14 November 2006

The values, dammit? And why, I suppose.

James Purser, you ask about why schools should be teaching values.

A lot depends on what you view the school’s role to be. If the school is making up for parental deficiencies, then values are up for grabs, and everything else is, too.

That sounds a little radical, but In Real Life that’s one of the goals often listed for schools, in various ways. It’s one of the reasons that the King of Prussia founded his compulsory schools;

His theory, attributed to the German philosopher Fichte, was that by forcing children to attend school at a young age they would become more loyal to and afraid of the power of the state than they would be loyal to or afraid of their parents.

The Western world then went ahead & copied those schools, first in the USA & then later to Australia.

To give you some idea of how these schools started, the children weren’t allowed to question even the currently presented topic unless they had first raised their hand & then waited to be called upon to question (if ever). This was regarded as becoming...

“properly socialized” to respect and not question authority figures.

So... if you want your children “properly socialised”, that system would be the place to take them. Our modern schools and their “values” are a poor shadow of that, but do follow the ideas, in their own way.

If you want to train your children to figure things out for themselves, you’ll probably have to do that on your own. There are some Australian school-books around which work well — even for adults — in the figuring-it-out department, but for some reason Australian schools seem to be allergic to them.

To bring this back into a Linux context, much of the learning done in Open systems is free-for-all & independent along the same lines.

This may help to explain why FOSS people tend to be such quiet rebels. (-:

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