Home » Uncategorized » When I Think Back I See Another Brick in the Wall and Teachers Who Weren’t Very Cool, So Who Was the Real Fool?

When I Think Back I See Another Brick in the Wall and Teachers Who Weren’t Very Cool, So Who Was the Real Fool?

Education and the ability to think for oneself, the ability to think as an individual and its significance for the existence of meaningful democracy.  I am thinking about how I was thinking during that period of my youth when what I was thinking about was injustice (the beating of children trying to enter a school building was being televised), the insanity of the society in which I was living (Kennedy killed, King killed, Kennedy Killed, civil rights workers Killed) and the general adult response to it, teachers, parents, leaders (I knew of Jessie Helms and Strom Thurmond, Lester Maddox and George Wallace).  I remember patriotism and the mandate to respect authority and I remember thinking that I was crazy and stupid because I was not getting it as I was being told I should be getting it.” Westmorland, Yorty, Nixon, Reagan.  R.E.S.P.E.C.T. And if you couldn’t, a bad kid were you.  The Pope, the Rabbi, Billy Graham.  Good without questioning, ever so bad if you did.

I thought about my disconnect and how I came to be studious only after reading in school of Holden and Huck, kids who were ever so right in being wrong.

I have thought about schooling all my adult life as a teacher and a teacher of teachers and I am thinking now, after a life spent trying to convince others that education, proper education, democracy essential education must be about encouraging individuals to think for themselves and to value thinking well, to be studious and critical and determined to find the truth in all matters, this the basic requirement for meaningful citizenship in a democratic society.

And now that we have reached a point where thoughtlessness is a good sponsored by those we have elected to lead, at this point where it seems that the survival of democracy is unlikely, I return to some of the anthems of my life.

Why the inhumanity in our existence when we have a choice to act otherwise?  I think it has something to do with being schooled out of our good sense.

Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society,  From the introduction.

Together we have come to realize that for most men the right to learn is curtailed by the obligation to attend school.  Illich, Deschooling Society Introduction.

The current search for new educational funnels must be reversed into the search for their institutional inverse: educational webs which heighten the opportunity for each one to transform each moment of his living into one of learning, sharing, and caring.

Illich, Deschooling Society,  From the introduction.

Paul Simon, “Kodachrome”

When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It’s a wonder
I can think at all
And though my lack of education
Hasn’t hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall

 

Pink Floyd, “Another Brick in the Wall”

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone
All in all it’s just another brick in the wall
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave those kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave those kids alone
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall

 

Beatles, “Getting Better”

I used to get mad in my school

The teachers who taught me weren’t cool

You’re holding me down

Turning me round

Filling me up with your rules.

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