Thoughts about Schools on Trial

“On most mornings, millions of young people depart from their homes and travel by cars and yellow buses to drab-looking, claustrophobic buildings. Here, they will be warehoused for the next 6-7 hours. Every forty minutes, they are shepherded from room to room at the sound of a bell. They sit in desks in rows with 20-30 people of similar age, social class, and often race. They¬†are drilled in facts and inculcated with specific attitudes and behaviors. If they get out of their seat, talk out of turn, or misbehave, they risk being drugged to induce passivity. Their day is preplanned for them. To succeed, orders and rules must be followed.”

This is a perfect day of learning to me!

“At the end of the day, they return home bone tired. There, they are forced to complete a few more hours of…homework. They follow the almost exact same routine for five days a week, 180 days a year, for thirteen years, until they are set free or begin another game called college.”

This is a passage from the new book by Nikhil¬†Goyal, a crusader championing experiential and democratic education, called School on Trial: How Freedom and Creativity Can Fix Our Educational Malpractice. I sure am thankful for our freedom in homeschool to learn in such a wide variety of environments and ways! He goes on to discuss everything from mindlessly copying down notes from a lecture with little or no engagement, recall-based exams of which he has forgotten it all and totally scripted labs. Near and dear to my heart, he talks about how his joy of reading was robbed by the school system. Continue reading “Thoughts about Schools on Trial”