Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why Schools Don't Ask Students To Analyze: A Minor Musing

John Spencer recently tweeted, "Students are rarely asked to analyze the political, social and business systems shaping their tech experience."  He's absolutely right.  Further, it's a situation that's morally indefensible.

But, no one will start teaching students to analyze those systems or anything else for that matter anytime soon.  One can see a major reason for this unfortunate fact in the debt ceiling fiasco that illustrates the partisan chasm that turns every discussion about politics, society, and the economy into an shouting match.

This situation has prompted a desire to unleash my "Weird L K.ankovic" side and do a little Hamlet parody to further illustrate the point.
To teach analysis; ay, there's the rub,
For ending sleep and dreams will give good to some
When they have seen imperfections of their home soil,
But it does give us pause. A lost respect
That makes a calamity to teach the young to analyze life.
For which teachers, who shall bear the whips and scorns in time,
Th' politician's wrong, the business leader's contumely
The helicopter mom's short sighted love, the law's delay,
The insolent principal's office, and the spurns
That they who demand systematic merit pay now make
When they themselves need paychecks for their own sake
To avoid a bare larder?  Who would lessons prepare
To urge the light given by an examined life,
But that the dread of nothing after professional death,
The job as Walmart Greeter from whose post
No one has ever returned puzzles the will,
And makes us continue the ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of.
Now that that's out of the way, I've got to start thinking about questions I can ask about Hamlet, detective novels, and myths to make students think about the political, social, and economic systems shaping their experiences including but not limited to tech.

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