Ask any parent what kind of adult they envision their child to grow into. Chances are the average mother or father desires their child to be successful, to achieve happiness, and to be authentic to him/herself.
You wont typically find the desire for uniformity or submissiveness in their dreams for their children.
Western society praises individuality, self-initiative, responsibility, and uniqueness. Our culture repeats the mantra of Polonius:
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
The call to be authentic, however, is stifled in a system built around an authoritarian model that controls and suppresses the diversity and creativity of its subjects.
In school, behavior and thought are modified through grades, punishments, peer pressure, and various other forms. Information is prioritized by seemingly arbitrary value.
School teaches your child to expect a miserable, silent, monotonous and confined life. School does not teach freedom, creative liveliness, and unity. -Healing Our Children
Children are told what to learn, and when, so that they can be standardized according to the dictates of the district, state, and nation; rather than the desires of the community or the child himself.
Why is there such a disconnect between the desire for authentic individuals with unique talents and thoughts, and the reality of the conformity and totalitarianism of the education system?
Most parents never feel the need to question the deep assumptions of the current system. Busy lives and years of tradition hinder them from seeing the contradiction of creating democratic citizens through authoritarian methods.
Some of it comes from fear- the fear of going against the grain, of not fitting into society’s value set. When obedience to authority and academia are not valued, what is there to measure and compare? Our current system thrives on these things- the ability to test and grade behavior and outcomes.
If you think about the structure and process of the educational journey our children take in the public school today you might describe it as compulsory democratization. This oxymoron paints the absurdity of mixing egalitarian ideals with dictatorial means.
How can anyone, through the institutionalization of values, create the leaders and innovators we want our children to become? As Illich says, “The creature whom schools need as a client has neither the autonomy nor the motivation to grow on his own.”
Article by Aadel Bussinger
Aadel has been married to her career Army man for 11 years and they have 2 daughters and a freshly made son. She is a homeschooling mom, volunteer, and online college student. Her hobbies include cooking, organic gardening, sewing, and crocheting. She blogs sporadically at These Temporary Tents.
Aadel has written 82 awesome articles for Natural Family Today.
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