Today school as a prison Part 2

According to the American research, in 1981 children spent on games about 30% more time than in 2003. If we restrict this category of games in the open air, the percentage becomes even more impressive.

With regard to psychological disease, this statistic is quite bleak: according to the results of psychological tests the symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression in children today can be detected in 5-8 times more common than 50 years ago. Unknown to me figures of statistics, but it can be assumed that similar trends can be found in the us. Among adults, the same thing happens. According to who, the number of people suffering from depression and anxiety, from 1990 to 2013 increased by 50%.

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School and preschool children is less time for the free development and becomes more and more a preparation for the “adult” life with its schedules, stress and stiff competition for positions, salaries and bonuses.

As if already in school children should be working on my future portfolio.

Maybe the sunset is a children’s game and mental problems have nothing to do with each other? After all, at the same time — does not mean owing to. But we can confidently say that it is precisely the lack of control is one of the main causes of anxiety. The lack of a sense that you’re in control of the circumstances of your life and are responsible for their actions. School makes to say goodbye to that feeling. It teaches that learning is evaluation, rules, schedules and responsibilities in which you do not see the slightest sense.

A strange sight: people who sit at desks all day, listening to and reading about things that they are not interested, to answer questions that do not belong to them and they are not questions. It is an environment that leaves less and less space to play, explore the world and to follow their own interests. But out of this trap suggested more than once.

School Summerhill, founded by Alexander O’Neill in 1921, still remains one of the inspirational examples for teachers around the world. It’s from top to bottom penetrate the principles of freedom and self-government. Pupils choose what lessons they want to go and how much effort are willing to spend on classes. Jobs they also put to themselves: teachers help them and make hints, but do not impose anything. The school considered that the most important lessons children recovered outside of class and regular classes — communication with adults and peers.

The American school of “Sudbury valley” known for its more radical democracy. Adults are not in control of the educational process — children learn by themselves. They choose what to do, where, when and with whom. Maybe this idea seem almost mad. But it works, and works for about 90 schools around the world.

Montessori schools, the Agile movement, and other alternative educational systems — all more or less successful attempts to overcome the tyranny of General formal education. Almost all of these projects started in the living room of someone’s house and was supported by a handful of enthusiasts who were concerned about the future of their children. Behind all this is a very simple idea:

There is no need for forced lessons, lectures, assignments, tests, evaluations, separation by age or any other above which uses the standard school system. In fact, all this only hinders the natural education of the child.

But this idea is important not only for school but also for the world that lies beyond. When Vonnegut said that school prepares us to a world that doesn’t exist, he was not quite right. Most of us do useless work, and that uses lessons learned in high school. Chief among these lessons is that private interests mean less than external approval. It all begins with evaluations and ends of office chairs.

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Good intentions and sonorous calls to reform the education system rarely lead to real change. The school is changing along with the rest of society and, unfortunately, serves his interests. Previously, children were sent to work in factories and mines, now they are seated at desks and are forced to solve quadratic equations.

It’ll be a long time before education will cease to be a prison and will become a school of freedom. It will have to change not only the classrooms, but also us, adults.

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