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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000077.txt from 2001/02

From: David Glenn <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Venting again....
Date: Sat, 3 Feb 2001 19:27:36 -0500 wrote:

> -snip-

> I have an ax to grind here because I went to a private school where the idea
> of "entitlement" was in fashion. They had the idea that school should be fun
> and that kids were fragile and delicate and had to be coaxed. It was a
> disaster. They praised us all the time over nothing. All we had to do was
> show up and not kill each other. They had us stand up together in class and
> chant, "I AM somebody! I AM somebody!" IMHO you're nobody if you don't
> learn how to accomplish something. What you are is what you do.
> I thought school was easy and I was happy to get away with high grades for
> doing almost nothing. What a surprise when I got to college, and I had to
> take remedial English classes because basically I was illiterate, after being
> an honor student in high school. The high school diploma was worthless. I
> started college way behind kids who went to tougher schools. It was
> humiliating and twice as hard to have to go back and learn the high school
> work while trying to go to college at the same time. It shouldn't have been
> necessary. I wasn't stupid and I could have worked harder when I was
> younger. It was partly my fault because I wasn't mature enough to see that I
> should push myself, but how many kids won't get away with whatever they can?
> The adults needed to take charge and push me more. They were too afraid of
> discouraging me if they held me up to some standards.
> It was the same in music. We sounded like a riot in hell and the teachers
> and parents would clap and tell us how wonderful we were. It was bogus and
> we knew it. We didn't get *real* self-respect that way.
> I want my kids to go to a school where they give praise *when it's due* but
> where they also have some *expectations*. The kids need responsibilities,
> not just pats on the head. I think it's actually insulting to a smart kid to
> praise a failure and give a prize for it. It's better to explain what's not
> right and how to improve it. Otherwise the kid ends up thinking, "I must be
> stupid, because they've given up on me. If I had any potential, they'd
> expect more from me." Maybe that's not what was going on in this situation
> Bill Wright describes (sorry if I'm misreading it, Bill, I don't mean to jump
> on you about it), but I think ribbons and prizes should mean something and I
> think they should be saved for succeeding, not just for showing up.
> Cass Hill
> (delurking with flameproof moon suit)
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------


It seems to be a general tendency here in Germany to give kids more and
"freedom" (less guidance). It starts in Kindergarten where the schedule
has been
dumped. Kids can wander from one group to the other as they please, eat
sandwiches when and where they please (not together anymore) etc. Chaos
is being
sold as freedom.

I also know so-called music teachers in the area who go by one maxim: it
has to
be fun. I'm all for fun (and praise where appropriate) too but, just
like in
Kindergarten, the guidance is lacking. At the first crisis, the kids
want to give
up their instrument. I find it a disturbing tendency. And the results
are also


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