Friday, May 20, 2011

Ten Ways To Confuse a Child: Education Edition

By Vickie Bergman, who blogs about Parenting and Education at Demand EUPHORIA.

Last week I wrote a post about how parents can confuse their children. Then I started thinking about how teachers and school administrators can do their parts as well. We can all work together to make sure no child is left thinking the world makes sense.

Here's a test to see how well you are doing.  Each of these items is worth ten points, with a few extra credit opportunities:
  1. Punish him for something that is completely beyond his control, like being late for school because of traffic or because his mother overslept.
  2. Make a really big deal about how important it is for kids to get physical activity, and then force him to sit still for 95% of the school day. *extra credit for giving excessive homework, leading to more forced sitting: 1 point for each hour
  3. Tell him how important it is to present original work, and then take away points on his math test when he gets the answers his own way.
  4. Brush off his complaints about being bullied, telling him he has to toughen up, and then punish him for retaliating against the bully.
  5. Call something "an opportunity," and then make it mandatory. *extra credit if you recently made him learn the definition of the word opportunity: 5 points
  6. Ask lots of questions to which you already know the answers.
  7. Tell him how important it is to develop healthy eating habits, then make him ignore his hunger for most of the day, only allowing him to eat at designated times, and then serve up some horrible food in the cafeteria. *extra credit for making a rule against bringing any food from home: 20 points
  8. Give him a long-term assignment with very specific requirements that take a whole page to explain, and write at the bottom "Have FUN with this!"
  9. Tell him how important it is for him to get eight hours of sleep every night, and then make it impossible for him to do so. *extra credit for starting school super early: 1 point for every minute before 8 AM
  10. Talk about how one purpose of school is to teach critical thinking, but then absolutely don't pay any attention to his criticisms of anything about school. 

How is your school doing? Tally up the score and report it in the survey below. Explain your results in the comments.
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