Monday, 26 November 2012

The Opposite of Boring isn’t Fun, The Opposite of Boring is Interesting

The biggest crime, according to progressive education,
Is teaching children factual information.
That’s right, you heard it here first:
Teaching children factual information is the absolute worst.

Barely has a child’s first day in school begun
Than he learns the fundamental precept of progressive education, 
   namely: Forget the Facts, Pump Up the Fun!
Fun! Fun! Fun! Just think of all the fun! Away with the tedium of hard 
   work and perseverance,
The lesson must be fun or The Fun Police will be putting in an 
That’s right: The Fun Police are in control,
Trying to make Education the New Rock ‘n’ Roll.
The Fun Police, by the way, are inspectors, whose job it is to go into 
   schools complaining
That there’s far too much teaching and not nearly enough entertaining.

When you teach them English, don’t make them learn the parts of speech,
No – leave linguistic awareness beyond every child’s reach;
But do give them a certificate
To celebrate being illiterate.

When you teach them science, dispense with Bunsen burners,
In case you set fire to your eager little learners.
These days, The Most Fun You Can Have in Science
Is answering multiple choice questions about Health and Safety 
A cause of far more merriment,
Than any difficult experiment.

When you teach them French, don’t make them learn any actual words;
English children speaking French sound like trainee nerds.
“Excusez-moi, Monsieur, parlez-vous le Francais?” No! Give that child a 
Get him to do something utterly pointless, I mean fun, like colouring in a 
In whatever colour he feels it ought to be decorated,
(To suggest otherwise would be both elitist and antiquated).

Whatever the subject, the story’s the same:
Attendance at school should be one, big, fun game.
Which is just the sort of half-arsed thinking which leads us 
   mild-mannered teachers to go round spitting pedagogical invective,
For we all know that learning doesn’t have to be fun – it simply has to be 

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