My friend Yana (that’s her, at left, when she was pregnant) has been thinking about the educational process lately, in part because her son is starting to become a part of it… and she’s been reflecting on her SAT experience and imagining what the process should be – if you’re really trying to assess practical learning and the complexity of the mind’s development in those formative years. Here’s what she shared on Facebook after sharing that cartoon where the professor is attempting to administer the “now everyone should climb up this tree” test to a monkey, elephant, mouse, etc. The following guest post is shared with her permission!
This is why I refused to take the SATs. I only got my GED (and yeah, yeah, yeah, I scored highly on it – yeah yeah yeah, I have a ‘high IQ’- meaning I learned how to speak a certain type of symbolic language, useful in some ways and DEFINITELY not in others) because I thought it was necessary for the restaurant owners I figured I’d intermittently hire myself out to while I continued to learn about what I ACTUALLY wanted to learn, the way I wanted to learn it.
I’d be interested in maybe taking SATs which contained decent sections w/ questions about religion, sociology, psychology, emotion management, medicinal properties of plants, color theory, literary characters, how to treat animals, how to dynamically order a comic strip, the evolution of the sound-style of bands and musicians, ETC.
“Who was the consort of Isis”
“Who has Brian Eno NOT collaborated with”
“What’s the best way to get a dog to trust you”
“What is The Shadow according to Jung”
Because I’m not a failed cog in a rigid, unchanging, machine, I’m a piece which, if tuned correctly and placed in the appropriate position, adds to the subtlety and the magnificence of that machine.
And what if there were more questions without pre-set answers. Which actually showed what you could DO with accumulated facts, not just demonstrate that you had them.
It was different by the time I got to college, but by then I’d already had it sort of beaten into me that I was a failure for refusing to take seriously the system I was being handed, because in mid & high school I’d rather cut class and walk in the woods than stare cross-eyed at a CHALK BORED on a spring day at one-sided definitions of things that my own logic system was telling me were INCORRECT, INCOMPLETE, and then being silenced when I spoke up rather than encouraged to explore.
Intending to have a different story line regarding schooling when [my son’s] time rolls around.
I’d honestly ENJOY…very much… writing MY OWN version of the SATs and then tracking down the people who designed the SATs and commanding that they take it ‘for the good of society and for their future’
But that would require becoming a dictatoress of some sort, perhaps.
There will be sex questions on my SATs.
YOU KNOW WHAT? I complain about the SAT system, and our educational system, not because I simultaneously bow to its authority while rebelling against it, but because IT IS NOT “MINE”, it is NOT my educational system. I didn’t vote for it, I dislike it, I can imagine something much better. My educational system involved walking through the forest with friends and family, examining plants and keeping an eye out for animals. That’s where I started to care about science. I have loved many teachers who tried to work within a particular construct, and succeeded to varying degrees. I complain because I can imagine something SO MUCH better. I can imagine school buildings that don’t look like prisons but like mixed media cathedrals, I can imagine tests that are fun to take, classrooms where there is honor and courtesy and it’s not student vs. teacher, I can imagine more subjects being taught, I can imagine CORE CLASSES being courses that train one to be healthy and to go with the flow, I can imagine a lot. Why are we still putting students through this dry, rigid, imagination-crushing, individuality-squelching, go-with-the-herd-pressuring, malignant-authority-submission-paradigm BULLSHIT!?