August 15, 2011

No Corruption Monday

I didn't particularly enjoy grade school as a student. When I entered the school system later as a teacher, I discovered it wasn't much better from that end. Students and teachers both end up corrupted.

What bothered me in both roles was how the education system is increasingly set up to produce compliant workers, not independent thinkers. And not just education, but most parenting as well. You can be different, but not too different.

I always looked up to those people that thought differently - artists and rebels, musicians and writers, hermits and hippies, and all manner of misfits and malcontents. But it was hard for me to maintain my "Stick it to the Man" when all of a sudden I was a teacher, and I was the Man.

We do our youth a disservice by training them to accept cubicles, rather than help them break down walls and imagine something different, something better. I did what I could to foster independent thinking in my students, while realizing there was a larger world out there they would need to integrate into (if they chose to do so).

Schools may be turning out students that are well adjusted to the larger world, but what if that world is profoundly sick? If we all share the same delusion, how will we know we are delusional?

Let's stop corrupting our youth, and start telling them the truth: Our system isn't working, and we need people who can think differently and imagine better ways of doing things.

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