Still A Lot To Learn

STILL A LOT TO LEARN

After years in its jails
I suggest that education
Be no longer obligatory

(Thinking through why
A refusal of compliance
Invites legal penalties

Raises some less than
Altogether comfortable
Questions, by the way)

There’d still be schools
But children expected
Not to go unless they

Found it worthwhile
Useful, even – God
Forbid – enjoyable

And teachers’ salaries
Based on attendance
True pupil power at last

About Ben Naga

The Spirit that graces me with its passing has no name and stems not from thoughts and words, though it gathers them up as it flows, but from feeling.

Posted on September 27, 2013, in Poetry, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. good one. I did not like school that much in my days, so pupil power would have been good 🙂

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  2. Free the teachers from administrators and paperwork. 🙂

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  3. An uneducation, Ben?

    It’s the perfect opportunity for people, like me, to run wild on the streets. Whilst infrequent enough to leave me under-stimulated for days.

    e

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    • I am actually a qualified teacher (though not presently practising). But then there is “education” and “education”.

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      • Well we have common ground–though I was not ‘instructed’ by the school of ed at any uni for ‘qualifications.’ Just jumped into the deep end of the classroom when someone else turned down a TA position. Instead of doing research work to pay for higher education I was teaching without a net. Lucky for me and all my captive audiences I had a lot of great teachers. I thought that was normal at the time. I soon learned it was not.
        Yes, there is education and then there’s EDUCATION that opens and frees the mind.
        So, why are you not practising the craft of late? You don’t have to answer. 🙂

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      • I am retired. Maybe producing my two e-logs is kind of teaching. 🙂 And I guess I’m practising what I preach here. People don’t have to read, or let themselves be moved or influenced unless it’s their choice. And that seems fine to me.

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      • For sure, there are many types of education (that goes without saying). I think my point here, Ben, is that schooling prepares us for the future on a social level too. Without that interaction with other children, kids will become cut off from society. Develop behavioral difficulties – which will cost governments far more in the long run. These social aspects are essential to life – leading to us many other things, like sport for example. They are all uniquely interlinked. Without having gone to school I would never have had the opportunities that presented themselves – after-school clubs, sports teams (I was doing 3 different sports a week); plus a chance to compete on a semi-professional level. This all came about through attending school. I really believe, wholeheartedly, that what kids need is routine, and encouragement from their peers, and opportunity to learn and to grow. Anyhow, just my thoughts on it all.

        e

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    • “There’d still be schools
      But children expected
      Not to go unless they

      Found it worthwhile
      Useful, even – God
      Forbid – enjoyable”

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  4. Hi Ben,

    Truly an idea to contemplate – what if!

    Must say, I loved school most of the time. Threw out the chaff and kept the kernel.
    It’s a good thing it was mandatory though, or I would’ve chosen to sleep in mornings. Now I’m thankful for the self-discipline it taught me, among other things – and for piquing my interest in writing, science, etc. Learned about friendships. And enjoyed being around boys. 😉

    But then, things have changed, haven’t they? Teachers are underpaid, unrewarded, unappreciated it seems. (Ha! Best not to get me started on this soapbox….)

    Thanks for this one!

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    • Betty, as for that sleeping –there was a study done about high school students and school times. One thing that was learned was that high school kids, especially boys, are wired to not be up in the mornings. The recommendation was to start school LATER in the day so that the kids could be awake naturally and normally. I don’t think anyone listened except the schools that paid for the research.
      hi.

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      • White Buffalo, I have heard about that study. As you say, it’s too bad no one listened. My own sons, now in their 40’s, would agree with it. They were never sleepy in the evening, and it was a battle trying to get them up at 5:30am. I think it’s hard on girls too. When left to their own devices, teens are night owls and will sleep till at least 10:am. (That was true of me too. 🙂 But I remember it was the guys who fell asleep in class.)

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    • Yes, I too gained a lot from education of various kinds. But then I can be a bit of an idealist (when not being a pessimist), and as I commented to Ezekiel above there is “education” and “education”. During my own teacher training I was introduced to a book about a man who actually put this approach, and more, into practice in a small village in England in the 1930s, if I recall it correctly (no not the famous A. S. Neill). However the “powers that be” soon suppressed the experiment and now even the book describing it is virtually impossible to find. I was indeed fortunate to be able to read it.

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      • Ben, it’s a shame that book was never taken seriously, and was suppressed. Alas, that often happens with the best of the best.

        I do completely agree – there is “education” and there is Education. It’s too bad children aren’t experienced enough to know the difference (consciously, at least) so that they could protest when it’s bad teaching. And these days it seems few parents know the difference either. So, things slide…. and pretty soon the younger generations don’t even learn how to write a proper composition, much less a coherent paragraph. (Not that I always do so! 😉

        And now I heard on some news segment that math books are going to start teaching “approximate arithmetic”? As in, 2 + 2 can equal 5. Could that have been a joke? And they’re going to dispense with teaching cursive writing? Maybe I’m just getting old, but…. Ack!!!

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      • Betty, I have to ask—HOW does 2 + 2 ever equal 5? huh?
        I have heard about the cursive writing being sent to the trash bin.

        Oh and my son could not remain awake in any first hour class–715 am ever. He didn’t even try. To this day he keeps vampire hours.
        Yeah, same for a lot of girls too.

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  5. if a jail
    then NOT a real learning place
    no acts of positive discovery
    imprisoning minds
    greatest crime
    humanity gains nought

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  6. What will this world become if kids were given an option? However maybe they will learn to appreciate eduction.

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    • Do you not remember some times of learning with interest, excitement and wonder, and other times when you were were supposed to be learning, but in fact just wanted the lesson to come to an end? I was very aware of good teachers and others who were not so good.

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  7. Excellent solution, Ben. Btw I hated school and really have no idea how I passed. Now, though, I wish I had paid more attention. I wonder how many adults rue the fact that education passed them by.

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    • I never had any problem pursuing and learning topics which interested me. If the teaching was of poor quality, I would go to books.

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      • For me the emphasis was on ‘which interested me’. Unfortunately I didn’t realise that one’s interests change as one matures. Some teachers bored me to tears as it was obvious they were just going through the motions.

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