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Author Topic: School is partly responsible for the dehumanisation of children [opinion]  (Read 16262 times)

Offline Matt Emery

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I believe that schools dehumanise children by forcing them to sit down and micro-focus for lengthy times, which I believe is incongruent with human nature.

I think it is unnatural and criminal to force a boy in his puberty to sit down and micro-focus for 30 hours a week.  I believe this approach to education causes mental illness in later life, and I think it is oppressive. 
I assert that children are conditioned for industrial productivity, at the cost of their holistic growth.  And I speculate that will see a higher prevalence of mental health issues in the coming years.

When asked the question "who benefits from sending a kid to school for 30 hours a week"?  The most obvious answers appear to be; the child benefits because he/she becomes groomed for adult industrial life, and another answer is; that parents get a break from day care so they can maintain employment.

But if you take a deeper look at the question, there is a beneficiary to the education system that at first glance goes unnoticed... they are the industrial capitalists.  Whilst the children are being groomed for industrial (adult) life their inalienable rights are revoked for the sake of "productivity", which benefits a small portion of civilisation disproportionately.

The 'invisible hand' that guides economies only works when there is adequate resources of human capital i.e. skilled workers.  Changing the education system would revolutionise and possibly disintegrate the harmony of the free market, and it could usher through an age of chaos.  So, whilst I would like to propose that education systems should encourage a more holistic approach to education, I also understand the conundrum; if we don't groom children for industrial life, they may become unemployable or destitute...  it's a sad and frustrating irony.  In order to change the education system we have to change the industrial world.  It's a classic case of "the chicken and the egg".  Where do we start?

I have more ideas, and many more thoughts on the matter but i'll pause now, in order to engage in rational discussion and debate.  Please join in!
« Last Edit: March 13, 2008, 08:00:35 PM by Matt Emery »
"Be true to your biology"

Offline Phanatic

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Yep, some good points there. I've never thought about it before, but schools condition us perfectly for modern working life - you sit in a chair the whole duration of the lesson. Rinse and repeat for 5 "reps" a day.
I also think that children should have at least their mother to take care of them until they're old enough to go to school on their own. I understand that it's hard to support a family on one income, but it's been proven that children develop psychologically better when they're raised by their mothers than put into daycare (on a semi-related note, children that were breastfed have an IQ 5 points higher than their peers). My own mother was good enough to do this to me and not just hawk me off to a woman who gets paid to be a stand-in mother, and I think it turned out for the better.

Offline Matt Emery

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Yep, some good points there. I've never thought about it before, but schools condition us perfectly for modern working life - you sit in a chair the whole duration of the lesson. Rinse and repeat for 5 "reps" a day.

Yes, and I think that is the basis for mental (and physical) health problems that will eventually be exposed, and recognised.

I also think that children should have at least their mother to take care of them until they're old enough to go to school on their own. I understand that it's hard to support a family on one income, but it's been proven that children develop psychologically better when they're raised by their mothers...

Yes, this has been studied, and there is growing evidence to support this assertion.  Ironically, our modern society's drive for increased production decreases the period of maternity, which (arguably) results in offspring that are at an intellectual disadvantage.
"Be true to your biology"

Offline Phanatic

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The way I see it as a male, our mothers are there to comfort, love, nurture and take care of us, and our fathers are there to teach us life lessons, protect us, love us, and initiate our rites of passage.

What tends to really happen? Mum has to go to work (ironically, to "provide for the family"), so the kid gets put in daycare, dad also has to work, and at the end of the workday, neither parent really has the energy or patience to interact with the kid much. Kids in the last 50 years have been raised by the TV.

Remember Fight Club? "I can't get married....I'm a 30 year old boy."

Offline Matt Emery

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More people should watch Fight Club  8)
"Be true to your biology"

Offline Phanatic

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Haha, yeah. A lot of people watch it and get the wrong idea though, that we have to fight to feel alive again :P
A lot of what Tyler Durden says hits home. Maybe not the blowing up the government and splicing porn into disney movies part.

Offline Matt Emery

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Haha, yeah. A lot of people watch it and get the wrong idea though, that we have to fight to feel alive again ...
A lot of what Tyler Durden says hits home. Maybe not the blowing up the government and splicing porn into disney movies part.

I agree, it was a wonderfully existential wake up call for the middle class.

