learning to count

How Does School Wound? Kirsten Olson Has Counted Some Ways | Psychology Today  Peter Gray discusses Kirsten Olson's book and provides an overview of her work interviewing many different people about their school experiences.  Olson categorizes these wounds in this way:
1. Wounds of creativity. School stifles creativity.
2. Wounds of compliance. In school students must continuously follow rules and procedures that they have no role in creating and must complete assignments that make no sense in terms of their own learning needs.
3. Wounds of rebellion. Some students respond to the arbitrary rules and assignments by rebelling rather than complying.
4. Wounds of numbness. The constant grind of school, doing one tedious assignment after another according to the school's schedule, following the school's procedures, can lead to intellectual numbness.
5. Wounds of underestimation. In her interviews Olson found that some described ways in which they were wounded by assumptions made about them because of their race, social class, gender, or performance on one or another test that was supposed to measure intelligence or aptitude.
6. Wounds of perfectionism. High grades and high scores on intelligence tests, too, can wound. Students who develop identities as high achievers may feel extraordinary pressure to continue high achievement, in everything.
7. Wounds of the average. The middling student, who is neither sinking nor soaring in the eyes of the school officials, may suffer from invisibility. In Olson's interviews, these people described themselves as feeling insignificant, as people who don't really matter much.
Gray also links to his own take on the theme: Seven Sins of Our System of Forced Education | Psychology Today His excellent discussion focuses around these points:
1. Denial of liberty on the basis of age.
2. Fostering of shame, on the one hand, and hubris, on the other.
3. Interference with the development of cooperation and nurturance.
4. Interference with the development of personal responsibility and self-direction.
5. Linking of learning with fear, loathing, and drudgery.
6. Inhibition of critical thinking.
7. Reduction in diversity of skills, knowledge, and ways of thinking.
And a link to my post a concise summary: Gatto's dumbing us down summarized by blogger Mahdi Lock: 
  1. Confusion
  2. Class Position
  3. Indifference
  4. Emotional Dependency
  5. Intellectual Dependency
  6. Provisional Self-Esteem (reliance on experts and peers)
  7. One Can't Hide (constant surveillance)
I've blogged before about how homeschoolers represent the first group to step outside of this experience. That means there is now a control group or a set of people outside the norm. And that means we can actually start to discuss what the experience of mass coerced schooling is doing to us.

In a country with wars on 4-5 countries and war on all terrorism everywhere as well as war on all drugs everywhere, all cruising along even after a global financial crisis.  The failure of the academy to allow dissent, re: economics, produced people who could not foresee an actual economic tidal wave. And relentless peer-orientation induced the so-called smartest guys in the room to create financial instruments of mass destruction.

Maybe its time to start thinking about how we got here: pipelining oil across the globe and people into prison and others into the Ivy League.  Once wealthy citizens setup private universities and paid their own way but now they can use the system to ensure they get access many state institutions whose own citizens are "not prepared" but are still able enough to pay, on the slimmest of earnings, their taxes to help support these "public" institutions.

It may be only one piece of a larger puzzle but maybe thinking about our lives in schools will help us start to understand lives spent in other mass institutions, like multinational corporations and the military-industrial complex.

There are wounded children in a lot of places these days.

This photo taken by a cell phone on Aug. 22 obtained by the Associated Press Tuesday Sept. 9, 2008, shows an Afghan child who was allegedly killed during a US- led raid in Azizabad village of Shindand district of Herat province west of Kabul, Afghanistan. The bodies of at least 10 children and many more adults covered in blankets and shrouds appear in pictures obtained by The Associated Press, lending weight to Afghan and U.N. allegations that a U.S.-led raid last month killed more civilians than the U.S. reported.
Read more: http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/rawanews.php?id=734#ixzz1S3ssZVdc

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