noam chomsky on education

re-reading megan garber’s ‘attention vs. distraction? what the big NYT story leaves out’

Formal education, as we’ve framed it, is not only about finding ways to learn more about the things we love, but also, equally, about squelching our aversion to the things we don’t … We value the straight-A report card not just as a demonstration of indiscriminate ability, but also as evidence of indiscriminate discipline: mastery over apathy… The web inculcates a follow your bliss approach to learning  …  a self-guided brand of dynamism, a choose-your-own-adventure proposition fueled by whim and whimsy.

reminded me of what noam chomsky said quite a while back. here’s a timely reminder from him about what traditional education has at it’s dark heart. i’m paraphrasing here but..

students are selected and filtered for obedience. if you can guarantee stupidity in the education system (like lots of stupid assignments) the only people who’ll make it through are the people who will do it no matter how stupid it is (and the one’s who don’t will be labelled as having behavioural disorders). this is an overt technique for selecting obedience above innovation and creativity. it is a contradiction to also expect progress under this criteria for success.

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