View Active Topics          Latest 100 Topics          View Your Posts          Switch to Mobile

Brilliant essay about why high school is cruel to nerds

Discuss Other Topics not related to the Paranormal or Conspiracies (within reason of course).

Brilliant essay about why high school is cruel to nerds

Postby Scepcop » 14 Aug 2009, 01:58

Hi folks,
For anyone who's ever suffered in high school or been persecuted, this article makes sense of it all. It's a MUST READ! This is the BEST article I've ever seen about why nerds and smart teens are persecuted in high school and why the whole high school system is insane, dysfunctional, unnatural and prison-like. Many mysteries about the high school system, which we were taught never to question, are explained, from the reason high school exists to how it evolved in the industrial era. And the social hierarchy in high school and why it is savage, divisive and self-destructive, is explained very well too.

It is very insightful, accurate, true, no-nonsense and logical. Every sentence makes perfect sense and is well-written, easy to read and follow. In short, it makes perfect sense out of a seemingly insane system that we were forced to endure.

If you only read one article about the high school social and psychological system, this one would be enough. I wish all public school teachers and parents would read it, as it would enlighten their paradigm as to what's really going on in the system.

The author, Paul Graham, is highly intelligent and a multi-millionaire I heard, after he sold the world's largest webstore to Yahoo for $45 million. Obviously, he was a persecuted nerd in high school too, that's why he was able to look deeper and understand the whole system from the outside. After all, it is those suffering under a system who try to look deeper into it to find out what's wrong with it, not those who are enjoying it or reaping benefits from it.

Here is the link to it and some of my favorite excerpts from it:

http://paulgraham.com/nerds.html

(Here he explains why nerds are persecuted)

"Around the age of eleven, though, kids seem to start treating their family as a day job. They create a new world among themselves, and standing in this world is what matters, not standing in their family. Indeed, being in trouble in their family can win them points in the world they care about.

The problem is, the world these kids create for themselves is at first a very crude one. If you leave a bunch of eleven-year-olds to their own devices, what you get is Lord of the Flies. Like a lot of American kids, I read this book in school. Presumably it was not a coincidence. Presumably someone wanted to point out to us that we were savages, and that we had made ourselves a cruel and stupid world. This was too subtle for me. While the book seemed entirely believable, I didn't get the additional message. I wish they had just told us outright that we were savages and our world was stupid.

Nerds would find their unpopularity more bearable if it merely caused them to be ignored. Unfortunately, to be unpopular in school is to be actively persecuted.

Why? Once again, anyone currently in school might think this a strange question to ask. How could things be any other way? But they could be. Adults don't normally persecute nerds. Why do teenage kids do it?

Partly because teenagers are still half children, and many children are just intrinsically cruel. Some torture nerds for the same reason they pull the legs off spiders. Before you develop a conscience, torture is amusing.

Another reason kids persecute nerds is to make themselves feel better. When you tread water, you lift yourself up by pushing water down. Likewise, in any social hierarchy, people unsure of their own position will try to emphasize it by maltreating those they think rank below. I've read that this is why poor whites in the United States are the group most hostile to blacks.

But I think the main reason other kids persecute nerds is that it's part of the mechanism of popularity. Popularity is only partially about individual attractiveness. It's much more about alliances. To become more popular, you need to be constantly doing things that bring you close to other popular people, and nothing brings people closer than a common enemy.

Like a politician who wants to distract voters from bad times at home, you can create an enemy if there isn't a real one. By singling out and persecuting a nerd, a group of kids from higher in the hierarchy create bonds between themselves. Attacking an outsider makes them all insiders. This is why the worst cases of bullying happen with groups. Ask any nerd: you get much worse treatment from a group of kids than from any individual bully, however sadistic.

If it's any consolation to the nerds, it's nothing personal. The group of kids who band together to pick on you are doing the same thing, and for the same reason, as a bunch of guys who get together to go hunting. They don't actually hate you. They just need something to chase.

Because they're at the bottom of the scale, nerds are a safe target for the entire school. If I remember correctly, the most popular kids don't persecute nerds; they don't need to stoop to such things. Most of the persecution comes from kids lower down, the nervous middle classes.

