Interesting one from Chuckles about children and play:
For more than 50 years now, we in the United States have been gradually reducing children’s opportunities to play, and the same is true in many other countries. In his book Children at Play: An American History (2007), Howard Chudacoff refers to the first half of the 20th century as the ‘golden age’ of children’s free play.
By about 1900, the need for child labour had declined, so children had a good deal of free time. But then, beginning around 1960 or a little before, adults began chipping away at that freedom by increasing the time that children had to spend at schoolwork and, even more significantly, by reducing children’s freedom to play on their own, even when they were out of school and not doing homework.
Adult-directed sports for children began to replace ‘pickup’ games; adult-directed classes out of school began to replace hobbies; and parents’ fears led them, ever more, to forbid children from going out to play with other kids, away from home, unsupervised.
There are lots of reasons for these changes but the effect, over the decades, has been a continuous and ultimately dramatic decline in children’s opportunities to play and explore in their own chosen ways.
Over the same decades that children’s play has been declining, childhood mental disorders have been increasing.
Not arguing, quite the opposite but two things.
1. Much of what is now deemed “play” online is mind sewage and children are now open to every bit of filth professional crims want to push onto them. The conduit is in place – online – and it is beyond parents’ control, even if they wish to control it. The pusher is the new parent.
Dylan: “Your sons and your daughters are beyond your control,” just as he wished it to be. In those days, there were still sound residual values left in us.
2. There was a book called Let Them Run a Little, a bible for the new open plan educators in the 70s. It was a lie. The lie was in “a little”. That diminution of what was really going on – throwing out the three Rs, throwing out the need to study or even be educated, was quite wicked and yet it was people in high places, with cushy jobs who were pushing it.
Everyone in teacher training knew about Neill’s Summerhill and the leftist teachers all smiled upon it as a noble idea. No one stood up, no one at all and said it was a licence to licentiousness, that children, by the very fact of being children, were not in a position to make calls like that.
Sure play is vital and taking children’s breaktimes is anathema in my book – there are other ways to ensure discipline. Play is critical for kids. Yet saying to kids that in their infinite wisdom, they’re completely free to attend or not attend – whaaaaaaa? Maths teacher is teaching fractions and decimals, he’s got to the next stage, child decides to play today, comes back tomorrow but has missed the critical link from that to decimals – it’s madness.
So his formal education is a series of bites, dabbles into the fields and he ends up ignorant and unable to pass exams which, rightly or wrongly, are the primary method of assessment at higher levels, with dissertations taking over after that.
What this pillar of the community who wrote this book was doing was criminal through either ignorance or design or “getting with the narrative” or being the dupe for the narrative or whatever. It was still wrong and will those children, the victims ever get their education now? A real education I mean. Have some managed, despite the leftist system?
Toddlers most certainly learn through mother, father and play, through repetition, through verse and fun but they also need the sessions with the flashcards – Aa, Bb, Cc etc. Two twos are four, three twos are six, four twos are 39 point 3-7 to the nth power, remainder twelve.
The damage, the damage. The dumbing down which was done in the 70s through to the 90s, the process being completed now. It’s headshakingly dire.
Children’s play is crucial, innocent play away from dark world porn and drugs. Playing on swings, bikeriding, being supercop etc. But also vital is systematic literacy, numeracy and introduction to the formal sciences, not to mention the classics, art – well OK, a liberal arts education, spiced with the practical.
Do we need more people who are good at memorising answers to questions and feeding them back? Who dutifully do what they are told, no questions asked?
Yep, sure do. Rote learning has a place, as anyone who ever chanted tables knows. Every player on a football field is also a product of gruelling repetition, fitting into the gameplan. Yes, there’s very much a place for it. Not to the exclusion of all else but a balance.
While their schools [the Asians] have been great at getting students to score well on tests, they have been terrible at producing graduates who are creative or have a real zest for learning.
Balance. That’s what it needs, esp. in primary where specialization is still a few years away. I found, in Russia, that they were great at regurgitating long tracts learnt the night before but not so good at the lateral thinking, the intuitive thinking and yet some of the greatest lateral thinkers, solvers of problems, have been Russian.
There’s a case for a mix of styles.
Unfortunately, as we move increasingly toward standardised curricula, and as we occupy ever more of our children’s time with schoolwork, our educational results indeed are becoming more like those of the Asian countries.
No, no, no – the issue is not just the standardized curriculum but what’s in it. When it becomes more than about a quarter ideological, as the Soviet books were, then that is where the World Core Curriculum is headed – it is heavily political, biased towards The Narrative and forced on children from an early age.
The author does not even touch on that.
None of these people would have discovered their passions in a standard school, where extensive, free play does not occur. In a standard school, everyone has to do the same things as everyone else. Even those who do develop an interest in something taught in school learn to tame it because, when the bell rings, they have to move on to something else.
Valid to a point.
To have a happy marriage, or good friends, or helpful work partners, we need to know how to get along with other people: perhaps the most essential skill all children must learn for a satisfying life. In hunter-gatherer bands, at Sudbury Valley School, and everywhere that children have regular access to other children, most play is social play. Social play is the academy for learning social skills.
No, no, no again. When the social play becomes almost everything, when the rote skills and the cognitive are dirty words, knowledge and ability, which is what education supposedly produces, is lost [there are posts on the old blog]. But worse is the mindset of the people posing as teachers who are in there indoctrinating the children instead of educating them.
And it is not the teacher’s job to replace the parent.
The golden rule of social play is not ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ Rather, it’s something much more difficult: ‘Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.’ To do that, you have to get into other people’s minds and see from their points of view.
Not arguing – of course that’s so but that is not the central issue here. Any good teacher will incorporate good values like that into the lessons – and by the way, will acknowledge the source too instead of pretending it doesn’t exist – but it is the whole curriculum which is the issue and how much social learning plays a part. For all the brainwashing and indoctrination by leftist teachers, children emerge with exactly the same prejudices and reservations after it if that hammering ignores the reality of life.
Many of the comments on that article by laymen were depressing.