Fleeting moments of clarity

The New Neo reports on George Packer's description of the moral dilemmas of parents trying to run their kids through public wokeschool.  Packer wants to stay in the fold, but now and then a bit of cognitive rigor intrudes:
Adults who draft young children into their cause might think they’re empowering them and shaping them into virtuous people (a friend calls the Instagram photos parents post of their woke kids “selflessies”). In reality the adults are making themselves feel more righteous, indulging another form of narcissistic pride, expiating their guilt, and shifting the load of their own anxious battles onto children who can’t carry the burden, because they lack the intellectual apparatus and political power. Our goal shouldn’t be to tell children what to think. The point is to teach them how to think so they can grow up to find their own answers.
I wished that our son’s school would teach him civics.
Then he goes back to Trump-bashing.
Packer is sad and he’s bewildered. He doesn’t really know how this all came up, doesn’t connect the dots, and he doesn’t know what to do. The idea that the right has some answers never really occurs to him. I sympathize with him in his struggle, and wonder where it may ultimately lead. At the moment, the cognitive dissonance is fierce.


J Melcher said...

It's unfortunate that for many families the first priority for their kids is unspoken, un-examined and maybe even un-recognized: the parents want day care. The parents want to be out, among other adults, doing interesting and fulfilling things. And to enable that priority, the kids must be sent away, somewhere, into someone else's custody.

To be sure it is to be hoped that the custodians will accomplish something useful in the development of the children's life. But that desire is at best secondary.

It may be tertiary. It's also hoped the kids will grow into physically healthy adults -- and the most obvious indicators of health are sport competitions and parade-like events of marching and dance and drill-and-ceremony. So the football players and band and cheer leaders and baton twirlers are on display showing how healthy their custodians are keeping them ... Not that football nor baton twirling nor marching in formation while playing a piccolo will provide much if any foundation for success in later life.. But as a snapshot in time of good health, such events are hard to beat.

It's MUCH harder to observe how well a child (in someone else's custody) is getting difficult concepts into memory and making reasonable inferences about connections relating such concepts. When actually sitting with a student and discussing binomials or Othello or robber barons -- an adult can usually see when "the light come on" in a student's mind as a lesson takes hold. It's an interesting and fulfilling experience. But not one much appreciated among adult peers. Tell people you're "Home schooling" and see if they look at you admiringly or start to edge away.

Gringo said...

George Packer didn't notice that Bill Ayers thought(radical/lefty/commit/progressive) - Bill is a retired Ed School professor- has been percolating through the Ed Schools- and thus into teachers' minds- for decades.