Very Important Article about School as Abuse and Education as Art. It is a must read even though it makes it sound like Ritalin and Adderall are evil.
Let’s not get distracted by disputes about the efficacy of various drugs. In some cases they have proven beneficial, and many of those who prescribe them are competent and responsible and at least doing no harm.
The deeper message is that parents, led by school systems have an abusive propensity to assume that what adults are subjecting children to is good and natural. With this faulty mindset it is easy to act as if attention to it is functional and distraction from it is dysfunction.
In this frame of mind school and community collaboratively default to a medical model. We then diagnose and prescribe in an attempt to cure a disease–even though, whatever the problem is, it isn’t a disease.
Each challenge that a teacher gives a student causes an interaction. That interaction is manifest in student behavior that needs to be understood uniquely and learned from. Both teacher and learner need to do some learning.
When the teacher is the constant and the student is the variable–and some variables are dysfunctional–we are doing damage to children. The fact that most children are so resilient that they develop immune systems to such abuse, does not free us to ignore its abusiveness.
Thank you for this fabulous reminder about the complexity and uniqueness of humans and the distortions and even damage that an educational system can commit.