Ten things school should have taught us.
Scott Harling

what you think should have been taught in your school.

Not sure what specifically I could add to that, other than how to learn.

We hear a lot of talk about critical-thinking this and research-skills that, and I suppose the specifics of those areas are good, but more basic to the learning process involved in any aspect of life, is the knowledge of how one, oneself, goes about learning. Everybody does it differently. For the few whose best outcomes are stimulated by continual approval-seeking, memorization and never questioning the veracity of a source, public school is just perfect for them.

Good thing, or who would fill all those desks and cubicles in the bureaucracies and mind-numbing administrative sectors of the world? Looking back now years after making my own escape from that prison system, public education really seems geared most to training people how to sit still, STFU, do what they’re told, and party hearty. Perfect training for future functionaries, box-tickers and glorified file clerks.

I used to get my own trained-in approval fixes, by first decoding the obvious fact that a few teachers were so very bored with the bulk of their students and their dunderheaded numbness to the entire process of learning, that all I had to do was stand out, say unexpected things, re-work the course material just enough in my own image not to fail at it, but still to get noticed for my Captain Kirk-ian preference of re-programming the Kobayashi Maru Test rather than falter or fail at a rigged game.

A very few of these, saw through such childish tactics on my part, and got my core message, which was that I was as bored as they were, and what are we gonna do about it? Those few, were the ones who led me in the direction not of being taught in order to learn, but of learning because I had both decided to, and knew how to.

So I agree about mechanics, law, first aid, home maintenance, cooking, etc, etc. As in, how to live life as opposed to how to pay for the right to jump through hoops of others’ making.

But by encouraging me to be my own best teacher, those few also were actually risking their own careers, which is basically the task of delivering a standardized product called “curriculum”, and I think they knew that.

As it is, what the public education system teaches best, is its own bureaucratic Golden Rules: go along to get along, and always have your ass covered.

Not hard at all to see how we are where we are as a civilization, being raised by civil servants who operate like that.

Nor is it hard to see or grasp why most of the most essential tasks that feed, house, clothe, maintain and transport the essentials of daily civilized life, are done by people who didn’t really do all that well in public school.

(Wouldn’t you just love to have an average classroom of liberal-arts majors divide into small groups, and work the following problem [see photo]?)

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