The trouble is, there are a lot of them. The distribution of popularity is not a pyramid, but tapers at the bottom like a pear. The least popular group is quite small. (I believe we were the only D table in our cafeteria map.) So there are more people who want to pick on nerds than there are nerds.
....................................

(Public school teachers and prison wardens)

It's important to realize that, no, the adults don't know what the kids are doing to one another. They know, in the abstract, that kids are monstrously cruel to one another, just as we know in the abstract that people get tortured in poorer countries. But, like us, they don't like to dwell on this depressing fact, and they don't see evidence of specific abuses unless they go looking for it.

Public school teachers are in much the same position as prison wardens. Wardens' main concern is to keep the prisoners on the premises. They also need to keep them fed, and as far as possible prevent them from killing one another. Beyond that, they want to have as little to do with the prisoners as possible, so they leave them to create whatever social organization they want. From what I've read, the society that the prisoners create is warped, savage, and pervasive, and it is no fun to be at the bottom of it.

In outline, it was the same at the schools I went to. The most important thing was to stay on the premises. While there, the authorities fed you, prevented overt violence, and made some effort to teach you something. But beyond that they didn't want to have too much to do with the kids. Like prison wardens, the teachers mostly left us to ourselves. And, like prisoners, the culture we created was barbaric.
.................................

(Why nerds are like adults)

As a thirteen-year-old kid, I didn't have much more experience of the world than what I saw immediately around me. The warped little world we lived in was, I thought, the world. The world seemed cruel and boring, and I'm not sure which was worse.

Because I didn't fit into this world, I thought that something must be wrong with me. I didn't realize that the reason we nerds didn't fit in was that in some ways we were a step ahead. We were already thinking about the kind of things that matter in the real world, instead of spending all our time playing an exacting but mostly pointless game like the others.

We were a bit like an adult would be if he were thrust back into middle school. He wouldn't know the right clothes to wear, the right music to like, the right slang to use. He'd seem to the kids a complete alien. The thing is, he'd know enough not to care what they thought. We had no such confidence.
.....................................

(I love this part where he explains how high school is in reality a prison that the kids aren't told about)

I didn't really grasp it at the time, but the whole world we lived in was as fake as a Twinkie. Not just school, but the entire town. Why do people move to suburbia? To have kids! So no wonder it seemed boring and sterile. The whole place was a giant nursery, an artificial town created explicitly for the purpose of breeding children.

Where I grew up, it felt as if there was nowhere to go, and nothing to do. This was no accident. Suburbs are deliberately designed to exclude the outside world, because it contains things that could endanger children.

And as for the schools, they were just holding pens within this fake world. Officially the purpose of schools is to teach kids. In fact their primary purpose is to keep kids locked up in one place for a big chunk of the day so adults can get things done. And I have no problem with this: in a specialized industrial society, it would be a disaster to have kids running around loose.

What bothers me is not that the kids are kept in prisons, but that (a) they aren't told about it, and (b) the prisons are run mostly by the inmates. Kids are sent off to spend six years memorizing meaningless facts in a world ruled by a caste of giants who run after an oblong brown ball, as if this were the most natural thing in the world. And if they balk at this surreal cocktail, they're called misfits.
.................................

(Here he describes misplaced blame on puberty)

Adults can't avoid seeing that teenage kids are tormented. So why don't they do something about it? Because they blame it on puberty. The reason kids are so unhappy, adults tell themselves, is that monstrous new chemicals, hormones, are now coursing through their bloodstream and messing up everything. There's nothing wrong with the system; it's just inevitable that kids will be miserable at that age.

This idea is so pervasive that even the kids believe it, which probably doesn't help. Someone who thinks his feet naturally hurt is not going to stop to consider the possibility that he is wearing the wrong size shoes.

I'm suspicious of this theory that thirteen-year-old kids are intrinsically messed up. If it's physiological, it should be universal. Are Mongol nomads all nihilists at thirteen? I've read a lot of history, and I have not seen a single reference to this supposedly universal fact before the twentieth century. Teenage apprentices in the Renaissance seem to have been cheerful and eager. They got in fights and played tricks on one another of course (Michelangelo had his nose broken by a bully), but they weren't crazy.

