I think back to this particular strip on an alarmingly regular basis.
I want to talk about this specifically.
Because we often forget that who decides what information is useful vs. useless is in fact a power structure. What’s actually more relevant to the life of your actual average 7-year-old: historical data about two particular dead white dudes who are singled out as face-men for manifest destiny (usually, at this age, neatly disregarding genocide and the impacts of colonialism) or fandom information that will give him cultural capital in his peer group thus allowing him to more readily engage others socially – a life skill that will have HUGE impact throughout his life?
This comic demonstrates the bullshit of ‘teaching to the test’ and mistaking knowledge for intelligence.
Never mind that an average seven-year-old generally cannot grok what Lewis and Clark did; that kind of incredibly complicated and painful history really ought to be saved for older kids who are capable of more abstract thinking (Like 10-12 maybe? About when US schools start teaching about WWII and the Holocaust?) Sure, they can memorize facts and parrot them back, but anything you teach them about history is going to necessarily be simplified and most usually sanitized beyond truthfulness because OMG CHILDHOOD INNOCENCE! (Just look what happens when one seven-year-old who does grok how awful history was tries to tell the others)
A seven-year-old’s time would be better utilized learning a few auxiliary languages because the juvenile plasticity of the mind makes them especially susceptible to them. Also music and mathematics.
This has been a rant about (some of) what is horribly wrong with the US education system.
& in many other country’s education system too.
All of this oh my god yes. Reblogging for commentary. That link was a powerful read too.