Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Forward to Yesterday

October 10

The controversy over the principle of education, as noted in the comments to yesterday's posts, surprised me. I expected an abashed silence from readers, who have grown accustomed to reading on this blog occasional statements of the philosophy of Marietta Johnson. Mrs. Johnson consistently came down on the side of children. Instead the commenter who usually comes up with amusing quips and offbeat wisecracks let us know that he is firmly in the camp of the old school -- "Reading and writing and 'rithmetic/Taught to the tune of a hick'ry stick." Something I haven't heard defended in years.

Needless to say, I am more in accord with the response that came from John, who has raised two beautiful sons and any number of animals, and now lives in Sweden. His grasp of the simple educational approach is clear, and his defense of it as good as I could make. Check out what I wrote yesterday and the responses. There is more to be said about this, and I'll let you say it.


Finding Fair Hope said...

Another pet campaign of Marietta Johnson's was the need for play and its benefits as a learning tool. Apparently, after its abandonment of this basic educational precept in recent years, the Establishment is having to rethink its position.

There is a new study making all the news today. You should be able to find it by clicking

Bert Bananas said...

Even-Handed Hope, I have to hurry to join the mainstream so I don't have time right now to read the study. But let me state for the record that I stand fore-square behind the principles of recess and dodge ball. I got whacked harder in dodge ball, and tether ball, than anyone ever got whacked in class.

Ya gotta love dweebish adults who think they're sparing kids pain and anguish by taking away play time.

goldennib said...

I hated recess. I was traumatized everytime I was picked last for teams, when the ball went left when I threw it right and when people laughed at my Keds. I all for taking that horror out of a child's life.

Finding Fair Hope said...

Sounds like you went to one of those schools where the adults even controlled recess...at any rate, "free play" it wasn't.

At Marietta Johnson's school, I do remember baseball at recess, at which I was lousy, so I did other things. The idea was to give the children some time in the outdoors to explore and devise their own games and activities like climbing trees and playing on the seesaw or jumping rope.

We had twenty minutes in the morning and an hour for lunch.

I would spare all children the horrors of pressure, competition, and games that humiliate the inept. I am sad to think of childhood like that -- but the first three grades I spent in a large traditional public school did expose me to some of that sort of treatment.

goldennib said...

In all seriousness, I would have loved free play.