You are not your bank account
You are not the clothes you wear
You are not the contents of your wallet
You are not your bowel cancer
You are not your grande latte
You are not the car you drive
You are not your fucking khaki's

You have to give up, you have to give up
You have to realize that someday you will die
Until you know that, you are useless

I say let me never be complete
I say may I never be content
I say deliver me from Swedish furniture
I say deliver me from clever arts
I say deliver me from clear skin and perfect teeth
I say you have to give up


 ;)
"Be true to your biology"

Offline Tony Bondioli

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Conan the Barbarian, from Queen of the Black Coast:

"Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content."
RN, B.Sc. Health Promotion and Wellness. Public Health Nurse serving a Great Lakes Native American tribe. Husband and father. Lousy at cards, but with a fair singing voice. Good to have around when the excrement hits the rotating cooling apparatus.

"I worshipped dead men for their strength, forgetting I was strong."  (Vita Sackville-West)

“I'm not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with the potential of a superman. I'm living on.”  (David Bowie)

"Man fears the beast within the wolf, because he does not understand the beast within himself."  (Turtle Island Alphabet)

"Seek not only to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek the things they sought."  (Basho)

"[Primal man] is of the soil... he fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings."  (paraphrasing Luther Standing Bear)

Offline Matt Emery

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I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content."[/b]

Conan the Existentialist  8)
"Be true to your biology"

Offline Phanatic

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Good quote Tony. Lmao, Conan the Existentialist.

Offline Tony Bondioli

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RN, B.Sc. Health Promotion and Wellness. Public Health Nurse serving a Great Lakes Native American tribe. Husband and father. Lousy at cards, but with a fair singing voice. Good to have around when the excrement hits the rotating cooling apparatus.

"I worshipped dead men for their strength, forgetting I was strong."  (Vita Sackville-West)

“I'm not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with the potential of a superman. I'm living on.”  (David Bowie)

"Man fears the beast within the wolf, because he does not understand the beast within himself."  (Turtle Island Alphabet)

"Seek not only to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek the things they sought."  (Basho)

"[Primal man] is of the soil... he fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings."  (paraphrasing Luther Standing Bear)

Offline Renee

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Reading some of your opinions made my stomache ache.

 Are any of you parents??

have any of you been through this stuff with children??

First of all niether of my kids were breast fed, and believe it or not they ARE smart!!!

Second of all my youngest was in daycare for 3 years and she flourished and it prepared her for school. WE AS parents want was is best for our kids and we make decisions on what we think is best.

And wouldn`t it be great if we could all live with mum and dad... sorry but sometimes it`s not possible. I don`t think it`s fair to catagorise breast fed to bottle fed, one parent to two parents as to how smart or better off a child is.

And what bugs me the most is people with strong opinions on something they have no experience in dealing with.... and if you haven`t guessed YES i am a single mum.

I was breast fed and i wouldn`t consider my self any smarter than a bottle fed baby.

Offline Phanatic

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Reading some of your opinions made my stomache ache.

 Are any of you parents??

have any of you been through this stuff with children??

First of all niether of my kids were breast fed, and believe it or not they ARE smart!!!

Second of all my youngest was in daycare for 3 years and she flourished and it prepared her for school. WE AS parents want was is best for our kids and we make decisions on what we think is best.

And wouldn`t it be great if we could all live with mum and dad... sorry but sometimes it`s not possible. I don`t think it`s fair to catagorise breast fed to bottle fed, one parent to two parents as to how smart or better off a child is.

And what bugs me the most is people with strong opinions on something they have no experience in dealing with.... and if you haven`t guessed YES i am a single mum.

I was breast fed and i wouldn`t consider my self any smarter than a bottle fed baby.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that you're a feminist.

Offline Matt Emery

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...

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that you're a feminist.

I don't think it's fair (or accurate) to call Renee a feminist.

Renee was obviously annoyed in her post, but she had the respect not to label anyone, I think we should give her the same respect.

She has some valid points, and if we get to the heart of the matter and talk it out rationally, we might all learn something.

Hard on the problem, soft on the person.
"Be true to your biology"

Offline Renee

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sorry phanatic but no i am not a feminist.

i dont think that statistic`s are always correct.

and i think it was your one sided opinion that ticked me off

Offline Matt Emery

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..back to the topic...

Do you think that schools are partly responsible for the dehumanisation of children?
"Be true to your biology"

Offline Matt Emery

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Breaking news from Massey University, following the conference on issues challenging boys' education.

From the article;
“Schools need to provide much more opportunity than they currently do for boys to be physically active. We know from existing research that physical activity and sport brings many benefits from bonding to stress release, mental stimulation and providing an outlet for competitive spirits.”

He also found boys wanted learning to be challenging and for school to be fun.

“They don’t want learning to be too hard or too easy. They want to be challenged and they feel the best way of meeting those challenges is to work together in groups with a problem-solving, hands-on approach.

“Most showed a high dislike of what they felt to be too much copying and writing things down at school."

