Saturday, October 09, 2010

decriminalizied learning?

The title is a bit fuzzy about the term or exactly how it applies, but this essay from Rick Ayers, It's time to Decriminalize Learning, suggests that American education is tied ball and chain to standardized testing and the pretense that standardized testing can provide meaningful data in assessment of school and educational quality.
"...the learning process, that interaction between humans and between us and our environment, that complicated psychological and cultural practice, that dance of motivation and compulsion, is being handcuffed into narrow moments of transmission -- the downloading of facts. Students today are so deeply surveilled by security guards, teachers, administrators, and ubiquitous cameras; their acts in class are so patrolled in the search for errors, wrong answers, mistakes, missteps, and hesitations; their imaginations so hemmed in by the demands of the tests; and the brilliance, capacity, and literacy brought from home so discounted and attacked as simply a deficit; that the inspiration and curiosity for learning is being beat out of them. Those who excel, and some do, are a testament to the capacity of some children to endure boredom and persevere in doing what they are told. That is how the best of learning has become a crime. And it is time we called for a decriminalization campaign."
Rick Ayers is adjunct professor in education at the University of San Francisco.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it almost seems as if we're preparing them for something else, doesn't it?