Every day all across the country, we make kids sit still in classes of dozens for 40-45 minutes at a time, sometimes listening, sometimes participating. They are supposed to do this every weekday for over 30 weeks a year.
Now, go to any lecture or concert. Look around you about a half hour into the event. How many adults do you see (or hear) nodding off? How often do you yourself stay awake through a lecture without a cup of coffee in front of you? And we went because we were interested in the lecture or concert!
This little diatribe was inspired by "Apple co-founder Wozniak: computers can teach kids", Reuters, 2011-05-03. My favorite quote is:
"School in itself is pretty much a restrictive force on creativity," he said. "When you come to class, you do the exact same pages in the book, the same hours as everyone else in the class. You don't go off in your own little directions."
BTW, he secretly taught elementary school for eight years.