What Are Schools For?

23:50 Sun 11 Nov 2007. Updated: 02:04 12 Nov 2007
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If one is feeling generous, then they might be following two conflicting purposes: actual education (teaching students to think, teaching them techniques and tools such as math, science, and so on) and obedience/conformity. The tension between those two things should be clear, but an awful lot of people are prepared to put up with it. And perhaps that’s not too bad, depending on where the balance is. In this country, the focus has been shifting steadily towards obedience more or less since the start of modern schooling in the US.

Recently, in conjunction with the increasing militarization of American society in general, it’s become scarily evident how much more important obedience is than anything else. Arthur Silber covers the persecution of protesting high school students quite well, and I think the scariest aspect of that story may be the fact that the school called in police and locked down the building when faced with an obviously peaceful protest.

Oh, and here’s a bonus lighthearted school story: girl gets detention for hugging.

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