What are they teaching in school these days?

December 5, 2011

a student completing a "school bingo" form

image credit: Neighborhood Centers via flickr

Helping Chloe with her homework sometimes takes me back to my school days…when more than one teacher accused me of “asking too many questions.” And since Chloe can’t ask questions, I feel compelled to ask them for her.

Like right before Thanksgiving, when I wrote a note on her worksheet. The assignment was to cross out words that don’t belong in an rustic outdoor autumn scene. “Considering that the copyright date on the bottom of this worksheet is 1990,” I wrote, “I assume the word ‘telephone’ is meant to be crossed out. However, these days, when phones go everywhere and are often a family’s main picture-taking device, I think a phone is quite appropriate here.”

I guess it was more of  an observation than a question.

This evening, we read a page from a book that came home in her backpack. It has a big eagle on the cover, and the first page explains that “the people who started this country wanted freedom for everyone.”

“Well, that’s certainly not true,” I said to Chloe, and explained that it took 85 years before the United States managed to abolish slavery. Then I tried to explain what, exactly, “freedom” meant.

“I guess one of the most important freedoms we have in this country,” I said, “is the freedom to form our own opinions and explain them to people. Not everyone has that freedom.

“And that’s the most important thing you can learn in school—how to think critically and form your own opinions. Unfortunately, they don’t usually teach that until maybe college. And then it’s often too late.”

Chloe can’t do much for herself, but I’m determined to make sure she can think for herself.


3 Responses to “What are they teaching in school these days?”

  1. Shara Reinheardt Says:

    Thinking about this and advances in technology, is it possible that one day Chloe ‘Will’ be able to express herself? I sure hope so.

  2. nadbugs Says:

    Think and feel for herself, too, no? And have the feelings acknowledged, recognized, understood, by at least one adult out there, too.

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