Sunday, April 10, 2011

Is your school like a prison?

I recently shared how so many of the freedoms we have in life are "Banned in School." In this post I ask you to consider the similarities between schools and prisons and then share your results. 

What are you doing to help students find their sentence?

Two questions that can change your life from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.


  1. That was depressing. Our high school was built about 10 years ago. The company that won the contract actually builds prisons. It's a regular student joke. The window gantry around the high windows look like the perfect place for guards to stand with rifles. And that's all in addition to the bells, forced attendance and daily parole.

  2. Would like to see the google pres and REALLY process the comparisons. It was embedded and set to auto play, but I needed more time on each slide. Cant remember how to get to it to manually flip through the google pres. Suggestions??

  3. Great job Lisa! My second high school was actually a former prison. It was built in a remote area (at the time) surrounded by woods. Although it was a 'minimum security' facility, the ironic fact remains. The first one I went to mimicked the movie "Lean on Me" and sadly was far more 'prison-like' even than the actual prison.

    You make excellent points Lisa. I want to add that even the aesthetics count. Many city schools have bars on windows, the doors are hulking metal, bathrooms are devoid of mirrors or mirrors are placed high above reach, virtually no real exposure to nature etc... these conditions in an every day environment play HUGE role on the psyche; in addition to the behavioral restrictions.
    A 12-15 year experience where most of their time is spent in this sort of environment, does indeed produce a warped mind with a dark world-view - more willing to assimilate.


  4. @Laurette Lynn, you add another terrific point. Often justification for the dismal school environment goes something like this:
    We need to prepare kids for a world that is not all fun and games.
    Children need to learn the realities that the world is a difficult place in which to survive.
    Life isn't always exciting. Kids need to learn that sometimes work is just boring.

    You know what I mean, I'm sure.

    When I hear this I think...
    I'm sure glad I don't see the world through those eyes. For me life is fun! Life is often like a game. Life is never boring.

    If we think those are the things school needs to help children learn, then it's clear why we have a teacher retention issue. Who'd wanna teach kids those lessons.

    The environment, however, can make life indeed seem bleak and dismal.

    This needs to change!