June 14th, 2013 // 10:13 am @ Oliver DeMille
Another important book about freedom (and the lack of it) in modern education is Wounded by School by Kirsten Olson. It outlines the normal ways in which modern education hurts most children, shows the history of why schools adopt such harmful policies, and suggests real solutions.
For example, Olson writes: “Many theorists suggest that the purpose of schools is to mold and shape individual self-concept so that pupils will accept a particular place in society…” Is this really what you want for your children?
On a larger scale, what is the impact on freedom of raising a generation of youth to “accept a particular place in society”? This is a class system, pure and simple.
Olson points out that “Schools are deliberately designed to sort and track” students into order to promote the class system. Olson also suggests that among the key ways modern schools wound students are things like the following:
- I felt sick in school.
- I’m in the middle.
- I must comply.
- I can’t measure up.
- I am better than those below me.
- I must impress my superiors.
- What I want isn’t as important as what my betters want.
- Creativity must be secret—my focus must be conformity.
- Learning isn’t fun.
And for parents: “I feel helpless about saving my child,” and “The experts know what my kids need more than I do.”
Olson’s solutions center around bringing freedom back into schooling. Indeed, this is the focus of a lot of cutting-edge books and research on education.
Above all, we need to be clear about one thing: Freedom works. It does. Freedom is the best choice in society and also in education. If you are a parent or teacher, you have more power than you know. I highly recommend this book.