Lessons Learned

While the Bangor Daily is a newspaper I approve, more often than not, I cannot fail but note a tendency for it to print nonsense in conjunction with the subject of educating schoolchildren.  Admittedly, it is the going nonsense, which can be found readily enough in any American newspaper, but the BD would be better without it — or at least with a bit of counterbalancing nonsense, to which end I therefore devote this column.

Being a talking head on education is easy.  These are the dogmata, the list of need:  We need better schools and teachers.  Kids need to know learning is fun!  We need computers in ever classroom, a computer on every kid’s desk.  Kids need to be taught by computers, using fun teaching computer games.

Let me ask you something:  IS learning fun?

I don’t personally agree with any of the items on that list.  The one common dogmata I don’t list that I do agree with is that we should pay our teachers more.  How about a governor who gives himself a 10% pay cut and raises teachers’ wages commensurately?

I think it’s our responsibility to ask whether learning really is fun before we teach our children that, because otherwise we are doing something called “lying.”  Continue reading