As far as I can tell, the concept of the hormone-crazed teenager is coeval with suburbia. I don't think this is a coincidence. I think teenagers are driven crazy by the life they're made to lead. Teenage apprentices in the Renaissance were working dogs. Teenagers now are neurotic lapdogs. Their craziness is the craziness of the idle everywhere.
....................................

(Here he compares teenagers in the past vs. today)

Teenage kids used to have a more active role in society. In pre-industrial times, they were all apprentices of one sort or another, whether in shops or on farms or even on warships. They weren't left to create their own societies. They were junior members of adult societies.

Teenagers seem to have respected adults more then, because the adults were the visible experts in the skills they were trying to learn. Now most kids have little idea what their parents do in their distant offices, and see no connection (indeed, there is precious little) between schoolwork and the work they'll do as adults.

And if teenagers respected adults more, adults also had more use for teenagers. After a couple years' training, an apprentice could be a real help. Even the newest apprentice could be made to carry messages or sweep the workshop.

Now adults have no immediate use for teenagers. They would be in the way in an office. So they drop them off at school on their way to work, much as they might drop the dog off at a kennel if they were going away for the weekend.
..................................

(Why high school exists)

Teenagers now are useless, except as cheap labor in industries like fast food, which evolved to exploit precisely this fact. In almost any other kind of work, they'd be a net loss. But they're also too young to be left unsupervised. Someone has to watch over them, and the most efficient way to do this is to collect them together in one place. Then a few adults can watch all of them.

If you stop there, what you're describing is literally a prison, albeit a part-time one. The problem is, many schools practically do stop there. The stated purpose of schools is to educate the kids. But there is no external pressure to do this well. And so most schools do such a bad job of teaching that the kids don't really take it seriously-- not even the smart kids. Much of the time we were all, students and teachers both, just going through the motions.
....................................

(Here he explains why the social hierarchy and rankings in high school are insane, divisive and self-destructive)

In almost any group of people you'll find hierarchy. When groups of adults form in the real world, it's generally for some common purpose, and the leaders end up being those who are best at it. The problem with most schools is, they have no purpose. But hierarchy there must be. And so the kids make one out of nothing.

We have a phrase to describe what happens when rankings have to be created without any meaningful criteria. We say that the situation degenerates into a popularity contest. And that's exactly what happens in most American schools. Instead of depending on some real test, one's rank depends mostly on one's ability to increase one's rank. It's like the court of Louis XIV. There is no external opponent, so the kids become one another's opponents.

When there is some real external test of skill, it isn't painful to be at the bottom of the hierarchy. A rookie on a football team doesn't resent the skill of the veteran; he hopes to be like him one day and is happy to have the chance to learn from him. The veteran may in turn feel a sense of noblesse oblige. And most importantly, their status depends on how well they do against opponents, not on whether they can push the other down.

Court hierarchies are another thing entirely. This type of society debases anyone who enters it. There is neither admiration at the bottom, nor noblesse oblige at the top. It's kill or be killed.

This is the sort of society that gets created in American secondary schools. And it happens because these schools have no real purpose beyond keeping the kids all in one place for a certain number of hours each day. What I didn't realize at the time, and in fact didn't realize till very recently, is that the twin horrors of school life, the cruelty and the boredom, both have the same cause.
....................................

Nerds aren't the only losers in the popularity rat race. Nerds are unpopular because they're distracted. There are other kids who deliberately opt out because they're so disgusted with the whole process.

Teenage kids, even rebels, don't like to be alone, so when kids opt out of the system, they tend to do it as a group. At the schools I went to, the focus of rebellion was drug use, specifically marijuana. The kids in this tribe wore black concert t-shirts and were called "freaks."

Freaks and nerds were allies, and there was a good deal of overlap between them. Freaks were on the whole smarter than other kids, though never studying (or at least never appearing to) was an important tribal value. I was more in the nerd camp, but I was friends with a lot of freaks.

