I had a conversation with a friend this morning about my little kindergartener who is pretty bored in class. He is like most children his age and inquires about everything. He knows a lot of the information being systematically shoved at him and detests repetitive tasks. So far, though, he has not been a nuisance or harmed himself or anyone else, just bored. I would like to include that my son is in public school and we pay taxes, but I don’t think much of what we pay in taxes is actually making it into the school system, but that is a whole other beast and there are probably many blogs to address that subject.
After my conversation I began a similar one with my sister who is attending university to become a teacher and our subject of bored kindergarteners who are more advanced turned into a conversation about social acceptance and the emphasis put on it within the school system.
She has insider knowledge, of course, about what is going to be instructed in elementary education since she is being taught how to do this very instruction. I full and well know how cult like higher education can be about defending its purposes and motives. When I was at university a being taught marketing and public relations I was sickened by the way I was being instructed to systematically manipulate people and how giddy the professors were about this information, which was like we were these greater people being let in on a secret that isn’t even kept a secret. This stuff is known and people don’t even care.
Why do people not care anymore that others are manipulating them?
Where did this stem from?
What changed in the minds of the great American populace that took our independence and courage and convinced us to shove it into a closet to gather dust with all the other crap we don’t really need?
I have one thought on this and it is where my sister and I’s conversation ended up after a few minutes of discussing my son’s future in public education.
I majored in Sociology and took many courses on Psychology and logic, but my sister did not, she has only been taught elementary education, so we disagreed in the social acceptance arena.
She says that pushing a child up in grades is shied away from in public education because of social awkwardness. If a kid is around older children then they are less likely to be accepted socially then if the child is around same age peers. There would be a problem with social awkwardness.
I have a problem with that…first off, this is not a by the books blog post and these are the opinions of two women, that being said I am struck down on the social acceptance being a big priority in the school system. What is going on in the minds of people who believe that social acceptance is the means above all which helps make everything run smoothly? Why are people so scared of not being accepted?
This social acceptance ideal I believe is where in lies our problem as a society as a whole. My children do not need to be socially accepted to become honest and decent citizens of our country or this society or this world for that matter, and I wouldn’t want them to seek acceptance above their own creativity and passions. I say do what you like not what is accepted as long as you do not harm another person.
Our society says do what everyone else says and does because otherwise you won’t be socially accepted. Is this what has happened in corporate America? Where workers are just doing what the believed mindset is and not what is right? I can imagine it goes something like this: “Ah, we need to increase our profits or I will lose my job, so we are going to shut down our factory here in America and move it to a country where we can pay small children little to nothing and make gigantic profits and I will get a bonus.”
Is social acceptance so important that one would put it above their own morals and beliefs? That someone would teach their children above all else just try to be accepted. My sister argued that the kids need to learn to get along with other people for society to function, but this is not a logical argument. People do not have to agree to get along. I do not have to have the same opinions as others to get along with them. I do not have to accept everybody and I don’t think anyone should be forced to do the same. If you don’t like the way I dress you have every right to not like me and I have every right to accept that as your opinion.
I could go on for days about how I believe this theory of mine applies to many of the problems we have in society today, but I also must get back to my art since I am only two weeks away from the Cooper Young Festival in Memphis, TN and have way too many loose ends on some projects.
I will just leave anyone who happens across this blog with the idea that our society has become one large high school drama where being socially accepted is trumps morality or true values or abilities or genius or creativity and that is all I have to say about that.