More info here;
http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/about-us/news/article.cfm?mnarticle=boys-need-regular-doses-of-action-to-keep-mind-on-study-12-03-2008
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Offline Phanatic

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I was breast fed and i wouldn`t consider my self any smarter than a bottle fed baby.
That's troubling, you wouldn't consider yourself smarter than a bottle-fed baby? You have some major self-esteem issues. I don't know what you're doing passing on your faulty genes. *smirk*

sorry phanatic but no i am not a feminist.

i dont think that statistic`s are always correct.

and i think it was your one sided opinion that ticked me off

Correction: I wasn't blaming mothers for having to work. It was a statement of my attitude towards the society that requires it. And I'm not saying that bottle-fed babies will be dumber. There are studies that say breastfed babies are smarter, some studies that say that might not be. But it's most definitely the healthier option.
Even in this article that says breastfed babies aren't smarter:
http://children.webmd.com/news/20061003/breastfed-babies-arent-smarter
""Even if it does not enhance intelligence, breastfeeding remains an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants," they write.

Breastfeeding has been shown to lower an infant's risk of infections and even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and it is believed to help protect against allergies, diabetes, and obesity later in life.

"We would never suggest that any woman should choose not to breastfeed on the basis of our findings," Der says. "Clearly, there are many good reasons to breastfeed.""

And this. http://askdoctorsears.com/html/2/T020200.asp


Offline Phanatic

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About that article Matt, it's absolutely right. Boys generally don't have the patience for rote learning, it's not at all stimulating. I know I could have acheived some great marks at school, but I didn't. Mindless copying down of notes is partly why boys underacheive, imo.

Offline Matt Emery

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Quote
Even in this article that says breastfed babies aren't smarter:
http://children.webmd.com/news/20061003/breastfed-babies-arent-smarter
I must say that i've been sceptical about their website for quite some time.  An alternative is PubMED or The Lancette, which are both science journals.

Mindless copying down of notes is partly why boys underacheive, imo.

I agree.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2008, 07:53:00 PM by Matt Emery »
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Offline LAChick

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So, I'm curious as to what you think children should be doing with their days if they're not at school all day? I don't disagree with you Matt but I'd like to hear what you think the alternative might be. I thought I'd give you some of my thoughts on the topic as well.

I think kids should spend time learning where their food comes from and how it's made, there should be a course in 'self esteem' and not those awful improv acting classes that freak most kids out - don't know what else but something different, listening to elderly people talk about 'the war' or 'the depression' and not learning just from dehumanising propaganda-filled textbooks...and other stuff...love to hear everyone's ideas.

Just as a side note, it's probably not all that relevant these days to ask a woman if she's a feminist, we've moved on as a society. Don't forget women are the gatherers...a skill that is far more useful in today's society than hunting.  ;)

Offline Matt Emery

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I think kids should spend time learning where their food comes from and how it's made, there should be a course in 'self esteem' and not those awful improv acting classes that freak most kids out - don't know what else but something different, listening to elderly people talk about 'the war' or 'the depression' and not learning just from dehumanising propaganda-filled textbooks...and other stuff...love to hear everyone's ideas.

I really like your ideas LA.

I don't disagree with you Matt but I'd like to hear what you think the alternative might be.

Spending more time in a village environment, that is; a combination of parents, mentors, and other children.  Rather than thirty children to one adult.

And for structured school time I would humbly suggest a mentoring framework that augments the holistic growth of the individual, which could include such things as;

  • Field trips emphasising applied learning. Eg. Observing animals, and linking theory with practical observations. Including your suggestion LA; where food comes from and how it gets to the table.
  • Mentoring programs led by a variety of people, including groups such as the elderly and indigenous people.  Provide testimonials and guided tours from such people.
  • An emphasis on the incorporation of study and play - Intelligent Playtime.

But most importantly, I would listen to parents and children, and shape the education system according to their collective wisdom and experiences.  And for this to work, we would need more free time for parents, which is another topic...
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Offline Matt Emery

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I would also like to add another question.

Presuming that at school playtime or recess, kids are in small satellite groups that when combined make up larger groups of hundreds of kids, do you think that a 5:1 ratio of kids to adults (similar to Palaeolithic societies and animal societies) would be more suitable?

Perhaps large congregations of hundreds of children is unnatural, and/or potentially harmful to their growth due to herd mentality and information cascading?

...just a thought.
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Offline Phanatic

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Yeah thats definitely a possibility.

Offline BigKhanz

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More people should watch Fight Club  8)

Did anyone read the book? It has an even darker tone.
Guys like me aren't born this way, actually we're not born at all. We're hatched from vulture eggs left in the sun, then raised by Wolves...