They used drugs, at least at first, for the social bonds they created. It was something to do together, and because the drugs were illegal, it was a shared badge of rebellion.

I'm not claiming that bad schools are the whole reason kids get into trouble with drugs. After a while, drugs have their own momentum. No doubt some of the freaks ultimately used drugs to escape from other problems-- trouble at home, for example. But, in my school at least, the reason most kids started using drugs was rebellion. Fourteen-year-olds didn't start smoking pot because they'd heard it would help them forget their problems. They started because they wanted to join a different tribe.

Misrule breeds rebellion; this is not a new idea. And yet the authorities still for the most part act as if drugs were themselves the cause of the problem.

(Here he gives some last words of consoling advice and hope)

The real problem is the emptiness of school life. We won't see solutions till adults realize that. The adults who may realize it first are the ones who were themselves nerds in school. Do you want your kids to be as unhappy in eighth grade as you were? I wouldn't. Well, then, is there anything we can do to fix things? Almost certainly. There is nothing inevitable about the current system. It has come about mostly by default.

Adults, though, are busy. Showing up for school plays is one thing. Taking on the educational bureaucracy is another. Perhaps a few will have the energy to try to change things. I suspect the hardest part is realizing that you can.

Nerds still in school should not hold their breath. Maybe one day a heavily armed force of adults will show up in helicopters to rescue you, but they probably won't be coming this month. Any immediate improvement in nerds' lives is probably going to have to come from the nerds themselves.

Merely understanding the situation they're in should make it less painful. Nerds aren't losers. They're just playing a different game, and a game much closer to the one played in the real world. Adults know this. It's hard to find successful adults now who don't claim to have been nerds in high school.

It's important for nerds to realize, too, that school is not life. School is a strange, artificial thing, half sterile and half feral. It's all-encompassing, like life, but it isn't the real thing. It's only temporary, and if you look, you can see beyond it even while you're still in it.

If life seems awful to kids, it's neither because hormones are turning you all into monsters (as your parents believe), nor because life actually is awful (as you believe). It's because the adults, who no longer have any economic use for you, have abandoned you to spend years cooped up together with nothing real to do. Any society of that type is awful to live in. You don't have to look any further to explain why teenage kids are unhappy.

I've said some harsh things in this essay, but really the thesis is an optimistic one-- that several problems we take for granted are in fact not insoluble after all. Teenage kids are not inherently unhappy monsters. That should be encouraging news to kids and adults both.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
User avatar
Scepcop
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3256
Joined: 16 May 2009, 07:29






Re: Brilliant essay about why high school is savage for nerds

Postby NinjaPuppy » 14 Aug 2009, 06:04

Very good article.

Back in the day I had a job at the age of 14 and got out of early to go to my job. This was done by the school arranging my schedule to exclude the worthless 'study period' which was a class period of absolutely nothing and putting me on the late lunch schedule that I was not required to attend.

I was working as a dental assistant, 5 hours a day, 3 days a week and 8 hours on Saturday. I never bothered to apply for 'working papers' either.
User avatar
NinjaPuppy
 
Posts: 4002
Joined: 28 Jul 2009, 20:44

Re: Brilliant essay about why high school is savage for nerds

Postby brett » 16 Aug 2009, 16:17

yep a very insightful article - i guess those of us who dropped out of the "rat race " at a young age will appreciate it more - in my case at 15 i left school and started work in the adult world ( boy a sharp learning curve ) - guess i must have been a "nerd " or a freak ?? - dunno - never fitted in ( mainly because of health problems when young ) - so went my own way - ignored as much as possible all the "cliques " and groups - and pursued my own interests - and of course was considered "weird " by many ( so what changes ?? :lol: :lol: ) - and adult life is a reflection of school - still the same bullies - still the same girls and guys who thought oh so much of them selves and still the same idiots who put material things above all else

nothing really changes - we just get older - but any wiser ?? - ah well there in lies the rub ;)
LIFE - just filling the bits between birth, death and taxes
User avatar
brett
 
Posts: 436
Joined: 06 Aug 2009, 22:23
Location: Plymouth UK

Re: Brilliant essay about why high school is savage for nerds

Postby Scepcop » 16 Aug 2009, 20:16

Did anyone else here get bullied in high school?

