You know, I don’t think responsible adults concerned about future generations would have allowed the education system to have evolved as it has.
The modern human life is remarkably difficult to start. There are literally endless detailed design factors for cultivating habits, wisdom, knowledge, and skills, forming lasting relationships, securing mentors, establishing a reputation…
As a parent of 3 & 5yo kids, I’m in constant crash course mode for how to coordinate time, money, energy, and interest toward various pursuits to give my kids a platform on which to build their lives.
It’s only really been since Freyda was born that I’ve really thought carefully about human development from birth. But it only took me a few months to grasp and internalize the key ideas of Montessori, Papert, Summerhill, etc… And to then start coming up with BETTER ideas than those of 50-100-200 years ago. And that’s what’s expected. Synthesis, improvement, evolution of ideas…
And yet, every time I step foot in a public high school (like I did this evening, while mentoring an FRC team), I am taken aback by how literally nothing has changed since I was in high school 10 years ago.
The public education system is like a time capsule — a part of the world that’s frozen in time, separated from the rest of the world by an impassable barrier of busyness.
That’s the thing… everybody’s kept too busy to look up and notice. It’s like a ship at sea that has no navigation system and no heading, but all the sailors are still timed down to the second for each of their various duties: hustling and bustling, taking notes, highlighting words, and other such important things.
When I talk to the students themselves and ask why they do what they do, the average response is a hollow laugh and a shrug of the shoulders, “because I have to, I guess.”
Only a crazy world would think that’s sane.
And only system architects who don’t respect their children or fear the consequences of incompetent leaders would allow the world to get this crazy.