Vad belönar skolan?

Via Twitter från jag av BrianKotts en länk till ett YouTube klipp, med ett examenstal från den student som just tagit examen som den elev som är ”the of the class”. I sitt tal säger hon mycket som mig att bli berörd men jag har valt följande parti för det väcker mycket frågor hos mig:

I am now accomplishing that goal. I am graduating. I should look at this as a positive experience, especially being at the top of my class. However, in retrospect, I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system. Yet, here I stand, and I am supposed to be proud that I have completed this period of indoctrination. I will leave in the fall to go on to the next phase expected of me, in order to receive a paper document that certifies that I am capable of work. But I contend that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer – not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition – a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. I did what I was told to the extreme. While others sat in class and doodled to later become great artists, I sat in class to take notes and become a great test-taker. While others would come to class without their homework done because they were reading about an interest of theirs, I never missed an assignment. While others were creating music and writing lyrics, I decided to do extra credit, even though I never needed it. So, I wonder, why did I even want this position? Sure, I earned it, but what will come of it? When I leave educational institutionalism, will I be successful or forever lost? I have no clue about what I want to do with my life; I have no interests because I saw every subject of study as work, and I excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning. And quite frankly, now I’m scared.

John Taylor Gatto, a retired school teacher and activist critical of compulsory schooling, asserts, ”We could encourage the best qualities of youthfulness – curiosity, adventure, resilience, the capacity for surprising insight simply by being more flexible about time, texts, and tests, by introducing kids into truly competent adults, and by giving each student what autonomy he or she needs in order to take a risk every now and then. But we don’t do that.” Between these cinderblock walls, we are all expected to be the same. We are trained to ace every standardized test, and those who deviate and see light through a different lens are worthless to the scheme of public education, and therefore viewed with contempt.

Frågan som alla som bejakar ett traditionellt skolsystem, med standardiserad test, med en litterär kanon, med en kateder och en lärare som styr undervisningen, med strikt ordning och reda, bör fundera på vad vi uppnår? Vilket mål har vi för vårt undervisningssystem? Vad vill vi att de unga av idag ska kunna? Vilka färdigheter, kunskaper behöver elever/barn/ungdomar? Hur mäter vi framgång?

Och frågan vi alla måste ställa oss är om vi i skolan uppmuntrar elever att utveckla färdigheter som de John Taylor Gatto nämner:

”We could encourage the best qualities of youthfulness – curiosity, adventure, resilience, the capacity for surprising insight simply by being more flexible about time, texts, and tests, by introducing kids into truly competent adults, and by giving each student what autonomy he or she needs in order to take a risk every now and then.”

Låt skolan ha det som mål att utveckla nyfikenhet och förmågan att se möjligheter, att inte söka en enda lösning eller bara ett svar. Låt skolan belöna det!

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