Monday, October 15, 2012

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If we would just let them learn

If we know that "knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave" (Frederick Douglas),then we understand why a little girl with a book is a threat to the Taliban.

The way I see it, those terrorists know that if girls became more educated that they could not control
them.  They know that if girls are more educated, boys will also become more educated... because you can't have girls more educated than boys... right?  They also know that if boys are educated, they can no longer brainwash the population and they will lose their soldiers... they will just become a bunch of bitter old men with a gripe.

I am having trouble drawing a clear parallel, but I feel like our country is in as bad a situation as the educational system in Pakistan.  The difference is that no one is being threatened with guns and bombs... children aren't being kept out of schools where they can learn... they are being warehoused in "schools" where their education is limited.

Thinking back to when I made the decision to have my daughter get an accredited diploma last summer, I could already see that this decisions was just as limiting to her as it was liberating.  It was liberating in that we would not have to prove her education to the scholarship committees and colleges. But it was extremely limiting because her plan this year was to tackle some college subjects and gain college credits before attending college.  But because of the public school checklist, we had to add courses like Health, Economics, Physical Science, a higher level math (business math), to her schedule this year, thereby eliminating the opportunity for her to study subjects she may have been more passionate about.

But we got off lucky.  This is just a minor setback that can be recouped in college as we only took this course in her final year of homeschooling.  But for those kids who have been in public school for 13 years, there is so much they wanted to learn that they never got a chance to because of the strict scope and sequence imposed upon children.

I almost feel like it would be better to just give a kid a book and teach him or her to read it,  so they could acquire the knowledge they desired.  How powerful could these kids be if that happened?  I bet they would no longer be satisfied with the status quo.



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