Friday, February 22, 2008

My Booknotes: What Do I Do Monday, Part Two

The Killing of the Self
  • "It seems to me a fact that the schooling of most children destroys their curiosity, confidence, trust, and therefore their intelligence."
  • "[In a double-bind situation] one person conveys to the other that he should do something, and at the same time conveys on another level that he should not, or that he should do something else incompatible with it. The situation is sealed off for the 'victim' by further injunction forbidding him or her to get out of the situation, or to dissolve it by commenting on it." -- Ronald Laing, The Divided Self.
  • " ... Laing is not writing about schools. But how terribly his words fit."
  • "Indeed, the limits we put in many schools on freedom of speech, movement, and even facial expression are far more stringent than anything we would find even in a maximum security prison."
  • "Most of our schools convey to children a very powerful message, that they are stupid, worthless, untrustworthy, unfit to make even the smallest decisions about their own lives or learning."
  • "The parents cannot and do not say to their children, 'I can't prevent your teacher from despising and humiliating and mistreating you, because the schools have more political power than I have, and they


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