“The function of the child is to live his own life, not the life that his anxious parents think he should live, nor a life according to the purpose of the educator who thinks he knows what is best. All this interference and guidance on the part of adults only produces a generation of robots………..You cannot make children learn music or anything else without to some degree converting them into will-less adults. You fashion them into acceptors of the status quo – a good thing for a society that needs obedient sitters at dreary desks, standees in shops, mechanical catchers of the 8:30 suburban train – a society, in short, that is carried on the shabby shoulders of the scared little man – the scared-to-death conformist.” A. S. Neill (Founder of Summerhill Free school)
From a young age, I knew there was something wrong with School.
When at school, something in my body didn’t feel right. I suspect it was my soul. When I heard Pink Floyd’s song “Hey! Teacher! Leave Them Kids Alone”, I felt it deeply, I knew it spoke the truth. Because I struggled at school, I grew up believing I wasn’t capable of learning very much; my parents and teachers assumed the same. The sad truth is, I don’t see much difference today in the way children are educated compared to when I was in school, nearly thirty years ago. Children are still sitting in classrooms bored out of their minds.
In his new book “Creative Schools” Sir Ken Robinson states:
‘Our school systems are now a matrix of organisational rituals and intellectual habits that do not adequately reflect the great variety of talents of the students who attend them. Because they conflict with these systems, too many students think that they are the problem; that they are not intelligent, or must have difficulties in learning.”
It took me until I was in my 20’s to discover I wasn’t stupid, in fact my real education took place after I had left school. I have come to realise….
Schools are places that crush children’s natural learning abilities, their imaginations, and their creativity.
When I speak with my children’s friends who attend school, they all yearn for the freedom to learn about things they are actually interested in. The same goes for homeschooled children who are made to work to a rigid timetable, often with a curriculum that does not interest them. Whereas, their hobbies, such as Gaming, Coding, Comics, Water Fights and Playing with other children are given no educational value. By forcing children to study things they have no interest in, we are teaching them to become, “the scared-to-death conformist”, a perfect citizen for governments who want to keep people as debt slaves and in fear. I believe my children deserve better than this, I believe ALL children deserve better than this!
“…good things happen to the human spirit when it is left alone.”
― John Taylor Gatto