The carrot and the stick
Mr M. slapped a pupil in the face at the assembly before close of school yesterday.
I don't know what the kid did to deserve that treatment - but corporal punishment is against the law in this country. And what he did more-or-less constitutes assault, anyway. To the same extent I was assaulted by police in the charge office last year.
He wouldn't have realized that I was watching... while setting up email for a couple of students on the side of the classroom facing the courtyard.
It brings back all sorts of bad memories and I will confront him. He's the authoritarian despot I thought I'd have a problem with. "Yes Teacher!"
I operate under impulses instilled by the education system and am as such a victim as much an exception: exception because I could not actually -do- schoolwork, and sat in the back of the class devouring scifi novels instead; and a victim because of the guilt associated with -never- doing homework. (Unless it was something interesting like re-assembling a fish skeleton for a biology project, or writing English essays... which I managed mediocrely.)
I was also an exception because I did music... at a rugby oriented boy's boarding school.
I'm not certain whether it was something specific that completely turned me off "learning" - or whether it's just some form of ADD that made me unable to listen like the rest... that made the words slide off the page meaninglessly - but I suspect it was John Schenk who sealed a betrayal of the hierarchy -of sorts- for me - and invalidated all the traditional teaching materials and methodologies. He was our std. 4 class teacher, and one day he had the boys come up to his desk and stand beside him while testing our Afrikaans spelling. For each incorrect letter we received a 'cut' on our leg with his cane. It was winter so most of us had longs on and I just got a couple of welts, but Gaitan Antfield (who was wearing shorts) had 2 or 3 bleeders.
I've been seething about these types of indoctrinations for a long time now, so my perceptions are colored by my conclusions and my anger... and as a result may be tinged with an uncomfortable degree of fervor.
I've been involved with CBT for quite some time because the company I owned maintained the 40-station computer lab at TRINSET (Transkei in-service teacher's training college) from 1990 until 1995 or so... and we also started a small (20 station) training division ourselves in 1993 (which broke even in 6 months)... So I've had a bit of practical experience with stuff... from writing step-by-step hands-on manuals - to maintaining full blown LMSs like PLATO (Novell/DOS, though... years ago)... But my passion never actually ignited until I read Neal Stephenson's Diamond Age (A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer) in about 1998/9.
The degree of cultural assimilation with technology that would appear a natural path of evolution (transhumanism perhaps - which scares most 'naturalists' witless) is a long way off in the future. Probably millennia - although it could be argued that it exists in it's fundamental form as an abstract reality already.