[Discuss-sudbury-model] Why go to School ? (was: View On School)

From: David Rovner <rovners_at_netvision.net.il>
Date: Tue Oct 21 04:45:01 2003

On Monday, October 20, 2003, at 11:50 PM, Ardeshir Mehta wrote:

> All this I totally agree with.

> And yet, that said, I know a child who WANTS to go to school. He is one
> of the most independent thinkers I know, and will argue the pants off
> any professor of philosophy, and has been that way for years. He is 17
> now, and he has always wanted to go to school because he thinks he is
> exposed to more information there than if he were to sit at home all
> day (as he does during vacations.) He has no friends at school to speak
> of, so it can't be a social reason for him.

> Another child I know, on the other hand, HATES school with a passion,
> but still he goes to school (though he didn't for four years) because
> he finds that he has contact with more friends over a longer period of
> time during the day at school than at home. He is a totally social
> animal, and without friends his life would be boring, boring, BORING.

> There may, thus, be more than just one reason to go to school!

The question is whether that reason is a "legitimate" one -- whether it is
a product of social pressures caused by strange interests: personal
and/or mostly group interests.

"We go to school to learn."
That's the intellectual goal.

"To have a successful career ūto get a good job. That means money,
status, advancement. 'The better the job you get, the better was the
school you went to.'"
That's the vocational goal.

"Schools should produce good people."
That's the moral goal.

"To look after the social acclimatization of students."
That's the social goal.

"Schools should foster good citizenship."
That's the political goal.

It is important, WHAT KIND of school !!

see: Why Go To School ? http://www.sudval.org/texts/bac2basc.html

see also:

"School Refusing in Japan
"Not all of Japanese children are happy although there are not problems of
war, poverty. Even though school registration rate of compulsory education
are almost one hundred percents, higher education registration rate is
nearly fifty percents, Japanese children have been compared with other
children by their parents and teachers for these a few decades. They are
under the pressure to get good marks. If a child can not cope with this
pressure, this child is treated as a problem child.

"This competition-orientated education is adopted in every activity at
schools: in class rooms, play grounds, gyms, and anywhere in the schools.
Children future tend to be decided by their school grades. Then, children
are forced to join rat race by their parents who worry their future. In
order to win this race, they have to memorize tons of knowledge in many
fields of study. Enormous pressure is on both children and teachers.
Teachers try to control everything at school to improve efficiency. One
tragedy was happened as an aftermath of this situation. A teacher closed a
school gate so hard that a student was crushed to die. The teacher watched
students at the gate to decrease the number of students who are late.

"This education of competition and control oppress children so much that
children can not rely on adults and get inferiority complex. Besides, more
and more children are exhausted and apathetic very easily. This situation
has caused school violence and bullying, school refusing since mid 1970's.
Rapid and radical growth of Japanese economy and the government manpower
policy in 1960's are background factors of this oppressive education. More
and more Japanese society becomes "diploma society", more and more the
existence of schools become absolute in the society. Today the burden of
school education which children bear is incomparably bigger than before

"In addition this, harmony of the people is much more important than
individual belief in Japanese traditional values. These values tend to
restrict diversity of each uniqueness. In these circumstances, bullying,
suicides by bullying and school refusing.

"There are quite a few school refusing children in Japan although Japanese
government only refereed to increase of the number. According to government
annual statistics, the number of school refusing children is about
105,000(the number of children who are absent from schools more than thirty
school days because of dislike for schools). The reasons of this absence are
not sickness nor poor family budget. Moreover, it is said that this number
of school refusing children is so underestimated because this number is
based on teachers's attendance report to local educational boards. First,
teachers often categorize school refusing children as sick children, for
instance. Second, school records of attendance include very short
attendance, for example just ten minutes or so. Third, attendance at
institutions for school refusing children and counselor's places are counted
as school attendance.

"Adding this, from 100,000 to 120,000 high school students leave their
schools before graduation every year. Though they register as high school
students, it is said that 500,000 to 600,000 students can be school refusing
children psychologically.

"This number and continuous increase since mid 1970's show this is not
individual problem but social problem. Not only teenagers but also lots of
kindergarten pupils and elementary school students are school refusing
children in both urban area rural area."


~ David Rovner, N.D.
Received on Tue Oct 21 2003 - 04:44:16 EDT

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