„I taught for thirty years in some of the worst schools in Manhattan, and in some of the best, and during that time I became an expert in boredom. Boredom was everywhere in my world, and if you asked the kids, as I often did, why they felt so bored, they always gave me the same answers: They said the work was stupid, that it made no sense, that they already knew it. They said they wanted to be doing something real, not just sitting around. They said teachers didn’t seem to know much about their subjects and clearly weren’t interested in learning more. And the kids were right: their teachers were every bit as bored as they were.” – John Taylor Gatto, Weapons of Mass Instruction
K. Deutschländer states in his medical compendium „Orthopädisches Schulturnen”, Leipzig 1929, „The bare figures show that not even three-tenths of our adolescents are endowed with a normal posture.”
Almost 40 years later, 1967, Karel Lewit testifies in his book „Manuelle Medizin”, Elsevier Germany, 85 percent of children enter preschool with good posture and a normal spine shape. This figure is down to 34 percent for children in elementary school. In some modern studies (e.g. „Spinal Deformities with Students in Classroom Teaching in Urban and Rural Areas”, 2018) this figure of structurally healthy children is down to 2 percent.
Figures may vary, however, the majority of very recent studies find that around 50 percent of children acquired poor posture and spine deformities while in elementary school.
What is happening in our highly acclaimed Prussian education system? Isn’t it designed to produce good soldiers and strong, albeit replaceable, office and factory workers? Is it failing in every aspect now, even at its original purpose?
And more importantly: these are merely the visible, measurable, physical damages and deformities.
How many children suffered severe mental and emotional damages, crippling deformities in motivation, participation, contribution, creative expression, in and from school? Damages and deformities that will impede and haunt them all their lives? Is anyone even questioning schools on this?
The apocalypse has a new date, 2048 (Worm B., Science, Nov. 3, 2006; vol 314: pp 787-790). That’s when scientists predict that the Marine ecosystems are finally collapsing due to overfishing. And when the Marine ecosystems collapse most natural ecosystems will collapse with them. And despite our best phantasies, unlike cockroaches, humans can survive in underground bunkers only that long.
That’s just one example, one random out of many examples, to which I could ask:
Should we all sit in silence, just like we learned to do in school?
Should we, woefully or cheerfully, participate in whatever is happening around us, just like it is expected from the good school children, and the good teachers, and the good school management alike?
Or could I ask: how would I move, what would I do in life, if I hadn’t been streamlined, normalised and injured in school? Or, at least, if I hadn’t suffered that much; what if I would be able to recover from it? How would I feel, think, and act?
What kind of person would I be, if I hadn’t planned a life that needed the certificates, if I had escaped school a bit earlier?