Why do people go to such great lengths to avoid responsibility? Is it fear of being wrong? I think it is. Being Wrong is a cardinal sin in our culture, it seems. Even though, being mostly humans, it would be hard for us to live a mistake-free life. Unless of course we don’t do anything. Never make a decision. Take no….responsibility for anything.
To avoid responsibility, people instead find someone else to blame. This is an epidemic problem when it comes to education. And probably everywhere else, too, but since this is usually a blog about learning….
The problem? Kids Aren’t Learning! Who or what is to blame? Here’s the list of usual suspects:
1. It’s the teachers fault! They’re lazy, entitled, tenured….
2. It’s the school’s fault. The school hires the teachers and therefore schools should do better.
3. It’s the government’s fault, because isn’t it always? The government sets the standards for the schools, after all.
4. It’s the fault of too much testing. Or not enough testing. Depends on who you ask.
5. Blame the school day! It must be longer! And the school year! Summer break is for sissies!
6. It’s the fault of a lack of attention spam caused by: video games, computer games, tv, texting, smartphones – take your pick
7. It’s the fault of the kids. Everyone knows kids today are just lazy and entitled. Look at the bums hanging out on Wall Street!
8. It’s the fault of the deadbeat parents who refuse to MAKE THEIR KIDS do their homework, take the tests and learn all those things they need to know.
Have I missed any? I’m sure I have. There are so very many people to blame.
Blaming is much easier than responsibility. It doesn’t require anything from you. You can just sit back and point fingers and never have to do anything yourself. And of course, you can’t be held accountable; you can’t be wrong; you can’t be blamed if you never take responsibility.
This is why parents who don’t send their kids to school are courageous. No matter how it manifests, from traditional curriculum based homeschoolers to us radical fringe unschoolers, parents who don’t send their kids to school are saying, “We are taking responsibility.” It might as well be tattooed on our foreheads. Something not going the way you think it should at home or in learning? The buck pretty much never leaves the room.
Don’t misunderstand, we life-learners are really good at pointing out the major flaws in the educational system in this country. We’re often the standard-bearers in that regard. (And that’s a good thing, because someone should do it.) BUT, instead of just complaining about how awful the school requirements are while simultaneously dropping our kids off at school or admonishing them to do their homework, we’ve taken the road waaaaay less traveled. At least, less traveled for now.
This is why people are intimidated, I believe, by homeschoolers. In a country where shirking responsibility is the norm, it’s almost strange to see a group of people happily shouldering responsibility, especially when it has to do with learning and education and possibly the future success and well-being of their children. These are parents who take Responsibility – the dreaded “R” word. These are parents who risk Being Wrong.
Gutsy, man, gutsy.
Homeschoolers, unschoolers, life learners, worldschoolers, I therefore salute you. You show the world the best that responsibility has to offer.