Education, writing

Lost:: Love of Learning

So, I’ve been reading Dorothy Sayer’s Lost Tools of Learning, which I highly recommend.

The pursuit of learning is unquestionably the most important part of success in life. If one cannot learn, and grow, one cannot possibly achieve great things. Whether those greatnesses are to be the best mother possible, or the best mechanic, or the best writer, it doesn’t matter – none are possible without the foundation of education. Education of the modern model stands in the way, if anything, of the pursuit of learning, rather than fosters it. The reason for this is that we do not pursue to gain something we have begun to hate and fear. Love of learning leads to pursuit of learning, not apathy or disdain.

The school system as it exists was born in a time when education was desired, but the application of learning was erratic and never systemic. It was believed that only through the systemic application of education would the populace achieve more enlightenment and a brighter future. The Industrial Revolution disrupted many things, one of which was the way people chose to learn, or to teach their own children. Suddenly small schools where a handful were taught, or the upper class who tutored their children, were insufficient for the level of knowledge needed to fuel the eve-burgeoning technology. While education might not be strictly necessary for the worker in the factory, something to be done with their children as both parents left for work daily, and child labor laws forbade the presence of the children at work… I must pause here and note that I am not advocating for children working in factories at tender ages. I am, however, advocating against the warehousing of children wholesale to keep them out of trouble and train them to be obedient factory workers, whilst instilling a sense of perpetual adolescence in them.

They do not learn responsibility in school. Teacher tells them what to do. The consequences for not handing in homework are almost non-existent. Long gone are the days of dunce caps and corporal punishment. Learning in school happens with no incentive other than to get through another day, another grade, until one is able to get out of school. There are incentives, of course, but it is the clever child who discovers them. Most often, the parents are demanding higher grades, so the child rote forces memory until the test, then lets it go with a great sense of relief before cramming up the next glut of data to be regurgitated.

(There will be more of this when I have a brain, and time. I have neither this morning, hopefully they will return soon. I need them!)

3 thoughts on “Lost:: Love of Learning

  1. John Taylor Gatto summed it all up well, but the one thing that lingers from reading him is that of all the thing school actually teaches, it is that the Clock reigns… and thus is, perhaps, the only thing of any interesting. If one wishes a nice Kipling reference…. think of all the interminable seconds as boots, boots, boots, boots….

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