The time spent in the school the child is qualitatively comparable to the time spent by the offender in prison, according to the American psychologist, Professor Peter Gray of Boston College. And if many of our fellow citizens out of habit, just that, equal to the West, is not a sin and look at what the Americans offer the world in the field of child education. Moreover, many are still raising children from books Dr. Benjamin Spock, inherited from their parents.
Peter Gray in his book "Freedom of education» (Free to learn: Why unleashing the instinct to play will make our children happier, more self-reliant, and better students for life) advocates a simple idea: any place where a person deprived of liberty, keep against his will, it is a prison. And the school - just such a place. Babies do not leave the choice: they must go to school, whether they like it or not, in any mood, and regardless of their own desires. Therefore, all the students so happy and disease (remember their own childhood golden) persistently licking icicles, eating snow, go wide open and stick their heads in the freshly open window in the hope of saving catch the virus, get rid of hard labor training.
Of course, between the school and places of detention there is a difference, a psychologist admits: prison - a punishment for a crime, and the school "condemned" all children who have reached a certain age. On the other hand, in prison, compared with the school, still more freedom: do not need to spend all their time for the precise execution of every minute that you require from the officers. Although punished for not obeying orders, and students, and prisoners.
"The fact that school - it is a prison, an open secret is just to not hurt the feelings of teachers, otherwise it turns out that the mass of decent people with very good intentions puts his hand to the deprivation of freedom for our children. To realize this fact would not be too pleased, "- said Peter Gray, in an interview with Polish newspaper Uwazam Rze (trans. Inosmi.ru).
According to P. Gray, when a few years ago, psychologists Jeremy Hunter and Mihai Chiksenmihayi carried out in 33 schools in the US study, they got quite predictable and unpleasant results. Each of the children who participated in the experiment was given a diary in which at a certain time they had to fix its own mood. It turned out that the most unfortunate children were while in school, and a sharp decline in sentiment was celebrated on Sunday evening, on the eve of a new school week.
Education in the form in which it exists, not only to bring students up to depression and to suicide, is concerned about Peter Gray. He cites the following statistics: "In recent years in the United States dramatically increased the number of hours that students spend in school. During the same period has increased dramatically the proportion of children with mental health problems. For example, in 1948 only 4, 1% of adolescents 14-16 years in the survey agreed with the statement "I think I'll go crazy," and in 1989 - already 23, 4% - that is, nearly one in four! Since 1950, the number of suicides among teenagers has increased fourfold ».
At the same time, says the psychologist, during the same period, the number of suicides among people aged 25-40 has increased slightly, and in the age group over 40, even decreased.
Blame It provokes depression and nervous disorders lack of control over their own lives, sure Gray. Children have all day to follow the instructions of teachers, and in the evenings at home to do the lessons set for tomorrow. Can not cope with the tasks students will be punished, bad evaluation, teacher and parental anger, often public reprimand in front of the whole class, and ridicule the more successful students. It is enough for neurosis, and - in extreme cases - for suicide.
An adult would be hard all the time (or any time) be in a position clumsy fools, mediocrity, losing their reputation, receiving public reprimands from his superiors, for example - that is, I feel like a failure or a criminal, carrying a punishment. But in the case of children, we allow all this without thinking, and believe justified.
Monitoring, evaluation and to receive knowledge
Gray raises the issue of how the school system is not learning as much as indoctrination and training of loyalty to the authorities - according to psychologists, this problem is schooling in the world perform in the first place. "At the beginning of the XIX century, three-quarters of the US population, including slaves, could read and write. In the developed countries of Europe the percentage was about the same. The number of literates was more than the number of jobs that required a skill - like Gray. - So that the introduction of public education did not come from the intention to eradicate illiteracy, but from a desire to gain control over what people read, how they think and how they behave ».
Assess and promote only worsen the situation: According to a University of Michigan in the 70 years of the experiment, in a situation where one group of preschool children offered only to draw with colored markers, and other groups for the drawing promised reward, pictures of the children who tried for "Gingerbread "turned out to be much worse. In addition, on average, these children spent drawing 50% less time than those who did not have any rewards promised. Similar experiments were carried out subsequently several times with people of all ages, but the result was always the same: to encourage not only do not help, but, on the contrary, harmful to learning.
Children are born with an instinctive need to learn that will help them to function normally in the world, they want to learn, have fun, make acquaintance, to explore something new - an innate human desire for knowledge and curiosity can not be satisfied. In the late 60's one of the professors at Columbia University, Daniel Greenberg created the school in which children themselves were given the right to choose what they want to do: they have the opportunity to play music, to draw, to play football, fishing, and study chemistry, physics, mathematics and other science. No assessments and screening tests is not provided.
At the same time, according to Gray, who relies on the experience, including your own child education, graduated from this school, do not have to fear that their own students to arrange their priorities will be unsuccessful in their adult life. Sudbury Valley School for more than 40 years, and 75% of its graduates have successfully enrolled in higher education institutions. According to the survey, 71% of graduates of Sudbury Valley have not felt any negative effects on their "free" education, and if someone of them did not have any knowledge, they have no problems on their own closed spaces.
"The most important and characteristic for almost all high school graduates trait: they are all easy to find a job, and then doing it with great pleasure," - said Peter Gray.
Schools working on such a system, in the United States 22, Europe - no less than 14 such schools.
In addition, America captures the new movement - unschooling: increasing the percentage of children who are home schooling - in the US, currently two million. Over the past 12 years, their number has almost doubled, is 4% of all American children. And 10% of them, learning at home, are free to decide what they teach and what to do.
Relic of the past
According to Peter Gray, half a century later the current traditional schools will be considered savagery and barbarism, because they make children unhappy, oppress them and experiencing the psychological strength of the constant pressure. In Gray's have an argument in favor of greater freedom: the farther away, the less jobs, which requires unquestioning execution of orders, which are taught in ordinary schools - and it usually is a low-paid and low-skilled work.
Thus, today the traditional school does not give its graduates are no guarantees of future demand, work, money, and in the life of the device. And if you remember the scandalous case with his wife footballer Zhirkov, too, because once received a certificate, which clearly were not entirely two and three - that guarantee and any knowledge is not expected.
So, if parents want their children to be happy and able to fulfill themselves in a new world, it is necessary to give them more freedom. Or, at least, to stop "pressed" them because of the lack of success in school and not too high ratings, or demand more and more new achievements. Excellent adjusted to separation neuroses or Losers suicide - unfortunately more and more frequent in our lives.
In the end, if we talk about many of the great and famous, they are often not accepted and did not like school, conflict with teachers and class, drop out or expelled. And before included in the work of the repressive machine "Family and School", it is worth remembering though Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, Albert Einstein or Thomas Edison. And all the "brilliant troechnikov" (there is an informal term in pedagogy), which moved forward science and culture is much more powerful, and more than most of the standouts.
We have a liberal Sudbury Valley School, but we have ourselves and in our government at least slightly reduce the psychological pressure that pushes the baby's shoulders. To get started simply restrain their demands.