I did majorly. It affected and scarred my psyche and sense of self worth greatly. I wish I could go back and beat them all up and establish myself.

But I did not get good vibes at all from the whole high school atmosphere. It was dysfunctional beyond words, the very air of high school made you feel insecure about yourself, totally undermining your self-confidence and self-esteem. There was a strong persecutory vibe. And the whole culture was fake. I had no idea how to fit into it, hence I had no alliances to protect myself from bullies. Hence, I never had any fun or good times in high school, not the kind you see in the movies with all the parties and all. As a result, it made me feel inadequate for many years.

But back then at least I felt young and innocent. And I miss that feeling. Having a crush on someone, puppy dog love, the butterflies in your stomach, all gave me a sense of vulnerability that I no longer have with my hardened heart. All that made you feel alive in a way that you don't as adults living in a coldly practical world that's all about money.

Adult world does not reflect high school, so I don't agree with that. Most people are busy with their lives, their jobs and families and do not bully or persecute you. It's just a few losers on the internet who do the bullying, but they can't hurt you in cyberspace. It's all words.

There is a saying that as you get older, your heart hardens. It does seem to. You no longer experience pain as intensely. But sometimes such pain makes you feel more "alive" so to speak. We have to work to keep the magic alive in our lives.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
User avatar
Scepcop
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3256
Joined: 16 May 2009, 07:29

Re: Brilliant essay about why high school is cruel to nerds

Postby Eteponge » 18 Aug 2009, 00:49

The funny thing is, after high school is over, all of the jocks, cheerleaders, and such who were on top in high school, their glory days are over when high school ends. The dumb jocks (unless they move into professional sports) generally don't have the smarts to get a good college degree to get a decent job. The cheerleaders are generally not the sharpest tools in the shed, so same with them. This is where the nerds surpass them all, in college. Hahaha. That's where the culture is flip-flopped. Where smarts is what counts over popularity and brawn.

That movie "Just Friends" (from 2005) actually zeroed in on it quite well. The high school football jock character, who tormented the nerdy main character in high school, 10 years later is overweight, balding, a drunk, and still wearing his high school jock jacket dreaming of his glory days, with nothing past high school to show for it, while the nerd actually made something of his life.
"I think Eteponge's Blog is a pretty cool guy. eh debates Skeptics and doesnt afraid of anything."
User avatar
Eteponge
 
Posts: 300
Joined: 06 Jun 2009, 13:26

Re: Brilliant essay about why high school is cruel to nerds

Postby brett » 19 Aug 2009, 15:04

good film that - with a message for those who can see :lol: - have to agree with you , we did not have the jocks and cheerleaders in school in my day - but of course we did have the ones who where going to be airline pilots ( and ended up as anything but ) and the little miss popular who thought oh so much of themselves and are now fat and have a gaggle of brats and a failed marriage :roll:

me i never set my sights too high - i wanted to learn a trade - which i did and has served me well , and i always remember those who mocked me for not making enough of myself by not taking exams etc , having a very embarrassed look on their faces when they walked into the job center where i was doing alterations some time later ( me having a job and them not , and in some cases never did funnily enough )

and although i don't have the "trappings " of success that sooooo many value as important these days - , at last i have the quiet satisfaction of what i have achieved - i have done so under my own steam and my own labour - not by climbing on the backs of others

i bet if one gos to some of these school reunions - there are a few quiet snickers going on when those who got put down by the high and mighty ,get to see just how high and mighty the majority actually end up :lol:

what is it they say " be careful who you piss on on the way up - as they may just take great delight in crapping on you when you are on the way back down "
LIFE - just filling the bits between birth, death and taxes
User avatar
brett
 
Posts: 436
Joined: 06 Aug 2009, 22:23
Location: Plymouth UK

Re: Brilliant essay about why high school is cruel to nerds

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 28 Apr 2012, 15:02

susancollins wrote:Everyone are explained the topic so nicely. .


