Monday, May 17, 2004

"School teaches basic skills. It used to do a pretty good job, but now we have a crisis. Starting i n the 20th century, school also provides socialization and, more importantly, also babysitting while parents go to work. School teaches test taking behavior. And school teaches about authority: teachers know more and have more power; students have no power. Students' ability to express agency is limited to "petty transgressions" or "achievements of excellence" within the structure provided by the school."

"Even where there is play in school, such as in sports, play carries the same hierarchical rule -based structure. Laurel argued that the teaching of hierarchy is the primary function of public education in America -- designed to create an efficient underclass (even if there's not a conspiracy to do so). School trains kids to be good workers and buyers, which is, in Laurel's opinion, BAD NEWS."

"Laurel pointed out that schools are incredibly immune to change. Gaming can't change schools. The kind of learning kids need is not going to come up in schools. When used in classrooms, games become an accessory to the same hierarchy; they don't puncture the spectacle of culture of politics."

"Laurel waxed pessimistic about educational games. "I have never seen a good educational game," she said, "It's crap for 30 years." Public education does not teach young people to meaningfully exercise personal agency, to think critically, to use their voices, to engage in discourse, or to be good citizens. We don't need computer games in the schools, said Laurel, we need "affordances for young people to exercise meaningful personal agency." We need to engage in a kind of discourse and critique that can be make them creative, culture makers, and future citizens."(Ian Bogost | Water Cooler Games | Education Arcade, day 1)

:: note :: . . . this type of statement has been repeated over and over again for decades . . . the grassroots teacher striving for discourse and creativity is more than often disempowered and shunted to the fringe . . . as the heiarchy factor demands . . .