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Isabel Rodríguez @ecomentario
, 36 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
I wish all teachers could witness what chronic school failure looks like in the lives of adults who cannot articulate the damage inflicted on them because they blame themselves and their families.
School failure is something that impacts their psyches and their relationship with their families. And it's something they don't speak about, something they live with embarrassment and anger.
Yes, there are people who drop out of school and achieve great success, but there are many others who spend a lifetime pursuing things they don't enjoy.
There are many who eventually go back to school or continue studying at home the very same things they hated and didn't serve them well, so that they can obtain a useless diploma and prove they are not failures.
And therefore, they continue living according to an agenda set by conventional schooling after they drop out. These are people who could've been great artists or athletes, who knows? These are childhoods and dreams stolen away.
The irony is that when they endure jobs they don't enjoy for a low pay, they blame their school failure, not knowing that many others who were successful as students also endure jobs they don't enjoy for a low pay.
And that even among those who make a lot of money, there are people who lead professional lives of stress, frustration, conflict, and embarrassment about what they do.…
They don't know about unemployed PhDs, about PhDs who spend a lifetime paying school debts, about PhDs living in poverty.…
And the economic and educational paradigm that abuses mostly everyone is always left off the hook.
I'm not a scholar, but I have witnessed chronic school failure first hand.
Teachers' experiences and knowledge of students are limited, biased and fragmented. Usually, they did not know them when they were just bright and happy kids living life. They do not know what they are like when they are at home. And they stop seeing them after they leave school.
And the understanding of teachers about what they do tends to be decontextualized from larger systems of control and exploitation.
Let's stop pushing the idea that everyone should finish school. Let's stop tinkering around how best to teach content, students find useless and uninteresting. Let's stop worrying about forcing children to fit in structures that exploit them.
Let's stop ranking, sorting, grading and humiliating children who don't deserve growing up feeling that there's something wrong with them. This is important advice from incarcerated men via @teolol. Listen to it.…
Let's instead think about how schools should change in order to serve children, not adults' concerns, not a system seeking to exploit them.
I'm not suggesting all schools should look like this, but it is obvious we need to imagine something different.
We need a future where conventional schooling can coexist with alternatives free of charge and available to everyone.
And we need to consider not just alternative schools, but also alternatives to school and alternatives to education.
And yes, because kids will need to eat and make a living when they grow, it is important to take a look into alternative pathways.
I don't want to suggest that everyone should become a farmer and practice permaculture, but I insist on exploring how the work of schools should connect to imagining alternatives to our current economic and environmental paradigm.
In the meantime, let children play.
Don't ever refer to people who didn't finish school pejoratively.
Help those who are struggling with school, letting them know there are alternatives to the dominant paradigm.
And recommend the book Free to Learn by Peter Gray to anyone who would listen or benefit from it.
Here's Dr. Peter Gray speaking.
This talk by @SirKenRobinson is also worth recommending to kids struggling with school and their parents.
As an addendum, the people who inspired me to write this thread grew up in a comfortable home and had parents who people would identify as intellectuals.
They had a dysfunctional home, but this was not the main reason of their school failure. After all, their siblings did pretty well at school. And the fact is that school failure happens too in stable and loving homes.
I should mention that Dr. Peter Gray started his research into how children learn after having to deal with the school failure of his son. I assume his son had a peaceful home.
Likewise, school failure should not be used as an artifact to absolve the economic and power structures that generate violence and economic precarity in the first place.
As always, doing this hurts poor families the most as wealthy kids who fail at school will always have means to keep them afloat.
If we don't talk about adultism and how it plays a role at school and dysfunctional homes, as well as in the perpetuation of other forms of discrimination and abuse, we'll continue blaming and attempting to fix the victims of structures of oppression we should start dismantling.
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