Quiet and Submissive

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Rebecca Barray

“Being quiet and being submissive. I think that’s frankly the only thing being taught right now. ..how do you be submissive? How do you sit patiently and be disengaged for an hour and take it?” Sal Khan

I have talked to a few educators in the field that have children in schools that have told me they question the value of some of the assignments that the teachers of their children are receiving at home.  What one of them shared with me is that although they disagreed with the assignment, they bit their tongue, said nothing about the assignment, and told their child that they had to do it because they were told to.

So in an education system where are are promoting critical thinking, is teaching a child simply to be compliant really beneficial?

Before we talk about the impact that this has on students, let’s think as educators what we would want in our own environment.  As a teacher, would you prefer to work in an environment where their principal (who is their boss), wants feedback on the things that are happening in the school, and actively listens?  This doesn’t mean they always agree, but that you know genuinely takes feedback in the workplace and figures out a way to implement some suggestions.

Or would you simply want to do what you were told, because that’s what you should do?

Many of the educators I know would not want to be in the environment of the latter, yet there is still this notion that kids should do what they are told in school.

Now I know that children do not have the emotional maturity of many adults and this is something that we would obviously want kids working towards, but are we creating a system where we,  as educators are asking for feedback on a regular basis on what we are expecting our students to do?  How do we teach kids to learn to even question what we do as educators, but in a respectful and thoughtful way?

If we wouldn’t want to work in that type of environment, why would we create for our next generation?

“I think our job as educators, the biggest job in today’s information, saturated world, is to give the child an armour against doctrine.” Sugatra Mitra

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