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The Forum > Article Comments > Students, red pens, and the State of a Nation > Comments

Students, red pens, and the State of a Nation : Comments

By Bill Muehlenberg, published 8/12/2008

Today ego and self-esteem are everything. And in the process, we are raising a generation who are going to have some major problems once they get into the real world.

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- Ja students need essential discipline and the institutionalised religious guilt of old Europe to prepare them for tomorrow the world?


- None of this American style individual liberty stuff or personal thought should be permitted to threaten the social fabric - Aye?
Posted by plantagenet, Monday, 8 December 2008 8:53:50 AM
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This 'self-esteem' stuff is more pervasive than just schools. Many middle class parents will not use the word 'No' with their children. I have seen toddlers repeatedly and patiently removed from a situation or distracted with other activities where a firm 'No' would have taught them that some things are just not allowed. The funny thing is that 'No' is one of the earliest words a child uses when it learns to talk - so they certainly understand it.

A newly trained kindergarten teacher once assured me that it was damaging to use a cross to mark something incorrect - she used a dot instead. She was otherwise a sensible person, so I can only assume that bit of nonsense was an example of university indoctrination.

I think it does far more for a child's self esteem to help them improve - spelling, behaviour, whatever. It shows them how to take charge of their life. However, you can't improve if no-one is allowed to tell you what's wrong.
Posted by Candide, Monday, 8 December 2008 9:20:56 AM
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It seems we could go a long way toward improving students self-image (and academic performance) if we freed them from the straightjackets of naturalism, materialism and anti-supernaturalism.

The article was actually going well until this turned up. Why not say it out loud and up front Bill?

1. Dont teach evolution, it'll lead to drugs and suicide
2. Theism will boost your ego
Posted by bennie, Monday, 8 December 2008 9:32:21 AM
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I agree with Bennie. Theism is authoritarian and that is the last thing any society needs.
I would go further and state that all religion is divisive. Any person proclaiming one religion is saying that every other religious belief is wrong. It is more likely that all such beliefs are wrong than that one particular belief is the only one that is correct.
I do agree that selfish materialism is not the key to a happy and fulfilling life. Contributing to the wellbeing of our society will help fulfil that personal need.
We need to teach our children the three Rs and to think clearly. The ability to seek and analyse information is the basis of a successful intellectual life.
Posted by Foyle, Monday, 8 December 2008 10:13:23 AM
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There is some truth in what Bill has to say but the old authoritarian ways are NOT THE ANSWER.

They never were.

Our HIStory books are proof of that especially this HIStory

http://jesusneverexisted.com

Perhaps we should make cadets compulsory for all students.
Remember how it was the "religious" schools that protested mightily when cadets was down-sized years ago.

And of course copious helpings of corporal punishment too, both at home and in school. That will teach them to behave and obey their elders and do what they are told.

And to thus look for scapegoats upon which to dump their collective pain and rage---school yard bullies anyone!

And to thus obediently march lock-step into the inevitable wars which such a fear and guilt saturated "culture" inevitably creates.

This reference provides a unique perspective on the origins and consequences of the "culture" of violence into which we all inducted ---all with the very best intentions of course!

http://www.nospank.net/fyog.htm

It should be compulsory reading for everyone.

The author argues that Hitler tapped into the enormous reservoir of repressed rage of the collective German psyche which was CAUSED by the child-"rearing" practices that had been the norm for centuries.

And copious lectures about "original sin" and how depraved humans beings really are. And how to hate and mistrust their own latent intrinsic intelligence.

Sin every where.

We all relate to all other beings and the entire world EXACTLY in the same way that we relate to our bodies. The world is an extension of and continuous with our bodies. There is no separation.

And how to hate their bodies and thus become crippled by guilt and shame just at the sheer simple fact of being bodily alive.

Love is open-hearted radiance which expresses itself in good-will and compassionate help to all beings.

When anyone, especially babies, toddlers, children are assaulted via corporal punishment their whole being, including their hearts (which is the seat of love) contracts in pain and self-defensiveness. All of the hurts thus become structured into their psyches and bodies.

And they begin to look like Bill in his dreadful sanity
Posted by Ho Hum, Monday, 8 December 2008 10:18:41 AM
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There is no doubt that a great deal of nonsense has entered the school system over the years.

Much of it is driven by fear. Adult fear, that is. Kids seem to be much the same as they ever were. If anything, thanks to vastly more exposure to the horrors of the world via TV, they are less surprised by some of life's grossness than previous generations.

But I had to chuckle - in fact I laughed out loud - at the clumsy attempt to bring religion into the mix, right at the end...

First, the classic lead-in.

>> If our worldview teaches us that we are simply a cosmic accident with no meaning or purpose, no history or destiny, no significance or value, then yeah, blowing your mind on drugs or committing suicide may seem like a pretty good idea.<<

The assumption is that meaning, purpose etc, are impossible, should we accept that we are purely a "cosmic accident". Which is arrant nonsense to anyone except a religious proselytiser.

>>Worldviews matter and bad worldviews lead to bad consequences<<

Once again, the assumption that a worldview that accepts the "cosmic accident" theory is by definition bad. Such arrogance.

But this takes the cake for logic:

>>Giving kids the awareness of something greater, grander, and more mysterious than only themselves might do their fragile egos a whole lot more good than chucking out all of our red marking pens.<<

Oh, please.

Surely it is far more logical that an ego will, faced with "something greater, grander, and more mysterious", become more, not less, fragile?

It is sad that an important topic such as this should be buried under the godbothering blanket.
Posted by Pericles, Monday, 8 December 2008 10:31:28 AM
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