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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Dumbing Down of your Kindergartener PART 1

One of my friends recently told me about a pattern of behavior by the teacher in her son's Kindergarten classroom.

One day when she was helping out in the classroom, she witnessed the teacher saying some things to the kids that raised a red flag in her mind.  The class assignment was to "Draw what you did this weekend."  By all accounts that would be an appropriate and fun activity for that age group.  As the teacher walked around the room observing students work she began making comments such as the following: "I see you've made your hair blue, do you actually have blue hair? That's not really true, you really need to draw something real."

This was said to another child: "Is that a dog you've drawn?" to which the child replied: "Yes." And the teacher said, "You don't actually have a dog do you? So that's not really true, you should only be drawing something that is true.  That's not really what happened to you is it?"

To say these comments did not sit well with this mother is an understatement.  After hearing them I was surprised that that this way of teaching had made it all the way down to this, the lowest of grade levels.  What is going on here is nothing short of a full-on subconscious undermining of a child's most precious asset: Their Imagination.

This teacher is acting from curriculum directives from a power structure within this Educational System which as many of us know is in dire need of a rehaul.  This disturbing scenario may be more common that parents realize and begs the question what kind of a society would find a children's imagination a threat?

The answer is one that you may have heard.  If we are to be drones that conform to social norms and cogs in the machine, it would follow that any "coloring outside the lines" simply would not do.   Whats so sad is that this level of teaching has officially made its way to the classrooms of your favorite 5 and 6 year-olds.

From our vantage point the Educational System has been a slow albeit ever steepening slope of turning the collective young into easily controlled people that become more and more comfortable in the confines of a smaller and smaller box or system.  They've made it so that it is hard for anyone who wants to learn flexibility, self-awareness and grow their talents within that system.  The message is basically if you go your own way, you may be met with backlash, judgement and even shunning.

The combination of the increase of standardized tests on the higher end (and now even lower end!) and behavior such as that of the kindergarten teacher on the low end are like a giant sieve with a tighter and tighter net so that you have less and less chance of escape.  They are not random.  They are designed to keep dumbing down your child until they can no longer think for themselves and are reliant on the system.  

Other systemic changes that you may have noticed fall under the same umbrella: 
  • Longer school days 
  • Increase in homework loads 
  • The end of teaching cursive writing 
  • Fear that you won't be able to do the work and/or extreme competition     
This same friend was shocked once again when she found out her son had been given a standardized test one day at school.  As if that alone was not enough, it was done without any of the parents' knowledge, very intentionally it appeared.   It was another reminder for her that she needed to be an extremely aware parent and may need to make some difficult choices.

.  .  .  Continued in part 2