Wednesday, March 19, 2008
You are probably as aware as I am of splendid things happened in schools, and splendid people making them happen. Presumably you question about that is happening and its effects. We may agree that there is at best something lacking, and at worse something vicious, about what we have. And the criticism are not just ours. Some of them are shared by people making the best of the educational system; as well as by those who have left the congested highways and byways to look for a free way to learning, or just a way out or through. Children, for instance. Some of them love school.But how many children are unhappy in school? Their unease is not always verbalized. It finds an outlet in many ways - in truancy and 'turning-off', in rebellion and violence, in refusal to cooperate, and sometimes in listless distress. A fourteen year old boy may have been to a secondary modern and to a grammar school -- with similar results. He can't bear to be robotized'. So he has become miserable, physically ill, and a layabout. Many wheels are set turning by the labelling of a child as 'school-phobic'. Out of the interviews, the consultations and the agonizing, comes a child's conviction that he is a very odd bod indeed to need all this special attention. Yet we might recognize rational and irrational fears of schools, and what it can do to you, as a breath of sanity. School, after all, requires a very special sort of adjustment - and it is just that adjustment which worries some of us.