Thursday, August 30, 2007

QOTD: David Warlick on what we're doing to our children

I've been thinking about this trend of banning every sort of information appliance from our schools except for in the most controlled of environments. All sorts of excuses are used for these actions, but fear of children cheating seems to be the most frequently cited of late.

I've written several blog posts on this subject that have never seen the light-of-day. They never make it out of draft because they are just a tad too angry. What we are doing to our children in our schools does indeed make me angry.

So where I've never written on this, David Warlick has, and it is just brilliant: Our Classrooms are Leaking. Which brings me to this QOTD:

...they enter our classrooms, and we chop their tentacles off… because we want our children to be the students we want to teach, rather than teaching the children that they are.

Why do we feel so powerless to fix this? Between this and standardized testing-- what world do our educators think they are preparing our children to enter? It certainly isn't the one in which we live.


Peg Boyles said...

I'm not convinced there's a fix. Perhaps we need to look deeper, at the institution of *school* itself.

In his seminal 1970 work, Deschooling Society, Ivan Illich delivered a scholarly, penetrating analysis/critique of the institution of age-graded, compulsory schooling we deem so essential to the functioning of a modern democracy.

The book is out of print, but available online in its entirety at

Illich unmasks the many hidden assumptions, the "hidden curriculua," behind the construct of school. His ideas will enlarge and deepen any discussion on the topic of "what's wrong with our schools."

Greg said...

Thanks Peg.

I found only the intro by that link, but enough to locate another copy at

I look forward to reading "Deschooling Society." Thanks too for the thought provoking post, Kevin.

Kevin Gamble said...


I actually read that book back in the 70s. I will definitely get it out for another read. Thank you so much for the pointer.

I'm afraid you're right, however. That it can't be fixed. I'm thinking that the entrenched powers-that-be are not capable of seeing a different future. Just like we have in radio, the music industry, newspapers, etc. They are all too focused on preserving what they have as opposed to creating value going forward.

It would just be so much better for these kids if we allowed them to have their distractions when we sent them into the surreal world we call education. Perhaps some of them could at least be learning something meaningful on the Internet.

Thank you Greg for the link! I do very much appreciate your comments!


Anonymous said...

I just read an article about children cheating as well that was intriguing at talking about children cheating more now than ever before. It is really informative so check it out!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the link Renee. How sad that is has come to this..