Friday, August 31, 2007

Rock on, Father Rutler!

The magnficent Father Rutler, is being humorous in his comments about child education but he has a huge point. I hated school when I was young and much preferred being around adults and I learned far more prowling the library than I ever did stuck in a room with my peers.


He writes:

"I'd encourage your youngest one to abandon kindergarten altogether. Almost everything I learned was learned outside the classroom, and school itself interrupted my education. Moreover, school locks you in with your peers.

That is a mistake.

One's social circle should never include one's equals. From my earliest years I found children uninteresting and always preferred the company of adults. This was an advantage, because I got to know lots of folks who are dead now whom I never would have known if I had waited until I was an adult. - So I have a collective memory - and oral tradition - that goes back to the eighteenth century, having spoken with people who knew people who knew people who knew people who lived then. - The only real university is the universe and a city its microcosm.

That is why an expression like "New York University" is foolish. New York City is the university….Instead of school, children should spend some hours each day in hotel lobbies talking to the guests. They should spend time in restaurant kitchens and shops and garages of all kinds, learning from people who actually make the world work….One day spent roaming through a real classical church building would be the equivalent of one academic term in any of our schools, and a little time spent inconspicuously in a police station would be more informative than all the hours wasted on bogus social sciences.

Formal lessons would only be required for accuracy in spelling and proficiency in public speaking, for which the public speakers in our culture are not models, and in exchange for performing some menial services a child could learn the violin, harp, and piano from musicians in one of the better cocktail lounges, or from performers in the public subways….So I urge you to keep your child out of kindergarten, because kindergarten will only lead to first grade and then thegrim sequence of grade after grade begins and takes its inexorable toll on the mind born fertile but gradually numbed by the pedants who impose on the captive child the flotsam of their own infecundity."

1 comment:

PandaBean said...

This is one reason I have choosen to homeschool. While I learn best in the traditional teacher/student environment, once I hit high school it was all about trying to graduate by doing the minimum amount necessary. All my passions were unable to be explored and were thereby stiffled. I love languages, but school only offered French and Spanish, I love to learn how to bake and cook, but I had to squeeze in a 3 hour elective to get that class, I love music, but you have to audition to get into band and chorus was a joke (the higher singing classes also required audition). The list goes on.