Has anyone else observed this phenomenon?
Yesterday we got a cheery update letter from my children’s school trumpteing no less than three programs now being conducted in the classroom: ezrachut pe’ilah [active citizenship]; metzuyanut alpayim [Excellence 2000]; and chashivah yetziratit-hamtza’it [creative-inventive thinking]. I can’t help thinking: If a person has received a solid (science- and humanities-based) education, should it not naturally lead to his or her becoming an involved citizen? Shouldn’t a school and its pupils by definition strive for excellence*? And shouldn’t (a good) education naturally lead to creative and inventive thinking?
I sense that informal education is entering the classroom in the guise of “programs” (usually award-winning ones. Who awards these awards anyway?). As a friend once observed when she was ruefully employed at a meeting-happy non-profit, “Sometimes you just gotta work!” Perhaps if our kids were learning properly, they wouldn’t need applied programming to teach them democracy, conflict resolution, tolerance, excellence, community involvement, creative thinking…fill in your favorite “educational goal”. What’s your take?
* Recalls Rabbi Arik Asherman’s questioning the very need for an organization called Rabbis for Human Rights