A more to the point question for SCECOP to have begun the thread with would have been, "Was anyone here not persecuted in high school?"
I have seldom seen such agreement and mutual support in the responses. Except for a couple of the type we don't remember, because thy had escaped astarted adult lives, this could have been an intro meeting at the founding of Nerds United.

It also wants to make me separate myself from the clique, or try for superior staus by saying I suffered more.

I do know this. I never heard the word nerd until I was out of high school. I went to to school with the same group every year but one year overseas. The system as a whole worked much like that described here, save perhaps pot was common enough that the four super-cliques were distinguished by music. Rotcess liked country. Soces disco, the majority ignored the others and listend to Mexican music, and Freaks listened to Rock and smoked more pot, or thought they did. Those who were out the bottom of the pear tho, weren't just nerds, who, like sheep, are hunted for sport. It Texas, those at the bottom of the pear were fags, and it was a religious duty to persecute us, taught to every young hero by the football SPAM BLOCK as if we were vermin.

I found out how important rep was that one year overseas, when life was a such a pleasure I can't even remember PE. Being the son of a colonel in an army school, I had status that was enhanced by being eccentric, so instead of being beaten for having what Dad told me was an "officer class" mind, I was at best mildly mocked for acting like MacArthur while talking like Churchill (in my own mind, at least.) In the public school I was not among people who all were familiar with the same model of deference.

I had gotten rep from the first time I said of baseball, "That's not logical" a reputation confirmed when I hit the dirt everytime someone threw something at me. I spent fifteen years listening to assholes argue about who would get the crip, and who would have to take me. But the truly brutal persecutions had come in grade school. By high school, I knew how to defuse by mockery myself, and since my peers were my brother and his college friends, my group were the anarchists and the junkies.

The last two years, when my Dad told me I was being warehoused until I was needed as cannon-fodder, were a blast by compasison, as the freaks realized I smoked more pot than they did and was a genuine hippie, maybe even a Beatnik, like Bob Dylan, and the teachers were all terrified of the rep my brothers had already established for being smarter than the teachers, and the rep that some teacher falsely had attached to me for wanting to sterilize the stupid. (I thought a teacher could distinguish between proposing a subject for debate and being a proto-Hitler. That was a painful lesson that resulted in enough visible hatred from the wardens it may have garnared me some credit with my classmates.)

Everyone still thought I was a fag, of course, but I dealt with that by being the first male in my school to have his ear pierced. I haven't been bullied since a former classmate tried to beat me to death two months after our graduation
"What's so Funny about Peace, Love, and Understanding?"
User avatar
Twain Shakespeare
 
Posts: 375
Joined: 20 Jul 2010, 05:19
Location: El Paso Del Norte on the sunny Jornada del Muerta

Re: Brilliant essay about why high school is cruel to nerds

Postby NinjaPuppy » 06 Aug 2014, 05:46

Enrisdynsamough wrote:What are you saying here?


Not to worry, it's just the usual spam.
User avatar
NinjaPuppy
 
Posts: 4002
Joined: 28 Jul 2009, 20:44

Re: Brilliant essay about why high school is cruel to nerds

Postby SydneyPSIder » 06 Aug 2014, 13:45

Just adding to this bumped thread, though, I think there is some more socio-historical light to be thrown on compulsory schooling, 'Lord of the Flies' outcomes, etc.

Before around 1880, most people received very rudimentary tuition in reading and writing, or none at all. Only the relatively affluent received a great deal of tuition in their formative years largely by private tutoring methods, or by attending boarding schools, etc, and a few went on to the universities. In working class households, younger children made themselves useful around the house to some extent and teenagers were put to work either in family businesses, farms or in apprenticeships as early as the age of 12. Child labour in general was common and accepted in the interests of helping the household, earning another income, etc. Laws and social attitudes changed around child labour in the middle of the 18th century as industrialisation was getting underway. In around 1880, at least in the UK and Australia, and most likely the US and much of Europe simultaneously, it was held in public policy that basic literacy and numeracy were now an essential part of living in society, clearly as technology etc picked up in leaps and bounds. The way to do this was to enforce mandatory schooling for some years, although perhaps only to what is now Year 7 level as a minimum. The extension of schooling and effective helplessness into adolescence and early adulthood came later.

