Wednesday, March 14, 2012

School Vs. Prison

This morning I read this interesting article on Jeff's Blog that compares schools to prisons. I especially love the diagram of a current school design contrasted with a prison from the 1880s. (And by contrasted, I mean held up in striking comparison.) The school that Bonnie attended through second grade was set up very similarly to the prison shown. As the author says, "Terminology may differ, but both structures focus on controlling, separating, and restricting their inhabitants."

Flashbacks to my visits to Bonnie's school include Kindergarteners walking straight lines (that were painted onto the floor) through hallways while being completely silent. Lunchrooms full of primary aged kids that were eerily quiet because the strict schedule didn't allow for time to talk to friends. Classrooms full of kids sitting in assigned seats, often with the intent goal of placing students near someone they would not be tempted to talk to. Timed visits to the small artificial playground.

Hmm. I've never thought of it before, but it's not hard to see the similarities. Does this make anyone long for the socialization offered by traditional school?

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