I have had multiple conversations on a few points brought up in this post as of late. In a recent interview ( for a eLearning pilot project I am a part of), the topic of young people learning to “cope” with the many facets of the traditional school came up. “How will these students learn to cope in the real world”. was a theme of one question and a position in this post. I would argue that “Dealing” with professors, colleagues, and peers outside of the “school” will entail freedoms that the traditional school does not allow. In so many ways the school strips the power of young people away and then expects them to “deal” in there subaltern group. Coping then becomes at best harmful to practicing things like deliberation (where young people to world leaders find themselves most empowered to learn, fail and imagine the better with peers) and democracy, and at worst psychologically damaging to the self determination of young people. We must stop blaming young people for the archaic power structures and norms of the 20th century and look to new ways of engaging young people. Learning is what we care about as educators, not controlling or shaping the young. They deal with the people outside of school all there lives, and learn to navigate (even if sheltered). Why do we not look at our traditions, many irrelevant to young people (over-“parented” or not) and seek to construct spaces for learning that have learning at heart, not acculturation in the 20th century managerial structures they will not likely encounter in the information economy.
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