This late Victorian era was seen as the great 'age of institutionalisation' -- the creation of schools, hospitals, factories, prisons -- as also named by the OP -- and other organising structures on a large and systematic scale.

Many working class parents resented this public policy initiative at the time, in around 1880, and were concerned for bullying, losing their children from home who were useful and contributed to household income, etc, and where they could keep a watchful eye over them and remonstrate with them as necessary. As noted in the OP and other remarks, schools barely achieve their basic literacy and numeracy goals for the working class even today -- although that is all they really were ever intended to do, to enable adult participation in a more information-oriented and technical society -- and the economically efficient high student:teacher ratios allow for low levels of supervision, bullying practices, formation of Lord of the Flies patterns and cliques, and so on. Child development and psychology awareness should of course also play a part in managing a large number of unrelated children responsibly. The formation of cliques and bullying cliques in particular might be anticipated given a low level of adult supervision to separate or control certain children and adolescents. Modern society has fragmented and individualised people at home also, with sprawling suburbia further contributing to a sense of isolation and need to belong to a defining group when drawn together for institutional reasons.

Naturally distracting kids with sports and other physical activities they like is also used to try to keep them under control (apart from the benefits of lifelong physical activity). The curriculum content really doesn't matter as long as basic literacy and numeracy is achieved for most. Higher performers will naturally go on to get better marks, have a more enriched curriculum, and eventually go to college or university. They are more likely to take an interest in learning for its own sake, and explore intellectual areas of interest outside of their immediate jobs.

A 'rights based' approach appealing to reason -- which children possess at least to some extent, and can over-ride their other emotions as a kind of cognitive-behavioural approach -- can also work well to reduce bullying, by emphasising respect for others, observing 'the golden rule', and so on. Schools that have instituted such a framework have reported good results. Probably not enough of this is done, and it is not widespread or enshrined in the system either.

All the foregoing goes some way to explaining the observations of the OP quotation above. Not as well written as for my PhD thesis, but there you have it. The only way around the problems is possibly streaming of students of different abilities into different classes and even into different schools -- which is where the private schools for the very rich originally came into play -- and in fact were originally the only real schools.
SydneyPSIder
 
Posts: 1124
Joined: 10 Sep 2012, 18:24

Re: Brilliant essay about why high school is cruel to nerds

Postby NinjaPuppy » 10 Aug 2014, 00:20

That quote is sooooo true!
User avatar
NinjaPuppy
 
Posts: 4002
Joined: 28 Jul 2009, 20:44

Re: Brilliant essay about why high school is cruel to nerds

Postby SydneyPSIder » 10 Aug 2014, 06:40

H L Mencken composed a lot of quotable quotes, that certainly may be one of his. However, in the context of the purpose of schools at a bare minimum teaching basic literacy and numeracy to the masses to facilitate their participation in an information society as adults, which was really their major aim from the outset, I suppose they have succeeded. The irony is that 90% of jobs even today probably only need a Year 7 level of literacy and numeracy, when you think about it. The rest you pick up as you mature anyway, i.e. adult language skills and so on. You don't need calculus to get on with your life, just the ability to add, subtract and multiply numbers. Everything after Year 7 is pretty much just 'enrichment', which doesn't hurt if it's done properly. Kids can only understand so much anyway.
SydneyPSIder
 
Posts: 1124
Joined: 10 Sep 2012, 18:24

Re: Brilliant essay about why high school is cruel to nerds

Postby Carriebennett » 29 Nov 2016, 18:08

Thanks for sharing here essay about why high school is cruel to nerds. Since I am work with resume writers Melbourne at Artistic Resume Help. Students work full-time at existence popular though they do not do it knowingly. Nerds don't understand this. They have other important things to worry about. Other students focus their whole energy on just being popular and thus beat nerds effortlessly.
User avatar
Carriebennett
 
Posts: 1
Joined: 29 Nov 2016, 17:37


Return to Off-Topic Board

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron