Remembering The Good Old Days...
ByBryan E. Hall, MPW
School Days, School DaysGood old golden rule days... Reading and writing and ‘rithmetic,Taught to the tune of a hickory stick...
These lines used to be sung with a positive reminiscence by young people whohad completed their education, despite its difficulties. The song did not conjure upmentally incapacitating trauma from days gone by of physical abuse and overlydemanding educators. Instead, most people of this era review the experience as
The methods have all but disappeared slowly but surely since thesixties, when it was apparently decided that disciplinarians and those with high demandswere
etc. A whole new vocabulary of enabling replaced the age-old classical assumptions that
learning has not occurred if it has been easy.
Not to blame all of the current rash of violence and sex on the failings on currenteducational methods, but it is all related to a general sense of guilt which parents andauthorities throughout history have felt,
the guilt of the executioner.
For many years, thegunmen of the firing squad were given one bullet among several shooters, so no one manwould feel the guilt and one could therefore deem himself innocent of the act, in somestrange way.The same guilt has always existed, and the methods that accompany the guilt havevaried. Mothers have said, “Wait until your father gets home.” As schools consolidatedand enlarged, teachers deferred corporal punishment to the principal, or schools created“Deans” of discipline, Assistant Principals, etc. to hand out the sentences and the punishments. The teachers, after all, did not want to be viewed as “policemen,” “pigs” asthey were called by the anti-establishment politicos who had gained notoriety.In these economically charged late fifties and sixties, though mothers were, inever increasing numbers, entering the work force, America was developing a new class of bourgeois, the
They were usually considered college students whowere simply expressing their freedom of speech, outrage at the repressive regime which perpetuated war and violence, “Peace, Man.” The popular assumption effectivelydisregarded the notion that many of these “activists” were simply kids who did not have a job, go to college, contribute to intellectual product or, really anything other thansmoking pot, and having sex at respective “Woodstock” arenas. These young peoplewere a product of a very fortunate society. They had come to view themselves as“invulnerable.” After all, with only a haircut and a few interviews, they could at anytime, join the establishment they opposed.