Pause for Sanity: Changing Education Paradigms

Familiar with the RSA? How about Sir Ken Robinson? Do you have ten minutes? Even if “no” is the answer to all three of these questions, you should still watch this video.

Calling the ADHD epidemic “fictitious” and the current education system a figment of the industrialized, Age of Enlightenment past, Sir Ken Robinson’s arguments are bold and for a liberal arts student, well, perhaps personal.

Is Middlebury College a mere extension of today’s factory line education? Or does the “liberal arts” title speak otherwise?

No doubt, there’s more than one answer–at least in a world beyond the current education system.


One thought on “Pause for Sanity: Changing Education Paradigms

  1. Well, I have never gone to public school, thanks to a lot of sweat on the part of my parents and a great deal of generosity on the part of various scholarships, so I cannot speak from direct experience as to whether or not the public education system is working for everyone. Anecdotally and statistically it’s fairly obvious that it is not; that the way schools operate in the US tends to work for a relatively small portion of the population and leaves many others “behind” (or maybe they just don’t bother to play the game? Why should we?) Whether or not that system of education would have worked for me I shall never know, but I do know that the “alternative”/”private” one which I have shuttled through has worked for me in enough ways that I am now at Middlebury. Is Middlebury part of a factory line education? Certainly there were times when the prep school I attended felt like a factory, packaging us up to send us to college, pushing us outside the limits of what is really a healthy stress level for anyone, let alone an adolescent dealing with adolescent issues. And there is a very cynical view one could take, that Midd is just prepping us to go make lots and lots of money so we can donate lots of money back to our alma mater and get a dorm named after us (which is also an explanation for a perceived lack of respect/investment given to arts departments across the board). But the students at Midd are also the kids who got through the education system and found it useful, who excelled at playing the game of school, or what have you. We typically are pretty excited about the idea of learning. Unfortunately, some of what Midd does is give us too much work, + stress, which saps a lot of joy out of learning.
    I’m not sure where I’m going with all this, but as someone who didn’t start receiving grades until 7th grade, I’ve always been highly skeptical of their meaning. I have a sneaking suspicion they have lot more to do with getting along with the teacher than anything else, and would like it much better if they were abolished, along with standardized tests, the latter being one of the most narrow-minded and flawed means of evaluating what someone knows, what they have learned and how intelligent they are. I would go so far as to say they seem like a pretty dumb idea to me. Just because I can think like the SAT board doesn’t mean I’m smart. Maybe it means I’m a sheep. baaaa.
    Frankly, the only reason I’m still in school is because of the people: my peers and my profs, and the things I learn from them. If I didn’t have (or hadn’t had) a worthwhile connection to at least my teachers, no way would (have) I play(ed) the game of grades and awards and standardized testing in order to continue.
    There’s much to be said for free public education, but it has to legitimately be made available to everyone, otherwise we’re just force-feeding bullshit to children and putting them on drugs when they’d probably rather learn (and would probably learn more) by playing in the woods.
    Well, I just got way more vehement than I expected to, but it is 1 am.

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