The Public Education System Fosters Ingenuity…or Does It??

Public schools foster conformity, not ingenuity.

What’s your homeschool Kryptonite?

For me, one of the most difficult things to overcome as a homeschool mom has been getting over my instinct to recreate the “educational” environment I grew up in. After all, aren’t we absolutely inundated with propaganda about how great school is?

Over the years I’ve increasingly become more and more awake to the mess that is called the public education system. 

The public school model isn't education. It's mind control.

One of the biggest myths circulating throughout the general public is that “schools foster ingenuity.” How many of you remember your own teachers telling you that if you did well in school, you could be whatever you wanted to be? You could accomplish anything. The sky was the limit!

Today’s school mantra is much the same. Students are told that if they do their work, follow the rules, pay attention to the teacher, and get good grades, they could be the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. If they attend after-school test prep classes, their future will be good as gold.

Only that’s not even remotely true.

The problem?

Schools expect conformity, not ingenuity.

They don’t want or like out-of-the-box thinkers. They want students who will parrot back the information they’ve poured into them. They aren’t interested in students who will think for themselves and question the indoctrination they’re fed.

Think about it.

What usually happens to those children who tend to interrupt their teachers by going off on rabbit trails?

How many children have had points taken off of homework or tests, not because they got the wrong answer, but because they didn’t arrive at the answer the way their teacher wanted them to?

How many artistically gifted students have been disillusioned by instructors who refused to allow them to create what they were inspired to create? 

How many students have received a lower grade or disciplinary action simply for voicing an opinion contrary to what was being taught?

There’s a reason for this. Schools weren’t created to make kids smarter. They were created to train future factory workers. As someone pointed out to me the other day, schools ARE factories. They were created to train obedient citizens- those who embrace the status quo, no matter how ridiculous it is at times, and don’t even question why.

Maybe that’s why bureaucrats are so adamant about equating schools with the real world- because they fully expect tomorrow’s adults to settle for a life of mediocrity. How could this consumer-driven country survive without them, after all?

I’m not being unrealistic. I fully understand that we can’t have all entrepreneurs and no workers. The world just doesn’t work that way.

What I am saying is that it’s time to point out the elephant in the room. It’s time that our nation’s school administrators stop schmoozing and admit that there is no room in the classroom for ingenuity.

It’s time to be honest.

But I’m not holding my breath.







Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

17 thoughts on “The Public Education System Fosters Ingenuity…or Does It??”

  1. One of the problems is other parents. I know where I teach, we are always looking at the ways students come to answers and If it is different than what we know then we have the student teach us their method. I am lucky that my administrator is understanding in that regard and pretty much lets us do what we need to educate a kid (he even likes my algebraic game of blackjack I invented for my students).

    The worst thing is parents who don’t know what they are talking but are the ones that are down at the school board wondering why their Johnny can’t get into Cal and blame the school district but have never taken their Johnny to a museum or never read with them or taken them to the library. These are the ones that yell and scream in school board meetings to make sure there is no ingenuity and everything is cookie cutter. They are ones that have made sure that every child in that district is on a college track, even if some kids are great in the trades and not college material. It is all about everyone else doing for their Johnny except for them. The bureau-bums are about getting re-elected to the school board and are afraid of these parents, who scream about the schools to local media.

    I have two kids myself (A son 20, who is “finding who he is” in junior college (he has one AA and is getting a second in May) and a daughter 21 who getting her B.A. in May in Mass Comm) but I made sure that I did my part in their education. I remember taking my kids to a museum and they had an exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls there (the real deals) and they were studying that in my daughters history class (she was in seventh grade). She said that she saw a couple of them and the teacher called her a liar. I arranged a meeting with the school principal and the teacher said he didn’t believe my kids because it seemed like she was seeing things they talked about in history (or English) and nobody else had. He was amazed that I was taking my kids to these things and events (Duh, I live in SF Bay Area-with world-class museums and such) and admitted no other parents were doing that.

    Can the schools improve, yes very much so but until the parents who are screaming “Bloody Murder” and not doing anything stop dictating policy (or the higher-ups in the a school district stop allowing them to), things will only get worse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is amazing. I do know that some parents become a bit apathetic because they get too comfortable with schools educating their kids, so they feel there’s no point in doing anything stimulating or meaningful with them.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I will add that parents that scream “bloody murder” are the healthy ones. They shouldn’t like what schools do. The problem is there are not more of them. I’m a recovering public school teacher and I’m so glad I woke up.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, another one out of the ballpark! In addition to conformity, the public education system promotes learned helplessness and even a form of Stockholm Syndrome. I think the state does this by appropriating the role of the parent when it forces us away from our primary caregivers at ever younger ages to be systematized and filed into boxes for the bureaucracy.

    Liked by 2 people

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