ALTERNATIVES Exploring Options in Policy and Practice

16Jan/120

Kids Don’t Want to Learn? Why Not Pay Them?

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We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the class room
Teachers leave those kids alone -- Pink Floyd

When students don't do their homework, don't pay attention, are disruptive, cut class, or play hooky, we talk about them as "not wanting to learn." We jump to the conclusion that such students don't want to learn anything at anytime in any place for any reason, when, in fact, it may be that a particular student doesn't want to learn a particular thing in a particular place at a particular time for a particular reason.

Do we even bother to recognize that students, just like we adults, have their own priorities? And if we adults think our priorities should override the kids' is it anything much more than a matter of our convenience? (Of course, we always say, "But it's for their own good!" Really?)

What adults would sit confined, having to ask permission just to relieve themselves, for five or more hours a day for no pay, even in the unlikely case they believed it would do them some longterm good?

For more on this see Dragons, Sea Monsters, and Kids Who Don't Want to Learn

Cordially,

-- EGR

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