Kindergarten Gulag

Tim Stahmer, Assorted Stuff, Sept 06, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The headline says it all, doesn't it? "Instead of story time, finger painting, tracing letters and snack, first graders are spending hours doing math work sheets and sounding out words in reading groups. In some places, recess, music, art and even social studies are being replaced by writing exercises and spelling quizzes." Related: soobrosa on motivation and feedback.

I would add as well that a fundamental purpose of recess, arts and social studies is to promote freedom by enabling it - and so I wonder about this unfree generation of children now being raised. Remember, how we used to hear, that freedom and democracy may have flaws, but they are much better than any other form of government? I wonder when people stopped believing this, and how it is that they feel that a command economy is somehow better. Remember - the lessons we teach our children are based, not on the content we teach, but on how we act, how we behave. Authoritarian teachers raise dictators, even if they teach Rousseau.
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