher

Ah i was wondering why that post seemed so lucid and thoughtful.

tongue

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cantdocartwheels
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Mar 11 2005 15:30
Saii wrote:
Quote:
Or perhaps i just said that because i actually do want to be a teacher

Ah i was wondering why that post seemed so lucid and thoughtful.

tongue

na that was two large cups of coffee i think

AnarchoAl
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Mar 11 2005 17:59
woo wrote:
i'm not going to pretend to have vast political knowledge like many on here, because to be honest, i don't. i'm 15, and haven't read up on lots of different political views, but am gradually learning more,

Well, feel free to post thougts and questions here, especially in introductory thought where in theory you won't get flamed... some of the folks here can be a bit harsh when they're debating, but they don't usually mean anything by it smile

woo wrote:
and becoming increasingly against the way our society is progressing, with so many people being repressed if they do not conform. If you aren't strongly individual, then by the time you leave compulsory education, you've been largely drained of the ability to have unique thought.

This sounds a lot like my experiences of school, I'm sure it matches most people's. If you're like I was age 15 or so, you need to move beyond a critique of conformity, which after all isn't always a bad thing. What's key is which values people are being pushed and trained to conform to.

woo wrote:
I'm not saying that education is purposefully a way of brain-washing at all, but it can effectively act as that; most people think of getting a job so you can earn money, and are actually taken back if this isn't your aspiration in life. How has something that is meant to teach people about the world around them, and open their minds to life, be something that creates such closed-minded civillians? Are we really here just to live a 9 to 5 existence, and be closed in by following all the rules we have created for ourselves? aarg it just frustrates me, opinions anyone? 8)

I think education is a deliberate form of brainwashing, in that you're taught certain values and facts and not others, to produce certain behaviours. I don't think there was a group of guys in a smokey room who sat down and designed it all or anything, but those who have power in our society are able to use their power to ensure that institutions like schools propagate their values.

For example, in history you learn an awful lot about Kings and Queens and wars, but very little about popular revolts or unionising struggles, the history of our class's struggle.

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Jacques Roux
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Mar 11 2005 18:35
AnarchoAl wrote:
For example, in history you learn an awful lot about Kings and Queens and wars, but very little about popular revolts or unionising struggles, the history of our class's struggle.

Which is where http://enrager.net/history comes in wink

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cantdocartwheels
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Mar 11 2005 19:17
AnarchoAl wrote:
For example, in history you learn an awful lot about Kings and Queens and wars, but very little about popular revolts or unionising struggles, the history of our class's struggle.

er i think the history curriculum is somewhat more subtle than that

eg http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/schemes2/secondary_history/?view=get

history as a discipline tends to be left leaning, certainly this is more and more the case the older the student, however, the basic curriculum and textbooks tend to take a vague liberal or orthodox 'whiggish' aproach, as do most online 'educational' materials that teachers are encouraged to use, so content does depend somewhat on the teacher in history unlike most subjects, because history like english lit does provide a fair amount of room for manouvre..

AnarchoAl
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Mar 11 2005 19:37

Well, I went to school in Scotland, so can't comment on the national curriculum. True that the teacher will make a difference, I had quite right-wing history teachers in school.

It's all sufficiently subtle that there's no way I could make an accurate statement beyond identifying tendencies, trends and limits to acceptabnle thought. That would be a study, not a forum post though )

Caiman del Barrio
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Mar 11 2005 19:50
AnarchoAl wrote:
If you're like I was age 15 or so, you need to move beyond a critique of conformity, which after all isn't always a bad thing.

This is so ridiculously true. However, a critique of conformity would be nice from certain sectors of the "anarchist movement" who seem intent on looking, sounding, talking and acting in the exact same way. Jeez.

Anyways...one of my main problems with school is that progressively as you grow older but especially when you start things like Sixth Form College and vocational courses, the focus is absolutely 100% on learning the necessary skills to get a job, not on actually being "educated". Straight Edge is right to also recognise that the fact that its obligatory sets up passive roles for both student and teacher to fall into.

But yeah. Maybe you should consider what kinda alternatives you'd set in place and how you want your school to be run??

ernestolynch
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Mar 12 2005 08:20
AnarchoAl wrote:

For example, in history you learn an awful lot about Kings and Queens and wars, but very little about popular revolts or unionising struggles, the history of our class's struggle.

BS Alert......AMBER!

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PaulMarsh
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Mar 12 2005 09:25

Nice to see you on here Ern - I am sure we can rely on you for some expert points when it comes to the individuality!

ernestolynch
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Mar 12 2005 11:49
PaulMarsh wrote:
Nice to see you on here Ern - I am sure we can rely on you for some expert points when it comes to the individuality!

Cheers, Paul! Thanks for the welcome, like!

AnarchoAl
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Mar 12 2005 16:42

Ernestolynch please read my subsequent clarifying post. I misspoke in the first one.