Monday, 28 July 2008

Education and the power of fear

To Miss With Love has an excellent piece about why children turn from obedient year 6's into lippy year 7's. The reason appears to be that
"these children have been told just how strict secondary school is going to be. They have been read lists of rules and consequences, by several different people. They have been told how lucky they are to be at this school, and they know that they should be grateful. They don't want to jeopardize their places at this wonderful school which they and their parents fought so hard to get into. They are frightened on so many levels..... Come September of course, these children will still behave angelically. They will be angels for about 4 to 6 weeks. Over that time, reality will slowly dawn on them. They will begin to notice that while school SAYS that X is expected, in reality, it is not. While school SAYS that X behaviour will result in one losing one's place at the school, in reality, rarely, if ever, does a child get permanently excluded."

As Miss Snuffleupagus says at the beginning of her article
"Fear of getting caught does not have an effect on crime they say. Fear of punishment is not a deterrent they say. Well, I'm not too sure about what they say."

One of the troubles with this Country is that we are no longer allowed to make anyone feel uncomfortable lest they complain or sue. Fear is a good motivator to keep people law-abiding, but it is not a weapon that we have in our armoury any more.

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