Two things struck me. The first that there seems to be little room for initiative. I mean real initiative beyond using a different colour for something. Castles, islands, knights, maps… all slightly different but essentially the same.
You get good marks for meeting the set criteria.
Seth Godin talks about this:
Compliance is simple to measure, simple to test for and simple to teach. Punish non-compliance, reward obedience and repeat.
Initiative is very difficult to teach to 28 students in a quiet classroom. It’s difficult to brag about in a school board meeting. And it’s a huge pain in the neck to do reliably.
Schools like teaching compliance. They’re pretty good at it.
On the wall in each class was a chart asking parents the elements they think should be present to make the school a successful learning environment.
It was an interesting list and I wish I had taken a quick photo of it. Coherent curriculum, rewarding success, respect, justice….
and also creativity, transferring skills, initiative…
I put my stars there. But I was almost the only one. Most parents preferred compliance.
I wonder if church is the same?
‘That’s not how we do that’ ‘That’s so-and-so’s job’ ‘We tried that once and it didn’t work’ ‘This is what the parable means’
Are we teaching compliance? It is easier after all.