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Unless you're taking students out of the classroom and doing things in the real world with them, it doesn't matter all that much what you teach them in the classroom.  The lived experience of classroom life is one of learned passivity more akin to courtly politics as anything else.  Satisfy the whims of the ultimate authority and perform according to his/her rules in order to move forward.  Even when the content is sound and the rules fair, like the rule of an Enlightened Monarch, the fact is that it's still an absolutist dictatorship.  Spending day after day living in that environment and following its rules molds and shapes one's personality, and gets one accustomed to natural rhythm and order.  

Actually, it's even more damaging in the hands of a good teacher and an engaging curriculum, as the joy of learning is a reward - submit to the system, and you'll enjoy it and develop useful skills.  Resist, and you'll hate school and end up on the straight track to McDonald's.  See, it's a meritocracy and totally fair, just like life in the real world.  Ha.

Prohibit all schooling for kids between the ages of 12 and 15, and put them to work wherever they can find it.  Let them rejoin as they've aged a bit, if they want, as adults freely seeking education, not children being indoctrinated.  

by Zwackus on Fri Feb 1st, 2013 at 09:05:06 PM EST
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