From Dumbing Us Down:
Children learn what they live. Put kids in a class and they will live out their lives in an invisible cage, isolated from their chance at community; interrupt kids with bells and horns all the time and they will learn that nothing is important; force them to plead for the natural right to the toilet and they will become liars and toadies; ridicule them and t[hey will retreat from human association; shame tem and they will find a hundred ways to get even. The habits taught in large-scale organizations are deadly.
From The Underground History of American Education:
Here is my recipe for empty children:
- Remove children from the business of the world until time has passed for them to learn how to self-teach.
- Age-grade them so that past and future both are muted and become irrelevant.
- Take all religion out of their lives except the hidden civil religion of appetite, and positive/negative reinforcement schedules.
- Remove all significant functions from home and family life excpt its role as dormitory and casual companionship. Make parents unpaid agents of the State; recruit them into partnerships to monitor the conformity of children to an official agenda.
- Keep children under surveillance every minute from dawn till dusk. Give no private space or time. Fill time with collective activities. Record behavior quantitatively.
- Addict the young to machinery and electronic displays. Teac that these are desirable to recreaction and learning both.
- Use designed games and commercial entertainment to teach preplanned habits, attitudes, and language usage.
- Pair the selling of merchandise with attractive females in their prime childbearing years so that the valences of lovemaking and mothering can be transferred intact to the goods vended.
- Remove as much private ritual as possible from young lives, such as the rituals of food preparation and family dining.
- Keep both parents employed with the business of strangers. Discourage independent livelihoods with low start-up costs. Make labor for others and outside obligations first priority, self-development second.
- Grade, evaluate, and assess childen constantly and publicly. Begin early. Make sure everyone knows his or her rank.
- Honor the highly graded. Keep grading and real-world accomplishment as strictly separate as possible so that a false meritocracy, dependent on the support of authority to continue, is created. Push the most independent kids to the margin; do not tolerate real argument.
- Forbid the efficient transmission of useful knowledge, such as how to build a house, repair a car, make a dress.
- Reward dependency in many forms. Call it "teamwork".
- Establish visually-degraded environments called "schools" and arrange mass movements through these environments at regular intervals. Encourage a level of fluctuating noise (aperiodic negative reinforcement) so that concentration, habits of civil discourse, and intellectual investigation are gradually extinguished from the behavioral repertoire.