Especially when it comes to education, I am a traditionalist bordering on conservative. I don’t believe in things like drilling dates and numbers into kids without giving them the tools to understand the important concepts behind math, literature, history, etc. But what I am against is classrooms that allow just anything to go. I don’t see anything wrong with uniforms in school, and I think we ought to give teachers a heck of a lot more power than they have now. Which leads me to this article discussing the growth of Montessori style schools. A few years ago, Montessori schools were profiled on 60 Minutes, and if it’s anything like that it’s a big ball of stupidity. The idea that the majority of kids are going to choose to do schoolwork versus screwing around is batty. When I was young I was what you would call studious, nerdy, etc. and I actually liked school. But if I had been given a choice, I would have messed around. That’s what kids do.
This seems to represent what I hate most of the ’60s ethos, a misguided reaction to the oppressive ’50s where “anything goes” became the motto of too many. No, kids shouldn’t be stuck in a gulag disguised as a school — but the classroom shouldn’t look like a miniature version of Haight-Ashbury either.