Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Banning the Human Voice
Someone stands up at a staff meeting and delivers an announcement. "After a recent audit of student interaction and some severe cases of verbal bullying, we've decided to prohibit any voice tools within the classroom."
"What would those be?"
"Oh, any tools that can be used for social interaction. We've found that students are engaged in a large-scale social network called friendship. They simply request friends and next thing you know they are talking to one another."
"I know. It's pretty scary. If we've learned anything in education, it is that the best way to create a policy is to use one isolated outlier incident and present it as the norm."
"So, what will we do?"
"Well, students will use a mouth piece that will prevent them from speaking during class."
"Isn't that a classroom management issue?" I ask.
"We're making it easier for you. Just think of it this way. You allow students to speak in class and another teacher doesn't. Next thing you know parents are complaining about the inconsistencies. We'll just ban the voice altogether."
"But what if we want students to use their voice collaboratively?"
"Data proves that learning is done best in isolation.
"He's right," another teacher adds. "Kids can't talk to one another on the test."
"But they'll need to speak to one another in the future. They'll need it in most jobs."
"I disagree. Most jobs ask people to sit silently," someone adds.
"Like what? Name one job where people never talk."
"Mimes and monks. And that's just the ones that begin with m."
"He's right. I've heard miming is making a comeback with the death of Marcel Marceau. We can't have good mimes if they grow up talking."
The person in charge finally reassures me. "We'll have a voice lab open. Your kids can sign up for programmed speech. It's like a non-religious catechism and it helps guarantee that they don't talk about anything off-topic, off-color or social-related."
Note: This is satire, or is it? This is not in any way related to my own experiences. Actually.....it is. And i wanna change it. We need to embrace technology....because if we don’t, our students will be left behind. We can’t let that happen.
thank u mr. rg.