[permaculture] Sustainability and invisible structures

Paul Kosuth prkosuth at ll.net
Thu Jul 13 09:06:34 EDT 2006

regarding school and home schooling.

I teach at a private non profit school for kids with learning 
disabilities and my daughter attends and has always attend public 
school. Over the years I have had no real qualms with her public school 
education: I have found her teachers, for the most part, to be 
committed, approachable and honest. I also find them to be trapped in a 
system that demands that they churn out a certain type of student, 
teach certain types of curriculum primarily geared to the world of 
"work." This mindset comes, I think, from top-down: business world to 
politicians to laws to teachers. The teachers i think become a pressure 
point for education: its where a lot of it happens, and where a lot of 
blame gets placed.

I think that I had a decent grade school education till 1972, and a 
good high school experience and then into college and grad school. What 
is being asked of teachers and students today is far and away greater 
than what was asked of me. My daughter had a more exposure to informal 
statistics by first grade than I ever had.  I think that public 
education does a decent job of creating a foundation. I think that this 
can be done in about 3-4 hours a day (like half day kindergarten used 
to be) but with the work world of parents, care givers, etc, kids need 
to be somewhere all day. I think that what really got me going and 
keeps me going are the intangibles that were created when I was young: 
getting into that big box of my brothers books (he was in the seminary 
for awhile: philosophy, the classics, foreign), going to the Chicago 
public library, hanging out in museums, fishing trips, starting to 
garden as an adult, still hanging out in the library when in college. 
This is what is needed; to create the intangibles with our kids while 
in education. As a teacher, I have so many students who just play on 
their game boy, never carry a novel with them, hate visiting museums, 
etc., and have grown up without those intangibles whose parents have 
left it all up to public education and every video game imaginable. I 
think every kid in the world is home schooled. How effective that home 
schooling is, is the issue. I agree that the exclusive home schoolers, 
for the most part, look really good. There is a huge network of 
cooperatives and home schoolers that I was unaware of and only became 
aware of recently. But it takes a devoted family, or family member to 
do this. Larger society doesn't support this I think.

Just some thoughts.

Paul K

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