Such "top-down" approaches to establishing a peacefuland safe and productive environment in the classroom have littlechance of ever succeeding. Each student is an individual. Eachteacher is an individual. They should all be treated like individuals,with whatever amount of respect they each personally deserve, rather than ascattle in enormous herds. You might as well take their names awaynow and just give them numbers, because the American Public EducationSystem is essentiallytelling them that they have little importance as individuals, andthey better behave like the rest of the herd if they want to avoidbeing in trouble. Is THIS the way young people should be"controlled"? I hope not. Is THAT the way to preparethen to become quality adults? I hope not. Such authoritarian andbureaucratic structures and attitudes diminish whatever creativityand zest everyone brings to the table. Don't I recall that thiscountry was BUILT on the creativity and diversity of early settlers?So why should we move in directions of Schools being "armedcamps" where any behavior that is "different" issubject to question and doubt and possible punishment?
There is much disagreement about whether these characteristics have become more pronounced over the last few decades. But the trend lines aren’t the point. In a world in which the returns on education dropped off fairly rapidly in the upper grades and college—in other words, when a junior-high school education was enough to obtain gainful employment and function in society—America could basically afford to have an inefficient, bureaucratized, and ineffective system of public education. When students fell through the cracks, they had a fairly soft landing. Today, however, technological innovation and a host of other factors have dramatically increased the returns on education. All students must be able to compute, communicate, and think to make their way in an increasingly complex and confusing world.
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Chidester, D. 2008. Unity in Diversity: Religion Education and Public Pedagogy in South Africa. International Review for the History of Religions. 55(2/3). 272-299.