Schools Are Guilty Of Insanity

25-03-2014 Tuesday


Luckily I got the computer cables back today. I explained Mum what had happened and although she’s still not really amused, she did understand why I did what I felt like I had to do. If it happens again Mum is going to go over to Unice’s house to have a talk with her. I’m in favour of a petition of some sort, but Mum wasn’t really thrilled about that idea either. Maybe I should take the smiley face down.
This whole ‘being grounded’ thing got me thinking. Maybe I’m too young and too inexperienced to understand but does punishing people for doing something they did wrong really help. At school there are lots of children who are being punished (school itself is seen as some form of punishment by most of us). It’s not that they stop doing bad things; they just find more cunning and sly ways of doing naughty things so they won’t get caught. I think punishing people is not teaching them to stop breaking rules, it’s teaching people to be more careful next time when breaking the rules.
I think good proof that this system of punishment (and rewards?) is not working is detention class. It’s not just because detention class is always full and that there’s always a shortage of chairs and space, it’s that you see the same faces in there every time. To me that is proof of a system failing big time. Don’t these kids learn anything from their punishments? No. Well, they do, but not the right thing. Besides what I said earlier, I also think they learn to dislike the system more and more and maybe question it. It might even encourage them to do more bad things just to prove there’s a flaw in the system.
How come school does not see this? Why aren’t we doing anything about this? Isn’t there any other system without punishments that works better? I wonder what will happen to those kids I see in detention class each and every week. Once they’ve finished school they will have learnt such cunning ways not to get caught doing bad things, they’ll be the world’s best criminals. How is it possible that a system like this – a system that obviously does not work- is used all over the world? You know what I think is the most ironical bit about this? I see those same faces in detention class every time and you know what teachers say? Ohw, obviously he hasn’t learnt from one day of detention class, let’s give him three days … see if that works.’ Then when that doesn’t work, they’ll give him five days of detention or they suspend him. Even a child will understand that if one or three days of detention did not solve anything, neither will five or a hundred days or suspension be of any use. It’s like they’re saying,’ You know that thing that didn’t work last time? Let’s do it again.’ I declare all these people insane based on the following quote by Einstein (at least, I believe it was Einstein’s, I just found it on the Internet):

‘Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’

Here’s another quote I think schools should meditate on,

‘Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.’

So, that’s my psychological rant of today. The rest of my life is going according to plan. Please, don’t ask me whose plan or which plan; it just feels like there’s a plan that I’m following. See me tomorrow and don’t do drugs.


8 thoughts on “Schools Are Guilty Of Insanity

  1. Brilliant Arthur! Leave the smiley face up… It might brighten one of your other neighbor’s day! And nobody seems to remember that the word “Discipline” comes from Disciple… To learn and TEACH! I love your sketches and the way you apply your perfect logic to our nutty world.

    • Dear Stephanie,

      I didn’t know that either. If you look at it that way it brings a whole new meaning to the word for me. Most often discipline is used in a more or less as a synonym for ‘behave’ or something like ‘keep them in check’. I might want to remember this whenever one of the teachers uses the word again. If you’re ever thinking about adopting a kid … think of me.


      • Too cute with the adoption stuff, Arthur! Be careful. One of my kids actually is adopted and I’m always searching for more! Also, if you’re ever in California, U.S. – – you better come visit!

      • Dear Stephanie,

        If I ever get the chance to meet you in person, I will surely do so. You seem like a great mother.
        You have adopted a kid. That’s so great! Where is he/she from? Sounds really great. Well, if there’s room for one more kid … I’ll ask Mum and Dad if they’d mind.

        Kind regards,


  2. Great philosophical post Arthur. You nailed it. Yes, leave the smiley face up. And remember, all this is material for you blog. Loved your sketch of Einstein…totally looks like him.

    • Dear Katie,

      Would you have recognized my Einstein if I hadn’t written down his name? Because I wasn’t really sure if anybody would, which is why I wrote down his name. I looked him up on the Internet, but he wrote some mighty difficult things. Maybe one day I’ll be able understand half of what he’s written.


  3. Schools have always been very good at sticking-plaster solutions to problems. Whether they work or not, as long as they’re seen to implement a sanction then that’s enough. It’s tough for teachers – keep a disruptive kid in class and he/she’s spoiling the lesson for everyone else. But being sent out is seen as a bonus, because then they’re getting out of having to learn. Sit in detention day after day and it just ends up being time to hang out with friends. But inspiring kids to learn lesson after lesson, or getting to the route of a problem takes time that so many teachers don’t have.
    I don’t have the answers (I’d make a great education secretary if I did!) but you’re right: the system as it is stands is flawed massively. If you can come up with the answer then there’d be a bright shiny future ahead of you.
    Just stay out of detention.

  4. It’s not easy seeing this from a teacher’s point of view. I can’t imagine what it’s like being a teacher. I don’t think I’d want the agony of containing 30 odd kids in a small space and trying my best to get a message across. Maybe we should start from scratch and build and entirely new system.

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