the language of control: achievement

If you read about education, you will hear phrases like achievement gap and accepting this language is blaming the victim.  The so-called achievement of some requires the failure of others in the current system of ranking, judging, testing, and mandatory attendance at the education factories.

These children have not  failed to achieve: they have many talents and abilities like all children do.  Our system does not recognize these abilities and talents nor does it honor or support them.  Our educational system instead defines a narrow band of activity, coerces children to attend schools, and evaluates every child against this narrow band thereby ensuring that some will rank higher and can achieve

The achievement culture is not about:
  • belief in each individual
  • honoring every person
  • living together,  peacefully
  • sustainable programs for all citizens
  • coherent and supportive social relationships
  • growing our human capital in all its diversity
  • conserving our resources while we learn together
It is about achievement, the exception, the one who does something extra.  It is about portioning out positions and awards and titles in a hierarchy.  A sustainable approach to education would not focus on achievement but would focus on support and appreciation of every single child.

A just approach, in an educational system funded by taxpayers, would be to treat every citizen's child as valuable.  An investment-minded, sustainable approach to education would be to recognize that the inherent worth of human capital in a democratic society and work tirelessly to provide services that allow citizens of all ages to access educational services.

Communities can create learning environments where the learning itself is valued as a worthwhile activity -- homeschooling families talk about this all the time and a family's life together can be immeasurably enriched by the time spent learning together.

Schools transformed into community learning centers can do the same for many people and places. 

Post a Comment