State of General Educ LO6728

Michael Erickson (
Tue, 16 Apr 1996 08:20:06 -0700

Replying to LO6699 --

Re: "I felt I was the victim in school".... and "I felt the teachers were
defending academic integrity rather than teach"..

I agree. I also felt the same and am facing the challenges of educating
my son myself-being that I have no desire to foist off on him the feelings
of futility and hopelessness "the system" hammered me with. Everything I
have that is of any value education wise came to me through my active
effort to learn it (I'm essentially self taught). It's a rough road, and
It's rewarded with sneers from those who believe in the Gods of Academia,
but I have had more struggles with those who (having masters degrees or
better) "don't understand all they know".

What saved me in school was the fact that my mother taught me to read
before I entered first grade (I hid out in libraries to avoid personal
attacks-which was partly effective, but I've been beaten into
unconciousness 3 times... once in front of a teacher). The fact that I
could read and am fascinated by technology helped me "go and find out" on
my own-and has placed me in the position now where I bring ideas to life
graphically in a major corporation.

Yes I would be paid better if I had the academic credentials, but I'm
basically happy, and I have the sense that I CAN do what I need to do and
teach my child as well.

I've found that the system of public schools is more involved with
controlling children-and focuses on conformance rather that teaching
effective thinking and learning skills (save for the occasional
outstanding teacher), so I know I cannot depend on them.

I also believe that most of the systems used in the public schools are set
up to function as one of Peter Senge's system archtypes -the Shifting the
Burden archtype. We shift our burdon of responsibility away from the
parent and to some system that will act as a "magic bullet" and turn out
high performance kids. My son is 19 months old. He can count to 11 and
loves books. He is interested in everything-so we play at learning (I'm
not force feeding him-He's dragging my wife and I as fast as his little
feet will go... we call him "the engergizer baby. He keeps going and

I expect that at our current rate-my son will be either very far ahead of
the standard academic courses when he turns six (first grade will likely
bore him to death and he will become one of those problem children) or he
will be on some other track entirely. My challenge is to "feed him fast
enough", and get him enough experience with people so he develops a little
wisdom along with whatever knowledge he collects.

It's important that he "understand all he knows". Wisdom is more critical
than knowledge. He will have to face the results of his decisions just as
we all do. It's my job as a parent to give him EFFECTIVE tools to do
that. I don't count the public schools as even remotely effective. (too

(so now you have my 30 cents worth)


Michael Erickson

-- (Michael Erickson)

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